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Free TOEFL Reading Practice

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As my teacher said:

Reading in TOEFL exam has 3 sections itself. It will take our time about 1 hour.

It will be 3 academic reading (because TOEFL is usually for academic needs) based on one of these subjects:

1-Astronomy

2-Biology

3-Environment

4-Geology

5-History & Art

6- Social Science

We have 20 minutes to read and answer each section of reading.

An example for reading section in TOEFL with its 14 questions:

Reading Section

Directions: These sample questions in the Reading section measure your ability to
understand academic passages in English. You will read one passage and answer
questions about it. In a real test, you would have 20 minutes to read the passage and
answer the questions. Candidates with disabilities may request a time extension.

 

Meteorite Impact and Dinosaur Extinction

 
There is increasing evidence that the impacts of meteorites have had important effects on
Earth, particularly in the field of biological evolution. Such impacts continue to pose a
natural hazard to life on Earth. Twice in the twentieth century, large meteorite objects are
known to have collided with Earth.
5
If an impact is large enough, it can disturb the environment of the entire Earth and cause
an ecological catastrophe. The best-documented such impact took place 65 million years
ago at the end of the Cretaceous period of geological history. This break in Earth’s
history is marked by a mass extinction, when as many as half the species on the planet
became extinct. While there are a dozen or more mass extinctions in the geological

10
record, the Cretaceous mass extinction has always intrigued paleontologists because it
marks the end of the age of the dinosaurs. For tens of millions of years, those great
creatures had flourished. Then, suddenly, they disappeared.
The body that impacted Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period was a meteorite with a

15
mass of more than a trillion tons and a diameterof at least 10 kilometers. Scientists first
identified this impact in 1980 from the worldwide layer of sediment deposited from the
dust cloud that enveloped the planet after the impact. This sediment layer is enriched in
the rare metal iridium and other elements that are relatively abundantin a meteorite but
very rare in the crust of Earth. Even diluted by the terrestrial material excavated from the

20
crater, this component of meteorites is easily identified. By 1990 geologists had located
the impact site itself in the Yucatán region of Mexico. The crater, now deeply buried in
sediment, was originally about200 kilometers in diameter.
This impact released an enormous amount ofenergy, excavating a crater about twice as

25
large as the lunar crater Tycho. The explosion lifted about 100 trillion tons of dust into
the atmosphere, as can be determined by measuring the thickness of the sediment layer
formed when this dust settled to the surface.Such a quantity of material would have
blocked the sunlight completely from reaching the surface, plunging Earth into a period
of cold and darkness that lasted at least several months. The explosion is also calculated

30
to have produced vast quantities of nitricacid and melted rock that sprayed out over
much of Earth, starting widespread fires that must have consumed most terrestrial forests
and grassland. Presumably, those environmental disasters could have been responsible for
the mass extinction, including the death of the dinosaurs.
35
Several other mass extinctions in the geological record have been tentatively identified
with large impacts, but none is so dramatic as the Cretaceous event. But even without
such specific documentation, it is clear that impacts of this size do occur and that their
results can be catastrophic. What is a catastrophe for one group of living things, however,
may create opportunities for another group. Following each mass extinction, there is a

40
sudden evolutionary burst as new species develop to fill the ecological niches opened by
the event.
Impacts by meteorites represent one mechanism that could cause global catastrophes and
seriously influence the evolution of life all over the planet. According to some estimates,

45
the majority of all extinctions of species may be due to such impacts. Such a perspective
fundamentally changes our view of biological evolution. The standard criterion for the
survival of a species is its success in competing with other species and adapting to slowly
changing environments. Yet an equally importantcriterion is the ability of a species to
survive random global ecological catastrophes due to impacts.

50
Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting gallery, subject to random violent events that were
unsuspected a few decades ago. In 1991 the United States Congress asked NASA to
investigate the hazard posed today by large impacts on Earth. The group conducting the
study concluded from a detailed analysis thatimpacts from meteorites can indeed be

55
hazardous. Although there is always some risk that a large impact could occur, careful
study shows that this risk is quite small.

 


1. The word “pose” on line 2 is closest in meaning to
a. claim
b. model
c. assume
d. present

2. In paragraph 2, why does the author include the information that
dinosaurs had flourished for tens of millions of years and then suddenly
disappeared?
a. To support the claim that the mass extinction at the end of the
Cretaceous isthe best-documented of the dozen or so mass
extinctions in the geological record
b. To explain why as many as halfof the species on Earth at the time
are believed to have become extinct at the end of the Cretaceous
c. To explain why paleontologists have always been intrigued by the
mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous
d. To provide evidence that an impact can be large enough to disturb
the environment of the entire planet and cause an ecological
disaster

 

3. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 3 about the
location of the meteorite impact in Mexico?
a. The location of the impact site in Mexico was kept secret by
geologists from 1980 to 1990.
b. It was a well-known fact thatthe impact had occurred in the
Yucatán region.
c. Geologists knew that there had been an impact before they knew
where it had occurred.
d. The Yucatán region was chosenby geologists as the most probable
impact site because of its climate.

 
4. According to paragraph 3, how did scientists determine that a large
meteorite had impacted Earth?
a. They discovered a large craterin the Yucatán region of Mexico.
b. They found a unique layer of sediment worldwide.
c. They were alerted by archaeologists who had been excavating in
the Yucatán region.
d. They located a meteorite with a mass of over a trillion tons.

5. The word “excavating” on line 25 is closest in meaning to
a. digging out
b. extending
c. destroying
d. covering up

 
6. The word “consumed” on line 32 is closest in meaning to
a. changed
b. exposed
c. destroyed
d. covered


7. According to paragraph 4, all of the following statements are true of
the impact at the end ofthe Cretaceous period EXCEPT:
a. A large amount of dust blocked sunlight from Earth.
b. Earth became cold and dark for several months.
c. New elements were formed in Earth’s crust.
d. Large quantities of nitric acid were produced.

 
8. The phrase “tentatively identified” on line 36 is closest in
meaning to
a. identified after careful study
b. identified without certainty
c. occasionally identified
d. easily identified

9. The word “perspective” on line 46 is closest in meaning to
a. sense of values
b. point of view
c. calculation
d. complication


10. Paragraph 6 supports which of the following statements about the
factors that are essential for the survival of a species?
a. The most important factor for the survival of a species is its
ability to compete and adapt to gradual changes in its
environment.
b. The ability of a species tocompete and adapt to a gradually
changing environment is not the only abilitythat is essential for
survival.
c. Since most extinctions of species are due to major meteorite
impacts, the ability to survive suchimpacts is the most
important factor for the survival of a species.
d. The factors that are most important for the survival of a species
vary significantly from one species to another.

11. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the
following sentence?
Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting gallery, subject to random violent
events that were unsuspected a few decades ago.
Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential
information.
a. Until recently, nobody realized that Earth is exposed to
unpredictable violent impacts from space.
b. In the last few decades, the risk of a random violent impact from
space has increased.
c. Since most violent events on Earth occur randomly, nobody can
predict when or where they will happen.
d. A few decades ago, Earth became the target of random violent
events originating in outer space.

 
12. According to the passage, who conducted investigations about the
current dangers posed by large meteorite impacts on Earth?
a. Paleontologists
b. Geologists
c. The United States Congress
d. NASA

13. Look at the four letters (A, B, C, and D) that indicate where the
following sentence could be added to the passage in paragraph 6.
This is the criterion emphasized by Darwin’s theory of
evolution by natural selection.
Where would the sentence best fit?
Impacts by meteorites represent one mechanism that could cause
global catastrophes and seriously influence the evolution of life all
over the planet. (A)According to some estimates, the majority of all
extinctions of species may be due to such impacts. (B)Such a
perspective fundamentally changes our view of biological evolution.
(C)The standard criterion for the survival of a species is its success
in competing with other species and adapting to slowly changing
environments. (D)Yet an equally important criterion is the ability of
a species to survive random global ecological catastrophes due to
impacts.
Choose the place where the sentence fits best.
a. Option A
b. Option B
c. Option C
d. Option D

14. An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is
provided below. Completethe 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.
Write your answer choices in the spaces where they belong. You can
write in the number of the answer choice or the whole sentence.
Scientists have linked the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous with a
meteorite impact on Earth.



Answer choices
(1) Scientists had believed for centuries that meteorite activity influenced
evolution on Earth.
(2) The site of the large meteoriteimpact at the end of the Cretaceous
period was identified in 1990.
(3) There have also been large meteorite impacts on the surface of the
Moon, leaving craters like Tycho.
(4) An iridium-enriched sediment layer and a large impact crater in the
Yucatán provide evidence that a large meteorite struck Earth about
65 million years ago.
(5) Large meteorite impacts, such as one at the end of the Cretaceous
period, can seriously affect climate, ecological niches, plants, and
animals.
(6) Meteorite impacts can be advantageous for some species, which
thrive, and disastrous for other species, which become extinct.

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