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Tip 1: Topic of the text *One of the most common tips in the TOEFL is to find the topic of the text. Most of the time this can be found by reading the first sentence of each paragraph in the text and choosing the answer that best covers all the ideas of the passage. *The types of questions you should watch out for in order to identify this type of question are (Pay close attention to the keywords. The sentences may vary but the key words will not.): • • • • • • What is the topic of the passage? What is the subject…? What is the main idea…? What is the author’s main point in…? With what is the author primarily concerned? Which of the following would be the best title?

EXAMPLE The American Revolution showed that a revolution for freedom was possible and that there are times whenrevolution is necessary. It showed that a government could work without a monarch. These lessons were not lost on the people and nations of Europe. The shots that were fired at Lexington and Concord were heard in Paris, where a more terrible revolution was about to break out. The French revolution was next in the series of explosive events that marked the beginning of Europe’s march toward politicalfreedom. The ideas of the American and French revolutions would continue to inspire worldwide political change in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 1. What is the Author’s main point in the passage? A) B) C) D) How the American Revolution began. How the French Revolution began. How the revolution contributed to future changes. How neither revolution had a positive outcome.

EXERCISE

PASSAGEONE (QUESTIONS 1 – 2) By about A.D. 200, events both inside and outside China weakened the Han dynasty. Barbarian tribes invaded the country’s borders. A series of weak, inexperienced rulers tried but failed to drive out these invaders. In addition, government officials had grown too dependent on Confucian ideas and traditions. They could not come up with the new ideas needed to meet thechallenge of the invasions. Four centuries of political confusion and fighting followed the fall of the Han dynasty.

1. What is the main idea of this passage? A) B) C) D) The invasion of barbarian tribes How the Han Dynasty weakened China Events that led up to the crippling of the Han Dynasty The dependency on Confucian ideas and traditions

2. Which of the following would be the best title? A) B)C) D) An Inability to Change The Han Dynasty Weakened and Fell The Consequences Following The Fall of a Great Dynasty A Powerful Dynasty

PASSAGE TWO (QUESTIONS 3 – 4) The Greeks were a religious people who worshipped many gods. Most of these gods represented the forces of nature. Stories of the gods and their deeds helped to explain winds, rains, storms, and births and deaths. Most of the greatgods were thought to live on Mount Olympus, the highest peak in Greece.

3. What is the topic of the passage? A) B) C) D) The various gods revered by the Greeks How the Greeks worshipped their many Gods The forces of nature the gods reflected Greek stories passed down through the generations

4. What is the author primarily concerned with? A) B) C) D) Explaining the origin of Greek gods ToInform us of where the gods lived To give a brief insight to the Greek gods Describing each Greek god

PASSAGE THREE (QUESTION 5) Although born to a noble family, Julius Caesar, who lived from 100 B.C. to 44 B.C., grew popular with the common people of Rome. To gain popularity, Caesar endeared himself to the masses by spending large sums of money on their behalf. He organized spectacular publicgames and gave gifts of food. When he married Cornelia, the daughter of the popular leader Cinna, he further strengthened his popularity. Through this marriage, however, Caesar also gained the hostility of Sulla, because Cinna was one of Sulla’s enemies.

5. What is the subject of this passage? A) The problems brought on by Caesar’s wedding B) Where Caesar was born and raised C) Julius Caesar...
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