It’s tough to practice listening. First of all, it’s the only skill where you can’t take your time or back up and start over if you need to. Second of all, most of the interesting listening practice resources out there are way too fast and complicated for many English learners (pacing is a primary challenge of this section), and most of the resources that are geared at English learners are so boring that you have to fight to stay awake through them. For these reasons, many people find listening much harder than the other skills, and they spend less time working on it. Lucas gave some great pointers for finding TOEFL listening practice over in the GRE blog, but since TED talks may be a little ambitious for our first TOEFL listening practice set, I’m going to use a not-so-dubious recording from Youtube.
For this listening exercise, we’ll be using the beginning of this video through 2:57. You may want to minimize the window so the (unrelated) pictures in the video don’t distract you.
Listen to the following excerpt from a lecture about archaeology.
1. What professional position does the speaker hold?
a. Current president of the State Archaeological Society
b. Professional shipwreck scuba diver
c. Former president of the State Archaeological Society
d. Professor of archaeology
2. What is the speaker’s attitude toward treasure-hunters?
a. They help archaeologists find and study important artifacts like gold coins and jewelry.
b. They disrupt the work of archaeologists.
c. Many of them are professional underwater archaeologists and deserve respect.
d. They are selfish.
3. Which of the following is NOT a point that the speaker makes in the lecture?
a. Some shipwrecks have been destroyed by people who did not even find what they were looking for.
b. It is difficult to locate a shipwreck precisely.
c. Some shipwrecks have little value to archaeologists.
d. The speaker has never gone diving to find treasure on a shipwreck.
4. What point does the speaker make when talking about the ancient Andrea Doria?
a. Shipwrecks deteriorate over time.
b. Treasure-hunters are especially problematic with ancient shipwrecks.
c. Being underwater helps preserve and protect shipwrecks.
d. New England has many interesting shipwrecks.
5. What will be the main topic of the lecture that is introduced in this excerpt?
a. The work of the State Archaeological Society
b. Ancient shipwrecks
c. The damage that some divers cause to shipwrecks
d. Shipwrecks of New England