В этой секции проверяется ваше умение понимать научные тексты на английском языке. Задание: прочитать 3–4 отрывка из текстов и ответить на вопросы в контексте данных отрывков. На выполнение секции «Reading» отводится 60–80 минут, вопросов в этой части – от 36 до 56.
В интернете можно найти множество видеоуроков и полезных советов о том, как сдать TOEFL. Ниже – образцы видеоуроков по TOEFL Reading:
Ниже – образцы текстоы и типовых тестовых заданий с ответами:
I. Read the following passage:
The railroad was not the first institution to impose regularity on
society, or to draw attention to the importance of precise
timekeeping. For as long as merchants have set out their wares at
daybreak and communal festivities have been celebrated, people
have been in rough agreement with their neighbors as to the time of
day. The value of this tradition is today more apparent than ever.
Were it not for public acceptance of a single yardstick of time,
social life would be unbearably chaotic: the massive daily transfers
of goods, services, and information would proceed in fits and
starts; the very fabric of modern society would begin to unravel.
1. What is the main idea of the passage?
A. In modern society we must make more time for our neighbors.
B. The traditions of society are timeless.
C. An accepted way of measuring time is essential for the smooth functioning of society.
D. Society judges people by the times at which they conduct certain activities.
2. In line 6, the phrase "this tradition" refers to
A. the practice of starting the business day at dawn
B. friendly relations between neighbors
C. the railroad's reliance on time schedules
D. people's agreement on the measurement of time
II. Read the following passage:
Meteorite Impact and Dinosaur Extinction
There is increasing evidence that the impacts of meteorites have had important effects on Earth, particularly in the field of biological evolution. Such impacts continue to pose a natural hazard to life on Earth. Twice in the twentieth century, large meteorite objects are known to have collided with Earth.
If an impact is large enough, it can disturb the environment of the entire Earth and cause an ecological catastrophe. The best-documented such impact took place 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period of geological history. This break in Earth’s history is marked by a mass extinction, when as many as half the species on the planet became extinct. While there are a dozen or more mass extinctions in the geological record, the Cretaceous mass extinction has al
ways intrigued paleontologists because it marks the end of the age of the dinosaurs. For tens of millions of years, those great creatures had flourished. Then, suddenly, they disappeared.
The body that impacted Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period was a meteorite with a mass of more than a trillion tons and a diameter of at least 10 kilometers. Scientists first identified this impact in 1980 from the worldwide layer of sediment deposited from the dust cloud that enveloped the planet after theimpact. This sediment layer is enriched in the rare metal iridium and other elements that are relatively abundantin a meteorite but very rare in the crust of Earth. Even diluted by the terrestrial material excavated from the crater, this component of meteorites is easily identified. By 1990 geologists had located the impact site itself in the Yucatán region of Mexico. The crater, now deeply buried in sediment, was originally about
200 kilometers in diameter.
This impact released an enormous amount of energy, excavating a crater about twice as large as the lunar crater Tycho. The explosion lifted about 100 trillion tons of dust into the atmosphere, as can be determined by measuring the thickness of the sediment layer formed when this dust settled to the surface. Such a quantity of material would have blocked the sunlight completely from reaching the surface, plunging Earth into a period of cold and darkness that lasted at least several months. The explosion is also calculated to have produced vast quantities of nitricacid and melted rock that sprayed out over much of Earth, starting widespread fires that must have consumed most terrestrial forests and grassland. Presumably, those environmental disasters could have been responsible for the mass extinction, including the death of the dinosaurs.
Several other mass extinctions in the geological record have been tentatively identified with large impacts, but none is so dramatic as the Cretaceous event. But even without such specific documentation, it is clear that impacts of this size do occur and that their results can be catastrophic. What is a catastrophe for one group of living things, however, may create opportunities for another group. Following each mass extinction, there is a sudden evolutionary burst as new species develop to fill the ecological niches opened by the event.
Impacts by meteorites represent one mechanism that could cause global catastrophes and seriously influence the evolution of life all
over the planet. According to some estimates, the majority of all extinctions of species may be due to such impacts. Such a perspective fundamentally changes our view of biological evolution. The standard criterion for the
survival of a species is its success in competing with other species and adapting to slowly changing environments. Yet an equally important criterion is the ability of a species to survive random global ecological catastrophes due to impacts.
Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting gallery, subject to random violent events that were unsuspected a few decades ago. In 1991 the United States Congress asked NASA to investigate the hazard posed today by large impacts on Earth. The group conducting the study concluded from a detailed analysis that
impacts from meteorites can indeed be hazardous. Although there is always some risk that a large impact could occur, careful study shows that this risk is quite small.
1. The word «pose» on line 2 is closest in meaning to
2. In paragraph 2, why does the author include the information that dinosaurs had flourished for tens of millions of years and then suddenly disappeared?
a. To support the claim that the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous is
the best-documented of the dozen or so mass extinctions in the geological record
b. To explain why as many as half of the species on Earth at the time are believed to have become extinct at the end of the Cretaceous
c. To explain why paleontologists have always been intrigued by the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous
d. To provide evidence that an impact can be large enough to disturb the environment of the entire planet and cause an ecological disaster
3. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 3 about the location of the meteorite impact in Mexico?
a. The location of the impact site in Mexico was kept secret by geologists from 1980 to 1990.
b. It was a well-known fact that the impact had occurred in the Yucatán region.
c. Geologists knew that there had been an impact before they knew where it had occurred.
d. The Yucatán region was chosen by geologists as the most probable impact site because of its climate.
4. According to paragraph 3, how did scientists determine that a large meteorite had impacted Earth?
a. They discovered a large craterin the Yucatán region of Mexico.
b. They found a unique layer of sediment worldwide.
c. They were alerted by archaeologists who had been excavating in the Yucatán region.
d. They located a meteorite with a mass of over a trillion tons.
5. Look at the four letters (A, B, C, and D) that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage in paragraph 6. This is the criterion emphasized by Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Where would the sentence best fit? Impacts by meteorites represent one mechanism that could cause global catastrophes and seriously influence the evolution of life all over the planet.
(A) According to some estimates, the majority of all extinctions of species may be due to such impacts.
(B) Such a perspective fundamentally changes our view of biological evolution.
(C) The standard criterion for the survival of a species is its success in competing with other species and adapting to slowly changing environments.
(D)Yet an equally important criterion is the ability of a species to survive random global ecological catastrophes due to impacts.
Choose the place where the sentence fits best.
a. Option A
b. Option B
c. Option C
d. Option D
6. An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.
Write your answer choices in the spaces where they belong. You can write in the number of the answer choice or the whole sentence.
Scientists have linked the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous with a
meteorite impact on Earth.
(1) Scientists had believed for centuries that meteorite activity influenced evolution on Earth.
(2) The site of the large meteoriteimpact at the end of the Cretaceous period was identified in 1990.
(3) There have also been large meteorite impacts on the surface of the Moon,leaving craters like Tycho.
(4) An iridium-enriched sediment layer and a large impact crater in the Yucatán provide evidence that a large meteorite struck Earth about 65 million years ago.
(5) Large meteorite impacts, such as one at the end of the Cretaceous period, can seriously affect climate, ecological niches, plants, and animals.
(6) Meteorite impacts can be advantageous for some species, which thrive, and disastrous for other species, which become extinct.
Ответ: 4, 5, 6