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errors.

His pronunciation and delivery in gen- explanations of the two sea creatures and how
eral are very clear. His intonation is somewhat they use camouflage. The speaker could have

TEST 5: SAMPLE
flat, which may cause some listener effort. provided a stronger response, however, if he had
Even though this is a high-level response, the provided more information about the differ-
speaker could benefit from increased attention ences between the two types of camouflage (he
to stress at the sentence level and using intona- mentioned that cuttlefish can change their color

RESPONSES FROM ETS


tion more for emphasis. Overall, the response and shape, but didn't contrast this with the sea
is complete and highly intelligible. dragon's permanent camouflage). His hesitation
between words and within words is at times
Mid-level Response: Listen to
distracting, but overall his message is clear. The
Track 168. 0
speaker would likely benefit from working on
Rater Comments agreement and more advanced vocabulary (to
This speaker provides a mostly complete
avoid confusing phrases such as "two dOcerent
response. It contains a description of what
method," "the cuttlefish is another examples,"
camouflage is and why it is useful, as well as
and "they shape any type any colors").

Writing Section
Prompts, Topic Notes, and Sample Question 1
Responses with Rater Comments Prompt
Use the sample Integrated and Summarize the points made in the lecture,
Independent Writing Rubrics in Appendix A being sure to explain how they oppose specific
to see how responses are scored. points made in the reading passage.
This section includes topic notes that are Topic Notes
guides to the kind of information raters expect The reading discusses reasons why collecting
to read in a high-level response. and selling fossils for commercial purposes
This section also refers to sample (for profit only), which now happens much
responses, which can be found on the more frequently than it did in the past, is a bad
accompanying DVD. These responses were practice. The lecturer explains that these rea-
scored at the highest level. The responses sons are not convincing, and that the benefits
are followed by comments from certified from having more commercial operations col-
ETS raters. lect fossils these days are worth the drawbacks.

Point made in the reading Corresponding point from the lecture

When fossils are sold to private collectors, it The general public will have more chances to
means that museums will have fewer of them, see them: commercial fossil collecting is mak-
and in turn the general public will have fewer ing more fossils available, so many more public
chances to see them, institutions can now buy them.

It will also mean that scientists will lose opportuni- Even if important fossils are sold to private collec-
ties to make discoveries from studying fossils, since tors, scientists would still see the fossils because
they won't have access to really important ones. they have to be identified first by scientists.

Because most commercial fossil collectors are Even if some damage is done, it is better than
untrained, they will destroy important scientific having fossils go undiscovered, which was more
evidence that scientists could have obtained likely to have been the case when only scien-
had they been the ones to collect the fossils. tists were doing the collecting.

327
Responses with scores of 4 and 5 typically collecting efforts specifically by universities
discuss all three points in the table. and scientific institutions. So the writer's
Sample Response idea here does not correspond to what the
Unlike the passage, which focuses on the nega- lecture is implying, which is that nowadays,
tive sides of fossil trade, the lecture focuses on because commercial operations started
the benefits of having a fossil market. increasing their fossil hunting activities in
First of all, the passage mentions that the recent years, between the large number of
fossils will be less exposed to the public's eye if commercial operations and the limited activ-
they are owned by collectors, because they will ity of universities and scientific institutions,
not be donated to public museums. However, there is quite a lot of fossil searching activ-
the professor argues that by letting all insti- ity going on. However, the lecturer's main
tutions to have the opportunity to purchase idea, that without the commercial collec-
fossils, even the lower level public institutions tors, many fossils would go undiscovered, is
such as libraries can purchase the fossils for conveyed. Overall, content from the lecture
display, which can be viewed by many people. points is presented precisely, and the very
Secondly, the professor opposes to the pas- few language errors in the response do not
sage's opinion that the scientists would miss interfere with meaning.
out on the important information given by Question 2
fossils possessed by wealthy collectors. The Prompt
professor brings up a point that all fossils need Do you agree or disagree with the follow-
to be scientifically identified and carefully ing statement?
investigated by certified scientists before going The extended family (grandparents, cous-
into the market. ins, aunts, and uncles) is less important now
Lastly, although it may be true that the than it was in the past.
collectors may damage the fossils, it is bet- Use specific reasons and examples to sup-
ter to have them find it and damage it than to port your answer.
never find the fossils. There are not many fossil
searching activities going on, and without the Topic Notes
help of the collectors, many of the fossils prob- This topic asks you to compare the impor-
ably would not have even been found. Taking tance of extended family now and in the past. If
that into consideration, it is certainly better to you agree with the statement, you might want
have some information from the fossils than to to discuss factors that have caused this to hap-
have none at all. pen such as family members having to move
far distances away from their hometown for
Rater Comments their jobs. If you disagree with the statement,
This response earns a score of S. It is a you might support your answer by explaining
well-organized response that successfully that in certain parts of the world, it is still very
explains the opposing relationship between common for extended family members to
the reading and the lecture. The three main play important roles in one another's day-to-
points from the lecture are clearly identified, day lives, and you might describe how this
and the writer has provided relevant details works. No matter which position you take, it is
or explanations for each of those main fine to include your personal opinion about the
points. The writer's expression "There are not effects of changes over time to the importance
many fossil searching activities going on ..." of the extended family (for example, many
in the third point is somewhat vague, since writers comment that this change has gener-
the idea conveyed by the lecturer is actually ally been bad for society); that is appropriate for
that there are currently not that many fossil this task, as long as it is part of a well-developed
response that includes sufficient explanation only get a few moments to talk on the phone
and details. with them every few months and a few weeks
together during school vacation. Some other
Sample Response
family members live so far away that I rarely
I agree with the statement that the
get to talk to them, let alone meet them.
extended family has become less important
Therefore, the extended family has become
than it was before. In the past, there were the
less important because other values and
threats of bombings in the cold war or money
factors have come into place. There is less
depressions that place higher important on
communication going between them, less time
sticking and working together. However, there
to spend together, and more distance to travel
has been a change in the values of our world
to be with them. Extended family members
today that have severed many important rela-
have become quite separated from the rest of
tions between family members.
the family than in the past.
First, with new technology, older genera-
tions of grandparents and some aunts and Rater Comments
uncles may be separated into a different world. The writer of this 5-level response agrees
One example is instant messaging and email; with the idea that extended family has
most young people use these ways to talk become less important, and provides three
constantly with friends and other people, and reasons for this: widespread use of technology,
consider this more exciting and important busy lives of family members, and the dis-
than talking with extended family members. tances separating family members. Each one
Also, students today are becoming more of those points is well developed, and includes
and more busy with school, after school appropriate details and explanations; for the
activities, and homework. High achieving first point, specific types of technology and
students take numerous advanced classes, how people use them are referenced, for the
overload on homework, and have little time second point, there is an explanation of how
to spend time with the other members of or in what ways children are busy these days,
the family. Other children are constantly and for the third point, a personal example
involved in after school sports and activities illustrates the idea that family members liv-
that take up most of their time. Because of ing far apart makes staying in touch harder.
the more importance placed on good grades, The organization is good and transitional
better test scores, and after school activities, sentences are used appropriately ("However,
the significance of the extended family has there has been a change ..."). Throughout the
been decreasing. response there are many examples of appro-
Finally, families are becoming farther priate word choice, syntactic variety, and
apart because of distance. Gone are the times idiomaticity. Grammatical and lexical errors
in which families lived close together or in the (for example, "families are becoming farther
same house, and have evenings with quality apart" instead of, perhaps, "families are grow-
family times. In my case, I live halfway across ing farther apart") are very few and minor,
the planet from the rest of my family and and they do not interfere with meaning.