TOEFL Reading Free Practice Sample

The questions below are based on this passage

In 1603, Queen Elizabeth I of England died. She had never married and had no heir, so the throne passed to a distant relative: James Stuart, the son of Elizabeth’s cousin and one-time rival for the throne, Mary, Queen of Scots. James was crowned King James I of England. At the time, he was also King James VI of Scotland, and the combination of roles would create a spirit of conflict that haunted the two nations for generations to come.

The conflict developed as a result of rising tensions among the people within the nations, as well as between them. Scholars in the 21st century are far too hasty in dismissing the role of religion in political disputes, but religion undoubtedly played a role in the problems that faced England and Scotland. By the time of James Stuart’s succession to the English throne, the English people had firmly embraced the teachings of Protestant theology. Similarly, the Scottish Lowlands was decisively Protestant. In the Scottish Highlands, however, the clans retained their Catholic faith. James acknowledged the Church of England and still sanctioned the largely Protestant translation of the Bible that still bears his name.

James’s son King Charles I proved himself to be less committed to the Protestant Church of England. Charles married the Catholic Princess Henrietta Maria of France, and there were suspicions among the English and the Lowland Scots that Charles was quietly a Catholic. Charles’s own political troubles extended beyond religion in this case, and he was beheaded in 1649. Eventually, his son King Charles II would be crowned, and this Charles is believed to have converted secretly to the Catholic Church. Charles II died without a legitimate heir, and his brother James ascended to the throne as King James II.

James was recognized to be a practicing Catholic, and his commitment to Catholicism would prove to be his downfall. James’s wife Mary Beatrice lost a number of children during their infancy, and when she became pregnant again in 1687 the public became concerned. If James had a son, that son would undoubtedly be raised a Catholic, and the English people would not stand for this. Mary gave birth to a son, but the story quickly circulated that the royal child had died and the child named James’s heir was a foundling smuggled in. James, his wife, and his infant son were forced to flee; and James’s Protestant daughter Mary was crowned the queen.

In spite of a strong resemblance to the king, the young James was generally rejected among the English and the Lowland Scots, who referred to him as “the Pretender.” But in the Highlands the Catholic princeling was welcomed. He inspired a group known as Jacobites, to reflect the Latin version of his name. His own son Charles, known affectionately as Bonnie Prince Charlie, would eventually raise an army and attempt to recapture what he believed to be his throne. The movement was soundly defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, and England and Scotland have remained Protestant ever since.

1. Which of the following sentences contains an opinion on the part of the author?

a. James was recognized to be a practicing Catholic, and his commitment to Catholicism would prove to be his downfall.

b. James’ son King Charles I proved himself to be less committed to the Protestant Church of England.

c. The movement was soundly defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, and England and Scotland have remained ostensibly Protestant ever since.

d. Scholars in the 21st century are far too hasty in dismissing the role of religion in political disputes, but religion undoubtedly played a role in the problems that faced England and Scotland.

2. Which of the following is a logical conclusion based on the information that is provided within the passage?

a. Like Elizabeth I, Charles II never married and thus never had children.

b. The English people were relieved each time that James II’s wife Mary lost another child, as this prevented the chance of a Catholic monarch.

c. Charles I’s beheading had less to do with religion than with other political problems that England was facing.

d. Unlike his son and grandsons, King James I had no Catholic leanings and was a faithful follower of the Protestant Church of England.

3. Based on the information that is provided within the passage, which of the following can be inferred about King James II’s son?

a. Considering his resemblance to King James II, the young James was very likely the legitimate child of the king and the queen.

b. Given the queen’s previous inability to produce a healthy child, the English and the Lowland Scots were right in suspecting the legitimacy of the prince.

c. James “the Pretender” was not as popular among the Highland clans as his son Bonnie Prince Charlie.

d. James was unable to acquire the resources needed to build the army and plan the invasion that his son succeeded in doing.

4. Which of the following best describes the organization of the information in the passage?

a. Cause-effect

b. Chronological sequence

c. Problem-solution

d. Comparison-contrast

5. Which of the following best describes the author’s intent in the passage?

a. To persuade

b. To entertain

c. To express feeling

d. To inform

6. What can be inferred from paragraph two about the author’s view of 21st century scholars?

a. 21st century scholars often disregard the role of religious views in historical political disputes.

b. 21st century scholars make hasty observations about historical political disputes.

c. 21st century scholars lack the details necessary to understand historical political disputes.

d. 21st century scholars think that religion is never used in political disputes.

7. What is the nickname of the founder of a group called the Jacobites?

a. Jacob

b. The Deceiver

c. The Pretender

d. The Fool

8. Who does the passage say ascended the throne because someone else did not have a legitimate heir?

a. King James Stuart

b. Queen Elizabeth I

c. King Charles II

d. King James II

9. Which of the following best describes what the passage is about?

a. The lineage of the current Queen of England

b. The history of religions in Scotland and in England

c. The role of religion had in conflict between England and Scotland

d. The history and origin of the Jacobites

10. What was the result of King Charles I’s political troubles?

a. He was beheaded

b. He was exiled

c. He was hanged

d. He was dethroned

11. Based on the following sentence, what can you infer about the meaning of the italicized word?

“Mary gave birth to a son, but the story quickly circulated that the royal child had died and the child named James’s heir was a foundling smuggled in.”

a. A prince

b. An orphan

c. A nephew

d. An illegitimate child

12. What kind of tone does this passage have?

a. humorous

b. informative

c. solemn

d. sarcastic

13. Which piece of information is least important to the purpose of the passage?

a. Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603

b. King James I had a bible translation commissioned

c. Bonnie Prince Charlie attempted to reclaim the throne

d. King Charles II was believed to have secretly converted to Catholicism

14. What was the end result of the conflict after the Battle of Culloden?

a. England and Scotland became Catholic as a result of the battle

b. James the Pretender and his wife had to flee for safety

c. This battle started conflict that would continue for generations

d. England and Scotland have remained Protestant

Answer Explanations

1. D: All other sentences in the passage offer some support or explanation. Only the sentence in answer choice D indicates an unsupported opinion on the part of the author.

2. C: The author actually says, “Charles’s own political troubles extended beyond religion in this case, and he was beheaded in 1649.” This would indicate that religion was less involved in this situation than in other situations. There is not enough information to infer that Charles II never married; the passage only notes that he had no legitimate children. (In fact, he had more than ten illegitimate children by his mistresses.) And while the chance of a Catholic king frightened many in England, it is reaching beyond logical inference to assume that people were relieved when the royal children died. Finally, the author does not provide enough detail for the reader to assume that James I had no Catholic leanings. The author only says that James recognized the importance of committing to the Church of England.

3. A: The author notes, “In spite of a strong resemblance to the king, the young James was generally rejected among the English and the Lowland Scots, who referred to him as “the Pretender.” This indicates that there was a resemblance, and this increases the likelihood that the child was, in fact, that of James and Mary Beatrice. Answer choice B is too much of an opinion statement that does not have enough support in the passage. The passage essentially refutes answer choice C by pointing out that James “the Pretender” was welcomed in the Highlands. And there is little in the passage to suggest that James was unable to raise an army and mount an attack.

4. B: The passage is composed in a chronological sequence with each king introduced in order of reign.

5. D: The passage is largely informative in focus, and the author provides extensive detail about this period in English and Scottish history. There is little in the passage to suggest persuasion, and the tone of the passage has no indication of a desire to entertain. Additionally, the passage is historical, so the author avoids expressing feelings and instead focuses on factual information (with the exception of the one opinion statement).

6. A: 21st century scholars often disregard the role of religious views in historical political disputes.

7. C: The author states that the people of the Lowlands and England referred to young James as the Pretender, as he bore strong resemblance to the king, but did not hold true lineage to inherit the throne. Later, he would go to attempt to reclaim what he believed to be his rightful throne.

8. D: Paragraph three states that “Charles II died without a legitimate heir, and his brother James ascended to the throne as King James II.”

9. C: This passage includes information about lineage, but generally seeks to inform and convince the reader that religion had part in fueling conflict between nations, particularly that of England and Scotland.

10. A: As a result of his religious and political affiliations, particularly regarding his marriage to the Catholic Princess Henrietta Maria of France, King Charles I was beheaded. Religious groups at this time were very strict with regulating marriages and divorces and did not condone intermarriage with other religions and had even more effect when regarding the leadership of a country. This further reinforced the author’s purpose of demonstrating how religion played a part in political effects within the history of England.

11. B: An orphan makes the most sense in this context and is discernable from the other answer choices. Neither a princeling, nor a nephew would need to be smuggled in. In addition, an illegitimate child was never referred to in this passage, which leaves orphan as the most fitting choice in this context.

12. B: Tone refers to the author’s voice, or what kind of appeal he is making to the audience. In this passage, the author is attempting to inform the audience of a series of events in the history of English and Scottish royalty. The author is making an appeal, but makes his appeal with a tone that is informative sounding, as he grounds his argument in facts.

13. A: Whereas all of these answers are true, Queen Elizabeth’s death is not necessary to the rest of the story. King James did commission a Protestant bible translation, which could have been a major contributor to the conflict. Prince Charlie’s and King Charles II’s decisions also directly affected the conflict which this passage circulates around.

14. D: Whereas all of these answers are legitimate and came from the story, only one came as a result of this battle. The Battle of Culloden ended the confusion of religion between Scotland and England and became completely Protestant nations.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: December 20, 2019