SPEAKING SECTION DIRECTIONS

The Speaking section measures your ability to speak in English about a variety of topics. There are six questions. Record your response to each question.

In questions 1 and 2, you will speak about familiar topics.

In questions 3 and 4, you will first read a short text and then listen to a talk on the same topic. You will then be asked a question about what you have read and heard.

In questions 5 and 6, you will listen to part of a conversation or lecture. You will then be asked a question about what you have heard. You may take notes while you read and while you listen to the conversations and lectures. You may use your notes to help prepare your responses.

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

Your responses will be scored on your ability to speak clearly and coherently about the topics. For some questions, your responses will be scored on your ability to accurately convey information about what you have read and heard.

Speaking

Question 1

In this question, you will be asked to talk about a familiar topic. After you hear the question, you will have 15 seconds to prepare your response and 45 seconds to speak.

Get your timer ready!

Describe an event such as a holiday or other occasion that you enjoy celebrating. Explain why the event is significant to you. Include details and examples to support your explanation.

Preparation Time:    15 seconds
Response Time:        
 45 seconds

Question 2

In this question, you will be asked to give your opinion about a familiar topic. After you hear the question, you will have 15 seconds to prepare your response and 45 seconds to speak.

Get your timer ready!

Some people keep in touch with friends and family by letter or e–mail. Others keep in touch by telephone. Which method do you prefer to use, and why? Include details and examples in your explanation.

Preparation Time:    15 seconds
Response Time:        
 45 seconds

Question 3

In this question, you will read a short passage about a campus situation, listen to a conversation, and then speak in response to a question about what you have read and heard. After you hear the question, you have 30 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Read the following information from a university’s course catalog.

Reading Time – 45 seconds

REQUIRED DISCUSSION SECTION

All students who are enrolled in a lecture course in the Social Sciences division must also register for a one–credit discussion section for that course. In the past, this requirement applied only to lecture courses in the History and Political Science departments. However,
beginning next quarter, the requirement also applies to lecture courses in Sociology, Anthropology, and Economics. Each discussion section will be taught by a graduate teaching assistant. Students will receive a grade for the discussion section that is separate from their final examination grade for the lecture course.

Now close the passage and listen to the recording. When you hear the question, begin preparing your response.

The man expresses his opinion about the required discussion section. State his opinion and explain the reasons he gives for holding that opinion.

Preparation Time:    30 seconds
Response Time:        
 60 seconds


Question 4

In this question, you will read a short passage, then listen to a lecture on the same topic, and then speak in response to a question about what you have read and heard. After you hear the question, you have 30 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Read the following information from a textbook.

Reading Time – 45 seconds

DEHYDRATION

Dehydration is the condition in which body water output exceeds water input. Dehydration may develop with either water deprivation or excessive water loss. Symptoms include thirst, dry skin and mouth, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, weakness, exhaustion, and delirium. If not corrected, dehydration will end in death. When water intake is inadequate, the blood becomes concentrated. The mouth becomes dry, and the brain initiates drinking behavior. The first signal is thirst. Thirst drives one to seek water, but lags behind the body’s need because by the time thirst is felt the body has already lost some of its water.

Now close the passage and listen to the recording. When you hear the question, begin preparing your response.

Explain dehydration and how the example given by the professor illustrates the condition.

Preparation Time:    30 seconds
Response Time:        
 60 seconds

Question 5

In this question, you will listen to a conversation. You will then be asked to talk about the information in the conversation and to give your opinion about the ideas presented. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation.

Preparation Time:    20 seconds
Response Time:        
 60 seconds

Question 6

In this question, you will listen to a short lecture. You will then be asked to summarize important information from the lecture. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Using points and details from the lecture, explain the characteristics of theater that define it as a separate art.

Preparation Time:    20 seconds
Response Time:        
 60 seconds Do not look at the transcript and key points until after you finish the tasks.

Key points:

• A new policy requires that students who take a lecture course in social science also take a discussion section.

• The man’s opinion about the required discussion section is favorable.

• One reason he gives is that three hours of lecture time is not long enough for the professor to cover all the material they need to know for the examination.

• Another reason is that the discussion section will give students a chance to talk to the teacher and other students and thus to learn more.

• Another reason is that it is easy to get a high grade in the discussion section.

Now listen to two students as they talk about the required discussion section.

W: What do you think of the new requirement? Starting next quarter, we need a discussion section for every lecture course we take.

M: It sounds like something I’m okay with.

W: Oh, I think it’s just a bother. We already have three hours of lecture every week.

M: But that’s not enough. The professor never covers everything we need to know for the examination. And there’s hardly any time to ask questions.

W: Oh, but you can ask the professor questions during office hours.

M: Have you ever actually tried to do that? Some professors are never in their office, and the ones who are, well … they’re usually too busy to talk to students. I like the idea of a discussion section. It gives us more of a chance to talk to the teacher, and other students too. Lecture classes are so big that you never get to know your classmates. Discussion classes have only around 20 or 25 people, and that’s really nice. It’s a lot more personal and informal, and you can learn so much more. Besides, it’s easy to get a high grade in the discussion section.

The man expresses his opinion about the required discussion section. State his opinion and explain the reasons he gives for holding that opinion.

Key points:

• Dehydration is the condition in which too much water is lost from the body and not replaced.

• The professor gives the example of a woman who had symptoms of dehydration, but failed to notice. The woman was too busy to notice thirst, which is the first sign of dehydration.

• The woman also experienced weakness, confusion, fast heart rate, and low blood pressure, which are all symptoms of dehydration. Her condition improved when she received fluids.

Now listen to part of a talk in a health class.

When too much water is lost from the body and not replaced, dehydration develops. This can happen more easily than you think. It happened to a patient in the clinic yesterday.

When the body loses fluid, we feel thirsty. If we don’t drink fluid or, as in the case of many elderly people, we fail to perceive the thirst message, the symptoms of dehydration can move quickly from thirst to weakness and exhaustion. This is what happened to our patient yesterday, and she wasn’t even elderly. She was a busy professional woman in her thirties. She was having a very hectic day and simply forgot to drink. She was too distracted by all her responsibilities to notice that she was thirsty. And then she skipped lunch. Late in the afternoon, she became aware that she didn’t feel well, but she ignored the symptom and kept going.

By the time a co–worker brought her into the clinic, the woman felt weak and confused. She had difficulty walking without assistance. Her heart rate was fast and her blood pressure low. She was in serious trouble. But once we put her on intravenous fluids, her condition quickly improved. We found no other serious problem, so she was able to go home after a few hours.

Explain dehydration and how the example given by the professor illustrates the condition.

Key points:

• The woman’s problem is that she needs an official copy of her transcript, but she cannot get one because there is an unpaid charge on her student account. She was charged for something that her roommate did (a broken window).

• One possible solution is to pay the charge to clear her account. She could pay it herself (then have her roommate pay her back) or send her roommate in to pay it.

• Another solution is to talk to the dean’s secretary about releasing the transcript.

• Opinions about the preferred solution will vary.

Listen to a conversation between a student and a college officer.

M: May I help you?

W: I hope so. I need to get an official copy of my transcript, but it seems I can’t do that because there’s an unpaid charge in my student account. The charge is a mistake—it’s for a window my roommate broke in our dormitory room. Somehow the charge ended up on my account instead of hers. The problem is, I need my transcript right away because I’m applying for a scholarship.

M: I see. Well, the fastest thing would be for you to just pay the charge to clear your account, and then have your roommate pay you back. Or you could send your roommate in to pay it.

W: Can’t you just remove the charge from my account? After all, it’s the university’s mistake.

M: I can’t do that until I get approval from the Housing Office, and that could take a while. But here’s what you can do. Go down the hall right now and talk to the dean’s secretary. Tell her what you’ve told me. She might let us release your transcript now, and then we can worry about the problem on your account later.

Briefly summarize the problem the speakers are discussing. Then state which solution you would recommend. Explain the reasons for your recommendation.

Key points:

• The subject matter of theater is always human beings and human concerns. Other arts can deal with any subject, but theater always focuses on human experiences.

• Theater is universal. It exists in every society. Theater always consists of a story presented by performers to an audience.

• Theater is transitory in nature. A performance changes from moment to moment, but is always in the present tense. Theater shares this quality with music and dance. Theater is not a fixed object, like a novel or a painting. Theater is an event, an experience.

Listen to part of a lecture in a theater class.

There are three characteristics of theater that define it as a separate art. First, unlike other arts, which can deal with any subject you can imagine, the subject of theater is always human beings. This is true even when the performers play animals or objects. The focus of drama is on human experiences, such as love, war, friendship, power, madness, and death. Different plays emphasize different themes, but the concerns are always human.

Second, theater is universal. By that, I mean there’s an impulse toward creating theater in every society. This isn’t
surprising, considering the human–centered quality of theater. In every culture, we find rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations that include elements of theater. At different times in different places, these ceremonies developed into a separate art of theater. And everywhere there is theater, it has certain essential qualities: a story is presented by performers to an audience.

The third characteristic of theater is its transitory nature. A performance changes from moment to moment, but it’s always in the present tense, and each moment is a direct, immediate adventure for the audience. Theater’s transitory nature is a quality it shares with music and dance, and sets it apart from literature and the visual arts. A novel or a painting is a fixed object; it exists as a finished product. Theater, on the other hand, is not an object but an event. Theater is an experience created by a series of sights, sounds, and impressions.

Using points and details from the lecture, explain the characteristics of theater that define it as a separate art.