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Reading Comprehension Sample Questions

The Reading Comprehension section tests your ability to read and comprehend both academic and non-academic texts.

After you read each passage, read the questions that follow it and the 4 possible answers. Choose the best answer by filling in the space — see sample answer below — that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

sample answer

Print the TOEFL Junior® Answer Sheet to respond to the numbered sample questions below. If you do not have access to a printer, you can use a sheet of blank paper to write down your answers. A link to the answer key is included at the end of the sample questions.

Sample: Reading Comprehension Questions

Questions 1–4 are about the following announcement.

Student Volunteers Needed!

On Saturday, December 12th, from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M., Carverton Middle School will be holding a music festival in the school gymnasium. The special event will feature a variety of professional musicians and singers.

Task Time Date
Make posters 1 P.M.–4 P.M. December 5th
Set up gym 11 A.M.–4 P.M. December 11th
Help performers 9 A.M.–4 P.M. December 12th
Welcome guests 10 A.M.–2 P.M. December 12th
Clean up gym  4 P.M.–7 P.M. December 12th

Interested students should speak with Ms. Braxton, the music teacher. Students who would like to help at the festival must have written permission from a parent or guardian.

  1. What time will the festival begin?
    1. 10 A.M.
    2. 11 A.M.
    3. 1 P.M.
    4. 2 P.M.
  2. In line 3, the word feature is closest in meaning to _______.
    1. look
    2. keep
    3. include
    4. entertain
  3. What job will be done the day before the festival begins?
    1. Making posters
    2. Setting up the gym
    3. Cleaning up the gym
    4. Helping the performers
  4. Who is told to talk to Ms. Braxton?
    1. Parents
    2. Students
    3. Teachers
    4. Performers

Questions 5–11 refer to the following story.

  1. "Did you see that?" Joe said to his friend Bill.
  2. "You're a great shooter!"
  3. Bill caught the basketball and bounced it before
  4. throwing it again. The ball flew into the net.
  5. "Bill, you never miss!" Joe said admiringly.
  6. "Unless I'm in a real game," Bill complained.
  7. "Then I miss all the time."
  8. Joe knew that Bill was right. Bill performed much
  9. better when he was having fun with Joe in the school
  10. yard than he did when he was playing for the school
  11. team in front of a large crowd.
  12. "Maybe you just need to practice more," Joe suggested.
  13. "But I practice all the time with you!" Bill objected.
  14. He shook his head. "I just can't play well when people are
  15. watching me."
  16. "You play well when I'm watching," Joe pointed out.
  17. "That's because I've known you since we were five
  18. years old," Bill said with a smile. "I'm just not
  19. comfortable playing when other people are around."
  20. Joe nodded and understood, but he also had an idea.
  21. The next day Joe and Bill met in the school yard again
  22. to practice. After a few minutes, Joe excused himself.
  23. "Practice without me," Joe said to his friend. "I'll be
  24. back in a minute."
  25. Joe hurried through the school building, gathering
  26. together whomever he could find—two students, a math
  27. teacher, two secretaries, and a janitor. When Joe explained
  28. why he needed them, everyone was happy to help.
  29. Joe reminded the group to stay quiet as they all went
  30. toward the school's basketball court. As Joe had hoped,
  31. Bill was still practicing basketball. He made five
  32. baskets in a row without noticing the silent people
  33. standing behind him.
  34. "Hey, Bill!" Joe called out finally.
  35. Bill turned. A look of surprise came over his face.
  36. "I just wanted to show you that you could play well
  37. with people watching you," Joe said. "Now you'll have
  38. nothing to worry about for the next game!"
  1. What would be the best title for the story?
    1. Joe Joins the Team
    2. Practice Makes Perfect
    3. Bill Wins the Big Game
    4. Bill's Basketball Problem
  2. In line 8, the word performed is closest in meaning to _______.
    1. acted
    2. played
    3. moved
    4. changed
  3. Why is Bill upset?
    1. He plays better in practice than he does during games.
    2. The school yard is not a good place to practice.
    3. Joe watches him too closely when he plays.
    4. His team loses too many games.
  4. Why does Bill play well when Joe is watching him?
    1. He is comfortable with Joe.
    2. Joe tells him how to play better.
    3. He does not know that Joe is there.
    4. He wants to prove to Joe that he is a good player.
  5. Why does Joe decide to gather a group of people?
    1. Because he wants more players for his team
    2. Because he wants to help Bill feel less nervous
    3. Because he wants to show them his talent
    4. Because he wants more people to see the next game
  6. At the end of the story, all of the following people watch Bill practice EXCEPT _______.
    1. Joe
    2. a janitor
    3. a math teacher
    4. the basketball coach
  7. Why does the group have to be quiet when they go to the basketball court?
    1. Because Joe is telling Bill what to do
    2. Because they do not want Bill to know they were there
    3. Because Bill likes to practice alone
    4. Because the group needs to listen to Joe’s instructions

Questions 12–20 are about the following passage.

  1. When another old cave is discovered in the south of
  2. France, it is not usually news. Rather, it
  3. is an ordinary event. Such discoveries are so frequent
  4. these days that hardly anybody pays heed to them.
  5. However, when the Lascaux cave complex was
  6. discovered in 1940, the world was amazed. Painted
  7. directly on its walls were hundreds of scenes showing
  8. how people lived thousands of years ago. The scenes
  9. show people hunting animals, such as bison or wild
  10. cats. Other images depict birds and, most noticeably,
  11. horses, which appear in more than 300 wall images,
  12. by far outnumbering all other animals.
  13. Early artists drawing these animals accomplished
  14. a monumental and difficult task. They did not limit
  15. themselves to the easily accessible walls but carried
  16. their painting materials to spaces that required climbing
  17. steep walls or crawling into narrow passages in the
  18. Lascaux complex. Unfortunately, the paintings have
  19. been exposed to the destructive action of water and
  20. temperature changes, which easily wear the images
  21. away. Because the Lascaux caves have many
  22. entrances, air movement has also damaged the
  23. images inside. Although they are not out in the
  24. open air, where natural light would have destroyed
  25. them long ago, many of the images have deteriorated
  26. and are barely recognizable. To prevent further
  27. damage, the site was closed to tourists in 1963,
  28. 23 years after it was discovered.
  1. Which title best summarizes the main idea of the passage?
    1. Wild Animals in Art
    2. Hidden Prehistoric Paintings
    3. Exploring Caves Respectfully
    4. Determining the Age of French Caves
  2. In line 4, the words pays heed to are closest in meaning to _______.
    1. discovers
    2. watches
    3. notices
    4. buys
  3. Based on the passage, what is probably true about the south of France?
    1. It is home to rare animals.
    2. It has a large number of caves.
    3. It is known for horse-racing events.
    4. It has attracted many famous artists.
  4. According to the passage, which animals appear most often on the cave walls?
    1. Birds
    2. Bison
    3. Horses
    4. Wild cats
  5. In line 10, the word depict is closest in meaning to _______.
    1. show
    2. hunt
    3. count
    4. draw
  6. Why was painting inside the Lascaux complex a difficult task?
    1. It was completely dark inside.
    2. The caves were full of wild animals.
    3. Painting materials were hard to find.
    4. Many painting spaces were difficult to reach.
  7. In line 14, the word They refers to _______.
    1. walls
    2. artists
    3. animals
    4. materials
  8. According to the passage, all of the following have caused damage to the paintings EXCEPT _______.
    1. temperature changes
    2. air movement
    3. water
    4. light
  9. What does the passage say happened at the Lascaux caves in 1963?
    1. Visitors were prohibited from entering.
    2. A new lighting system was installed.
    3. Another part was discovered.
    4. A new entrance was created.

Reading Comprehension Answer Key