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

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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

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