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The TOEFL iBT ® Reading section is designed to assess how well you can read and understand the kind of materials used in an academic environment. It includes 3 or 4 reading passages, each approximately 700 words long, with 10 questions per passage. You have 54 to 72 minutes to answer all the questions in the section.

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New TOEFL Reading Question-03

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Rock Art of the Australia Aborigines

Ever since European first explored Australia, people have been trying to understand the ancient rock drawings and cavings created by the Aborigines, the original inhabitants of the continent. Early in the nineteenth century, encounters with Aboriginal rock art tended to be infrequent and open to speculative interpretation, but since the late nineteenth century, awareness of the extent and variety of Australian rock art has been growing. In the latter decades of the twentieth century there were intensified efforts to understand and record the abundance of Australian rock art.

The systematic study of this art is a relatively new discipline in Australia. Over the past four decades new discoveries have steadily added to the body of knowledge. The most significant data have come from a concentration on three major questions. First, what is the age of Australian rock art? Second, what is its stylistic organization and is it possible to discern a sequence or a pattern of development between styles? Third, is it possible to interpret accurately the subject matter of ancient rock art, bring to bear all available archaeological techniques and the knowledge of present-day Aboriginal informants?

The age of Australia’s rock art is constantly being revised, and earlier datings have been proposed as the result of new discoveries. Currently, reliable scientific evidence dates the earliest creation of art on rock surfaces in Australia to somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago. This in itself is an almost incomprehensible span of generations, and one that makes Australia’s rock art the oldest continuous art tradition in the world.

Although the remarkable antiquity of Australia’s rock art is now established, the sequences and meanings of its images have been widely debated. Since the mid-1970s a reasonably stable picture has formed of the organization of Australian rock art. In order to create a sense of structure to this picture, researchers have relied on a distinction that still underlies the forms of much indigenous visual culture—a distinction between geometric and figurative elements. Simple geometric repeated patterns—circles, concentric circles, and lines—constitute the iconography (characteristic images) of the earliest rock-art sites found across Australia. The frequency with which certain simple motifs appear in these oldest sites has led rock-art researchers to adopt a descriptive term—the Panaramitee style—a label which takes its name from the extensive rock pavements at Panaramitee North in desert South Australia, which are covered with motifs pecked into the surface. Certain features of these engravings lead to the conclusion that they are of great age—geological changes had clearly happened after the designs had been made and local Aboriginal informants, when first questioned about them, seemed to know nothing of their origins. Furthermore, the designs were covered with “desert varnish” a glaze that develops on rock surfaces over thousands of years of exposure to the elements. The simple motifs found at Panaremitee are common to many rock-art sites across Australia. Indeed, sites with engravings of geometric shapes are also to be found on the island of Tasmania, which was separated from the mainland of the continent some 10,000 years ago.

In the 1970s when the study of Australian archaeology was in an exciting phase of development, with the great antiquity of rock art becoming clear0 Lesley Maynard the archaeologist who coined the phrase “Panaramitee style,” suggested that a sequence could be determined for Australian rock art in which a geometric style gave way to a simple figurative style that, unlike the pan-Australian geometric tradition tended to much greater regional diversity. While accepting that this sequence fits the archaeological profile of those sites, which were occupied continuously over many thousands of years a number of writers have warned that the underlying assumption of such a sequence—a development from the simple and the geometric to the complex and naturalistic—obscures the cultural continuities in Aboriginal Australia in which geometric symbolism remains fundamentally important. In this context the simplicity of a geometric motif may be more apparent than real. Motifs of seeming simplicity can encode complex meanings in Aboriginal Australia. And has not twentieth-century art shown that naturalism does not necessarily follow abstraction in some kind of predetermine sequence?

Paragraph 1: Ever since European first explored Australia, people have been trying to understand the ancient rock drawings and cavings created by the Aborigines, the original inhabitants of the continent. Early in the nineteenth century, encounters with Aboriginal rock art tended to be infrequent and open to speculative interpretation, but since the late nineteenth century, awareness of the extent and variety of Australian rock art has been growing. In the latter decades of the twentieth century there were intensified efforts to understand and record the abundance of Australian rock art.

  1. The word “infrequent” in the passage is closest in meaning to

○puzzling

○uncommon

○questionable

○undocumented

  1. According to paragraph 1, the twentieth-century approach to studying Australian rock art was different from earlier approaches because the twentieth-century approach

○recognized that many different groups of Aborigines created Australian rock art

○concentrated on a limited range of Aboriginal rock art

○examined Aboriginal art from an Aboriginal rather than from a European perspective

○focused more intensely on understanding and documenting rock art

Paragraph 2: The systematic study of this art is a relatively new discipline in Australia. Over the past four decades new discoveries have steadily added to the body of knowledge. The most significant data have come from a concentration on three major questions. First, what is the age of Australian rock art? Second, what is its stylistic organization and is it possible to discern a sequence or a pattern of development between styles? Third, is it possible to interpret accurately the subject matter of ancient rock art, bring to bear all available archaeological techniques and the knowledge of present-day Aboriginal informants?

  1. The word “relatively” in the passage is closest in meaning to

○completely

○comparatively

○apparently

○particularly

  1. The word “discern” in the passage is closest in meaning to

○indicate

○apply

○identify

○repeat

Paragraph 3: The age of Australia’s rock art is constantly being revised, and earlier datings have been proposed as the result of new discoveries. Currently, reliable scientific evidence dates the earliest creation of art on rock surfaces in Australia to somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago. This in itself is an almost incomprehensible span of generations, and one that makes Australia’s rock art the oldest continuous art tradition in the world.

  1. The word “revised” in the passage is closest in meaning to

○discussed

○raised

○challenged

○changed

Paragraph 4: Although the remarkable antiquity of Australia’s rock art is now established, the sequences and meanings of its images have been widely debated. Since the mid-1970s a reasonably stable picture has formed of the organization of Australian rock art. In order to create a sense of structure to this picture, researchers have relied on a distinction that still underlies the forms of much indigenous visual culture—a distinction between geometric and figurative elements. Simple geometric repeated patterns—circles, concentric circles, and lines—constitute the iconography (characteristic images) of the earliest rock-art sites found across Australia. The frequency with which certain simple motifs appear in these oldest sites has led rock-art researchers to adopt a descriptive term—the Panaramitee style—a label which takes its name from the extensive rock pavements at Panaramitee North in desert South Australia, which are covered with motifs pecked into the surface. Certain features of these engravings lead to the conclusion that they are of great age—geological changes had clearly happened after the designs had been made and local Aboriginal informants, when first questioned about them, seemed to know nothing of their origins. Furthermore, the designs were covered with “desert varnish” a glaze that develops on rock surfaces over thousands of years of exposure to the elements. The simple motifs found at Panaremitee are common to many rock-art sites across Australia. Indeed, sites with engravings of geometric shapes are also to be found on the island of Tasmania, which was separated from the mainland of the continent some 10,000 years ago.

  1. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave ways or leave out essential information

○The oldest rock art sites have simpler motifs than the best known sites of Panaramitee North.

○Because motifs primarily associated with the Panaramitee region are common in the oldest sites the term Panaramitee style has become the general term for rock art of this type.

○Because the Panaremitee style is so common in the loder sites, researchers have described it most extensively.

○The motifs carved in the rocky surface of the Panaramitee region make up the oldest form of rock art discovered in Australia.

  1. According to paragraph 4, researchers have organized and structured Australian rock art by distinguishing between which of the following?

○images found at Panaramitee North and images found in other parts of Australia

○images found in a particular type of rock layer and images found in other types of rock layers

○images that have geometric elements and images that have figurative elements

○images that are typically found and image that are rarely found

  1. According to paragraph 4, all of the following are signs of the great age of the Panaramitee engravings EXCEPT

○The engravings consisted of simple animal drawings.

○The engravings were covered with a layer of a substance known as “desert varnish”.

○Local Aborigines who were asked knew nothing about the origin of the engravings.

○Geologic changes had occurred after the engravings were made.

  1. Why does the author include information about Tasmania in paragraph 4?

○To provide evidence that the Panaramitee style is widespread and of great age

○To prove that Aboriginal Australians could not have made the carvings in Tasmania

○To indicate how researchers have determined how long ago Tasmania separated from the mainland

○To illustrate the importance of geometric rock art to tourism in Tasmania

Paragraph 5: In the 1970s when the study of Australian archaeology was in an exciting phase of development, with the great antiquity of rock art becoming clear0 Lesley Maynard the archaeologist who coined the phrase “Panaramitee style,” suggested that a sequence could be determined for Australian rock art in which a geometric style gave way to a simple figurative style that, unlike the pan-Australian geometric tradition tended to much greater regional diversity. While accepting that this sequence fits the archaeological profile of those sites, which were occupied continuously over many thousands of years a number of writers have warned that the underlying assumption of such a sequence—a development from the simple and the geometric to the complex and naturalistic—obscures the cultural continuities in Aboriginal Australia in which geometric symbolism remains fundamentally important. In this context the simplicity of a geometric motif may be more apparent than real. Motifs of seeming simplicity can encode complex meanings in Aboriginal Australia. And has not twentieth-century art shown that naturalism does not necessarily follow abstraction in some kind of predetermine sequence?

  1. According to paragraph 5, the complex figurative style differs from the geometric style in that the complex figurative style

○varies significantly from region to region

○is more meaningful

○appears on only a few types of rocks

○has changed little overtime

  1. According to paragraph 5, Lesley Maynard made which of the following suggestions about Australian rock art?

○There were a pattern of human figures being represented in a more complex style than animal figures.

○Australian archaeology should concentrate on determining the sequence of styles that led up to the Panaremitee style.

○The great antiquity of Australian rock art would probably make it impossible to determine the ages of the various styles found in rock art.

○The geometric style of Australian rock art was replaced by increasingly complex figurative styles.

  1. In paragraph 5, the author indicates that twentieth century art has shown that “naturalism does not necessarily follow abstraction in some kind of predetermined sequence” in order to

○emphasize that it may not be possible to determine what the figures in rock art represent

○suggest a reply to those who have questioned Maynard’s interpretation of the sequence of Australian rock art

○provide a counterexample to Maynard’s interpretation of the sequence of Australian rock art

○indicate that twentieth century art is more advanced than ancient rock art

Paragraph 2 & 3: The systematic study of this art is a relatively new discipline in Australia. Over the past four decades new discoveries have steadily added to the body of knowledge. The most significant data have come from a concentration on three major questions. First, what is the age of Australian rock art? Second, what is its stylistic organization and is it possible to discern a sequence or a pattern of development between styles? Third, is it possible to interpret accurately the subject matter of ancient rock art, bring to bear all available archaeological techniques and the knowledge of present-day Aboriginal informants? ■

The age of Australia’s rock art is constantly being revised, and earlier datings have been proposed as the result of new discoveries. ■Currently, reliable scientific evidence dates the earliest creation of art on rock surfaces in Australia to somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago. ■This in itself is an almost incomprehensible span of generations, and one that makes Australia’s rock art the oldest continuous art tradition in the world. ■

  1. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage

While a great deal of information exists, the answers to these questions are not yet definitive.

Where would the sentence best fit?

  1. Direction: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provides below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

 

Interest in the rock art of the original inhabitants of Australia has grown over the last two centuries.

 

Answer Choices

 

○1.Late nineteenth century studies of Aboriginal rock art railed to recognize that a variety of styles existed.

○2.The extreme age of the earliest Aboriginal rock art has been established but the interpretation of rock art images is still debated.

○3.A sequence from geometric to more representative art fits many sites but does not necessarily indicate a progression from simple to complex meaning.                                                                                                                                                                                       

○4.In determining the way in which Australian rock art was organized, archaeologists have made little distinction between geometric and figurative elements.

○5.Older examples of rock art consist of simple, repeated geometric patterns while later rock art includes figures and animals.

○6.Aboriginal informants were able to explain the meanings of ancient rock art symbols.

Answers:

1.B

2.D

3.B

4.C

5.D

6.B

7.C

8.A

9.A

10.A

11.D

12.C

13.A

  1. (The extreme age…, Older examples of…, A sequence from…)

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Practice Real toefl practice test. Prepare yourself.

The TOEFL iBT ® Speaking section is designed to measure your ability to speak English effectively in academic settings. It is composed of 4 tasks that resemble real-life situations you might encounter both in and outside of a classroom.

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New toefl listening practice

TOEFL Listening Introduction. The listening section is the second section of the TOEFL iBT test. It normally contains 3 conversations and 4 lectures.

The listening section of the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) includes 4-6 academic lecture excerpts (each 3-5 minutes in length) and 2-3 conversations on a variety of general topics relevant to university life (approximately 3 minutes each). Students answer six questions per lecture and five questions per conversation, and total section timing ranges from 60 to 90 minutes. Listening section exercises are delivered by audio recording, and pictures on the computer screen indicate both the context of the exercise and the number of speakers. Listening section scaled scores are from 0 to 30.

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new toefl writing preparation

The TOEFL Writing section lasts 50 minutes and contains two tasks: Integrated Writing and Independent Writing. It’s the final section of the TOEFL. After this, you’re done! You’ll have 20 minutes to plan and write the Integrated Writing Task and 30 minutes to plan and write the Independent Writing Tasks.

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