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TOEFL reading: Synonym

 Try to locate where the relevant information is hidden in the passage and identify how the information is used in a paraphrased way.   Answer: C

Elimination method

  Sometimes, the only way to be certain of your choice is to eliminate definitely wrong options. Consider this rather easy question. Sometimes the only way to be certain of your choice is to eliminate definitely wrong options. Consider rather this easy question. The passage provides three benefits that trees have:  1, provide material for humus 2. bring nutrients from far below the surface using their root systems. 3.prevent erosion with their root system. Benefits 2 and 3 are specific only to trees while benefit 1 is shared with other plants. With this, let's consider each option: A: From 2, we know that trees bring nutrients to the surface. Since benefit 2 is possible only by trees, we can also infer that other plants do not have the root system to reach the deep soil nutrients. We can also infer that the nutrients are now available for other plants since the nutrients are brought up to the surface by trees. B: The causal relationship is incorrect. When trees decompose, the nutr

TOEFL Listening answering strategies

In this video, I give e a strategy lecture on how to solve TOEFL listening questions.  Highlights of the lecture include how to answer main idea questions and inference questions, how to identify traps, and how to use qualifiers to eliminate wrong choices quickly.   

ETS Sample Academic Responses

  These two are sample essays that received score 5 by the official ETS. As you can see, both essays did an excellent job on the topic development criterion. There are some grammar and other mistakes in the language use criterion, but these mistakes do not hinder the clarity in meaning as all the ideas are logically connected.   

All about Minerals

 Passage A mineral is a naturally occurring solid formed by inorganic processes. Since the internal structure and chemical composition of a mineral are difficult to determine without the aid of sophisticated tests and  apparatus , the more easily recognized physical properties are used in identification. Most people think of a crystal as a rare commodity, when in fact most inorganic solid obJects are composed of crystals. The reason for this misconception is that most crystals do not exhibit their crystal form: the external form of a mineral that reflects the orderly internal arrangement of its atoms. Whenever a mineral forms without space restrictions, individual crystals with well-formed crystal faces will develop Some crystals, such as those of the mineral quartz, have a very distinctive crystal form that can be helpful in identification. However, most of the time, crystal growth is interrupted because of competition for space, resulting in an intergrown mass of crystals, none of wh

All about comets

Structure and Composition of Comets TOEFL reading: All about comets  Passage Astronomers now have a fairly good idea of what a comet really is. When it is far from the Sun, it is a very small object only a few kilometers across It consists mainly of ices (water, methane, ammonia) with bits of dust embedded in it - a kind of dirty ice ball. As it approaches the Sun, radiation from the Sun vaporizes the icy matter and releases some of the dust. This forms a gigantic halo around the ice ball. This halo - called the coma - extends out tens of thousands of kilometers from the icy core, which is the nucleus of the comet. Sunlight reflected off the dust particles makes the coma visible to observers on Earth. Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun breaks down the vapor molecules into their constituents. These components can be excited by absorbing radiation from the Sun. In returning to lower-energy states, the excited atoms and ions emit light, contributing to the luminosity of the coma.      Whe