TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 50 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
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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.
P1: A useful definition of an air pollutant is a compound added directly or indirectly by humans to the atmosphere in such quantities as to affect humans, animals
vegetations, or materials adversely. Air pollution requires a very flexible definition that permits continuous change. When the first air pollution laws were established in England in the fourteenth century, air pollutants were limited to compounds that could be seen or smelled-a far cry from the extensive list of harmful substances known
today. As technology has developed and knowledge of the health aspects of various chemicals has increased, the list of air pollutants has lengthened. In the future, even water vapor might be considered an air pollutant under certain conditions. Many of the more important air pollutants, such as sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides, are found in nature. As the Earth developed, the concentrations of these pollutants were altered by various chemical reactions; they became components in biogeochemical cycle. These serve as an air purification scheme by allowing the compounds to move from the air to the water or soil on a global basis, nature’s output of these compounds dwarfs that resulting form human activities. However, human production usually occurs in a localized area, such as a city.
P2: In this localized regions, human output may be dominant and may temporarily overload the natural purification scheme of the cycle. The result is an increased concentration
of noxious chemicals in the air. The concentrations at which the adverse effects appear will be greater than the concentrations that the pollutants would have in the absence of human activities. The actual concentration need not be large for a substance to be a pollutant; in fact the numerical value tells us little until we know how much of an increase this represents over the concentration that would occur naturally in the area. For example, sulfur dioxide has detectable health effects at 0.08 parts per million (ppm), which is about 400 times its natural level. Carbon monoxide, however, ahs a natural level of 0.1 ppm and is not usually a pollutant until its level reaches about 15 ppm.
1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) The economic impact of air pollution
(B) What constitutes an air pollutant
(C) How much harm air pollutants can cause
(D) The effects of compounds added to the atmosphere
2. The word “adversely” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
3. It can be inferred from the first paragraph that
(A) water vapor is an air pollutant in localized areas
(B) most air pollutants today can be seen or smelled
(C) the definition of air pollution will continue to change
(D) a substance becomes an air pollutant only in cities
4. The word “altered” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
5. Natural pollutants can play an important role in controlling air pollution for which of the following reasons?
(A) They function as part of a purification process.
(B) They occur in greater quantities than other pollutants.
(C) They are less harmful to living beings than are other pollutants.
(D) They have existed since the Earth developed.
6.According to the passage, which of the following is true about human-generated air pollution in localized regions?
(A) It can be dwarfed by nature’s output of pollutants in the localized region.
(B) It can overwhelm the natural system that removes pollutants.
(C) It will damage areas outside of the localized regions.
(D) It will react harmfully with naturally occurring pollutants.
7. The word “noxious‘ in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
8. According to the passage, the numerical valued of the concentration level of a substance is only useful if
(A) the other substances in the area are known
(B) it is in a localized area
(C) the naturally occurring level is also known
(D) it can be calculated quickly
9. The word “detectable” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
10. Which of the following is best supported by the passage?
(A) To effectively control pollution local government should regularly review their air pollution laws.
(B) One of the most important steps in preserving natural lands is to better enforce air pollution laws.
(C) Scientists should be consulted in order to establish uniform limits for all air pollutants.
(D) Human activities have been effective in reducing air pollution.