TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 54 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 54 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.

Passage 1: 

P1: One of the most important social developments that helped to make possible a shift in thinking about the role of public education was the effect of the baby boom of the 1950’s and 1960’s on the schools. In the 1920’s, but especially in the Depression Line conditions of the 1930’s, the United States experienced a declining birth rate -every thousand women aged fifteen to forty-four gave birth to about 118 live children in 1920, 89.2 in 1930, 75.8 in 1936, and 80 in 1940. With the growing prosperity brought on by the Second World War and the economic boom that followed it, young people married and established households earlier and began to raise larger families than had their predecessors during the Depression. Birth rates rose to 102 per thousand in 1946, 106.2 in 1950, and 118 in 1955. Although economics was probably the most important determinant, it is not the only explanation for the baby boom. The increased value placed on the idea of the family also helps to explain this rise in birth rates. The baby boomers began streaming into the first grade by the mid-1940’s and became a flood by 1950. The public school system suddenly found itself overtaxed. While the number of schoolchildren rose because of wartime and postwar conditions, these same conditions made the schools even less prepared to cope with the flood. The wartime economy meant that few new schools were built between 1940 and 1945. Moreover, during the war and in the boom times that followed, large numbers of teachers left their profession for better-paying jobs elsewhere in the economy.

P2: Therefore, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the baby boom hit an antiquated and inadequate school system. Consequently, the “custodial rhetoric” of the 1930’s and early 1940’s no longer made sense; that is, keeping youths aged sixteen and older out of the labor market by keeping them in school could no longer be a high priority for an institution unable to find space and staff to teach younger children aged five to sixteen. With the baby boom, the focus of educators and of laymen interested in education inevitably turned toward the lower grades and back to basic academic skills and discipline. The system no longer had much interest in offering nontraditional, new, and extra services to older youths.

1. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) The teaching profession during the baby boom

(B) Birth rates in the United States in the 1930’s and 1940

(C) The impact of the baby boom on public education

(D) The role of the family in the 1950’s and 1960’s

2. The word “it” in paragraph 1 refers to

(A) 1955

(B) economics

(C) the baby boom

(D) value

3. The word “overtaxed” in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to

(A) well prepared

(B) plentifully supplied

(C) heavily burdened

(D) charged too much

4. The public school of the 1950’s and 1960’s faced all of the following problems EXCEPT

(A) To indicate that the observations are timely

(B) To show why the observations are of limited value

(C) To compare data from balloons and computers

(D) To give an example of international cooperation

5. According to the passage, why did teachers leave the teaching profession after the outbreak of the war?

(A) The needed to be retrained

(B) They were dissatisfied with the curriculum.

(C) Other jobs provided higher salaries.

(D) Teaching positions were scarce.

6. The word “inadequate” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) deficient

(B) expanded

(C) innovative

(D) specialized

7. The “custodial rhetoric” mentioned in paragraph 2 refers to

(A) raising a family

(B) keeping older individuals in school

(C) running an orderly house hold

(D) maintaining discipline in the classroom

8. The word “inevitably” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to

(A) unwillingly

(B) impartially

(C) irrationally

(D) unavoidably

9. Where in the passage does the author refer to the attitude of Americans toward raising a family in the 1950’s and 1960’s?

(A) Lines 1-3

(B) Lines 11-12

(C) Lines 20-21

(D) Lines 24-26

10. Which of the following best characterizes the organization of the passage?

(A) The second paragraph presents the effect of circumstances described in the first paragraph.

(B) The second paragraph provides a fictional account to illustrate a problem presented in the first paragraph.

(C) The second paragraph argues against a point made in the first paragraph.

(D) The second paragraph introduces a problem not mentioned in the first paragraph.

TOEFL IBT Reading Practice Test 54 from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test
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