The Strategy for the Plug-In Question in TOEFL Reading

The Strategy for the Plug-In Question in TOEFL Reading

The plug-in question in TOEFL Reading will appear pretty much in all the reading passages. For that reason, it is important to master the skills of Plug-in questions in TOEFL Reading so that you can improve your score. In this article, we will first talk about how to determine the plug-in question then we are going to take a look at our example and the strategy for it. The idea is to fully master the skills of this type of question in TOEFL Reading.

How to Determine Plug-In Question in TOEFL Reading

The plug-in question type is so easy to determine. This question comes right before the summary question and also you will be asked to insert a given sentence inside a paragraph. Since there is not any other question type like this it won’t be a problem for you to figure this one out. There will be also four squares in which you can place the given sentence. Let us now take a look at our examples for the Plug-in question in TOEFL Reading.

Example for The Plug-In Question In TOEFL Reading

The founding population, which was completely isolated on the island after migrating from the mainland, may have undergone significant changes to their gene pool and have become a new species. ■ In time, some individuals of this new type of storm may have been swept over to neighboring islands. ■ Isolated on this second island, the second established population could become the second new species to re-populate the island where the established population migrated. ■ There are currently numerous species of finches on each Galapagos island, up to ten on some islands
Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
This colonization and speciation process could have been repeated gradually, which would prompt involving all the islands in the chain.
Where would the sentence best fit?
Click on a square [■] to insert the sentence in the passage.

What is the Strategy for Plug-In Question in TOEFL Reading

The most important way to solve this question is to analyze the connectors that are stated in the given sentence. For example, for this sentence, the word “This” gives us the clue. The term “This colonization and speciation” helps us to find the answer easily. I expect to see an explanation of the process of colonization and speciation before this sentence. When I take a look at the paragraph this will be my criteria. I need to see an explanation of these processes.

The following part explains the process of speciation:

The founding population, which was completely isolated on the island after migrating from the mainland, may have undergone significant changes to their gene pool and have become a new species. ■ In time, some individuals of this new type of storm may have been swept over to neighboring islands.

The following part is the explanation of the colonization part:
Isolated on this second island, the second established population could become the second new species to re-populate the island where the established population migrated

If I put my sentence after these sentences, the structure of the paragraph will be completed but this is not enough. We also need to check the sentence after. The sentence gives actually an answer for the process of colonization and speciation. As we can see it is important to check both the sentence before and after.

  1. Check the connectors in the given sentence
  2. Plug it in in the square brackets
  3. Check out the sentence before and after
  4. If the answer is not there then plug it into another square

Conclusion

Plug-in questions in TOEFL Reading can be tricky but with the application of the strategy, it will be fairly easy. The connectors in the given sentence give us the clue on what exactly should be looking for in the before and after sentences. It is also important to note that the sentence before the plugged sentence and the sentence after should be matching. Otherwise, the chosen square will be an incorrect answer.

If you would like to get coaching for TOEFL you can check out the following link: https://drlanguage.org/toefl-tutoring/

On the following link you can find some more detailed information from ETS: http://www.ets.org/toefl/test-takers/ibt/resources/improve-skills/reading/

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