WRITING SECTION DIRECTIONS

The 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

Dog breeds developed as humans intentionally mated dogs with certain desirable traits to encourage those traits in the next generation. Through this process, dogs developed into distinct groups, with each group specializing in a skill such as hunting, herding, or guarding. Today, dog breeders apply the science of canine genetics to produce purebred dogs with characteristics suitable for the dog’s intended purpose. Purebred dogs are registered with a canine association such as the American Kennel Club. Breed registries ensure breed purity by documenting each dog’s ancestry, achievements, and working qualities.

The aim of dog breeding is to benefit dogs by enhancing their desirable traits. Breeders choose to mate dogs that best represent the breed in appearance, performance, or some other specific point. Careful selection increases the probability that the favorable characteristics will be conveyed genetically. Professional breeders love dogs and care about each dog they bring into the world. Breeders are experts in their breed and know the genetic history of each individual dog. They support and participate in programs that collect and maintain standardized information in the health of dogs. For these reasons, dog breeders not only improve dog breeds
but also contribute to the welfare of all dogs.

Popular culture, dog shows, and other media foster public appreciation of various breeds. The films Rin Tin Tin and 101 Dalmatians made the German shepherd and the dalmatian popular breeds for pets. Television has done the same for the collie, the chihuahua, and the Jack Russell terrier. Dog shows educate the public and promote dog breeds. Websites and social media provide information about popular breeds and their suitability for various contexts. All of these things encourage responsible dog ownership.

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 contradict 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.

Click here for the question

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

It is more important to work at a job that you enjoy, even if the salary is low, than it is to have a high–paying job that you do not enjoy.

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 states that too many dog breeders are unqualified; backyard breeders exploit animals for profit. This contradicts the point in the reading that breeders love dogs and contribute to their welfare.

• The lecture states that the focus on breed purity leads to inbreeding and genetic disorders. This contradicts the point in the reading that dog breeders use genetics beneficially, to produce dogs with desirable traits. The lecture criticizes of the role of breed registries in promoting breed purity; the reading speaks favorably of breed registries.

• The lecture states that the culture of dog breeding is responsible for the proliferation of puppy mills that produce an overpopulation of dogs, leading to more unwanted dogs. This contradicts the point in the reading that the promotion of dog breeds encourages responsible dog ownership.

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

Unfortunately, a big problem in the dog industry is that too many breeders lack both an understanding of science and a sense of ethics. These so–called “backyard breeders” think they can just raise dogs in their backyard and make a little money. Too often, these unqualified breeders sell puppies to unsuspecting people, who then end up with a problem dog. Backyard breeders are more concerned with profit than with animal welfare. In short, they exploit animals for profit.

Another problem is that the focus on breed purity leads to inbreeding. In fact, it’s the breed registries that encourage inbreeding, thereby contributing to the spread of genetic disorders. Inbreeding is the overuse of one male dog with desirable traits, in an attempt to improve the breed. However, the dog may carry the gene for a harmful trait. Because inbreeding limits the gene pool, the harmful genes become widespread. This is why purebred dogs have so many genetic disorders, such as hip and bone problems, heart conditions, deafness, and so on.

Still another problem with the culture of dog breeding is the proliferation of “puppy mills”—businesses that mass–produce the more popular breeds. Puppy mills produce an overpopulation of dogs, many of them raised in conditions that cause health and behavior problems. This means more unwanted dogs. Kennel clubs and registries add to the problem by encouraging the breeding of purebred dogs, when millions of mixed–breed dogs are killed every year in animal shelters. Popular culture plays a role too. For example, after the film 101 Dalmatians, hundreds of dalmatians were dumped in shelters, once the owners realized the dogs were not like the cute little puppies in the movie.

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

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