TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 41 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 40 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.

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: How Memory Works

P1: Memory is the brain’s ability to store and retrieve information related to previous experiences. Memory occurs in two stages: short-term and long-term. Short-term memory reflects an immediate sensory perception of an object or idea that occurs before the image is stored, Short-term memory enables you to dial a telephone number after looking it up but without looking at the number directly. If you call the number frequently, it becomes stored in long-term memory and can be recalled several weeks after you originally looked it up. Short-term memory and long-term memory can be thought of as memory structures, each varying as to how much information it can hold and for how long.

P2: Memory relies on the ability to process information. Information processing begins with the environmental stimuli that you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. These experiences are initially recorded in the brain’s sensory register, which holds information just long enough (one to three seconds) for you to decide whether to process it further. Information that you do not selectively attend to will disappear from the system. However, if you recognize and attend to the information as meaningful or relevant, it is sent to short-term memory. Shortterm memory can hold approximately seven unrelated bits of information at a time.

P3: Short-term memory is often called working memory because it holds information that you are working with at a given moment, but only for about 20 seconds. Then, unless the information is processed further, it is quickly forgotten. For example, if you were asked to dial an unfamiliar telephone number, received a busy signal, and were then distracted by something else for 20 seconds, you probably would have forgotten the number at that point. Unless information in short-term memory is processed further, it does not make it to longterm memory

P4: Several control processes enable the transfer of information from short-term to long-term memory. One such process is rehearsal, or “practice makes perfect.” Rehearsal is when you repeat something to yourself over and over. The purpose behind such behavior is usually to memorize information for later use, although sometimes it is simply to hold information in short-term memory for immediate use. For example, you may rehearse a telephone number by saying it aloud so you can redial it after getting a busy signal without having to look it up again in the phone book. Another process that enables the transfer of information to long-term memory is the association of new data with data previously learned and stored in long-term memory. Thus, it is easier to learn a new card game if you already have “card sense” from playing other games.

P5: For cognitive psychologists, long-term memory is the most interesting of the memory structures, and most believe that the storage capacity of long-term memory is unlimited and contains a permanent record of everything you have learned. Long-term memory plays an influential role throughout the information processing system. The interests, attitudes, skills, and knowledge of the world existing in your long-term memory influence what you perceive and how you interpret your perceptions. They also affect whether you process information for short-term or long-term storage.

P6: Long-term memory can hold recollections of personal experiences as well as factual knowledge acquired through other means such as reading. Ii also holds skills such as knowing how to ride a bicycle. In its ability to learn and remember, the brain can distinguish between facts and skills. When you acquire factual knowledge by memorizing dates, word definitions, formulas, and other information, you can consciously retrieve this fact memory from the data bank of your long-term memory. In contrast, skill memory usually involves motor activities that you learn by repetition without consciously remembering specific information. You perform learned motor skills, such as walking or riding a bicycle, without consciously recalling the individual steps required to do these tasks.

Directions: Mark your answer by filling in the oval next to your choice.

1. According to the passage, what must happen before information can be stored in memory?

(A) The information must be pleasant.

(B) An object or idea must be perceived.

(C) An older memory must be replaced.

(D) The information must be looked up.

2. The passage states that one difference between short-term memory and long-term memory is

(A) the type of information they store

(B) their importance in learning

(C) the amount of information they hold

(D) their location in the brain

3. The phrase attend to in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) reject

(B) focus on

(C) talk about

(D) wait for

4. It can be inferred from paragraph 2 that something is NOT likely to be remembered if it is

Memory relies on the ability to process information. Information processing begins with the environmental stimuli that you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. These experiences are initially recorded in the brain’s sensory register, which holds information just long enough (one to three seconds) for you to decide whether to process it further. Information that you do not selectively attend to will disappear from the system. However, if you recognize and attend to the information as meaningful or relevant, it is sent to short-term memory. Shortterm memory can hold approximately seven unrelated bits of information at a time.

(A) not considered important

(B) painful or embarrassing

(C) related to previous experience

(D) sent to short-term memory
5. The passage states that information can be lost from short-term memory when a person

(A) does not know how to read

(B) repeats the information over and over

(C) processes the information further

(D) is distracted for 20 seconds
6. The phrase make it to in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to

(A) escape

(B)lessen

(C) deteriorate

(D) burn

7. Which sentence below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in paragraph 4? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.

Several control processes enable the transfer of information from short-term to long-term memory. One such process is rehearsal, or “practice makes perfect.” Rehearsal is when you repeat something to yourself over and over. The purpose behind such behavior is usually to memorize information for later use, although sometimes it is simply to hold information in short-term memory for immediate use. For example, you may rehearse a telephone number by saying it aloud so you can redial it after getting a busy signal without having to look it up again in the phone book. Another process that enables the transfer of information to long-term memory is the association of new data with data previously learned and stored in long-term memory. Thus, it is easier to learn a new card game if you already have “card sense” from playing other games.

(A) Usually information is rehearsed so it can be used later, but sometimes it is rehearsed so it can be used right away.

(B) There are several reasons for memorizing information; the most common reason is to improve short-term memory.

(C) The belief that “practice makes perfect” causes people to repeat certain behavior even when the behavior is very complex.

(D) It is fairly simple to keep information in short-term memory, but it is difficult to send it to long-term memory.

8. Why does the author mention “card sense” in paragraph 4?

(A) To point out that playing cards requires a high level of thinking

(B) To give an example of knowledge already stored in long-term memory

(C) To compare learning a card game to remembering a telephone number

(D) To explain why some card games are easier to learn than others

9. The word They in paragraph 5 refers to
(A) cognitive psychologists

(B) memory structures

(C) interests, attitudes, skills, and knowledge of the world

(D) what you perceive and how you interpret your perceptions

10. All of the following enhance the transfer of information from short-term memory to long-term memory EXCEPT

(A) deciding that information is not meaningful or relevant

(B) repeating information over and over to oneself

(C) linking new information with data in long-term memory

(D) performing a task frequently and repeatedly

11. What can be inferred from paragraph 6 about skill memory?

(A) It is more important than fact memory in everyday life.

(B) It exists in long-term memory because of repeated practice.

(C) It requires conscious effort to be retrieved from memory.

(D) It contains only the skills that people can perform well.

12. Look at the four squares A. which indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage. Where would the sentence best fit?

“One way of understanding the nature of long-term memory is to consider the types of information stored there.”

A Long-term memory can hold recollections of personal experiences as well as factual knowledge acquired through other means such as reading. It also holds skills such as knowing how to ride a bicycle. B In its ability to learn and remember, the brain can distinguish between facts and skills. When you acquire factual knowledge by memorizing dates, word definitions, formulas, and other information, you can consciously retrieve this fact memory from the data bank of your long-term memory. C In contrast, skill memory usually involves motor activities that you learn by repetition without consciously remembering specific information. D You perform learned motor skills, such as walking or riding a bicycle, without consciously recalling the individual steps required to do these tasks.

Where could the sentence best be added?

(A)

(B)

(C)

(D)

13. Select the appropriate sentences from the answer choices and match them to the type of memory that they describe. TWO of the answer choices will NOT be used. This question is worth 4 points.

Types of memory:

  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory

Answer Choices

(A) Inside this structure is a permanent record of everything you have learned.

(B) It reflects sensory perceptions that occur before data are stored permanently.

(C) Information is held here just long enough to be recognized.

(D) It plays an influential role in the entire information processing system.

(E) Information here affects how you interpret your perceptions.

(F) This structure holds information that you are currently using.

(G) It perceives a stimulus and sends it to the brain’s sensory register.

(H) Seven unrelated bits of information can be kept here for about twenty seconds.

(I) It stores memories of personal experiences and factual knowledge.

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 41 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL
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