There are two questions in this quiz. Question 1 is an integrated writing task. Question 2 is an independent writing task. Your response to each task will earn a score of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, with 5 the highest possible score. Add the two scores to obtain your total score

Time – approximately 55 minutes

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 Get your timer ready!

When we experience acute stress, a hormonal response triggers our body either to stand and fight or to flee as quickly as possible. It is an ancient survival mechanism, common to all humans, which evolved when our prehistoric ancestors were chased by saber–toothed tigers. This mechanism is known as the acute stress response, or the “fight or flight” response. During the fight/flight response, our bodies get a boost of adrenaline, a hormone that stimulates the heart rate. This, in turn, provides the strength to fight or the speed to flee.

The fight response is expressed as aggressive behavior. For example, when threatened by a potential attack from an enemy, a human will respond with a show of force: a display of weapons or actual fighting. The fight response can take various forms. Instead of physical fighting, it may take the form of angry, argumentative behavior. A heated verbal argument increases the flow of adrenaline, which can cause an argument to become a physical attack.
The flight response causes humans to withdraw from situations where stress occurs. When our prehistoric ancestors encountered a predator, they had to avoid being killed. If they could not fight the predator, they had to flee. The flight response provided a burst of speed that enabled a fast escape.

Today, the flight response may take the form of withdrawal from social activities, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or other forms of escape. In the workplace, a stressed person might go into his office to work alone, avoiding co–workers. Outside work, he might escape by watching television, surfing the Internet, or playing electronic games.

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 differ from 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.

Writing Time – 30 minutes Get your timer ready!

Some students like to work in a group with other students when doing assignments and projects. Other students prefer to work independently. Which do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Do not look at the transcript and key points until after you finish the task.

Key points:

•The lecture states that men and women deal with stressful situations differently. While men have a “fight or flight” reaction, women have a “tend and befriend” reaction. This differs from the point in the reading that the fight–flight response is common to all humans.

•The lecture states that women under stress will attack a problem rather than another person; women will avoid fighting with another person. This differs from the point in the reading that the fight response is expressed as aggressive behavior.

•The lecture states that women under stress seek help and support from friends. This differs from the point in the reading that the flight response results in withdrawal from social activities.

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

For three–quarters of a century, there’s been a lot of research on the “fight or flight” response. However, one problem with the research is that 90 percent of it has been done on men. More recent studies suggest that men and women deal with stressful situations differently. While men are likely to have a “fight or flight” reaction, women react in a way that’s more accurately described as “tend and befriend.”

This “tend and befriend” response was discovered when two women scientists were talking in the lab one day. One of them made a joke that when the women who worked there were under stress, they came in, cleaned the lab, made coffee, and sat down and talked with their female colleagues. But when the men were stressed, they would argue with someone, or they’d go off somewhere on their own. The point is, while the men would verbally attack another person, the women would attack a problem—they would tend to the mess in the lab. The women didn’t fight with another person. They sat down and talked with other women.

Recent studies show that when women are stressed, there’s a release of hormones that actually weaken the fight or flight response. So, rather than fighting, women are likely to try and defuse the situation, to avoid a fight, to make the threat less threatening. And rather than fleeing, they turn to other people for help. They call a girlfriend, go out to lunch together, go shopping or go jogging together. Instead of escaping in solitary activities, women look for advice and support from friends.

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

Sign Up for My Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.