How to Dramatically Improve Your TOEFL Reading Skills for FREE

How to Dramatically Improve Your TOEFL Reading Skills for FREE

Do you want to improve your reading skills? Do you want to do so without spending a dime?

If the your answers to the questions above are yes, then this article is just for you!

4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Reading Skills

How to Dramatically Improve Your TOEFL Reading Skills for FREE

How to Dramatically Improve Your TOEFL Reading Skills for FREE

1. Set a schedule

Many people do not read because they can’t find any time in their busy schedule to read. But the truth is that you need to read often to improve your reading skills. As simple as it sounds, the more you read, the better reader you become. Setting a specific time each day to read is the best way to improve your reading skills.

You might say that you don’t have hours each day to spend on reading because you have other priorities in your life. That’s perfectly OK because you can increase your reading skills by reading 20 minutes daily. You can read just before you go to bed or after you have finished your dinner.

The most important part is that reading needs to be a habit. If you set a schedule and read every day, your reading skill will be improved greatly.


2. Read according to your English level

Sometimes, students are motivated and try to read books that are too difficult for them. After reading few chapters, they completely give up because the books are uninteresting. To prevent this, it is important that you read books that are your level.

When you are starting to read, you should read books that are easy to comprehend. This will help you to make reading a habit and enjoy them at the same time. After a few easy books, you should start to read more difficult books one at a time. Reading difficult books will help you to comprehend harder books and to broaden your vocabulary.


3. Memorize vocabulary by making flashcards

As you continue to read and make it a habit, you will read many vocabularies that you do not know. To increase your reading skills, it is important that you memorize these vocabularies. In my opinion, flashcards are the best way to memorize vocabulary, and you can use any of these two ways to memorize them.

Flashcard Apps (Quizlet)

Flashcard Apps such as Quizlet allow you to make digital flashcards. You can use these apps to memorize vocabulary by reviewing, testing, even playing games! These are great tools to memorize your vocabulary on your mobile devices in your spare time.

Traditional Flashcards

If you are not tech-savvy, you can use traditional paper flashcards to memorize vocabulary. You can cut 3 x 5 notecards into two, write the word on the one side, and the definition on the other.


4. Read High-Quality Materials

Finding high-quality materials to read is probably the most difficult step for international students. You should read combination of books, newspaper articles, and scientific papers to increase your reading skills in variety of areas. I will recommend three free resources to find high-quality reading.

Kindle App

This is an essential app to increase your reading comprehension. Kindle App is allows you to access Amazon’s Kindle Store which contains millions of electronic books which are also called ebooks. Most of them are paid, but there are thousands of free ebooks also. Just by downloading the Kindle App, you can access over 10,000 ebooks that are completely free.

Most of the free ebooks are classics, which are books that have stood the test of time and are accepted as exemplary and noteworthy. Since the classics were written long time ago, their copyright expired which is the reason that they are free.

Some of the classics that you can download in Kindle App include:

  1. Moby Dick
  2. Oliver Twist
  3. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  4. Tale of Two Cities
  5. Pride and Prejudice
  6. Les Miserables
  7. Scarlet Letter
  8. David Copperfield
  9. Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea
  10. Christmas Carol

To read this free classics, you can either download the Kindle App on your mobile device or read it in your browser on desktop. Also, you need to have an Amazon account.

New York Times

New York Times is one of the best news sites in America that covers a variety of topics in politics, international, and finances. The articles are written by accomplished writers with years of experience writing. Reading The New York Times is a great way to broaden your vocabulary, improve your reading skills, and also be informed of current issues.

There are many other excellent news sites including USAToday, Foxnews, and CNN.

Popular Science

Popular Science is a science magazine containing excellent articles written by accomplished writers. There are many interesting articles about technology, science, and health which are both informative and practical. At the same time, you will improve your reading comprehension by reading these articles.

Other excellent science magazines include Science, Discover, and National Geographic

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Reading Practice Test 74 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 74 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 74 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

*Note: If you need the answer key for this test, please comment your email below. Therefore, we can send it for you immediately!!

Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

In general, as soon as the newborn child’s muscles, sense organs, and nerves are fully formed, the child begins to use them. But much of the human nervous system is not fully developed until the child is a year or two old, and some parts, such as the corpus callosum, continue to mature for at least the next 20 years.

The general pattern of bodily development is from head to foot. Simple skills, such as head movements, appear first because the structures that control these skills are among the first to mature. More complex behavior patterns, such as crawling, standing, and walking, come much later in the developmental sequence than head movements do.

The motor centers in the brain are connected by long nerve fibers(usually through one or more synapses) to the muscles in various parts of the body. Since the head muscles are closer to the brain than are the foot muscles, according to one theory, the head comes under the control of the motor centers long before the feet do. The appearance of a new motor skill (such as crawling and grasping) always suggests that a new part of the child’s body has just matured-that is, that the brain centers have just begun to control the muscles involved in the new motor skill.

1. What is the author’s main purpose in this passage?

(A) To describe how children crawl, stand, and walk
(B) To explain why some children are slow to develop
(C) To describe early physical development in children
(D) To explain the function of the corpus callosum

2. According to the passage, the corpus callosum is part of the human

(A) muscular system

(B) digestive system

(C) circulatory system

(D) nervous system

3. According to the passage, which of the following motor skills does an infant first develop?

(A) Moving the head

(B) Crawling

(C) Controlling the arms

(D) Kicking

4. According to the passage, we can tell that the child’s brain centers have begun to control new muscles when

(A) the child’s brain matures

(B) the child moves its body in new ways

(C) long nerve fibers disappear

(D) the child performs an acquired skill more rapidly

Passage 2: 

By long-standing convention, all meteorites are assigned to three broad divisions on the basis of two kinds of material that they contain: metallic nickel – iron(metal) and silicates, which are compounds of other chemical elements with silicon and oxygen. As their name suggests, the iron meteorites consist almost entirely of metal. At the opposite extreme, the stony meteorites consist chiefly of silicates and contain little or no metal. A third category, stony-irons, includes those meteorites that contain similar amounts of metal and silicates. Since meteoritic metal weighs more than twice as much as the same volume of meteoritic silicates, these three kinds of meteorites can usually be distinguished by density, without more elaborate tests.

The stony meteorites can also be subdivided into two categories by using nothing more complicated than a magnifying glass. The great majority of such meteorites are chondrites, which take their name from tiny, rounded objects – chondrules – that occur in most of them and are among their most puzzling features. The rest of the stony meteorites lack chondritic texture and are therefore called achondrites. Achondrites vary widely in texture, composition, and history.

Irons, stony-irons, chondrites, and achondrites are by no means equally abundant among observed meteorites: chondrites are much more common than all other kinds of meteorites put together. The irons, which are usually prominent in museum displays, are really quite uncommon. Curators like to highlight iron meteorites because many of them are large and their internal structure is spectacular in polished, etched slices. A stony meteorite has a beauty of its own, but it only appears under the microscope: to the unaided eye, stony meteorites appear to be – indeed they are – rather homely black or gray rocks.

To go further with meteorite classification, it is necessary to be more specific about the minerals that make up a meteorite: which silicates are present, and what kind of metal? To answer these questions, one needs to see more detail than is visible to the unaided human eye.

5. What is the passage mainly about?

(A) The formation of meteorites                             (B) Some recent meteorites

(C) The classification of meteorites                        (D) How meteorites are displayed


6. The word “elaborate” in line 9 is closest in meaning to which of the following.

(A) Natural                      (B) Detailed                    (C) Basic                        (D) Proven


7. According to the passage, small, rounded objects can be found in what kind of meteorites?

(A) Irons                         (B) Chondrites                (C) Stony-irons               (D) Achondrites


8. According to the passage, the spectacular meteorites usually found in museums are

(A) gray or black                                                   (B) generally small

(C) unimportant to science                                    (D) fairly uncommon


9. The word it” in line 21 refers to

(A) beauty                      (B) meteorite                  (C) microscope               (D) eye


10. Where in the passage does the author suggest a means by which meteorites can be differentiated?

(A) Lines 3-4                   (B) Lines 7-9                  (C) Lines 18 – 19            (D) Lines 20-22

Passage 3: 

National parties in the United States have generally been weak in structure and wary of ideology. Many writers have said that American parties are the least centralized in the world. However, the argument that parties have not represented significant differences in policy can be pushed too far. For example, in this century, at least, the Republicans have been more committed than the Democrats to a market – oriented economy, while the Democrats have been more prepared to use government to address economic problems. Within both parties there has been wide variance on issues but in general the Republicans have been the more conservative and the Democrats the more liberal.

Both parties, however, have resisted reducing these tendencies in their social, economic, and moral belief systems to a rigid ideology. And neither, until recently, vested much authority in its national party structure.

At state and local levels, on the other hand, party organizations often achieved impressive levels of solidarity and internal discipline. Both Democrats and Republicans maintained potent local political organizations in many cities and states.

Whatever their merits or demerits, the traditional organizations went into steep decline during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Old organizations lost the ability to maintain internal discipline The share of voters regarding themselves as political independents, that is, people not affiliated with either of the major parties, rose.

There were several reasons for the loss of effectiveness of the major party organizations. Development of a welfare state administered by the federal government established some of the services that had formerly been dispensed by the organizations as political favors. As recent immigrants became more educated they were less dependent on party workers. The inclusion of more state employees under civil service protection dried up some of the old wells of patronage. Growing unionization of public employees after 1960 struck an even more serious blow at the patronage system. Television brought candidates into voters’ living rooms, thereby antiquating some of the communication and education functions of party workers. Most of all, perhaps, the old tribal differences associated with the parties began to seem irrelevant to members of generations that sought fresh identities.

11. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) American political parties in the twentieth century
(B) The role of ideology in American politics
(C) The future direction of United States politics
(D) Differences between Republicans and Democrats

12. According to the passage, what is true of the major political parties in the United States?
(A) They are both generally conservative
(B) Party organizations have been stronger at the state level than at the national level
(C) Party organizations have increased their influence in recent years
(D) Democrats have been stronger than Republicans at the national level

13. The word “steep” in line 15 is closest in meaning to which of the following?
(A) characteristic
(B) unexpected
(C) sharp
(D) predictable

14. The passage mentions all of the following as causes of the decline of political organization in the United States EXCEPT
(A) increased numbers of immigrants
(B) development of the welfare state
(C) improved conditions for state workers
(D) the influence of television

15. The passage supports which of the following conclusions?
(A) Democrats are more committed than Republicans to a market – oriented economy
(B) Republicans are more liberal than Democrats
(C) Republicans and Democrats tend to be flexible on ideological questions
(D) Only Democrats have traditional political organizations

16. The word “irrelevant” in line 28 is closest in meaning to

(A) unquestioning                                                 (B) uninteresting

(C) irreversible                                                      (D) unimportant

Answer Keys here

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TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019 by Kaplan Test Prep

TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019: 4 Practice Tests

TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019: 4 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online + Audio (Kaplan Test Prep)

Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019 provides the most important language skills and strategies you need to succeed on the test, which is required worldwide for international students who want to study abroad. Master your English abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking so you can face the TOEFL with confidence.

Kaplan is so certain that TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019 offers all the guidance you need to excel at the TOEFL that we guarantee it: After studying with the online resources and book, you’ll score higher on the TOEFL—or you’ll get your money back.

With TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019 you can study on-the-go. Log in from anywhere to watch video lessons, listen to audio, and take practice tests that are optimized for your mobile device.

TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019: 4 Practice Tests

TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019: 4 Practice Tests

The Most Practice

Four full-length online practice tests with detailed answers and explanations
More than 450 practice questions to help you get comfortable with the test
Focused practice for each section of the test helps you reinforce critical concepts
More than 95 minutes of audio for Listening, Speaking, and Writing sections included on CD and online, plus complete transcripts in the book
Exclusive score-raising tips and strategies for each language skill: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking

Expert Guidance

More than 12 self-paced video lessons provide expert strategies for every section of the test
Effective study tips and advice from Kaplan’s test experts
Kaplan’s expert psychometricians ensure our practice questions and study materials are true to the test.
We invented test prep—Kaplan ( has been helping students for almost 80 years. Our proven strategies have helped legions of students achieve their dreams.
The previous edition of this book was titled Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premier 2016-2017 with 4 Practice Tests.

About the Author

Kaplan Test Prep is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses worldwide. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings, a complete array of print books and digital products, and a global network of certified providers, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including test prep for English language exams such as the IELTS, TOEFL, and TOEIC as well as for entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, and professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. For Kaplan Test Prep’s global offerings, go to

Now you can get TOEFL iBT Prep Plus 2018-2019 (PDF): 4 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online + Audio (Kaplan Test Prep)

Sign up to Download Download for Free  Get it on Amazon 

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Reading Practice Test 73 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt Reading Practice test 73 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 73 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

*Note: If you need the answer key for this test, please comment your email below. Therefore, we can send it for you immediately!!

Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

The concept of obtaining fresh water from icebergs that are towed to populated areas and aired regions of the world was once treated as a joke more appropriate to cartoons than real life. But now it is being considered quite seriously by many nations especially since scientists have warned that the human race will outgrow its fresh water supply faster than it runs out of food.

Glaciers are a possible source of fresh water that have been overlooked until recently Three – quarters of the Earth’s fresh water supply is still tied up in glacial ice, a reservoir of untapped fresh water so immense that it could sustain ah the rivers of the world for 1,000 years. Floating on the oceans every year are 7, 659 trillion metric tons of ice encased in 10,000 icebergs that break away from the polar ice caps more than ninety percent of them from Antarctica.

Huge glaciers that stretch over the shallow continental shelf give birth to icebergs throughout the year. Icebergs are not like sea ice, which is formed when the sea itself freezes rather they are formed entirely on land, breaking off when glaciers spread over the sea. As they drift away from the polar region, icebergs sometimes move mysteriously in a direction opposite to the wind, pulled by subsurface currents. Because they melt more slowly than smaller pieces of ice, icebergs have been known to drift as far north as 35 degrees south of the equator in the Atlantic Ocean. To corral them and steer them to parts of the world where they are needed would not be too difficult.

The difficulty arises in other technical matters, such as the prevention of rapid melting in warmer climates and the funneling of fresh water to shore in great volume. But even if the icebergs lost half of their volume in towing, the water they could provide would be far cheaper than that produced by desalination, or removing salt from water.

1. What is the main topic of the passage?

(A) The movement of glaciers

(B) Icebergs as a source of fresh water

(C) Future water shortages

(D) The future of the world’s rivers

2. The word “it” in line 3 refers to

(A) an iceberg that is towed

(B) obtaining fresh water from icebergs

(C) the population of arid areas

(D) real life

3. According to the author, most of the world’s fresh water is to be found in

(A) oceans

(B) rivers

(C) glaciers

(D) reservoirs

4. How are icebergs formed?

(A) They break off from glaciers

(B) Seawater freezes

(C) Rivers freeze

(D) Small pieces of floating ice converge

5. With which of the following ideas would the author be likely to agree?

(A) Towing icebergs to dry areas is economically possible
(B) Desalination of water is the best way to obtain drinking water
(C) Using water from icebergs is a very short -term solution to water shortages
(D) Icebergs could not be towed very far before they would melt

6. It can be inferred from the passage that most icebergs

(A) become part of glaciers
(B) drift toward the polar region
(C) move in whichever direction the wind is blowing
(D) melt in the oceans

Passage 2: 

Since there is such an abundance of food in the sea, it is understandable that some the efficient, highly adaptable, warm – blooded mammals that evolved on land should have returned to the sea. Those that did have flourished Within about 50 million years – no time at all, geologically speaking – one of the four kinds of mammals that has returned to a marine environment has developed into the largest of all animal forms, the whale. A second kind, the seal, has produced what is probably the greatest population of large carnivorous mammals on Earth. This suggests that these “top dogs” of the ocean are prospering and multiplying. However, such has not been the case, at least not for the last 150 years. Trouble has closed in or these mammals in the form of equally warm-blooded and even more efficient and adaptable predators, humans. At sea, as on land, humans have now positioned themselves on to -of the whole great pyramid of life, and they have caused serious problems for the mammals of the sea.

There is a simple reason for this. Marine mammals have the misfortune to be swimming aggregates of commodities that humans want: fur, oil, and meat. Even so, they might not be so vulnerable to human depredation if they did not, like humans, reproduce so slowly. Every year humans take more than 50 million tons of fish from the oceans without critically depleting the population of any species. But the slow-breeding mammals of the sea have been all but wiped out by humans seeking to satisfy their wants and whims.

7. Which of the following statements about marine mammals best expresses the main idea of the passage

(A) They have their origins on land.
(B) They have evolved successfully but are now threatened by humans.
(C) They compete with one another for the ocean’s food supply.
(D) They have many of the biological traits of humans.

8. What advantage did some land mammals gain by returning to the sea?

(A) Fewer predators exist in the sea.

(B) More space is available in the sea.

(C) There is a greater supply of food in the sea.
(D) The climate is more hospitable in the sea.

9. It can be inferred from the passage that during the last 150 years humans have

(A) constructed submarines
(B) learned how to swim
(C) threatened the existence of some marine mammals
(D) begun to harvest certain plants from the ocean as food

10. In line 14 the word “they” refers to

(A) marine mammals

(B) commodities

(C) humans

(D) fur. oil. and meat

11. Which of the following statements is supported by the passage?

(A) The whale’s ancestors were driven into the sea by humans.
(B) The food supply of seals is being depleted by humans
(C) The whale evolved from a species of land – dwelling mammal.
(D) Whales are a more efficient and adapt-able species than humans.

12. It can be inferred from the passage that marine mammals are like humans in which of the following ways”.

(A) They survive despite changes in their metabolic rates.
(B) They reproduce slowly.
(C) They are prospering and multiplying.
(D) They are depleting the vegetation of the seas.

Passage 3: 

Of all the folk artists in the United States the most well known of the twentieth century is certainly Grandma Moses-Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860 – 1961). She was also the most successful within her lifetime and her work was reproduced on greeting cards and calendars and in prints. As with many folk artists, her career as a painter started late in life, at the age of 67, but she continued painting until her death at the age of 101, so her active painting life still spanned over 34 years.

Her subjects are based on the New England countryside and evoke a strong mood of nostalgia. Many of her early paintings are copies of, or use sections from, prints by Currier and Ives that she then recomposed in her own way. In her versions the figures became more stylized and the landscapes less naturalistic. Her painting was preceded by the production of landscapes in needlework, and it was only the onset of arthritis that forced the change of medium. The images, however, continued the same, and she reexecuted some of her needlework landscapes in paint at a later date.

From these early sources she then began to compose original paintings such as Housick Falls. New York in Winter (1944) that relied on her surroundings and her memories of country life and activities: these paintings display an ~ technical ability By the 1940’s her work had become a marketable commodity and collectors created a demand for her paintings.

Like many painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Grandma Moses made use of photographs for information, for figures, for fragments of landscape, and for buildings, but her work, especially that of her later years, was not a slavish copying of these but compositions using them as source material. Her output was prodigious, and consequently her work is of varying quality. Although much of her public appeal is based on the emotive image of the “Grandma” figure producing naive pictures of country life, her paintings place her among the top folk painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

13. What is the main topic of the passage?

(A) The painting materials used by Grandma Moses
(B) The major artistic influences on Grandma Moses
(C) The folk art of Grandma Moses
(D) The life of Grandma Moses

14. According to the passage, Grandma Moses started her painting career

(A) without much success

(B) in her sixties

(C) after much study

(D) by producing greeting cards

15. Why does the author mention Currier and Ives in lines 8-9?

(A) They are folk artists
(B) They collected many of Grandma Moses’ paintings
(C) They made calendars from Grandma Moses’ landscapes
(D) Grandma Moses based some paintings on their work

16. According to the passage, Grandma Moses switched from needlework to painting because of

(A) her desire to create landscapes

(B) the public’s interest in painting

(C) her need to make money

(D) a physic condition that affected her

17. The word “naive” in line 23 is closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Unsophisticated

(B) Ignorant

(C) Unspoiled

(D) Trusting

18. According to the passage, Grandma Moses based her painting on all of the following EXCEPT

(A) photographs

(B) her needlework

(C) her family

(D) prints

19. Where in the passage does the author mention when Grandma Moses became popularly accepted?

(A) Lines 4 – 6

(B) Lines 10 – 12

(C) Lines 16 – 17

(D) Lines 21 – 24

Answer Keys Here

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5 Best TOEFL Books to Boost Your Score Considerably 2018

5 Best TOEFL Books to Boost Your Score Considerably 2018

Do you want to waste your precious money by buying unhelpful books? Since there are literally dozens and dozens of books, it is hard to determine which are the best TOEFL books in the market. To help you choose the best TOEFL books, I will recommend some to boost your scores significantly.

These books have helpful instructions for each section of the test and also includes TOEFL practice tests so you can be ready for the actual test. I have broken down this article into two types of books: books for test preparation and books for TOEFL practice tests. I hope that you will find each breakdown to be helpful as you prepare for this test.


Two Types of TOEFL Books

Books for Test Preparation

These books are excellent at teaching different strategies to solve different types of questions. They will explain in-depth of how to solve the questions effectively to guarantee a good TOEFL score. However, their TOEFL practice tests are either too difficult or too easy compared to the actual test.

Books for Practice Tests

These books provide excellent TOEFL practice tests that accurately portray the actual difficulty of the test. The practice books that I will be recommending contains only the authentic practice tests that were previously used as actual tests. However, these books contain little to no explanation on how to solve different types of questions.

I recommend buying at least one strategy book and one practice test book. If you have more money to spend, I recommend buying more practice test books rather than buying more test preparation books so you can solve more authentic practice questions and boost your score. If you buy at least one test preparation book and one practice test book, you will learn strategies from the strategy book and practice your strategies on authentic practice questions.


Best TOEFL Books

This are the recommended TOEFL books to help in your test preparation. As I stated earlier, you should buy at least one test preparation book and one TOEFL practice test books to get a good score.

Books for Test Preparation

  1. Barron’s TOEFL iBT with CD-ROM and MP3 audio CDs, 15th Edition
  2. Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test Book with Online Practice Tests

Books for TOEFL Practice Tests

  1. Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 1, 2nd Edition
  2. Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 2
  3. Official Guide to the TOEFL Test With CD-ROM, 4th Edition


Best TOEFL Books for Test Preparation

1. Barron’s TOEFL iBT with CD-ROM and MP3 audio CDs, 15th Edition

Barron's TOEFL iBT 15th Edition by Pamela J. Sharpe Ph.D.

Barron’s TOEFL iBT 15th Edition by Pamela J. Sharpe Ph.D.

I highly recommend Barron’s TOEFL book because of the following reasons:

  1. The 150-page strategy guide is very comprehensive.
  2. It contains many practice materials to solidify your test-taking skills.
  3. The audio CDs contains every recording for listening practice questions.
  4. The CD-ROM contains eight practice tests which simulates the actual test taking conditions.
  5. At the back of the book, there are comprehensive explanations for each question on the model tests. This 150-page explanation is very detailed, and you will recognize your weaknesses and strengthen them by using this book.
  6. The cost of this book is inexpensive compared to other TOEFL preparation books.

Barron’s book is one of the best TOEFL books for test preparation. To help you to determine if Barron’s book is right for you, I will breakdown each section of this book.

A. Introduction

This book begins with frequently asked questions about the test, general test-taking tips and advice, how to use this book, and study habits to prepare for TOEFL. These are very informative for new test takers to know what to expect on the test day which will make them confident on the actual test.


B. Detailed breakdown of each section and specific strategies for each section

This book does a wonderful job of listing every possible type of questions in each section and checklists that you should follow for each type of questions. For example, the reading section has fourteen possible types of questions such as interference, classification, and insert; the listening section has ten possible types of questions such as purpose, main idea, and connection; the speaking section has six different types of questions such as experiences, preferences, and examples; the writing section has two different types of questions which are synthesis of opposing ideas in integrated essay question and opinion in independent essay.

Not only does the book list every single possible types of questions that could appear on the test, the book gives specific detailed checklists for each possible type of questions. For example, there are about twelve items on checklists for each types of questions. Also, the book lists the point value and the frequency that a certain type of question appears on the TOEFL test.

After the strategy guide, the book enforces those strategies and checklist through many practice problems. The detailed explanation at the back is really helpful because you will know which types of questions are your weaknesses and focus on those weaknesses to strengthen them.


C. Academic Section

After Barron’s book has gone over specific strategies for specific sections, it has a section called Academic skills that apply to all four sections.

Campus Vocabulary

Campus vocabulary is a list of approximately 200 academic vocabularies that are frequently used in TOEFL. It includes the word’s definitions, example sentences, and the grammatical use in the sentence. There is also an interactive program which includes all the campus vocabulary in this book. If you are interested in this free program, visit this site.

Taking Notes

The Barron’s book has excellent guides about taking notes and exercises to practice this skill. These excellent strategies teach students to properly take notes such as dividing the paper into columns, separating content into major and minor points, noticing key words and phrases, and using abbreviations and symbols for faster note-taking. Also, the comprehensive lists of keywords, key phrases, abbreviations, and symbols are very helpful.


Paraphrasing is rewriting the idea into your own words. This skill is important in all four sections because those sections contain questions about paraphrasing. Skills such as substituting synonyms, using different grammatical structures, and using key phrases help you to improve your paraphrasing skills greatly. After the guide, it has many practice questions to reinforce this skill.


Summarizing is using your own words to shorten an idea into few words. Summarizing is like paraphrasing but using fewer words than paraphrasing. Barron’s book teaches many summarizing skills such as condensing the ideas, combining sentences using clauses of addition, result, contrast, and reversal and identifying the main points. After the guide, it contains questions to strengthen your skills.


Synthesizing is combining two ideas into one which is important for integrated speaking and writing tasks. This book gives useful advice on synthesizing such as recognizing keywords and phrases that denote relationships and step-by-step guide to reading and writing synthesis tasks.


D. 8 TOEFL Practice Tests

Barron’s book contains 7 practice tests and 1 extra test on the CD-ROM which is a total of 8 practice tests. The CD-ROM simulates the all 8 practice tests accurately like the actual tests. Also, in the back, there are two audio CDs for skill-building exercises for each sections.

The test questions in the Barron’s book does not accurately reflect the difficulty of the real TOEFL test. Barron’s questions are little harder than the real TOEFL test which could be beneficial because the actual test will seem easier than the questions in Barron’s. So, do not be discouraged if you miss more questions than you normally would. For books that contain questions with same difficulty as the actual tests, keep on reading!


E. Explanation

One aspect that I absolutely adore in the Barron’s Test is the detailed answer explanations of every question in every practice test. The explanation section itself is over 150 pages long! This section contains very detailed explanation of the reason behind each answer. For example, it will state that a certain answer is right because of this specific phrase. Also, it contains sample answers and checklists for every speaking and writing section so you can check your answer. The detailed explanation will help students to recognize their weakness and to strengthen their weakness through constant practice.


F. Conclusion

The Barron’s book is extremely helpful because of the thorough strategy guides for each section and the detailed explanation on the back. Although Barron’s book has its flaw of not reflecting the actual difficulty of the test, you will be much more prepared for the actual tests.

Barron’s book should be your first-choice strategy guide because of its thoroughness and its low cost. This book costs around 25 dollars on Amazon which is very cheap compared to other strategy books on the market. 

Free Download this Book at Here: Download this Book

2. Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test Book with Online Practice Tests


Cambridge University Press is the leading publisher on TOEFL preparation books. This book is the best preparation book on the market (Barron’s close second) because it thoroughly reviews all four sections. It contains many practice skills found in Barron’s and even more.

This book is especially excellent for students who struggle in the writing section. It covers the not only the basics such as developing full paragraph essay and recognizing the main points but also the specifics such as including the specific examples from the text.

There are seven online tests included in this book. The practice tests are the most accurate representation of the test format, not the difficulty of the test. In listening sections, other programs start the clock whenever you start to listen, but on the actual test and in Cambridge, the clock starts running when you started to answer the questions. The Cambridge online tests are the most accurate representation of the test format of the TOEFL and also give your score after each practice tests.

Although the test format itself is the most accurate, the test difficulty and the practice materials are harder than the actual test just like Barron’s. So, don’t be harsh on yourself whenever you have scored lower than your average score.

The detrimental flaw of this book is the high cost. There are two versions of this book: book without audio CDs and book with audio CDs. The book without audio CDs costs around 50 dollars, and the book with CDs costs around 80 dollars. Without the audio CDs, you won’t be able to use half of the skill-building exercises, so the audio CDs are essential to buy. Compared to the cost of Barron’s book which comes with audio CDs, it is extremely expensive.

This book is for students who are aiming to receive 100+ on your TOEFL. If you are not aiming for above 100, then don’t waste money buying this expensive book. Also, if you don’t want to spend much money on practice books, the Barron’s book is an excellent substitute of this book for students who are aiming above 100. However, if you do have the money and willing to spend it, this book is an excellent choice.

Free Download this Book at Here: Download this Book

Best TOEFL Books for TOEFL Practice Tests

The only books that I recommend for TOEFL practice tests are the books from ETS, the company that administers the actual tests. Other companies produce many practice tests, but they are poorly-made, too-easy, or too-difficult. Also, some of those tests have critical errors such as two possible answers to a question. The most authentic practice materials are from ETS which makes the tests and therefore have zero errors. ETS currently offers 13 official tests that were previously administered available for students to purchase. I recommend only these books that contains authentic questions for practice tests.


1. Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 1, 2nd Edition

Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 1

Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 1

This book contains five TOEFL practice tests that were previously administered. This book also contains an interactive CD-ROM which is very similar to the real internet test. This is highly recommended for you to get a high score.

Also, the price is relatively inexpensive compared to other books. 

Free Download this Book at Here: Download this Book

2. Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 2

Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 2

Official TOEFL iBT® Tests Volume 2

This book also contains five latest TOEFL practice tests that ETS administered. Like the Volume 1 of the iBT Tests, this book also comes with an interactive CD-ROM which is similar to the real test. 

Free Download this Book at Here: Download this Book

Each of these books contains five complete past TOEFL exams. The TOEFL iBT books are the best to use for practice TOEFLs because they are written by the same people who make the TOEFL and the practice tests included are all retired real TOEFL exams. Like the Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, this means that you can be sure that the practice tests will be very similar in format, style, and content to the actual TOEFL which some unofficial practice tests don’t always succeed in.

Each TOEFL iBT book includes a DVD-ROM so you can take the practice tests either on paper or on the computer. This means you can take practice tests in the same format you’ll take the real TOEFL in. In addition to high-quality practice tests, these TOEFL preparation books also include in-depth answer explanations so you can understand why a particular answer is correct.

  • The only prep books with official practice tests (other than the Official Guide to the TOEFL).
  • Option to take the tests either with paper and pencil or on the computer.
  • Clear, easy to understand explanations.
  • The computer versions of the test have a format very similar to the actual iBT TOEFL, so you can get used to how the test will look before exam day.
  • These books primarily focus on practice tests and answers and don’t include a lot of strategies or tips for answering questions. If you’re looking for this information, you’ll likely have to purchase another book in addition to these.
  • No sample responses for the Writing or Speaking sections are included.


3. Official Guide to the TOEFL Test With CD-ROM, 4th Edition

Official Guide To The TOEFL Test 4 Edition

Official Guide To The TOEFL Test 4 Edition

This book contains three authentic practice tests that were previously administered. Although it has strategies in the beginning, this guide is extremely inferior to the strategy guides in Barron’s or Cambridge. However, it contains interactive CD-ROM to help you familiarize yourself with the real test-taking conditions.


These three books have a total of 13 different authentic tests that were administered previously. 13 tests will be enough to practice the strategies that you have learned using the strategy books.

As I have noted earlier, these books for practice tests contains little or no strategies but is useful for authentic practice tests only. For strategy guides, use Barron’s or Cambridge book.

In another article, I have compiled a list of six free materials for the TOEFL, and you can find it here.

Free Download this Book at Here: Download this Book



Notice: Now have the latest version of Official Guide to the TOEFl Test – Fifth Edition, You can download free at below link here: The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test with DVD-ROM, Fifth Edition


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Reading Practice Test 72 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 72 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 72 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

*Note: If you need the answer key for this test, please comment your email below. Therefore, we can send it for you immediately!!

Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

In many ways college students of the last two decades of the nineteenth century were inextricably involved in the processes of change. The North American institutions they attended were undergoing profound transformation. It was not just that more students were being admitted. These were different students-some were women. in Ontario, Canada, Queen’s University was the first to admit women into degree programs, and the University of Toronto followed suit eight years later in 1884. Moreover, as colleges ceased to cater more narrowly to candidates for the religious ministry and the professions and came to be seen as a logical continuation of secondary school, younger students began to predominate. Many of those who now enrolled were experiencing transition not only from a small town or rural area to an urban environment, but also from adolescence to young adulthood. Universities had to adjust to the needs of students who were less mature and less settled in their interests.

As the student body changed, so did the curriculum. Scientific, professional, and graduate training became much more sophisticated, but the traditional arts program was altered as well. Rigid courses of study full of Greek and Latin prerequisites were being replaced at many schools by elective systems that featured new subjects, such a~ English literature, political science, economics, sociology and psychology. Old subjects, like biology and philosophy, were rocked by new ideas so that they too seemed very different.

1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) The founding and growth of Queen’s University
(B) A transition in university education
(C) Major differences between rural and urban colleges
(D) The beginning of public education in Ontario

2. When were women first allowed to enroll in degree programs at Queen’s University?

(A) In 1876

(B) In 1884

(C) In 1892

(D) In 1900

3. Which of the following does the author suggest was a problem related to the admission of new types of students?

(A) Their secondary school education

(B) Their parents’ profession

(C) Their religion

(D) Their age

4. Which of the following courses is most likely to have been offered as part of a traditional college degree program in the early 1800′

(A) Political science

(B) Engineering

(C) Nursing

(D) Religion

5. It can be inferred from the passage that after the 1880’s students gained more freedom to

(A) return to their hometowns

(B) choose their own courses

(C) monitor their own progress

(D) question their professors

6. The author uses the expression “rocked by” in lines 16 – 17 to suggest that the effect of new ideas on old subjects was

(A) calming

(B) musical

(C) powerful

(D) religious

Passage 2: 

A painter hangs his or her finished picture on a wall, and everyone can see it. A composer writes a work, but no one can hear it until it is performed. Professional singers and players have great responsibilities; for the composer, is utterly dependent on them. A student of music needs as long and as arduous a’ training to become” a performer as a medical student needs to become a doctor. Most training is concerned’ with technique, for musicians have to have the muscular proficiency of an athlete or a ballet dancer. Singers practice breathing every day, as their vocal chords would be inadequate without controlled muscular support. String players practice moving the fingers of the left hand up and down, while drawing the bow to and for with the right arm -two entirely different movements.

Singers and instrumentalists have to be able to get every note perfectly in tune. Pianists are spared this particular anxiety, for the notes are already there, waiting for them, and it is the piano tuner’s responsibility to tune the instrument for them. But they have their own difficulties: the hammers that hit the strings have to be coaxed not to sound like percussion, and each overlapping tone has to sound clear.

This problem of getting clear texture is one that confronts student conductors: they have to learn to know every note of the music and how it should sound, and they have to aim at controlling these sounds with fanatical but selfless authority.
Technique is of no use unless it is combined with musical knowledge and understanding. Great artists are those who are so thoroughly at home in the language of music that they can enjoy performing works written in any century.

7. Which of the following best states the main idea of the passage?
(A) It is easier to study medicine than music.
(B) Painters and composers use totally different methods to reach the public.
(C) All musicians must know how to tune their own instruments.
(D) Musicians must acquire technique and understanding to perform well.

8. According to the passage, performers could best meet their obligation to composers by doing which of the following?
(A) Taking courses in art appreciation
(B) Knowing h6w ‘the music was intended to be performed
(C) Studying works written at different periods in history
(D) Rearranging musical score’s for their particular instrument

9. Why does the author mention athletes and ballet dancers?
(A) To contrast the requirements of each field of study
(B) To discourage music students from continuing their studies
(C) To motivate students to work harder to achieve their goals
(D) To show that music students must develop great physical coordination

10. According to the passage, the advantage that pianists have over other instrumentalists is that they do NOT have to

(A) tune their own instruments

(B) practice as often

(C) use their muscles

(D) aim for clarity of sound

Passage 3: 

With a literary history that goes back as far as the seventeenth century, Florida has long been a major haunt for writers from all over the United States. Jonathan Dickinson, whose group of Quakers was cast up on the coast near what is now Palm Beach after they were wrecked en route from Jamaica to Pennsylvania, recorded the tragedy in God’s Protecting Providence in 1699. Not only was this book one of America’s first best- sellers, but it was also the first account of the American Indians of the southeastern coast. Other early writers who followed Dickinson celebrated the rich and various plant and animal life of the region, striking sympathetic chords in the imaginations of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the English poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Florida has been visited by many writers who sometimes were so taken by what they saw that they adopted it as their home. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, spent several winters on an orange farm that she and her husband bought in 1867. The Stowes’ original intent in buying a home, which is at Mandarin on the Saint Johns River, was to create a model for the employment of former slaves. The original intent had to give way to other considerations. So many spectators flocked to the farm to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Stowe that a charge of 25 cents per person for admission was established.

On his way to report on the Cuban Revolution in 1896, Stephen Crane spent some time in Jacksonville. It was there that Crane met his wife, who at that time ran a popular tavern in the town. On his way to Cuba, Crane’s boat sank off the coast of Florida, an incident that provided Crane with the material on which his masterpiece “The Open Boat” is based.

James Weldon Johnson, a prominent Black author, was a native of Florida. He was born in Jacksonville in 1871 and was a songwriter, poet, novelist, teacher, and the first Black man to become a lawyer in Florida since the Reconstruction. Johnson also fought successfully to upgrade the quality of education for Black people in Florida.

11. What is the main topic of the passage

(A) Early books about Florida

(B) Florida’s literary history

(C) The first settlers of Palm Beach

(D) Black American literature

12. The word “It” in line 5 refers to

(A) tragedy

(B) book

(C) life

(D) coast

13. The popular book God’ s Protecting Providence primarily dealt with

(A) Ralph Waldo Emerson

(B) the beach

(C) animal life

(D) a shipwreck

14. The word “rich” in line 7 is closest in meaning to

(A) expensive

(B) healthy

(C) abundant

(D) heavy

15. It can be inferred from the passage that Harriet Beecher Stowe was

(A) a celebrity

(B) a travel writer

(C) an associate of Stephen Crane

(D) a native of Florida

16. When Stephen Crane met his wife, he was a

(A) soldier

(B) sailor

(C) journalist

(D) tavern keeper

17. What can be inferred about the story “The Open Boat”?

(A) It is mainly about a shipwreck

(B) It is mainly about Cuba

(C) It takes place in a tavern

(D) Its main character is from Florida

18. The passage refers to all of the following as occupations of James Weldon Johnson EXCEPT

(A) playwright

(B) poet

(C) educator

(D) lawyer

Answer Keys here

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Reading Practice Test 71 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 71 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 71 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

*Note: If you need the answer key for this test, please comment your email below. Therefore, we can send it for you immediately!!

Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

Cells cannot remain alive outside certain limits of temperature, and much narrower limits mark the boundaries of effective functioning. Enzyme systems of mammals and birds are most efficient only within a narrow range around 37℃; a departure of a few degrees from this value seriously impairs their functioning. Even though cells can survive wider fluctuations, the integrated actions of bodily systems are impaired. Other animals have a wider tolerance for changes of bodily temperature.

For centuries it has been recognized that mammals and birds differ from other animals in the way they regulate body temperature. Ways of characterizing the difference have become more accurate and meaningful over time, but popular terminology still reflects the old division into “warm – blooded” and “cold – blooded” species; warm – blooded included mammals and birds, whereas all other creatures were considered cold – blooded. As more species were studied, it became evident that this classification was inadequate. A fence lizard or a desert iguana-each cold – blooded-usually bas a body temperature only a degree or two below that of humans and so is not cold. Therefore the next distinction was made between animals that maintain a constant body temperature, called homeotherms, and those whose body temperature varies with their environment, called poikilotherms, But this classification also proved inadequate. because among mammals there are many that vary their body temperatures during hibernation. Furthermore, many invertebrates that live in the depths of the ocean never experience a change in the chill of the deep water, and their body temperatures remain constant.

The current distinction is between animals whose body temperature is regulated chiefly ‘by internal metabolic processes ” and those whose temperature is regulated by, and who get most of their heat from, the environment. The former are called endotherms, and the latter are called ectotherms. Most ectotherms do regulate their body temperature, and they do so mainly by locomoting to favorable sites or by changing their exposure to-external sources of heat. Endotherms (mainly mammals, and birds) also regulate their temperature by choosing favorable environments, but primarily they regulate their temperature by making a variety of internal adjustments.

1. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) Body temperatures of various animals
(B) The newest research on measuring temperature
(C) Methods of temperature reduction
(D) The classification of animals by temperature regulation

2. Which of the following terms refers primarily to mammals and birds?

(A) Warm-blooded

(B) Ectothermic

(C) Cold-blooded

(D) Poikilothermic

3. In general, the temperature of endotherms is regulated

(A) consciously

(B) internally

(C) inadequately

(D) environmentally

4. According to the passage, the chief way in which ectotherms regulate their temperature is by

(A) seeking out appropriate locations

(B) hibernating part of the year

(C) staying in deep water

(D) triggering certain metabolic processes

5. The word “sites” in line 25 is closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Temperatures

(B) Conditions

(C) Opportunities

(D) Places

6. Where in the passage does the author explain why some mammals are not homeotherms?

(A) Lines 7-8

(B) Lines 11-14

(C) Lines 16-18

(D) Lines 26-28

Passage 2: 

A onetime illustrator, Winslow Homer painted in a careful, clear, accurately detailed, and convincing manner. Homer worked on Breezing Up” at intervals over a period of three years. It was the result of intense study, and it grew out of two earlier studies of the scene, a watercolor and a small oil painting.

Sun-bronzed boys in their weather beaten clothes were a common sight in New England in Homer’s time, as were fishermen like the one in the red jacket, shown crouching as he holds the mainsheet. In the rising wind, the boys have positioned themselves to counter balance the tilt of the boat as it speeds along in a choppy sea. The lad stretched full length by the mast seems oblivious to the spray of the bow waves; the boy beside him, silhouetted against the sky, holds onto the coaming. The light that highlights the figures of the sailors also illuminates the scales of the fish in the bottom of the boat. The picture gives us a sense of the pleasure and independence of sailing.

7. According to the passage, Winslow Homer’ style of painting can best be described as

(A) precise

(B) complicated

(C) abstract

(D) amusing

8. According to the passage, the painting Breezing Up” was the result of

(A) a short burst of inspiration

(B) periods of work over several years

(C) three years of continuous work

(D) a lifetime of studying the sea

9. For a person viewing the painting in Homer’s time, the subjects of the painting would probably seem

(A) silly

(B) ambitious

(C) bold

(D) ordinary

10. The boys in the painting have assumed their positions to

(A) hold onto the fishing nets

(B) enjoy the spray of the waves

(C) prevent the boat from overturning

(D) keep the mast in the correct place

11. It can be interred from the passage that the title of the painting refers to the

(A) boat’s appearance

(B) rising wind

(C) boat’s angle

(D) light’s source

12. Where in the passage is Winslow Homer’s previous occupation mentioned?

(A) Line 1

(B) Line 3

(C) Line 6

(D) Line 10

Passage 3: 

Chemistry did not emerge as a science until after the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century and then only rather slowly and laboriously. But chemical knowledge is as old as history, being almost entirely concerned with the practical arts of living. Cooking is essentially a chemical process, so is the melting of metals and the administration of drugs and potions. This basic chemical knowledge, which was applied in most cases as a rule of thumb, was nevertheless dependent on previous experiment. It also served to stimulate a fundamental curiosity about the processes themselves. New information was always being gained as artisans improved techniques to gain better results.

The development of a scientific approach to chemistry was, however, hampered by several factors. The most serious problem was the vast range of material available and the consequent difficulty of organizing it into some system. In addition, there were social and intellectual difficulties, chemistry is nothing if not practical; those who practice it must use their hands, they must have a certain practical flair. Yet in many ancient civilizations, practical tasks were primarily the province of a slave population. The thinker or philosopher stood apart from this mundane world, where the practical arts appeared to lack any intellectual content or interest.

The final problem for early chemical science was the element of secrecy. Experts in specific trades had developed their own techniques and guarded their knowledge to prevent others from stealing their livelihood. Another factor that contributed to secrecy was the esoteric nature of the knowledge of alchemists, who were trying to transform base metals into gold o’ were concerned with the hunt for the elixir that would bestow the blessing of eternal life. In one sense, the second of these was the more serious impediment because the records of the chemical processes that early alchemists had discovered were often written down in symbolic language intelligible to very few or in symbols that were purposely obscure.

13. What is the passage mainly about

(A) The scientific revolution in the seventeenth century
(B) Reasons that chemistry developed slowly as a science
(C) The practical aspects of chemistry
(D) Difficulties of organizing knowledge systematically

14. According to the passage, how did knowledge about chemical processes increase before the seventeenth century?

(A) Philosophers devised theories about chemical properties.
(B) A special symbolic language was developed.
(C) Experience led workers to revise their techniques.
(D) Experts shared their discoveries with the public.

15. The word “hampered” in line 9 is closest in meaning to

(A) recognized

(B) determined

(C) solved

(D) hindered

16. The word “it” in line 11 refers to which of the following?

(A) problem

(B) material

(C) difficulty .

(D) system

17. The word “mundane” in line 15 is closest in meaning to which of the following

(A) Rational

(B) Scientific

(C) Comfortable

(D) Ordinary

18. Which of the following statements best explains why “the second of these was the more serious impediment“(line 21)?

(A) Chemical knowledge was limited to a small number of people.
(B) The symbolic language used was very imprecise.
(C) Very few new discoveries were made by alchemists.
(D) The records of the chemical process were not based on experiments.


Answer Keys here

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TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 33 Solution & Transcripts

TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 33 Solution & Transcripts

TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 33 from Mastering Skills for TOEFL iBT Solution

——————————————————————————-TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 33 Solution & Transcripts

TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 33 from Mastering Skills for TOEFL iBT Transcripts

  1. Campus life

W: Hey Miguel, how’ve you been lately?

M: Stressed. My global government prof just gave us a monster project. We have to do online research and make a presentation using some kind of computer program. I have no idea about how to use that program. I’ve never even heard of it before. Say. you don’t know anything about how the computer labs work here, do you? I’ve never really had to do any assignments with computers before, so I’ve never been to the computer labs on campus.

W: Actually, I worked in one of the open labs for two semeste’s. What do you wanna know?

M: Wow, thanks, Jean. Where to begin… Well, first off, where are they?

W: Well the open labs are in the basement of the library, in the student union building, and then there are two more on campus. One in the science building and one In that other new building across campus, the building where they do freshman orientation.

M: Oh yeah. I know the one you’re talking about.

W: Anyway, the largest open computer lab is in the science building.

M: Oh, OK. Are they open 24 hours?

W: Unfortunately, no. They’re open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 to 5:30 on Friday. The good news is that during the fall and spring semesters, they’re open Saturdays and Sundays as well. They’re open 9:00 until 5:00 during the weekend.

M: Uh huh, and do they offer any kind of training on the computers? Like I said, I don’t know much about computers.

W: Yes, they do actually. They hold computer training workshops twice a month. You can sign up for one in the library. There are also instructional tutoring sessions for students who need help with their course work in the science computer lab, and of course, individual assistance in all of the labs.

M: Can I just walk in and start using a computer, or do I need a password or something?

W: You don’t need a password to walk in the door, but you will need one to log in and use a computer. You have a student email account, don’t you?

M: Sure. Doesn’t everybody?

W: Everybody could have one, but some people don’t actually make use of the free service offered by this university. They’d rather pay an online company for some reason,

M: That’s nutty.

W: I think so, too. Anyway, I was asking you about your email account because that’s how you can get a password. You have to register with the computer administration office on campus. They’re the ones who send you the password.

M: This is getting complicated.

W: It’S not really, It just sounds daunting if you’ve never done it before. Hey, do you have some time right now? I can go with you and help you register for a password.

M: As a matter of fact, mv next class doesn’t start until 3:30.

W: How about going to the computer lab in the student union? That’s the closest one.

M: Lead the way. I’m right behind you.


02 Ecology

M: I’m sure a lot of you in this class have your own car. Think about the dashboard of your car. There are some special indicator lights there, warning indicators. If something is wrong with your car, those indicator lights will come on to warn you. Well, today we’re going to talk about a similar kind of indicator in nature. Tiiese are bio-indicators. A bio-indlcator is an organism that can warn us about harmful changes in our environment. The typical example of a bio-indicator would be a miner’s canary. Miners today don’t use them, but anyway, it’s a good example from history.

I’m not sure how much you know about mining, You might have heard about recent mining accidents in the news. Obviously, this is a dangerous occupation, but other than mine collapses or explosions, another danger for miners is gas. I mean natural gas in the air, that you can’t see. Pockets of natural gas sometimes occur naturally in mine-shafts. These pockets of gas are difficult to detect and can suffocate and kill miners if they do not notice them. You might not realize It, but natural gas doesn’t actually have a smell, or at least it doesn’t smell like the stuff you put in your car at the gas station. So, when a miner is working In a cave where there is a lot of natural gas in the air – weli, you can imagine it’s not a good situation to be In. So, miners used to take canares Into the mines with them. A canary is quite small, and these birds will pass out long before a human In a gas pocket. So, if the miner notices that the canary passes out, the miner knows there is danger and that he has to get out of that part of the mine immediately. In this case, the canary is more sensitive to a problem in the environment — the mine in this case – than humans. Likewise, bio-indicators tell us about potential problems in our environment because they are more sensitive to It than we are. OK, quiz time. Can anyone think of another example of a bio-indicator? Yes, Carol?

W: Those frogs that were deformed because of the pollution?

M: Good example. Frogs breathe through their skin. This means that they directly absorb everything in the water and air they live in, making them much more easily affected by pollution than humans are. When we notice a population of frogs with lots of deformities, such as extra legs, missing body parts, or malformed parts, we know that the area has probably been polluted, that the appropriate testing needs to be performed, and the necessary precautions need to be taken. And, as Carol mentioned, we’ve seen this happen right here in the United States.

OK, so we see that pollution hurts frogs, but what about people? Is there any evidence to suggest this kind of pollution causes problems for humans, too? To answer this question, we need to take a look at human bio-indicators.

Who might be a human bio-indicator? People who are more sensitive to the environment. In particular, children and unborn babies, or fetuses, are more sensitive to pollution than full-grown adults. So, they can also tell us about our environment. We usually Ignore bio-indicators like frogs because, well, they’re just frogs, aren’t they? But when there are health problems in human communities, that sure catches our attention I Here’s a good example. No doubt you guys are all too young to remember this, but when I was growing up, this was a big deal and everybody knew about It. In 1978, there was a serious  health problem. In Love Canal, a suburban neighborhood in upstate New York. There was a high rate of cancer among the children of the area, birth defects were increasing, and pregnant women were losing their babies. Because of the high rate of birth defects and pregnancy problems, people in the area began asking the government to find out why. There was actually a group of activists at the time who were using the slogan, “Our fetuses are our canaries.”

So, what was it about Love Canal that made it different from healthy communities? Well, as it turns out, from 1920 until 1953, the site was used as a chemical dump, a place where a company buries its chemical wastel. The dump was later filled In with dirt before It was sold as regular real estate. Of course, chemicals in the ground get washed into ground water supplies when it rains, and the ground water eventually finds its way Into local city water systems. 

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Reading Practice Test 70 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 70 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 70 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

*Note: If you need the answer key for this test, please comment your email below. Therefore, we can send it for you immediately!!

Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

One of the more discernible trends in the financial – service industry in recent times has been the adoption of programs designed to encourage more personalized relationships between an institution’s employees and its clients, particularly those clients who are major depositors. The expression most commonly used to describe this type of program is “relationship banking”. A good definition is provided in the 1985 book Marketing
Financial Services:
In relationship banking the emphasis is on establishing a long-term
multiple – service relationship; on satisfying the totality of the client’s
financial service needs; on minimizing the need or desire of clients to
splinter their financial business among various institutions.

Implicit within any definition of relationship banking is recognition that the financial -service requirements of one individual or relatively homogeneous group will likely be substantially different from those of another individual or group. A successful relationship banking program is’ therefore dependent in a large part on the development of a series of financial – service “packages” each designed to meet the needs of identifiable homogeneous groups.

Another dimension of relationship banking is the development of highly personalized relationships between employee and client. In most financial institutions today the client is serviced by any employee who happens to be free at the time regardless of the nature of the transaction. Personalized relationships are therefore difficult to establish. In a full relationship banking program, however, the client knows there is one individual within the institution who has intimate knowledge of the client’s requirements and preferences regarding complex transactions. Over time, the client develops a high level of confidence in this employee. In short, a personalized relationship evolves between client and employee.

1. With what subject is the passage mainly concerned?
(A) The decline of the financial-service industry
(B) Variety within financial services
(C) A way of making banking more personal
(D) Increasing everyday banking transactions

2. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about relationship banking programs?
(A) They have recently been discontinued
(B) They are already being used
(C) They will shortly be used
(D) They will be used in the distant future

3. According to the definition of relationship banking quoted in the passage, one of the main aims of this type of banking is to encourage clients to
(A) consult with each other concerning their finances
(B) keep all their business with a single bank
(C) recognize their own banking needs
(D) keep their financial requirements to a minimum

4. According to the passage. what is a necessary first step in instituting relationship banking?
(A) Redesigning bank buildings
(B) Hiring congenial staff who make client’. welcome
(C) Recognizing the particular financial needs of groups and individuals
(D) Teaching bank employees to be more confident.

Passage 2: 

Canals are watercourses constructed to improve and extend natural waterways. They are generally built to facilitate transportation, but from the beginning they have been used for many additional purposes including draining swamps, irrigating land for cultivation and promoting economic development.

Canals are often classified by the size of vessel they can accommodate. Some small local canals, which are able to float only 100 – to 300 – ton boats or small rafts of timber. may be only 3 feet deep. Major barge canals generally range from 6 to 9 feet in depth, and some are as much as 10 or 12 feet deep. These canals can carry 1.350 – to 2. 000 – ton crafts. Ship canals are 25 feet or more deep and are capable of accommodating large vessels in the seagoing class.

Canals may also be classified as either water – level or lock canals. Water – level canals do not vary in height along their courses. The best known of these is the Suez Canal, which is at sea level. Lock canals, which include most modern waterways, contain locks, or special devices for raising and lowering boats along their courses by changing the depth of the water. Each lock is a stretch of water enclosed by gates at each end. After a boat enters the lock, water is let in or drained out until it reaches approximately the same level as the water ahead.

5. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) How canals are constructed

(B) Common types of canal boats and barges

(C) The world’s largest canals

(D) How canals are used and classified

6. The canals mentioned in the second paragraph are grouped according to their

(A) depth

(B) length

(C) attitude

(D) location

7. The word “accommodating‘ in line 9 could best be replaced by

(A) weighing

(B) loading

(C) handing

(D) storing

8. What is the purpose of a canal lock?

(A) To keep out boats that are too large for the canal
(B) To measure the tonnage of canal boat
(C) To load and unload the cargo
(D) To change the depth of the water

9. The Suez Canal is mentioned as an example of a

(A) modern canal

(B) water – level canal

(C) lock canal

(D) irrigation canal


Passage 3: 

Some of the most beautiful caves are formed in glaciers. Streams of melting ice and snow tunnel through the glaciers the same way that water from a faucet melts its way through an ice cube. Water from the surface drips down through cracks, hollowing out the tunnels and decorating the caves with crystal icicles. The smooth walls and floors are so glasslike that pebbles frozen six feet deep can easily be seen. Crystal – clear icicles draping from the ceilings flash blue – green, as though they were carved from precious jewels instead of ice.
Although most of the cave ice in the United States is found in lava caves, there are a number of limestone ice caves as well. Some people believe that this ice was formed thou -sands of years ago, when temperatures were much colder than they are today. Others think that the cave ice broke off from the ancient glaciers as they spread over the country.

Today many cave scientists have another idea. They believe that cold water sinks down through cracks into these caves until the temperature is chilly enough to freeze the water that seeps in. The ice that forms keeps the cave cool, and that helps build up still more ice. Many caves become covered with so much ice that no one knows just how thick it is. In some, such as Crystal Falls Cave in Idaho, there are frozen rivers and even frozen water -falls. Native Americans and early settlers used to store food in these underground refrigerators and chip our blocks of ice to melt for drinking water.

10. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) Characteristics of glaciers

(B) Uses for ice caves

(C) The origin of cave ice

(D) Where glaciers can be found

11. The word “its” in line 2 refers to

(A) faucet

(B) water

(C) glacier

(D) tunnel

12. The word draping” in line 5 closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Shining

(B) Hanging

(C) Dripping

(D) Forming

13. The author compares icicles to precious jewels based on which of the following?

(A) Appearance

(B) Cost

(C) Method of formation

(D) Availability

14. Where is most of the cave ice in the United States found?

(A) In lava caves

(B) In ancient glaciers

(C) On cave ceilings

(D) In cave cracks

15. According to many of today’s cave scientists, what causes ice to build up in caves?

(A) Rivers and waterfalls supply water

(B) Icicles accumulate on the ceilings

(C) Cave ice breaks off glaciers

(D) Cold water seeps in and freezes

16. It can be inferred from the passage that the early settlers in the United States appreciated the ice caves for their

(A) practicality

(B) beautiful interiors

(C) historical value

(D) precious gems

Answer keys here

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TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 26 Solution & Explanation

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 26 Solution & Explanation

Solution & Explanation for TOEFL iBT Reading Practice Test 26 from Delta’s Key to the Next Generation TOEFL Test – Six Practice Tests for the iBT by Nancy Gallagher

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 26 Solution & Explanation


1. D The passage does not give the type of mineral as a factor in mass wasting. All of the other answers are given: …the angle of the slope is a major factor in the potential for mass wasting…; Water plays a significant role…; …absence of vegetation…. (1.2)

2. B The name of a mass wasting process is a reflection of the material that is moved and the way it moves. Clues: One way to classify mass wasting processes is on the basis of the material involved…rock, debris, earth, or mud. The manner in which the material moves is also important…a fall, a slide, or a flow. (1.1)

3. C Trigger means cause in this context. Clues: Rain or snowmelt can trigger a rockslide by wetting the underlying surface…can no longer hold the rock in place. The water from the rain or snowmelt causes a rockslide to occur. (1.4)

4. A A rock avalanche moves faster than other types of rockslides because the rock moves over a layer of compressed air. Clues: The fastest type of slide is a rock avalanche, in which a mass of rock literally floats on air as it moves downslope. The high speed of a rock avalanche is the result of air becoming trapped and compressed beneath the falling mass of debris…. (1.1)

5. A Buoyant means floating in this context. Clues: …a mass of rock literally floats on air as it moves downslope; …air becoming trapped and compressed beneath the falling mass of debris…. (1.4)

6. C Anchor means hold in this context. Clues: …rainstorms in semiarid regions…; When a rainstorm or rapidly melting snow creates a sudden flood, large quantities of soil and loose rock are washed into nearby stream channels because there is usually little or no vegetation to anchor the surface material. (1.4)

7. B The referent of that is something of wet concrete to which the consistency of the mudflow may be similar. Logic tells you that that refers to consistency. (1.3)

8. A The removal of native vegetation by brush fires… is paraphrased in Fire has destroyed much of the original vegetation…’, …has increased the probability of these destructive events is paraphrased in …so mudflows are now more likely. (1.7)

9. D You can infer that mudflows are so dangerous because people do not expect them to occur. Clues: …mudflows are a serious hazard to development on and near canyon hillsides;… because mudflows occur infrequently, homeowners are often unaware of the potential danger of building on the site of a previous mudflow. (1.5)

10. B You can infer that lahars occur in Indonesia. Clues: Mudflows containing volcanic debris are called lahars, a word originating in Indonesia, a region that experiences many volcanic eruptions. (1.5)

11. C The author’s purpose is to emphasize the fast speed of lahars. Clues: …altering the landscape in a relatively short period. One meaning of race is to move at a high speed. (1.6)

12. C In the added sentence, Thus is a transition that shows result. Thus links Rain or snowmelt can trigger a rockslide in the previous sentence with rockslides occur more frequently during the spring, when heavy rains and melting snow are most prevalent in the added sentence. (1.8)

13. A, D, G Rockslides: Rockslides occur when a coherent mass of rock breaks loose and slides down a slope as a unit; … where there are joints and fractures in the rock that are parallel to the slope; …a mass of rock literally floats on air as it moves downslope.

B, C, H, I Mudflows: Mudflows…involve soil and a large amount of water; The consistency of the mudflow may be similar to that of wet concrete, or it may be a soupy mixture…; When a mudflow is dense, it moves more slowly, but it can easily carry or push large boulders, trees, and even houses along with it; Mudflows containing volcanic debris are called lahars…; Lahars occur when highly unstable layers of ash and debris become saturated with water…. Answers (E) and (F) refer to neither rockslides nor mudflows. (1.10)

14. C The passage does not state that a strong labor union was a characteristic of the Triangle Waist Company’s factory. All of the other answers are given: …the inhumane working conditions…an unsanitary and dangerous work environment; Most of the workers were women…; The shirt factory occupied the top three floors…. (1.2)

15. D Already struggling with a new language and culture… is paraphrased in The workers experienced cultural difficulties…’, …these workers could not speak out about working conditions for fear of losing their desperately needed jobs… is paraphrased in …without complaint because they needed their jobs; …and this forced them to endure exploitation by the factory owners is paraphrased in .. .poor conditions, and exploitation…. (1.7)

16. B Ignited means caught fire in this context. Clues: …a rag bin…was on fire; …tried to extinguish the flames, but their efforts proved futile…;… the fire spread. (1.4)

17. A The author’s purpose is to emphasize the unsafe working conditions. Clues: The incident highlighted the inhumane working conditions faced by many industrial workers, including…an unsanitary and dangerous work environment; …they found it rotted and useless. (1.6)

18. C Many workers on the top floor managed to escape the fire on ladders. Clues: …the ten-story Asch Building; The seventy employees who worked on the tenth floor escaped the fire… by climbing onto the roof where students from New York University, located across the street, stretched ladders over to the Asch Building. (1.1)

19. C The referent of Still others is something or someone that climbed onto the fire escape. The previous three sentences discuss the efforts of the ninth-floor workers to escape the fire, and the pronouns their, they, some, and Others in these sentences refer to ninth-floor workers. Logic tells you that Still others also refers to ninth-floor workers. (1.3)

20. A Spindly means weak in this context. Clues: …inadequately constructed fire escape;…it bent under the weight of hundreds of workers…; …separated from the wall, falling to the ground…. (1.4)

21. C You can infer that the women on the window ledges did not escape. Clues: The young women trapped on the ninth floor waited on the window ledges to be rescued, only to discover that the ladder, fully raised, stopped far below them at the sixth floor; …killing 146 workers, mostly immigrant women. (1.5)

22. D The author argues that the cause of the disaster was the lack of fire safety measures. Clues: …the Triangle fire tragically illustrated that fire inspections and safety precautions were very inadequate. The victims of the fire were trapped by the lack of fire escapes…. (1.1)

23. B The statement that an era of progressive reform began to sweep the nation means that the idea of reform became widespread. Clues: The incident had a profound impact…affecting local and national politics in the process;.. .people decided that government had a responsibility…; …a public outcry for laws to regulate workplace safety. (1.4)

24. C You can infer that the author believes the Triangle fire increased awareness of workplace safety and led to necessary reform. Clues: The incident had a profound impact on…job safety…; An era of progressive reform began to sweep the nation…; There was a public outcry for laws to regulate workplace safety;…led to many new regulations in the years following the fire. (1.5)

25. C The added sentence further develops the idea that The incident had a profound impact on women s unionism and job safety, mentioned in the previous sentence. (1.8)

26. C, D, F Key information: Within minutes, the factory was consumed by flame, killing 146 workers, mostly immigrant women; The incident highlighted the inhumane working conditions faced by many industrial workers, including… dangerous work environment;

…the Triangle fire tragically illustrated that fire inspections and safety precautions were very inadequate; There was a public outcry for laws to regulate workplace safety;… their report led to many new regulations in the years following the fire. Answer (A) is a minor idea; answers (B) and (E) are not mentioned. (1.9)

27. B You can infer that music and poetry were part of Greek culture from very early times. Clues: Long before the ancient Greeks could read and write, they learned of their history and culture through epic poetry…; The bards chanted stories in standard musical phrases that were accompanied by musical instruments such as the lyre…. (1.5)

28. C Both Homer and Sappho were skilled lyre players. Clues: Homer, was a…master of the lyre; Another famous…lyre player was Sappho…. (1.1)

29. B The author’s purpose is to show that the period was a high point in Greek civilization. Clues: …during the fifth century BC, when politics, philosophy, art, architecture, and theater thrived, as they never had before. (1.6)

30. D Outgrowth means product in this context. Clues: Early drama…was an outgrowth of the choral songs and dances…; A chorus of singers, dancers, and musicians…performed stories that educated and entertained the audience…. The prefix out- = beyond. Drama was a new product that developed from choral songs and dances and grew beyond them. (1.4)

31. A The passage does not state that an emphasis on costumes and makeup characterized Greek drama. All of the other answers are given: The famous outdoor Theater of Dionysus in Athens showed the importance of drama to the Greeks; …a masked actor; …recited verses as a character in the story…spoken verses…; …the chorus sang the narrative passages. (1.2)

32. C The addition of an actor who spoke was a major development that changed choral performance into drama. Clues: The crucial innovation that turned choral performance into drama is attributed to Thespis…; Thespis would enter the theater as a masked actor; …he recited verses…and these spoken verses changed what had been a choral monologue into a dialogue between the actor and the chorus. (1.1)

33. B Legacy means contribution in this context. Clues: The crucial innovation that turned choral performance into drama is attributed to Thespis…; …the term “thespian,” which now describes anything relating to drama. The actor’s contribution to drama is honored by a word derived from his name. (1.4)

34. A The referent of which is something with a device like a speaking trumpet inside. Logic tells you that which refers to mask. (1.3)

35. A Still, despite the attention the actor received… is paraphrased in …even though the actor was also important; …the chorus and its music continued to dominate dramatic performances with the combined power of singing and dancing is paraphrased in The singers, dancers, and musicians remained at the center of drama…. (1.7)

36. D Adding a second and a third actor led to the actors becoming more important than the chorus. Clues: Now audience attention could be directed to the interplay between the two actors…; The addition of actors shifted the focus of drama away from the chorus toward the action and dialogue of the characters. (1.1)

37. C Adhered to means followed in this context. Clues: Playwrights continued to introduce innovations, but essentially they adhered to prescribed conventions. But shows contrast between the idea of introducing innovations (new developments) and adhering to prescribed conventions (established practices or rules). (1.4)

38. A The added sentence introduces the topic of standard forms and dramatic conventionsy which the rest of the paragraph develops with examples: One of these conventions…; The drama always took place…; Another convention…; … still another convention…. (1.8)

39. A, D, E Key information: …they learned of their history and culture through epic poetry chanted by bards or singers; Early drama was associated with the worship of the god Dionysus and was an outgrowth of the choral songs and dances performed in honor of the god; …enter the theater as a masked actor; …recited verses as a character in the story…; The addition of actors shifted the focus of drama away from the chorus toward the action and dialogue of the characters; …they adhered to prescribed conventions; Another convention reflected the society’s sense of balance and order…; The Greek concept of moderation is reflected in still another convention…. Answer (B) is not mentioned; answers (C) and F) are minor ideas. (1.9)

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TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 32 Solution & Transcripts

TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 32 from Mastering Skills for TOEFL iBT Solution

——————————————————————————-TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 32 Solution & Transcripts

TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 32 from Mastering Skills for TOEFL iBT Transcripts

1          Biology

M: I want to talk about the hunting behavior of sharks, which, due to some new study methods, we’ve been able to learn a lot more about recently. You know, with all the new data that’s been collected, marine biologists are starting to see that what we thought we knew about hunting behavior in sharks was completely wrong. See, for a long time, scientists thought that sharks were solitary hunters, like the leopard. But as it turns out, sharks might actually be group hunters, like wolves. Let’s look at some of the evidence.

OK, so let me begin by explaining the methodology a little bit, if only to take some time to appreciate what these marine biologists did in the name of science. So basically, a group of scientists took a little boat to Cocos Island, an area in the Pacific Ocean that’s about 300 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. Let me just point out, this is, uh, this is one of the most untouched and pristine marine environments left on Earth. It also happens to be the stomping grounds for many different kinds of sharks, making it a perfect place for scientists to learn about sharks. Anyway, since the scientists were trying to learn about the hunting patterns of the sharks, they had to make the sharks hunt. So they put out bait to bring the sharks to them.

It might sound insane, and they certainly did put themselves in extraordinary danger, but by doing this, they were able to witness firsthand how sharks strike. So what exactly did they observe? One thing they noticed was that after they had initially released the bait, a single shark would first make its way toward the boat and begin feeding. In a matter of mere moments, though, the boat would be completely surrounded by sharks. What does this tell scientists? Well, that the other sharks appeared after the first one struck led them to believe that sharks probably have some way of communicating with other sharks to alert them that food has been found. And in fact, marine biologists know that sharks have extremely sensitive hearing, but they haven’t completely figured out how it is that they send messages to each other.

Moving on now—OK, while this was happening, scientists also noticed that the group was comprised of sharks of diverse age groups and genders. So, there were male sharks, female sharks, baby sharks, adult sharks, and everything in between. Marine biologists guessed that shark hunting groups are usually made up of sharks that are related to each other. Furthermore, they observed that sometimes, the older sharks would hold back some, letting the younger sharks have first dibs on the prey. This sort of suggests that the older sharks were allowing the younger ones to gain some experience and learn how to hunt. Is that interesting or what?

Any questions? Good. As all these sharks were coming up to the boat, the scientists placed tracking devices on many of them. This, of course, let them observe their hunting patterns away from the boat, which gives them a more, I don’t know, authentic view into the hunting behavior of sharks. And when they went back and looked at what the sharks were doing out there in open water, they were amazed. Time and time again, they witnessed the sharks displaying the same behavior as they did around the boat. First one shark would strike, then the prey would be surrounded by an entire pack of sharks. Interestingly, their hunting patterns seemed to involve a series of attacks that drove their prey into positions in which they couldn’t defend themselves. In one instance, they found dozens of whale carcasses washed up on shore. Going over their tracking data, they found that the area had recently been visited by the same pack of sharks that they had encountered earlier. They concluded that they had taken advantage of the whales’ unfamiliarity with the region and struck in a series of surprise attacks. The whales were easily intimidated and were cornered into an area, where the sharks had their feeding frenzy.


2          History

W: Like most of the cities in Italy, Venice has a rich history. In modern times, it’s mostly known for the canals that link the entire city together as roads do in most other places. But in the past, Venice was a powerful republic. As with Rome, it was . . . well, it definitely was not built in one day; in fact, the rise of the Venetian Republic was an ongoing process that took about five centuries. We can analyze the success of the Venetian Republic in terms of developments of many arenas. However, by examining the growth of trade over the course of Venetian history, the link between political power and trade become pretty apparent.

So let’s do that… Let’s begin in the 10th century, when the threat of Norman invasion was looming and challenged Venetian trade routes. See, Norman invasion would have obviously meant the loss of territory, but the Venetians were equally concerned with maintaining their connections to the south. Think for a moment about where Venice is geographically: it’s located in the swampy land in northern Italy, where it hugs the coast of the Adriatic Sea. This position gave them easy access to some places, •- but in order to maintain their partnerships with the republics closer to the Mediterranean coast, it was imperative for them to knock out the Norman threat. And that’s exactly what they did.

In defeating the Normans, Venice also gained a friend in the Byzantine emperor. Alexius, who very much appreciated their help in helping defend Byzantine. Alexius I granted Venice exclusive trading rights throughout the Byzantine Empire. Do you all understand the implications of that? It essentially allowed the Venetians to build a monopoly. But the friendliness pretty much disappeared as Venice became increasingly antagonistic toward Byzantine ports.

I don’t want to make it seem like it was all Venice here, though. To be fair, I think it’s safe to say that the Byzantine emperor also recognized how prosperous Venice was becoming. And the more money Venice made, the greater the threat they posed to the Byzantine Empire. Anyway, the rising tension with the Byzantine Empire led to a series of aggressive strikes that brought the Venetian-Byzantine trade alliance to an end.

The bitterness between the Venetians and the Byzantines was an on-going conflict, but in 1204, it reappeared with a dangerous new facet. This time, the Byzantines had the help of the Genoese. And with the help of the Genoese, the Byzantines recovered their land in 1261. And while the Venetians were now shut out of Byzantine trade, Genoa now had access to the Black Sea markets. Can vou understand how big of a blow this was to the Venetians? Remember, the Venetian Republic had built a monopoly by this time, and by being shut out, they lost a lot of money.

Additionally, now there wasn’t just the problem of the Byzantines, but also of the Genoese. I think at this point, we see that the Venetians shifted their focus from fighting the Byzantines to fighting the Genoese. And this makes sense if you think about it, because for the Venetians, it was always about trade rights. And after the Genoese aligned themselves with the Byzantines and reaped all these benefits, they were also the main competition. Is everyone still following?

OK, let’s move on to the 14″1 century, which is when, according to most historians, Venice reached the apex, er it’s uh, height of its power. The 14th century was a difficult period throughout all of Italy—people were at war with each other just about everywhere. Venice got involved with some of that, but realty, the focus of their antagonism was as it had been for years before, with Genoa. By this time, Genoa and Venice have been at each other’s throats for what, like a hundred years. The fighting took a toll on both sides. It was making them both lose money, and I think that they both finally just got tired of fighting and called a truce in 1381. Venice got a better deal in the peace treaty because they pretty much got control of all the sea routes, plus they were able to focus on administering to all the territory that they had gained over the years.


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Reading Practice Test 69 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 69 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 69 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

*Note: If you need the answer key for this test, please comment your email below. Therefore, we can send it for you immediately!!

Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

Researchers have found that migrating animals use a variety of inner compasses to help them navigate. Some steer by the position of the Sun. Others navigate by the stars. Some use the Sun as their guide during the day, and then switch to star aviation by night. One study shows that the homing pigeon uses the Earth’s magnetic fields as a guide in finding its way home, and there are indications that various other animals, from insects to mollusks, can also make use of magnetic compasses. It is of course very useful for a migrating bird to be able to switch to a magnetic compass when clouds cover the Sun otherwise it would just have to land and wait for the Sun to come out again.

Even with the Sun or stars to steer by the problems of navigation are more complicated than they might seem at first. For example a worker honeybee that has found a rich source of nectar and pollen flies rapidly home to the hive to report. A naturalist has discovered that the bee scout delivers her report through a complicated dance in the hive, in which she tells the other workers not only how far a way the food is, but also what direction to fly in relation to the Sun. But the Sun does not stay in one place all day. As the workers start out to gather the food the Sun may already have changed its position in the sky somewhat. In later trips during the day the Sun will seem to move farther and farther toward the west. Yet the worker bees seem to have no trouble at all in finding the food source. Their inner clocks tell them just where the Sun will be, and they change their course correspondingly.

1. What is the main idea of the passage?

(A) Bees communicate with each other by dancing
(B) Animals have internal steering devices
(C) The Sun is necessary for ‘animal navigation
(D) The Earth’s magnetic fields guide pigeons home

2. The author mentions all of the following natural phenomena that help animals navigate EXCEPT

(A) the Sun

(B) the stars

(C) magnetic fields

(D) wind direction

3. What makes it necessary for a bird to rely on a magnetic compass when navigating?

(A) The possibility of bad weather

(B) The constant motion of the Sun

(C) Its patterns of migration

(D) Its need to constantly change homes

4. In line 10, the word “rich” means

(A) wealthy

(B) abundant

(C) comical

(D) meaningful

5. According to the passage what information does the dance of the scout bee communicate to the other worker bees?

(A) The time of day

(B) What the weather is like

(C) How far away the food is

(D) Which flowers the scout has found

6. What enables the bees to steer by the Sun even though the Sun’s position is not fixed’:

(A) They are equipped with biological time clocks
(B) The fly in formation behind the scout bee
(C) They have excellent eyesight
(D) They have long memories

7. Which of the following is an example of an animal using an inner compass as described in the passage?

(A) Mother chimpanzees caring for and grooming their young
(B) Turtles traveling miles through the sea to lay eggs on an island
(C) Wolves fighting each other for territorial rights
(D) Lions stalking their prey without having seen it

Passage 2: 

Thomas Alva Edison, the symbolic proprietor of the burgeoning electrical industry, stressed a preference for plain figuring over scientific formulas. “Oh, these mathematicians make me tired!” he once gibed. “When you ask them to work out a sum they take a piece of paper, cover it with rows of A’s, B’s, and X’s, Y’s, . . . scatter a mess of flyspecks over them, and give you an answer that’ S all wrong.” Nonetheless, while Edison’s approach to invention was often cut-and-try, it was highly systematic. His laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey, was equipped with a rich variety of scientific instruments, and its library shelves included the latest scientific books as well as periodicals. Edison also employed some scientists, including the mathematical physicist Francis R. Upton. But Americans of the day, with no small encouragement from the inventor himself, typically thought of Edison as the practical, unschooled inventor who needed no science. And it was true that neither mathematical nor scientific training necessarily made ordinary mortals a match for Edison’s kind of genius.

8. What is the main idea of the passage?

(A) Mathematicians and scientists use different formulas
(B) Inventors need well – equipped laboratories
(C) Francis Upton was critical to Edison’s success
(D) Thomas Edison was an unconventional genius

9. In line 3, the word “them” refers to which of the following?

(A) Mathematicians

(B) Flyspecks

(C) Formulas

(D) Rows

10. It can be inferred from the description of his workplace that Edison

(A) used only expensive scientific instruments
(B) wrote articles regularly for magazines
(C) spent much time cataloging his books
(D) kept abreast of recent scientific developments

11. Which of the following is closest in meaning to the phrase “Americans of the day” as it is used in line 9?

(A) Americans who were respected inventors of Edison’s time
(B) Americans who lived during Edison’s time
(C) Americans who worked with Edison on a daily basis
(D) Americans who didn’t use Edison’s electrical inventions

12. According to the passage, Edison liked people to think that he was a

(A) person who did experiments on flies

(B) laboratory designer

(C) self-taught inventor

(D) scientist with an excellent education

13. The author describes other scientists and mathematicians as “ordinary mortals“(line12)to indicate that

(A) their abilities were inferior to Edison’s
(B) Edison desired to be more like them
(C) competition among scientists was common
(D) Edison was deeply interested in mythology

14. Where in the passage does the author mention Edison’s working style?)

(A) Lines 3-5

(B) Lines 5-6

(C) Lines 8-9

(D) Lines 11-12

Passage 3: 

Just how salt became so crucial to our metabolism is a mystery; one appealing theory traces our dependence on it to the chemistry of the late Cambrian seas. It was there, a half – billion years ago, that tiny metazoan organisms first evolved systems for sequestering and circulating fluids. The water of the early oceans might thus have become the chemical prototype for the fluids of all animal life-the medium in which cellular operations could continue no matter how the external environment changed. This speculation is based on the fact that, even today, the blood serums of radically divergent species are remarkably similar. Lizards, platypuses, sheep, and humans could hardly be more different in anatomy or eating habits, yet the salt content in the fluid surrounding their blood cells is virtually identical.

As early marine species made their way to freshwater and eventually to dry land, sodium remained a key ingredient of their interior, if not their exterior, milieu. The most successful mammalian species would have been those that developed efficient hormonal systems for maintaining the needed sodium concentrations. The human body, for example, uses the hormones rennin, angiotensin, and aldosterone to retain or release tissue fluids and blood plasma. The result, under favorable conditions, is a dynamic equilibrium in which neither fluid volume nor sodium concentration fluctuates too dramatically. But if the body is deprived of salt, the effects soon become dangerous, despite compensatory mechanisms.

15. Which of the following best describes the main subject of the passage.

(A) The effects of salt deprivation

(B) Evolutionary changes involving salt

(C) The salt needs of lizards and platypuses

(D) Hormonal systems for adjusting salt levels

16. What did the paragraph preceding the passage most probably discuss?

(A) Methods of mining salt
(B) Ancient beliefs about the powers of salt
(C) How humans used salt during the Cambrian period
(D) The importance of salt to our metabolism

17. According to the passage, which of the following species was probably the first to utilize salt in some way?

(A) Sheep

(B) Lizards

(C) Early human beings

(D) Early marine organisms

18. What evidence does the author give to support the theory that the salt water of the prehistoric oceans became the fluid for all animal life?

(A) Unrelated species now have identical salt levels in their blood.
(B) All species today require salt.
(C) The oceans today are less salty than in the Cambrian period.
(D) Most mammals get sick if they drink large quantities of salty water

19. The author implies that those species that did not evolve ways of maintaining their salt levels probably

(A) ceased to require salt

(B) returned to the sea

(C) had difficulty surviving

(D) lived in fresh water

20. Which of the following is NOT mentioned in the passage as a hormone involved in human sodium regulation?

(A) Rennin

(B) Adrenaline

(C) Angiotensin

(D) Aldosterone

21. In line 16, the word “dramatically” could best be replaced by

(A) greatly

(B) loudly

(C) lyrically

(D) theatrically

Answer Keys here

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