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TOEFL Compare and Contrast 2

By Jacqueline Schaalje

I promised you that we would do more practice of comparing and contrasting, so here are two new texts.

Fill in the table. Identify the comparisons and contrast in the text. If you don’t know how to do this anymore, read the explanation here. Also take note of the signal words. Remember what these are? These are words that point you to things or people that are being compared or contrasted.

Here is text 1:

Decorating the Body

Piercings and tattoos are body decorations that were already popular in ancient times and with different peoples. Tattoos are designs on the skin that are made with a needle and coloured ink. A tattoo is meant to last forever. You can only remove them by certain uncomfortable treatments, of which lasers are the most common. Body piercing involves making a hole in the skin to insert jewellery. Earrings are a form of piercing, but other body parts may be used too. In contrast to tattoos, piercings usually close up once the wearer removes the jewellery.

There are a number of health risks attached to both tattoos and piercings. They can trigger allergic reactions. A type of scar tissue can form, either during the placing or removal, called keloids. Certain infections can occur, such as hepatitis. These risks can be avoided by choosing a reputable facility, which executes proper sterilisation of equipment.

Now you fill in the table:

Statement Statement Comparison or Contrast
Same with tattoos
Body piercings close up once you remove the jewellery.
Comparison

Answers underneath this article.

Text 2:

In the quest for academic skills, schools world-wide aim to improve math and reading skills. However, problem solving is another skill that students need to master. For that reson the OECD ranks the results of the problem solving test alongside the traditional academic accomplishments. It’s been known that the US has been lagging in the results of school tests, sinking below the average among developed countries. Japan and Finland always command the highest rankings in all the three skills. However, a country’s average score doesn’t necessarily reflect the mean capabilities of all the students in the country. In a huge country such as the US, there are gaps between the lowest-performing and the top students. In a small country, such as the Netherlands, which ranks high in the academic scores, there may be regional differences, but on the whole the results are spread evenly. A last factor that is noteworthy is that students whose parents are college-educated did much better in the tests. However, having college-educated parents is less significant in other countries besides the US.

Complete the table for this text:

Statement Statement Comparison or Contrast
The US has been lagging in academic tests.
In a small country such as the Netherlands results are spread evenly.
Contrast

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 Answers:

Text 1:

 

Statement Statement Comparison or Contrast
Piercings have been popular since ancient times and with different peoples Same with tattoos Comparison
Tattoos are permanent, and removing is painful. Body piercings close up once you remove the jewellery. Contrast
Tattoos come with a number of health risks. Same for piercings. Comparison

Text 2:

Statement Statement Comparison or Contrast
The US has been lagging in academic tests. Japan and Finland are always at the top of the list. Contrast
A large country such as the US has gaps between the lowest-performing and the top students. In a small country such as the Netherlands results are spread evenly. Contrast
Having college-educated parents determines academic success of offspring. Having college-educated parents was less of a factor. Contrast

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