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TOEFL Reading Question Type - Negative Factual Information

Madison Oster July 25th, 2018

This is part of a series of TOEFL Reading Question Types. In today’s post, we will discuss a "Negative Factual Information" question. You can recognize a Negative Factual Information question by either the word “NOT” or “EXCEPT” in the question. The question can appear like one of the following:

  1. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true of X?
  2. The author's description of X mentions all of the following EXCEPT.

Usually, a "Negative Factual Information" question requires you to check more of the passage than a Factual Information question. The three choices that are mentioned in the passage are spread across a paragraph or several paragraphs. You need to pick the choice that is not mentioned in the passage, is stated inaccurately, or contradicts other statements. Let’s look at an example.

TOEFL Reading Practice: Negative Factual Information Question

[4]  Darwin's theory is that 'selective breeding' occurs in nature as 'natural selection' is the engine behind evolution. Thus, the theory provides an excellent basis for understanding how organisms change over time. Nevertheless, it is just a theory and elusively difficult to prove. One of the major holes in Darwin's theory revolves around “irreducibly complex systems.” An irreducibly complex system is known as a system where many different parts must all operate together. As a result, in the absence of one, the system as a whole collapses. Consequently, as modern technology improves, science can identify these “irreducibly complex systems” even at microscopic levels. These complex systems, if so inter-reliant, would be resistant to Darwin's supposition of how evolution occurs. As Darwin himself admitted, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus for different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I free confess, absurd in the highest degree.

Question: All of the following are mentioned in paragraph 4 as a viewpoint to state the natural selection is difficult to prove EXCEPT

  1. The belief that the complexity of the human eye could have been formed by natural selection seems highly unlikely
  2. The presence of irreducibly complex system contradicts how evolution occurs
  3. Modern microbiology proves that irreducibly complex systems exist
  4. Selective breeding is the major hole in the theory of natural selection
D is the correct answer. Selective breeding is not the major hole, but the presence of irreducibly complex systems is.

A is incorrect because it is stated in this paragraph “As Darwin himself admitted, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus for different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection”.

B is incorrect because it is stated in “One of the major holes in Darwin's theory revolves around “irreducibly complex systems.” An irreducibly complex system is known as a system where many different parts must all operate together. As a result, in the absence of one, the system as a whole collapses.” and “These complex systems, if so inter-reliant, would be resistant to Darwin's supposition of how evolution occurs”

C is incorrect as the irreducibly complex system is the major hole in the theory of natural selection and modern technology proves the existence of the irreducibly complex system.

TOEFL Reading Tips & Strategies: How to Answer “Negative Factual Information” Questions

Here is a lesson on how to tackle TOEFL reading “Negative Factual Information” Questions.

 

Conclusion

If you want to practice more TOEFL reading negative factual information questions, sign up for our TOEFL preparation course to access our 72 complete TOEFL reading practices and 13 extra negative factual information questions in our TOEFL reading lessons.

 
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