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!

Contemporary method acting is a style of acting that emphasizes an individualized, psychological approach. “The Method” requires an actor to bring realism and depth to a part with his own emotions and experiences. Actors use techniques such as sense and memory to achieve realism. They delve into their own past to discover feelings that are similar to those of the character. Method acting is the opposite of the “wooden” acting of earlier periods.

Characters are shown to have a complex interior life, rather than being stereotyped figures, such as hero or villain, which represent a single concept.
“The Method” develops an actor’s ability to use the subtext of a script to convey the complexity of inner feelings. Training involves long rehearsal periods where actors “go into character” and analyze all the specifics of a scene. They must explore the subtext, the deeper, unwritten meaning in the script, the source of conflict and contradiction. The subtext is where actors discover how to structure motion around conflicting emotions so the character can be shown as a complex human being with multiple and contradictory desires.

Method acting is one of the most difficult styles to learn because there are no technical forms that can be practiced. Spoken language is secondary to emotions, so no training in voice or movement is necessary. Emotions shape how a character speaks and moves. Method acting requires a strong commitment from actors, who are encouraged to “live the part,” to become the character and allow the character to develop naturally. Some actors become so immersed in a role that they remain in character even when they are not acting.

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 oppose 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!

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Television has had a mostly positive effect on society.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

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

Key points:

•The lecture states that it is not the actor’s job to look for deeper meaning in the subtext. This opposes the point in the reading that actors must explore and use the subtext to convey the complexity of inner feelings.

•The lecture states that it is unrealistic for actors to depend on their own emotions and experiences. This opposes the point in the reading that an actor must bring realism and depth to a part with his own emotions and experiences.

•The lecture states that good acting requires skill training. This opposes the point in the reading that method acting has no technical forms that can be practiced.

•The lecture states that good acting does not require an actor to live the part. This opposes the point in the reading that an actor should become the character and be immersed in the role.

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

There are several problems with method acting. First, when a playwright creates a plot and characters, he or she determines what the action of the story should be. It’s not the actor’s job to look for deeper meaning in the so–called “subtext.” The actor’s responsibility is to recite the dialogue as the writer intended. It’s not necessary for actors to search for conflicting emotions. What is necessary is for actors to convey the message that the writer intended.

Second, in method acting, the actors depend on their own emotions and experiences to play a character. Well, this is unrealistic because, well, what if you’ve never done or felt the things your character did? What if your character is, say, a violent criminal… or a murderer? Are you supposed to think about killing someone? That could be very disturbing for an actor, and it’s hardly necessary for successful acting.

Third, good acting requires skill training. Classically trained actors don’t have to conjure up past emotions. They simply communicate these emotions through external means. They use their face, their body, and their voice to convey a character’s emotions. Good acting doesn’t require an actor to “live the part.” All it takes is training in a wide range of skills, including speech clarity, voice projection, dialects, movement, dance, body language, and so on. It’s ridiculous for an actor to try and “become” the character. For example, there was a well– known actor who once went without sleeping or bathing for two days in order to immerse himself in a role. That is just going too far!

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

Sign Up for My Newsletter

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