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TOEFL: How To Prepare and Pass

LISTENING COMPREHENSION

This part of the test has different forms for the paper and pencil TOEFL test and the IBT.

The following examples are for the PBT. IBT examples will be forthcoming.

PBT TOEFL test listening example 1:

Man: I'm feeling kind of sick tonight. I don't know if I have a virus,or if it's something I ate for lunch. Maybe we should stay home tonight.
 
Woman:   I think you're right. I feel a little under the weather myself.
 
Narrator: What does the woman mean?
 
 
(A) She believes the weather is too bad to go out.
(B) She is not feeling well herself.
(C) She didn't eat lunch.
(D) She disagrees with the man.

"I feel under the weather" means that "the woman is not feeling well"; the answer is B.

 

PBT listening example 2:

Woman:  What's the problem? Were you offended by what I said?     

Man:  No, I just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Narrator: What does the man mean?

 

(A) The woman is wrong.
(B) He is in a bad mood.
(C) He injured his side getting out of bed.
(D) He was offended by the woman's comments.

 

"To get up on the wrong side of the bed" is an idiomatic expression that means "to be in a bad mood." The correct answer is B.


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LISTENING COMPREHENSION: PART A: QUESTIONS 1-30: SHORT CONVERSATIONS

ON THIS PART OF THE PBT,  YOU WILL HEAR 30 SHORT CONVERSATIONS. LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE SPEAKERS. 

LISTENING PART A. MEANING QUESTIONS.

EX.1
 
Man: I've heard that the new Chemistry class is really difficult.

Woman:  Oh, I wouldn't say that. I took Chemistry 402 last quarter, and I think the course went very smoothly.

Narrator: What does the woman mean?

(A) The chemistry class is very tough.

(B) The chemistry class is not teaching this quarter.
(C) The chemistry class is easier than the man thinks.
(D) The chemistry class should be avoided if possible.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that" indicates that the woman disagrees with the man. The best answer is C.

EX.2

Woman:    I've heard great things about that movie that just came out. You want to go see it tonight?


Man:  I'd love to, but I've got a history final in two days, and I haven't studied all quarter. I think I'd better take a rain check this time.

Narrator:  What does the man mean?

(A) He needs to take a break from his studying.
(B) He loves the woman very much.
(C) He doesn't like going out in the rain.
(D) He will not be able to accompany the woman.

"I'd better take a rain check this time" means that the person "cannot do the activity." The correct answer is D.

EX.3

Woman: The bus isn't supposed to arrive at this stop for another 30 minutes. I guess we'll just have to wait until it comes.

Man: Normally I'd agree with you, but I'm only going to the next stop, and I feel like stretching my legs.

Narrator: What does the man mean?

(A) He is going to wait for the bus.
(B) He is going to wait for thirty minutes only.
(C) He is going to walk to his destination.
(D) He injured his legs and will return home.

"I feel like stretching my legs" means that the man "feels like walking." The correct answer is C.

EX.4

Man: How did you feel about the movie?

Woman: I was really moved by the performances. What did you think?

Man: I found them uneven: strong in some scenes, weak in others.

Narrator: What does the man mean?

(A) He has never seen a better movie.
(B) He thought the acting lacked consistency.
(C) He doesn't think the actors performed well.
(D) He had already seen the movie.

"Uneven" means "inconsistent"; the correct answer is B.

EX.5

Woman: It's burning up in here. When is the technician supposed to arrive?

Man: I called the company over an hour ago. They said she was on her way.

Woman: Yea, but the last time it took days for them to send someone out.

Man: You're right, it's anybody's guess when she'll show up.

Narrator: What do these people mean?

(A) She will come at any moment.
(B) She should arrive soon.
(C) There's no way to know when she'll arrive.
(D) They thought she would already have arrived.

"It's anybody's guess" means that there is "no way to know exactly when" the person will arrive. The correct answer is C.

 

[Skip To Grammar Review 1]

LISTENING PART A. IMPLICATION QUESTIONS.

EX.6

Woman: The milk in the refrigerator is sour. I don't think it's drinkable.

Man:  No joke. The expiration date was three weeks ago.


Narrator:  What does the man imply?

(A) The woman has an extremely sour disposition.

(B) They need to replace the refrigerator.

(C) The woman is just kidding.
(D) It's not surprising the milk has ruined.

EX.7

Man:  It looks like Jane is coming apart at the seams. I think she should seek psychological help.

Woman:   Oh, I wouldn't say that. She seems to be coping with her problems reasonably well.

Narrator: What does the woman imply?

(A) Jane is not losing emotional control.
(B) Jane is more intelligent than she seems.
(C) Jane made an excellent copy of the parts.
(D) Jane wouldn't say that.

 
 
 
Answers: Ex.6: D, Ex. 7: A

 

[Skip To Grammar Review 2]

LISTENING PART A. REFERENCE QUESTIONS.

EX.8
 

Man:  What does Susan think about her new job? I've heard it through the grapevine that she's dissatisfied.

Woman: It's not exactly that. She simply feels that she's not cut out for it.

Narrator: What does the woman say about Susan?

(A) She is cutting classes.

(B) She works on grape vines.

(C) She feels she isn't suited for her new job.

(D) Susan's new job is too simple.

 

 

EX.9 

Woman:   I'd like to buy a new car, but this model of Toyota is too expensive.

Man:  More so than I thought.

Narrator:  What does the man say about the car?

(A) He thinks it is extremely nice.

(B) He thought the car was less expensive.
(C) He would like to take it for a test ride.

(D) He would prefer more choices.

Answers: Ex. 8: C, Ex. 9: B

 

[Review Menu]

LISTENING PART A. ACTION QUESTIONS.

EX. 10

Man:  John's grades in math are incredibly low. Maybe he needs a tutor to get through the class.

Woman:   That could be true, but we should talk to him first.


Narrator: What are these people probably going to do next?

(A) Study math with John.
(B) Take John to a doctor.
(C) Discuss the problem with John.
(D) Find John a study group.

EX.11

 
Woman:  What a birthday party! All of the food is great--but this strawberry cheesecake is especially good. Why don't you try some?

Man:  If I weren't on a diet I would. Strawberry cheesecake is my favorite.

Narrator: What is the man probably going to do?

(A) Pass up the food.

(B) Try a bite of the cake.
(C) Buy a strawberry cheesecake.
(D) Get the recipe for the cake.

Answers: Ex.10: C, Ex. 11: A

[Review Menu]

 

LISTENING PART A. SUGGESTION QUESTIONS.

EX.12

Man:  It's really hot today. The temperature must be over a hundred. The forecast is for rain in the afternoon.

Woman:  How about putting off the picnic until tomorrow?

 
Narrator: What does the woman suggest that they do?
 
(A) Take a walk in the rain.
(B) Delay their outing.
(C) Go on a picnic.
(D) Find out the weather forecast.

 
 
 
EX. 13
 
Woman:  I just can't stand my job anymore. My boss is not supportive at all.

Man: If I were you I wouldn't take it anymore. I'd let her know how you feel.

Narrator: What does the man suggest the woman do?

(A) Take more rest breaks while at work..
(B) Quit her job and find a new one.
(C) Request an immediate leave of absence from her boss.
(D) Confront her supervisor.

 

Answers:  Ex. 12: B, Ex. 13: D

 

[Review Menu]

LISTENING PART A. ASSUMPTION QUESTIONS.

EX.14

Woman: The truck is gone and I don't see Fred anywhere.

Man: He must have decided to go to work after all.

Narrator: What had the man assumed about Fred?

(A) Fred had stolen a truck.
(B) Fred wasn't going to work.
(C) Fred couldn't make a decision..
(D) Fred's truck was broken down..
.

EX.15

Man: Michael passed the GRE test easily.

Woman: You're surprised?

 
Narrator: What had the woman assumed about Michael?

(A) Michael would do well on the test.
(B) Michael never talked about his past.
(C) Michael surprised his professor.
(D) Michael was in love with her.

Answers: Ex 14: B, Ex. 15: A

 

[Review Menu]

LISTENING PART A. INFERENTIAL QUESTIONS.

EX.16

Man: When it comes to fixing faucets, I hear you're the best in town..

Woman: That, and replacing pipes.

Narrator: What can be inferred about the woman?

(A) She's a heavy smoker.
(B) She plays the organ.
(C) She owns four sets of pipes.
(D) She is a plumber.


EX.17

Woman: You had three rebounds and four blocked shots on the court tonight.

 
Man: Don't forget my twelve assists and twenty points.

Narrator: What can be inferred about the man?
 
(A) He needs assistance to solve his problem.
(B) He was shot four times during the robbery.
(C) He played in a basketball game.
(D) His case was blocked in court.

Answers: 16:D, 17:C

 

[Review Menu]

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LISTENING PART A. SUBJECT QUESTIONS.

EX.18

Man: It sounds like it is going to be extremely tough. I've heard that at the end of the quarter most of the questions are essay.

 
Woman: I hope not. I really prefer matching or multiple choice.

Narrator: What are these people talking about?

(A) A final exam they are going to take.
(B) A multiplication problem that they cannot find the solution to.

(C) A journey they are about to take.
(D) Something they forgot to say to their friend.

 

EX.19

Woman: She said to cut down on my fat intake and to get more exercise. The checkup didn't last long.

 
Man: Did you talk to her about the problem with your ear?
 
Narrator: What are these speakers discussing?

(A) A sporting event.
(B) A doctor's appointment.

(C) A grammar exercise.
(D) Taking overweight people to the gym..

Answers: 18:A, 19: B

 

 

[Review Menu]

 

 

LISTENING PART A. PROBLEM QUESTIONS.

 

EX.20

Woman: Put your foot on the clutch and gently depress it.

 
Man: But every time I do it, it jumps.

Narrator: What is the man's problem?

(A) His bicycle is broken.

(B) He doesn't perform well in the clutch.

(C) He doesn't know how to drive.
(D) He is extremely depressed and nervous.

EX.21

Man: Here, take this towel. You're dripping all over the floor.

Woman: I got caught in a downpour.

Narrator: What is the woman's problem?

(A) She spilled her coffee as she was pouring it.
(B) She was arrested by the police.

(C) She tripped on the floor.

(D) She is soaked.

 

 
Answers: 20: C, 21D

Go To Next Page: Grammar Review 1: Simple Sentences