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General Test Instructions

This test measures your ability to use English in an academic context. There are 4 sections.

In the Reading section, you will read several passages and answer questions about them.

In the Listening section, you will hear several conversations and lectures and answer questions about them.

In the Speaking section, you will answer 6 questions. Some of the questions ask you to speak about your own experience. Other questions ask you to speak about lectures and reading passages.

In the Writing section you will answer 2 questions. The first question asks you to write about the relationship between a lecture you will hear and a passage you will read. The second questions asks you to write an essay about a topic of general based on your experience.

There will be directions for each section which explain how to answer the questions in that section.

You should work quickly but carefully on the Reading and Listening questions. Some questions are more difficult than others, but try to answer every one to the best of your ability. If you are not sure of the answer to a question, make the best guess that you can. The questions that you answer by speaking and writing are each separately timed. Try to answer every one of these as completely as possible in the time allowed.

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Reading Section Directions

This section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English. You will read 3 passages. In an actual Test you will have 60 minutes (1 hour) to read the passages and answer the questions.

Most questions are worth 1 point, but the last question in each set is worth more than 1 point. The directions indicate how many points you may receive.

Some passages include a word or phrase that is underlined in blue. Click on the word or phrase to see a definition or an explanation.

Within this section, you can go to the net question by clicking Next. You may skip questions and go back to them later. If you want to return to previous questions, click on Back. You can click on Review at any time and the review screen will show you which questions you have answered and which you have not answered. From this review screen, you may go directly to any question you have already seen in the Reading section.

You may now begin the Reading section. Again, in an actual test you will have 60 minutes (1 hour) to read the 3 passages and answer the questions. NOTE: Also in an actual test some test takers may receive 4 passages; those test takers will have 80 minutes (1 hour and 20 minutes) to answer the questions.

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1 The word 'embodiments' in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to:

2 Which of the following best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence? Incorrect answer choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.

While the very creation of such monoliths – most out of volcanic ash with stone hand chisels – is an impressive feat, what is more remarkable (not to mention mysterious) is how they were transported to their resting places.

3 In paragraph 2, what does the author say about past theories of how the moai were transported from quarries to their resting places?

4 The word 'they' in paragraph 2 refers to:

5 Why does the author mention “sophisticated computer models” developed by Jo Anne Van Tilburg in paragraph 3?

6 Examine the four █ in the selection below and indicate at which block the following sentence could be inserted into the passage:


Her data appeared to demonstrate that an average-sized moai could be moved approximately 10 kilometers in 4.7 days with a team of 70 people.


One proponent of this idea of rolling the statues in a prone position is Jo Anne Van Tilburg, of UCLA. █ [A] Van Tilburg created sophisticated computer models that took into account available materials, routes, rock, and manpower, even factoring in how much the workers would have to have eaten. Her models supported the idea that rolling the statues was the most efficient method. █ [B] As further evidence, Van Tilburg oversaw the movement of a moai replica by the method she had proposed. █ [C] They were successful, but evidence that it was possible is not necessarily evidence that it actually happened. █ [D] .

7 In paragraph 3, what does the author NOT suggest about Jo Anne Van Tilburg’s hypothesis concerning the method of transporting the moai?

8 The word 'hampered' in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to:

9 According to paragraph 4, the fact that statues tipped over during Charles Love’s experiments supports the idea that

10 Which of the following is true about the research conducted by Pavel Pavel and Thor Heyerdahl?

11 What can be inferred from paragraph 6 about the statues found at their eventual resting places?

12 The word 'abandoned' in paragraph 6 is closest in meaning to:

13 Which of the following methods of transportation does the author say is supported by the most compelling evidence?

14Directions: 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. This question is worth 2 points.

Drag your answer choices to the spaces where they belong. To remove an answer choice, drag it back. To review the passage, click VIEW TEXT.

There are several competing theories that attempt to explain how the large moai statues of Easter Island were transported to various locations on the island.

  • A.Jo Anne Van Tilburg experimented with moving moai replicas using a V-shaped log structure.
  • B.Experiments with moving the moai using ropes have demonstrated the likelihood that they were transported in an upright position.
  • C.The statues that were located around the island were created in the stone quarries in the interior of the island.
  • D.Many theories suggest the use of logs to roll the statues, which may be connected to the eventual collapse of the civilization.
  • E.The condition of the road, the availability of materials, and the construction of the statues are all important variables in determining how they were transported.
  • F.Some statues were not, in fact, transported very far from the quarries where they were constructed.
Beginning

The Moai of Easter Island

[1] In the southeastern Pacific Ocean, on the piece of land known as Easter Island (now a territory of Chile), stand several hundred massive stone monoliths. These carvings, called “moai,” are recognizable by their oversized heads, with their heavy brows, long noses, elongated ears, and protruding lips. While they average four meters in height and 12.5 tonnes, the largest is almost 10 meters tall and the heaviest weighs a full 86 tons. The upright sculptures are scattered around Easter Island, many installed on platforms called “ahu” along the coast, while others are more inland and several stand near the main volcanic quarry of Rano Raraku. The Rapa Nui people of the island built a total of 887 of these impressive statues between the 12th and 16th centuries. They were, it is said, symbols of religious and political authority, embodiments of powerful chiefs or ancestors which faced inland toward the island’s villages, perhaps watching over their creators, keeping them safe.

[2] While the very creation of such monoliths – most out of volcanic ash with stone hand chisels – is an impressive feat, what is more remarkable (not to mention mysterious) is how they were transported to their resting places. In the past, most researchers associated the building and transportation of the moai with widespread deforestation on the island and eventual collapse of the Rapa Nui civilization. This hypothesis is based, in part, on the fact that the pollen record suddenly disappears at the same time as the Rapa Nui people stopped constructing the moai and transporting them with the help of wooden logs. How exactly would logs facilitate the movement of the statues? Most proponents of this method believe that the people created “rollers” by arranging parallel logs on which the prone statues were pulled, or pushed. They would not have required an entire roadway of logs, since logs from the back could be placed at the front, creating a moving platform of sorts. To make it easier to roll, and keep in position, the statue would be placed on two logs arranged in a V shape.

[3] One proponent of this idea of rolling the statues in a prone position is Jo Anne Van Tilburg, of UCLA. Van Tilburg created sophisticated computer models that took into account available materials, routes, rock, and manpower, even factoring in how much the workers would have to have eaten. Her models supported the idea that rolling prone statues was the most efficient method. As further evidence, Van Tilburg oversaw the movement of a moai replica by the method she had proposed. They were successful, but evidence that it was possible is not necessarily evidence that it actually happened.

[4] Van Tilburg was not the only one to have experimented with rolling the statues. In the 1980s, archaeologist Charles Love experimented with rolling the moai in an upright position, rather than prone, on two wooden runners. Indeed, a team of just 25 men was able to move the statue a distance of 150 feet in a mere two minutes. However, the route from the stone quarries where the statues were built to the coast where they were installed was often uneven, and Love’s experiments were hampered by the tendency of the statues to tip over. While Love’s ideas were dismissed by many, the idea of the statutes tipping over along the route was consistent with the many moai found on their sides or faces beside the island’s ancient roads. And local legend held that the statues “walked” to their destinations, which would seem to support an upright mode of transportation. In fact, rolling was not the only possible way of transporting the moai in an upright position.

[5] In the 1980s, Pavel Pavel and Thor Heyerdahl had experimented with swiveling the statues forward. With one rope tied around the head and another around the base, they were able to move a five-ton moai with only eight people, and a nine-ton statue with 16. However, they abandoned their efforts when their technique proved too damaging; as they shuffled the statues forward, the bases were chipped away. This confounding factor led most to believe that an upright, rope-assisted walking method was incorrect.

[6] But many now believe that they were, in fact, transported upright. In 2012, Carl Lipo of California State University Long Beach and Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii teamed up with archaeologist Sergio Rapu to refine the upright walking idea. They found that the statues that appeared to be abandoned in transit had bases with a curved front edge. This meant they would naturally topple forward and would need to be modified once they reached their destinations. But that curved edge also meant that they could easily be rocked forward using a small team of people and three ropes attached to the head. Indeed, their experiments demonstrated the feasibility of this method, and their theory has gained traction.

1 The word 'evolution' in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to:

2 Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 1 about eyes before the Cambrian Explosion?

3 In paragraph 2, why does the author mention Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species?

4 According to paragraph 3, how has the development of a fully functional vertebrate eye been estimated?

5 The word 'validates' in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to:

6 The word 'estimated' in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to:

7 According to paragraph 4, all of the following statements are true about the light-processing unit of the eye, EXCEPT:

8 The word 'transmit' in paragraph 5 is closest in meaning to:

9 Paragraph 6 supports which of the following statements about the marine mollusc:

10 The word 'spectrum' in paragraph 7 is closest in meaning to:

11 Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the following sentence?

These optical systems began as multicellular eye patches and gradually evolved into a cup

12 Which of the following is true, according to the passage?

13 Examine the four █ in the selection below and indicate at which block the following sentence could be inserted into the passage:


This is proposed in the research paper of modern scientists, Nilsson and S. Pelger.


█ [A] Darwin presented intermediate grades of evolution and made suggestions that were soon shown to be correct. █ [B] Modern scientists have been putting forward work on the topic of eye evolution, suggesting that the eye developed from a vertebrate patch of photoreceptors. █ [C] Current research validates the theory of Darwin. █ [D] .

14Directions: 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. This question is worth 2 points.

Drag your answer choices to the spaces where they belong. To remove an answer choice, drag it back. To review the passage, click VIEW TEXT.

When a photon is absorbed by the chromophore, a chemical reaction causes the photon's energy to be converted into electrical energy and relayed, in higher animals, to the nervous system.

  • a. In all jellyfish, a chemical reaction occurs when a photon is absorbed by the chromophore and relayed to the nervous system and brain.
  • b. In higher animals, a chemical reaction occurs when a photon is absorbed by the chromophore and relayed to the nervous system and brain.
  • c. In higher animals, a chemical reaction occurs when a photon is absorbed by the chromophore and relayed to the muscles.
  • d. A part of the retina is made up of photoreceptor cells that transmit visual information to the brain.
  • e. A part of the retina is made up of photoreceptor cells that transmit visual information to the nervous system.
  • f. In some jellyfish, a chemical reaction occurs when a photon is absorbed by the chromophore and relayed to the muscles.
Beginning

The Evolution of Eyes

[1] It is believed that eyes evolved over a few million years during the Cambrian explosion, a rapid period of evolution. Prior to this era, there is no direct evidence of eyes. Eyes have a vast range of adaptations to meet the needs of the organism. They vary in visual acuity, the array of wavelength detected, sensitivity in low light, color discrimination and their capacity to identify motion.
 

[2] Charles Darwin, in On the Origin of Species, suggests that the eye evolved from "an optic nerve merely coated with pigment, and without any other mechanism" to "a moderately high stage of perfection". Darwin presented intermediate grades of evolution and made suggestions that were soon shown to be correct. Since this time, modern scientists have been putting forward work on the topic of eye evolution, suggesting that the eye developed from a vertebrate patch of photoreceptors. Current research validates the theory of Darwin.
 

[3] The first eye fossils date back to 540 million years ago. Prior to this time, organisms may have had use for light sensitivity, but not for fast locomotion and navigation by vision. However, it remains difficult to evaluate the rate of eye evolution because the fossil record of this period is weak. The development of the circular patch of photoreceptor cells into a fully functional vertebrate eye has been estimated on the rates of mutation, relative benefit to the organism and natural selection. Based on these estimations, it is suggested that it would take less than 364,000 years for the complete evolution of the eye.
 

[4] The fundamental light-processing unit of the eye is the photoreceptor cell, a specialized cell with two types of molecules in its membrane: the opsin, a light-sensitive protein, and the chromophore – a pigment that can distinguish colors – which it surrounds. This group of cells is called an ‘eyespot'. These eyespots allow animals a basic sense of light direction and intensity. However, 96% of species have a more complex optical system that allows light discrimination within a few degrees. These optical systems began as multicellular eye patches and gradually evolved into a cup which first allowed the capacity to discriminate brightness in directions, then in finer and finer directions as the pit became deeper. Whereas a flat shape of the eyes allowed limited directional differentiation, the cup shape of the pit eye allows for increasingly precise visual information. Pit eyes, which date back to the Cambrian period, were detected in ancient snails, and are still found in snails today.
 

[5] When a photon is absorbed by the chromophore, a chemical reaction causes the photon's energy to be converted into electrical energy and relayed, in higher animals, to the nervous system. These photoreceptor cells form part of the retina, a thin layer of cells that relays visual information, including the light and day-length information needed by the circadian rhythm system, to the brain. However, some jellyfish, such as Cladonema, have elaborate eyes but no brain. Their eyes transmit a message directly to the muscles without the intermediate processing provided by a brain.
 

[6] During the Cambrian explosion, evolution of the eye was very fast, with dramatic developments in image-processing and light direction detection. As the photosensitive cell region developed, there came a point when the reduction of the width of the light opening became more efficient for visual resolution than the ongoing deepening of the cup. With a reduced size of the opening, organisms achieved true imaging, allowing for finer sensing of direction and shape. The Nautilus, a marine mollusc, has this type of opening. Without a cornea or lens, the eye openings provide poor resolution and dim imaging. However, they are still a major evolution from the earlier eye patches.
 

[7] So, why is it that eyes specialize in detecting a specific, narrow range of wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum —the visible spectrum? It is probably because the earliest species to develop photosensitivity were aquatic (such as jellyfish), and only two specific wavelength ranges of electromagnetic radiation, blue and green visible light, can be transmitted through water. This same light-filtering property of water also influenced the photosensitivity of plants.
 

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