TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 23 Solution & Explanation

Solution & Explanation for TOEFL iBT Reading Practice Test 23 from Delta’s Key to the Next Generation TOEFL Test – Six Practice Tests for the iBT by Nancy Gallagher

 TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 23 Solution & Explanation

1. B Thick walls of stone or brick were typical of tall buildings before the nineteenth century. Clues:

Until the nineteenth century; most tall buildings were constructed of load-bearing masonry walls. Masonry walls had to be thick…; Stoneworkers built these walls by placing stone upon stone or brick upon brick…. (1.1)

2. C Force means load in this context. Clues: …load-bearing masonry walls; …support a building’s great weight; …the major vertical force of buildings was supported by thick masonry walls. (1.4)

3. A The passage does not state that sturdy walls made of stone or brick were a benefit of iron-frame construction; in fact, such walls characterized masonry construction. All of the other answers are given: The introduction of metal construction made it possible to build larger interior spaces with fewer columns than before; An interior wrought iron skeleton supported all of the building’s weight; …walls that once bore weight evolved into thin curtain walls that would allow more windows. (1.2)

4. B As masonry yielded to concrete… is paraphrased in … now they were… made of concrete.walls that once bore weight… is paraphrased in Walls used to be made of load-bearing masonry…;… evolved into thin curtain walls that would allow more windows is paraphrased in …now they were thin…, so more windows were possible. (1.7)

5. B It is true that the earliest skyscrapers were eight or more stories high. Clues: …taller buildings that quickly became known as skyscrapers; Buildings of eight or more stories quickly transformed the city skyline…. (1.1)

6. D The author’s purpose is to show how an innovation contributed to architecture. Clues: The invention of the mechanical elevator made it possible to construct even taller buildings; The elevator made the upper floors as rentable as the first floor, liberating architecture from dependence on stairways and human muscle. (1.6)

7. D Rentable means desirable in this context. Clues: The elevator made the upper floors as rentable as the first floor…. The elevator meant that people no longer had to climb numerous stairways to the upper floors. Thus, people desired (wanted) to rent the upper floors as much as the first floor. (1.4)

8. A Tlie referent of they is something that erased the traditional architectural distinctions separating the different parts of a building. The subject of the previous clause is innovations. Logic tells you that they refers to innovations. (1.3)

9. D Refined means improved in this context. Clues:

Construction techniques were refined and extended…to produce… “true skyscrapers,” buildings over twenty stories high. The paragraph describes improvements in materials and techniques that enabled buildings to be taller than ever before. (1.4)

10. A Steel replaced iron in the construction of skyscrapers because steel is stronger than iron and resists fatigue better. Clues: …steel T-beams and I-beams replaced iron in these new structures; Steel…exceeds both masonry and iron in tension and compression strength as well as resistance to fatigue. (1.1)

11. B You can infer that the author believes cast iron technology and the elevator made the skyscraper possible. Clues: Skyscrapers differed from previous tall structures with their use of technical innovations such as cast iron and the elevator. The development of cast iron technology.. .made modem plumbing possible. Cast iron pipes, fittings, and valves could deliver pressurized water to the many floors of tall buildings…; The invention of the mechanical elevator made it possible to construct even taller buildings. Before the elevator, office buildings were rarely more than four or five stories high. (1.5)

12. B The added sentence discusses plumbing, a topic introduced in the previous sentence. The added sentence states that Sophisticated plumbing was needed to service bathrooms and also to heat buildings, which the next sentence develops further by stating that pipes, fittings, and valves could deliver pressurized water to the many floors of tall buildings. (1.8)

13. B, D, F Key information: …an alternative was emerging that would eliminate the need for exterior weight-bearing walls: a three-dimensional grid of metal beams and columns; An interior wrought iron skeleton supported all of the building’s weight. Exterior walls of reinforced concrete acted mainly as weatherproofing; The invention of the mechanical elevator made it possible to construct even taller buildings;… “true skyscrapers,” buildings over twenty stories high. The invention of steel was particularly significant, as steel T-beams and I-beams replaced iron in these new structures. Answers (A), (C), and (E) are minor ideas. (1.9)

14. D The passage does not state that the concept of systems involves the origin of the scientific method. All of the other answers are given: …scientists use the word “system ” to describe a collection of several components that are linked to one another by functional relationships; …the components of a system, their relationships with one another, and their relationships with other systems. (1.2)

15. C Although each science has its own systems with their own subject matter and networks of relationships… is paraphrased in System components and relationships differ for each science, yet…\ …the formal characteristics of systems are similar for all sciences is paraphrased in …systems in all sciences share similar properties. (1.7)

16. C The referent of them is something among which there are relations or forces. The last part of the sentence discusses the elements involved in systems, and the relations or forces among these elements. Logic tells you that them refers to elements. (1.3)

17. B Exhausted means used in this context. Clues: The energy supply of a closed system is limited and is progressively used up…; The ability of the system to function decreases as the available energy is exhausted. The prefix ex- = out. (1.4)

18. A The example of a mill wheel illustrates the point that the energy supply of a closed system is limited. Clues: The energy supply of a closed system is limited and is progressively used up by the processes operating within the system; Without any additional energy supplied from the outside, the system s processes stop altogether…; Once the container of water is empty, the wheel no longer turns because there is no water to turn it. (1.1)

19. C The Earth system as a whole is a closed system because no mass crosses the system boundary, but some energy does. Clues: …many define closed systems more broadly as those allowing energy but not mass to cross the system boundary. By this definition, the Earth system as a whole is a closed system; …energy passes across the Earth s system boundary, but mass does not, making it a closed system. (1.1)

20. A You can infer that living organisms are part of a larger system that receives and gives off energy. Clues: Living organisms are open systems; Each open system is part of a larger system that receives and gives off energy. (1.5)

21. D Dries up means stops flowing in this context. Clues: …the energy supply is halted…; …for example, the stream to the reservoir supplying the mill dries up for a long period…; The water in the reservoir is used up… (1.4)

22. B You can infer that the mill wheel is temporarily a closed system during long dry periods, when there is no new water supply. Clues: These can behave as closed systems temporarily if the energy supply is halted for a period. If, for example, the stream to the reservoir supplying the mill dries up for a long period…; The water in the reservoir is used up, and if the dry period is long enough, the mill wheel stops turning. (1.5)

23. B The author’s purpose is to illustrate the point that open systems are part of larger systems. The stream-reservoir-mill system is an open system when the stream flows again because the water comes from the surroundings—from the Earth’s larger water systems. Clues: …the stream-reservoir-mill system is itself a part of the Earth s much larger systems of water circulation and water budget…. (1.6)

24. A In the added sentence, For example is a transition that introduces the example of hot tea in a vacuum bottle. The hot tea does not interact with the environment outside the bottle, which illustrates the idea that A closed system is isolated from its surroundings, stated in the previous sentence. (1.8)

25. B, E Closed System: The energy supply of a closed system is limited and is progressively used up by the processes operating within the system; …not mass to cross the system boundary; …no mass is exchanged between the Earth system and the rest of the universe.

C, D, G Open System: In an open system, energy and mass can be transferred between the system and its surroundings; …relationships exist between the components of a system and its surroundings…; Each open system is part of a larger system that receives and gives off energy; …the energy is continually resupplied from sources outside the system. Answers (A) and (F) describe neither closed systems nor open systems. (1.10)

26. C The author makes the point that average levels of life satisfaction are similar for every age group. Clues: …average levels of life satisfaction do not change significantly with age. Generally speaking, older adults are as satisfied with their lives as are younger or middle-aged adults. (1.1)

27. B The passage does not state that age is a predictor of life satisfaction. In fact, average levels of life satisfaction do not change significantly with age. All of the other answers are given: One such predictor is health…; Another predictor of life satisfaction is a feeling of being in charge of one s own life…; The largest predictor of life satisfaction appears to be the adequacy of social relationships, especially marriage and family relationships. (1.2)

28. B In charge of means responsible for in this context.

Clues: …a sense of authority over oners own decisions;.. feel that they have some choices and options…. People who feel in charge of their lives feel responsible for their own decisions. (1.4)

29. C The referent of problem is something that signals a loss of control over the lives of older adults.

The sentence states that older adults experience financial strain. Logic tells you that problem refers to financial strain. (1.3)

30. D Adequacy means quality in this context. Clues: …perceivedquality…. (1.4)

31. A You can infer that close social relationships are likely to influence long-term health and happiness. Clues: The largest predictor of life satisfaction appears to be the adequacy of social relationships, especially marriage and family relationships; The quality of social support available in one s key relationships affects the ability to handle stress and life changes as well as one’s ongoing level of life satisfaction. (1.5)

32. D The author says that people who are well adjusted and successful at midlife probably had positive personal qualities as young adults. Clues: Well-adjusted or successful middle-aged adults began adulthood with more personal resources, including better psychological and physical health at college age; …had been practical and well organized…had shown greater intellectual competence. (1.1)

33. B However, no measure of early family environment or early-adult competence… is paraphrased in Neither family background nor qualities of early adulthood…-, …remained a significant predictor of psychological well being at the end of middle age is paraphrased in …can predict life satisfaction beyond middle age. (1.7)

34. A The author’s purpose is to illustrate a point about satisfaction late in life. Clues: …what did predict success and well being at age 65 was…; Late-life success is related more directly to…; …that determines long-term life satisfaction. (1.6)

35. C Preordained means determined in this context.

Clues: …a successful adult life is not something preordained from childhood or early adulthood but rather something created out of the opportunities available…; …it is what one does with the experiences… that determines long-term life satisfaction. The prefix pre- = before. (1.4)

36. A You can infer that the author believes long-term life satisfaction is affected by the decisions made throughout adulthood. Clues: …it is what one does with the experiences—both positive and negative— that determines long-term life satisfaction. The choices that people make in early adulthood help shape who they are at midlife, and those midlife qualities in turn influence who they become later in life. (1.5)

37. B The added sentence further develops the idea that the happiest and most successful middle-aged adults had grown up in warm, supportive, intellectually stimulating families, mentioned in the previous sentence. (1.8)

38. B, C, F Key information: …certain factors are reliable predictors of life satisfaction. One such predictor is health…; Another predictor of life satisfaction is a feeling of being in charge of one s own life and a sense of authority over one s own decisions; The largest predictor of life satisfaction appears to be the adequacy of social relationships…; The perceived quality rather than the quantity of social interactions is most strongly related to happiness; The choices that people make in early adulthood help shape who they are at midlife, and those midlife qualities in turn influence who they become later in life. Answers (A) and (E) are minor ideas; answer (D) is not mentioned. (1.9)

39. C The author’s purpose is to support the idea that film is an illusion. Clues: Film is an illusion because the moving pictures seen on the screen are not moving at all; They appear to be moving because…. (1.6)

40. A Catch up with means hurry to process in this context. Clues: …the image persists in the brains visual center for a fraction of a second. Then, the next frame comes along and the brain has to catch up with the new image. As the brain hurries to process each image, one image blends into the next image, so we think we see a moving picture. (1.4)

41. B The author primarily defines special effects as techniques and devices to create illusions in film. Clues: Another illusion of film is known collectively as special effects, the tricks and techniques that filmmakers use…. (1.1)

42. B Rolls means operates in this context. Clues: …a scene is filmed, the camera is stopped… and then the camera rolls again. (1.4)

43. D Simulate means create the appearance of in this context. Clues: …create an illusion…; …feathers or plastic chips to simulate snow, and wires to create the illusion that people are flying. (1.4)

44. C You can infer that silent films used sound effects to make scenes more convincing. Clues: Many sound effects are mechanical effects; During the silent film era, the music machine called the Kinemato phone was popular because it could produce the sounds of sirens, sleigh bells, gunfire, baby cries, and kisses…. (1.5)

45. B Filming each half of a frame separately would not necessarily involve mechanical effects but would involve optical effects. All of the other answers are given: …wires to create the illusion that people are flying; …a vibrating sheet of metal sounds like thunder;.. .tiny copies of buildings or cities. (1.2)

46. D To reduce the cost of studio sets or location photography… is paraphrased in …thus making filming less expensive; .. .special-effects technicians create painted or projected backgrounds, which replace the set or add to it is paraphrased in Painted and projected backgrounds are special effects that improve or replace sets…. (1.7)

47. B The referent of which is something that was filled with small charges of flash powder. The sentence states that carpenters drilled small holes. Holes can be filled. Logic tells you that which refers to holes. (1.3)

48. A The author makes the point that King Kong combined two different types of special effects. Clues: Sometimes optical and mechanical effects are used together; …a tiny movable model of the ape…; …stop-motion photography…. (1.1)

49. B In the added sentence, another example is a transition that introduces the example of an actor appearing to take off his head. This example naturally follows the example an actor’s clothes keep returning to his body, mentioned in the previous sentence. (1.8)

50. C, E Optical Effects: One category of special effects is called optical or visual effects, tricks made with the camera; Stop-motion photography can create the illusion of an actor disappearing on screen.

A, D, G Mechanical Effects: Mechanical effects are objects or devices used during the filming to create an illusion…; Other mechanical effects are puppets, robots… tiny copies of buildings or cities; …small contact-rigged explosives…; In a 1916 silent film… mechanical effects created the appearance of an enemy invasion of the California seacoast. Answer (B) describes persistence of vision; answer (F) describes computer graphics. (1.10)

51. C Whether signs of water indicate that life has existed on Mars has been a major focus of research about Mars. Most of the passage discusses evidence of water on Mars. Clues: The presence or absence of water has a direct bearing on the possibility of life on other planets; …Mars was an obvious target in the search for life; …all of the available evidence does suggest that Mars meets all the requirements that are needed for life to exist. (1.1)

52. B Astronomers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries studied Mars mainly through photographic images. Clues: New photographic technology offered a way for astronomers to learn more about the red planet; Other photographic images of Mars revealed…; …a good photographic plate of the near-infrared spectrum of Mars. (1.1)

53. D You can infer that Schiaparelli’s observation of canals on Mars led to new questions about intelligent life on Mars. Clues: The strange appearance of the canals suggested to some scientists that they had been formed artificially rather than naturally. The mystery deepened…. (1.5)

54. B The discovery of ancient islands in a dry streambed led some scientists to think that the Martian atmosphere had produced heavy rains in the past. Clues: …features that appeared to be ancient islands located in what was now a dry streambed. When the islands were first discovered, some scientists speculated that a thick water-laden atmosphere capable of generating heavy rains had once existed on Mars. (1.1)

55. A Today, the presence of water vapor in the Martian

atmosphere is generally accepted… is paraphrased in Most scientists believe there is water vapor in the Martian atmosphere…; …as is the belief that the atmosphere was once much denser than it is now, with a much greater abundance of water vapor is paraphrased in …which is now less dense than it was in the past. (1.7)

56. C Filled up means became wet in this context. Clues: …water was once common…; …shallow lakes or seas that dried out and then filled up again. The next sentence mentions dry stages, which implies that there were wet stages and dry stages. (1.4)

57. B Habitable means suitable for life in this context. Clues: …seas and lakes extended across hundreds of thousands of square miles, creating habitable conditions…. A major idea in the passage is that the presence of water may indicate the possibility of life on Mars. (1.4)

58. C Layers of rock on the Martian plains are evidence that water was present there for a long time.

Clues: Rocks that clearly formed in water extend throughout 300 meters of layered materials in several locations across the Martian plains. The layers were built up over time, which means water was present, at least temporarily, for extended periods on ancient Mars. (1.1)

59. D Evidence of lava flows does not indicate the presence of water on Mars. All of the other answers are given: Other photographic images of Mars revealed its seasonally changing polar ice caps..,;

…in 1963, a team of astronomers obtained a good photographic plate…; …water vapor lines could be seen; …clay and gypsum deposits that were formed by water in the soil. (1.2)

60. A Ingredient means factor in this context. Clues:

Liquid water is the key ingredient for life as we know it; …the requirements that are needed for life to exist. (1.4)

61. B The author’s purpose is to point out that Mars has

the conditions for life to exist. Life exists on Earth, and since Mars is most like Earth, life may have existed on Mars. Clues: …all of the available evidence does suggest that Mars meets all the requirements that are needed for life to exist. (1.6)

62. B In the added sentence. Astronomers already knew

that Mars had some kind of atmosphere logically follows Mars was an obvious target in the search for life in the previous sentence. (1.8)

63. A, C, E Key information: …images that showed a network of long, thin, dark lines crossing the surface of Mars;… “canals ” or “channels ”…; Other photographic images of Mars revealed its seasonally changing polar ice caps and features that appeared to be ancient islands…; …the presence of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere is generally accepted…;…liquid water once flowed over the planet; Evidence of water includes the presence of various minerals.water was present… on ancient Mars; …astronomers have discovered a frozen sea…. Answers (B) and (D) are minor ideas; answer (F) is not mentioned. (1.9)

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 23 Solution & Explanation
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