WRITING SECTION DIRECTIONSThe Writing section measures your ability to use writing to communicate in an academic environment. There are two questions.

Question 1 is a writing task based on reading and listening. You will read a passage, listen to a lecture, and then write a response to a question about the relationship between the lecture and the reading. You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response.

Question 2 is writing based on knowledge and experience. You will write an essay in response to a question that asks you to state, explain, and support an opinion on an issue. You have 30 minutes to plan and write your essay.

At the real test, you will not have a lecture transcript and the key points. However, to help you analyze your score, we’re including the transcript below. Do not look at the transcript and key points before you complete the test.

Writing

Question 1

For this task, you will write a response to a question about a reading passage and a lecture. You may take notes, and you may use your notes to help you write your response. Your response will be scored on the quality of your writing and on how well you connect the points in the lecture with points in the reading. Typically, an effective response will have 150 to 225 words.

Reading Time – 3 minutes

Parents and teachers generally believe it is best for children to study and play with other children of the same age. For this reason, same–age peer groups are the norm for children, both in and out of school, and at all ages, from infancy through adolescence. When children are organized into groups with their peers, it encourages tolerance and cooperation and discourages conflict and competition.

Peer groups build tolerance and decrease conflict because the children are equals in terms of status and power. Even when peers tease each other, the teasing is acceptable because it occurs among equals. Joking and teasing will actually build toleration among peers, who are able to work out any differences without the intervention of adults.

Because peers are at the same stage of mental and physical development, structured competition is a positive experience for them. The healthy competition of team sports, games, and other contests will challenge individuals to perform well in order to benefit the group. Contests and competition between same–age peer groups will reduce conflict because the competition is structured and managed in a healthy, enjoyable manner. Competitive games build teamwork and group pride because winning the game is a shared success.

Cooperation comes naturally to children of the same age because they experience the same events and issues at the same level of development. Peers are friends, classmates, and teammates who learn together in a healthy, sharing environment. Same–age peer groups play an important positive role in children’s socialization because they promote cooperation and group identity.

Now listen to the recording. When you hear the question, begin your response. You may look at the reading passage during the writing time.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific points made in the reading passage.

Writing Time – 20 minutes

Question 2

For this task, you will write an essay in response to a question that asks you to state and support your opinion on a topic. Your essay will be scored on the quality of your writing, including how well you organize and develop your ideas and how well you use language to express your ideas. Typically, an effective essay will have a minimum of 300 words.

Read the question below and make any notes that will help you plan your response. Then begin typing your essay.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

There are times when it is acceptable not to tell the truth

Use specific reasons and details to support your opinion.

Writing Time – 30 minutes
Do not look at the transcript and key points until after you finish the test.

Key points:

• The lecture discusses negative aspects of same–age peer groups, while the reading focuses on positive aspects.

• The lecture discusses a study showing that dividing eleven–year–old boys into two groups led to negative attitudes between the groups. Structured contests increased the teasing and insults between the groups. This challenges the point in the reading that peer groups build tolerance and decrease conflict.

• The lecture states that contests increased conflict between the two groups, but when the groups were put back together and given a cooperative task, conflict was reduced. This challenges the point in the reading that contests and competition between same–age peer groups will reduce conflict.

• The lecture states that when children of the same age are divided into groups, competition comes more naturally than cooperation. This challenges the point in the reading that cooperation comes naturally to children of the same age.

Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.

There’s a well–known study that points to some of the negative aspects of same–age peer groups. This study looked at a group of 22 normal eleven–year–old boys at a summer camp. All of the boys came from similar backgrounds.

The first thing the researchers noticed was that when the boys were randomly divided into two groups, there was an increase in negative attitudes between the groups. Even though competition was discouraged, and there were joint activities with the two groups, they started to show signs of feeling competitive. For example, they named themselves the Eagles and the Rattlers, and they started to tease and belittle each other. A series of contests was then set up between the groups—baseball, skits, cabin inspections—with prizes for the winners. These contests only increased the teasing and insults between the groups.

The second important finding was that when the two groups were put back together again, and given a cooperative task, conflict was reduced. The boys were given important goals to reach together, such as fixing the broken water tank so they would all have clean drinking water. This cooperative project greatly reduced prejudice in just a few days. The boys forgot their differences and got the job done. After a week of working together, most of the conflict between the groups had disappeared.

The researchers concluded that when children of the same age are divided into groups, competition comes more naturally than cooperation. Moreover, the study suggests that without the supervision of adults and the structure of a cooperative task, the teasing, insults, and negative attitudes would probably have become more extreme.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific points made in the reading passage.



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