TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 60 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.
P1: What we today call America folk art was, indeed, art of, by, and for ordinary, everyday “folks” who, with increasing prosperity and leisure, created a market for art of all kinds, and especially for portraits. Citizens of prosperous, essentially middle-class republics-whether ancient Romans, seventeenth-century Dutch burghers, or nineteenth-century Americans-have always shown a marked taste for portraiture. Starting in the late eighteenth century, the United States contained increasing numbers of such people, and of the artists how could meet their demands. The earliest American folk art portraits come, not surprisingly, form New England-especially Connecticut and Massachusetts-for this was a wealthy and populous region and the center of a strong craft tradition. Within a few decades after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the population was pushing westward, and portrait painters could be found at work in western New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Midway through its first century as a nation, the
United States’ population had increased roughly five time, and eleven new states had been added to the original thirteen. During these years the demand for portraits grew and grew, eventually to be satisfied by the camera. In 1839 the daguerreotype was introduced to America, ushering in the age of photography, and within a generation the new invention put an end to the popularity of painted portraits. One again an original portrait became a luxury, commissioned by the wealthy and executed by the professional.
P2: But in the heyday of portrait painting-from the late eighteenth century until the 1850’s-anyone with a modicum of artistic ability could become a limner, as such a portraitist was called. Local craftspeople-sign, coach, and house painters-began to paint portraits as a profitable sideline; sometimes a talented man or woman who began by sketching family members gained a local reputation and was besieged with requests for portraits; artists found it worth their while to pack their paints, canvases, and brushes and to travel the countryside, often combining house decorating with portrait painting.
1. The author mentions seventeenth-century Dutch burghers as an example of a group that
(A) consisted mainly of self taught artists (B) appreciated portraits
(C) influenced American folk art (D) had little time for the arts
2. The word “market” in line 5 is closest in meaning to
(A) pronounced (B) fortunate (C) understandable (D) mysterious
3. According to the passage, where were many of the first American folk art portraits painted?
(A) In western New York (B) In Illinois and Missouri
(C) In Connecticut and Massachusetts (D) In Ohio
4. The word “this” in paragraph 1 refers to
(A) a strong craft tradition (B) American folk art
(C) New England (D) western New York
5. How much did the population of United States increase in the first fifty years following independence?
(A) It became three times larger. (B) It became five times larger.
(C) It became eleven times larger. (D) It became thirteen times larger.
6. The phrase “ushering in” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) beginning (B) demanding (C) publishing (D) increasing
7. The relationship between the daguerreotype and the painted portrait is similar to the relationship between the automobile and the
(A) highway (B) driver
(C) horse-drawn carriage (D) engine
8. According to the passage, which of the following contributed to a decline in the demand for painted portraits?
(A) The lack of a strong craft tradition
(B) The westward migration of many painters
(C) The growing preference for landscape paintings
(D) The invention of the camera
9. The word “executed” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) sold (B) requested (C) admired (D) created
10. The author implies that most limners
(A) received instruction from traveling teachers
(B) were women
(C) were from wealthy families
(D) had no formal art training
11. The word “sketching” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) drawing (B) hiring (C) helping (D) discussing
12. Where in the passage does the author provide definition?
(A) […] of all kinds, and especially for portraits. Citizens of prosperous, essentially middle-class republics-whether ancient Romans, seventeenth-century Dutch burghers, or nineteenth-century Americans-have always shown a marked taste for portraiture. Starting in the late eighteenth century, the United States contained […]
(B) […] The earliest American folk art portraits come, not surprisingly, form New England-especially Connecticut and Massachusetts-for this was a wealthy and populous region and the center of a strong craft tradition. Within a few decades after […]
(C) […] Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Midway through its first century as a nation, the United States’ population had increased roughly five time, and eleven new states had been added to the original thirteen. During these years the demand for portraits grew […]
(D) […] But in the heyday of portrait painting-from the late eighteenth century until the 1850’s-anyone with a modicum of artistic ability could become a limner, as such a portraitist was called. Local craftspeople-sign, coach, and house painters-began to […]
P1: The Cajun people, descendants of the French Acadians who resettled in south Louisiana in the mid-1700’s, have been producing their own traditional style of music for nearly two centuries. However, by the late 1940’s, commercially recorded Cajun music had begun to lose its individual character in favor of new sounds heavily influenced by hillbilly music and western swing. Then, in 1948, Iry Lejeune recorded “La Valse du Pont d’Amour.” Greatly inspired by the recordings of Amede Ardoin and by his own relatives and neighbors in Pointe Noire, Louisiana. Lejeune went against the grain to perform in the old, traditional style long forced underground. Some said the young singer from rural Louisiana who carried his accordion in a flour sack didn’t know better, but crowds rushed to hear his highly emotional music. His unexpected popular success focused attention on cultural values that Cajuns had begun to fear losing.
P2: Iry Lejeune became a pivotal figure in the revitalization of Cajun music; his untimely death in 1955 only added to his legendary stature. Following his lead, musicians like Joe Falcon, Lawrence Walker. Austin Pitre, and Nathan Abshire dusted off long – abandoned accordions to perform and record traditional – style Cajun music. Interest and demand were especially strong after the Second World War among returning soldiers, tired of foreign wars and foreign affairs, who wanted only to get back to the comfort and security of their own culture. Local music store owners pioneered their own local recording industry since national record companies had abandoned regional traditional styles and were only producing music with a broader, national appeal.
13. Cajun music recordings in the 1940’s were
(A) imitations of Amede Ardoin’s work
(B) performed in the traditional style
(C) influenced by other forms of American music
(D) a huge commercial success
14. To say that Lejeune went “against the grain” (line 7) when performing in the old, traditional style suggests which of the following?
(A) He played music most other musicians weren’t playing.
(B) He preferred to play modern music.
(C) He performed badly when he played traditional music.
(D) He could not make a living playing music.
15. The word “who” in paragraph 1 refers to which of the following?
(A) Neighbors (B) Crowds (C) Ardoin (D) Lejeune
16. The word “revitalization” in paragraph 2 is closes in meaning to which of the following.
(A) Interpretation (B) Introduction (C) Rebirth (D) Relevance
17. It can be inferred from the passage that when Lejeune died
(A) his popularity increased (B) people stopped playing accordions
(C) musicians lost interest in traditional music (D) local music store owners lost money
18. Why did interest in traditional Cajun music increase after the Second World War?
(A) It had a broad, national appeal.
(B) Returning soldiers had missed their culture.
(C) The recording industry became more interested in it.
(D) Modern music had become distasteful.
P1: One of the most remarkable of migrations is that taken each fall by the North American monarch butterfly. Often called “the wanderer”, it is tough and powerful as butterflies go, and is capable of long flights at speeds of 20 miles per hour or more. Monarch butterflies have been observed within 200 miles of the coast of England, although they are not native to Europe. They are now also found in Asia and Australia, perhaps having been carried there by the wind.
P2: The monarch produces as many as four generations a year, each one of which ventures a little farther north. It is the last of these that migrates before the onset of winter. From as far north as Canada, swarms of butterflies begin gathering from their homes in the fields, clinging to trees and bushes by the thousands. Then, on just the right breeze, they rise in a red cloud and head south. Not all get there. But enough do to ensure the survival of the species until the following spring.
19. What is the main topic of the passage?
(A) The migration of insects to Europe
(B) A butterfly with extraordinary powers of flight
(C) The reproductive cycle of the monarch butterfly
(D) Remarkable insects of the Western Hemisphere
20. The phrase “as butterflies go” could best be replaced by which of the following?
(A) In the direction butterflies fly (B) Flying as do other butterflies
(C) Since butterflies leave (D) Compared to other butterflies
21. The phrase “as many as” could best be replaced by
(A) exactly (B) at least (C) up to (D) more than
22. In paragraph 2, the word “these” refers to
(A) generations (B) species (C) migrations (D) swarms
23. According to the author, what must occur before the butterflies can depart?
(A) Spring (B) A storm
(C) A suitable wind (D) Evening