TOEFL iTP | Reading | Vocabulary Questions | Supernova

We’re back with some more vocabulary questions! As you may already know, I upload podcasts just 4 times a week now because I’m focusing on bigger projects, nor do I believe I need to upload so often. So, I hope you’re enjoying the schedule so you have time to digest each episodes! And in saying that, let’s dive in!

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A supernova occurs when all of the hydrogen in the core of a huge star is transformed to iron and explodes. All stars die after their nuclear fuel has been exhausted. Stars with little mass die gradually, but those with relatively large mass die in a sudden explosion, a supernova. The sudden flash of light can then be followed by several weeks of extremely bright light, perhaps as much light as twenty million stars.

            Supernovas are not very common; they occur about once every hundred years in any galaxy, and in 1987 a supernova that could be seen by the naked eye occurred in the Magellan Cloud, a galaxy close to the Milky Way. Scientists periodically detect supernovae in other galaxies; however, no supernovae have occurred in the Milky Way (the galaxy that includes the Earth) since 1604. One very impressive supernova occurred in the Milky Way on July 4, 1054. There was a great explosion followed by three months of lighted skies, and historical chronicles of the time were full of accounts and unusual explanations for the misunderstood phenomenon – many people believed that it meant that the world was coming to an end.

  1. A “supernova” in line 1 is which of the following?
  1. The iron component of a star
  2. The core of a star
  3. The hydrogen in a star
  4. Th explosion of a star
  • According to the passage, which of the following best describes the “Magellan Cloud” in line 7?
  1. A galaxy inside the Milky Way
  2. A cloud composed of Hydrogen
  3. A galaxy near the Earth’s galaxy
  4. A cloud in the sky above the Earth
  • The Milky Way in line 9 is
  1. Part of the earth
  2. A galaxy close to the earth
  3. The galaxy that is home to the earth
  4. A creamy-colored cloud in the sky
  • Which of the following is closest in meaning to “phenomenon” in line 12?
  1. Everyday occurrence
  2. Misunderstood event
  3. Common belief
  4. Unusual occurrence

TOEFL iTP | Reading | The Coelacanth Fish

We’re back! It’s been SOOO LONG since I’ve done one of these, but it has reemerged from the dead! So many of my Mexicans and Indonesians have checked out my blog over the past 2 years, and the numbers continue to climb. So, I wanted to come back and do more!

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Unlike these fish, which are actually extinct, the coelacanth is a type of fish that was believed to be extinct. However, an unexpected twentieth-century rediscovery of living coelacanths has brought about a reassessment of the status of this prehistoric sea creature that was believed to have long since disappeared from the Earth.

            From fossil remains of the coelacanth, paleontologists have determined that the coelacanth was in existence around 350 million years ago, during the Paleozoic Era, more than 100 million years before the first dinosaurs arrived on Earth. The most recent fossilized coelacanths date from around 70 million years ago, near the end of the Mesozoic Era and near the end of the age of dinosaurs. Because no fossilized remnants of coelacanths from the last 70 million years have been found, the coelacanth was believed to have died out around the same time as the dinosaurs.

            The prehistoric coelacanth studied by paleontologists had distinctive characteristics that differentiated it from other fish. It was named for its hollow spine and was known to have been a powerful carnivore because of its sharp teeth many and a special joint in the skull that allowed the ferocious teeth to move in coordination with the lower jaw. It also had a pair of fins with unusual bony and muscular development that allowed the coelacanth to dart around the ocean floor. These fins also enable the coelacanth to search out prey trying to hide on the ocean bottom.

            In 1938, a living specimen of the coelacanth was discovered in the catch of a fishing boat off the coast of South Africa, and since then, numerous other examples of the coelacanth have been found in the waters of the Indian Ocean. This modern version of the coelacanth is not exactly the same as its prehistoric cousin. Today’s coelacanth is larger than its prehistoric relative, measuring up to six feet in length and weighing up to 150 pounds. However, the modern version of the coelacanth still possesses the characteristic hollow spine and distinctive fins with their unusual bony and muscular structure.

  1. The passage is about a fish
  1. That is extinct
  2. That once was extinct
  3. That is becoming extinct
  4. That, surprisingly, is not extinct

  1. 1. It can be inferred from the passage that the first dinosaurs most likely appeared on Earth around
  1. 150 million years ago.
  2. 250 million years ago.
  3. 350 million years ago.
  4. 450 million years ago.

  1. Coelacanths were believed to have died out after existing for
  1. 70 million years
  2. 140 million years
  3. 280 million years
  4. 350 million years
  • It can be inferred from the passage that the word coelacanth comes from the Greek for
  1. Extinct fish
  2. Hollow spine
  3. Sharp teeth
  4. Bony fingers
  • What is stated in the passage about the prehistoric coelacanth?
  1. It was a rather feeble fish
  2. It lived on plants
  3. It had a few teeth
  4. It moved its teeth in an unusual way
  • The pronoun “it” refers to
  1. Coelacanth
  2. Joint
  3. Coordination
  4. Jaw
  • According to the passage, why are scientists sure that the prehistoric coelacanth was a flesh-eater?
  1. Because of its hollow spine
  2. Because of the size of the skull
  3. Because of the shape and movement of the teeth
  4. Because of its unusual bony and muscular development
  • How many modern coelacanths have been found?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only a few
  4. Quite a few
  • What is NOT true about the prehistoric coelacanth, according to the passage?

  • It was smaller than the modern coelacanth
  • It measured as much as six feet in length.
  • It weighed less than 150 pounds.
  • It had a hollow spine and distinctive fins.
  1. Which paragraph describes the earlier version of the coelacanth?
  1. The first paragraph
  2. The second paragraph
  3. The third paragraph
  4. The fourth paragraph

Answers in video and podcast down below!


TOEFL iTP | Reading | Narcolepsy

We’re finally back with this TOEFL iTP Reading! There was a delay in doing the blog, so I apologize, but you guys now have it! Let’s get into it.

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Narcolepsy is a disease characterized by malfunctioning sleep mechanics. It can consist of a sudden and uncontrollable bout of sleep during daylight hours and disturbed sleep during nighttime hours. It occurs more often in men than in women, and it commonly makes its appearance during adolescence or young adulthood. At least a half million Americans are believed to be affected by narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy can take a number of forms during daylight hours. One common symptom of the disease during daytime hours is a sudden attack of REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep during normal waking hours. This occurs in some people hundreds of times in a single day, while others only have rare occurrences. During a sleep attack, narcoleptics may experience automatic behavior; even though asleep. They may, for example, continue walking, or driving, or stirring a pot until the activity is interrupted by external forces. Others experience cataplexy during daytime hours; cataplexy involves a sudden loss of muscle tone that may cause the head to droop or the knees to wobble in minor attacks or a total collapse in more serious attacks. Cataplexy seems to occur most often in conjunction with intense emotion or excitement.

During sleep hours, narcolepsy can also manifest itself in a variety of ways. During the transitional phase that precedes the onset of sleep, it is common for hallucinations to occur. These hallucinations, known as hypnagogic phenomena, consist of realistic perceptions of sights and sounds during the semi-conscious state between wakefulness and sleep. Narcoleptics may also suffer from night wakening during sleep, resulting in extremely fragmented and restless sleep. Then, upon waking, a narcoleptic may experience sleep paralysis, the inability to move, perhaps for several minutes, immediately after waking.

  1. which of the following would be most appropriate title for the passage?
  • a good night’s sleep
  • a cure for narcolepsy
  • An unusual sleep disturbance
  • hallucinations during sleep

2. The word “malfunctioning” in line 1 is closest in meaning to

  • improperly working
  • regularly waking
  • incorrectly classifying
  • harshly interpreting

3. At which of the following ages would a person be most likely to develop narcolepsy?

  • 10
  • 20
  • 30
  • 40

4. Approximately how many narcoleptics are there in the United States?

  • Fewer than 500,000
  • More than 500,000
  • Fewer than 1.5 million
  • More than 1.5 million

5. The word “bout” in line 2 is closet in meaning to

  • symptom
  • lack
  • illness
  • period

6. Which of the following involves a complete collapse?

  • automatic behavior
  • cataplexy
  • hallucinations
  • REM sleep

7. When would hypnagogic phenomena most likely occur?

  • just after going to bed
  • in the middle of the night
  • soon after waking
  • after getting up

8. Which is the following would be most likely to occur during daily activities?

  • automatic behavior
  • hallucinations
  • night wakening
  • sleep paralysis

9. Where in the passage does the author describe what seems to precipitate a sudden loss of muscle tone?

  • lines 12-14
  • lines 14-15
  • lines 16-17
  • lines 20-22

Answers in podcast!

TOEFL Listening | Discussion | Interdisciplinary Program

Welcome back, everyone! We’re back with uploads, and you can either work from the bottom up or star from the top and work towards the bottom. In today’s segment, we have a discussion — Interdisciplinary Program. I believe you guys will do well in this, so let me know how it goes!


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!