Home Reading TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 48 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 48 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

by Wiki TOEFL
wiki toefl reading 48

Passage 3: 

P1: Before the mid-1860’s, the impact of the railroads in the United States was limited, in the sense that the tracks ended at the Missouri River, approximately the centers of the
country. At that point the trains turned their freight, mail, and passengers over to steamboats, wagons, and stagecoaches. This meant that wagon freighting, stagecoaching and steamboating did not come to an end when the first train appeared; rather they became supplements or feeders. Each new “end-of-track” became a center for animaldrawn or waterborne transportation. The major effect of the railroad was to shorten the distance that had to be covered by the older, slower, and more costly means. Wagon freighters continued operating throughout the 1870’s and 1880’s and into the 1890’s, although over constantly shrinking routes, and coaches and wagons continued to crisscross the West wherever the rails had not yet been laid.

P2: The beginning of a major change was foreshadowed in the later 1860’s, when the Union Pacific Railroad at last began to build westward from the Central Plaints city of Omaha to meet the Central Pacific Railroad advancing eastward form California through the formidable barriers of the Sierra Nevada. Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the original Pacific Railroad bill in 1862 and a revised, financially much morengenerous version in 1864, little construction was completed until 1865 on the Central Pacific and 1866 on the Union Pacific. The primary reason was skepticism that a railroad built through so challenging and thinly settled a stretch of desert, mountain, and semiarid plain could pay a profit. In the words of an economist, this was a case of “premature enterprise”, where not only the cost of construction but also the very high risk deterred private investment. In discussing the Pacific Railroad bill, the chair of the congressional committee bluntly stated that without government subsidy no one would undertake so unpromising a venture; yet it was a national necessity to link East and West together.

20. The author refers to the impact of railroads before the late 1860’s as “limited” because

(A) the tracks did not take the direct route from one city to the next

(B) passenger and freight had to transfer to other modes of transportation to reach western destinations

(C) passengers preferred stagecoaches

(D) railroad travel was quite expensive

21. The word “they” in paragraph 1 refers to

(A) tracks

(B) trains

(C) freight, mail, and passengers

(D) steamboats, wagons, and stagecoaches

22. The word “supplements” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) extensions

(B) reformers

(C) dependents

(D) influences

23. What can be inferred about coaches and wagon freighters as the railroads expanded?

(A) They developed competing routes.

(B) Their drivers refused to work for the railroads.

(C) They began to specialize in transporting goods.

(D) They were not used as much as before.

24.The word “crisscross” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) lead the way

(B) separate

(C) move back and forth

(D) uncover

25. Why does the author mention the Sierra Nevada in line 15?

(A) To argue that a more direct route to the West could have been taken

(B) To identify a historically significant mountain range in the West

(C) To point out the location of a serious train accident

(D) To give an example of an obstacle face by the Central Pacific

26. The word “skepticism” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) doubt

(B) amazement

(C) urgency

(D) determination

27. The Pacific railroads were considered a “premature enterprise” (line 21) because

(A) the technology of railroad cars was not fully developed

(B) there was not enough wood and steel for the tracks

(C) the cost and risks discouraged private investment

(D) there were insufficient numbers of trained people to operate them

28. The word “subsidy” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) persuasion

(B) financing

(C) explanation

(D) penalty

29. Where in the passage does the author give example of geographical challenges to railroad construction?

(A) steamboats, wagons, and stagecoaches. This meant that wagon freighting, stagecoaching and steamboating did not come to an end when the first train appeared; rather they
became supplements or feeders. Each new “end-of-track” became a center for animaldrawn

(B) distance that had to be covered by the older, slower, and more costly means. Wagon freighters continued operating throughout the 1870’s and 1880’s and into the 1890’s, although over constantly shrinking routes, and coaches and wagons continued to crisscross the West wherever the rails had not yet been laid.

(C) Pacific and 1866 on the Union Pacific. The primary reason was skepticism that a railroad built through so challenging and thinly settled a stretch of desert, mountain,
and semiarid plain could pay a profit. In the words of an economist, this was a case of

(D) risk deterred private investment. In discussing the Pacific Railroad bill, the chair of the congressional committee bluntly stated that without government subsidy no one would
undertake so unpromising a venture; yet it was a national necessity to link East and West together.

 

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2 comments

Vibhu Sharma May 6, 2017 - 2:48 PM

Please send me the answer key for this test.

Reply
Wiki TOEFL May 11, 2017 - 10:13 PM

HI, we have just sent your the solution, please kindly check it

Reply

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