TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 19 from Barron’s TOEFL iBT
The Reading section tests your ability to understand reading passages like those in college textbooks. The passages are about 700 words in length.
This is the short format for the Reading section. On the short format, you will read three passages. After each passage, you will answer 12-14 questions about it. You may take notes while you read, but notes are not graded. You may use your notes to answer the questions.
Some passages may include a word or phrase that is underlined in blue. Click on the word or phrase to see a glossary definition or explanation.
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Choose the best answer for multiple-choice questions. Follow the directions on the page or on the screen for computer-assisted questions. Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question in each passage is worth more than 1 point.
The Reading section is divided into parts. Click on Next to go to the next question. Click on Back to return to previous questions. You may return to previous questions for all of the passages in the same part, but after you go to the next part, you will not be able to return to passages in the previous part. Be sure that you have answered all of the questions for the passages in each part before you dick on Next at the end of the passage to move to the next part.
You can dick on Review to see a chart of the questions you have answered and the questions you have not answered n each part. From this screen, you can return to the question you want to answer in the part that is open.
You will have 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions for that passage. You will have 60 minutes to complete all of the passages and answer all of the questions on the short format. A dock on the screen will show you how much time you have to complete the Reading section.
Reading 1 “Exotic and Endangered Species”
When you hear someone bubbling enthusiastically about an exotic species, you can safely bet the speaker isn’t an ecologist. This is a name for a resident of an established community that was deliberately or accidentally moved from its home range and became established elsewhere. Unlike most imports, which can’t take hold outside their home range, an exotic species permanently insinuates itself into a new community.
Sometimes the additions are harmless and even have beneficial effects. More often, they make native species endangered species, which by definition are extremely vulnerable to extinction. Of all species on the rare or endangered lists or that recently became extinct, close to 70 percent owe their . precarious existence or demise to displacement by exotic species. Two examples are included here to illustrate the problem.
During the 1800s, British settlers in Australia just couldn’t bond with the koalas and kangaroos, so they started to import familiar animals from their homeland. In 1859, in what would be the start of a wholesale disaster, a northern Australian landowner imported and then released two dozen wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Good food and good sport hunting—that was the idea. An ideal rabbit habitat with no natural predators was the reality.
Six years later, the landowner had killed 20,000 rabbits and was besieged by 20,000 more. The rabbits displaced livestock, even kangaroos. Now Aus¬tralia has 200 to 300 million hippityhopping through the southern half of the country. They overgraze perennial grasses in good times and strip bark from shrubs and trees during droughts. You know where they’ve been; they trans¬form grasslands and shrublands into eroded deserts. They have been shot and poisoned. Their warrens have been plowed under, fumigated, and dynamited. Even when all-out assaults reduced their population size by 70 percent, the rapidly reproducing imports made a comeback in less than a year. Did the construction of a 2,000-mile-long fence protect western Australia? No. Rabbits made it to the other side before workers finished the fence.
In 1951, government workers introduced a myxoma virus by way of mildly infected South American rabbits, its normal hosts. This virus causes myxomatosis. The disease has mild effects on South American rabbits that coevolved with the virus but nearly always had lethal effects on O. cuniculus. Biting insects, mainly mosquitoes and fleas, quickly transmit the virus from host to host. Having no coevolved defenses against the novel virus, the European rabbits died in droves. But, as you might expect, natural selection has since favored rapid growth of populations of O. cuniculus resistant to the virus.
In 1991, on an uninhabited island in Spencer Gulf, Australian researchers released a population of rabbits that they had injected with a calcivirus. The rabbits died quickly and relatively painlessly from blood clots in their lungs, hearts, and kidneys. In 1995, the test virus escaped from the island, possibly on insect vectors. It has been killing 80 to 95 percent of the adult rabbits in Aus¬tralian regions. At this writing, researchers are now questioning whether the calcivirus should be used on a widespread scale, whether it can jump bound¬aries and infect animals other than rabbits (such as humans), and what the long-term consequences will be.
A vine called kudzu (Pueraria lobata) was deliberately imported from Japan to the United States, where it faces no serious threats from herbivores, pathogens, or competitor plants. In temperate parts of Asia, it is a well-behaved legume with a well-developed root system. It seemed like a good idea to use it to control erosion on hills and highway embankments in the southeastern United States. [A] With nothing to stop it, though, kudzu’s shoots grew a third of a meter per day. Vines now blanket streambanks, trees, telephone poles, houses, and almost everything else in their path. Attempts to dig up or bum kudzu are futile. Grazing goats and herbicides help, but goats eat other plants, too, and herbicides contaminate water supplies. [B] Kudzu could reach the Great Lakes by the year 2040.
On the bright side, a Japanese firm is constructing a kudzu farm and processing plant in Alabama. The idea is to export the starch to Asia, where the demand currently exceeds the supply. [C] Also, kudzu may eventually help reduce logging operations. [D] At the Georgia Institute of Technology, researchers report that kudzu might become an alternative source for paper.
1. Based on the information in paragraph 1, which of the following best explains the term “exotic species”?
A. Animals or plants on the rare species list
B. A permanent resident in an established community
C. A species that has been moved to a different community
D. An import that fails to thrive outside of its home range
2. The word itself in the passage refers to
A. most imports
B. new community
C. home range
D. exotic species
3. The word bond in the passage is closest in meaning to
4. According to the author, why did the plan to introduce rabbits in Australia fail?
A. The rabbits were infected with a contagious virus.
B. Most Australians did not like the rabbits.
C. No natural predators controlled the rabbit population.
D. Hunters killed the rabbits for sport and for food.
5. All of the following methods were used to control the rabbit population in Australia
A. They were poisoned.
B. Their habitats were buried.
C. They were moved to deserts.
D. They were surrounded by fences.
6. Why does the author mention “mosquitoes and fleas” in paragraph 5?
A. Because they are the origin of the myxoma virus
B. Because they carry the myxoma vims to other animals
C. Because they die when they are infected by myxoma
D. Because they have an immunity to the myxoma virus
7. According to paragraph 6, the Spencer Gulf experiment was dangerous because
A. insect populations were exposed to a virus
B. rabbits on the island died from a virus
C. the virus may be a threat to humans
D. some animals are immune to the virus
8. The word consequences in the passage is closest in meaning to
9. Why does the author give details about the “kudzu farm” and “processing plant” in paragraph 8?
A. To explain why kudzu was imported from abroad
B. To argue that the decision to plant kudzu was a good one
C. To give a reason for kudzu to be planted in Asia
D. To offer partial solutions to the kudzu problem
10. The word exceeds in the passage is closest in meaning to
B. destroys ,
11. Which of the following statements most accurately reflects the author’s opinion about exotic species?
A. Exotic species should be protected by ecologists.
B. Importing an exotic species can solve many problems.
C. Ecologists should make the decision to import an exotic species.
D. Exotic species are often disruptive to the ecology.
12. Look at the four squares [ A] , [B], [C] [D] that show where the following sentence could be inserted in the passage.
Asians use a starch extract from kudzu in drinks, herbal medicines, and candy.
Where could the sentence best be added?
Click on a square [■] to insert the sentence in the passage.
13. Directions: An introduction for a short summary of the passage appears below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that mention the most important points in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not included in the passage or are minor points from the passage. This question is worth 2 points-
Exotic species often require containment because they displace other species when they become established in a new environment.
A. Rabbits were able to cross a fence 2,000 miles long that was constructed to keep them out of western Australia.
B. Methods to control exotic species include fences, viruses, burning, herbicides, natural predators, and harvesting.
C. Rabbits that were introduced in Australia and kudzu which was introduced in the United States, are examples of species that caused problems.
D. Researchers may be able to develop material from the kudzu vine that will be an alternative to wood pulp paper.
E. The problem is that exotic species make native species vulnerable to extinction.
F. A virus that is deadly to rabbits may have serious effects for other animals.