3 TOEFL Reading Questions

Are you concerned about TOEFL Reading issues? As easy as this section of the test may seem easy, there are some “pranks” that can end up deceiving you, not to mention the race against time to read and answer everything. To help you, we’ve selected 3 questions from this part of the test, going through some of the most common types of questions.

Question 1

Human anatomy is the scientific study of the body’s structures. Some of these structures are very small and can only be observed and analyzed with the assistance of a microscope.Other larger structures can readily be seen, manipulated, measured, and weighed. The word “anatomy” comes from a Greek root that means “to cut apart.” Human anatomy was first studied by observing the exterior of the body and observing the wounds of soldiers and other injuries. Later, physicians were allowed to dissect bodies of the dead to augment their knowledge. When a body is dissected, its structures are cut apart in order to observe their physical attributes and their relationships to one another. Dissection is still used in medical schools, anatomy courses, and in pathology labs.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.5

Question: The word augment is closest in meaning to

A. Prove
B. Increase
C. Validate
D. Spread

This is a vocabulary question, one of the types of TOEFL Reading questions. In this category, you are asked about the closest meaning or sense of a word or phrase, and you have 4 answer options. Therefore, you need to be able to understand the meaning of the word in the context in which it is used in the passage.

In this question, alternative B is correct, since increase is closer to the meaning of augment . Spread is similar in the sense of making something bigger, but spread denotes that something spreads, while augment , in this case, implies an increase in volume / size.

Question 2

[…] Finally, for a fear to truly be a phobia, it must be recurring. That is, if the man on the plane had flown before without incident and continued to use planes after this one panic attack without experiencing further bouts of unreasonable fear, then he would not be said to be suffering from a phobia. A true aviophobic could never contemplate flying in any form without experiencing severe symptoms of acute nervousness. In this case, the man’s single onset of severe panic would most likely be viewed as symptomatic of some other mental disorder, perhaps brought on by unrelated stresses in his life. Obviously, the fact that phobias are recurring fears, or rather, that they involve constant fear of the object of the phobia, should not be taken to mean that the fear can never be overcome. A person who is suffering from a phobia may,

Question: According to the author, in paragraph 4, what might be one cause of a single instance of a phobic-like episode?

A. Seeing plane crashes on the news
B. Watching too much violent television
C. Possessing a desire for public attention
D. Having too much stress in one’s life

This is a question about one detail, another of the TOEFL Reading question types. This type always asks for information that is specifically stated in a small part of the passage. The questions usually focus on “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why”, as explained by the author.

Here, alternative D is the correct one. This is because the information for this option is declared directly in the text. Alternative A is incorrect: watching plane crashes in the news is mentioned as something that can cause non-phobic nervousness in airline passengers. B and C, on the other hand, are not mentioned in the passage.

Question 3

Thus, American slaves soon found that music was one of the few methods of expressing themselves that their masters would permit and even encourage, as many of the slave owners found it pleasant to have slaves who could play music for them in the evenings. However, the plantation owners naturally wished to listen to music from their own culture, as well as to what they considered slave work songs. As a result, many slaves learned to play Western instruments and began to pick up Western songs, such as European dance music. European dance music at that time was characterized by harmony, or the playing of notes simultaneously to create a pleasing sound, an element previously lacking in the slave songs. It did not take long for blacks to begin experimenting with ways in which harmonic elements could be fused with the more tribal rhythms of the music of their own culture. The result of these experiments was the first type of jazz, known as the blues. The blues took their name from the reliance on blue notes, which are notes that are played at a lower pitch than would normally be expected in classical European music.

Question: Why does the author mention European dance music in paragraph 2?

A. To describe one influence that helped turn African slave songs into jazz
B. To argue that European dance music was inferior to jazz’s antecedents
C. To provide an example of a type of music that contrasts sharply with jazz
D. To explain why slave owners found the music of their slaves refreshing

The TOEFL Reading questions also ask about the objective, as in the case of the question above. This type of question requires you to understand why the author included some information. The answer is not stated directly in the passage. To resolve them, then, you need to understand the main point of the paragraph and how the information requested relates to the main point of the passage.

In this question, the correct answer is alternative A, since the purpose of the passage is to draw a line of jazz development . Alternative B is illogical, and European dance music was one of the antecedents of jazz . Likewise, option C is wrong, as the author does not explicitly compare European dance music to jazz. Finally, alternative D is incorrect because European dance music was known to slave owners, that is, it was not new.

3 TOEFL Reading questions