Category Archives: Toefl Prep

TOEFL – WQ2 (10)

In my view old friends that we have and new friends that make are pretty different on the scale of trust we lay on them and expectation they have from us. Comparing them on this scale I tend to agree with the topic that it is more important to keep your old friends than it is to make new ones.
The level of trust we bestow on our old mates is more than we do on the new ones. There are several reasons for that, long years of realtionship being the most important. When it comes to lending vehicle, looking after our home or asking for money, for instance, it requires us to trust someone whom we know from several years and not months or days. Hence, new friends, who have been there with us for few months, cannot be trusted when it comes to such important aspects of life.
Second, the old friends do not have much expectation from us. We often befriend people when we are young. Back then friendship has no strings attached. We get together to play sports, have conversation or study together. However, as we grow up we start making friends in the same economic status we belong. The new friends we have have an expectation from us to be in the same zone of economy so that they can maintain their reputation. Also, some friends we make who belong to lower economy have expectation of getting help from us now and then. Personally, I have seen cases where these are the friends who are first to leave us during our economic crisis. Old friends, who have never had any expectation from us in past, tend to lend us hand for help.
However, it is important to make new friends. As the life progresses it may happen that we take a different career path than our old friends. We lose contacts and our conversation with them weakens. In that case, it is always adviced to make new friends and be socially active. Among these new friends, then, we will have to choose one best friend we would like to be in contact as and when we get old. After all, it is only after a considerable time when we can start trusting them and become as good as old friends.
All in all, in my view, it doesn’t hurt to make new friends but, given the higher level of trust we place and no expectations, it is better to concentrate more on sticking with old friends.

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TOEFL WQ1 (10)

The professor in the lecture refutes all the points made in the reading passage in order to state that Rembrandt was the creator of the painting Portrait of an Elderly Woman in White Bonnet. According to her, the painting was edited several years after its creation.
The reading passage posits that Rambrandt, given his attention to detail, could not make a mistake of making a woman wear luxurious fur collar and a servant’s white cap at the same time. The lecturer, however, states that according to some researchers the fur collar was painted long after the painting’s completion. It was added in the painting to add more value and make it look aristocratic.
The lecturer also claims that before the painting was edited, woman was portrayed to wear a simple collar. This made the light reflect onto the face of the woman. This clearly contradicts the point mentioned in the passage according to which Rembrandt cannot make a mistake of painting woman’s face shiny when there is a fur collar, which shall abosrb any light that falls on it, in middle of the light coming from the bottom and her face.
The reading also mentioned that there were several pieces of wood conjoined at the end which was not the way Rembrandt painted. He used to paint on wood panels but never glued several pieces together. The lecturer states that the pieces of the wood were conjoined several years after the completion of the painting in order to add more value to it. Moreover, the wood that was used in initial formation of the painting was from the same tree whose wood was used by Rembrandt during creation of his self-protrait.

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TOEFL WQ2 (9)

In my view, the high importance that money holds in life is only till we attain the basic needs. Beyond that, it is our family, friends and time we have spent with them which matter a lot. An Indian author has, hence, very rightly said that you will not remember your presentations when you die. I am of the opinion that having less pay and short working hours and spending most of the time with friends and family is key to happiness. If given an option to do so, I will definitely opt for it.

In one life which we have got we all hunt for happiness. Key to happiness is when you spend time with someone who is near and dear to you. This is quite evident in case of small kids who seem very cheerful when they are in vicinity of their parents or siblings. However, their mood swings when they do not find anyone familiar around them. Although adults do not portray so much emotions as kids do but still this feeling of happiness persists in them as well. Hence, I would definitly prefer being with my family and friends to making more money as money is something through which you can buy material commodity and not happiness.

Moreover, working for long hours also has ill effects on health. Studies show that working non-stop for long hours on computers not only affects the eye-sight but also hampers the memory. Many doctors have started receiving more cases of severe memory loss from computer engineers, specially from the ones who work for long hours. Grey cells in the brain are resonsible for generating and remembering facts and places. These cells are quite susceptible to the computer monitor radiations which reach them through the optical nerve endings, consequently, hampering the memory power of a person. Other ill-effects include sleep depriviation, increased tension, migraine, high blood pressure and diabetes. It seems better to work less than to fall prey to such health hazards which not only make your life difficult but also might prove fatal.

We are also not born just to earn money or keep on working until end of our lives. Working for appropriate hours every day provides a person enough time to look after all his needs ranging from his health, kids, family to traveling and spending time with friends. With leisure time one can also practice his interests like reading books, collecting stamps of different countries etc.

Hence, if given an option, I would definitly go with getting less payment and spending more time with family and friends.

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TOEFL – Q2 (8)

External appearence is the first aspect which is noticed in a person. However, external appearences can be deceiving. Many people contend that one who takes care of his external appearence is the one to be trusted. According to them, if a person is attentive enough for his external appearence, he might also be prudent about other aspects of life. However, this does not seem quite true for several reasons.

First, it is quite evident from history that a bad external appearence does not show that a person is careless or less intelligent. For instance, Albert Einstein, arguably the most intelligent scientist, never used to comb his hair. He was too engrossed in his works to get concerned with his outer appearence. A person who might be meeting him for the first time might have judged him as someone who is weird which which would not be true. To judge such person, it would require more conversation and spending more time.

Second, a person’s outer appearence, the clothes he wear and his skin colour, is also due to the culture and geographic region he belongs to. For instance, farmers from India generally wear “dhoti” which is quite thin and just cover quarter of the lower body. They also have dark colour complexion, as most of the Indians do. Hence, a person who meets a farmer for the first time might judge him to be quite poor, given the color of his skin and clothing wears which might not quite true. Not all farmers in India are poor. There are farmers who adorn the same clothing and have same colour complexion who grow saffron, cotton and sugarcane are among the millionares.

Moreover, a person should never be judged in first glance. Maintaining your outer appearence by just combing your hair properly, applying the face wash or polishing your shoe are quite easy and can be performed by nearly all the people. However, a good personality, charming behaviour and intellectual prowess might take years of hard work. These abilities can only be judged if you come to know about his views in different topics which can only be performd by spending time with him.

Hence, I agree that a person should never be judged on the basis of his outer appearence. In order to judge people, we should spend time with them conversing on various topics.

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TOEFL – Q2 (7)

Many people contend that young people enjoy more than older people. According to them, when people are in their mid age, they are young and virile enough to travel to places and do anything they wish for, which in turn makes them enjoy their life. However, they tend to overlook two important things – money and time, which is abundant to people when they are old and allow them to do whatever they wish for.

Most young people, particularly in their twenties, start their job and start to earn money. Hence, they do not have much money to squander when it comes to enjoying life, which they mostly do by indulging in adventurous activities or travelling. Moreover, people also start saving early in order to have anough capital to attend to their responsibilities for example, buying a house, providing education to their young ones, etc. However, this is not a case with old people who have good enough capital to squander in whichever activity they would love to do. For example, spending money in getting their book published which they have always wanted to, or getting a house near a beach facing the sea and spending the time there, etc. Hence, surplus amount of money is a factor which gives an edge to older people in this case.

Second, now-a-days, jobs require people to devote most of their time at office. Most jobs require people to be at office for five out of seven days of the week. Some of the jobs require even six days. Hence, clearly, young people only get time during weekends to perform activities they like. And if they enjoy life trarvelling, they have to wait for months to take long vacations, in order to travel to far off places. However, this is not a case for old people who have taken a retirement from their job. They have got enough time for any activity they wish to undertake. They usually have surplus money, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, as well as time to travel to far off places.

However, point of health issues in older people still holds valid. Young people are not prone to health issues due to which they can afford to undertake any adventurous venture. However, enjoying life is not only limited to experiencing adventure. A person enjoys his life when he gets to do whatever he feels like. For instance, who in his old age would like to perform a bungee jumping? It is not just because they can’t do it but craze for adventure slowly fades away with the age. In old age, people like to spend time with the young ones of the family or spending time conversing with old friends or even writing autobiographies. Hence, clearly they do enjoy life in their own terms.

All in all, if we take into consideration the time and money factors, older people do have them in surplus and enjoy life on their own terms. Point is that ways of enjoying life change as the age progresses and people in old ages have clearly an edge.

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TOEFL – WQ1 (6)

The lecturer clearly refutes all the three benefits mentioned in the reading.
According to the reading, when a professor appears on television he gains reputation among a much wider audience than he has on campus. However, the lecturer denies this and states that, on contrary, the professors tend to get a negative reputation amongst their peers. They are considered insincere towards their research. They are regarded as entertainers instead of researchers. Sometimes professors are not even called in conferences.
Reading also mentions that professors appearing on television also happens to benefit the universities by getting publicity which results in greater number of applications and donations. The lecturer, however, refutes it and states that professors tend to waste a lot of their time while travelling and getting ready for the shows. This time which they can use for doing research or communicating with their students gets wasted. This not only negatively impacts the students but also university at large.
The lecturer also refutes the point in the reading which mentions that viewers learn a lot from the television shows by getting in touch with a real expert. According to her, the television networks do not want an in-depth analysis of a topic. Instead, they just want to discuss a little about the topic heading. So is the case of the people, who would never like to listen to a research after their dinner.

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TOEFL – WQ 2 (5)

Many people contend that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. According to them, giving heed to the facts being told by a teacher that can be also be read from a book is sheer waste of time. However, I do not follow this. For me, being taught by a teacher saves me from falling into some obvious pitfalls, like misunderstanding some concepts and sometimes even help me understand some very difficult concepts easily.

Students tend to misinterpret some of the subtle nuances of the concepts. A teacher, through his years experience, knows where the students may go wrong while understanding a concept. Hence, the teachers caution students to remember that very nuance of the concept which they might misconstrue. This has helped me in past. For instance, once in my computer class we were being taught programming when our teacher introduced us with the “for” loop. The very first day he cautioned us to remember the syntactical representation of a for loop contains a semicolon (;) and not a comma (,). An obvious pitfall which many programmers fall for, even after years of experience. My teacher’s advice has always helped me to circumvent this one error which every individual who has studied programming on his own regularly does.

Second, many teachers have also helped me understand some very difficult concepts by representing structures using 3-D models or giving simple examples from daily life. For instance, when during one of my chemistry class it was quite difficult to understand the atomic structure of Carbon atom. Our chemistry teacher knew it would be difficult for students to understand the structure only by reading or viewing the diagram on 2-D plane. Hence, he brought with him a 3-d structure, representing Carbon atom, to help us understand it. I was lucky that the question to explain the Carbon atom’s structure appeared in examination and I scored high in that.

Moreover, sometimes authors also tend to write some lines in text books which requires more attention than what we would give if we are studying on our own. Teachers, who are highly qualified, ensure that we do not miss such subtle nuances of the chapters. For example, in one of my English classes we read Robert Forst’s famous poem “And miles to go before I sleep”. The line at the end of the poem was repeated. When we were asked to read the poem we simply read the line two times. However, our teacher explained that the author deliberately wrote it two times and the repetition of lines mean something deeper.

Hence, personally I need a teacher to assist me in studies.

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