TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 59 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.
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P1: The hard, rigid plates that form the outermost portion of the Earth are about 100 kilometers thick. These plates include both the Earth’s crust and the upper mantle. The rocks of the crust are composed mostly of minerals with light elements, like aluminum and sodium, while the mantle contains some heavier elements, like iron and magnesium. Together, the crust and upper mantle that form the surface plates are called the lithosphere. This rigid layer floats on the denser material of the lower mantle the way a wooden raft flats on a pond. The plates are supported by a weak, plastic layer of the lower mantle called the asthenosphere. Also like a raft on a pond, the lithospheric plates are carried along by slow currents in this more fluid layer beneath them.
P2: With an understating of plate tectonics, geologists have put together a new history for the Earth’s surface. About 200 million years ago, the plates at the Earth’s surface formed a “supercontinent” called Pangaea. When this supercontinent started to tear apart because of plate movement, Pangaea first broke into two large continental masses with a newly formed sea that grew between the land areas as the depression filled with water. The southern one-which included the modern continents of South America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctic- is called Gondwanaland. The northern one-with North America, Europe, and Asia-is called Laurasia. North America tore away from Europe about 180 million years ago, forming the northern Atlantic Ocean. Some of the lithospheric plates carry ocean floor and others carry land masses or a combination of the two types. The movement of the lithospheric plates is responsible for earthquakes, volcanoes, and the Earth’s largest mountain ranges. Current understating of the interaction between different plates explains why these occur where they do. For example, the edge of the Pacific Ocean has been called the “Ring of Fire” because so many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes happen there. Before the 1960’s, geologist could not explain why active volcanoes and strong earthquakes were concentrated in that region. The theory of plate tectonics gave them an answer.
1. With which of the following topic is the passage mainly concerned?
(A) The contributions of the theory of plate tectonics to geological knowledge
(B) The mineral composition of the Earth’s crust
(C) The location of the Earth’s major plates
(D) The methods used by scientists to measure plate movement
2. According to the passage, the lithospheric plates are given support by the
(A) upper mantle (B) ocean floor (C) crust (D) asthenosphere
3. The author compares the relationship between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere to which of the following?
(A) Lava flowing from a volcano (B) A boat floating on the water
(C) A fish swimming in a pond (D) The erosion of rocks by running water
4. . The word “one” in paragraph 2 refers to
(A) movements (B) masses (C) sea (D) depression
5. According to the passage, the northern Atlantic Ocean was formed when
(A) Pangaea was created
(B) Plate movement ceased
(C) Gondwanaland collided with Pangaea
(D) Parts of Laurasia separated from the each other
6.The word “carry” in paragraph 2 could best be replaced by
(A) damage (B) squeeze (C) connect (D) support
7. In paragraph 2, the word “concentrated” is closest in meaning to which of the following?
(A) allowed (B) clustered (C) exploded (D) strengthened
8. Which of the following can be inferred about the theory of plate tectonics?
(A) It is no longer of great interest to geologists.
(B) It was first proposed in the 1960’s.
(C) It fails to explain why earthquakes occur.
(D) It refutes the theory of the existence of a supercontinent.
9. The paragraph following the passage most probably discusses
(A) why certain geological events happen where they do
(B) how geological occurrences have changed over the years
(C) the most unusual geological developments in the Earth’s history
(D) the latest innovations in geological measurement