{Patreon Special} Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 37 | Is The Internet Bad?

Because of big tech companies and social media giants, all of which are clamping down on disinformation, older generations are pointing fingers at why the internet is so bad. Conspiracy theory-pushing YouTube channels have a free-flowing cesspool of comments stating, “I got off social media 3 months ago; best decision I’ve ever made.” Yet, you’re still on social media, on YouTube, commenting and sharing your opinion?

There are two sides of a talisman that you must pick up every day — PMA and NMA. One is being positive and the other one is being negative. The ample amount of opportunity that’s readily available to everyone who knows a specific skill online — is something we’ve never had in our past.

If you could fully utilize and use the inter, social media platforms and other pieces of technology to help better humanity, then you wouldn’t be part of the pity party.

Patreon

TOEFL iTP | Written Expression | Wrong Choice of So, Such, Too & As

We’re back with a wonderful special! In today’s podcast/video/blog, I’ll be diving into the wrong choices of the words mentioned above! Super excited about this one because it will be going live first on my IGTV. So, make sure you’re following me in the link down below!

Instagram

The words so, such, and too are used in the following patterns:

so + adjective + that clause

These boxes are so heavy that we can’t lift them.

(So is also used with many….that and much….that.)

There were so many people in the auditorium that we could barely get in the front door.

Such + adjective + noun phrase + that clause

It was such a pretty view that he took a photograph.

Too + adjective + infinitive

It’s too cold to go swimming today.

Notice that so and such are both followed by that clauses, but too is followed by an infinitive.

The words as and so are also sometimes confused:

Jane did so well as I did on the economics exam. (INCORRECT)

The coffee was as hot that I couldn’t drink it. (INCORRECT

Check podcast and YouTube for explanation!

Podcast

YouTube

  1. The sun is so bright to look at directly.

Correct pattern too + adjective + infinitive

2. In much of Alaska, the growing season is as short that crops can’t be raised.

The correct pattern is so + adjective + that clause.

3. The giant squid is so an elusive animal that at one time it was believed to be purely mythical.

Before an adjective + noun + that clause, the word such should be used.

4. The mineral grains in basalt are so much small that they cannot be seen with the unaided eye.

The phrase should read so small rather than so much small.

TOEFL iBT | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Question 4 | Forest Fires

Welcome to the last edition of this 4-part series, and in today’s podcast, we’re going to cover the part IV speaking question.

In part IV, you’re going to have to formulate an opening introduction before getting into specific details. This will provide you some guidance before getting into the two main examples/reasons. If you don’t, you may be lost. So, what you’re going to do is listen, take notes to the audio, and compare what you had taken with what the student had said before listening to my critique.

TOEFL iBT | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Question 3 | Group Think

Another fantastic podcast with some GREAT advice in regards to repetition and a few other things. Groupthink is one of the part 3 questions that is pretty difficult, so I wanted to see what details my student (during the consultation) would pick out of it. The details she got made up about 20% of what was said, and it was contradictory to what was said. Here’s some advice on how to stay away from potentially contradicting information.

TOEFL iBT | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Question 1 | Do You Prefer to Study Alone?

Welcome to another TOEFL iBT Coaching podcast! If you’re seeing this way in advance, consider yourself LUCKY. This is debuting April 13th but being uploaded months before. In today’s podcast, I have a wonderful Filipina nurse who wanted a consultation, so over the next three podcasts, you’re going to hear the question, followed by her response and then my breakdown. Tune in to this speaking question!

TOEFL iBT | Speaking Part 1 | Group Coaching | Full Session

Man, after this specific coaching session with two of my Brazilian nurses, I asked them if I could use some of this audio to share with you guys because I honestly believe with the amount of advice given and received in this podcast, it could be life-changing for a lot of you who have difficulty in the speaking question 1. We did 2-3 speaking question 1s per student, along with some sound advice towards the end. One of the nurses had excellent points of encouragement for her friend — and she was also able to identify the areas of need very quickly and fix them within just 20 minutes. Just a PHENOMENAL job. With that being said, let’s get into this jam session!

TOEFL iBT | Reading | Earth’s Age

Boom! We’re back with a tough reading, and I’ll be covering it for you guys! In today’s full reading segment, we have the infamous Earth’s Age write up which is a total kick-ass. Here we go!

[1] One of the first recorded observers to estimate Earth’s relative age was the Greek historian Herodotus, who lived from approximately 480 B.C. to 425 B.C. He realized that the Nile River Delta was in fact made up of a series of sediment deposits built up as a result of continuous floods. He noted that individual floods deposit only thin layers of sediment, and he was then able to conclude that the Nile Delta had taken thousands of years to build up. More important than Herodotus’s calculations of the Earth’s age, which are in fact trivial in comparison with the actual age of Earth, was the idea that one could estimate ages of geologic features by determining rates of the processes responsible for such features, and that it was possible to assume the rates to be roughly constant over time. Similar applications of this concept were used time and time again in later centuries to estimate the age of the formation of rocks, in particular, layers of sediment that had compressed and cemented to form sedimentary rocks.

[2] It wasn’t until the 17th century that any further attempts were made to understand clues to Earth’s history through the rock record. Nicolaus Steno (1638–1686) was the first to work out the principles of the progressive depositing of sediment in Tuscany. However, it was the founder of modern geology, James Hutton (1726–1797), who was the first to learn that geologic processes recur naturally, a key insight. Forces associated with subterranean heat cause land to be uplifted into plateaus and mountain ranges. The effects of wind and water then break down the masses of uplifted rock, producing sediment that is transported by water downhill to then form layers in oceans, lakes, or even seashores. With time, the layers then become sedimentary rock. These rocks are then uplifted in the future to form new mountain ranges, which exhibit sedimentary layers (and the remains of life within those layers) of the earlier episodes of erosion and deposition.

[3] Hutton’s idea thus represents an amazing insight because its discovery was able to unite many individual phenomena and observations into a conceptual picture of Earth’s history. With the further assumption that these geologic processes were generally no more or less vigorous than they are today, Hutton’s examination of sedimentary layers led him to the realization that Earth’s history must be colossal, that geologic time is an abyss and human history a speck by comparison.

[4] After Hutton, many geologists tried to determine rates of sedimentation so as to estimate the age of Earth from the total length of the sedimentary, or stratigraphic record. The numbers estimated for the age of Earth at the turn of the 20th century were 100 million to 400 million years. These numbers underestimated the actual age by factors of 10 to 50 because much of the sedimentary record is missing in various locations and because there is a long rock sequence that is older than half a billion years that is far less well defined in terms of fossils and less well preserved.

[5] A variety of other methods used to estimate the Earth’s age fell short, and could be seen as defective determinations of the Sun’s age. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) recognized that chemical reactions could not supply the tremendous amount of energy flowing from the Sun for more than about a millennium. The age of the Sun based on the Sun’s energy coming from gravitational contraction was discovered by two physicists in the 19th century. Due to the force of gravity, the compression resulting in an object’s collapse must release energy. Ages for Earth were derived that were in the tens of millions of years, much less than the geologic estimates of the time.

[6] It was the discovery of radioactivity at the end of the 19th century that resulted in finally determining both the Sun’s energy source and the age of Earth. From the discovery of radioactivity came a wave of discoveries leading to radioisotopic dating. This then led to the realization that Earth must be billions of years old, and finally to the discovery of nuclear fusion as an energy source capable of supporting the Sun’s luminosity for that amount of time. By the 1960s, both analyses of meteorites and refinements of solar evolution models came together to settle on an age for the solar system, and hence for Earth, of 4.5 billion years.

Questions

1 According to paragraph 2, James Hutton was the first person to

  • work out standards of the dynamic saving of silt.
  • understand that geologic processes occur in repeating cycles
  • show the power of Earth’s warm inner core
  • comprehend pieces of information to Earth’s history through the stone record.

2 Which of the following best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence? Incorrect answer choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.

With the further assumption that these geologic processes were generally no more or less vigorous than they are today, Hutton’s examination of sedimentary layers led him to the realization that Earth’s history must be colossal, that geologic time is an abyss and human history a speck by comparison.

  • Hutton understood that if these geologic procedures have dependably happened at about the same rate as they do today, Earth’s history is tremendously long compared to mankind’s.
  • Hutton’s idea revealed vast knowledge by bringing together numerous individual questions and ideas into a theoretical picture of Earth’s history
  • Hutton’s examination of aggregate layers caused him to infer that geologic processes have been by and large the same as they are today throughout Earth’s long history.
  • Hutton’s examination of clastic layers resulted in a breakthrough, and his decisions about geologic procedures are among the most noteworthy in mankind’s history

3 .As indicated by passage 4, what happened when geologists at the turn of the twentieth century attempted to gauge Earth’s age?

  • They disregarded Hutton’s discoveries about rates of sedimentation and by doing so their calculations were off by a factor of 10 to 50.
  • Utilizing the sedimentary record, they were able to figure Earth’s proper age within 100 million to 400 million years.
  • They didn’t realize that a great part of the sedimentary record is missing and in this way, believed that Earth was substantially younger than it is in reality.
  • They didn’t effectively ascertain the rates of sedimentation which caused them to incorrectly presume that the age of the Earth is considerably younger than it ought to be.

4 The word ‘defective’ in paragraph 5 is closest in meaning to:

  • broken
  • late
  • unspecific
  • incorrect

5 For what reason is ‘gravitational contraction’ used in the entry?

  • To demonstrate that inquiries concerning the Sun’s vitality source were as intriguing to early researchers as inquiries regarding Earth’s age
  • To give prove that Hutton’s thoughts prompted an in material science and stargazing and also in geography
  • To refer to a strategy for assessing the age of the Sun that was utilized to decide Earth’s age
  • To clarify why there is such a lot of vitality spilling out of the Sun

6 As indicated by paragraph 5, Immanuel Kant perceived that the Sun’s vitality

  • was not possible through chemical reactions alone over a long period of time.
  • originated from powerful pressure resulting from gravity.
  • was to a great extent the consequence of synthetic responses that occurred over a time of over a thousand years.
  • was important to fuel the greater part of the concoction responses on Earth

7 As indicated by passage 6, which of the following isn’t valid about researchers latest estimate of Earth’s age?

  • It depends on data taken from the examination of shooting stars.
  • It is shockingly similar to estimates from the nineteenth century.
  • It is affirmed by sun based development models.
  • It puts the period of Earth at around 4 5 billion years.

8 Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 6 about the formation of the solar system?

  • The Sun was already billions of years old when the planets were formed.
  • The planets closest to the Sun formed first.
  • Meteorites entered the solar system sometime after the planets were formed.
  • All parts of the solar system formed at approximately the same time.

9 Examine the four █ in the selection below and indicate at which block the following sentence could be inserted into the passage:


This thought came to be known as the rule of uniformitarianism, and Herodotus was just the first to apply it.

One of the first recorded observers to estimate Earth’s relative age was the Greek historian Herodotus, who lived from approximately 480 B.C. to 425 B.C. █ [A] He realized that the Nile River Delta was in fact made up of a series of sediment deposits built up as a result of continuous floods. █ [B] He noted that individual floods deposit only thin layers of sediment, and he was then able to conclude that the Nile Delta had taken thousands of years to build up. █ [C] More important than Herodotus’s calculations of the Earth’s age, which are in fact trivial in comparison with the actual age of Earth, was the idea that one could estimate ages of geologic features by determining rates of the processes responsible for such features, and that it was possible to assume the rates to be roughly constant over time. █ [D] Similar applications of this concept were to be used time and time again in later centuries to estimate the age of the formation of rocks, in particular, of layers of sediment that had compressed and cemented to form sedimentary rocks..

  • [A]
  • [B]
  • [C]
  • [D]

10 Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

Deciding the period of Earth has been a troublesome issue ever of.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  • A.Herodotus endeavored to compute Earth’s age by watching residue stores, however, modem standards for evaluating Earth’s age from geologic procedures emerged from crafted by Steno and Hutton.
  • B.Gaps in the sedimentary record started to be perceived by Kant and were later clarified by physicists contemplating the amount of energy provided by the Sun.
  • C.Radio isotopic dating, made possible by the discovery of radioactivity, as well as the revelation of atomic fusion, cleared up misconceptions regarding as to Earth’s age and the source of the sun’s energy.
  • D. Hutton portrayed the impacts of wind and water on masses of inspired shake and was the first to propose that a significant part of the sedimentary record was missing because of disintegration.
  • E. Estimates of Earth’s age from the past were amazingly low in light of what we know today about the rates of geologic procedures, and evaluations of the Sun’s age and vitality source.
  • F. In the 1960s researchers moved from the investigation of shooting stars to refinements of sun-based advancement models and decided the age of the nearby planetary group to be no less than a billion years.

Answers on Next Page

TOEFL iBT | Reading | Anglo-Saxons

We’re back with a TOEFL iBT reading! In this blog, you’ll have a set of questions to answer followed by the answers which will be on page 2. In the video, I will break down 5 questions and show you how NOT to overanalyze. Although this could be difficult at first glance, by watching me break it down, you will gain confidence in answer the question. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

[1] In the fifth century AD, Britain was being attacked by the Irish, Pict and Germanic people from southern Denmark and Germany. These invaders were called Saxons. The term Anglo Saxon was developed in the eighth century. It was coined to distinguish between the British (Anglo) and the Germanic people (Saxons). The Roman-Britano leaders defended the land as best they could, but the invaders eventually began to settle into Britain. Irish kingdoms settled in both the west and north of the country. Meanwhile, the Angles, Saxons and Jute tribes took over the east part of Britain.
 

[2] Most of the information we have gathered about the Anglo-Saxons has been collected from cemeteries where personal possessions were placed. A graveyard in Suffolk is considered to be a royal cemetery of the East Anglian kings. A large oak ship was discovered here along with objects suggesting that the Swedes settled in this area.
 

[3] Although the Christian church suffered greatly from the invasions, it survived in the areas of Roman Britain that were not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons. Two missionaries came out of that church: Saint Nina from Scotland and Saint Patrick. Nina founded a church at Whithorn. Patrick is thought to have come from Wales where he was captured by Irish raiders. Having escaped home from slavery, he returned again to Ireland where he introduced Christianity to the Irish population. It is thought that he was buried in County Down in the late fifth century. St Columba was a later missionary who founded Derry and Durrow in Ireland. In 565 AD, he founded the monastery of Iona on an island west of the Isle of Mull in Scotland.
 

[4] One important source of sixth to eighth-century British history is the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, written by a monk, Venerable Bede. In his work, he explains how Pope Gregory (pope from 590 to 604 AD) sent a missionary called Augustine to England to found major churches in London and York. Augustine met Æthelberht, king of Kent, in 597AD who gave him land in Canterbury to build a church. Thus, Canterbury became the main center for English Christianity. Æthelberht and Edwin, king of Northumbria, both converted to Christianity.
 

[5] Britain was now divided into the kingdoms of Diera (Yorkshire), Bernicia (north)South Saxons (Sussex), East Angles (East Anglia), West Saxons (Wessex) and Mercians in the Midlands. Cornwall, Devon and Wales were independent and in Northern Ireland, there were smaller kingdoms. Some British kingdoms remained independent, including Cornwall and Devon in the south west, Gwynedd and Powys in modern Wales, and Strathclyde, in what is now the region of Glasgow.
 

[6] At this time, the Irish missionaries founded churches along the west coast of Scotland. Converts remained loyal to the Iona church, founded by Columba. However, a disagreement over the Christian calendar arose. King Oswiu decided for the Roman calendar over the Ionan calendar. From that point, Irish influence on the England church began to wane. Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury was appointed in 668 AD by Pope Vitalian. Theodore introduced Greek and established new dioceses.
 

[7] Irish and English missionaries continued to travel and convert in France, Italy and Germany. Great English missionaries included Egbert and Boniface who reorganized the church in Germany and Bavaria. The Northumbrian empire began to decline after 685AD. However, Northumbria remained a cultural crossing point between Rome, England and Ireland. Sculptor, poetry and a library of works remains from Northumbrian culture.

1 Paragraph 1 supports which of the following statements about the word Anglo-Saxon:

  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from two words, meaning British-German.
  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from the British term Saxon for invaders.
  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from the German word Saxon for the British.
  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from the Irish term Saxon for invaders.

2 According to paragraph 3, all of the following statements are true about the work of missionaries, EXCEPT:

  • Saint Nina was a Scottish missionary.
  • Saint Patrick was an Irish missionary who converted the people of Northern Ireland.
  • Saint Patrick may have been buried in Country Down in the fifth century.
  • Saint Columba established the Ionan monastery.

3 Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 3 about Christianity?

  • Christianity disappeared from Britain after the invasions.
  • Christianity did not survive in the areas not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons.
  • Christianity survived only in the areas not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons, but moved to Iona in 565 AD.
  • Christianity survived only in the areas not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons, and important missionaries came from those areas.

4 In paragraph 4, why does the author mention the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, written by a monk, Venerable Bede?

  • Because it sheds light on the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.
  • Because it sheds light on the history of Britain between the sixth and eight centuries.
  • Because it explains the work of the missionaries.
  • Because it describes the rise of the Canterbury church.

5 According to paragraph 5, what happened in Britain after 597 AD?

  • Britain was divided into several kingdoms, all dependent on one another.
  • Britain was divided into several kingdoms, all independent.
  • Britain was divided into several kingdoms and some remained independent.
  • Britain was united into one kingdom.

6 The word ‘decline’ in paragraph 7 is closest in meaning to:

  • Increase
  • Decrease
  • Get worse
  • Improve

7 Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the following sentence?

However, a disagreement over Christian calendar arose.

  • But a conflict emerged related to the Christian calendar.
  • But a conflict started over the Christmas calendar.
  • However, an agreement over the Christian calendar was impossible.
  • However, a dispute over the Christian calendar raged.

8 Which of the following is true, according to the passage?

  • The Christian church in Britain faced many challenges between the sixth and eighth centuries, but disintegrated after this time.
  • The Christian church worldwide faced many challenges between the sixth and eighth centuries, but continued to thrive.
  • The Christian church in Britain had many achievements between the sixth and eighth centuries, but disintegrated after this time.
  • The Christian church in Britain faced many challenges between the sixth and eighth centuries, but continued to thrive.

9 Examine the four █ in the selection below and indicate at which block the following sentence could be inserted into the passage:


Ionan followers became more isolated from the king whose allegiance was with the Roman church.

█ [A] However, a disagreement over the Christian calendar arose. █ [B] King Oswiu decided for the Roman calendar over the Ionan calendar. █ [C] From that point, Irish influence on the England church began to wane. █ [D] .

  • [A]
  • [B]
  • [C]
  • [D]

10Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

One important source of sixth to eighth century British history is the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, written by a monk, Venerable Bede.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  • A.The ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ by Venerable Bede is the most important book in British history.
  • B.Bede’s work sheds important light on British history between the sixth and eighth centuries.
  • C.Augustine was sent by the pope to establish new churches in Britain.
  • D.Because of his conversion to Christianity, King Æthelberht agreed to give Augustine the land for the church.
  • E.Augustine established the Canterbury church which became the hub of English Christianity.
  • F.The Canterbury Church became the seat of the British Monarchy.

Answers on next page!

TOEFL iTP | Reading – Intermediate | Algae

Welcome back to another super special! Very sorry to all my TOEFL iTPers out there, but I’ve been focusing heavily on iBT which is a good 30-50% of what you would see on your reading test. Good practice on those blogs, too! Nonetheless, what we have here today is an intermediate-level reading passage and I’ll make it into a video/podcast, too, so look down below for the links!

Algae is a primitive form of life, a single-celled or simple multiple-celled organism that is able to conduct the process of photosynthesis. It is generally found in water but can also be found elsewhere, growing on such surfaces as rocks or trees. The various types of algae are classified according to their pigmentation, or coloration.

Blue-green algae, or Cyanophyta, can grow at very high temperatures and under high-intensity light. This is a microscopic type of algae, and some species consist of only one cell. Blue-gree algae are the oldest form of life with photosynthetic capabilities and fossilized remains of this type of algae more than 3.4 billion years old have been found in parts of Africa.

Green algae, or Chlorophyta, is generally found in freshwater. It reproduces on the surfaces of enclosed bodies of water such as ponds or lakes and has the appearance of a fuzzy green coating on the water. In large quantities, this type of algae may reproduce enough to give a green color to an entire lake.

Brown algae, or Phaeophyta, grows in shallow, temperate water. This type of algae is the largest in size and is most recognizable as a type of seaweed; kelp is a type of brown algae that has grown to lengths of up to 200 feet. Its long stalks can be enmeshed on the ocean floor, or it can float freely on the ocean’s surface.

Red algae, or Rhodophyta, is a small, delicate organism found in the deep waters of the subtropics, where it often grows with coral. This type of algae has an essential role in the formation of coral reefs: it secrets lime from the seawater to foster the formation of limestone deposits.

Longman
  1. What is the author’s main purpose?
  • to show what color algae is
  • to differentiate the various classifications of algae
  • to describe where algae is found
  • to clarify the appearance of the different types of algae

2. Which of the following is NOT true about algae?

  • all types have only one cell
  • it can be found out of water
  • it can use photosynthesis
  • it is not a relatively new form of life

3. the word “pigmentation” in line 4 means

  • size
  • shape
  • composition
  • color

4. The word “microscopic” in line 6 is closest in meaning to

  • mechanical
  • tiny
  • visual
  • bacterial

5. Algae remnants found in Africa are

  • still flourishing
  • photogenic
  • extremely old
  • red in color

6. Green algae is generally found

  • on the ocean floor
  • on top of the water
  • throughout ponds and lakes
  • surrounding enclosed bodies of water

7. The word “coating” in line 10 could best be replaced by

  • clothing
  • covering
  • warmth
  • sweater

8. Brown algae would most likely be found

  • on trees
  • near green algae
  • on rocks
  • in the ocean

9. According to the passage, red algae is

  • study
  • huge
  • fragile
  • found in shallow water

10. it can be inferred from the passage that limestone deposits serve as the basis of

  • coral reefs
  • red algae
  • subtropical seawater
  • secret passages

11. How is the information in the paragraph organized

  • various details supporting a theory are explored
  • various classifications of a specific life form are described
  • various stages of the chronological development of a life form are presented
  • various elements that compose a certain life form are outlined

12. This passage would most probably be assigned reading in a course on

  • chemistry
  • physics
  • botany
  • zoology

Answers on page 2

Podcast – Coming soon

YouTube – Coming Soon

TOEFL iBT | Reading | Techniques for Complete The Summary & Reference Questions

Welcome to the first-ever TOEFL iBT Reading section! If you guys are reading this on my blog, the podcast and video are down below. If you’re reading this on Spotify, thank you so much for supporting my podcast! If you’re reading this on Facebook, welcome to the live show! In today’s episode, we’re going to go over the 2 first types of reading questions on TOEFL iBT and how to navigate your way through them. I know quite a few of you have difficulty with specific ones, so I’ll cover all of them individually. Let’s kick this off.

Reference Questions

A Reference question is the type of reading question that will take you less than 30 seconds to read both the question and all the options. Also, this is probably the easiest TOEFL reading question type. Especially if you follow the strategies from this lesson, you will almost always get the question right! 

Let’s look at an example:

[2] Many millions of years after ferns evolved (but long before the Hawaiian Islands were born from the sea), another kind of flora evolved on Earth: the seed-bearing plants. This was a wonderful biological invention. The seed has an outer coating that surrounds the genetic material of the new plant, and inside this covering is a concentrated supply of nutrients. Thus the seed’s chances of survival are greatly enhanced over those of the naked spore.


The word “This” in paragraph 2 refers to: 

  1. the spread of ferns and mosses in Hawaii
  2. the creation of the Hawaiian Islands
  3. the evolution of ferns
  4. the development of plants that produce seeds


As you can see, in a reference question, you will see a word, usually a pronoun highlighted in the passage. You are asked what the highlighted word refers to. If it’s a pronoun then you need to identify what word the pronoun is replacing. 

Here are highlighted words you might be asked about:

  1. Subject pronoun: it, they
  2. Object pronoun: it, them
  3. Demonstrative pronoun: these, those, this, that
  4. Possessive adjectives: its, their
  5. Other reference words: the former, the latter, one, ones, another, other, others


Now, it is important to remember that you don’t need a full understanding of the passage in order to solve this question type. You just need to study the context surrounding the word. Usually, you just read the sentence where the highlighted word is mentioned, and then read a few sentences that come before it. 

Next, you need to analyze the sentence structure and find out the answer. 

Usually, you will see two structure types:

  1. Two sentences separated by a period
  2. One sentence separated by a comma