TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 07 from IVY’s Reading 15 Actual Test
This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English. The Reading section is divided into 2 separately timed parts.
Most questions are worth 1 point but the last question in each set is worth more than 1 point. The directions indicate how many points you may receive.
Some passages include a word or phrase that is underlined in blue. Click on the word or phrase to see a definition or an explanation.
Within each part, you can go to the next question by clicking Next. You may skip questions and go back to them later. If you want to return to previous questions, click on Back. You can click on Review at any time and the review screen will show you which questions you have answered and which you have not answered. From this review screen, you may go directly to any question you have already seen in the Reading section.
You may now begin the Reading section. In this part you will read 1 passage. You will have 20 minutes to read the passage and answer the questions.
Passage 1| Art History
The Hudson River School
The Hudson River School, the first American art movement considered a genuine school of art, originated at the beginning of the nineteenth century, as American painters sought to establish for themselves a distinct style—one not wholly defined by the traditions they had inherited from European art. Drawing on contemporary national values, artists of the Hudson River School based their movement on the principles of democracy and expansion and found inspiration in the North American landscape that was quickly being claimed as United States territory. By focusing on the untouched beauty of the American wilderness, these painters attempted to convey naturalistic scenes with a sense of admiration and idealism—two concepts that reflected their feelings about their new nation.
The Hudson River School was a movement situated within the larger context of American Romanticism, a period of cultural maturation and self-definition in the middle of the nineteenth century. After several decades as an independent nation, the conditions were right for a major creative movement Other American social movements that occurred during the period of American Romanticism influenced painters of the Hudson River School. Transcendentalism, a concurrent literary and philosophical movement, similarly argued for the invention of a national identity and a departure from European conventions. The writings of transcendentalist authors fueled the creative aspirations of the Hudson River School artists and encouraged them to participate in the making of an authentically American artistic culture. In particular, the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson provided a framework of beliefs for the developing nation. A quote from his 1836 essay entitled Nature describes the momentum behind American artists’ mission to assert their nation’s individuality: “We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds … A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.”
Deeply interested in the potential of nature to deliver spiritual renewal to humankind, artists of the Hudson River School believed that their paintings had the ability to connect humans with a spiritual world. To the artists of the Hudson River School, natural features like waterfalls and thunderhead clouds were symbols that conveyed to an audience the presence of God. With this attitude, artists of the Hudson River School applied intense care to their works, filling them with minute details, rich colors, and otherworldly light —components that although unrealistic, idealized the landscape in order to evoke wonderment and reverence. In this manner, they endeavored to represent nature as the work of God. The content of their paintings frequently represented views of the Hudson River Valley and nearby geographical features like the White Mountains, the Catskills, and the Adirondack Mountains. Combining such images of the American landscape with spiritual themes, the Hudson River School integrated religious beliefs into their definition of a national identity.
[A] The Hudson River Valley became the focal point for the artistic movement after Thomas Cole, who is considered the founder of the Hudson River School, moved into the Catskill Mountains of New York— a picturesque region that awed him with its natural beauty.[B] Cole began sketching the local landscape, creating large paintings based on his drawings and later displaying them in New York City, where they caught the attention of many Americans. [C] People were interested 85 in these glorified images of their country, as it provided them with a sense of ownership and identity. [D] There was a growing audience for paintings that could be considered unmistakably American.
After a period of tremendous popularity, the images of the Hudson River School faded into the background of the American art scene. The new generation of Americans rejected the moral overtones present in the Hudson 95 River School paintings and turned away from such subjective landscapes in favor of more accurate representations of the physical world. Although modem art audiences may find the Hudson River School landscapes somewhat o contrived or artificial, many viewers appreciate the obvious technical ability demonstrated in these paintings. Furthermore, the Hudson River School paintings are gaining modern relevance, as their overt nationalistic and os religious sentiments are reinterpreted not as evidence of a divine creator but as reminders of the duty of citizens to protect the vulnerable resources of their nations.
1. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
(A) When American painters created the Hudson River School, they realized that many of their techniques were derived from European traditions.
(B) American artists attempted to separate themselves from European art and created a new art movement called the Hudson River School.
(C) At the beginning of the nineteenth century, American painters began to participate in a national art movement called the Hudson River School.
(D) Inheriting the art movement from Europe, American artists discovered a new school of painting in the early nineteenth century.
2. The word situated in the passage is closest in meaning to
3. According to paragraph 2, the Hudson River School was part of which of the following?
(A) A period in the mid-nineteenth century known as American Romanticism
(B) A literary and philosophical movement called transcendentalism
(C) A struggle to make America an independent nation
(D) An 1836 essay entitled Nature
4. Why does the author include a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson in paragraph 2?
(A) To give an example of a major figure in the Hudson River School
(B) To describe the shared goals of transcendentalism and the Hudson River School
(C) To demonstrate the influence the Hudson River School had on literature
(D) To explain how the Hudson River School created a national artistic identity
5. The word minute in the passage is closest in meaning to
6. What can be inferred from paragraph 3 about landscapes painted in the style of the Hudson River School?
(A) They left out details that were not important to the overall image.
(B) They were embellished to exaggerate a religious message.
(C) They were meant to be exact duplicates of natural scenes.
(D) They always included figures in the composition.
7. The phrase focal point in the passage is closest in meaning to
(A) matter in question
(B) center of attention
(C) point of view
(D) place of residence
8 The word they in the passage refers to
(A) Catskill Mountains
9 The word tremendous in the passage is closest in meaning to
10. What can be inferred from paragraph 5 about Hudson River School paintings that are currently displayed in museums?
(A) They are the best examples of landscape paintings from the Hudson River School.
(B) They are frequently the subject of religious controversy.
(C) They are appreciated more for their technique than their intended meaning.
(D) They are patriotic symbols from American history.
11. Look at the four squares H that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
This particular landscape inspired the beginning of an entire art movement based on such images.
Where would the sentence best fit?
11 Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.
The Hudson River School was very much the product of a developing nation that was deeply interested in the creation of a national identity.
(A) Hudson River School artists turned to the American landscape and to the transcendentalist movement for inspiration and began to represent and define their new nation.
(B) Ralph Waldo Emerson is considered the most important figure in the Hudson River School; his advice shaped the direction of the national artistic movement,
(C) The goals of Hudson River School artists were to separate themselves from European beliefs into the United States’ emerging culture.
(D) The Hudson River School was supported by traditions and to integrate their religious an audience that craved a sense of identity, but contemporary audiences have either rejected or reinterpreted the movement’s principal messages.
(E) Spirituality was an important theme for artists of the Hudson River School, and they attempted to use their paintings to teach moral lessons.
(F) The Hudson River School was focused on a particularly picturesque region of the United States, mainly centered in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
Reading Passage 2 Reading Passage 3