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TOEFL Listening Practice: Sample Questions

In the previous post, we listened to a sample lecture and then took a look at the transcript. Hopefully, you still have your notes from that; if not, go back and take another listen before tackling the questions below! Do your best to answer the questions, and I’ll be back in the next post with some answers and explanations…



1. What is the main point of the professor’s lecture?

a. People today should know more about the different styles that Botticelli used.

b. Botticelli’s career exemplifies certain historical tendencies of the art world.

c. We can never know the artists who might be popular in the future.

d. Botticelli’s religious paintings were more important than his paintings that depicted non-religious subjects.

2. According to the professor’s lecture, what does “his reputation again began to blossom” mean?

a. Botticelli became popular again.

b. Many rumors circulated about Botticelli.

c. Nobody knew what to think of Botticelli.

d. Botticelli was well known among other artists.


3. What is the professor’s attitude toward Botticelli?

a. She enjoys some of his work, but not all of it.

b. She sees him as an obscure yet important artist.

c. She believes his career teaches us about larger social structures.

d. She does not know why students don’t know more about him.


4. The professor describes several features of Botticelli’s non-religious works compared to his religious works. For each of the following, indicate whether it is a feature of his non-religious or religious paintings. (For each item, check the appropriate box—three boxes).



5. Listen again to part of the lecture. Then answer the question. What does the professor mean when she says “Botticelli had the last laugh”?

a. Botticelli found art historians ridiculous

b. Botticelli’s work was less important in the sixteenth century than in the twentieth.

c. Botticelli did not care about his reputation as an artist.

d. Botticelli succeeded in the end.


6. Listen again to part of the lecture. Then answer the question. Why does the professor say “It just goes to show you—the art world is ruled by trends”?

a. To demonstrate that Botticelli changed the subjects of his work according to trends.

b. To explain the larger significance of Botticelli’s work and what students can learn from it.

c. To show that art can be a good investment if we are wise about the paintings we purchase.

d. To argue that no artists are objectively good or bad, but only judged by society to be so.