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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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6 Incredible Practice Tips to Score High on Your TOEFL Reading Section

6 Incredible Practice Tips to Score High on Your TOEFL Reading Section

6 Incredible Practice Tips to Score High on Your TOEFL Reading Section

“It’s not what you do, but how you do it.”

This inspirational quote can actually help you get a high score on the reading section of the TOEFL test.

To practice, you might think you just need to read, read, read. (That’s our “what” from the quote.)

But in fact, to improve the most, you need to read in a certain way and practice other skills too. (That’s our “how” you do it.)

It’s kind of like how a runner practicing for a competition wouldn’t just run a lot. They would follow a schedule and do drills, sprints, lift weights, stretch, record their times, eat healthy foods, etc.

So to help you pass the reading section of the TOEFL test, we have six important tips that show you how to practice reading.

Before the tips, we’ll quickly look at basic information about the reading section of the test:

No matter which format you take, the TOEFL tests your skills in non-technical English reading materials. This means that you don’t need special knowledge in any field to understand the readings. The goal of the exam is to assess your English comprehension and your vocabulary.

Now that we know what we’re studying for, let’s check out these practice tips!

6 Ways to Make Your TOEFL Reading Practice More Effective

6 Incredible Practice Tips to Score High on Your TOEFL Reading Section

6 Incredible Practice Tips to Score High on Your TOEFL Reading Section

1. Actively Read a Variety of Materials for 20 Minutes a Day

The only way to improve your reading practice for the TOEFL test is by actively reading. Try to read at least 20 minutes every single day during your preparation time using articles, books and stories. A variety (mix) of different materials is best, so here are some types of materials to try.

News articles

At least three times a week, read news articles in English. This might mean one or two articles per study session, depending on the length of the article, the level of difficulty and your reading speed.

Breaking News English has some excellent articles for English learners. You can select articles according to your level. After each reading, you will find a variety of questions to check your understanding. Answer these questions by referring to the text you’ve just read and then check your answers.

To understand your mistakes, read the text again to find the correct answer. For more news articles, visit Literacy Net for their CNN stories modified for English learners like you. On their website, you will find an outline for each news article. Read these outlines first to help you to understand the article better.

Short stories

Besides reading news articles, read some short stories too. The Eserver’s Collection – Fiction website has a nice selection of short stories written in easy English to help learners.

Read at least one short story a week. Summarize each story either in writing or verbally after reading. A few weeks later, reread a short story and you will notice your progress.

Easy books

It’s a good idea to find a great book in English which you can understand.

Goodreads also has a long list of recommendations for ESL learners to choose from. Read the short summary of each book or story first to see if it’s interesting. If it’s not interesting to you, find something else. If you are interested in what you are reading, it’s much easier to focus.

When you are reading a book like this, try to read a chapter or two per week. Split up the reading to a few pages every day. Stop after each page and summarize what you’ve read.

Circle the words that you don’t understand, and look them up in the dictionary when you get to a good stopping place—like the end of a chapter. After each chapter, summarize the chapter in writing or by speaking out loud. Remember, if you don’t have anyone to talk to, you can still summarize it out loud speaking to a mirror. You could even record yourself.

2. Fill Your Free Time with Passive Reading

Fun magazines, comics, Facebook posts or blogs are great for passive reading. Passive reading is when you read something in English without a learning objective (goal) in mind.

GoComics is a fun website full of popular up-to-date comics, including Garfield, Snoopy, Dilbert, Get Fuzzy and Pickles. Garfield Minus Garfield is one of my favorite websites using Garfield comics without Garfield.

If you love wellness and nutrition, MindBodyGreenTiny Buddha and Collective Evolution are awesome resources, full of short articles on health and healing.

If you love traveling, you may want to check out The Travel MagazineMatador Network or Travelettes.

If you are a fitness or exercise lover, SelfMen’s FitnessRunner’s World and Shape may be for you.

I suggest you subscribe to your favorite magazines, authors, bloggers, athletes and actors via Facebook to read their updates in English. You should also add these sites to your “favorites” or “bookmarks” bar so that they’re easy to access.

And remember to read all this for fun. Don’t worry about summarizing or using your dictionary. The purpose of passive reading is to allow your brain to get used to thinking in English.

There is no minimum or maximum timeframe to practice passive reading; just fill your free time with English materials.

3. Build Up Your Vocabulary

Building up your vocabulary is very important to understand more of what you read. Here are a collection of tips and ways to strengthen your vocabulary while studying for the TOEFL test.

Context clues

When you find a new word, first try to guess what it means. Look at the context in which the word is used—the sentences around it. Try to figure out the meaning of the word based on what’s happening in the text. Once you have your guess, then check your dictionary.

TOEFL-specific vocabulary

There are words that appear in TOEFL tests regularly. These are words that are also frequently used in real life. Focus your vocab study on these words to better understand your TOEFL readings.

Study your vocabulary with a TOEFL course, that specializes in teaching English students how to prepare for this exam. This course is meant to help you study independently and learn more about what’s on the TOEFL exam as you improve your English vocabulary and grammar.

Synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms are words that have the same (or similar) meaning. For example, “large,” “huge” and “jumbo” are all synonyms of “big.” An antonym is an opposite of the word. For example, “tiny” and “little” are antonyms of “big.”

You can use a thesaurus to find the synonyms and antonyms of each word. This will help you grow your vocabulary faster. Instead of learning just one new word, you can easily learn five: three synonyms and two antonyms, for example.

To remember your synonyms and antonyms, first use your original word in a sentence. Then make the same (or similar) sentence with several synonyms. Finally, change the sentence to make sense with an antonym.

Here’s an example with the adjective “dynamic,” which means to have lots of energy or to be active.

Original sentence:

My dynamic choir teacher was jumping around while flailing his arms in class today.

With synonyms:

My energetic choir teacher was jumping around while flailing his arms in class today.
My lively choir teacher was jumping around while flailing his arms in class today.

With antonyms:

My lifeless choir teacher would never jump around in class.
My inactive choir teacher slept with his head on the desk in class today.

(Notice how the sentence had to change for the antonyms in order for it to make sense.)

Instead of “regular” flashcards with a word’s definition on the back side, write the word’s synonyms and antonyms on the card.

Sticky notes

For constant practice, write new TOEFL vocab words on sticky notes and post them around your house: on your mirror, your door, your fridge, etc. You will see a vocab word anywhere you go.

If you still need to practice basic, everyday English vocabulary, you can use Vocabulary Stickers to get you started with over 130 English words.

Whenever you see a sticky note, read the word aloud, check its meaning and then use the word in a sentence.


Be sure to make sentences of your vocab words both in writing and speaking. Challenge yourself to write five different sentences for each word. Even better, write a short story or speech every week on a topic you are passionate about using that week’s new words.

You could also do crossword puzzles and word searches to learn some words. You can create your own online for free using your new vocabulary, or play pre-made crosswords online.

4. Track Your Reading Speed

The TOEFL is a timed test. You have about five minutes for each passage and one minute for each question. This means that it’s important to improve your reading speed.

Your current speed

To read faster, first you will need to see where you are at. Read a passage (a paragraph or a page) and time yourself. Write down how long it takes you to read an average passage, with today’s date.

Another way to record your current speed is to set a timer for five minutes and start reading. See how much you are able to read in five minutes, and write down this information.

Reading often and following the other tips in this post will increase your reading speed. Time your reading speed each week using the same book or source. Stop when the time is up and write down your results. Over time you will be able to see your reading speed get faster.

Timed practice tests

You can also do the reading section of a practice TOEFL test and time yourself. How long does it take you to finish the reading section?

Depending on how many months you have to study, do the reading section of a practice TOEFL test every two weeks or every month and record how long it takes you. Use this information to plan your TOEFL study time.

You should also take a full practice test with a TOEFL preparation resource like ScoreNexus. ScoreNexus lets you take a full exam, with all the same rules and time limits as the actual TOEFL exam, and then has your work reviewed by a professional English teacher. This professional will give you a real score and give you advice about how to improve your score.

Being calm

Finally, you can read faster if you learn to stay calm. If you are nervous, it may take you longer to read a paragraph or your understanding level may be lower.

But if you are calm, it will be easier to relax. So stretch, relax your body and take a few deep breaths before each reading practice.

5. Read for the Main Ideas

You may believe that you have to understand every single word in every passage you read. The good news is that you don’t. The most important is that you understand the main ideas and most important points within each paragraph.

At least three times a week, read for the main idea—not the details. Scan the text for meaning, and look for keywords, action verbs, names, connective words and any other words that stand out. This is what you will have to do on the test.

Highlight or circle words and ideas that stand out. Make side notes of the main points, characters and vocabulary.

During this type of practice (and on the test), if you don’t understand something, just move on. As you continue reading you will gain more clarity and will understand the main idea of the text.

Some of your readings, like the articles from Breaking News English for example, may include some questions at the end. If you don’t know the answer to a question, take your best guess. Eliminate the answers which are certainly wrong, and choose from the remaining options.

Listen to your intuition (feeling, instinct) and circle what seems to be the best answer. Move on quickly to the next questions without worrying about your answer. Once you review your answer, you can reread the text and check with your dictionary for more clarity. This will really help you prepare for the TOEFL, when you won’t have much time to think about your answers.

6. Work with a Teacher or Study Buddy

Working with a teacher or a study partner will make your study time less lonely. They can help clarify your questions, keep you motivated and quiz you.

You can find study partners or teachers through MeetUpCouchsurfing, FacebookitalkiCraigslist and BuddySchool, for example. If you don’t live in the same town, you can connect via Skype and email.

Here are a few more ideas about how to use teacher or study friend.

Book club

One way to use a study partner is to have a book club. Meet biweekly or monthly to discuss the story together as you read. If you can’t find an existing book club, make your own. Post an ad on a bulletin board in your town, local schools or at work, or on the sites mentioned above.

Select the same reading material as your study partner or teacher. Sit down and read it together, or agree on a due date when you need to finish reading it by.

Ask each other questions, such as:

  • Can you describe the main characters?
  • What was the main idea of the reading/third paragraph/etc.?
  • What do you think about the ending? / How would you end the story differently?
  • Who was your favorite character and why?
  • If you could get a coffee with one character from the book, who would you pick? Why? What would you ask him/her?
  • Can you relate to the story, and if so, how?

Quiz each other

Test each other by creating small quizzes for one another, each based on a short reading. You can use multiple choice, fill in the blanks, true or false, and finish the sentence questions.

Create the short quiz on your own, and then swap with your partner when you meet. You will also need to give them a copy of the article or passage your quiz is based on.

After you each read your partner’s article and take their quiz, correct each other’s mistakes—but always remain positive. Don’t just point out what’s incorrect. Also remind each other what you are doing right and what you have improved on since the last study session.

Most importantly, don’t forget to motivate and encourage each other as well.


If you use these tips to practice reading effectively (and often!), there is no doubt that you will become a better and faster reader. Keep working hard, and I know you will pass the reading section of the TOEFL test!

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10 Types of TOEFL Reading Exercises You Must Master

10 Types of TOEFL Reading Exercises You Must Master

Wondering why the TOEFL is so difficult, even for advanced English students?

Wondering why there are guides for every individual section of the TOEFL?

Every TOEFL section has very, very specific types of questions and tasks.

You need to know exactly what these questions are asking for in order to get the highest score possible on the test.

The Reading section is no exception. In fact, it has 10 different question types!

Each of these question types tests your ability to understand a written passage and express your understanding. You will need to effectively work with the information presented within the text.

Even if you understand everything you read, you might not be prepared for the types of questions and the answers they require!

To do well on the TOEFL, you need to work with exercises that match the test format as closely as possible. The Reading section tasks can be split into three general groups. Keep reading to learn all about them in this post!

All of the sample exercises below are based on an excerpt from pages 20-22 of “International Finance: Theory and Policy” by Steve Suranovic, accessible freely from The Saylor Foundation.

The 10 Types of TOEFL Reading Exercises You Must Master

10 Types of TOEFL Reading Exercises You Must Master

10 Types of TOEFL Reading Exercises You Must Master

Basic Information Questions

These tasks are based on the factual information present in the passage.

The correct answer will be stated in the text, often in just one or two sentences.

Are you able to locate the key information in a passage? If so, you should do well with the basic information tasks! They may be factual, negative factual or vocabulary-based.

1. Factual Information (3-6 questions per passage)

These questions target statements or facts explicitly present in the passage.


Please go to page 20 of “International Finance,” linked above, and read the first paragraph. This paragraph begins with the phrase “Countries interact…”


According to the author in the paragraph, what does exchange rate measure?

1. The difference between import and export

2. The way to convert one currency into another currency

3. The speed of exchange of goods between countries

4. The rate of change in international trade

The correct answer is 2. Why? The paragraph states that the exchange rate measures the number of units of one currency that exchanges for one unit of another currency.

2. Negative Factual Information (0-2 questions per passage)

These questions ask you to identify what is not true about the passage you have just read.


Please refer to page 22 of “International Finance,” specifically to paragraphs 2, 3 and 4.


According to the text, which country relies on a single foreign currency to maintain its exchange value?

1. USA

2. Russia

3. China

4. Germany

The correct answer is 3. China pegs its currency to the U.S. dollar, whereas Russia uses a currency basket.

USA and Germany are not mentioned in the paragraphs of the text that were indicated.

3. Vocabulary Information (3-5 questions per passage)

Everyone’s favorite, these tasks are all about how well you understand certain vocabulary in the context of the paragraph you are working with.


In paragraph 3, page 20, the word “backed” is closest in meaning to:

1. Bought

2. Sold

3. Returned

4. Supported

The correct answer is 4. “Backed” in this context means “supported by” or “influenced by.”

Inference Questions

The inference questions require that you work with the general meaning of the given paragraph in the passage. You must be able to inferinformation from the one explicitly stated.

Correct answers to these types of tasks will not be present in the text, but should be obvious if you comprehend the passage well.

4. Inference (1-3 questions per passage)

To answer an Inference question correctly, you should be able to understand an idea or an argument that is strongly implied, but not stated in the text.

Analyzing information in the paragraph(s) and thinking logically about it are key!


Which of the following can be inferred from the first paragraph on page 21?

1. The IMF regulates exchange rates throughout the world.

2. Independently floating currencies are uncommon in capitalist markets.

3. Central banks have full power to set the currency systems in their respective countries.

4. Exchange rate values remain largely stable over time.

The correct answer is 3. Every other choice contradicts the information in the paragraph.

5. Rhetorical Purpose (1-2 questions per passage)

While the factual information questions may ask you about the “what” or “how,” the Rhetorical Purpose section is all about the “why.”

If you understand the reasoning behind the author’s way of presenting information, you are good to go for the Rhetorical Purpose tasks.


Refer once again to page 22, paragraphs 2 and 4. Why does the author mention China and Russia there?

1. To demonstrate different types of fixed currency systems

2. To compare their economic performance

3. To illustrate the power their currencies play in the international market

4. To explain the benefits of free-flowing currency

The correct answer is 1, as both countries are simply listed as examples of different currency systems.

6. Reference (0-2 questions per passage)

Reference questions play the role similar to Vocabulary questions. They assess your ability to correctly identify the relationships between sentences, thus aiding the overall comprehension of the text. Usually, you will see a pronoun highlighted in the paragraph; your task will be to decide what it refers to.


The word “this” in Paragraph 3, page 20 (“…and this makes monetary policy contentious…”) refers to:

1. turbulent economic times

2. central banks’ abilities

3. gold-backed currencies

4. government’s decisions on policy

The correct answer is 2. The sentence discusses the implications of a central bank’s ability to achieve certain goals.

7. Sentence Simplification (0-1 question per passage)

Work hard at your ability to summarize and generalize the information you are given, because this is what Sentence Simplification measures. You will be presented with a sentence from the passage; the goal is to choose the answer sentence that summarizes it best.


Which of the following best expresses the essential information in the last sentence on page 20 (“Throughout history…”)?

1. The gold standard ensured that exchange rates remained fixed up until World War II.

2. The gold standard coupled with the fixed exchange rate agreement ensured the exchange rates remained stable in most countries.

3. The Bretton Woods system played a major role in guaranteeing that the gold standard remained in place.

4. After World War II, fixed exchange rates were adopted by most countries.

The correct answer is 2. The 1, 3 and 4 are either incorrect or only partially correct.

8. Insert Text (1 question per passage)

Frequently a challenging task, Insert Text tests your reading comprehension to the maximum limit! Understanding the text flow and mastering grammatical connections between sentences is essential for success here.

In this task, you will be given a new sentence and asked where in an existing paragraph it would fit best. Remember that there is only one correct answer.


Paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 20.


Locate paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 20. They discuss currency conversion using a gold standard. On the test, four squares (■) would be inserted into the paragraphs to indicate where a new sentence could be added to the passage.

The correct answer will be the only paragraph out of four provided that makes sense grammatically and flows logically with the new sentence in it.

Reading to Learn Questions

The most difficult ones in the Reading section, Reading to Learn questions require that you work with the whole passage to find the right answers. Your ability to assess the information, recognize its purpose and distinguish major points from minor points in the passage are crucial. Often, you will also need a good grasp on cause-effect and compare-contrast rhetorical functions.

There are only two types of questions in this group. Both of them are worth two points each!

For the examples below, please refer to pages 20 to 22 of International Finance in their entirety. You can expect to see the following two types of Reading to Learn questions for them:

9. Prose Summary (1 per passage)

Somewhat similar to Sentence Simplification, Prose Summary will ask you to identify the major arguments of the whole passage. For this task, learn to recognize minor details and pay attention to the whole idea and argument of the passage instead.

You will be given six answer choices, out of which you need to pick three that best represent the major ideas of the text.


Pages 20 to 22 of “International Finance.”


The passage describes the basics of exchange rates and how they are used throughout the world. What are the main points of the passage?

1. Countries rely on the exchange of currency to conduct trade and financial transactions across borders. Trade and investment are impossible without established currency exchange systems.

2. The European Union maintains a fixed exchange rate in between its member states, but a free-floating one in relation to every other country.

3. The gold standard was a traditional way of pegging currency to a commodity (gold) and basing the exchange rates on that.

4. The Bretton Woods system allowed countries to maintain fixed currency rates, and is still the norm today.

5. Several types of currency systems are in use today, including free floating, fixed and composite currency fixed, among others.

6. The IMF helps monitor currencies across the world, and every state’s central bank has to comply with its policies and Special Drawing Rights.

The correct answer choices are 1, 2 and 5. Number 3 is true, but is a minor point. The 4 and 6 are incorrect.

10. Fill In a Table (1 per passage)

This task measures your ability to structure and organize the information given to you in the passage. It will present you with an incomplete table that you need to fill in by dragging and dropping correct answer choices into their correct locations on the table.

You will be given more answer choices than there are spots on the table, so some will obviously be incorrect. Each answer can be used only once!


Pages 20 to 22 of “International Finance.”


Countries with a fixed currency system:



Countries with a floating currency system:




Answer choices:

  • USA
  • China
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • France
  • South Africa
  • Estonia

The complete table should be filled in as follows:

Countries with a fixed currency system:

  1. Russia
  2. Estonia

Countries with a floating currency system:

  1. USA
  2. Japan
  3. South Africa

China’s currency is allowed to appreciate and hence is not fixed. France is not mentioned in the passage, but it is part of the European Union, whose currency system is unique (discussed at the end of the passage).


Doing TOEFL exercises should form the central part of your test preparation.

As you have just learned, the types of tasks found in the Reading section can be very complex.

You need to become very comfortable with all ten tasks to be able to focus on answering them correctly on the test.

Once you mastered all the Reading exercises available to you, you are all set for TOEFL success!

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How to Attack These 3 Question Types with Confidence

How to Attack These 3 Question Types with Confidence

You’ve studied hard for the TOEFL, using every resource you could find.

You’ve had a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast.

Then, the test begins.

You read the first question and…you aren’t sure of the answer.


Is it possible to still answer the question correctly?

Believe it or not, you can!

I’m not talking about a lucky guess or a glance at your neighbor’s test.

All you need is a strong understanding of the three main question types on the TOEFL Reading section.

If you have this understanding, you’ll have the confidence to get through the test with success and ease.

Breaking Apart the TOEFL Reading Section: The 3 Question Types You Need to Know

How to Attack These 3 Question Types with Confidence

How to Attack These 3 Question Types with Confidence

So, what should you do if you aren’t sure of an answer?

1. Take a deep breath, and see if you can identify the question type.

2. Use simple strategies to help you make the best guess.

In total, there are ten specific types of questions on the TOEFL Reading section, which you can see examples of here. But if you’re able to identify and understand how to answer just the main three types, your confidence will increase along with your test scores.

Of course, the first thing to do is to read the passage. Plan to spend about 20 minutes on each of the three passages. Don’t forget to use reading strategies for comprehension and speed.

Then, it’s question and answer time! Let’s learn how to recognize the three major question types on the Reading section of the TOEFL.

1. Factual Questions

The best thing about factual questions is that the answer is right in the passage.

Here, the TOEFL is testing your ability to answer a question that the author of the passage has already answered for you. Kind of awesome, right? Of course, it’s not quite as easy as it seems!

Factual questions are, at least, easy to identify. They will ask you to look back at a specific part of the reading passage.

For example, the question will read:

“According to the passage, what is X?”


“In paragraph 2, what does the author say about Y?”

First, read the question carefully. Highlight or underline any key (important) words contained in the question. Try your best to understand what the question is asking.

Most likely, it will be a “W/H” question, asking one of the following:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?

Quickly skim (search through) your passage for the key words in the question. Identify where the answer is written in the passage.

Now that you found the correct place in the passage, all that’s left is to select the right answer!

You’d think this would be easy. But those tricky TOEFL writers will do their best to trip you up.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Read each answer choice carefully. Often, one or more of the answer choices will change the relationship between the key words. You’ll be able to eliminate it quickly.
  • Be on the lookout for at least one answer choice that isn’t in the passage at all! That makes it easy on you: Eliminate that answer choice, too.

Hopefully, you’ll be left with an answer that answers your question. On to the next question!

2. Inference Questions

Next, it’s time to learn about inference questions. When you make an inference, you take the facts from the passage and use your own thoughts to come to a reasonable conclusion.

It’s like deciding not to drink spoiled (bad) milk. You catch a smell that makes your nose wrinkle. That smell is the fact. Using your previous knowledge, you make an educated guess that the milk has gone sour. That guess is the inference!

The author will imply (strongly hint at something in the text), which helps the reader make the inference (reasonable conclusion). The TOEFL writers consider how the implication (hint) should lead to the inference when they ask questions. This means that you’re already on your way to the right answer!

However, the answers to inference questions will not be found directly in the text. For these questions, you are asked to use a detail within the passage to come to a conclusion. Sound challenging? Never fear! Your knowledge of question types will help you select the correct answer.

You can recognize inference questions when you see words like “imply,” “infer” or “suggest” in the question.

Or, the question might ask about a “cause and effect.”

For example, the question will read:

“Which of the following can be inferred about X?”


“What is the author trying to imply about Y?”

First, read the question and the answer choices carefully. As you are reading, underline key words in both the question and the answer choices.

Next, check out the words that you underlined. You’ll see some synonyms(or different words with the same meaning) in the question and the answer choices.

For example, you might see the word “dangerous” in the question, and the word “unsafe” in an answer choice. Test writers use synonyms to ensure that you understand the concepts being discussed, or relationships between the words.

Be careful if you see the exact same words used in both the question and the answer. For example, if “dangerous” was used in both the question and the answer choice. Check the relationship between the words to see if the meaning has been changed.

Next, it’s time to make your inference.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The TOEFL writers aren’t going to ask you to make a giant conclusion or inference. They know that you aren’t a scientist conducting an experiment! So, make sure that the answer choice you select is very closely related to what the question is asking.
  • Be on the lookout for answer choices that change the meaning of details within the passage. Usually, you can eliminate at least one answer choice that contradicts (goes against) the passage.

After you eliminate some of these wrong answers, hopefully you’ll be able to select the right answer!

The correct answer will be one that makes a small, logical conclusion (often using synonyms) from the detail in the question.

Are you feeling like a TOEFL pro yet? There’s one more main question type.

3. Summary Questions

The last main question type to learn about is summary questions. These questions are special, because they ask you to recognize the most important ideas within the passage. Don’t worry: You’ve got this!

These questions may take a few different forms. They may ask you to:

  • Summarize the passage.
  • Add in a detail in the correct part of the passage.
  • Group main ideas and details into a table.

Here, the TOEFL is testing your ability to look at a passage and select the most important information.

For example, the question may read:

“Which of the following summarizes the essential information from the text?”


“Where would this sentence best fit within the passage?”

Your first mission (task) is to understand the most important idea (or ideas) in the passage. If you can do this, you’re well on your way to answering the question correctly!

After reading, take a second look at the beginning and the end of the passage. Do you see any ideas or concepts repeated? Authors usually start and finish with the most important idea in their passage.

Next, identify the supporting details. Supporting details are details that will help you to understand or believe the main idea. Some supporting details will be more important than others.

Now that you’ve outlined (identified the main parts of) the passage, it’s time to answer the questions.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Beware of answer choices that leave out important information from the passage.
  • Again, you might see some answer choices that include information that isn’t in the passage at all! Make it easy on yourself and cross those answer choices out right away.

The correct answer will contain the most information that is in the passage, with supporting details organized according to how important they are.

Here’s the real trick behind learning the question types: It gives you confidence, even when you see vocabulary that you don’t recognize.

Remember, you aren’t going to understand each and every word that you encounter (come across) in the TOEFL Reading section. Don’t let that trip you up! Stay cool, calm and collected.

Instead of giving in to panic that will affect your ability to answer the questions that you do know, attack unknown questions with confidence.

Think about the question types and the strategies you’ve learned.

Eliminate answer choices.

Then, make your best guess.

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5 TOEFL Reading Tips and Test-taking Strategies for Total Success

5 TOEFL Reading Tips and Test-taking Strategies for Total Success

The TOEFL test has four sections—and each section can make you beyond frustrated.

But there is no need for frustration anymore!

We are going to give you the best TOEFL study tips to make sure you succeed (and keep your sanity).

If you are getting ready to take TOEFL, you are probably well aware that these four sections consist of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. They all test your ability to communicate in English effectively.

The Reading section is the first section on the test. It involves reading a long passage (six paragraphs minimum) on a specific topic. The topics are often highly technical and are always written in an academic style (scary!).

The Reading section has a total of three or four passages like this, each of which is followed by its own set of twelve multiple choice questions. These questions may test vocabulary knowledge, general comprehension of the passage along with sentence- or word-specific comprehension. The ability to infer and summarize information presented in the text is also vital to the Reading portion.

Even though it sounds complex, I bet Reading is not the section you are most worried about, despite its difficulty. There are three other sections of the TOEFL to study for, after all. It is easy to be lured into a false sense of security when it comes to reading. All the information is right in front of you—you can go back to the passage, read it over and over again.

Listening and Speaking, on the other hand, sound much more intimidating. The Writing section sounds even scarier because you will have to take your ideas and put them down on paper. Make up an essay on the spot? Whaaat?

How hard can reading be?

Well, truth be told, the reading section of the TOEFL has some of the trickiest questions you will ever see on a test. You will not pass the section with flying colors (an outstanding score) if you do not prepare well for it.

The Reading section is worth just as many points as the other sections (30 points, to be exact). If you find yourself struggling with writing or listening, you should use Reading as an opportunity to score a very high grade and make your exam results even better.

Since the TOEFL Reading section is the first section of the exam, how you perform will set the rhythm for the rest of the test. If you are sweating and stressing out right at the very beginning, it will be difficult to regroup and refocus to do better on other sections.

5 TOEFL Reading Tips and Test-taking Strategies for Total Success

“Okay,” you may say, “I get it, I get it! Studying for the reading section of TOEFL is vital. But how does one do it?”

Glad you asked!

There are multiple study strategies and areas of improvement that you may consider to get a higher score on the reading section of the test.

5 TOEFL Reading Tips and Test-taking Strategies for Total Success

5 TOEFL Reading Tips and Test-taking Strategies for Total Success

1. Improve Your Reading Speed

Time is of the essence when it comes to the TOEFL. In fact, all other things being equal, good timing and the ability to pace yourself can make or break your TOEFL score.

In other sections, time is specifically called out. For example, when you are speaking, you will have 15 seconds to prepare an answer and 45 seconds to record it. In the Listening section, you can only hear the dialogue when it is played out to you.

The Reading section is where a sense of time and pace will need to come from you and you alone. You need to judge how much time you have left to complete the readings and give your answers.

This is trickier than it seems, because you will be faced by not one difficult-to-understand text, but several (three or four).

The Reading section can have up to 56 questions for 3 or 4 passages, and the maximum time given for the section is 80 minutes. That means you will have only 5 minutes to read each text and about 1 minute to answer each question in the Reading section.

If you want to have more time to answer the questions, you will need read each passage in just 3 or 4 minutes—and you’re probably going to want to read each passage more than once. That’s tough!

To succeed, you’ll need start improving your reading speed.

Time yourself when you study for the test and note how long it takes you to go through a given passage. You will likely notice that you slow down when your level of comprehension drops down, and that’s normal! When you understand less, you need to slow down and read more carefully.

Everyone reads at a different pace. Your task is to make your reading pace slightly faster for the very specific test-taking situation, so you can switch gears and go into full-speed mode if you need to.

Apart from studying TOEFL-style academic passages, be sure to read other English language material as well. Read English literature, newspapers and magazines—reading a variety of English writing styles will help improve your reading speed.

2. Work on Your Comprehension Speed

Once you have worked on your reading speed and are comfortable gulping down a complex English passage in less time (in under 4 minutes, to be precise), you are ready for the next step.

Now you need to teach yourself to remain calm and avoid stressing out when you encounter an unfamiliar word. The reading section will be full of challenging words you have not seen before. They put in challenging words that you probably do not know on purpose. 

The reading section will ask you to deduce meaning and infer informationfrom words you do not understand.

This is what the reading section is actually testing. Not your ability to memorize a thesaurus before the test, but your skill at dealing with vocabulary words that you do not know. Not knowing a word is not only normal, but it is expected from speakers of English as a foreign language.

When you stumble across a word you do not understand, your first reaction might be to check Google Translate or consult a dictionary. When these tools are not available, you may panic and get hung up on trying to understand the word, wasting time that is extremely valuable for you during the TOEFL.

Well, relax.

Force yourself to skip that unknown word and continue reading. Often, you will find that the meaning of the whole text is easy to understand, even if you did not understand a few words. Cool, right?

3. Learn Specific Vocabulary

Even though you will encounter unknown words, developing a nice and wide vocabulary never hurt anyone. When you study for the Reading section of the TOEFL, whether you are at home or in class, go ahead and look up words you don’t understand!

Since you are practicing for the Reading section of the TOEFL, try to read every text completely without looking up any words. After you have read the whole text and tried to understand everything on your own, then you may look up words. This is very similar to the actual testing situation.

Make a list of unfamiliar words and translate them using an English-to-English dictionary. This is important! You must avoid the temptation to use a dictionary which translates words from English to your native language. Don’t give in!

The English-to-English dictionary will be very helpful to you. Not only will you read a clear English explanation for the word you do not understand, you will also familiarize yourself with synonyms (similar words) and antonyms (opposite words). Hint, hint! This is hugely useful and very much applicable to TOEFL.

Your vocabulary will grow and so will your confidence. By the time you get to your test day, you will have a much larger English vocabulary to help you out.

4. Keep Moving

Timing is everything in TOEFL.

When it comes to the Reading section, remember that you will not have more than 4 minutes per passage, so do not get hung up on every passage. Try not to stop! Keep moving no matter what.

There are multiple passages on the test, and you are guaranteed to feel more comfortable with one or another. Some will seem harder and some will seem easier. Skim the passage, note key words in sentences, leave unfamiliar terms behind and keep in mind that TOEFL passages may contain words that even native speakers don’t typically know.

Keep in mind that the TOEFL is highly specific.

You may see a question like: “The word X on line Y is closest in meaning to…” with four choices of words following. Rest assured—most of the choices will sound similar or have very similar meanings, so you will need to read the text carefully to identify the correct answer.

5. Use the Line Numbering

The TOEFL quirk of numbering every fifth line in the passage is meant to help you navigate to the words or sentences referred to in the questions. Practice locating specific lines by the numbers provided—you might be surprised by how much time you can actually waste looking for line 29 or 47!

That being said, when starting your actual TOEFL, take a deep breath and do not let the Reading section tire you out.

You have practiced and studied enough, and it is now time to demonstrate your excellent English reading skills!

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Reading Practice Test 68 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 68 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 68 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: 

Coincident with concerns about the accelerating loss of species and habitats has been a growing appreciation of the importance of biological diversity, the number of species in a particular ecosystem, to the health of the Earth and human well-being.
Line Much has been written about the diversity of terrestrial organisms, particularly the (5) exceptionally rich life associated with tropical rain-forest habitats. Relatively little has been said, however, about diversity of life in the sea even though coral reef systems are comparable to rain forests in terms of richness of life.

An alien exploring Earth would probably give priority to the planet’s dominants, most-distinctive feature-the ocean. Humans have a bias toward land that sometimes (10) gets in the way of truly examining global issues. Seen from far away, it is easy to
realize that landmasses occupy only one-third of the Earth’s surface. Given that two thirds of the Earth’s surface is water and that marine life lives at all levels of the ocean, the total three-dimensional living space of the ocean is perhaps 100 times greater than
that of land and contains more than 90 percent of all life on Earth even though the (15) ocean has fewer distinct species.

The fact that half of the known species are thought to inhabit the world’s rain forests does not seem surprising, considering the huge numbers of insects that comprise the bulk of the species. One scientist found many different species of ants in just one tree
from a rain forest. While every species is different from every other species, their (20) genetic makeup constrains them to be insects and to share similar characteristics with 750,000 species of insects. If basic, broad categories such as phyla and classes are
given more emphasis than differentiating between species, then the greatest diversity of life is unquestionably the sea. Nearly every major type of plant and animal has some representation there.

(25) To appreciated fully the diversity and abundance of life in the sea, it helps to think small. Every spoonful of ocean water contains life, on the order of 100 to 100,000 bacterial cells plus assorted microscopic plants and animals, including larvae of
organisms ranging from sponges and corals to starfish and clams and much more.

1. What is the main point of the passage?

(A) Humans are destroying thousands of species.
(B) There are thousands of insect species.
(C) The sea is even richer in life than the rain forests.
(D) Coral reefs are similar to rain forests.

2. The word “appreciation” in line 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) ignorance

(B) recognition

(C) tolerance

(D) forgiveness

3. Why does the author compare rain forests and coral reefs (lines 4-7)?

(A) They are approximately the same size.
(B) They share many similar species.
(C) Most of the their inhabitants require water.
(D) Both have many different forms of life.

4. The word “bias” in line 9 is closest in meaning to

(A) concern

(B) disadvantage

(C) attitude

(D) prejudice

5. The passage suggests that most rain forest species are

(A) insects

(B) bacteria

(C) mammals

(D) birds

6. The word “there” in line 24 refers to

(A) the sea

(B) the rain forests

(C) a tree

(D) the Earth’s surface

7. The author argues that there is more diversity of life in the sea than in the rain forests because

(A) more phyla and classes of life are represented in the sea
(B) there are too many insects to make meaningful distinctions
(C) many insect species are too small to divide into categories
(D) marine life-forms reproduce at a faster rate

8. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as an example of microscopic sea life?

(A) Sponges

(B) Coral

(C) Starfish

(D) Shrimp

9. Which of the following conclusions is supported by the passage?

(A) Ocean life is highly adaptive.
(B) More attentions needs to be paid to preserving ocean species and habitats.
(C) Ocean life is primarily composed of plants.
(D) The sea is highly resistant to the damage done by pollutants.


Passage 2: 

What geologists call the Basin and Range Province in the United States roughly coincides in its northern portions with the geographic province known as the Great Basin. The Great Basin is hemmed in on the west by the Sierra Nevada and on the east
Line by the Rocky Mountains; it has no outlet to the sea. The prevailing winds in the Great (5) Basin are from the west. Warm, moist air from the Pacific Ocean is forced upward as it crosses the Sierra Nevada. At the higher altitudes it cools and the moisture it carriers is precipitated as rain or snow on the western slopes of the mountains. That which reaches the Basin is air wrung dry of moisture. What little water falls there as rain or snow, mostly in the winter months, evaporates on the broad, flat desert floors. It is, (10) therefore, an environment in which organisms battle for survival. Along the rare watercourses, cottonwoods and willows eke out a sparse existence. In the upland ranges, pinon pines and junipers struggle to hold their own.

But the Great Basin has not always been so arid. Many of its dry, closed depressions were once filled with water. Owens Valley, Panamint Valley, and Death Valley were (15) once a string of interconnected lakes. The two largest of the ancient lakes of the Great Basin were Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville. The Great Salt Lake is all that remains of the latter, and Pyramid Lake is one of the last briny remnants of the former. There seem to have been several periods within the last tens of thousands of
years when water accumulated in these basins. The rise and fall of the lakes were (20) undoubtedly linked to the advances and retreats of the great ice sheets that covered much of the northern part of the North American continent during those times. Climatic changes during the Ice ages sometimes brought cooler, wetter weather to midlatitude deserts worldwide, including those of the Great Basin. The broken valleys of the Great Basin provided ready receptacles for this moisture.

10. What is the geographical relationship between the Basin and Range Province and the Great Basin?

(A) The Great Basin is west of the Basin and Range Province.
(B) The Great Basin is larger than the Basin and Range Province.
(C) The Great Basin is in the northern part of the Basin and Range Province.
(D) The Great Basin is mountainous; the Basin and Range Province is flat desert.

11. According to the passage, what does the great Basin lack?

(A) Snow

(B) Dry air

(C) Winds from the west

(D) Access to the ocean

12. The word “prevailing” in line 4 is closest in meaning to

(A) most frequent

(B) occasional

(C) gentle

(D) most dangerous

13. It can be inferred that the climate in the Great Basin is dry because

(A) the weather patterns are so turbulent
(B) the altitude prevents precipitation
(C) the winds are not strong enough to carry moisture
(D) precipitation falls in the nearby mountains

14. The word “it” in line 5 refers to

(A) Pacific Ocean

(B) air

(C) west

(D) the Great Basin

15. Why does the author mention cottonwoods and willows in line 11?

(A) To demonstrate that certain trees require a lot of water
(B) To give examples of trees that are able to survive in a difficult environment
(C) To show the beauty of the landscape of the Great Basin
(D) To assert that there are more living organisms in the Great Basin than there used to be

16. Why does the author mention Owens Valley, Panamint Valley, and Death Valley in the second paragraph?

(A) To explain their geographical formation
(B) To give examples of depressions that once contained water
(C) To compare the characteristics of the valleys with the characteristics of the lakes
(D) To explain what the Great Basin is like today

17. The words “the former” in line 17 refer to

(A) Lake Bonneville

(B) Lake Lahontan

(C) The Great Salt Lake

(D) Pyramid Lake

18. The word “accumulated” in line 19 is closest in meaning to

(A) dried

(B) flooded

(C) collected

(D) evaporated

19. According to the passage, the Ice Ages often brought about

(A) desert formation

(B) warmer climates

(C) broken valleys

(D) wetter weather

Passage 3: 

Taking natural objects such as rocks. bones. clouds and flowers for subject matter. Georgia Q’keeffe reduced them to their simplest form, often by employing a close-up view or some other unusual vantage point. With such techniques, including the use of thin paint and clear colors to emphasize a feeling of mystical silence and space, she achieved an abstract simplicity in her paintings. O’keeffe spent a summer in New Mexico in t929 and the bleak landscape and broad skies of the desert so appealed to her that she later settled there permanently. Cows skulls and other bare bones found in the desert were frequent motifs in her paintings. Other common subjects included flowers, the sky, and the horizon lines of the desert. After O’keeffe’s three-month trip around the world by plane in 1959, the sky “paved with clouds” as seen from an airplane also became one of her favorite motifs and the subject of her largest work, a 24-foot mural that she began in 1966.

20. In the first sentence of the passage, the author explains O’Keeffe’s

(A) popularity with art critics despite her unusual choice of subject matter
(B) reasons for painting one kind of object rather than another
(C) skillful use of photography in selecting her subject. Matter
(D) efforts to portray the objects she painted in their simplest form

21. With what subject is the passage mainly concerned?

(A) Georgia O’ Keeffe’s trip around the world
(B) The private life of Georgia O’ Keeffe
(C) The paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe
(D) Georgia O’keeffe’s greatest work of art

22. Which of the following is an example of something often painted by O’Keeffe?

(A) An airport

(B) A deserted street

(C) An astronaut in outer space

(D) A cloud formation

23. With which of the following statements concerning Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings would the author of the passage be most likely to agree.

(A) They generally create a sense of stillness and open space
(B) They are so realistic that they often resemble ordinary photographic images
(C) Most of them are portraits of the painter’s friends and relatives
(D) They represent humans in an eternal struggle with the forces of nature

24. Which of the following aspects of the desert landscape is NOT mentioned by the author as one that attracted O’Keeffe’s attention?

(A) Bones

(B) Sand

(C) The sky

(D) Flowers

Answer Keys here

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Reading Practice Test 67 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL ibt reading practice test 67 from

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 67 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. Continue reading

Click to rate this post!