TOEFL iTP | Reading | Answering a Variety of Overview Questions

Welcome back to another TOEFL iTP Reading! In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to be looking over a variety of different overview questions to test you. There are 16 in total with 8 on here and the other 8 will be on my TOEFL iTP Badge, priced at $50 a month with two coaching hours. Make sure you contact me for more information!

TOEFL iTP Pre-Sale course is available, too, for 50% off (priced at $27 for the Structure which will debut June 1st). You can buy it today and wait for the launch at the beginning of next month! 15 full lessons and 3-4 micro lessons for each one! Course is Here


American folk music originated with ordinary people at a time when the rural population was isolated and music was not yet spread by radio, audios, compact disks, or music DVDs. It was transmitted by oral tradition and is noted for its energy, humor, and emotion impact. The major source of early American folk songs was music from the British Isles, but songs from Africa as well as songs of the American Indians have a significant part in its heritage. Later settlers from other countries also contributed songs. In the the nineteenth century, composer Stephen Foster wrote some of the most enduringly popular of all American songs, which soon became part of the folks tradition. Beginning in the 1930’s, Woody Guthrie gained great popularity by adapting traditional melodies and lyrics supplying new ones as well. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, singer-composers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Joan Bae continued this tradition by creating “urban” folk music. Many of these songs dealt with important social issues, such as racial integration and the war in Vietnam.

  1. The primary purpose of this passage is to..
  • trace the development of American folk music
  • explain the oral tradition
  • contrast the styles of folk musicians
  • point out the influence of social issues on “urban” folk music

The answer would be A, trace the development of American folk music. The first sentence outlined its origination. Then it talked about how it was used. It went into the source of American folk songs, talking about Africa and American Indians. Then, settlers began their contribution and went into specifics in regards to Stephen Foster — his songs ultimately becoming park of folk tradition. Woody Guthrie became popular with his contribution to folk shortly after. Other big names continued the tradition by creating urban folk music.

So, in saying that, all of the above details pertained to the development of folk music. Oral tradition was a small detail in the second sentence. Contrasting styles wasn’t mentioned and Bob Dylan’s “urban folk” was a very small part of the concluding sentence at the very end. None of them were the PRIMARY PURPOSE.

Every scientific discipline tends to develop its own special language because it finds ordinary words inadequate, and psychology is no different. The purpose of this special jargon is not to mystify non-psychologists; rather, it allows psychologists to accurately describe the phenomena they are discussing and to communicate with each other effectively. Of course, psychological terminology consists in part of everyday words such as emotion, intelligence, and the motivation, but psychologists use these words somewhat differently. For example, laymen use the term anxiety to mean nervousness or fear, but most psychologists reserve the term to describe a condition produced when one fears events over which one has no control.

2. The main topic of this passage is….

  • effective communication
  • the special language of psychology
  • two definitions of the word anxiety
  • the jargon of science

Gifford Pinchot was the first professionally trained forester in the United States. After he graduated from Yale in 1889, he studied forestry in Europe. In the 1890’s he managed the forest on the Biltmore estate in North Caroline (now Pisgah National Forest) and became the first to practice scientific forestry. Perhaps his most important contribution to conservation was persuading President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside millions of acres in the West as forest reserves. These lands now make up much of the national parks and national forests of the United States. Pinchot became the Chief Forester of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905. Although he held that post for only five years, he established guidelines that set forest policy for decades to come.

3. The passage primarily deals with….

  • Gifford Pinchot’s work on the Biltmore Estate
  • the practice and theory of scientific forestry
  • the origin of national parks and national forests in the United States
  • the contributions Gifford Pinchot made to American forestry

Off-broadway theater developed in New York City in about 1950 as a result of dissatisfaction with conditions on Broadway. Its founders believed that Broadway was overly concerned with producing safe, commercially successful hit plays rather than drama with artistic quality. Off-Broadway producers tried to assist playwrights, directors, and performers who could not find work on Broadway. Off-Broadway theaters were poorly equipped, had limited seating, and provided few conveniences for audiences. But the originality of the scripts, the creativity of the performers, and the low cost of tickets made up for these disadvantages, and off-Broadway theater prospered. However, by the 1960’s, costs began to rise and by the 1970’s, off-Broadway theater was encountering many of the difficulties of Broadway and had lost much of its vitality. With its decline, an experimental movement called off-off-Broadway theater developed.

4. What is the main idea of this passage?

  • After initial success, off-Broadway theater began to decline.
  • Off-Broadway theaters produced many hit commercial plays
  • Theaters on Broadway were not well equipped
  • Off-Broadway plays were highly creative

5. The paragraph that follows this passage most likely deals with

  • the help off-Broadway producers provided directors, playwrights, and performers
  • methods off-Broadway theaters used to cope with rising prices
  • the development of off-off-Broadway theater
  • the decline of Broadway theater

At the time of the first European contact, there were 500 to 700 languages spoken by North American Indians. These were divided into some 60 language families, with no demonstrable genetic relationship among them. Some of these families spread across several of the seven cultural area. The Algonquin family, for instance, contained dozens of languages and occupied a vast territory. Speakers of Algonquin languages included the Algonquins of the Eastern Woodland, the Blackfoots of the Plains, and the Wiyots and Yuroks of California. Other language families, like Zuni family of the Southwest, occupied only a few square miles of area and containued only a single tribal language.

6. What is the main idea of this passage?

  • Each of the cultural areas was dominated by one of the language families
  • The Zuni language is closely related to the Alongquin language
  • There is considerable diversity in the size and the number of languages in language families of the North American Indians.
  • Contact with Europeans had an extraordinary effect on the languages of the Indian tribes of North America.

Other major changes in journalism occurred around this time. In 1846, Richard Hoe invented the steam cylinder rotary press, making it possible to print newspapers faster and cheaper. The development of the telegraph made possible much speedier collection and distribution of news. Also, in 1846, the first wire service was organized. A new type of newspaper appeared around this time, one that was more attuned to the spirit and needs of the new America. Although newspapers continued to cover politics, they came to report more human interest stories and to record the most recent news, which they could not have done before the telegraph. New York papers and those of other norther cities maintained corps of correspondents to go into all parts of the country to cover newsworthy events.

7. The main purpose of the passage is to……

  • present a brief history of American journalism
  • outline certain developments in mid-19th-century journalism
  • explain the importance of the steam cylinder rotary press
  • present some biographical information about Richard Hoe

8. What is the most probable topic of the paragraph preceding this one?

  • other types of rotary presses
  • alternatives to using wire services
  • newspapers that concentrated on politics
  • other developments in journalism

Answers on next page



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