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

Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6 | Investment | Tips for Saving Money

Here’s a pre-investment podcast — podcast — for all of you out there. I came across a very informational video that brought the spotlight on my money and finances, especially over the year.  As you probably know, shutdowns had begun early last year and the majority of the world was caught-off-guard, including me. So, instead of being proactive, I was reactive. I didn’t have an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of rent saved up. I didn’t have travel expenses saved up, or even the stipend for a pretty expensive visa. So, I had to work in overdrive to cover expenses and that was three months of stress.

After watching this video and in the midst of the second shutdown, I’m very excited about the “how to” save for a rainy day. Tune into the podcast before we dive into the beginning stages of investing!

Podcast

TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Structure Mini-test #1

Welcome back to another full mini-test podcast! In today’s podcast, I will be covering a number of different sentences (as seen down below if you’re reading this blog) and break down each individual segment. You guys are going to enjoy this because this will be a round-up of all the past TOEFL iTP podcasts I’ve done, so make sure you refer back! We’re on the homestretch before we get into the Written Expression phase, so let’s kick this off with a BANG!

1. ________ by Anna Baldwin in 1878.

a. The invention of the vacuum milking machine

b. That the vacuum milking machine was invented

c. The vacuum milking machine, which was invented

d. The vacuum milking machine was invented


2. Dry cleaning is the process ________ clothes are cleaned in liquids other than water.

a. by

b. which through

c. by which

d. through


3. Sand dunes are made of loose sand _______ up by the action of the wind. a. it builds

b. builds

c. is building

d. built

4. ______________ book Jubilee, which was based on the life of her great-grandmother, Margaret Walker was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

a. For her

b. Her

c. It was her

d. That her


5. Job specialization takes place ___________ of production is separated into occupations.

a. whenever the work is

b. when the work

c. is when the work

d. whenever working


6. _________ are hot is a common misconception.

a. All deserts

b. All deserts which

c. Of all deserts

d. That all deserts


7. ___________ imaginative stories about the origin of the game of chess.

a. Many of the

b. Many

c. There are many

d. Of the man


8. _____________ one of Canada’s greatest engineering projects, is a twenty-seven-mile long waterway between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

a. Because the Welland Ship Canal is

b. The Welland Ship Canal is

c. That the Welland Ship Canal is

d. The Welland Ship Canal,


9. A deep-tissue massage is a type of massage therapy ____________ on one part of the body, such as the lower back.

a. its concentration is

b. concentrating

c. why it concentrates

d. to be concentrated


10. One of the most powerful optical telescopes, the “Big Eye” at Mt. Palomar, ___________ a two-hundred-inch mirror.

a. has

b. that has

c. with

d. which


11. Elfego Baca, ___________ legendary Mexican-American folk hero, was a lawman in New Mexico in the late 1880s.

a. a

b. who, as a

c. was a

d. and he was a


12. __________ relatively inexpensive, the metal pewter can be fashioned into beautiful and useful objects.

a. Even it is

b. Despite

c. Nevertheless, it is

d. Although


13. _____________ is a general category that includes all mental states and activities.

a. What do psychologists call cognition

b. Psychologists call it cognition

c. What psychologists call cognition

d. Cognition, as it is called by psychologists, which


14. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote four novels, __________ The Scarlet Letter, became an American literary classic.

a. of which one,

b. which one

c. one of which,

d. one was


15. _____________ about four years for a new aircraft model to move from the preliminary design stage to the full-production stage.

a. It takes

b. Taking

c. That takes

d. To take

Podcast

Answers next page

TOEFL iBT | Reading | Evolution of Language

Welcome back to another reading! We’re here with a TREMENDOUS read and with me breaking down the entire passage, yet again! I love doing these, especially for my students on my membership site. So, in saying that, it’s time to dive into this! Here’s the reading passage down below!

[1]  Linguistic evolution, both biological and the evolution of language as a changing system of communication, is a subject of debate. The biological plausibility of linguistic evolution has not had linguists on the center-stage of the debate. Recently language itself has come to be studied as an evolutionary process meeting all of the criteria perfectly: fragments of language are replicators, are subject to mutation, and are subject to selection.

[2]  Human language’s origin has been discussed for several centuries, however, there is still no consensus about the age or origin of human language. This is because there is a lack of direct evidence available. Scholars who have studied the origins of language have had to draw inferences from other kinds of evidence. Due to the shortage of empirical evidence, many scholars find the topic unsuitable for serious study. In fact, in 1866, the Linguistic Society of Paris placed a ban on existing and future debates on the topic which lasted in most of the western world until the late twentieth century. However, since the early 1990s, a growing number of scientists have attempted to use new methods to try and solve what some consider “the hardest problem in science”.

[3]  The two focuses of the studies being conducted are language development and biological preconditions.  It is accepted that language development is a process that begins early in human life.  When infants are born they have no language to communicate with, but by the age of 4 months, they can discriminate different speech sounds and begin to babble. There has even been research showing that the fetus starts to recognize the sound and speech patterns of its mother’s voice in utero.

[4]  The recognition of speech sounds and patterns followed by attempts to recreate the sounds to communicate is the beginning of acquiring productive language.  This begins by the child using gestures and vocalizations to let others know their intent. As they learn and develop, new forms of vocalization take over and words are learnt to express the same concept as the gestures in a more easily understood format. This development of language shows that it is a learned behavior, but there is a biological aspect to the ability to acquire language that is being explored as well.

[5]  Evolutionary biologists are skeptical of claims made saying syntactic knowledge is transmitted in the human genome. Many non-biologists are of the belief that the ability to learn spoken language was developed through evolutionary processes and are able to be passed down genetically.  The ability to understand and speak human language is a combination of speech production skills, speech production abilities, and multisensory integration of sensory processing abilities.

[6]  One issue that is debated vehemently is whether the biological contribution includes capacities specific to language acquisition, also referred to as universal grammar. One hypothesis, argued by Noam Chomsky, is that children have language-specific abilities innately that facilitate and constrain language learning. Chomsky proposed humans are biologically pre-wired to learn a language at specific times in certain ways. However, since his development of the Minimalist Program, his latest version of the theory of syntactic structure, has reduced the element of universal grammar to the principle of recursion, therefore, voiding the original endeavor.

[7]  Researchers who follow the belief that grammar is learned instead of innate hypothesize the learning of language results from general cognitive abilities and the interactions between the learners and the people they interact with.  There have also been suggestions that it is the relatively slow growth development of the prefrontal cortex that allows humans to learn a language, unlike other species. Since the prefrontal cortex grows at a slower rate than other animals, more neuropathways are able to be formed within the brain.

Questions

1 According to paragraph 1, language meets all of the following criteria EXCEPT

  • fragments of language are replicators
  • fragments of language are subject to being multiplied
  • fragments of language are subject to mutation
  • fragments of language are subject to selection

2 In paragraph 2, the author includes the phrase “hardest problem in science”. What is the purpose of including this statement?

  • to voice an opinion of the subject
  • to demonstrate the struggles of the scientists
  • to give insight into how the subject is viewed by many scientists
  • to imply the importance of the topic

3 According to the passage, what is the focus of studies? Select 2 answers

  • universal grammar
  • language development
  • syntactic knowledge
  • biological preconditions

4 What can be inferred from paragraph 3?

  • language is vital to the development of children even in utero
  • human brains develop more quickly than perviously thought
  • it is important for a mother to think about how they talk while pregnant
  • infants in utero are more developed than previously thought

5 The word ‘they’ in paragraph 4 refers to:

  • researchers
  • the child
  • the mother
  • biologists

6 Which sentence is most similar to the following sentence from paragraph 5?

Many non-biologists are of the belief that the ability to learn spoken language was developed through evolutionary processes and are able to be passed down genetically.

  • the belief that the ability to learn spoken language was developed by evolutionary processes and can be passed down genetically is held by many non-biologists
  • non-biologists believe that the ability to learn a spoken language is genetically inherited
  • many non-biologists believe the ability to learn spoken language is passed down genetically because it was developed by evolution
  • non-biologists believe evolution is the reason humans are able to learn spoken language

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

  • intense
  • angry
  • cautious
  • logical

8 According to the passage, why was the topic of linguistic evolution banned from debate?

  • the mystery was already solved
  • there was not a solid theory
  • the lack of empirical evidence
  • no new evidence was being found at the time

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

Due to language being susceptible to mutation, the reliance on interaction between humans can result in a misunderstanding creating a new type of communication within the language.

█ [A] Researchers who follow the belief that grammar is learned instead of innate hypothesize the learning of language results from general cognitive abilities and the interactions between the learners and the people they interact with. █ [B] There have also been suggestions that it is the relatively slow growth development of the prefrontal cortex that allows humans to learn language unlike other species. █ [C] Since the prefrontal cortex grows at a slower rate than other animals, more neuropathways are able to be formed within the brain. █ [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.

a. the lack of empirical evidence invites questionability about the accuracy of evidence

b. it is likely a mixture of both biological and learned behaviors that allow humans to acquire verbal language

c. scientists of different specialties cannot agree on if the ability to learn human speech is inherited

d. linguists are not in the main part of the debate about linguistic evolution

e. linguistic evolution is divided into the two different emphasis

f. linguistic evolution is divided into three different emphasis

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Answering a Variety of Overview Questions

Welcome back to another TOEFL iTP Reading! In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to be looking over a variety of different overview questions to test you. There are 16 in total with 8 on here and the other 8 will be on my TOEFL iTP Badge, priced at $50 a month with two coaching hours. Make sure you contact me for more information!

Questions

American folk music originated with ordinary people at a time when the rural population was isolated and music was not yet spread by radio, audios, compact disks, or music DVDs. It was transmitted by oral tradition and is noted for its energy, humor, and emotion impact. The major source of early American folk songs was music from the British Isles, but songs from Africa as well as songs of the American Indians have a significant part in its heritage. Later settlers from other countries also contributed songs. In the the nineteenth century, composer Stephen Foster wrote some of the most enduringly popular of all American songs, which soon became part of the folks tradition. Beginning in the 1930’s, Woody Guthrie gained great popularity by adapting traditional melodies and lyrics supplying new ones as well. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, singer-composers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Joan Bae continued this tradition by creating “urban” folk music. Many of these songs dealt with important social issues, such as racial integration and the war in Vietnam.

  1. The primary purpose of this passage is to..
  • trace the development of American folk music
  • explain the oral tradition
  • contrast the styles of folk musicians
  • point out the influence of social issues on “urban” folk music

The answer would be A, trace the development of American folk music. The first sentence outlined its origination. Then it talked about how it was used. It went into the source of American folk songs, talking about Africa and American Indians. Then, settlers began their contribution and went into specifics in regards to Stephen Foster — his songs ultimately becoming park of folk tradition. Woody Guthrie became popular with his contribution to folk shortly after. Other big names continued the tradition by creating urban folk music.

So, in saying that, all of the above details pertained to the development of folk music. Oral tradition was a small detail in the second sentence. Contrasting styles wasn’t mentioned and Bob Dylan’s “urban folk” was a very small part of the concluding sentence at the very end. None of them were the PRIMARY PURPOSE.

Every scientific discipline tends to develop its own special language because it finds ordinary words inadequate, and psychology is no different. The purpose of this special jargon is not to mystify non-psychologists; rather, it allows psychologists to accurately describe the phenomena they are discussing and to communicate with each other effectively. Of course, psychological terminology consists in part of everyday words such as emotion, intelligence, and the motivation, but psychologists use these words somewhat differently. For example, laymen use the term anxiety to mean nervousness or fear, but most psychologists reserve the term to describe a condition produced when one fears events over which one has no control.

2. The main topic of this passage is….

  • effective communication
  • the special language of psychology
  • two definitions of the word anxiety
  • the jargon of science

Gifford Pinchot was the first professionally trained forester in the United States. After he graduated from Yale in 1889, he studied forestry in Europe. In the 1890’s he managed the forest on the Biltmore estate in North Caroline (now Pisgah National Forest) and became the first to practice scientific forestry. Perhaps his most important contribution to conservation was persuading President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside millions of acres in the West as forest reserves. These lands now make up much of the national parks and national forests of the United States. Pinchot became the Chief Forester of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905. Although he held that post for only five years, he established guidelines that set forest policy for decades to come.

3. The passage primarily deals with….

  • Gifford Pinchot’s work on the Biltmore Estate
  • the practice and theory of scientific forestry
  • the origin of national parks and national forests in the United States
  • the contributions Gifford Pinchot made to American forestry

Off-broadway theater developed in New York City in about 1950 as a result of dissatisfaction with conditions on Broadway. Its founders believed that Broadway was overly concerned with producing safe, commercially successful hit plays rather than drama with artistic quality. Off-Broadway producers tried to assist playwrights, directors, and performers who could not find work on Broadway. Off-Broadway theaters were poorly equipped, had limited seating, and provided few conveniences for audiences. But the originality of the scripts, the creativity of the performers, and the low cost of tickets made up for these disadvantages, and off-Broadway theater prospered. However, by the 1960’s, costs began to rise and by the 1970’s, off-Broadway theater was encountering many of the difficulties of Broadway and had lost much of its vitality. With its decline, an experimental movement called off-off-Broadway theater developed.

4. What is the main idea of this passage?

  • After initial success, off-Broadway theater began to decline.
  • Off-Broadway theaters produced many hit commercial plays
  • Theaters on Broadway were not well equipped
  • Off-Broadway plays were highly creative

5. The paragraph that follows this passage most likely deals with

  • the help off-Broadway producers provided directors, playwrights, and performers
  • methods off-Broadway theaters used to cope with rising prices
  • the development of off-off-Broadway theater
  • the decline of Broadway theater

At the time of the first European contact, there were 500 to 700 languages spoken by North American Indians. These were divided into some 60 language families, with no demonstrable genetic relationship among them. Some of these families spread across several of the seven cultural area. The Algonquin family, for instance, contained dozens of languages and occupied a vast territory. Speakers of Algonquin languages included the Algonquins of the Eastern Woodland, the Blackfoots of the Plains, and the Wiyots and Yuroks of California. Other language families, like Zuni family of the Southwest, occupied only a few square miles of area and containued only a single tribal language.

6. What is the main idea of this passage?

  • Each of the cultural areas was dominated by one of the language families
  • The Zuni language is closely related to the Alongquin language
  • There is considerable diversity in the size and the number of languages in language families of the North American Indians.
  • Contact with Europeans had an extraordinary effect on the languages of the Indian tribes of North America.

Other major changes in journalism occurred around this time. In 1846, Richard Hoe invented the steam cylinder rotary press, making it possible to print newspapers faster and cheaper. The development of the telegraph made possible much speedier collection and distribution of news. Also, in 1846, the first wire service was organized. A new type of newspaper appeared around this time, one that was more attuned to the spirit and needs of the new America. Although newspapers continued to cover politics, they came to report more human interest stories and to record the most recent news, which they could not have done before the telegraph. New York papers and those of other norther cities maintained corps of correspondents to go into all parts of the country to cover newsworthy events.

7. The main purpose of the passage is to……

  • present a brief history of American journalism
  • outline certain developments in mid-19th-century journalism
  • explain the importance of the steam cylinder rotary press
  • present some biographical information about Richard Hoe

8. What is the most probable topic of the paragraph preceding this one?

  • other types of rotary presses
  • alternatives to using wire services
  • newspapers that concentrated on politics
  • other developments in journalism

Answers on next page

YouTube

Podcast

TOEFL iBT | Listening | Discussion | Summer Trip

Welcome back to the first-ever edition of TOEFL iBT Lecture! I’ve obviously done the discussions before, but it’s time for the wondrous lectures…and in today’s lecture, we have a summer-trip. Two people discussing details of a trip…but how are you doing to be able to take notes throughout the lecture? Listen to my notes in the podcast (or notes on video) and let’s answer these questions!

Planning trip for children to New York

Concern – transportation — lodging figured out

How will the get there

Budget restrictions? — the less the better

Train, buses, or just flying

Flying most expensive but quickest

Rule that one out

Nervous parents because kids haven’t flown before

Buses are usual and they have taken them alot

train is exciting

parents won’t worry about trains

trains are faster

bus at mercy of traffic

Bus you can stop whenever you want

train won’t allow stopping

kids have to get up and run around a while

How many children — 60

Split them into two groups: choose or assign them. One group take bus, other take train

Questions

  1. Why does the student speak with the event director?
  • to get permission to host an event
  • to ask questions about working in the event direction division
  • to discuss a trip that she’s planning for children
  • to learn more about the various events that happen

2. Which of the following is NOT an option that the student lists for travel?

  • driving personal cars
  • taking the train
  • taking the bus
  • taking an airplane

3. Which of the following is an advantage of taking the bus?

  • the bus might get caught up in traffic
  • the bus can make stops whenever necessary
  • the bus is something exciting that kids are not accustomed to
  • the bus is free

4. What course of action does the student settle on thanks to the event director?

  • the student decides that they will all take the train
  • the student decides that they will all take the bus
  • the student decides that half of the students will take the bus and half will take the train
  • the student decides to cancel the trip and plan something else instead

5. Why does the student think that the option of flying should be ruled out?

  • she knows that many kids come from families that can’t afford expensive means of travel
  • she feels the parents might get anxious because many kids have no experience with flying
  • she believes there are better ways than flying to make use of the trip’s budget
  • she considers flying unnecessary since there’s no rush involved at any point during the trip

Podcast

{Patreon Special} TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Structure Mini-test #1

Full TOEFL iTP Mini-test! Questions 1-15 are now available on my TOEFL iTP Badge (plus coaching and other perks). It will debut to the public on February 10th, so if you want it now, now’s the time!

Welcome back to another full mini-test podcast! In today’s podcast, I will be covering a number of different sentences (as seen down below if you’re reading this blog) and break down each individual segment. You guys are going to enjoy this because this will be a round-up of all the past TOEFL iTP podcasts I’ve done, so make sure you refer back! We’re on the home stretch before we get into the Written Expression phase, so let’s kick this off with a BANG!

Here’s a tester for you guys….what’s the answer?

  1. __ by Anna Baldwin in 1878.
    a. The invention of the vacuum milking machine
    b. That the vacuum milking machine was invented
    c. The vacuum milking machine, which was invented
    d. The vacuum milking machine was invented

Patreon

TOEFL iBT | Reading | Full Lesson | Household Pests

Who’s ready for a full, crazy reading lesson? In the first of its kind, I have the FULL RUNDOWN for you guys today. We’re going to go through all these questions together and pray we can make it through. I would’ve like to make this live, but premiere’s are better because I can speak to you while the video is going. Nonetheless, the lesson is on household pests, and after all the reading techniques, let’s see if you got what it takes to succeed!

[1] Including almost 10 million species and representing over 90% of life on planet Earth, insects are ubiquitous. And while humans live peacefully side by side with most insect species, some pose a threat to human activity and habitats. You need only to consider the damage caused by insects to agricultural crops, and the ramifications for food security and agricultural economies, to understand their potential to wreak havoc. But it is not only the food we grow that can be threatened by insects; our homes themselves may be impacted. And while many pests – such as cockroaches and beetles – are regarded as disgusting and unseemly on our floors and walls, others may be outright damaging and threaten the value of a homeowner’s property. Two such pests are ants and termites.
 

[2] To a homeowner, termites can pose a significant threat. As detritivores, termites consume dead plant matter, which includes the wood we use in construction. Thus a colony of termites may undermine the strength of timber foundations, chew through walls, and hollow out stairs in a matter of months. This not only damages the home itself, but also creates safety hazards for the human occupants. Another insect capable of chewing through wood is the humble ant. Ants may put their well-deserved reputation for industriousness to work on more than just your house; they are also attracted to foods in the home and, left unchecked, can quickly become a terrible nuisance in the kitchen or garbage areas.
 

[3] Of course, pests such as termites and ants can be prevented, controlled, and eradicated, primarily through the use of chemical compounds that are toxic to the pests. These chemical compounds combat the insects at a biological level. Most compounds are composed of a pesticide, a dilutant, a particulate, a thickening agent, and a surfactant system. The pesticide is the toxic chemical that kills the pest, while the dilutant ensures that the compound does not endanger its human users (still, direct exposure is not recommended). The particulate agent suspends the pesticide within the dilutant, and the thickening agent serves to make the compound easier to apply to infested areas. Finally, the surfactant lowers the surface tension of the compound, further facilitating application.
 

[4] When it comes to pesticides, application is key. More specifically, the compound must be applied in the correct location, either exterior to the home or on the interior. Exterior application of a pesticide will help to prevent future pests from entering the structure. This commonly involves applying a compound to outside walls, porches, and window areas. Interior application can be more challenging, since insects seek out nesting areas which are relatively inaccessible to humans. This includes hollow spaces between walls, soft spots beneath floors, and hard-to-reach corners in cabinets and other furniture. Interior application is meant to eliminate those pests which have already infested a home. Thus effective pest control involves both prevention and eradication. While many homeowners choose to take the problem into their own hands and apply pesticides themselves, others choose to support the burgeoning pest control industry, hiring professionals who have the knowledge and equipment to ensure that compounds are applied safely.
 

[5] Exactly how big of a threat to termites and ants pose to homeowners? Global statistics are difficult to compile, but it is estimated that in the southwestern U.S. alone termites cause approximately 1.5 billion dollars in damage each year. The scale of the problem is such that the pesticide and pest control industries are growing, and entire communities have undertaken measures to control and eradicate these insects.
 

[6] While biochemical solutions remain highly effective methods of pest control, there is growing opposition to the use of chemicals in and around human habitation. The move toward “organic” food – that grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides – has helped to raise awareness of the potential health risks of such chemicals. Thus natural pest control, relying on non-toxic methods and compounds, is becoming more popular. Natural methods may utilize plants or even other insects to ward off or eliminate pests. Particular plants are known to repel particular insects; for example, crushed mint leaves are touted as an effective ant deterrent.

bestmytest.com

Questions

  1. The word “others” in paragraph 1 refers to…
  • cockroaches and beetles
  • pests
  • floors and walls
  • homeowners

2. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 1?

  • a majority of the world’s insects cause problems to humans.
  • insects’ damage to homes is a greater problem than their damage to agriculture
  • insects are the most common type of animals on the planet
  • cockroaches and beetles are commonly misunderstood by humans

3. The word ‘unchecked’ in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to:

  • inside
  • uncontrolled
  • persistent
  • bothered

4. Which of the following components helps to make applying the pesticides easier?

  • particulate
  • dilutant
  • pesticide
  • surfacant

5. According to paragraph 4, which of the following is true of the interior application of pesticides?

  • it is more dangerous than exterior application
  • it helps to prevent an infestation from happening
  • it is more difficult than exterior application
  • it is not very effective

6. In paragraph 4, the author mentions “hard to reach corners in cabinets and other furniture as an example of

  • common points of entry for insect infestations
  • areas which should be avoided when applying pesticide
  • key pathways for insects within a home
  • possible nesting areas for pests

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

While many homeowners choose to take the problem into their own hands and apply pesticides themselves, others choose to support the burgeoning pest control industry, hiring professionals who have the knowledge and equipment to ensure that compounds are applied safely.

  • Homeowners may work alongside pest control professionals to support the safe and effect application of pesticide.
  • Some homeowners choose to support the pest control industry, which hires knowledgeable and safe professionals who can assist the homeowner in applying pesticides
  • Some homeowners deal with pests on their own, but others seek professional help for a higher level of safety
  • Even though the pest control industry is growing some people do not wish to hire professionals and instead attempt to control pests themselves.

8. In paragraph 5, why does the author mention “1.5 billion dollars in damage?”

  • to lend support to community-wide pest control solutions
  • to prove that estimating the impact of pests is difficult
  • to introduce the idea of natural pest control methods
  • to illustrate the extent of the problem caused by termites and ants

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

Another natural approach involves altering the timing or pattern of lighting, since this appears to disrupt the insects’ breeding habits.

While biochemical solutions remain highly effective methods of pest control, there is growing opposition to the use of chemicals in and around human habitation. █ [AThe move toward “organic” food – that grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides – has helped to raise awareness of the potential health risks of such chemicals. █ [B] Thus natural pest control, relying on non-toxic methods and compounds, is becoming more popular. Natural methods may utilize plants or even other insects to ward off or eliminate pests █ [C] Particular plants are known to repel particular insects; for example, crushed mint leaves are touted as an effective ant deterrent. █ [D] .

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.

Termites and ants are pests that can damage homes by chewing through wood.

?????

a. the pest control industry is growing rapidly, and pest control professionals can help ensure safe application of pesticides.

b. pesticides may be applied outside the home for prevention and within the home to kill existing insects

c. pests do a lot of damage to homes every year, and some people are turning to more natural methods of pest control

d. pesticides alone have been found to be less effective than pesticides used in combination with natural methods of pest control

e. compounds used to eliminate pests are typically comprised of several key ingredients

f. besides damaging homes, insects can cause significant damage to agricultural crops and food supplies

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Answering Main Idea/Main Topic Topic Questions

We’ve got a super special for you today! I know a lot of my Indonesians LOVEEE my blogs on TOEFL iTP, so now we’re getting into the techniques on how to answer main idea/main topic/main purpose questions. Remember, there are questions available on my TOEFL iTP Badge! Make sure you get all the exclusive material, podcasts, training for $50 a month!

Directions: I would like you to read the following passages and then mark each answer choice according to the following system:

  • s – too specific
  • g – too general
  • x – incorrect
  • i – irrelevant
  • c – correct

Let me walk you through the first passage down below.

{example} There are two main types of cell division. Most cells are produced by a process called mitosis. {example} In mitosis, a cell divides and forms two identical daughter cells, each with an identical number of chromosomes. Most one-celled creatures reproduce by this method, as do most of the cells in multi-celled plants and animals. Sex cells, however, are formed in a special type of cell division called meiosis. {example} This process reduces the number of chromosomes in a sex cell to half the number found in other kinds of cells. Then, when sex cells unite, they produce a single cell with the original number of chromosomes.

  1. What is the main topic of this passage?
  • The method by which one-celled organisms reproduce
  • A comparison between mitosis and meiosis
  • Meiosis, the process by which identical cells are produced.

“The method by which one-celled organisms reproduce” is a specific detail.

“A comparison between mitosis and meiosis” is the correct answer. The first sentence states “there are two main types” before mentioning mitosis and giving a definition and example of it. After that, it mentions sex cells and how they’re from a different cell division called Meiosis, then follows the definition and example. This would be the main topic because it covers the entire paragraph.

“Meiosis, the process by which identical cells are produced” is incorrect. It says nothing about meiosis producing “identical” cells. The produce single cells.

Your Turn

The last gold rush belongs as much to Canadian history as it does to American. The discovery of gold along the Klondike River, which flows from Canada’s Yukon Territory into Alaska, drew some 30,000 fortune hunters to the north. The Yukon became a territory, and its capital of the time. Dawson, would not have existed without the gold rush. The gold strike furnished material for a dozen of Jack London’s novels. It inspired Robert Service to write “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and other poems, and it provided the background for the wonderful Charlie Chaplin movie, The Gold Rush. It also marked the beginnings of modern Alaska.

This author’s main purpose in writing is to….

  • discuss the significance of mining in Canada and the United States
  • show the influence of the Klondike gold strike on the creative arts
  • point out the impact of the Klondike gold strike

The keystone arch was used by almost every early civilization. to build a keystone arch, stones are cut so that the opposite sides taper toward each other slightly. The upper and lower surfaces are carved so that when several stones are placed side by side, the upper and lower surfaces meet in smooth, continuous curves. Some form of scaffolding is built under the arch and shaped to accept the curved underside of the stones. Then the stones are fitted in place one by one. They keystone is the top center stone, the last to be dropped into position. Afterwards, the scaffolding is removed and the arch is self-supporting.

The passage mainly concerns the….

  • basic principles of building keystone arches
  • uses of arches in modern architecture
  • role of scaffolding in building keystone arches

Circumstantial evidence is evidence not drawn from the direct observation of a fact. If, for example, there is evidence that a piece of rock embedded in a wrapped chocolate bar is the same type of rock found in the vicinity of the candy factory, and that rock of this type is found in new other places, then there is circumstantial evidence that the stone found its way into the candy during manufacture and suggests that the candy-maker was negligent. Despite a popular notion to look down on the quality of circumstantial evidence, it is of great usefulness if there is enough of it and if it is properly interpreted. Each circumstance, taken singly, may mean little, but a whole chain of circumstances can be as conclusive as direct evidence.

What is the author’s main purpose in this passage?

  • to show that a manufacturer’s negligence can be shown by direct evidence only
  • to define circumstantial evidence and show its usefulness
  • to demonstrate that circumstantial evidence can be very useful in science

The Northwest Ordinance was passed by Congress in 1787. It set up the government structure of the region north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvanian, then called the Northwest Territory. It set the conditions under which parts of the territory could become states having equality with the older states. But the ordinance was more than just a plan for government. The law also guaranteed freedom of religion and trial by jury in the territory. It organized the territory into townships of 36 square miles and ordered a school to be built for each township. It also abolished slavery in the territory. The terms were so attractive that thousands of pioneers poured into the territory. Eventually, the territory became the states of Ohio, Indian, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

What is the main topic of this passage?

  • the structure of government
  • the provisions of an important law
  • the establishment of schools in the northwest territory

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TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Items Involving Misplaced Modifiers

A misplaced modifier is a participial phrase or other modifier that comes before the subject, but does not refer to the subject.

Look at this sentence:

  • Driving down the road, a herd of sheep suddenly crossed the road in front of Liza’s car. (INCORRECT)

This sentence is incorrect because it seems to say that a herd of sheep — rather than Liza — was driving down the road. The participial phrase is misplaced. The sentence could be corrected as shown:

  • As Liza was driving down the road, a herd of sheep suddenly crossed the road in front of her. (CORRECT)

This sentence now correctly has Liza in the driver’s seat instead of the sheep.

So, with that being said, the following sentence structures in the table down below are often misplaced.

Misplaced StructureExampleCorrection
Present ParticipleWalking along the beach, the ship was spotted by the men. Walking along the beach, the men spotted the ship
Past ParticipleBased on this study, the scientist could make several
conclusions.
Based on this study, several conclusions could be made
by the scientist.
AppositiveA resort city in Arkansas, the population of Hot Springs
is about 35,000.
A resort city in Arkansas, Hot Springs has a
population of about 35,000.
Reduced Adjective
Clause
While peeling onions, his eyes began to water.While he was peeling onions, his eyes began to water.
Adjective PhrasesWarm and mild, everyone enjoys the climate of the
Virgin Islands.
Everyone enjoys the warm, mild climate of the Virgin
Islands.
Expressions with like
or unlike
Like most cities, parking is a problem in San Francisco.Like most cities, San Francisco has a parking problem.
COMPLETE TOEFL IBT

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