Solution & Explanation for TOEFL iBT Reading Practice Test 17 ( From Barron’s TOEFL’S iBT)
Reading 1 “Layers of Social Class”
1. B “The different groups are arrayed along a continuum with those [classes] with the most money, education, and prestige at the top.” The pronoun “those” does not refer to choices A, C, or D.
2. A In this passage, very large describes “enormous.” “… a very small proportion of people” contrasts with very large control. “… vast amounts of wealth” also provides context.
3. A Although it is not generally accepted paraphrases “Despite social myths to the contrary.”. .. your family provides the best prediction of your future wealth paraphrases”… the best predictor of future wealth is the family into which you are bom.”
4. B The author uses the example of the Forbes 400 to support the statement that most wealthy people inherit their money. “… most [wealth] is inherited.”
5. B In this passage, expensive is a synonym for “exclusive.” Context comes from the previous reference to “high-priced.”
6. B “The upper middle class . . . tend to be well-educated professionals or business executives.”
Choice A is not correct because the lower middle class is composed of workers in skilled trades. Choice C is not correct because the term nouveau riche refers to the upper class that has recently acquired money. Choice D is not correct because the upper class is typically a group that has inherited wealth.
7. B “.. . an open-class system leads many to think that the majority have a middle-class lifestyle….” Choice A is not correct because they vary widely in lifestyle and in resources. Choice C is not correct because, although the status may be unclear, people do not have a problem defining themselves as middle class. Choice D is not correct because “norm” refers to average, not normal.
8. A In this passage, mostly is a synonym for “primarily.” Context comes from the root prime, which means “first.”
9. C “Also known as the working class, this class indues blue collar workers … and many service workers____” Choice A is not correct because they are working in blue collar and service jobs.
Choice B is not correct because service workers and manual laborers are part of the lower middle class, not the lower class that work in minimum-wage jobs. Choice D is not correct because the working class is in the lower middle class, not the lower class.
10. C “The underclass includes those who are likely to be permanently unemployed … the under class may become dependent on public assistance or illegal activities.” Choices A and D may be true, but they are not mentioned in the passage. Choice B is not correct because the illegal activities cause the increase in crime, not the opposite.
11. D Choices A, B, and C are mentioned for the first time in paragraph 1, sentence 1.
12. A Generalization and example is a transitional device that connects the insert sentence with the following sentence. “The working poor constitute a large portion of those who are poor” provides a general statement which is followed by examples, “People of color and women … the working poor. . . .” Choices B, C, and D are not correct because they are not examples of the generalization.
13. C, E, B summarize the passage. Choice A is a minor point that supports the major point in Choice
C. Choice D is a minor point that supports the major point in Choice E. Choice F is true, but it is not developed as a major point.
Reading 2 “Weather and Chaotic Systems”
14. A “Many chaotic systems [like weather] have a kind of underlying order that explains the general features of their behavior____” Choice B is not correct because it was an incorrect assumption.
Choice C is not correct because it was also an incorrect assumption. Choice D is not correct because today we have a very good understanding of the physical laws of atoms.
15. B In this passage, specific is a synonym for “particular.”
16. B In this passage, control is a synonym for “govern.”
17. A The author uses the example of the car to explain how conditions are used to make predictions. The prediction of the location of the car is compared with the prediction of the weather.
18. D “For tomorrow’s weather, this slightly different initial condition will not change the weather prediction … But for next month’s weather, the two predictions may not agree at all!” Choice A is not correct because the change in the initial conditions was minor. Choice B is not correct because it is not mentioned in the passage. Choice C is not correct because computer models are used to deal with all the data for weather prediction on time scales shorter than a few weeks.
19. C . chaotic systems are described by nonlinear equations.” Choice A is not correct because chaotic systems [like weather] “are not completely random.” Choice B is true, but it is not the reason why weather is considered a chaotic system. Choice D is not correct because many chaotic systems are “ ‘predictably unpredictable.’ ”
20. A “This extreme sensitivity to initial conditions is sometimes called the butterfly effect” Choice B is not correct because the flap of a butterfly’s wings is used to describe the sensitivity, not to predict conditions. Choice C is not correct because the rate of the wings is not mentioned. Choice D is not correct because the cause and result do not refer to different locations. They refer to changes over time.
21. D “Simple systems are described by linear equations in which, [in the linear equations] for example, increasing a cause produces a proportional increase in an effect.” The phrase “in which” does not refer to Choices A, B, or C.
22. B The author mentions the economy to provide an example of another chaotic system. “For example, the economy is nonlinear because a rise in interest rates does not automatically produce a corresponding change in consumer spending.”
23. C In this passage, characteristics is a synonym for “features.” Context comes from the contrast with “details” later in the sentence.
24. D “Our understanding of chaotic systems is increasing at a tremendous rate, but much remains to be learned about them.” Choice A is not correct because “many chaotic systems have a kind of underlying order.” Choice B is not correct because “Our understanding of chaotic systems is increasing at a tremendous rate.” Choice C is not correct because “details .. . remain unpredictable.”
25. B Chronological order is a transitional device that connects the insert sentence in sequence within the text. “… tomorrow” should precede “next week” and “next month” should follow “next week.”
26. D, F, C summarize the passage. Choice A may be true, but it is not directly stated in the passage.
Choice B is a minor point because it is an example. Choice E is a minor point because it is an example.
Reading 3 “Building with Arches”
27. A . the arch is stable only when it is complete, when the topmost stone, the keystone, has been set in place.” Choice B is not correct because the historical background was provided at the beginning of the passage. Choice C is not correct because the virtues are pointed out before the keystone is mentioned. Choice D is not correct because the passage is about arches, and no alternatives are suggested.
28. D In this passage, essential is a synonym for “inherent.”
29. D Choice A is mentioned in paragraph 2, sentence 4. Choice B is mentioned in paragraph 2, sentence 5. Choice C is mentioned in paragraph 2, sentence 5.
30. D In this passage, practically is a synonym for “virtually.”
31. C “This vault construction makes it possible to create large interior spaces.” Choices A, B, and D are true, but they are not advantages of the arch.
32. A “Earlier churches had used the old Roman forms of round arch and barrel vault so as to add height to their churches.” Choice B is not correct because wooden beams characterized buildings before the Romanesque style. Choice C is not correct because the Romanesque buildings added height. Choice D is not correct because the Romanesque style was many hundreds of years later.
33. C … a concern because of fire paraphrases “a threat of fire” and constraints they imposed on the height of the ceiling paraphrases “limited the height to which architects could aspire.”
34. B In this passage, accomplish is a synonym for “achieve.” Context comes from the contrast with
“limited” in the previous sentence.
35. D “Barrel vaults are both literally and visually heavy, calling for huge masses of stone to maintain their [the vaults] structural stability.” The pronoun “their” does not refer to Choices A, B, or C.
36. C “… massive walls that they dared not weaken with light-admitting openings.” Choice A is not correct because the Gothic period, which followed the Romanesque, solved the problem with pointed arches that allowed for windows. Choice B is not correct because the author does not mention that windows were difficult to make. Choice D is not correct because the reference to reinforcement at the major points of intersection was characteristic of Gothic, not Romanesque, architecture.
37. B “The pointed arch … offers many advantages … and … the arch can be taller.” Choice A is
not correct because such an arch [pointed] can be much taller than a barrel vault. Choice C is not correct because the nave added space but not height. Choice D is not correct because windows were an additional advantage of pointed arch construction, but they did not extend the height.
38. D Vocabulary reference is a transitional device that connects the insert sentence with the previous sentence. The connection is the reference to “reinforced” in the first sentence and “These reinforcements” in the second sentence. Choices A, B, and G are not correct because there are no vocabulary references to connect them with the insert sentence.
39. Round Arch: C, D, G, H Pointed Arch: A, E, I Not used: B, F