TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 57 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.
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P1: When Jules Verne wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1864, there were many conflicting theories about the nature of the Earth’s interior. Some geologists thought that it contained a highly compressed ball of incandescent gas, while others suspected that it consisted of separate shells, each made of a different material. Today, well over a century later, there is still little direct evidence of what lies beneath our feet. Most of our knowledge of the Earth’s interior comes not from mines or boreholes, but from the study of seismic waves – powerful pulses of energy released by earthquakes. The way that seismic waves travel shows that the Earth’s interior is far from uniform. The continents and the seabed are formed by the crust – a thin sphere of relatively light, solid rock. Beneath the crust lies the mantle, a very different layer that extends approximately halfway to the Earth’s center. There the rock is the subject of a battle between increasing heat and growing pressure.
P2: In its high levels, the mantle is relatively cool; at greater depths, high temperatures make the rock behave more like a liquid than a solid. Deeper still, the pressure is even more intense, preventing the rock from melting in spite of a higher temperature. Beyond a depth of around 2,900 kilometers, a great change takes place and the mantle gives way to the core. Some seismic waves cannot pass through the core and others are bent by it. From this and other evidence, geologists conclude that the outer core is probably liquid, with a solid center. It is almost certainly made of iron, mixed with smaller amounts of other elements such as nickel.
P3: The conditions in the Earth’s core make it a far more alien world than space. Its solid iron heart is subjected to unimaginable pressure and has a temperature of about 9,000oF. Although scientists can speculate about its nature, neither humans nor machines will ever be able to visit it.
1.The word “conflicting” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) controlling (B) outdated (C) opposing (D) important
2. What is today’s richest source of information about the Earth’s interior for geologists?
(A) Boreholes (B) Shells (C) Seismic waves (D) Mines
3. The word “There” in paragraph 1 refers to the
(A) mantle (B) crust (C) seabed (D) Earth’s center.
4. Which of the following is a primary characteristic of the Earth’s mantle?
(A) Light, solid rock (B) Uniformity of composition
(C) Dramatically increasing pressure (D) Compressed, incandescent gas
5. The phrase “gives way to” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
(A) runs along (B) rubs against (C) turns into (D) floats on
6.The word “it” in paragraph 2 refers to
(A) mantle (B) core (C) change (D) depth
7. Why does the author state in line 22 that the Earth’s core is “more alien” than space?
(A) Government funds are not available to study the Earth’s core.
(B) Scientists aren’t interested in the characteristics of the Earth’s core.
(C) It is impossible to go to the Earth’s core to do research.
(D) The Earth’s core is made of elements that are dangerous to humans.
8. The word “speculate” in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to
(A) report (B) learn (C) worry (D) hypothesize