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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 20 May 2010
Posts: 8

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31 May 2014, 18:29
Hi,

I tried this reading practice from official ETS's website : http://www.ets.org/s/toefl/pdf/qp_v1_web_a4.pdf

I answered question 9 and 13 incorrectly, unfortunately, the official site doesn't provide answer explanation so I have no clue to look for.

For question #9 >

Which of the following allowed Teotihuacán to have “a competitive edge over its neighbors”?
(A) A well-exploited and readily available commodity
(B) The presence of a highly stable elite class
(C) Knowledge derived directly from the Olmecs about the art of toolmaking
(D) Scarce natural resources in nearby areas such as those located in what are now
the Guatemalan and Mexican highlands

In fact, I'm already aware that "A" may be the right answer, but both choices are very equivocate.
I understand that "D" can be ruled out because it states that the resource is "scarce" which in fact it's quite abundant in the particular region.
However, this logic can also be applied to choice "A", in which it could ambiguously means that the resource is "well-exploited and readily available"--pervasive in another regions as well. So, in this case "A" isn't plausible answer.

For question #13 >
In paragraph 1 of the passage, there is a missing sentence. The paragraph is repeated below and
shows four letters (A, B, C, and D) that indicate where the following sentence could be added.

In fact, artifacts and pottery from Teotihuacán have been discovered in sites as far away as the
Mayan lowlands, the guatemalan highlands, northern Mexico, and the gulf Coast of Mexico.

Where would the sentence best fit?

The city of Teotihuacán, which lay about 50 kilometers northeast of modern-day Mexico City, began its
growth by 200 –100 B.C. At its height, between about A.d. 150 and 700, it probably had a population of
more than 125,000 people and covered at least 20 square kilometers. (a) It had over 2,000 apartment
complexes, a great market, a large number of industrial workshops, an administrative center, a number of
massive religious edifices, and a regular grid pattern of streets and buildings. (B) Clearly, much planning
and central control were involved in the expansion and ordering of this great metropolis. (C) Moreover,
the city had economic and perhaps religious contacts with most parts of Mesoamerica (modern Central
America and Mexico). (D)

(A) Option A
(B) Option B
(C) Option C
(D) Option D

Like question #9, I feel that both answers make sense and I can't figure out which choice is the best. It look like I'm forced to choose the most possibly correct answer, not the correct answer. I'm quite surprise because what another people told me is that TOEFL's answer is either black or white--no between.

It occurs to me that this is a kind of rhetorical play and it's quite disappointing because even though you can understand the article, you can't deliver the right answer if you don't understand what is in ETS's mind.

Can anyone provide plausible explanation for this 2 questions? and is the real test as fuzzy as this?

Moderator: carcass