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• Section 1: Reading
• Section 2: Listening
• Section 3: Speaking
• Section 4: Writing
Exemples de questions pour le TOEFL Reading
La première section du TOEFL évalue vos capacités de compréhension écrite de textes de nature académique écrits en anglais.
Consignes: You will read one passage and answer questions about it. In the actual TOEFL iBT® test, you would have 20 minutes to read the passage and answer the questions.
When an individual enters the presence of others, they commonly seek to acquire information about him or to bring into play information about him already possessed. They will be interested in his general socio-economic status, his conception of self, his attitude toward them, his competence, his trustworthiness, etc. Although some of this information seems to be sought almost as an end in itself, there are usually quite practical reasons for acquiring it. Information about the individual helps to define the situation, enabling others to know in advance what he will expect of them and what they may expect of him. Informed in these ways, the others will know how best to act in order to call forth a desired response from him.
For those present, many sources of information become accessible and many carriers (or ‘sign-vehicles ») become available for conveying this information. If unacquainted with the individual, observers can glean clues from his conduct and appearance which allow them to apply their previous experience with individuals roughly similar to the one before them or, more important, to apply untested stereotypes to him. They can also assume from past experience that only individuals of a particular kind are likely to be found in a given social setting. They can rely on what the individual says about himself or on documentary evidence he provides as to who and what he is. If they know, or know of, the individual by virtue of experience prior to the interaction, they can rely on assumptions as to the persistence and generality of psychological traits as a means of predicting his present and future behavior.
However, during the period in which the individual is in the immediate presence of the others, few events may occur which directly provide the others with the conclusive information they will need if they are to direct wisely their own activity. Many crucial facts lie beyond the time and place of interaction or lie concealed within it. For example, the « true » or « real » attitudes, beliefs, and emotions of the individual can be ascertained only indirectly, through his avowals or through what appears to be involuntary expressive behavior. Similarly, if the individual offers the others a product or service, they will often find that during the interaction there will be no time and place immediately available for eating the pudding that the proof can be found in. They will be forced to accept some events as conventional or natural signs of something not directly available to the senses. In Ichheiser’s terms, the individual will have to act so that he intentionally or unintentionally expresses himself, and the others will in turn have to be impressed in some way by him.
The expressiveness capacity to give impressions appears to involve two radically different kinds of sign activity: the expression that he gives, and the expression that he gives off. The first involves verbal symbols or their substitutes which he uses admittedly and solely to convey the information that he and the others are known to attach to these symbols. This is communication in the traditional and narrow sense. The second involves a wide range of action that others can treat as symptomatic of the actor, the expectation being that the action was performed for reasons other than the information conveyed in this way. As we shall have to see, this distinction has an only initial validity. The individual does of course intentionally convey misinformation by means of both of these types of communication, the first involving deceit, the second feigning.
Taking communication in both its narrow and broad sense, one finds that when the individual is in the immediate presence of others, his activity will have a promissory character. The others are likely to find that they must accept the individual on faith, offering him a just return while he is present before them in exchange for something whose true value will not be established until after be has left their presence. (Of course, the others also live by inference in their dealings with the physical world, but it is only in the world of social interaction that the objects about which they make inferences will purposely facilitate and hinder this inferential process.) The security that they justifiably feel in making inferences about the individual will vary, of course, depending on such factors as the amount of information they already possess about him, but no amount of such past evidence can entirely obviate the necessity of acting on the basis of inferences.
Source: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman.
1. According to Goffman, what are the two kinds of activity an individual can be involved in when it comes to conveying impressions?
a. His attitudes and his beliefs
b. The expression that he gives and the expression that he gives off
c. Acquiring information about others and acting towards them
d. The expectation he has of others and what others expect of him
2. The word « promissory » in paragraph 5 is closest in meaning to:
3. In paragraph 3, why is the author talking about pudding?
a. It is an idiomatic expression that says that you can’t know all about something until you discover it entirely.
b. The pudding is a metaphor for the emotion of the individual.
c. The pudding implies that there is better to come.
d. The author was hungry.
4. Which of the following sentences would be true according to paragraph 2?
a. An individual is always in control of the information he conveys to others.
b. The only resource one has about an individual is from one’s past experience with people.
c. A person gives a lot of information about themselves, even unconsciously.
d. One always has to talk to the others in order to get information about them.
5. The verb « give off » in the sentence « the expression that he gives off » is closest in meaning to:
6. What does Goffman mean by « defining the situation »?
a. An individual only acts a certain way when he is with others.
b. Individuals will act and think according to the information they receive from others.
c. People interact only to get something from others.
d. It is a synonym for « sign-vehicles. »
7. According to paragraph 4, all of these sentences are true except for:
a. An individual can convey information about himself voluntarily or involuntarily.
b. An individual can communicate to give information or to give an impression.
c. The individual expresses himself by conveying signs.
d. Misinformation is always an involuntarily act of the individual.
8. The word « conclusive » in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to:
9. What is Goffman referring to when he says « communication in both its narrow and broad sense »?
a. Communication as information and misinformation
b. Communication as expressions given and given off
c. Communication as words and movements
d. Communication by and to an individual
10. Paragraph 5 supports which of the following statements about the action of individuals in presence of others?
a. Individuals act on assumptions they make about others and they trust these assumptions depending on how much information they have about them.
b. Individuals can’t trust other people’s character before they have all the information about their past.
c. Individuals feel insecure about themselves when they are in presence of others.
d. If the individuals collect all past evidence they need, they act confidently towards the other person.
11. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the following sentence: « Taking communication in both its narrow and broad sense, one finds that when the individual is in the immediate presence of others, his activity will have a promissory character. »
a. The individual communicate in two ways to others in order to tell them how to behave towards him
b. Other people’s assumption about an individual will lead him to act in a certain way
c. The individual’s action and presence communicate signs to others that give them an idea of what to expect from him and how to behave towards him
d. An individual always acts unnaturally when he is in presence of other people which is misleading
12. According to the text, how can the « real » attitudes and emotions of an individual be confirmed?
a. By listening the individual
b. By voluntarily created gestures and words
c. By any kind of action led by an individual
d. By involuntary behaviors
13. Look at the four letters (A, B, C and D) that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage in paragraph 4: « This is what happens during a phone conversation between two individuals for example. »
« The expressiveness capacity to give impressions appears to involve two radically different kinds of sign activity: the expression that he gives, and the expression that he gives off. (A) The first involves verbal symbols or their substitutes which he uses admittedly and solely to convey the information that he and the others are known to attach to these symbols. (B) This is communication in the traditional and narrow sense. The second involves a wide range of action that others can treat as symptomatic of the actor, the expectation being that the action was performed for reasons other than the information conveyed in this way. (C) As we shall have to see, this distinction has an only initial validity. The individual does of course intentionally convey misinformation by means of both of these types of communication, the first involving deceit, the second feigning. (D) »
Choose the place where the sentence fits best.
a. Option A
b. Option B
c. Option C
d. Option D
14. Choose two synonyms to replace the words « deceit » and « feigning » in paragraph 4:
a. Demonstration and pretending
b. Artifice and faking
c. Skill and lying
d. Fraud and communicating
15. An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the three answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage.
Introductory sentence: « Individuals act in the presence of others according to information they are able to collect from them. »
a. Every individual wears a mask in society and acts a play when in presence of others, using tools such as his social position.
b. It is the indirect sign conveyed by an individual that will give other people the certainty of his genuine self.
c. The information about an individual can be given or given off by him, which implies that all of his activity is indicative of something.
d. In general, an individual will act on assumption he makes about what other people are and what he can expect from them and how he should act towards them.
e. The degree of certainty of the assumption one makes about an individual depends on factors such as the amount of information he has about them.
f. Other people will get an impression from the expression of an individual.
15. c, d, e
Exemples de questions pour le TOEFL Listening
La deuxième section du TOEFL évalue vos capacités de compréhension orale de cours universitaires et/ou de conversations en anglais.
Consignes: In this sample, you will read one conversation and one lecture and answer questions after each conversation or lecture. The questions typically ask about the main idea and supporting details. Some questions ask about a speaker’s purpose or attitude. Answer the questions based on what is stated or implied by the speakers.
In an actual test, you would be able to take notes while you listened and use your notes to help you answer the questions. Your notes would not be scored.
Questions 1 to 8 refer to the following conversation.
(Narrator) Listen to a conversation between these two friends.
(Woman 1) Hey! Hi, Sarah! So nice to see you again. It’s been a while.
(Woman 2) Hey, Nicole. Nice to see you, too. How long has it been? Four, five years? How’ve you been?
(Nicole) Really great, actually. I think it may’ve been five years since we graduated from college, can you believe it? It seems just like yesterday I was knocking on your dorm room door to seek refuge from my roommate’s ska music.
(Sarah) Oh, yeah, I remember Melissa. Whatever happened to her?
(Nicole) Well, we actually went to law school together. Northwestern. But she dropped out after the first year, and I haven’t heard from her since, really.
(Sarah) That’s too bad. But so, you did go to law school after all, huh? No traveling the world, backpacking through South America like we’d talked about?
(Nicole) No, I kind of grew out of that. It was nice to think about that when we were nineteen, you know, but you have to grow up eventually, realize you have responsibilities, you can’t just squander your life pursuing childish dreams and being immature. So yeah I graduated — valedictorian, thank you very much.
(Sarah) Wow, congratulations. So now you’re what, a lawyer? Please don’t tell me you’re a judge already.
(Nicole) Ha, ha, no, I wish. I’m a junior associate at this law firm, Pendleton and Stein? Maybe you’ve heard of it. We handle mergers and acquisition cases for insurance and pharmaceutical companies. I don’t want to brag, but I’ve only been there two years and they’re already talking about promoting me to senior associate! I’ve only heard it through the grapevine but everyone’s confident it’s going to happen in the next year or two. Which means my fiancé and I will be able to move to a bigger place in Manhattan. Isn’t that exciting?
(Sarah) ItIt really is. You’re engaged? And you live in Manhattan? That’swow– I’m reallyThis is great. I’m happy for you.
(Nicole) Thanks. And what’ve you been up to? Last time I saw you in Chicago you were heading to New York, and look at that. You’re still here.
(Sarah) I’m still here. What have I been up to? Let’s see. I graduated and moved in an apartment here with Brian and Jane. I, uh, tried to make it as an artist but that didn’t quite work out. I guess I’m still trying. Right now I actually tend bar downtown.
(Nicole) You tendyou’re a bartender? Wow, that’s, uh, cool. Huh. Who would’ve thought that the only girl who ranked higher than me in my graduating class would become a bartender.
(Sarah) Well, it’s not like serving liquor for a living is my dream job.
(Nicole) Right. No, of course it’s not. How long have you worked at this bar? And what’s it called? Maybe I’ll come by on a Friday night after work, and bring my co-workers along. I’ll tell them to tip the bartender extra. It’s not like they can’t afford it, but they’re usually so stingy with that sort of thing, you know?
(Sarah) You don’t have to tell me. It’s Whiskey Jack’s Bar on 23rd Street. I’ve worked there almost four years now. Guess they should make me senior associate pretty soon, don’t you think? Ha.
(Nicole) And whatever happened to your art stuff? You were really talented, I remember.
(Sarah) Oh, I wouldn’t know. I shot a couple of weddings here and there, nothing spectacular. It’s just hard. Gotta pay the rent, you know?
(Nicole) Yeah. Oh, look at that, I am late for work. Wouldn’t want to get in trouble with the partners before I get my big fat promotion, right? Thanks for the coffee though, it’s been nice catching up with you. Hope it works out at the bar for you!
(Sarah) Bye, Nicole.
1. Where did the two speakers meet?
a. At a law firm
b. At a coffee shop
c. At college
d. At a bar
2. What does this conversation shine a light on?
a. The difficulty of being financially stable in New York City
b. The obstacles to finding a good job after college
c. The difficulty of keeping in touch with friends after graduation
d. The gap between these two friends’ lifestyles and careers
3. How would you qualify the tone of this exchange?
a. Friendly but awkward
b. Cold and cordial
c. Mushy and emotional
d. Argumentative but laid-back
4. How would you describe each of the speaker’s underlying behavior during this exchange?
a. Nicole is annoyed and calculated, Sarah is obnoxious and distant
b. Nicole is jealous and frustrated, Sarah is clueless and bored
c. Nicole is condescending and insensitive, Sarah is sarcastic and touchy
d. Nicole is nervous and bashful, Sarah is hateful and grumpy
5. Read part of the conversation again. Then answer the question.
(Nicole) You tendyou’re a bartender? Wow, that’s, uh, cool. Huh. Who would’ve thought that the only girl who ranked higher than me in my graduating class would become a bartender.
(Sarah) Well, it’s not like serving liquor for a living is my dream job.
Why does Sarah say: « It’s not like serving liquor for a living is my dream job »?
a. She is preparing to change the topic of the conversation.
b. She is making a joke at her own expense.
c. She is asking for Nicole to pity her.
d. She is reacting to the perceived slight in Nicole’s previous remark.
6. (Nicole) I don’t want to brag, but I’ve only been there two years and they’re already talking about promoting me to senior associate! I’ve only heard it through the grapevine but everyone’s confident it’s going to happen in the next year or two.
In this context, what does Nicole mean when she says: « I’ve only heard it through the grapevine »?
a. It’s a rumor going around in the office.
b. She is actually not confident it’s going to happen herself.
c. It’s not fair to the other junior associates.
d. She’s afraid of being promoted too late.
7. What do each of the speaker appear to want the most?
a. Nicole wants to get married while Sarah wants to be promoted.
b. Nicole wants to get promoted while Sarah wants to be an artist.
c. Nicole wants to go to a bar while Sarah wants to become a lawyer.
d. Nicole wants to be friends with Sarah while Sarah wants to live in Manhattan.
8. There are two answers for the next question. Mark two answers.
Why is Nicole surprised to learn that Sarah is a bartender?
a. Sarah made valedictorian over her in college.
b. They’re close friends and Sarah kept it a secret.
c. Sarah was artistically gifted.
d. She’s actually not that surprised.
Questions 9 to 15 refer to the following lecture
(Narrator) Listen to part of a lecture in a literature class.
(Female professor) When you approach any novel to make an argument about it, if you want to be ambitious, the first thing to think about is well, what’s obvious about the novel? What can you observe at first glance about its style, about its form, about its setting, about its character, about its presuppositions? In Franny and Zooey, what did you notice? Tell me what you noticed, at first bat, if any of you have read it. What did you notice about the novel? Uh huh.
(Female student 1) It doesn’t move around very much. It just stays in a limited space.
(Female professor) Absolutely. Confined settings, very confined settings, absolutely. Yes. What else? Yes.
(Female student 2) A lot of dialog?
(Female professor) Lots of dialog, yes. What else? Uh huh.
(Female student 3) There’s a lot of focus on like little motions that people do, like picking up cigarettes and dropping things.
(Female professor) Yeah. A lot of attention to physical detail and physical movement, and that’s connected to this point about confined spaces. It’s the movement of bodies within confined spaces that really preoccupies this novel. What about the style of the novel? You talked about dialog. Is there anything else about the style that you noticed? Yes.
(Male student 1) There’s a lot of italics.
(Female professor) A lot of italics. What does that connote to you?
(Male student 1) Trying to convey feeling.
(Female professor) Yeah. Absolutely. A lot of emphasis, a lot of variation in tone, and the italics are part of the representation of that. Yeah. What else? Yes.
(Male student 2) A lot of the dialog seems to be combative. There’s arguing between two people.
(Female professor) Yes. This is a book about arguments, absolutely. What are they arguing about most of the time? All right. Well, that’s where I will pick up. Oh, Sarah. Do you want to say?
(Female student 4) There are a lot of abstract ideas.
(Female professor) Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. They are talking about abstract intellectual ideas, often religious or philosophical ones, and that, plus its setting: I hope you noticed the sort of New Havenish setting of Franny’s breakdown. We’re told that Lane isn’t exactly a Yale man, but he sure looks a lot like a Yale English major, dare I say, such an unpleasant character, and so, so pompous. [ ]
But let’s look at that theology of acting. This is on page 198. This is coming towards the climax of their conversation. Part of what’s been bothering Franny is her frustration with acting, and that’s one of the things that Lane is so surprised she has given up; it was the only thing she was passionate about. And we know–from reading Buddy’s letter over Zooey’s shoulder in the bathtub–we know that Zooey had similar concerns about his own acting career, his own commitment to acting that Buddy tried to persuade him out of.
Zooey has this understanding of the cosmos that suggests that strong, specific human desires actually change the course of cosmic futures. So somewhere, maybe in pre-incarnational time before Franny became Franny, she wanted to be an actress. The religious thing Zooey says is to inhabit that, to honor that, to follow up on the results of that prior desiring. But why is it acting? Why specifically acting and why this weird comment at the end, « What could be prettier? » What does prettiness have to do with this? Well, if you look at the description, for instance, of Zooey’s face, there’s a beautiful description of how his face is beautiful, in what way his face is beautiful. We know that Franny is an attractive young woman. We know that she worries about beauty, and especially in poetry. When she’s trying to explain what’s wrong, part of what’s wrong is that when she learns poetry in the classroom none of it seems beautiful to her; it all seems like some other kind of production, not the production of beauty. So prettiness, beauty, the aesthetic is at the heart of the spiritual practice that Zooey is urging upon Franny, the spiritual practice of acting.
And I would remind you, looking back to that passage on page 65 and into the 66, that specifically among the figures that Buddy mentions, the religious and literary figures, we find Shakespeare. And I think Shakespeare in this train of figures represents the literary that is also the dramatic. So, in our tradition Shakespeare is the literary name above all others. It’s important for Salinger that Shakespeare was a dramatist. It’s important for this novel that Shakespeare was a dramatist, not just because Zooey wants Franny to inhabit acting fully as her desire and as her religious practice as opposed to saying the Jesus prayer. Acting has a deeper relation to the novel and here’s where we get back to that question of being in closed spaces and the lack of movement.
If you think about this novel, it has the structures of drama. It takes place in small rooms. If you begin to think about it, you can almost see the set changes: in the diner, on the train station. That’s about the most open place, on the train platform. That’s about the most open place we see. In the diner, in the apartment: all you do in the apartment is move from one room to another. These are dramatic spaces. Moreover, the bathroom: completely a dramatic space. It even has a curtain hiding Zooey from his mother. Acting becomes a religious practice for much more than Franny, not just for Franny and for Zooey ’cause Zooey’s an actor too. It’s a religious practice for the novel itself. And that, I would suggest to you, is where we can begin to bring some of those obvious things: the prevalence of dialog, those enclosed spaces, the tone, the exaggerated tone, the somewhat histrionic quality, the combativeness of that conversation, its sheer style. These are great talkers!
And so, I would argue to you that Salinger imagines literature as a performance of this kind, a performance of a language of family love that is nevertheless also an aesthetic language. And I think, actually, probably the best image of that is in Seymour’s diary. When Zooey sits down to make that phone call, he opens up Seymour’s diary and he sees Seymour’s account of his birthday celebration, where the family had put on a vaudeville show right in their living room. Remember, his parents are vaudevillians. And that description, which I won’t read just because we’re running out of time, it’s on 181 and 182. You can look at it yourself. It’s brimming with pleasure and love. This is why Buddy really can’t insist that Zooey is wrong about this being a religious novel, because being a religious novel and being a love story are finally for Salinger the same thing. It’s the performance of human connection. That’s the phone line; that’s conversation; that’s letters. The performance of family conversation is like acting, and that is why Zooey impersonates Buddy; he’s acting. But Franny can hear the specific voice, and this is when you know that Franny is not just a sort of empty air head. She may be mistaken about who she’s praying to in the Jesus prayer, but she damn well knows the timbre of her brother’s voice and his particularity of speech. And so, when he tries to imitate Buddy, she finds him out very quickly. And this is when you know that Franny really does benefit from Seymour and Buddy’s religious education in the same way that Zooey has.
So, you can read this very closely to On the Road. If the character Dean cared for « nothing but for everything in principle, » you could say, conversely, that Salinger cares for everything in particular, and in principle, nothingness. It’s nothingness that is the mystical state rather than everythingness. And it’s interesting to think about whether those two are really opposites. I think these novels imagined them to be opposites, but it’s something for you to think about, about whether they really are.
Source: Professor Amy Hungerford. « J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey. » The American Novel Since 1945. Yale University. 13 February 2008. Lecture.
9. What is the lecture mainly about?
a. The differences between the novels On the Road and Franny and Zooey
b. The meaning of acting and religion in the novel Franny and Zooey
c. The abstract ideas presented by Salinger in Franny and Zooey
d. The aesthetic concerns of the character Franny in Franny and Zooey
10. According to the students, what is obvious in Franny and Zooey?
a. Attention to prettiness and human connection
b. Theatrical settings and allusions to vaudeville
c. The literary influence of Shakespeare and omnipresence of God
d. Confined spaces and an abundance of argumentative dialog
11. What evidence does the professor give to support her argument that Franny and Zooey is structured like a play?
a. The reader is like an audience member watching a play unfold.
b. Two of the main characters, Franny and Zooey, are actors.
c. It takes place in small rooms akin dramatic spaces and features a lot of dialog.
d. There are no narrative paragraphs, only dialog.
12. According to the professor, what is one element of the story that proves Franny’s perceptiveness?
a. She is not simply an actress, but a great actress.
b. She admires Shakespeare not just as a literary figure, but as a dramatist.
c. She recognizes her brother Zooey’s voice when he’s impersonating Buddy on the phone.
d. She is religiously educated and knows the Jesus prayer.
13. What does the professor think Franny and Zooey ultimately embodies to Salinger, its author?
a. How a love story and a religious novel are both performances of human connection
b. The antithesis of the novel On the Road
c. The translation of family drama into a novel
d. The love between brothers and sisters in a religious family
14. How does Franny and Zooey compares to On the Road?
a. They are complete opposites.
b. One cares for everything in principle, the other for nothingness in principle.
c. Both care for nothing in particular.
d. The character of Dean in On the Road and Franny and Zooey‘s author Salinger are similar.
15. What does the professor mean when she says this: « That’s the phone line; that’s conversation; that’s letters. »
a. These are all instances where characters are performing.
b. These are all instances where Franny demonstrates her belief in God.
c. These are all instances of human connection in the novel.
d. These are all instances of theatrical conventions used in the novel.
8. a, c
Exemples de questions pour le TOEFL Speaking
La troisième section du TOEFL évalue vos capacités à vous exprimer en anglais continu sur un certain nombre de sujets. Elle est composée de plusieurs parties avec des questions de natures différentes.
1. Consignes: In an actual test, your response will be scored on your ability to speak clearly and coherently about familiar topics. You would only be given two questions to answer. Feel free to prepare all of the following questions to see how well you would fare.
Preparation time: 15 seconds
Response time: 45 seconds
A. Talk about a TV show that you like and explain why it is so enjoyable in your opinion.
B. Some people prefer to watch TV shows and other people would rather watch movies. Which do you prefer and why?
C. Talk about a trip that brings you fond memories.
D. What is your favorite city? Explain why.
E. How often do you use your computer? What do you use it for?
F. What would be your ideal job? Explain why.
G. A lot of people use social media today to share their opinion and express themselves. What do you think about it?
H. If you had to move to a desert island and had to bring one item, what would it be? Explain why.
2. Consignes: In an actual test, you would first read a short text and then listen to a talk on the same topic. You would have to combine appropriate information from the text and the talk to provide a complete answer. Your response would be scored on your ability to accurately convey information, and to speak clearly and coherently. In this sampler, you will read both the text and the talk.
(Male student) Did you hear about the library closing at night? I’m so angry about it!
(Female student) Really? Did you go there often?
(Male student) Yeah, I usually study better at night, so I study there every Thursday and Wednesday evening until late.
(Female student) Oh, I see. That’s a shame. I usually don’t go to the library at all but I still feel frustrated that we are all punished for what some of us did.
(Male student) Exactly. I wish I knew who it was!
(Female student) Would it change anything to you?
(Male student) Well, I would like to speak with the students who did that and tell them how rude they were, both to Mrs. Fetcher and to all of us.
(Female student) I don’t think it’s any of our business. We’re not their parents.
(Male student) That’s not the point. I just think we all should be respect other people and what this school gives us. Messing up rooms and books is really rude and whoever is responsible needs to apologize for what they did.
(Female student) I guess you’re right. Well, I may know who did it but I don’t want to get them in trouble Do you promise me you’ll just talk to them and won’t tell the principal who it was?
(Male student) Sure, I promise.
Question: The male student expresses his opinion about what happened in the library and its consequences. State his opinion and explain the reasons why he holds that opinion.
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
Response Time: 60 seconds
3. Consignes: Read a passage from a sociology textbook and the conversation that follows it. Then answer the question.
(Male character) Did you see the current contemporary art exhibition at the Met museum? I thought it was incredible.
(Female character) Really? You liked that?
(Male character) Yeah, the photograph downstairs was great, absolutely great. What did you think about it?
(Female character) Oh, okay. No, I really thought it was plain conventional. To me, it looked like it took everything straight from figurative art but it had nothing to add to it.
(Male character) Well, you know, I didn’t like the photograph as much as the plexiglas sculpture, I have to admit.
(Female character) Really? You liked the sculpture, huh?
(Male character) You didn’t like the plexiglas sculpture either?
(Female character) That’s interesting. No, I didn’t like it at all.
(Male character) Well, I admit the steel cube was better, did you see the steel cube?
(Female character) Now, that was brilliant to me, absolutely brilliant. To me, it felt very textural, you know what I mean? It was perfectly executed and it had a marvellous kind of emotional capability. The rest of the art downstairs felt pointless.
Question: What is distinction according to Bourdieu and how is it used by one of the characters in the conversation?
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
Response Time: 60 seconds
4. Consignes: Read the following conversation between two students and then answer the question.
(Female student) So, are you going anywhere during Spring Break? I can’t wait for the holidays!
(Male student) No, I don’t think so I think I’ll stay around campus, I have to study a lot and catch up on classes.
(Female student) Really? What a shame! What classes do you need to study for?
(Male student) Mainly biology and chemistry. I haven’t been very serious about studying lately so I need to go through everything we saw in class from the beginning of the semester.
(Female student) Can’t you do it after the break? You’ll still have time before finals.
(Male student) Yeah, I don’t know. Finals will be coming up pretty soon after the holidays and I’m not even sure I’ll be done reading all the textbooks by then.
(Female student) Well, I think you should still take a break. It’s important to relax a little before finals and to clear your mind. Maybe you could study online? There are a lot of programs that can help you with your exercises and you can take online classes with a teacher.
(Male student) Really? How?
(Female student) Well, you just need to have a webcam and a microphone and then you can talk with a teacher.
(Male student) Yeah, I don’t know about that. I’m afraid it won’t be enough and I won’t be able to focus on finals if I’m at the beach or something.
(Female student) Trust me, you need to take a break before going back to school. It’s as important as studying for your exams.
Question: Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation.
Preparation Time: 20 seconds
Response Time: 60 seconds
5. Consignes: Read part of this article and then answer the question.
After decades of worsening diets and sharp increases in obesity, Americans’ eating habits have begun changing for the better.
Calories consumed daily by the typical American adult, which peaked around 2003, are in the midst of their first sustained decline since federal statistics began to track the subject, more than 40 years ago. The number of calories that the average American child takes in daily has fallen even more by at least 9 percent.
The declines cut across most major demographic groups including higher- and lower-income families, and blacks and whites though they vary somewhat by group.
In the most striking shift, the amount of full-calorie soda drunk by the average American has dropped 25 percent since the late 1990s.
As calorie consumption has declined, obesity rates appear to have stopped rising for adults and school-aged children and have come down for the youngest children, suggesting the calorie reductions are making a difference.
The reversal appears to stem from people’s growing realization that they were harming their health by eating and drinking too much. The awareness began to build in the late 1990s, thanks to a burst of scientific research about the costs of obesity, and to public health campaigns in recent years.
The encouraging data does not mean an end to the obesity epidemic: More than a third of American adults are still considered obese, putting them at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Americans are still eating far too few fruits and vegetables and far too much junk food, even if they are eating somewhat less of it, experts say.
But the changes in eating habits suggest that what once seemed an inexorable decline in health may finally be changing course. Since the mid-1970s, when American eating habits began to rapidly change, calorie consumption had been on a near-steady incline.
Source: New York Times. July 25th, 2015.
Question: Using points and examples from the article, explain in what way American’s habits are changing and what it implies.
Preparation Time: 20 seconds
Response Time: 60 seconds
Exemples de questions pour le TOEFL Writing
La quatrième et dernière section du TOEFL évalue vos capacités à écrire en anglais sur des sujets variés dans un contexte universitaire.
Consignes: These sample tasks in the Writing section measure your ability to write in English in an academic environment. There will be 2 writing tasks.
- For the first task in this sampler, you will read a passage and part of a lecture about an academic topic. Then you will write a response to a question that asks you about the relationship between the lecture and the reading passage. Try to answer the question as completely as possible using information from the reading passage and the lecture. The question does not ask you to express your personal opinion. In an actual test, your response would be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage.
- For the second task, you will demonstrate your ability to write an essay in response to a question that asks you to express and support your opinion about a topic or issue. In an actual test, your essay would be scored on the quality of your writing. This includes the development of your ideas, the organization of your essay, and the quality and accuracy of the language you use to express your ideas.
In an actual test, you would be able to take notes while you listened and use your notes to help you answer the questions.
1. Read the following passage and the lecture which follows. In an actual test, you would have 3 minutes to read the passage. Then, answer the question. In the test, you would have 20 minutes to plan and write your response. Typically, an effective response will be 150 to 225 words. Test takers with disabilities may request additional time to read the passage and write the response.
|The idea that classical music is relevant to today’s youth is absurd. In the context of modern culture, classical music just doesn’t speak the same language. Things need to be packaged in a way that is more accessible for bigger audience. Classical music comes from elitist groups, a lot of it used to be funded by royalty, and wealthy patrons. It is not a music of the people. You are basically told to sit there, dress quite poshly, and admire the music for what it is. I love classical music, and it pains me to use words like egotistical’ and snobbiness,’ but sadly that is how live classical performances come across to young people. In an age where everything is moving towards greater interaction, classical music is irrelevant.
Source: John Smith. « This House Believes that Classical Music Is Irrelevant to Today’s Youth. » The Cambridge Union Society. 4 December 2011. Debate.
(Narrator) Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.
(Male professor) Now here is a question for you. Why would we want to listen to classical music? Why do why who just answered a question for me, those folks who raised your hand? What gentleman here again. I’ll you’re my sacrificial lamb this morning. Why do you like to listen and why would you want to listen to classical music?
(Student) It relaxes me.
(Male professor) Okay. Very interesting. National Public Radio asked exactly this question in a survey a year or so ago and they got the following principal responses back. Why do people listen to classical music? One, it helps them relax and relieve stress, so this is perhaps the principal reason. Two, it helps us center the mind, allowing the listener to concentrate. Three, classical music provides a vision of a better world, a refuge of beauty, of majesty, perhaps of even of love and sometimes, at least for me personally, it suggests that there might be something out there, God or whatever, bigger than ourselves, and it asks us to think sometimes, think about things. That’s what I think these great fine arts do, great literature, poetry, painting, music. They show what human beings can be, the capacity of the human spirit. They suggest to us as indicated maybe there is something, a larger spirit out there than ourselves, and they get us to think. They get me to think frequently about what I’m doing on this earth. What are you doing on this earth? [laughs] Don’t answer that.
Source: Professor Craig Wright. « Introduction. » Listening to Music. Yale University. 4 September 2008. Lecture.
Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they oppose specific points made in the reading passage.
2. Read the question below. In a real test, you would have 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise your essay. Test takers with disabilities may request a time extension. Typically, an effective response contains a minimum of 300 words.
Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following s