Reading Comprehension problem: Problem with Vocabulary in Context Question (Skills 5)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Previous reading comprehension problem: Problem with implied detail questions (Skill 4)

On the TOEFL test you will sometimes be asked to determine the meaning of a difficult word or expression, a word or expression that you do not know. In this case, the passage often gives you a clear indication of what the word or expression means.

Example

A line in the passage:

……..She has a large geranium growing in a pot in the corner of her apartment……

The question:

A “geranium” is probably which of the following?
(A) A sofa
(B) A chair
(C) A fish
(D) A plant

Analysis:

In this type of question, you are not expected to know the meaning of the word geranium. Instead, you should understand from the context that if the geranium is growing in a pot, then it is probably a plant. Answer (D) is therefore the best answer.

The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about vocabulary questions on the TOEFL test.


TOEFL EXERCISE 5:

Study each of the passages, and choose the best answers to the questions that follow.

PASSAGE ONE (Questions 1-4)

When babies are born, they always have blue eyes. This is because the melanin, the
pigment that colors the eyes, is not on the surface of the iris. Instead, it is within the
creases of the iris. Because there is little melanin on the surface of the iris, the eyes
appear blue.

After a few months, the melanin moves to the surface of the iris. It is the amount of
melanin on the surface that determines a person’s permanent eye color, so it is at this
point that a baby’s eyes develop the color they will have for a lifetime.

1. The word “pigment” in line 2 is closest in meaning to
   (A) skin
   (B) muscle
   (C) tissue
    (D) color

2. The word “surface” in line 2 is closest in meaning to
    (A) top
    (B) inside
    (C) back
    (D) bottom

3. The word “permanent’ in line 6 could best be replaced by
    (A) changeable
    (B) lasting
    (C) dark
    (D) possible

4. The word “point” in line 7 could best be replaced by which of the following?
    (A) Dot
    (B) Era
   (C) Time
   (D) Place

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