TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 33 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test fourth edition
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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At the end of this Practice Test, you will find an answer key, information to help you determine your score, and explanations of the answers.
Passage 1: CHARACTERISTICS OF DESERT ANIMALS
P1: Animals that live in the desert possess unique characteristics that allow them to survive the harsh conditions of their habitats. Deserts, with extreme temperature ranges and arid climates, pose difficult challenges for the diverse species that make their homes there. Temperature and aridity-the major concerns faced by desert animals—serve as the primary causes for many of their climatic adaptations.
P2: Maintaining optimal body temperature is critical for animals in a variety of climates, but in regions where environmental temperatures range to high extremes, control over body temperature is particularly essential, often 15 making the difference between life and death. Desert animals have many ways of dealing with their scorching habitats. These adaptations can be roughly divided into two categories: adaptations for heat avoidance and adaptations that accomplish heat dissipation.
P3: Many species avoid the heat by seeking shelter in microclimates—areas that can be considered miniature “climates” in a sense, for their environmental conditions differ, in terms of temperature, from the larger climate they are contained within [..A..]. For example, kangaroo rats hide away in a type of underground microclimate—deep burrows that keep them cool.[…B..]
P4: By waiting until the sun sets to begin their periods of activity, nocturnal animals avoid the heat by coordinating their habits.[..C..] A wide variety of species have evolved this tactic.[..D..] Mountain lions, coyotes, and bats are among the numerous nocturnal desert species that spend the day avoiding the powerful heat.
P5: While some animals adjust their behavior to help them survive in the desert, others rely on physical adaptations to help them dissipate heat. Some animals have evolved advantageous coloration to help them reflect sunlight away from their bodies, preventing the unnecessary absorption of excess heat. The desert iguana is a species that is capable of adjusting its body color, lightening in color to almost pure white during the hottest hours of the day. This ability permits it to remain active during midday while high temperatures confine many other animals to areas of shade.
P6: Another means of heat dissipation is evaporative cooling, which helps some animals lower their body temperatures. Cheetahs and kangaroos, for example, lick their paws because the resulting evaporation of water dissipates heat, helping them maintain comfortable body temperatures. Additionally, cheetahs—and several other species, like desert bighorn sheep—employ evaporative cooling in the form of panting, which facilitates evaporation from the respiratory system.
P7: In deserts, which by definition receive less than twenty-five centimeters of rain a year, adaptations related to water procurement and & water conservation are absolutely necessary. Some species have highly efficient adaptations that enable them to survive for long periods without water. In fact, the most economical desert species do not even need to drink at all.
P8: For some animals, acquiring the water they need is a simple matter, for their adaptations to their habitat free them from the obligation of searching for water; their water requirements are fulfilled by the water content n in the foods they eat. Some insect species obtain water from succulent desert plants like cactuses. In their leaves, stems, and fruit, plants store fluids that provide insects with the water they need to survive. Ostriches are also so able to meet their water requirements through their food, and they can survive for months without water. Similarly, addax—desert- dwelling antelope—and kangaroo rats obtain all the moisture they need from the foods they eat. Both of these animals are capable of going their entire lives without drinking any water.
P9: Adaptations for efficient water procurement are one evolutionary result of life in the desert, but there are others. Water conservation adaptations also help some species, reducing the amount of water they lose through the excretion of wastes. Instead of excreting urine diluted with water, these animals discharge highly concentrated urine. Camels and addax rely on this form of water conservation to help them endure the parched conditions of their habitats.
P10: Another means of water conservation is related to reproduction. Because reproduction is an especially water-taxing biological process, a variety of species cease reproductive activities during dry periods. Grey kangaroos also stop breeding when there are insufficient water supplies, but they have a unique method is for dealing with prolonged periods of drought: embryonic diapause. During embryonic diapause, embryos, their growth suppressed, remain in the uterus for extended periods of time. In this manner, the mother is able to conserve water and at the same time increase her baby’s chances of survival by delaying birth until the environment is conducive to the production of offspring.
Directions: Mark your answer by filling in the oval next to your choice.
1. In paragraph 1, why does the author mention Temperature and aridity?
O To provide an established definition for what constitutes a desert environment
O To describe factors that account for many desert animals’ adaptations
O To explain why one concept is more important than the other
O To identify the specific habitats in which each condition is found
2. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
Maintaining optimal body temperature is critical for animals in a variety of climates, but in regions where environmental temperatures range to high extremes, control over body temperature is particularly essential, often 15 making the difference between life and death. Desert animals have many ways of dealing with their scorching habitats. These adaptations can be roughly divided into two categories: adaptations for heat avoidance and adaptations that accomplish heat dissipation.
O Deserts are extreme climates, where exposure to high temperatures may be fatal for animals that are not well adjusted to the environment.
O Although animals in temperate regions must also regulate their body temperatures, this ability is especially crucial for animals in hot climates.
O Animals cannot survive if their body temperatures fluctuate too far beyond the boundaries of their optimal temperature range.
O Because deserts have extreme temperatures, animals that inhabit these regions are exposed to more risks than animals in other climates.
3. The word scorching in the passage is closest in meaning to
4. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 5 about animal activity during midday?
O Most animals are inactive during the middle of the day.
O Many desert iguanas sleep during the hottest part of the day.
O Animals with light coloration are most active during midday.
O Desert iguanas usually seek shady places.
5. According to paragraph 6, kangaroos and cheetahs lick their paws because
O their paws are especially sensitive to the heat
O moisture accumulates on those parts of their bodies
O it initiates the process of evaporative cooling
O their paws become dry faster than the rest of their bodies
6. The word them in the passage refers to
O body temperatures
O Cheetahs and kangaroos
Another means of heat dissipation is evaporative cooling, which helps some animals lower their body temperatures. Cheetahs and kangaroos, for example, lick their paws because the resulting evaporation of water dissipates heat, helping them maintain comfortable body temperatures. Additionally, cheetahs—and several other species, like desert bighorn sheep—employ evaporative cooling in the form of panting, which facilitates evaporation from the respiratory system.
7. In paragraph 7, the author illustrates the potential efficiency of adaptations to arid climates by
O telling the average annual amount of water that falls in deserts
O explaining that some animals do not need to drink water
O giving examples of animals that live in deserts
O defining the term “desert”
8. According to paragraph 8, some insects meet their water requirements by
O feeding on insects that have special adaptations to the desert
O spending their active hours searching for water sources
O accessing water held in plants
O storing fluids in their bodies
9. The word parched in the passage is closest in meaning to
Adaptations for efficient water procurement are one evolutionary result of life in the desert, but there are others. Water conservation adaptations also help some species, reducing the amount of water they lose through the excretion of wastes. Instead of excreting urine diluted with water, these animals discharge highly concentrated urine. Camels and addax rely on this form of water conservation to help them endure the parched conditions of their habitats.
10. Based on the information in paragraph 8 and paragraph 9, what can be inferred about addax?
O They do not produce urine because they do not drink water.
O They are particularly adept at procuring and conserving water.
O They cannot survive without water as long as camels can.
O They prey on animals that drink large quantities of water.
11. Based on the information in paragraph 10, which of the following best explains the term embryonic diapause?
O The termination of pregnancy
O The conception of an embryo during a drought
O A temporary cessation of embryonic development
O An increase in reproduction before a drought
12. Look at the four squares […] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
“In the desert, such microclimates may exist in the form of shaded refuges or underground retreats.”
Where would the sentence best fit?
13. Directions: Complete the table by matching the statements below.
Select the appropriate statements from the answer choices and match them to the type of adaptation to which they relate. TWO of the answer choices will NOT be used.
|(A) Nocturnal desert species are primarily active during the night.
(B) In microclimates, some species avoid the general conditions of the regional climate.
(C) Some animals protect themselves from desert conditions by going without food.
(D) For grey kangaroos, embryonic diapause facilitates survival in desert regions.
(E) As they excrete biological wastes, some species expel concentrated urine.
(F) Certain species have the ability to adjust their coloration.
(G) When animals pant, they increase the rate of evaporation from the respiratory tract.
(H) At certain times, some species manipulate their habitats to create shaded areas.
(I) Desert conditions cause some species to temporarily stop breeding.