TOEFL Reading Comprehension| Section 3 Test Practice 01 with Answers


Questions 1-11

        The work of the railroad pioneers in America became the basis for a great surge of railroad building halfway through the nineteenth century that linked the nation together as never before. Railroads eventually became the nation’s number one transportation system and remained so until the construction of the interstate highway system halfway through the twentieth century. They were of crucial importance in stimulating economic expansion, but their influence reached beyond the economy and was pervasive in American society at large.

        By 1804, English, as well as American inventors, had experimented with steam engines for moving land vehicles. In 1920, John Stevens ran a locomotive and cars around in a circular track on his New Jersey estate, which the public saw as an amusing toy. And in 1825, after opening a short length of a track, the Stockton to Darlington Railroad in England became the first line to carry general traffic. American businesspeople, especially those in the Atlantic coastal region who looked for better communication with the West, quickly became interested in the English experiment. The first company in America to begin actual operations was the Baltimore and Ohio, which opened a thirteen- mile length of track in 1830. It used a team of horses to pull a train of passenger carriages and freight wagons along the track. Steam locomotive power didn’t come into regular service until two years later.

        However, for the first decade or more, there was not yet a true railroad system. Even the longest of the lines were relatively short in the 1830’s, and most of them served simply to connect water routes to each other, not to link one railroad to another. Even when two lines did connect, the tracks often differed in width, so cars from one line couldn’t fit onto tracks of the next line. Schedules were unreliable and wrecks were frequent. Significantly, however, some important developments during the 1830’s and 1840’s  included the introduction of heavier iron rails, more flexible and powerful locomotives, and passenger cars were redesigned to become more stable, comfortable, and larger.  By the end of 1830 only 23 miles of track had been laid in the country. But by 1936, more than 1,000 miles of track had been laid in eleven States, and within the decade, almost 3,000 miles had been constructed. By that early age, the United States had already surpassed Great Britain in railroad construction, and particularly from the mid-1860’s, the late nineteenth century belonged to the railroads.

1.The word “stimulating” in line 5 is closest in meaning to

(a) helping

(b) changing

(c) promoting

(d) influencing


2.The word “their” in line 6 refers to

(a) railroad pioneers

(b) railroads

(c) the interstate highway system

(d) American society


3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

(a) The United States regarded Great Britain as a competitor in developing the most efficient railroad system

(b) Steam locomotive power was first used in 1832

(c) American businessmen saw railroads as a threat to established businesses

(d) Steam locomotives replaced horses because of the distances across the country


4.The author concludes that for the first decade or more, there was not yet a true  railroad system because

(a) passenger cars were not stable, comfortable or large

(b) locomotives were not powerful enough

(c) schedules were unreliable and wrecks were frequent

(d) lines were relatively short and not usually linked


5. The word “schedules” in line 23 is closest in meaning to:

(a) safety procedures

(b) employees

(c) timetables

(d) railroad tracks


6. Which of the following is NOT true about the 1830’s and 1840’s  (line 24)

(a) passenger cars became larger

(b) schedules were reliable

(c) locomotives became more powerful

(d) tracks were heavier


7. The word “stable” in line 26 is closest in meaning to

(a) fixed

(b) supportive

(c) reliable

(d) sound


8. By what time had almost 3,000 miles of track been laid?

(a) 1830

(b) 1836

(c) 1840

(d) mid-1860s


9. The word “surpassed” in line 29 is closest in meaning to

(a) exceeded

(b) beaten

(c) overtaken

(d) equaled


10. Where in the passage does the author outline the main conclusions about the importance of  railroads in America?

(a) Lines 3-7

(b) Lines 14-18

(c) Lines 19-21

(d) Lines 29-31


11.Why does the author include details about Great Britain in the passage?

 (a) To compare developments in both the United States and Great Britain

(b) To illustrate the competitiveness between the two countries

(c) To show where Americans got their ideas and technology from

(d) To provide a complete historical context


Questions 12-19

        The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually and the first woman to win this prize was Baroness Bertha Felicie Sophie von Suttner in 1905. In fact, her work inspired the creation of the Prize. The first American woman to win this prize was Jane Addams, in 1931. However, Addams is best known as the founder of  Hull House.

        Jane Addams was born in 1860, into a wealthy family. She was one of a small number of women in her generation to graduate from college. Her commitment to improving the lives of those around her led her to work for social reform and world peace. In the 1880s Jane Addams travelled to Europe. While she was in London, she visited a ‘settlement house’ called Toynbee Hall. Inspired by Toynbee Hall, Addams and her friend, Ellen Gates Starr, opened Hull House in a neighborhood of slums in Chiacago in 1899. Hull House provided a day care center for children of  working mothers, a community kitchen, and visiting nurses. Addams and her staff gave classes in English literacy, art, and other subjects. Hull House also became a meeting place for clubs and labor unions. Most of the people who worked with Addams in Hull House were well educated, middle-class women. Hull House gave them an opportunity to use their education and it provided a training ground for careers in social work.

        Before World War I, Addams was probably the most beloved woman in America. In a newspaper poll that asked, “Who among our contemporaries are of the most value to the community?”, Jane Addams was rated second, after Thomas Edison. When she opposed America’s involvement in World War I, however, newspaper editors called her a traitor and a fool, but she never changed her mind. Jane Addams was a strong champion of several other causes. Until 1920, American women could not vote. Addams joined in the movement for women’s suffrage and was a vice president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. . Her reputation was gradually restored during the last years of her life. She died of cancer in 1935.


12.With which of the following subjects is the passage mainly concerned?

(a) The first award of the Nobel Peace Prize to an American woman

(b) A woman’s work for social reform and world peace

(c) The early development of Social Work in America

(d) Contributions of educated women to American society


13. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

(a) the work of Baroness Bertha Felicie Sophie von Suttner was an inspiration to Jane Addams

(b) Jane Addams is most famous for her opening of Hull House

(c) those who lived near Hull House had very poor literacy skills

(d) Jane addams considered herself as a citizen of the world rather than of one particular country


14. The word “commitment” in line 6 is closest in meaning to

(a) involvement

(b) obligation

(c) dedication

(d) enthusiasm


15. Jane Addams was inspired to open Hull House because:

(a)  it gave educated women an opportunity to use their education and developcareers in social work

(b) she traveled to Europe in the 1880s

(c) she visited Toynbee Hall

(d) she was invited by a ‘settlement house’ in Chicago


16. The word “their” in line 15 refers to

(a) children of working mothers

(b) middle-class women

(c) visiting nurses

(d) labor union members


17. The word “contemporaries” in line 18 is closest in meaning to

(a) people of the same time

(b) famous people still alive

(c) elected officials

(d) people old enough to vote


18. According to the passage, Jane Addams’ reputation was damaged when she

(a) allowed Hull House to become a meeting place for clubs and labor unions

(b) joined in the movement for women’s suffrage

(c)  became a founding member of the NAACP

(d)  opposed America’s involvement in World War I


19. Where in the passage does the author mention the services provided by Hull House?

(a) lines 5-10

(b) lines 10-15

(c) lines  15-20

(d) lines  20-25


Questions  20-29

       The medieval artists didn’t know about perspective; they didn’t want to make their people look like real, individual people in a real, individual scene. They wanted to show the truth, the eternal quality of their religious stories. So these artists didn’t need to know about perspective.

       In the European Renaissance period, artists wanted to show the importance of the

individual person and his or her possessions and surroundings. A flat medieval style couldn’t show this level of reality and the artists needed a new technique. It was the Italian artist Brunelleschi who discovered the technique of perspective drawing. At first, the artists of the Renaissance only had single-point perspective. Later they realized that they could have two-pointed perspective and still later multi-point perspective.

       With two-point perspective, they could turn an object (like a building) at an angle to the picture and draw two sides of it. The technique of perspective which seems so natural to us now is an invented technique, a part of the “grammar of painting”. Like all bits of grammar, there are exceptions about perspective. For example, only vertical and horizontal surfaces seem to meet on eye level. Sloping rooftops don’t meet on eye level.

       For 500 years, artists in Europe made use of perspective drawing in their pictures.  Nevertheless, there is a range of priorities that artists in displaying individual styles. Crivelli wanted to show depth in his picture and he used a simple single-point perspective. Cezanne always talked about space and volume. Van Gogh, like some of the other painters of the Impressionist period, was interested in Japanese prints. And Japanese artists until this century were always very strong designers of “flat” pictures. Picasso certainly made pictures which have volume and depth. However, he wanted to keep our eyes on the surface and to remind us that his paintings are paintings and not illusions.

       It is technically easy to give an illusion of depth. However, a strong two-dimensional design is just as important as a feeling of depth, and perhaps more important.


20.The passage mainly discusses

(a) the difference between medieval and Renaissance art

(b) how the technique of perspective influenced the modern art

(c) the discovery of the technique of perspective

(d)  the contribution of Renaissance artists


21. The word “eternal” in line 3 is closest in meaning to

(a) timeless

(b) infinite

(c) frequent

(d) constant


22. According to the passage, which is the main concern for medieval artists?

(a) the individual person and his/her possessions and surroundings

(b) real people, real scenes

(c) eternal timeless truth of the earth

(d) themes of religious stories


23. The discovery of perspective was the result of

(a) Renaissance artists’ to prove that the medieval artists could show level of reality

(b) the need to turn an object  at an angle  and draw more than one side of it

(c) the subject being shifted from religious stories to individual person and surroundings.

(d) natural evolution of human senses


24. The word “it” in line 12 refers to

(a) the picture

(b) perspective

(c) angle

(d) the object


25. The word  “Grammar ” in line 13 is closest in meaning to

(a) construction

(b) grammatical rules

(c) rules and regulations

(d) tones and volume    


26. The author’s purpose to give the example in line14-15 is to

(a) explain how perspective work in painting

(b) support  two-pointed perspective

(c) illustrate that there are exceptions about perspective

(d) point out that the technique of perspective though seems so natural is an invented technique


27. The following artists’ priorities in style shift away from perspective except

(a) Crivelli

(b) Cezanne

(c)  Japanese artists

(d) Brunelleschi


28. The word ”Illusion” in line 25 is closest in meaning to

(a) deception

(b) photograph

(c) decoration

(d)  illustration


29. It can be inferred from the passage that Renaissance artists

(a) embraced the medieval style of eternal truth

(b) needed to develop a new approach towards painting to show a new level of reality

(c) were inspired by vertical and horizontal surfaces in inventing the technique of perspective

(d) saw two-dimensional design more important than a feeling of depth


Questions 30-39

       There are two main hypotheses when it comes to explaining the emergence of modern humans. The ‘Out of Africa’ theory holds that homo sapiens burst onto the scene as a new species around 150,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa and subsequently replaced archaic humans such as the Neandertals. The other model, known as multi-regional evolution or regional continuity, posits far more ancient and diverse roots for our kind. Proponents of this view believe that homo sapiens arose in Africa some 2 million years ago and evolved as a single species spread across the Old World, with populations in different regions linked through genetic and cultural exchange.

       Of these two models, Out of Africa, which was originally developed based on fossil evidence, and supported by much genetic research, has been favored by the majority of evolution scholars. The vast majority of  these genetic studies have focused on DNA from living populations, and although some small progress has been made in recovering DNA from Neandertal that appears to support multi-regionalism, the chance of recovering nuclear DNA from early human fossils is quite slim at present. Fossils thus remain very much a part of the human origins debate.

      Another means of gathering theoretical evidence is through bones. Examinations of early modern human skulls from Central Europe and Australia dated to between 20,000 and 30,000 years old have suggested that both groups apparently exhibit traits seen in their Middle Eastern and African predecessors. But the early modern specimens from Central Europe also display Neandertal traits, and the early modern Australians showed affinities to archaic Homo from Indonesia. Meanwhile, the debate among paleoanthropologists continues, as supporters of the two hypotheses challenge the evidence and conclusions of each other.


30. The passage primarily discusses which of the following

(a) Evidence that supports the “Out of Africa” theory

(b) Two hypotheses and some  evidence on the human origins debate

(c) The difficulties in obtaining agreement among theorists on the human origins debate

(d) That fossils remain very much a part of the human origins debate


31. The word “emergence” in line 1 is closest in meaning to

(a) complexity

(b) development

(c) appearance

(d) decline


32. The word “proponents” in line 6 is closet in meaning to

(a) experts

(b) advocates

(c) inspectors

(d) historians


33.All of the following are true except

(a) three methods of gathering evidence are mentioned in the passage

(b) the multi-regional model goes back further in history.

(c) the Out of Africa model has had more support from scholars

(d) DNA studies offer one of the best ways in future to provide clear evidence.


34. The word “slim” in line 14 is closest in meaning to

(a) small

(b) narrow

(c) thin

(d) difficult


35. Which of the following is not true

(a) the vast majority of genetic studies have focused on living populations

(b) early modern human skulls all support the same conclusions

(c) both hypotheses focus on Africa as a location for the new species.

(d) early modern Australian skulls have similarities to those from Indonesia.


36. In line 18, the word “their ” refers to which of the following

(a) Middle Easterners and Africans

(b) skulls

(c) central Europeans and Australians

(d) traits


37. Which of the following is NOT true about the two hypotheses

(a) Both hypotheses regard Neandertals to be the predecessors of modern humans

(b) Genetic studies have supported both hypotheses

(c) Both hypotheses cite Africa as an originating location.

(d) One hypothesis dates the emergence of  homo sapiens much earlier than the other.


38. It can be inferred from the passage that

(a) there is likely to be an end to the debate in the near future

(b) the debate will interest historians to take part in

(c) the debate is likely to be less important in future

(d) there is little likelihood that the debate will die down


39. According to the passage, the multi-regional evolution model posits far more diverse roots for our kind because

(a) Evidence from examinations of early modern human skulls has come from a number of different parts of the world.

(b) DNA from Neandertal appears to support multi-regionalism

(c) Populations in different regions were linked through genetic and cultural exchange

(d) This has been supported by fossil evidence


Questions 40-50

        Although management principles have been implemented since ancient times, most management scholars trace the beginning of modern management thought back to the early 1900s, beginning with the pioneering work of Frederick Taylor (1856-1915). Taylor was the first person to study work scientifically. He is most famous for introducing techniques of time and motion study, differential piece rate systems, and for systematically specializing the work of operating employees and managers. Along with other pioneers such as Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, Taylor set the stage, labeling his philosophy and methods “scientific management’. At that time, his philosophy, which was concerned with productivity, but which was often misinterpreted as promoting worker interests at the expense of management, was in marked contrast to the prevailing industrial norms of worker exploitation.

        The time and motion study concepts were popularized by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. The Gilbreths  had 12 children. By analyzing his children’s dishwashing and bedmaking chores, this pioneer efficiency expert, Frank Gilbreth, hit on principles whereby workers could eliminate waste motion. He was memorialized by two of his children in their 1949 book called “Cheaper by the Dozen”.

        The Gilbreth methods included using stop watches to time worker movements and special tools (cameras and special clocks) to monitor and study worker performance, and also involved identification of “therbligs” (Gilbreth spelled backwards) – basic motions used in production jobs. Many of these motions and accompanying times have been used to determine how long it should take a skilled worker to perform a given job. In this way an industrial engineer can get a handle on the approximate time it should take to produce a product or provide a service. However, use of work analysis in this way is unlikely to lead to useful results unless all five work dimensions are considered: physical, psychological, social, cultural, and power. 

40. What is the passage primarily about?

(a) The limitations of pioneering studies in understanding human behavior

(b) How time and motion studies were first developed

(c) The first applications of a scientific approach to understanding human behavior

(d) The beginnings of modern management theory


41. The word “ which” in line 9 refers to 

(a) scientific management

(b) philosophy

(c) productivity   

(d) time and motion study


42. It can be inferred from the first paragraph that

(a) workers welcomed the application of scientific management

(b) Talor’s philosophy is different from the industrial norms

(c) by the early 1900s science had reached a stage where it could be applied to the workplace

(d) workers were no longer exploited after the introduction of scientific management.


43. The word “prevailing” in line 10 is closest in meaning to

(a) predominant

(b) broadly accepted

(c) prevalent

(d) common


44. According to the passage, Frank Gilbreth discovered how workers could eliminate  waste motion by

(a) using special tools such as cameras and clocks

(b) using stop watches

(c) applying scientific management principles

(d) watching his children do their chores


45. The basic motions used in production jobs were given which one of following names by Frank Gilbreth?

(a) dimensions

(b) gilreths

(c)  therbligs

(d)  monitors


46. According to the passage, the time it takes a skilled worker to perform the motion of a given job can be measured by using:

(a) stop watches

(b) all 5 work dimensions

(c) special tools

(d) therbligs


47. The word “motions” in line 20 is closest in meaning to

(a) stop watches

(b) habits

(c) actions

(d) special tools


48. Where in the passage does the author comment that the principles of scientific management were often misunderstood?

(a) Lines 1-5

(b) Lines 6-10

(c) Lines 11-15

(d) Lines 16-20


49.  The word “ dimensions” in line 24 is closest in meaning to

(a) sizes

(b) extents

(c) aspects

(d) standards


50.  All of the following are true except

(a) scientific management was  concerned with productivity.

(b) the beginnings of modern management thought commenced in the 19th century.

(c) Frank Gilbreth’s fame was enhanced by two of his children writing a book.

(d) analyzing work to increase productivity is not likely to be used unless all of the dimensions are considered.


Test 1– Answer Key

1.c 2.b 3.b 4.d 5.c 6.b 7.d 8.c 9.a 10.a

11.d 12.b 13.b 14.c 15.c 16.b 17.a 18.d 19.b 20.b

21.a 22.d 23.c 24.d 25.c 26.c 27.d 28.a 29.b 30.b

31.c 32.b 33.d 34.a 35.b 36.c 37.a 38.d 39.c 40.d

41.b 42.b 43.a 44.d 45.c 46.d 47.c 48.b 49.c 50.b

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