TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 49 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

Passage 2: 

P1: As the merchant class expanded in the eighteenth-century North American colonies, the silversmith and the coppersmith businesses rose to serve it. Only a few silversmiths
were available in New York or Boston in the late seventeenth century, but in the eighteenth century they could be found in all major colonial cities. No other colonial artisans rivaled the silversmiths’ prestige. They handled the most expensive materials and possessed direct connections to prosperous colonies merchants. Their products, primarily silver plates and bowls, reflected their exalted status and testified to their customers’ prominence.

P2: Silver stood as one of the surest ways to store wealth at a time before neighborhood banks existed. Unlike the silver coins from which they were made, silver articles were readily identifiable. Often formed to individual specifications, they always carried the silversmith’s distinctive markings and consequently could be traced and retrieved. Customers nerally secured the silver for the silver objects they ordered. They saved coins, took them to smiths, and discussed the type of pieces they desired. Silversmiths complied with these requests by melting the money in a small furnace, adding a bit of copper to form a stronger alloy, and casting the alloy in rectangular blocks. They hammered these ingots to the appropriate thickness by hand, shaped them, and pressed designs into them for adornment. Engraving was also done by hand. In addition to plates and bowls, some customers sought more intricate products, such as silver teapots. These were made by shaping or casting parts separately and then soldering them together.

P3: Colonial coppersmithing also came of age in the early eighteenth century and prospered in northern cities. Copper’s ability to conduct heat efficiently and to resist corrosion contributed to its attractiveness. But because it was expensive in colonial America, coppersmiths were never very numerous. Virtually all copper worked by smiths was imported as sheets or obtained by recycling old copper goods. Copper was used for practical items, but it was not admired for its beauty. Coppersmiths employed it to fashion pots and kettles for the home. They shaped it in much the same manner as silver or melted it in a foundry with lead or tin. They also mixed it with zinc to make brass for maritime and scientific instruments.

13. According to the passage, which of the following eighteenth-century developments had a strong impact on silversmiths?

(A) a decrease in the cost of silver

(B) the invention of heat-efficient furnaces

(C) the growing economic prosperity of colonial merchants

(D) the development of new tools used to shape silver

14. The word “They” in paragraph 1 refers to

(A) silversmiths

(B) major colonial cities

(C) other colonial artisans

(D) materials

15.The word “exalted” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) unusual

(B) uncertain

(C) surprising

(D) superior

16.  In colonial America, where did silversmiths usually obtain the material to make silver articles?

(A) From their own mines

(B) From importers

(C) From other silversmiths

(D) From customers

17. The word “ingots” in paragraph 2 refers to

(A) coins that people saved

(B) blocks of silver mixed with copper

(C) tools used to shape silver plates

(D) casts in which to form parts of silver articles

18. The phrase “came of age” in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to
(A) established itself

(B) declined

(C) became less expensive

(D) was studied

19. The passage mentions all of the following as uses for copper in colonial America EXCEPT

(A) cooking pots

(B) scientific instruments

(C) musical instruments

(D) maritime instruments

20. According to the passage, silversmiths and coppersmiths in colonial America were similar in which of the following ways?

(A) The amount of social prestige they had

(B) The way they shaped the metal they worked with

(C) The cost of the goods they made

(D) The practicality of goods they made

21.Based on the information in paragraph 4, which of the following was probably true about copper in the colonies?

(A) The copper used by colonists was not effective in conducting heat.

(B) The copper items created by colonial coppersmiths were not skillfully made.

(C) There were no local copper mines from which copper could be obtained.

(D) The price of copper suddenly decreased.

Reading Passage 3