Here is a free reading test to help you prepare for the iBT exam.
The answers are given after the questions to Passage 1.
Working in a run-down laboratory near Paris, Marie Curie worked around the clock to discover a radioactive element. When she finally captured her quarry in 1902, she named it radium after the Latin word meaning ray.
Madame Curie should certainly be an inspiration to scientists today. She had spent the day blending chemical compounds which could be used to destroy unhealthy cells in the body. As she was about to retire to bed that evening, she decided to return to her lab. There she found that the chemical compound had become crystalized in the bowls and was emitting the elusive light that she sought.
Inspired by the French scientist Henri Becquerel, Curie won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903. Upon winning the prize, she declared that the radioactive element would be used only to treat disease and would not be used for commercial profit.
Today radium provides the most effective remedy for certain types of cancer. Radium, now used for a treatment called radiotherapy, works by inundating diseased cells with radioactive particles. Its success lies in the fact that it eradicates malignant cells without any lasting ill effects on the body.
1. Which of the following is the best meaning of the word quarry as it is used in this passage?
A. a precious commodity
B. an unknown catalyst
C. an object that is sought
D. a chemical compound
2. According to the information in the passage, why is radium treatment used as a cancer therapy?
A. because it is cost effective
B. because it destroys cancerous cells
C. because it has no long-term effects
D. because it emits a glowing light
3. What is the most appropriate title of the passage?
A. Madame Curie: An Inventive Chemist
B. The Discoveries of Madame Curie
C. The Use of Radium to Treat Cancer
D. The Discovery and Use of Radium
4. Which of the following phrases or sentences from the passage expresses an opinion rather than a fact?
A. Marie Curie worked around the clock to discover a radioactive element.
B. Madame Curie should certainly be an inspiration to scientists today.
C. She had spent the day blending chemical compounds which could be used to destroy unhealthy cells in the body.
D. Upon winning the prize, she declared that the radioactive element would be used only to treat disease and would not be used for commercial profit.
1. C原文表述为：Marie Curie worked around the clock to discover a radioactive element. When she finally captured her quarry in 1902，可见quarry是居里夫人寻找的一种物质，C答案是原文所要表达的最准确的意思，造成干扰的是D项，D项化学混合物是居里夫人通过混合化学混合物来得到她要得到的物质。所以该题选择C选项。
2. B 原文表述为：She had spent the day blending chemical compounds which could be used to destroy unhealthy cells in the body. 以及Radium, now used for a treatment called radiotherapy, works by inundating diseased cells with radioactive particles. 所以镭用于肿瘤治疗法的的原因是它可以破坏癌细胞。
3. D 本文先描述了居里夫人发现镭的艰辛过程，接着是在放射性治疗法中的治疗原理。所以最合适的标题是D。
4. B 很明显地看出，A, C, D三个选项是事实的描述，而B选项是一个观点。所以B选项为正确答案。
Passage 2 below will help you practice your reading skills for the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
The answers to the test are provided after the questions.
The First Public Railway
The world’s first public railway carried passengers, even though it was primarily designed to transport coal from inland mines to ports on the North Sea. Unveiled on September 27, 1825, the train had 32 open wagons and carried over 300 people.
The locomotive steam engine was power by what was termed the steam-blast technique. The chimney of the locomotive redirected exhaust steam into the engine via a narrow pipe. In this way, the steam created a draft of air which followed after it, creating more power and speed for the engine.
The train had rimmed wheels which ran atop rails that were specially designed to give the carriages a faster and smoother ride. While the small carriages could hardly be termed commodious, the locomotive could accelerate to 15 miles per hour, a record-breaking speed at that time.
Subsequently, the inventor of the locomotive, George Stephenson, revolutionized his steam engine by adding 24 further pipes. Now containing 25 tubes instead of one, Stephenson’s second “iron horse” was even faster and more powerful than his first creation.
后来，机车的发明者George Stephenson，又增加了24个管道，彻底改变了他的蒸汽机。George Stephenson的第二列火车现在有25根管子，而不是1根，比他的第一个发明更快、更有力。
1. Which of the following is the best meaning of the word commodious as it is used in this passage?
2. Why was the second locomotive that Stephenson invented an improvement on his first?
A. because it ran more smoothly
B. because it was more comfortable
C. because it could carry more passengers
D. because it ran with greater force and speed
3. From the information contained in the passage, it seems reasonable to infer which of the following?
A. Many passengers were frightened about traveling on his new locomotive.
B. George Stephenson’s inventions laid the basic foundations for modern day public trains and railways.
C. Profits in the coal industry increased after the invention of the locomotive.
D. Stephenson should have been able to invent a locomotive that could run faster.
1. C 原文表述：While the small carriages could hardly be termed commodious，通过hardly一词，原文是在否定commodious，必定和small一词表示相反的意思，所以答案为C，宽敞的。
2. D 原文表述：tephenson’s second “iron horse” was even faster and more powerful than his first creation. 所以D选项为正确答案。
3. B A选项说人们坐在George Stephenson发明的新的机车上害怕，很显然原文没有这样的描述;C选项说机车发明后，煤炭工业的收益将增加，原文显示这样的相关意思，而且发明的机车最初是用来运送煤炭，现在是用来运载乘客的;D 选项说Stephenson本应该发明出更快的机车，原文没有提到，所以B选项为正确答案：George Stephenson的发明为现代公共火车和铁路的发明奠定了基础。