TOEFL-The Essential Information Question


The Essential Information (Paraphrase) question gives you a sentence in the prompt and asks you to choose the answer choice that summarizes that sentence best.


[1] Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is known as one of the most important and controversial scientific theories ever published. Darwin was an English scientist in the 19th century best known for his book “On the Origin of Species.” In his book, Darwin postulated different species shared characteristics of common ancestors, that they branched off from common ancestors as they evolved, and that new traits and characteristics were a result of natural selection. The theory is based on the assumptions that life developed from non-life and progressed and evolved in an indirect manner. Therefore, the Theory of Evolution, while controversial, has shaped and influenced the modern scientific world’s thinking on the development of life itself. Darwin was born February 12, 1809 in England. Although initially entering into medicine, Darwin chose to pursue his interest in natural science and embarked on a five-year journey aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, a British sloop belonging to the Royal Navy. Because of his experience aboard the Beagle, he laid the foundation for his Theory of Evolution while also establishing himself within the scientific community. Specifically, Darwin’s keen observation of the fossils and wildlife he saw during his time on the Beagle served as the basis for the cornerstone of his theory: natural selection.
Which sentence is most similar to the following sentence from paragraph 1?

The theory is based on the assumptions that life developed from non-life and progressed and evolved in an indirect manner.

  • The Theory of Evolution is founded on evidence that non-organic compounds are the basis of life, developed in an unguided way.
  • Based on certain assumptions, we can prove that evolution occurs in all living and non-living entities.
  • According to Darwin, if we assume that life at its origin was created from non-organic compounds and developed in an unguided manner, his theory holds true.
  • Due to the controversy, it is hard to make assumptions about the Theory of Evolution.

Strategies for Tackling the Essential Information Question

Strategy 1-Determine the type of sentence it is

What is the function of the sentence? How does it relate to other sentence? How does it relate to the rest of the passage?

Strategy 2: Find synonyms, keywords, and paraphrase

In the answer choices, look for synonyms for the words in the sentence that they are asking about. In the answer choices, find key words that match up with key words in the sentence they are asking about

Strategy 3: Process of Elimination
Go through each answer choice and eliminate the answers it is not.


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