Making Inferences

1.5 A

Question 1
In classical and medieval times, the study of music shared many features with the discipline of mathematics, such as an interest in proportions, special ratios, and recurring patterns. In the twentieth century, the introduction of twelve–tone music and the widespread use of computers inspired further study into the relationship between musical and mathematical abilities. Musical performances require sensitivity to ratios that are often complex, and to appreciate the operation of rhythms, a performer must have some basic numerical competence.
Question 2
Corvids are sociable and tend to form social groups. This is particularly true of rooks, which stay in their flocks all year round. The raven, largest of the corvids, joins a social group as a juvenile, pairing off at around the age of three and mating for life. Courtship can involve such games as pair snow sliding and the synchronized flight test. Corvids can be found all over the world. The adaptability and intelligence of this family have made them extremely successful. For centuries, the raven and the crow have held a special place in the mythology of various cultures.
Question 3
The input of solar energy supplies 99 percent of the energy needed to heat the earth and all buildings on it. How is this possible? Most people think of solar energy in terms of direct heat from the sun. However, broadly defined, solar energy includes direct energy from the sun as well as a number of indirect forms of energy produced by this direct input. Major indirect forms of solar energy include wind, hydropower, and biomass—solar energy converted to chemical energy in trees, plants, and other organic matter.
Question 4
The reasons for the migration from rural to urban life were exploitation and lack of economic opportunity. The family members who would not inherit a share in the property were exploited by the laws of inheritance. The system was particularly hard on women, who usually did not share in the ownership of the farm and who rarely were paid for their labor. The workday for women was even more demanding than it was for men. Women were responsible for the kitchen garden and the small livestock as well as the care of the family. Unmarried women increasingly left the farm in search of economic opportunity in the factories that processed fish or farm products.
Question 5-6
One of the most significant elements of age stratification in all cultures is the pattern of experiences connected to marriage and parenting—a pattern that sociologists call the family life cycle. In North America, about 90 percent of adults marry, and the great majority of them have children and thus a family life cycle related to family experiences. When the family’s first child is born, the parents embark on a sequence of experiences linked to the child’s development—from infancy and toddlerhood, through school age and adolescence, and eventually, to departure from the nest. Each of these periods in the child’s life makes a different set of demands on the parents.
Question 7-8
.. 1 … Some people believe that odors and fragrances affect the body and mind and are capable of healing anxiety, stress, and other sources of disease. Interest in aromatherapy— and the use of aromatherapy products such as lotions and inhalants—continues to boom. Some popular essential oils and their uses in aromatherapy include lavender and chamomile, which are reputed to ease stress and promote sleep. The scent of jasmine will uplift the mood and reduce depression. Orange eases anxiety and depression and promotes creativity. Peppermint has antibacterial and analgesic qualities, eases mental fatigue, and relieves headaches.
.. 2 … However, aromatherapy is not for everyone. For people who suffer from fragrance sensitivity, asthma, or allergies, aromas like perfumes can prompt disabling health problems, including headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, flu–like symptoms, and anaphylaxis.
Question 9-10
.. 1 … Animal behaviorists believe the orangutan is a cultured ape, able to learn new living habits and to pass them along to the next generation. Some orangutan parents teach their young to use leaves as napkins, while others demonstrate the technique of getting water from a hole by dipping a branch in and then licking the leaves. Orangutans have been observed saying goodnight with the gift of a juicy raspberry. Such social interactions lead researchers to conclude that if orangutans have culture, then the capacity to learn culture is very ancient.
.. 2 … In the evolutionary timeline, orangutans separated from the ancestors of humans many millions of years ago, and they may have had culture before they separated. The discovery of orangutan culture suggests that early primates—including ancestors of humans—might have developed the ability to invent new behaviors, such as tool use, as early as 14 million years ago, approximately 6 million years earlier than once believed.

1.5 B

Questions 1-2
.. 1 … In the early nineteenth century, most of the Europeans who immigrated to the United States were from northern and western European countries such as England, Germany, France, and Sweden. However, most of the fifteen million Europeans arriving between 1890 and 1914 came from southern and eastern Europe, with the largest numbers coming from Russia, Italy, Greece, Austria–Hungary, and Armenia.
.. 2 … A similar pattern occurred in Canada, where most immigrants were traditionally from England and the United States. After 1890, an increasing number came from eastern Europe, particularly Russia and Ukraine. Many of these headed for the Prairie Provinces. The Doukhobors, a pacifist sect from southern Russia, established communal settlements in Saskatchewan. Together with other immigrants, they arrived in such numbers that in the
two decades between the completion of the main railroad network and the outbreak of war in 1914, the population of the prairies had increased from about 150,000 to 1.5 million.
Questions 3-6
.. 1 … David Smith worked primarily in iron, exploring its possibilities more fully than any other sculptor before or since. To Smith, iron spoke of the power, mobility, and vigor of the industrial age. Smith was born in Indiana in 1906, the descendant of a nineteenth– century blacksmith. His iron sculptures flowed naturally out of the mechanized heart of America, a landscape of railroads and factories. As a child, Smith played on trains and around factories, as well as in nature on hills and near creeks. He originally wanted to be a painter, but after seeing photographs of the metal sculpture of Picasso in an art magazine, he began to realize that iron could be handled as directly as paint.
.. 2 … Many of Smith’s sculptures are “totems” that suggest variations on the human figure. They are not large iron dolls, although several have “heads” or “legs.” Still, they forcefully convey posture and gesture. Their message flows from the internal relations of the forms and from the impression of tension, spring, and alertness set up by their position in space.
.. 3 … Later in his career, Smith produced two series of sculptures in stainless steel: the Sentinels in the 1950s and the Cubis in the 1960s. He also began placing his sculptures outdoors, in natural light, where the highly reflective stainless steel could bring sunlight and color into the work. In the late afternoon sun, the steel planes of the Cubis reflect a golden color; at other times, they have a blue cast. The mirror–like steel creates an illusion of depth, which responds better to sunshine than it would to the static lighting of a museum.
Questions 7-10
.. 1 … Long ago, people looked up in the sky and noticed groups of stars that looked like pictures. These patterns of stars, constellations, have been part of human culture for thousands of years. Ancient Syrians and Babylonians named many constellations and created stories about them. The Greeks and Romans later adopted these constellations and translated their names and stories into their own language. After the decline of these ancient cultures, most knowledge of constellations remained hidden in private libraries. Beginning in the eighth century, scholars rediscovered this knowledge. The study of astronomy spread quickly throughout the Mediterranean world, becoming part of university study. Astronomers identified many constellations only a few centuries ago. When Western astronomers started traveling to South Africa in the seventeenth century, they found numerous brilliant stars in the Southern sky. They named some of these Southern constellations after the scientific inventions of the time, such as the Microscope and the Air Pump.
.. 2 … Today’s astronomers view constellations simply as areas of the sky where interesting objects await observation and study. The entire sky is divided into 88 such regions. In the 1920s, the International Astronomical Union established the boundaries of these regions. In each region, astronomers give Greek letters to a constellation’s brighter stars, usually in order of brightness. Hence, the “alpha star” is the brightest star of that constellation. Scientists and ordinary people still refer to many constellations by their popular names, for example, the Lion, the Hunter, and the Great Bear.

1.5 C

Questions 1-4
.. 1 … The human ear contains the organ for hearing and the organ for balance. Both organs involve fluid–filled channels containing hair cells that produce electrochemical impulses when the hairs are stimulated by moving fluid. .. 2 … The ear can be divided into three regions: outer, middle, and inner. The outer ear collects sound waves and directs them to the eardrum separating the outer ear from the middle ear. The middle ear conducts sound vibrations through three small bones to the inner ear. The inner ear is a network of channels containing fluid that moves in response to sound or movement. .. 3 … To perform the function of hearing, the ear converts the energy of pressure waves moving through the air into nerve impulses that the brain perceives as sound. Vibrating objects, such as the vocal cords of a speaking person, create waves in the surrounding air. These waves cause the eardrum to vibrate with the same frequency. The three bones of the middle ear amplify and transmit the vibrations to the oval window, a membrane on the surface of the cochlea, the organ of hearing. Vibrations of the oval window produce pressure waves in the fluid inside the cochlea. Hair cells in the cochlea convert the energy of the vibrating fluid into impulses that travel along the auditory nerve to the brain. .. 4 … The organ for balance is also located in the inner ear. Sensations related to body position are generated much like sensations of sound. Hair cells in the inner ear respond to changes in head position with respect to gravity and movement. Gravity is always pulling down on the hairs, sending a constant series of impulses to the brain. When the position of the head changes—as when the head bends forward—the force on the hair cells changes its output of nerve impulses. The brain then interprets these changes to determine the head’s new position.
Questions 5-10
.. 1 … The Pacific Northwest coast of North America is a temperate rain forest, where trees like the red cedar grow straight trunks more than two meters thick at the base and sixty meters high. Western red cedar is often called the canoe cedar because it supplied the native people of the region with the raw material for their seagoing dugout canoes. These extraordinary crafts, as large as twenty meters in length, were fashioned from a single tree trunk and carried as many as forty people on fishing and whaling expeditions into the open ocean. .. 2 … The Haida people from the Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia were noted for their skill in canoe building. After felling a giant tree with controlled burning, the canoe makers split the log into lengthwise sections with stone wedges. They burned away some of the heartwood, leaving a rough but strong cedar shell. They then carved away wood from the inside, keeping the sections below the waterline thickest and heaviest to help keep the canoe upright in stormy seas. To further enhance the canoe’s stability, they filled the hull with water and heated it to boiling by dropping in hot stones. This rendered the wood temporarily flexible, so the sides of the hull could be forced apart and held with sturdy wooden thwarts, which served as both cross braces and seats. The canoes were often painted with elaborate designs of cultural significance to the tribe. .. 3 … The Haida raised canoe building to a high art, designing boats of such beauty and utility that neighboring tribes were willing to exchange quantities of hides, meats, and oils for a Haida canoe. These graceful vessels became the tribe’s chief item of export. In their swift and staunch canoes, the first people of the Northwest were able to take full advantage of the riches provided by the sea. With harpoons of yew wood, baited hooks of red cedar, and lines of twisted and braided bark fibers, they fished for cod, sturgeon, and halibut, and hunted whales, seals, and sea otters.



Work in a group of three or four students. Read the passage below, and write a list of statements that can be inferred from the information in the passage. Work for ten minutes. Then, share your inferences with the whole class. Your classmates must determine which information in the passage supports each inference made by your group.

A distinction between two kinds of intelligence—crystallized and fluid intelligence— has been widely studied by researchers studying adult learning. Crystallized intelligence is heavily dependent on education and experience. It consists of the set of skills and knowledge that we each learn as part of growing up in any culture. It includes such skills as vocabulary, the ability to reason clearly about real–life problems, and the technical skills we learn for our jobs. Crystallized abilities are “exercised” abilities. Fluid intelligence, in contrast, is thought to be a more “basic” set of abilities, not so dependent on specific education. These are the “unexercised” abilities. Most tests of memory tap fluid intelligence. Crystallized abilities generally continue to rise over our lifetime, while fluid abilities begin to decline much earlier, beginning perhaps at age 35 or 40.


With your teacher and classmates, discuss the difference between facts and inferences. When someone you know makes a statement, how can you tell if it is a fact or an inference? Are facts and inferences ever the same?


Select a passage from a newspaper, a magazine or a university textbook. In class, work in a group of three or four students. Read the passage, and write a list of facts in the passage. Then write a list of statements that can be inferred or concluded from the information in the passage. In your classroom, post the passage, your facts, and your inferences where your classmates can read them.

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