Explanations for the TOEFL Listening Comprehension, Part B, Questions 31 to 38, Test D from the 1998 Official TOEFL Kit


Here are the answers, corrections, and explanations for the Written Expression section of Test D of the 1998 Kit that we actually used in class.

You will notice that some of the explanations have extra questions or vocab. That's because these are the questions that TestMagic students actually asked in class for that particular question.

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New Word


1. subsidized We use this word when we want to say that the price of something is not the "true" price--that somebody else, like the government, is paying part of the cost so that the person does not have to pay so much money. For example, it is very common for the government to subsidize the cost of college education in the United States.

In this case, this word means that the student does not pay the full cost of the housing. It is very common for housing to be subsidized by the government or the university in the United States.

2.  graduate students Graduate students are students who have finished their undergraduate degrees and are continuing their educations either as Master's candidates or Ph.D. candidates. Sometimes students are confused by these words because in some other countries, these terms are different. For example, in Portuguese, we say a "post-graduate student."

In other words:

a US undergraduate student = a graduate students elsewhere

a US graduate student = a post-graduate student elsewhere

3.  qualify If we qualify for something, then we meet the requirements for something. For example, in order to receive a scholarship, I might have to show that I have a 3.5 or better GPA and that I do not receive support from my parents. If those two things are true about me, then I say that I qualify.
4.  annual income Remember, annual means yearly and income refers to the money you earn or receive. In the US, we usually talk about how much money we make in a year, not in one month.
5.  part-time part-time means we do not work full-time. Usually, full-time means something like 35 to 40 hours per week. Part-time is something like less than 35 hours per week.
6.  research assistant (RA) A research assistant is someone who helps a professor do some research. These people usually receive a small stipend (like a salary) for their work, but it's not usually very much.
7.  that's no problem! We can say this when we easily meet some requirements.
8.  Not necessarily. We use this expression a lot. This means that "it might not be true." For example:

Lions can be very dangerous animals, but they are not necessarily dangerous since they are sometimes sleeping or do not want to bother us for some other reason.

You can compare this to:

Plutonium is necessarily a dangerous substance to humans since a tiny speck can cause cancer.

9. pretty crazy around here We use this one a lot! crazy simply means busy. We can say that a shopping mall is crazy on the weekends, that traffic was really crazy, or that the airport was really crazy during the snowstorm.
10. anyone special We say this when we want to say that one person in particular is the only person we can talk to.



The Proof


31. B subsidized housing The man hopes that he can live in the low-cost housing for students.
32. C "we're living with my wife's parents" The man says that he and his wife are living with his wife's parents.
33. B "I think my wife and I may qualify, since she's still in graduate school" The woman tells the man that only married graduate students can live in the low-cost housing. The man says that his wife is a graduate student, and obviously, she is married. Therefore, he thinks he and his wife can live there.
34. A "I'm working as a part-time research assistant, so that's no problem!" The man implies that he meets all the requirements since he says that's no problem. One of the requirements is that the applicants make less than $15,000 per year, so we can infer that he also meets this requirement.
35. D "The afternoon might be better. It can be pretty crazy around here on a Friday morning." As we learned above, means very busy. The woman suggests that the man come when it's not so busy.