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CBT TOEFL Section review


Test Summary
Registration
Section review
Score
Test preparation

There are four sections in the CBT TOEFL. As their names suggest, sections measure particular language skills. Each section contributes to one third of your score.

Listening Comprehension

Time: 40-60 minutes
Format: 30-49 questions
Topics tested: Spoken English

This section of the test is designed to give "an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to understand spoken English." The type of spoken English tested in this section is quite particular. You will hear material typical of what you would encounter if you were a student at a North American college or university. The listening comprehension section of paper-based TOEFL is further divided into three parts:

Part A
This part contains short dialogues between two speakers. After each dialogue a third voice will ask a question about what was said. EXAMPLE
 


Directions

In Part A, you will hear short conversations between two people. Each conversation is followed by a question about it. Each question in this part has four answer choices. Click on the best answer to each question. Answer the questions on the basis of what is stated or implied by the speakers.


Example

On the recording, you will hear:

(man) So, I hear that you're having a party tonight.
(woman) Yesre invited. I am. It's at my house and you're invited. It starts at 8 and I live on 50th Street.
(narrator) What will the man probably do?


During the conversation you will see an accompanying image on the screen of the computer. After the dialogue you will see the answer choices:

(  ) Be late for the woman's party.
(  ) Go to the woman's party tomorrow night.
(  ) Go to the woman's house on 15th Street.
(  ) Attend the woman's party.

You learn from the conversation that the woman organizes a party tonight and the man would like to attend it. Therefore the best answer is "Attend the woman's party".

 


Part B
This part includes 2 longer conversations and talks. After each conversation or talk, you hear a series of questions (3 to 5). EXAMPLE
 


Directions

In Part B of the test, you will have an opportunity to hear longer conversations and talk. Each conversation or talk is followed by a series of questions. The conversations and talks will not be repeated. Each question has four answer choices. Click on the best answer to each question. Answer the questions on the bases what is stated or implied by the speakers.


Example (conversation)

On the recording, you will hear:

(man) Hi June! What are you doing?
(woman) Oh hi! I'm just writing down some information about this concert next week. I have seen these signs all over campus, but I've been so busy that I haven't had time to think about the concert until now. Have you heard of this group?
(man) Yeah, I know thir music really well. I have all their albums. I have heard from many people that they are not very good in concert. Apparently, they are known to cancel concerts at the last minute and to stop playing after hafl an hour.
(woman) That's strange. My sister in California saw them play last semester and she loved the show. She said that they played for two hours and at the end of the concert they threw free tee-shirts to the audience.
(man) Oh really? Maybe they have changed. Well, anyway, I don't want to risk seeing a bad performance, especially when you consider the price of concert tickets these day; I have decided that music grouops have become real thieves!
(women) Well, hereer is some good news. This concert is free to all students from this university, so there is no risk of not getting your money's worth. Come with me! I promise we'll have a good time.
(man) Ok, you've convinced me. Free or not, I hope this concert wont' be disappointing.

During the conversation, you will see accompanying images on the screen of your computer. After the talk you will hear a question and see the answer choises.

(narrator) Why hasn't the woman thought about the concert until now?

(  ) She heard that the group doesnt' play well in concert.
(  ) She has not had time to think about the show.
(  ) She had not yet seen the signs posted on campus.
(  ) She has been too busy to meet with the man

The best answer to the question is "She has not had time to think about the show."


Example (talk)

On the recording, you will hear:

(narrator) Llisten to an instructor talk to his class about a television program.
(man) I'd like to tell you about an interesting TV program that'll be shown this coming THursday. It'll be on from 9 to 10 pm on Channel 4. It's part of a series called "Mysteries of Human Biology." The subject of the program is the human brain--how it functions and how it can malfunction. Topics that will be covered are dreams, memory, and depression. These topics are illustrated with outstanding computer animation that makes the explanations easy to follow. Make an effort to see this show. Since we've been studying the nervous system in class, I know you'll find it very helpful.


During the talk, you will see accompanying images on the screen of your computer. After the talk you will be presented with a quested and four answer choices:

(narrator) What is the main purpose of the program?


(  ) To demonstrate the latest use of computer graphics.
(  ) To discuss the possibility of an economic depression.
(  ) To explain the workings of the brain.
(  ) To dramatize a famous mystery story.

The best answer to the question, "What is the main purpose of the program?" is "To explain the workings of the brain."


 



Structure

Time: 15-20 minutes
Format: 20-25 questions
Topics tested: Standard written English (grammar and structure)
Problem types: sentence completion, error identification

The Structure section tests your understanding of American English grammar. There are two types of questions in this section:

Sentence Completion
The questions in the Structure part are incomplete sentences. You are to complete these sentences by selecting one of the four answer choices below each sentence. EXAMPLE
 


Directions

Questions 1 to 3 are incomplete sentences. You are to complete these sentences by selecting one of the four answer choices below each sentence.  You musth click on the one word or phrase that most appropriately completes the sentence.


Example

An ombudsman is a public official appointed to investigate citizens' complaints ______ the government.

(  ) for
(  ) to
(  ) against
(  ) with

The sentence should read, "An ombudsman is a publi c official appointed to investigate citizens'' complaints against the government." Therefore, your answer should be (C).


Practice Questions

1. Michael Jordan _______ in the National Basketball Association.

(  ) he won the five World Championships
(  ) has won five World Championships
(  ) winning five World Championshiops
(  ) have won five World Championships

2. Amber, _______, is often found to contain insects, perfectly preserved for thousands of years.

(  ) it hardened sap from trees
(  ) was the hardened sap from trees
(  ) it was hardened sap from trees
(  ) the hardened sap from trees

3. Aristotle wrote that the way things happen in the universe is _______ a natural order of events.

(  ) based in
(  ) based on
(  ) from the base
(  ) based from


Answer key below.
















Answer key

1. winning five World Championships
2. the hardest sap from trees
3. based on

 


Error Identification
In this part, you are presented with a sentence that has four underlined words or phrases. You must choose the one word or phrase that must be changed in order for the sentence to be grammatically correct. EXAMPLE
 


Directions

Questions 1 to 3 are incomplete sentences. You are to complete these sentences by selecting one of the four answer choices below each sentence.  You musth click on the one word or phrase that most appropriately completes the sentence.


Example

An ombudsman is a public official appointed to investigate citizens' complaints ______ the government.

(  ) for
(  ) to
(  ) against
(  ) with

The sentence should read, "An ombudsman is a publi c official appointed to investigate citizens'' complaints against the government." Therefore, your answer should be (C).


Practice Questions

1. Michael Jordan _______ in the National Basketball Association.

(  ) he won the five World Championships
(  ) has won five World Championships
(  ) winning five World Championshiops
(  ) have won five World Championships

2. Amber, _______, is often found to contain insects, perfectly preserved for thousands of years.

(  ) it hardened sap from trees
(  ) was the hardened sap from trees
(  ) it was hardened sap from trees
(  ) the hardened sap from trees

3. Aristotle wrote that the way things happen in the universe is _______ a natural order of events.

(  ) based in
(  ) based on
(  ) from the base
(  ) based from


Answer key below.
















Answer key

1. winning five World Championships
2. the hardest sap from trees
3. based on

 



Reading Comprehension

Time: 70-90 minutes
Format: 44-55 questions
Topics tested: Reading comprehension and vocabulary
Problem types: Reading passages followed by a series of questions

The Reading Comprehension section tests your ability to understand and analyze information presented in a written form. Questions in this section are divided among several passages. The passages vary in length and are usually 200 and 500 words. Following each passage are 8-12 multiple-choice questions. The subject matter most commonly found in Reading Comprehension passages fits into three categories: science, humanities, social sciences. EXAMPLE
 


Directions

In this section you will read several passages. Each one is followed by several  questions. You are to choose the one best answer to each question. Answer questions on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.


Example

Read the following passage:

1



5




10

Agriculture is the science of producing crops and
livestock, its goals include increased production
while protecting the land from deterioration. There
are several branches of agriculture, some of which
are: agronomy, horticulture, entomology, and animal
husbandry. One of the interesting things about
agriculture is its link to social, political, and economic
organization. As agriculture developed among the
earliest peoples, it encouraged stability. Its
international influence is apparent during the 16th
and 17th centuries, when horticulture knowledge
expanded and methods of farming were exchanged
between countries.


What is the main idea of the passage?

(  ) Agriculture encompasses many branches of science.
(  ) International politics influenced farming
(  ) The development of agriculture had an affect on international communities as well as on small, previously transient communities.
(  ) The science of producing livestock was created to protect the land.

The main idea in the passage is that agriculture incluenced many aspects of social, political, asd economic life. Therefore, the best answer is "The development of agriculture had an affect on internatinal communities as well as on small, previously transient communities.".



Practice Questions

Questions 1-3

1



5





10




15

Paper is thin, flat sheet usually made from plat fibers.
It was probably invented in 105 AFD in China , where
it was made from a combination of bark and hemp.
The Moors introduced the papermaking process into
Spain about 1150, and by the 15th century, when
printing developed in Europe, paper mills had spread
throughout the Continent.

The basic papermaking process, which although now
largely mechanical has changed little since the
invention of paper, exploits the ability of plant cell
fibers to bond together when a pulp made from the
fibers is spread in a screen and dried. Today, paper
is made principally from wood pulp combined with
pulps from waste paper or, fro fine grades of paper,
with fibers from cotton rags.


1. According to the passage, paper was probably invented in
(  ) Spain
(  ) China
(  ) Europe
(  ) Continent

2. Paper is generally made from
(  ) Wood pulp combined with pulps from waste paper
(  ) Dried wood pulp mixed with newsprint
(  ) Wood chips and cotton
(  ) Ground wood and boiled water

3. Look at the word "it" in line 3. What does it refer to?
(  ) paper
(  ) China
(  ) thin, flat sheet
(  ) plant fiber


Answer key below.
















Answer key

1. China
2. Wood pulp  combined  with pulp from waste paper
3. paper

 



Writing

Time: 30 minutes
Format: one essay
Topics tested: General writing, argument development and presentation
Problem type: an essay topic (no specific subject area knowledge required to write the essay)

This section measures your ability to generate and support ideas in a written form. You have to write an essay on a given topic.


For more information visit the official TOEFL web-site at http://www.toefl.org or refer to the TOEFL Information Bulletin.
 

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