TOEFL Sample Questions : Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension

Passage-I |Passage-II|Passage-III|Passage-IV |Passage-V

There was in increase of about 10 % in the investment in the public sector, like electricity, irrigation quarrying, public services and transport; even though the emphasis leaned towards transport and away from the other sectors mentioned. A 16-17% growth in investment, including a 30% increase in investment in business premises has been recorded in trade and services. Although there continued to be a decline in the share of agriculture in total gross investment in the economy, investment grew by 9% in absolute terms, largely spurred on by a 23% expansion of investment in agriculture equipment. Housing construction had 12% more invested in it in 1964, not so much owing to increase demand, as to fears of impending new taxes and limitation of building.

There was a rise of close to 11% in the total consumption in real terms during 1964 and per capita personal consumption by under 7%, as in 1963. The undesirable trend towards a rapid rise in consumption, evident in previous years, remains unaltered. Since at current prices consumption rose by 16% and disposable income by 13%, there was evidently a fall in the rate of saving in the private sector of the economy. Once again a swift advance in the standard of living was indicated in consumption patterns. Though fruit consumption increased, expenditure on food, especially bread and staple items, declined significantly. There was a continuing increase in the outlay on furniture and household equipment, health, education and recreation. The greatest proof of altered living standards was the rapid expansion of expenditure on transport (including private cars) and personal services of all kinds, which occurred during 1964. The changing composition if purchased durable goods demonstrated the progressive affluence of large sectors of the public. On the one hand increased purchase of automobiles and television sets were registered, a point of saturation was rapidly being approached for items like the first household radio, gas cookers, and electric refrigerators.

1. It is possible to to conclude from this passage, that the people of the country were
1. spending more money than they earn
2. investing and consuming at an accelerated pace
3. saving more money than previously
4. spending their money wisely
5. lacking in necessities

Answer: B
2. According to the author the trend towards a rapid rise in consumption is “undesirable” as:
1. there was an increase in the expenditure on frills and luxuries
2. the people were affluent
3. there was a rise in the standard of living
4. people were eating less
5. people were saving less

Answer: E
3. It is possible to conclude that the United States is not the discussed country as:
1. there was a decline in the expenditures for food
2. From the statement that the saturation point was rapidly being approached for first household radios
3. there is no mention of military expenditures
4. the people were affluent
5. the people were not saving their money

Answer: B
4. The area, which saw the greatest expenditure of investment funds was
1. The public sector
2. Business premises
3. Housing construction
4. Agricultural equipment
5. A field which cannot be determined

Answer: E
Visual recognition involves storing and retrieving memories. Neural activity, triggered by the eye, forms an image in the brains memory system that constitutes an internal representation of the viewed object. When an object is encountered again, it is matched with its internal representation and thereby recognized. Controversy surrounds the question of whether recognition is a parallel, one-step process or a serial, step-by-step one. Psychologists of the Gestalt school maintain that object are recognized as wholes in a parallel procedure : , the internal representation is matched with the retinal image in a single operation. Other psychologists have proposed that internal representation features are matched serially with an object’s features. Although some experiments show that, as an object become familiar, its internal representation becomes more familiar, its internal representation becomes more holistic and the recognition process correspondingly more parallel, the weight of evidence seems to support the serial hypothesis, at least for objects that are not notably simple and familiar.

1. It can be inferred from the passage that the matching process in visual recognition is
1. Not a natural activity.
2. Not possible when an object is viewed for the very first time.
3. Not possible if a feature of a familiar object is changed in same way.
4. Only possible when a retinal image is received in the brain as a unitary whole.
5. Now fully understood as a combination of the serial and parallel process.

Answer: A
2. In terms of its tone and form, the passage can best be characterized as
1. A biased exposition
2. A speculative study
3. A dispassionate presentation
4. An indignant denial
5. A dogmatic explanation.

Answer: C
3. The author is primarily concerned with
1. Explaining how the brain receives images
2. Synthesizing hypotheses of visual recognition
3. Examining the evidence supporting the serial recognition hypothesis
4. Discussing visual recognition and some hypotheses proposed to explain it.
5. Reporting on recent experiments dealing with memory systems and their relationship to neural activity.

Answer: B
4. According to the passage, Gestalt psychologists make which of the following suppositions about visual recognition?
I A retinal image is in exactly the same form as its internal representation
II An object is recognized as a whole without any need for analysis into component parts.
III The matching of an object with its internal representation occurs in only one step
1. II only
2. III only
3. I and III only
4. II and III only
5. I, II and III

Answer: D

according to Albert Einstein the non mathematician, is seized by a mysterious shuddering when he hears of ‘four-dimensional’ things, he is seized by a feeling, which is very similar to the thoughts awakened by the occult. And at the same time the statement that the world in which we live is a four-dimensional space – time continuum is quite a common place statement.

This might lead to an argument regarding the use of the term ”commonplace” by Einstein. Yet the difficulty lies more in the wording than the ideas. Einstein’s concept of the universe as a four-dimensional space-time continuum becomes plain and clear, when what he means by ”continuum” becomes clear. A continuum is something that is continuous, A ruler, for example, is a one-dimensional space continuum. Most rulers are divided into inches and fractions, scaled down to one-sixteenth of an inch.

Will it be possible to conceive a ruler, which is calibrated to a millionth or billionth of an inch. In theory there is no reason why the steps from point to point should not be even smaller. What distinguishes a continuum is the fact that the space between any two points can be sub-divided into an infinite number of smaller divisions.

A railroad track is a one-dimensional space continuum and on it the engineer of a train can describe his position at any time by citing a single co-ordinate point – i.e., a station or a milestone. A sea captain, however, has to worry about two dimensions. The surface of the sea is a two-dimensional continuum and the co-ordinate points by which sailor fixes his positions in his two dimensional continuum are latitude and longitude. An airplane pilot guides his plane through a three – dimensional continuum, hence he has to consider not only latitude and longitude, but also his height above the ground. The continuum of an airplane pilot constitutes space as we perceive it. In other words, the space of our world is a three-dimensional continuum.

Just indicating its position in space is not enough while describing any physical event, which involves motion. How position changes in time also needs to be mentioned. Thus to give an accurate picture of the operation of a New York – Chicago express, one must mention not only that it goes from New – York to Albany to Syracuse to Cleveland to Toledo to Chicago, but also the times at which it touches each of those points. This can be done either by means of a timetable or a visual chart. If the miles between New York and Chicago are plotted horizontally on a piece of ruled paper and the hours and minutes are plotted vertically, then a diagonal line properly drawn across the page illustrates the progress of the train in two – dimensional space – time continuum. This type of graphic representation is familiar to most newspaper readers; a stock market chart, for example, pictures financial events in a two – dimensional dollar – time continuum. Similarly for the best picturization of the flight of an airplane from New York to Los Angeles a four – dimensional space – time continuum is essential. The latitude, longitude and altitude will only make sense to the traffic manager of the airline if the time co – ordinate is also mentioned. Therefore time is the fourth dimension. If a flight has to be looked at, perceived as a whole, it wouldn’t work if it is broken down into a series of disconnected take – offs, climbs, glides, and landing, it needs to be looked at and perceived as a continuous four – dimensional space – time continuum curve.

1. In order to explain a difficult topic, the author use
1. Simply phrased definition’s
2. An incessant metaphor
3. A plain writing style
4. Familiar images
5. A quotation from Einstein

Answer: D
2. The significant feature of a continuum, according to the passage, revolves around
1. The divisibility of the interval between any two points.
2. An ordinary ruler’s caliber for marking
3. Its unending curve
4. Its lucid from providing comprehensibility to the non – scientists as well
5. Its variety of co – ordinates.

Answer: A
3. The purpose of this passage is to highlight the point that
1. Plots and sea captains have something in common
2. Stock market charts may be helpful to physicists
3. The fourth dimension is time.
4. Non – mathematician’s are often afraid of the commonplace
5. There is a marked quality to distance

Answer: C
4. According to the passage, an airlines traffic manager depends upon all of the following EXCEPT
1. latitude
2. altitude
3. the time co – ordinate
4. longitude
5. the continuous curve in co four

Answer: E
5. The underlying tone of this selection is
1. persuasive
2. deferential
3. candid
4. instructive
5. gently condescending

Answer: D
6. According to the author if on wishes portray a physical event in which motion plays a role – one has to
1. Make use of a time-table
2. Indicate how position changes in time
3. Be conversant with the scientist’s theories
4. Describe it graphically
5. Be aware of altitude, latitude and longitude

Answer: B
7. The sea-captain’s example has been cited in order to
1. Help understand a two – dimensional continuum
2. Set up a logical progression
3. Simplify what ever is too elaborate
4. Mitigate the gap between the engineer and pilot
5. To sustain out interest in the reading of the passage.

Answer: A
From the 197 million square miles, which make up the surface of the globe, 71 per cent is covered by the interconnecting bodies of marine water; the Pacific Ocean alone covers half the Earth and averages near 14,000 feet in depth. The portions which rise above sea level are the continents-Eurasia, Africa; North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica. The submerged borders of the continental masses are the continental shelves, beyond which lie the deep-sea basins.

The ocean are deepest not in the center but in some elongated furrows, or long narrow troughs, called deeps. These profound troughs have a peripheral arrangement, notably around the borders of the pacific and Indian oceans. The position of the deeps, like the highest mountains, are of recent origin, since otherwise they would have been filled with waste from the lands. This is further strengthened by the observation that the deeps are quite often, where world-shaking earthquakes occur. To cite an example, the “tidal wave” that in April, 1946, caused widespread destruction along Pacific coasts resulted from a strong earthquake on the floor of the Aleutian Deep.

The topography of the ocean floors is none too well known, since in great areas the available soundings are hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. However, the floor of the Atlantic is becoming fairly well known as a result of special surveys since 1920. A broad, well-defined ridge-the Mid-Atlantic ridge-runs north and south between Africa and the two Americas and numerous other major irregularities diversify the Atlantic floor. Closely spaced soundings show that many parts of the oceanic floors are as rugged as mountainous regions of the continents. Use of the recently perfected method of submarine topography. During world war II great strides were made in mapping submarine surfaces, particularly in many parts of the vast Pacific basin.

Most of the continents stand on an average of 2870 feet above sea level. North America averages 2300 feet; Europe averages only 1150 feet; and Asia, the highest of the larger continental subdivisions, averages 3200 feet. Mount Everest, which is the highest point in the globe, is 29,000 feet above the sea; and as the greatest known depth in the sea is over 35,000 feet, the maximum relief (that is, the difference in altitude between the lowest and highest points) exceeds 64,000 feet, or exceeds 12 miles. The continental masses and the deep-sea basins are relief features of the first order; the deeps, ridges, and volcanic cones that diversify the sea floor, as well as the plains, plateaus, and mountains of the continents, are relief features of the second order. The lands are unendingly subject to a complex of activities summarized in the term erosion, which first sculptures them in great detail and then tends to reduce them ultimately to sea level. The modeling of the landscape by weather, running water, and other agents is apparent to the keenly observant eye and causes thinking people to speculate on what must be the final result of the ceaseless wearing down of the lands. Much before there was any recognizable science as geology, Shakespeare wrote “the revolution of the times makes mountains level.”

1. The peripheral furrows or deeps are found
1. only in the pacific and Indian oceans
2. near earthquakes
3. near the shore
4. in the center of the ocean
5. to be 14,000 feet in depth in the pacific.

Answer: C
2. The largest ocean is the
1. Atlantic
2. pacific
3. Aleutian deep
4. arctic
5. Indian.

Answer: B
3. We may conclude from this passage that earth quakes
1. Occur more frequently in newly formed land or sea formations
2. Are caused by the weight of the water
3. Cause erosion
4. Occur in the deeps
5. Will ultimately “make mountains level”.

Answer: A
4. The highest mountains are
1. oldest
2. in excess of 12 miles
3. near the deeps
4. relief features of the first order
5. of recent origin.

Answer: E
5. The science of geology was started
1. By the Greeks
2. During world war II
3. April 1946
4. After 1600
5. In 1920

Answer: D
6. The highest point on North America is
1. 2870 feet above sea level
2. not mentioned in the passage
3. higher than the highest point in Europe
4. 2300 feet above sea level
5. in Mexico.

Answer: B
7. The deeps are subject to change caused by
1. erosion
2. soundings
3. earthquakes
4. waste
5. weathering

Answer: C
8. The continental masses
1. Rise above sea level
2. Consist of six continents
3. Are relief features of the second order
4. Are partially submerged
5. Comprise 29 per cent of the earth’s surface.

Answer: D
Few areas of neuron behavioral research seemed more promising is the early sixties than that investigating the relationship between protein synthesis and learning. The conceptual framework for the research was derived directly from molecular biology, which had shown that genetic information is stored in nucleic acids and expressed in proteins why not acquired information as well.

The first step towards establishing a connection between protein synthesis and learning seemed to be to block memory (cause adhesion) by interrupting the production of proteins. We were fortunate in finding a non lethal dosage of puromycin that could, it first appealed, thoroughly inhibit brain protein synthesis as well as reliability produce amnesia.

Before the actual connection between protein synthesis and learning could be established however we began to have douche about whether inhibition of protein synthesis was in fact the method by which puromycin produced amnesia. First, ocher drugs, glutavimides themselves potent protein synthesis inhibitors either failed to cause amnesia in some situations where it could easily be induced by puromycin or produced an amnesia with a different time course from that of puromycin. Second, puromycin was found to inhabit protein synthesis by breaking certain amino acid chaim, and the resulting fragments were suspected of being the actual cause of amnesia is some eases. Third, puromycin was reported to cause abnormalities in the train, including seizures. Thus, not only were decreased protein synthesis and amnesia dissociated, but alternative mechanism for the amnestic action of puromycin were readily suggested.

So, puromycin turned out to be a disappointment. It came to be regarded as a poor agent for amnesia studies, although, of course, it was poor only in the context of our original paradigm of protein synthesis inhibition. In our frustration, our initial response was simply to change dregs rather than our conceptual orientation. After many such disappointments, however, it now appears unlikely, that we will make a firm connection between protein synthesis and learning merely by pursuing the approaches of the past our experience with drugs has shown that all the amnestic agents, often interfere with memory in ways that seem unrelated to their inhibition of protein synthesis. More importantly, the notion that the interruption or intensification of protein production in the train can be related in cause and affect fashion to learning non seems simplistic and unproductive. Remove the battery from a car and the car will not go Drive the car a long distance at high speed and the battery will become more highly charged. Neither of these facts proves that the battery power the car, only knowledge of the overall automotive system will reveal it mechanism of locomotion and the role of the battery with in the system.

1. The primary purpose a the passage is to show that extensive experimentation has
1. Mot supported the hypothesis that learning is directly dependent on protein synthesis
2. Cast doubt on the value of puromycin in the newer behavioral study of learning
3. Revealed the importance of amnesia in the neuron behavioral study of learning
4. Demonstrated the importance of amino acid fragmentation in the induction of amnesia.
5. Not yet demonstrated the applicability of molecular biology to behavioral research.

Answer: A
2. According to the passage, neuron behaviorists initially based their belief that protein synthesis was related to learning on which of the following?
1. Specific research into learning on which of the following
2. Traditional theories about learning
3. Historic experiments on the effects puromycin
4. Previous discoveries in molecular biology
5. Now technique in protein synthesis.

Answer: D
3. This passage was most likely excepted from
1. A book review in a leading journal devoted to genetic research.
2. A diary kept by a practicing neuron behavioral research
3. An article summarizing a series of scientific investigations in neuron behavioral research.
4. A news paper article on recent advances in the biochemistry of learning
5. A technical article on experimental techniques in the field of molecular biology.

Answer: C
4. It can be inferred from the passage that after puromycin was perceived to be a disappointment, researches did which of the following?
1. They continued to experiment with puromycin until a neuron anatomical framework was developed.
2. They continued to experiment with puromycin, but also tried other protein synthesis inhibitors
3. They ceased to experiment with puromycin and shifted to other promising protein synthesis inhibitors.
4. They ceased to experiment with puromycin and reexamined through experiments the relationship between genetic information and acquired information.
5. They continued to experiment with puromycin, but applied their results to other facts of memory research.

Answer: C
5. In the example of the car (lines 62-70) the battery is meant to represent which of the following elements in the neuron behavioral research program?
1. glutarimides
2. acquired information
3. puromycin
4. amnesia
5. protein synthesis

Answer: E
6. The passage all of the following as effects of puromycin except
1. Fragmentation of amino-acid chaim
2. Inhibition of protein synthesis
3. Brain seizures
4. Memory loss
5. Destruction of genetic information

Answer: E
7. Which of the following statements would be most likely to come after the last sentences of the passage?
1. It is important in the future, therefore for behavioral bio- chemist to focus on the several components of the total learning system.
2. The ambivalent status of current research, however should not deter neuron behaviorists from exploring the deeper connection between protein production and learning.
3. The failures of the past, however must not impede further research into the amnestic of protein-synthesis inhibitors.
4. It is important in the future, therefore, for behavioral biochemist to emphasize more strongly place of their specific findings within the overall protein synthesis model of learning.
5. It is a legacy of this research, therefore, that molecular biology’s genetic models have led to disagreement among neuron behaviorists.

Answer: A

If you have questions, please ask below


  1. suresh says:

    qustion are very easy


    i study in class 10 right now and i want to know whether i am eligible of giving the toefl exam or not.

  3. masoud says:

    how can i do well on reading comprehension tests well?

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