TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 36 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 36 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

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

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

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: Architect

P1: Considered the most influential architect of his time, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was born in the small rural community of Richland Center, Wisconsin. He entered the University of Wisconsin at the age of 15 as a special student, studying engineering because the school had no course in architecture. At the age of 20 he then went to work as a draughtsman in Chicago in order to learn the traditional, classical language of architecture. After marrying into a wealthy business family at the age of 21, Wright set up house in an exclusive neighborhood in Chicago, and after a few years of working for a number of architectural firms, set up his own architectural office.

P2: For twenty years he brought up a family of six children upstairs, and ran a thriving architectural practice of twelve or so draughtsmen downstairs. Here, in an idyllic American suburb, with giant oaks, sprawling lawns, and no fences, Wright built some sixty rambling homes by the year 1900. He became the leader of a style known as the “Prairie” school – houses with low-pitched roofs and extended lines that blended into the landscape and typified his style of “organic architecture”.

P3: By the age of forty-one, in 1908, Wright had achieved extraordinary social and professional success. He gave countless lectures at major universities, and started his Taliesin Fellowship – a visionary social workshop in itself. In 1938 he appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and later, on a two cent stamp. The most spectacular buildings of his mature period were based on forms borrowed from nature, and the intentions were clearly romantic, poetic, and intensely personal. Examples of these buildings are Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel (1915-22: demolished 1968), and New York City’s Guggenheim Museum (completed 1959) He continued working until his death in 1959, at the age of 92, although in his later years, he spent as much time giving interviews and being a celebrity, as he did in designing buildings. Wright can be considered an essentially idiosyncratic architect whose influence was immense but whose pupils were few.

1. With which of the following subjects is the passage mainly concerned?
(A) the development of modern architecture in America
(B) the contributions of the “Prairie” School to modern architecture
(C) the life and achievements of a famous architect
(D) the influence of the style of “organic architecture” in America

2. Frank Lloyd Wright first worked as a draughtsman because
(A) for twenty years he lived above his shop and employed draughtsmen
(B) to learn the language of architecture
(C) that is what he studied at the University of Wisconsin
(D) that is the work of new employees in architectural firms

3. The word “some” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) around
(B) over
(C) nearly
(D) exactly

4. According to the passage, an idyllic American suburb is
(A) based on forms borrowed from nature
(B) blended into the landscape
(C) giant oaks, sprawling lawns, and no fences
(D) houses with low-pitched reefs and extended lines

5. The word “blended” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) dug
(B) cut
(C) imposed
(D) merged

6. The word “itself” in paragraph 3 refers to
(A) social workshop
(B) Taliesin Fellowship
(C) He
(D) Major universities

7. The word “idiosyncratic” in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to
(A) idiotic
(B) idealistic
(C) individualistic
(D) independent

8. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
(A) the Taliesin Fellowship was a grant of money
(B) many of Wright’s architectural ideas have not been taken up by others
(C) Wright used his wife’s money to set up his own architectural office in an exclusive neighborhood in Chicago
(D) Some of Wright’s most notable buildings have been demolished because they were not popular

9. All of the following about Frank Lloyd Wright are true EXCEPT
(A) he became the leader of a style known as “organic architecture”
(B) he died at the age of 92
(C) he commenced university studies at the age of 15
(D) some of his most spectacular buildings were not in America

Passage 2: MAGGOTS
P1: The healing power of maggots is not new. Human beings have discovered it several times. The Maya are said to have used maggots for therapeutic purposes a thousand years ago. As early as the sixteenth century, European doctors noticed that soldiers with maggot-infested wounds healed well. More recently, doctors have realized that maggots can be cheaper and more effective than drugs in some respects, and these squirming larvae have, at times, enjoyed a quiet medical renaissance. The problem may have more to do with the weak stomachs of those using them than with good science. The modern heyday of maggot therapy began during World War I, when an American doctor named William Baer was shocked to notice that two soldiers who had lain on a battlefield for a week while their abdominal wounds became infested with thousands of maggots, had recovered better than wounded men treated in the military hospital. After the war, Baer proved to the medical establishment that maggots could cure some of the toughest infections.

P2: In the 1930s hundreds of hospitals used maggot therapy. Maggot therapy requires the right kind of larvae. Only the maggots of blowflies (a family that includes common bluebottles and greenbottles) will do the job; they devour dead tissue, whether in an open wound or in a corpse. Some other maggots, on the other hand, such as those of the screw-worm eat live tissue. They must be avoided. When blowfly eggs hatch in a patient’s wound, the maggots eat the dead flesh where gangrene-causing bacteria thrive. They also excrete compounds that are lethal to bacteria they don’t happen to swallow. Meanwhile, they ignore live flesh, and in fact, give it a gentle growth-stimulating massage simply by crawling over it. When they metamorphose into flies, they leave without a trace – although in the process, they might upset the hospital staff as they squirm around in a live patient. When sulfa drugs, the first antibiotics, emerged around the time of World War II, maggot therapy quickly faded into obscurity.

10. Why did the author write the passage?
(A) because of the resistance to using the benefits of maggots
(B) to demonstrate the important contribution of William Baer
(C) to outline the healing power of maggots
(D) to explain treatment used before the first antibiotics

11. The word “renaissance” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) revival
(B) resistance
(C) support
(D) condemnation

12. According to the passage, William Bayer was shocked because
(A) two soldiers had lain on the battlefield for a week
(B) the medical establishment refused to accept his findings
(C) the soldiers abdominal wounds had become infested with maggots
(D) the soldiers had recovered better than those in a military hospital

13. Which of the following is true, according to the passage?
(A) sulfa drugs have been developed from maggots
(B) maggots only eat dead tissue
(C) bluebottles and greenbottles produce maggots
(D) blowfly maggots only eat dead tissue

14. The word “devour” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) chew
(B) clean
(C) change
(D) consume

15. The word “thrive” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) prosper
(B) eat
(C) move
(D) grow

16. The word “metamorphose” in paragrpah 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) disappear
(B) grow
(C) change
(D) move

17. The word “they” in paragraph 2 refers to
(A) flies
(B) maggots
(C) gangrene-causing bacteria
(D) live patients

28. All of the following are true EXCEPT
(A) maggots come from eggs
(B) maggots eat bacteria
(C) maggots are larvae
(D) William Bayer discovered a new type of maggot

19. What can be inferred from the passage about maggots?
(A) modern science might be able to develop new drugs from maggots that would fight infection
(B) maggot therapy would have been more popular if antibiotics had not been discovered
(C) William Baer later changed his mind about the value of using maggot therapy
(D) sulfa drugs were developed from maggots

Passage 3: GEOGRAPHY

P1: Mountaineers have noted that as they climb, for example, up to the 12,633-foot Humphreys Peak in the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, plant life changes radically. Starting among the cacti of the Sonoran Desert, one climbs into a pine forest at 7,000 feet and a treeless alpine tundra at the summit. It may seem that plants at a given altitude are associated in what can be called “communities” – groupings of interacting species. The idea is that over time, plants that require particular climate and soil conditions come to live in the same places, and hence are frequently to be found together. Scientists who study the history of plant life are known as paleobotanists, or paleobots for short. They build up a picture of how groups of plants have responded to climate changes and how ecosystems develop. But are these associations, which are real in the present, permanent?

P2: A great natural experiment took place on this planet between 25,000 and 10,000 years ago, when small changes in the earth’s orbit and axis of rotation caused great sheets of ice to spread from the poles. These glaciers covered much of North America and Europe to depths of up to two miles, and then, as the climate warmed, they retreated. During this retreat, they left behind newly uncovered land for living things to colonize, and as those living things moved in they laid down a record we can read now. As the ice retreated and plants started to grow near a lake, they would release pollen. Some would fall into the lake, sink to the bottom, and be incorporated into the sediment. By drilling into the lake bottom it is possible to read the record of successive plant life around the lake. The fossil record seems clear; there is little or no evidence that entire groups of plants moved north together. Things that lived together in the past don’t live together now, and things that live together now didn’t live together in the past. Each individual organism moved at its own pace. The fossil record seems to be telling us that we should be thinking about preserving species by giving them room to maneuver – to respond to environmental changes

20. What is the passage mainly about?
(A) The effects of the ice age on plants
(B) Plant migration after the ice age
(C) The need to develop a new approach to environmental issues
(D) Communities of plants live at different altitudes

21. The word “radically” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) variably (B) demonstrably (C) quickly (D) dramatically

22. The author mentions “cacti” and a ”treeless alpine tundra” in paragraph 1 to illustrate
(A) changes in climate (B) the effects of the ice age
(C) communities of plants (D) plant migration

23. The word “which” in paragraph 1 refers to
(A) the responses of plants to climate changes
(B) the current theories of ecosystems
(C) the developments of ecosystems
(D) plant life changes

24. The word “axis” in line 12 is closest in meaning to
(A) center
(B) method
(C) change
(D) slowdown

25. The word “successive” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) extinct
(B) consecutive
(C) accumulative
(D) following

26. The passage states that by drilling into the lake bottom it is possible to find successive fossils of
(A) sediment
(B) ice
(C) plant life
(D) pollen

27. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage
(A) that the migratory patterns of plants are dependent upon changes in climate
(B) that modern conservation methods should consider the migratory patterns of plants
(C) that current associations of plants are similar to those in the past
(D) that another ice age is likely to occur at some time

38. According to the passage, the movement of individual species of plants
(A) occurs in groups
(B) often depends upon the formation of lakes
(C) does not occur in groups
(D) depends upon climate and soil conditions

29. All of the following are true except
(A) The ice age occurred when small changes affected the movement of the earth
(B) Fossil records seem to indicate that plants will be preserved if they have sufficient room to move
(C) Fossil records clearly show that entire groups of plants are unlikely to have moved together
(D) In the ice age glaciers covered the world to depths of up to two miles

Answer Keys here

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1. C 2. B 3. A
4. C 5. D 6. B
7. C 8. B 9. A
10. C 11. A 12. D
13. D 14. D 15. D
16. C 17. B 18. A
19. B 20. B 21. D
22. C 23. A 24. A
25. D 26. B 27. D
28. C 29. D