Listen to the recordings and choose the best answer to each question. To make this quiz more like the real test, cover the questions and answers during each conversation and lecture. When you hear the first question for each set, uncover the questions and answers.

Time – approximately 10 minutes


Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor.

M: Professor Vincent, could I ask you something?

W: Certainly.

M: There’s a lot we have to remember for the test on Monday. I mean, there are a lot of details about all the different styles—Art Nouveau, and Art Deco, and Art Moderne—I have a hard time keeping them all straight.

W: Hmm. Well… how can I help?

M: It just seems to me that Art Deco and Art Moderne are the same thing.

W: They’re not the same, although there is some historical overlap. They were both popular in the 1930s, although Art Deco appeared a little earlier, in 1925.

M: Okay, so they were popular at about the same time. That’s getting confusing. They look so similar it’s hard to see why they’re considered different styles.

W: Well, as I said in my lecture, Art Deco has more decoration than Art Moderne. Art Deco is the style you see in a lot of movie theaters and hotels that were built in the twenties and thirties. Art Deco has facades with geometric designs … and uh … windows with decorative spandrels. Deco buildings have straight lines and slender forms. “Sleekness” is the word. At the time, in the 1930s, sleek was “modernistic.”

M: Oh … I know a building like that. It’s downtown, on Second Avenue. It has a rounded corner and round windows. Maybe it’s Art Moderne. It used to be a gas station, but now it’s a restaurant.

W: Yes, I know that building, and yes, you’re correct. It is an example of Art Moderne!

M: Oh, really? That’s great. There’s another building I like—the Maritime Building—it’s also downtown, on Washington Street. It was built in 1927. I know that from the cornerstone. You should see the lobby. It’s just beautiful. There’s a geometric pattern in the tile on the floor—kind of a big circle with lots of triangles. And you should see the elevator doors—all these swirly decorations—they’re really amazing!

W: The Maritime Building is a structure of historical significance. And you know what style it is. You just described it perfectly.

M: Oh, of course! It’s Art Deco!

W: A near–perfect example.

M: You know what? I think I’ll go downtown and look at both of those buildings before the test. It would help me remember the differences.

W: That’s a good idea.

M: Thanks, Professor Vincent. This has been a big help! My pleasure.

1. Why does the student speak to the professor?

2. What is the main topic of the conversation?

3. According to the professor, which of the following are characteristics of Art Deco?

4. According to the professor, how is Art Moderne different from Art Deco?

5. Listen again to part of the conversation. Then answer the question.

“The Maritime Building is a structure of historical significance. And you know what style it is. You just described it perfectly.”

“Oh, of course! It’s Art Deco!”

“A near–perfect example.”

Why does the professor say this:

“A near–perfect example.”

Listen to part of a talk in an economics class.

One very important institution in our economy is the bank. Banks manage money for individual people, corporations, and the government. Banks provide a number of important services for you and your family. Most importantly, they’re a safe place to store your money. They also provide an easy way for you to transfer money from one place to another. When you write a personal check, the check authorizes the bank to give your money to the person or business whose name is on the check.

Of course, banks also lend money. Ordinary people take out bank loans for a number of reasons—to pay for college, to buy or remodel a home, to start or expand a business, and so forth. Banks provide these services to individuals; however, their main function is to lend large sums of money, for example, to corporations. When people or corporations borrow money from a bank, they must, of course, pay interest—a percentage of the money they borrowed.

Banks pay interest on the money they hold, and charge interest on the money they lend. For a bank to make a profit, it has to collect more interest than it pays out.

Sometimes banks invest money as well as lend it. To invest money means to put it into a corporation or some other project—for example, building a housing complex or doing medical research—in exchange for a share of the profits. Most businesses need loans and investments at some time, and banks are an important source of both.

You might wonder what would happen if all the people with money in a bank wanted to take their money out at the same time. I mean, how would the bank be able to give everyone their money, if it had lent out or invested most of it? In fact, this can be a serious problem for banks. They count on the fact that most people won’t want their money for a long time once it’s deposited. That leaves the bank free to lend or invest the money. If every person—or even lots of people— tried to withdraw their money at the same time, the bank might not be able to honor all of its deposits. This causes some banks to fail, or go bankrupt.

Bank failures used to be common during times of recession or depression. They were especially common during the Great Depression of the 1930s. When Franklin Roosevelt became president in 1933, one of the first things he did was close all the banks, so depositors wouldn’t panic and try to take all their money out.

6. What is the main purpose of the talk?

7. For what reasons do individuals take out bank loans?

8. How do banks make a profit?

9. Why does the professor say this: “If every person—or even lots of people—tried to withdraw their money at the same time, the bank might not be able to honor all of its deposits.”

10. Why were banks closed during the Great Depression of the 1930s?

Free 45-minute Lesson for TOEFL Speaking

Discover which popular Task 1 Introduction sentence is a “score-killer” and the “perfect” alternative for rapidly earning points and contributing to a high score like 26

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