TOEFL IBT PRACTISE TEST 33 FROM MASTERING SKILLS FOR TOEFL IBT

TOEFL IBT PRACTISE TEST 33 FROM MASTERING SKILLS FOR TOEFL IBT

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TASK I


Directions: Listen to Track 86.

Directions: Now answer the questions.

1.What are the speakers mainly discussing?

  • Getting financial aid for college
  • Planning a student’s course schedule for the next four years
  • Taking courses during the summer session
  • Differences in admissions requirements between Hooper University and two other schools

2.Why does the student want to take classes at City College?

  • Because Hooper University does not offer the classes he wants
  • Because City College classes cost less money than ones at Hooper University
  • So that he can take classes on the weekend
  • So that he can graduate from Hooper University early

3. Why will the man probably take only two courses?

  • Students are limited to two summer courses.
  • He can attend classes only on Saturday and Sunday.
  • His financial aid will pay for only two courses.
  • His summer job will keep him from taking more than two courses.

4. What will Ms. Brinker probably do for the man? Choose 2 answers.

  • Give the man a student ID number
  • Give the man a financial aid form
  • Help the man figure out which classes to take                                                                              .
  • Help the man apply to Hooper University
  • Put the man’s information into the City College admission system

5.Listen to Track 87.

  • The man waited too long to apply to City College
  • The man should not attend Hooper University.
  • The man will be able to do what he wants to do.
  • The man is very unlucky.

World History

 

Directions: Now answer the questions.

6.What is the main purpose of the lecture?

  • To compare the study of world history to the study of United States history
  • To explain to the students their next assignment
  • To explain different approaches to the study of world history
  • To explain the origins of history as an academic discipline

7.Why does the professor mention the Western-Heritage Model used in her high school?                                                                                                          y

  • To explain why she prefers using the model
  • To emphasize that the model was widely used in the past
  • To correct an error in a student’s description of the model
  • To compare high school history courses to college history courses

8.According to the professor, what is an advantage of the Different-Cultures Model?

  • It focuses on the history of the United States.
  • It is based upon the most widely researched theories.
  • It includes the history of a variety of cultural groups.
  • It makes thematic connections across different cultural groups.

9. What aspect of Islamic civilization will the professor likely discuss in the course?

  • A succession of Islamic rulers
  • The ancient origins of Islamic architecture
  • The isolation of European cultures from Islamic influence
  • Islamic elements in African cultures

10.Match each of the topics below with the type of world history course in which it would most likely be discussed.

Write your answer choices in the spaces where they belong

The Western-Heritage Model The Different-Cultures Model The Patterns-of-Change Model

Answer Choices

  • The contributions of Native American art to United States culture
  • The independent discovery of printing techniques in Asia and Europe
  • Ancient Roman foundations of the United States legal system

11. Listen to Track 89.

  • She doubts that the course will fulfill the students’ expectations.
  • She hopes that the students selected the course because of their interest.
  • She is pleased that the course will fulfill the requirements.
  • She is worried that the students might not be familiar with the course requirements.

Environmental Science

Directions: Now answer the questions.

12.What does the professor mainly discuss? .

  • A common weather pattern in the southern Great Plains region
  • Factors that created an ecological and human disaster
  • Farming techniques introduced during the Dust Bowl era
  • The erosion of grasslands by excessive rainfall

13. What happened during the agricultural expansion in the southern Great Plains?

  • People improved the soil by planting wheat.
  • Raising cattle and other livestock became less common.
  • Most of the landowners became farmers.
  • Much of the grassland was destroyed.

14.What point does the professor make when he mentions that good topsoil takes thousands of years to form?

  • It takes a long time to ruin good topsoil.
  • It was wrong to believe that land could not be damaged.
  • Farmers should not have moved on to other places.
  • Plowing the land creates good topsoil faster than natural processes do.

15.Why does the professor mention that drought is often blamed as the cause of the Dust Bowl?

  • To explain that many tenant farmers had to leave their land before the Dust Bowl era
  • To emphasize that the Dust Bowl resulted mainly from soil erosion
  • To show why the local population increased when rainfall returned to normal
  • To prove that the drought was the worst on record at that time

16.According to the professor, what did the Soil Erosion Act do to improve soil conservation? Choose 2 answers.

  • It provided special equipment for farmers.
  • It encouraged farmers to use better farming techniques.
  • It turned damaged farmland into permanent grassland.
  • It increased the variety of crops grown on each farm. .

17.Listen to Track 91.

  • To ask the students for their opinions
  • To express uncertainty about a historical situation
  • To emphasize a point he has just made
  • To correct an earlier statement

 

Directions: Now answer the questions.

18.Why does the man go to see the woman?

  • To ask her to talk to his professor about an exam
  • To get help completing an assignment
  • To get help understanding why he is having trouble in his classes
  • To ask her opinion about which class he should take

19.What does the man imply about his Spanish class?

  • He helps other students in the class.
  • He is doing well in the class.
  • He cannot complete all the assignments.
  • He needs to study more for the class.

20. What problem does the man have with his reading assignments? ‘

  • He is not interested in what he reads.
  • He cannot memorize definitions of terms.
  • He is overwhelmed by the amount he has to read.
  • He has difficulty identifying what is important information.

21. Why does the woman tell the man about her own experience as a student?

  • To make him aware that other students have similar problems
  • To encourage him to spend more time studying at the library
  • To explain the importance of remembering details
  • To convince him to take a study-skills course

22.What recommendations does the woman make about what the man should do? Choose 2 answers.

  • Underline definitions in the text as he reads
  • Write a summary of what he reads
  • Read the text twice
  • Find additional texts on his own

Astronomy

23.What is the lecture mainly about?

  • How astronomers found the correct interpretation for a certain observation
  • How astronomers distinguish between two kinds of nebulae
  • Various improvements to the telescope over the last 300 years
  • An old problem in astronomy that remains unsolved

24.According to the lecture, how did distant galaxies appear to eighteenth-century astronomers?

  • Like the moons of planets
  • Like small clouds
  • Like variable stars
  • Like bright points of light

25.What could astronomers better estimate once they knew what nebulae really were?

  • The diameter of variable stars
  • The density of cosmic dust
  • The size of the universe
  • The average number of planets in a galaxy

26.According to the professor, what did a 1920s telescope allow astronomers to do for the first time?

  • Study the moons of Jupiter
  • Observe gamma-ray bursters
  • Reject the dust theory of nebulae
  • Prove that galaxies are surprisingly small .

27.What did eighteenth-century astronomers have in common with astronomers today?

  • They could not explain everything they detected with their instruments.
  • They knew the correct distances of objects they could not identify.
  • Their instruments were not powerful enough to detect spiral nebulae.
  • They argued over the natural brightness of variable stars.

28. Listen to Track 94.

  • She is certain about the correct answer.
  • She is now aware that her original idea had a weakness.
  • She is not convinced that the professor is right.
  • She thinks that the professor misunderstood what she said earlier.

Art History

Directions: Now answer the questions.

29.What is the lecture mainly about?

  • Various painting techniques
  • Ways to determine the purpose of a piece of art
  • How moral values are reflected in art
  • How to evaluate a piece of art

30. According to the professor, what did ancient Greek philosophers value in a work of art?

  • An accurate imitation of life
  • An unusual perspective on life
  • The expression of complex emotions
  • The use of symbolism

31. Why does the professor talk about personal taste?

  • To point out its importance in the evaluation of art
  • To help students understand the meaning of aesthetics
  • To show that personal taste and aesthetics are the same
  • To help explain art from different cultures

32.Why does the professor mention wheels and spheres?

  • To illustrate how movement can be expressed in a piece of art
  • To demonstrate that objects are more important than colors in a piece of art
  • To give an example of objects that have symbolic significance
  • To explain why some objects rarely appear in works of art

33.  The professor mentions 4 formal steps used in examining a piece of art. Place the steps in order from first to last.

Write your answer choices in the space where they belong. You can either write the letter of your answer choice or you can copy the sentence.

1
2
3
4

 

TASK II: Fill in the blank

TRACK 86 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Listen to a conversation between a student and an admissions officer at City College.
Student
Hi. Can I ask you a few questions about starting classes during your […………………………..] […………………………..]?
Admissions officer
Sure. Ask away! It starts next week, you know.
Student
Yeah, and I want to get some […………………………..]courses out of the way so I can … maybe I can […………………………..]one term earlier and get out into the job market sooner.
Admissions officer
That sounds like a good idea. Let me pull up the summer school […………………………..]on my computer here…
Student
OK.
Admissions officer
OK, there it is. What’s your student ID number?
Student
Oh, well, the thing is … I’m not actually […………………………..]here. I’ll be starting school upstate at […………………………..]University in the fall. But I’m down here for the summer, staying with my […………………………..], ’cause I have a summer job near here.
Admissions officer
Oh, I see, well…
Student
So I’m […………………………..]luck?
Admissions officer
Well, you would be if you were starting anywhere but Hooper. But City College has a sort of special […………………………..]with Hooper… a full exchange […………………………..]… so our students can take classes at Hooper and […………………………..] […………………………..]. So if you
Listening TOEFL
can show me proof um, your admissions letter from Hooper, then I can get you into our system here and give you an ID number.
Student
Oh, cool. So … um … I wanna take a math course and a science course—[…………………………..] biology. And I was also hoping to get my English […………………………..] course out of the way, too.
Admissions officer
Well all three of those courses are […………………………..]in the summer, but you’ve gotta understand that summer courses are […………………………..]—you meet longer hours and all the assignments are […………………………..]up because … it’s the same amount of information […………………………..]and tested as in a regular term, but it’s only six weeks long. Two courses are considered full time in summer term. Even if you weren’t working, I couldn’t let you register for more than that.
Student
Yeah, I was half expecting that. What about the […………………………..]? Are classes only offered during the day?
Admissions officer
Well, during the week, we have some classes in the daytime and some at night, and on the weekends, we have some classes all day […………………………..]or all day […………………………..]for the six weeks.
Student
My job is pretty flexible, so one on a weekday and one on a weekend shouldn’t be any problem. OK, so after I bring you my […………………………..]letter, how do I sign up for the classes?
Admissions officer
Well, as soon as your student ID number is […………………………..]and your information is in our admissions system, you can register by phone almost […………………………..].
Student
What about financial aid? Is it possible to get it for the summer?
Admissions officer
Sorry, but that’s something you would’ve had to work out long before now. But the good news is that the […………………………..]for our courses is about half of what you’re going to be paying at Hooper.
Student
Oh, well that helps! Thank you so much for answering all my questions. I’ll be back tomorrow with my letter.
Admissions officer
I won’t be here then, but do you see that […………………………..]sitting at that desk over there? That’s Ms. Brinker. I’ll leave her a note about what we […………………………..], and she’ll get you started.
Student
Cool.
TRACK 88 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Listen to part of a lecture in a world history class.
Professor
In any introductory course, I think it’s always a good idea to step back and ask […………………………..]”What are we studying in this class, and why are we studying it?”
So, for example, when you looked at the title of this course in the […………………………..] “Introduction to World History”—what did you think you were getting into .. . what made you sign up for it—besides filling the […………………………..]requirement?
Anyone…?
Male student
Well . . . just the—the history—of everything . . . you know, starting at the beginning .. . with … I guess, the […………………………..]and […………………………..]… the Middle Ages, the […………………………..]. .. you know, that kinda stuff… like what we did in high school.
Professor
OK … Now, what you’re describing is one […………………………..]to world history.
In fact, there are several […………………………..]—basic “models” or “[…………………………..]frameworks” of what we study when we “do” history. And what you studied in high school—what I call the “Western-Heritage Model,” this used to be the most common approach in U.S. high schools and […………………………..]… in fact, it’s the model I learned w.th, when I was growing up back—oh, about a hundred years ago …
Uh … at […………………………..] High School, up in Maine … I guess it made sense to my teachers back then—since, well, the history of western Europe was the cultural […………………………..]of everyone in my class … and this remained the […………………………..]approach in most U.S. schools till … oh, maybe … 30, 40 years ago … But it doesn’t take more than a quick look around […………………………..]—even just this classroom today—to see that the student body in the U.S.
is much more […………………………..]than my little class in Middletown High .. . and this WesternHeritage Model was […………………………..]replaced by—or sometimes […………………………..]Wjth_one or more of the newer approaches … and I wanna take a minute to […………………………..]these to you today, so you can see where this course fits in.
OK … so … up until the […………………………..]century, the basic purpose of most world- history courses was to learn about a set of values … […………………………..]… ideas … which were considered the “heritage” of the people of Europe—things like … […………………………..]… legal systems … types of social organization … artistic […………………………..]…
Now as I said, this model gives us a rather limited view of history. So, in the […………………………..] and 70s it was combined with-or replaced by-what I call the “DifferentCultures Model.” The ’60s were a period in which people were demanding more relevance in the […………………………..], and there was […………………………..]of the European focus that you were likely to find in all the academic […………………………..]. For the most part, the Different-Cultures Model didn’t challenge the basic […………………………..]of the Western-Heritage Model. What it did was insist on representing other […………………………..]and cultural […………………………..], in addition to those of western Europe …
In other words, the […………………………..]of all people: not just what goes back to the Greeks and Romans, but also the origins of African . .. Asian … Native American civilizations. Though more […………………………..], it’s still, basically, a “heritage model” … which brings us to a third […………………………..], what I call the “Patterns-of-Change Model.”
Like the Different-Cultures Model, this model presents a wide cultural […………………………..]. But, with this model, we’re no longer limited by notions of fixed cultural or geographical […………………………..]. So, then, studying world history is not so much a question of how a particular nation or ethnic group […………………………..], but rather it’s a look at common themes—[…………………………..]… trends—that cut across modern-day borders of nations or […………………………..]groups. In my opinion, this is the best way of studying history, to better understand current-day trends and conflicts.
For example, let’s take the study of the […………………………..]world. Well, when I first learned about Islamic civilization, it was from the perspective of […………………………..]. Now, with the Patterns-of-Change Model, we’re looking at the past through a wider lens. So we would be more interested, say, in how […………………………..]with Islamic civilization—the religion … art… literature—affected cultures in Africa … India … Spain … and so on.
Or… let’s take another example. Instead of looking at each […………………………..]group as having a […………………………..], […………………………..]development from some ancient origin, in this course we’ll be looking for the common themes that go beyond cultural or regional distinctions. So . . . instead of studying … a particular […………………………..]of British kings … or a dynasty of Chinese […………………………..]… in this course, we’ll be looking at the broader concepts of […………………………..], imperialism … and political […………………………..].

TRACK 90 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Listen to part of a lecture in an environmental science class.
Professor
OK, now let’s talk about another […………………………..]concern—soil […………………………..]. It’s a major problem, all around the world. Sometimes erosion […………………………..]soil so severely that the land can no longer be […………………………..]and it’s just […………………………..]. That happened in a big way right here in the United States. Some of you have probably read the novel The Grapes of Wrath. And maybe you remember that the story took place in the […………………………..], during the time of what was called the […………………………..].
Dust Bowl is a term we use to describe an […………………………..]and human disaster that took place in the southern Great Plains region. For nearly eight years, dust and sand blew […………………………..]the area and covered everything. It was so bad it even made breathing and eating difficult… and farmers could only look on […………………………..]as their crops were […………………………..]and the land … and their lives… […………………………..].
Now, there’d always been […………………………..]and strong winds in that region. But that was OK because the native […………………………..]had deep roots in the ground that were able to hold the soil in place. So the wind wasn’t able to, you know, erode the soil too badly. This changed, though, between […………………………..]and […………………………..]. Agriculture was expanding […………………………..]then and lots of farmers in the […………………………..]Great Plains wanted to grow wheat and otheir crops they could sell for […………………………..]—uh, crops that would be […………………………..]. So they ripped up much of the […………………………..]to plant these crops like wheat, which don’t hold the soil down nearly as well. At the same time, […………………………..]—uh, cattle, too many of them—were […………………………..]on grasses in the area and […………………………..]a lot of the grassland. So these animals caused even more […………………………..]of the soil.
It didn’t help that many of the […………………………..]owners of the land were not living anywhere near the area a lot of the […………………………..]lived way back east, and […………………………..]the land to local people who lived on the land and worked on it, but, um, didn’t have much reason to take really good care of it. I mean, it wasn’t their land, right? The tenant farmers weren’t really interested in […………………………..]someone else’s soil—not for the long term, anyway.
Also, some thought the land couldn’t really be […………………………..]—you know, that the soil was so rich and deep that… it didn’t matter if the topsoil, the soil on the surface, blew away. They thought they could just plow up more. But they were wrong. Good top- soil takes a long time to form it can […………………………..]take thousands of years to create good […………………………..]that will grow vegetation—and a very short time to ruin it. So after only a few years of […………………………..]plowing, the land pretty much couldn’t be farmed anymore. And people moved on to other places and let the old areas just sit there. And when they didn’t plant anything
Listening TOEFL
on that land, that made it […………………………..]to even more erosion. So it was kind of a […………………………..]cycle, you could say.
Another problem, […………………………..], was that advances in technology were actually destroy¬ing the land, instead of improving it. A lot of farmers were using huge new […………………………..]that dug deep into the ground and tore up a lot of the soil.
And then, of course, there was the weather. You know, when people look back on the Dust Bowl era, they tend to blame the […………………………..]—the lack of rain between […………………………..] and […………………………..]. We can’t ignore the drought—I mean, it was the worst on record at the time and did help bring on this […………………………..]. But—without the soil […………………………..]the drought alone wouldn’t have resulted in the devastation we call the Dust Bowl. It was poor farming […………………………..]that made that happen.
Since then, though, we’ve paid more attention to trying to […………………………..]a future Dust Bowl. One thing Congress did was enact a […………………………..]government effort to improve soil […………………………..], called the Soil Erosion Act. Under this law, large […………………………..]of land in the southern Great Plains were identified as being at risk for erosion and were taken out of production and turned into […………………………..]grassland. What that did—by protecting the land from […………………………..]farming—was to […………………………..]the soil. Also, the Soil Erosion Act helped educate farmers to practice better soil conservation techniques, like reducing how often they plowed and using better […………………………..]that would, you know, […………………………..]damage to the soil structure.
TRACK 92 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Listen to a conversation between a student and his academic advisor.
Student
Excuse me, Ms. Chambers? Um, I don’t have an […………………………..], but I was kinda wondering if you had a minute to help me with something.
Academic advisor
Oh, sure. Have a seat.
What’s on your mind?
Student
Well, uh … I guess I really don’t know where to start… It’s not just one class. It’s . .. I m not doing all that great. Like on my homework […………………………..]. And in class. And I don t know why. I mean, I just don’t get it! I-I read the assignments and I do the […………………………..]and I’m still not doing too well…
Academic advisor
Um, which classes? You mean, like Spanish … you’re taking […………………………..], right?
Student
Oh, no, not Spanish … if it weren’t for Spanish I’d really be in trouble … no, but it’s really all the others, psychology and […………………………..]especially.
Academic advisor
Is it the material, what you read in the […………………………..]? You don’t understand it?
Student
No, that’s just it—I think I understand stuff when I read it…
Academic advisor
You don’t re …
Student
Remember? Well, I remember names and definitions, but… like, in class, when the professor asks us about the […………………………..], what they’re all about, I never have the answer.
Academic advisor
Sounds like you’re trying to learn by […………………………..]details, instead of picking out the main points of the reading. So, tell me, how do you study?
Student
Well, I—I.. I mean, I read the […………………………..]chapters, and I try to underline everything . .. like all of the words I don’t know, and I always memorize the […………………………..]. But, I dunno, when I get back in class, it always seems like the other students’ve gotten a better […………………………..]on what was in the reading. So, maybe it’s just me …
Academic advisor
Oh, it’s not. Believe me. Lots of students … You know, my first year as a […………………………..]student … I really had a hard time. I spent hours reading in the library … but I was just wasting time, ’cause I wasn’t really studying the right things. I did the same sort of thing it sounds like you’re doing, not […………………………..]on what’s really important in the read¬ing, but on the smaller […………………………..].
Student
Yeah, maybe. But I spend so much time studying, it seems like I should be doing better.
Academic advisor
The first year of college can be a little […………………………..], I know. Point is, lots of students have trouble […………………………..]at first, you know, figuring out how to study, how to use their time, you know, to your best […………………………..]. It’s good that you do the
[…………………………..]readings … but, you’ve … well, I think you’re unnecessarily underlining and […………………………..]. That takes a lot of time, and, well, it’s not the best use of your time. Here s something you can do: when you read, just read the assigned […………………………..], and then … and without looking back at the text—write a summary of the key points, the main ideas in the […………………………..]. And after you do that, it-it’s good to go back and reread the text. And you look for any […………………………..]you can find to support those key points. Let me show you an example of what I mean.
TRACK 93 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Listen to part of a lecture in an astronomy class.
Professor
I’ll tell you a story about how one […………………………..]problem was solved. It happened many years ago, but you’ll see that it’s interesting and still […………………………..]. Two, three hundred years ago, […………………………..]already had telescopes, but they were not as […………………………..]as those we have now. Let’s say … they were at the level of […………………………..]amateur astronomers use today. Tell me, what do you see in the night sky when you use a telescope like that? Quick, tell me.
Female student
Planets…
Professor
Right…
Male student
Even … like … the moons of Jupiter?
Professor
Right…
Female student
Stars.
Professor
OK .. . what else? … You think that’s all? … Ever heard of nebulae? … I bet you have … Well, let’s just, um, put it up anyway …
Nebulae are small […………………………..]patches you see in the sky, they look like little clouds. Many of them have a […………………………..]shape, and that’s why we called them spiral […………………………..]… So astronomers in the […………………………..]century … eighteenth century… when they looked through the telescope, they could see planets-and they knew those
were planets … the moons of Jupiter—and they knew they were the moons of Jupiter… and then they saw spiral nebulae and they didn t have a clue.
What could those be? So, some of them thought—”these things are cloudy and fuzzy, so they’re probably small clouds of […………………………..], and they don’t have to be very far away from us.” But there were others who thought, “OK, the things look small and fuzzy, but maybe they’re actually distant […………………………..]of stars, but we can’t see the stars, because they’re so far away and they seem so tiny that they look like dust, and even the whole galaxy looks like a […………………………..]little cloud.”
Which of the two theories do you think was more…uh, surprising?
Male student
The galaxy one.
Professor
And why?
Male student
Well I mean it assumed that the nebulae are not what they look like at first sight. The first theory […………………………..]that, right?
Professor
OK. And now tell me this … which one would have seemed more likely at the time?
Male student
Uh … They couldn’t tell.
Professor
Right. Two morals here: first, there can be different […………………………..]for the same observation. And second, “obvious’ doesn’t necessarily mean “right”…What happened next was… for a long time nothing. More than […………………………..]years. No one could decide… Both […………………………..]seemed plausible … And a lot was at stake-because if the galaxy theory was right, it would be […………………………..]that the universe is […………………………..]… and if the dust theory was right…maybe not so enormous. So the size of the universe was at stake… Finally in the […………………………..]we came up with a telescope that was strong enouqh to tell us something new here. When we used it to look at the […………………………..]nebulae we saw…well, we were not absolutely sure … but it really looked like there were stars in those nebulae. So not dust after all, but stars …
But how far away were they, really? How would you […………………………..]that? Any ideas? Laura?
Female student
Well, how about measuring how strong those stars shine? Because, if the star Is far away, then its light would be weak, right?
Professor
Yes .. but there’s a problem here. You need to know how bright the star is in the first place because some stars are naturally much brighter than others. So, if you see a star that s weak … it can mean one of two things …
Female student
Oh … it’s either far away or it’s just a weak star.
Professor
And you can’t really always tell which. But you’re on the right […………………………..]. There is a kind of star where you can […………………………..]its natural […………………………..]. .. and—you guessed it—we found some in the nebulae. It’s called a variable star—or a “[…………………………..]” for short— because its brightness varies in regular […………………………..]. I won’t go into detail here, but.. . basically … the longer the interval, the brighter the star, so from the length of those intervals we were able to calculate their natural brightness. This told us how […………………………..]they were—and many turned out to be very, very far away. So we can be sure that the spiral nebulae really are very distant galaxies—which is what some […………………………..]- century astronomers guessed but didn’t have the […………………………..]to prove …
Now, one reason I told you this story is that today there are still plenty of situations when we see something out there, but we really aren’t sure what it is. An example of one such […………………………..]observation would be […………………………..]bursters.
We’ve known about these gamma-ray […………………………..]for a long time now, but we can’t all agree on what they are.
TRACK 95 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Listen to part of a lecture in an art history class.
Professor
Today we’re going to talk about how to look at a […………………………..]of art, how to “read” it— what you should look for… what […………………………..]of it you should […………………………..]. A lot of people think that if you stand in front of a work of art and […………………………..]at it for a couple of minutes you’re […………………………..]it. But truly reading a piece of art, evaluating it […………………………..], is a complex process, a process that takes time.
When we’re […………………………..]with a piece of art, there’re several things we have to keep in mind, for example, its beauty … that’s where […………………………..]comes in.
Aesthetics is the […………………………..]that deals with the definition of beauty, which goes all the way back to ancient Greece. They, um, the early Greek […………………………..]said that beauty and art are based on imitation. Their feeling about art was that it s beautiful when it […………………………..]life; they thought that the […………………………..]of an image, how truthful it is to life, determines its value as art. Today we have a broader definition of aesthetics.
Now don’t identify aesthetics as personal […………………………..]. Taste is bound by time; taste is tied to a society, a given set of moral values, usually. You may not like a piece of art from a different culture—it may not be your taste—but you […………………………..]its beauty cause you recognize certain aesthetic […………………………..]. Art generally adheres to certain aesthetic principles like balance, uh, balanced […………………………..], contrast, movement, or […………………………..].
We’ll discuss aesthetics more in detail when we look at some pieces of art together. Another thing to keep in mind in evaluating art is that art has a […………………………..], generally […………………………..]by the artist. You may not know what it is, and you don t need to know what it is to […………………………..]a piece of art, but it helps. For example, if you know what the artist’s purpose is … if you know that a piece of art […………………………..]the artist’s feeling about a political or social situation, you’ll probably look at it differently.
Now, besides beauty and purpose, what are the other aspects of a piece of art that need to be […………………………..]? Very simple-you examine a piece of art following these four formal steps. The first step is […………………………..]. .. describe physical […………………………..]of the piece— like this painting is large, it’s oil on canvas. Describe the subject—it’s a person it’s a landscape— or […………………………..]colors like, um, earth colors … that’s a description.
OK? So, you’ve described the piece. The next step is analysis. You’re looking at the piece for any universal symbols, characters, or themes it might contain. Certain symbols are […………………………..], and the artist counts on your understanding of symbols. Even colors have symbolic […………………………..], as you may know. And also objects […………………………..]in a piece of art are often used to represent an […………………………..]idea. Like wheels or […………………………..]—they look like circles, right?—so wheels and spheres represent […………………………..]and continuity. I have a handout, a list of these symbols and images and their interpretations, that I’ll give you later. But for now, the point is that after you describe the piece of art, you […………………………..]its content… you determine whether it contains […………………………..]that the artist is using to try to convey a certain meaning.
If it does, the next step is interpretation. […………………………..]follows analysis very closely. You try to interpret the meaning of the symbols you […………………………..]in the piece. Almost all art has an obvious and an […………………………..]meaning. The implied meaning is hidden in the […………………………..]system expressed in the piece of art. What we see […………………………..]is one scene, but there can be several levels of meaning. Your interpretation of these symbols makes clear what the artist is trying to tell us.
The last step is […………………………..]or opinion—what do you think of the piece, is it […………………………..]or boring?— but I give that hardly any weight. If the four steps were to be
[…………………………..]up into a chart, then description, analysis, and […………………………..]would take up […………………………..] percent. Your opinion is not important in understanding a piece of art. It’s nice to say: I like it… I wouldn’t mind hanging it over my couch, but to […………………………..]a piece of art, it’s not critical.
OK. Now you know what I mean by “reading” a piece of art, and what it […………………………..]. Try to keep all that in mind next time you go to an art […………………………..]. I can tell you right now that you probably won’t be able to look at more than 12 pieces of art during that visit.
OK, now let’s look at a slide of a piece of art and try to “read” it together.
TRACK 96 TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
What does the professor imply when he says this:
Professor
Try to keep all that in mind next time you go to an art museum. I can tell you right now that you probably won’t be able to look at more than 12 pieces of art during that visit.

 

TOEFL IBT PRACTISE TEST 33 FROM MASTERING SKILLS FOR TOEFL IBT
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