Reading Practice Test 58 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 58 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

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Reading Directions: This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English.

The Reading section is divided into separately timed parts.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question for each passage is worth more than 1 point. The directions for the last question indicate how many points you may receive. You will now begin the Reading section. There are three passages in the section. You should allow 20 minutes to read each passage and answer the questions about it. You should allow 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

Passage 1: 

P1: Seventeenth-century houses in colonial North America were simple structures that were primarily functional carrying over traditional designs that went back to the Middle Ages. During the first half of the eighteenth century, however, houses began to show a new elegance. As wealth increased, more and more colonists built fine houses. Since architecture was not yet a specialized profession in the colonies, the design of buildings was left either to amateur designers or to carpenters who undertook to interpret architectural manuals imported from England. Inventories of colonial libraries show an astonishing number of these handbooks for builders, and the houses erected during the eighteenth century show their influence. Nevertheless, most domestic architecture of the first three-quarters of the eighteenth century displays a wide divergence of taste and freedom of application of the rules laid down in these books. Increasing wealth and growing sophistication throughout the colonies resulted in houses of improved design, whether the material was wood, stone, or brick. New England still favored wood, though brick houses became common in Boston and other towns, where the danger of fire gave an impetus to the use of more durable material. A few houses in New England were built of stone, but only in Pennsylvania and adjacent areas was stone widely used in dwellings. An increased use of brick in houses and outbuildings is noticeable in Virginia and Maryland, but wood remained that most
popular material even in houses built by wealthy landowners. In the Carolinas, even in closely packed Charleston, wooden houses were much more common than brick houses.

P2: Eighteenth-century houses showed great interior improvements over their predecessors. Windows were made larger and shutters removed. Large, clear panes replaced the small leaded glass of the seventeenth century. Doorways were larger and more decorative. Fireplaces became decorative features of rooms. Walls were made of plaster or wood, sometimes elaborately paneled. White paint began to take the place of blues, yellows, greens, and lead colors, which had been popular for walls in the earlier years. After about 1730, advertisements for wallpaper styles in scenic patterns began to appear in colonial newspapers.

1.What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) The improved design of eighteenth-century colonial houses.

(B) A comparison of eighteenth-century houses and modern houses.

(C) The decorations used in eighteenth-century houses.

(D) The role of carpenters in building eighteenth-century houses.

2. What was one of the main reasons for the change in architectural style in eighteenth-century North America?

(A) More architects arrived in the colonies.

(B) The colonists developed an interest in classical architecture.

(C) Bricks were more readily available.

(D) The colonists had more money to spend on housing.

3. According to the passage, who was responsible for designing houses in eighteenth-century North America?

(A) Professional architects                                    (B) Customers

(C) Interior decorators                                           (D) Carpenters.

4. The passage implies that the rules outlined in architectural manuals were

(A) generally ignored                                             (B) legally binding

(C) not strictly adhered to                                                                            (D) only followed by older builders

5. The word “divergence” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) description                (B) development             (C) difference                  (D) display

6. The word “durable” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) attractive                   (B) expensive                  (C) refined                      (D) long-lasting

7. Where was stone commonly used to build houses?

(A) Virginia                      (B) Pennsylvania             (C) Boston                      (D) Charleston

8. The word “dwellings” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) houses                      (B) towns                        (C) outbuildings              (D) rural areas

9. The word “predecessors” in paragraph 2 refers to

(A) colonist who arrived in North America in the seventeenth century.

(B) houses constructed before the eighteenth century

(C) interior improvements

(D) wooden houses in Charleston

10. The author mentions elaborately paneled walls in line 26 as an example of

(A) how the interior design of colonial houses was improved.

(B) why walls were made of wood or plaster.

(C) How walls were made stronger in the eighteenth century.

(D) What kind of wood was used for walls after 1730.

11. The word “elaborately” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) done in great detail                                          (B) put together carefully

(C) using many colors                                           (D) reinforced structurally

12.What does the author imply about the use of wallpaper before 1730?

(A) Wallpaper samples appeared in the architectural manuals.

(B) Wallpaper was the same color as the wall paints used

(C) Patterned wallpaper was not widely used.

(D) Wallpaper was not used in stone house.

13. Where in the passage does the author give a reason why brick was the preferred material for houses in some urban areas?

(A) […] during the eighteenth century show their influence. Nevertheless, most domestic architecture of the first three-quarters of the eighteenth century displays a wide divergence of taste and freedom of application of the rules laid down in these books. […]
(B) […] houses of improved design, whether the material was wood, stone, or brick. New England still favored wood, though brick houses became common in Boston and other towns, where the danger of fire gave an impetus to the use of more durable material. A […]

(C) […] areas was stone widely used in dwellings. An increased use of brick in houses and outbuildings is noticeable in Virginia and Maryland, but wood remained that most popular material even in houses built by wealthy landowners. In the Carolinas, even in […]

(D) […] predecessors. Windows were made larger and shutters removed. Large, clear panes replaced the small leaded glass of the seventeenth century. Doorways were larger and […]

Reading Practice Test 58 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
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