Study Guide

Field 116: Speech/Drama/Debate 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section.

Each question in the first section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of the functions, characteristics, and components of the human communication process.

1. In a small problem-solving work group, which of the following strategies should a discussion leader use first to establish a framework for respectful and purposeful communication?

  1. identifying and clarifying the problem to be addressed
  2. acknowledging that resources needed to solve the problem might be difficult to obtain
  3. assigning roles to group members, such as summarizer and mediator
  4. brainstorming criteria to use in evaluating potential solutions to the problem

Correct Response: A. To focus group problem-solving efforts most effectively in this situation, the group should first identify the problem and develop a clear, shared understanding of the nature of the problem. To accomplish this, the group could state the current situation (as defined by facts) and the desired situation, or the objective, in clear, concise language. At this point, the group should also ensure that addressing the problem is worthwhile and realistic. Once members of the problem-solving group have clarified the problem at hand and the purpose of the meeting (i.e., to solve the problem), they can determine roles of group members, brainstorm solutions, and consider the likely consequences of various courses of action.

Competency 0002 
Apply knowledge of planning, preparing, and organizing public speeches.

2. In a speech communication lesson, middle school students are using the following model, based on Monroe's Motivated Sequence, to guide them in preparing speeches in which they will attempt to persuade the audience to adopt a particular solution to a social justice issue.

  1. Get the Attention
  2. Establish the Need
  3. Satisfy the Need
  4. Visualize the Consequences
  5. Call to Action

In the process of developing persuasive speeches, which of the following strategies would be most appropriate for students to carry out in conjunction with step 3 of this model?

  1. establishing credibility as a speaker and describing one's relationship to the audience
  2. describing the negative consequences of ignoring the issue at hand and the positive consequences of resolving it
  3. providing background and information on the issue and the way in which it affects the audience
  4. presenting a plan to resolve the issue along with examples and evidence that support the plan

Correct Response: D. Monroe's Motivated Sequence (MMS) is an organizational tool designed to aid public speakers in persuading an audience to support a particular cause, plan, or solution to a problem, as well as inspire audience enthusiasm about the benefits and advantages of that cause, plan, or solution. After attracting the audience's attention and developing a sense of need or want in the audience, a persuasive speaker using MMS would implement step 3, "Satisfy the Need." In this step, the speaker offers a solution to the problem or issue at hand, explains what the speaker is advocating, and/or tells the audience what it should do. The speaker should outline clear, concise steps for resolving the issue or overcoming the need established in step 2, and provide supporting evidence and examples.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of effective speech presentation and delivery.

3. In general, which of the following body positioning and movement strategies should student speakers use while delivering speeches in order to minimize distractions and enhance delivery of the message?

  1. rocking back and forth or side to side slightly to maintain momentum and appear relaxed, and keeping the arms still by folding them
  2. developing a few characteristic, repetitive arm and hand movements and using those movements to emphasize key points in the speech
  3. standing with feet shoulder-width apart, head up, and arms at side, and allowing spontaneous natural gestures to accompany what is said
  4. standing in a relaxed position with a slight forward lean toward the audience, and pointing at the audience occasionally when making key points

Correct Response: C. To minimize distractions and enhance delivery of a speech, a speaker should generally stand in a neutral position with feet about shoulder-width apart, head up, and arms at the sides. This stance communicates strength and openness to two-way communication, and allows a speaker to make spontaneous gestures and movements, which should be "clean" and used sparingly to support and amplify the spoken message. Speakers should avoid crossing their arms across their chest, keeping their hands in pockets, or clutching their hands in front of them; this body language may appear defensive. To inspire confidence, a speaker can claim the space around him or her, and move around in a natural but deliberate way while speaking.

Competency 0007 
Analyze dramatic literature, performance, and production from various cultures and historical periods.

4. During the Renaissance in France, the popularity of the five-act tragedy with a plot containing unity of time, place, and action resulted from which of the following developments?

  1. the desire among citizens to escape the disharmony of current political events
  2. a renewed interest in and expansion of ancient classical theatrical conventions
  3. audience desire throughout Europe for avant-garde plays that combined theatrical genres
  4. a renewed interest in rhetoric and oratory in the form of compelling dialogue and monologue

Correct Response: B. The literature and drama of ancient Greece and Rome featured the classical structure of the five-act tragedy involving exposition, a rising action, a climax, a falling action or reversal, and a denouement or conflict resolution (resolution through catastrophe, the downfall of the hero, or the hero's victory and transfiguration). During the French Renaissance, and especially during the Renaissance Humanism movement, writers responded to a societal desire to embrace classicism, and thus turned to classic dramatic structures and conventions as they imitated and adapted the five-act tragedy. Étienne Jodelle's Cléopâtre captive, in which Cleopatra contemplates suicide, is considered to be the first original French play to follow Horace's classical structure (five acts that mainly adhere to the unities of time, place, and action).

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of dramatic structures, script development and analysis, and literary interpretive performance.

5. In a new instructional unit, a fifth-grade teacher plans to introduce students to a variety of dramatic works and promote their ability to analyze and develop oral interpretations that communicate meaning. Which of the following activities could be most effectively used as an introductory lesson in this unit to help accomplish the teacher's goal?

  1. having students compile a list of the external traits of the main characters in a story
  2. having students determine setting details from explicit descriptions and context clues in a narrative
  3. having students perform choral reading with a partner using different voices for different characters in a folktale
  4. having students identify the main idea, theme, purpose, and tone of a poem after reading it a few times

Correct Response: D. Having students identify the main idea, theme, purpose, and tone of poems is an effective introductory activity because it requires students to analyze elements relevant to the selection of literature for oral interpretative performance. Using poems to introduce the skills of literary analysis is appropriate because they often convey a theme of a shared human connection or experience, and quickly establish setting, tone, mood, and rhythm. In oral interpretation, students may also choose excerpts from prose and plays, but they must first learn how to recognize and analyze the literary and dramatic elements in presentations that resonate with audiences. Studying poems allows analysis of many literary elements and techniques, and provides students with practice in reading expressively and purposefully.

Competency 0009 
Apply knowledge of essential acting skills and methods.

6. During rehearsal, a student actor intentionally looks down whenever the character is not telling the truth. The student has most likely included this technique in order to:

  1. add depth to the character.
  2. stall for time for the purpose of remembering lines.
  3. place emphasis on what the character is saying.
  4. communicate a behavior pattern to the audience.

Correct Response: D. In this situation, the student integrates a physical technique into acting to establish a behavior pattern that links a nonverbal "tell" with the character's spoken communication, intention, and motivation. Instead of looking at the audience or other characters while speaking, the student looks down, which could, depending on the context of the scene or the character's motivation, suggest discomfort, embarrassment, insincerity, or dishonesty. By repeating this technique, the student actor alerts the audience to the behavior pattern and telegraphs that the character's words should not simply be taken at face value; there is something else going on for the audience to interpret.

Competency 0011 
Apply knowledge of theatrical design, management, and production.

7. The student director of a school play is allowed to legally change the words in a copyrighted play or song under which of the following circumstances?

  1. when the play or song is presented on school grounds just to the school population and not the general public
  2. when the school intends to use all profits from ticket sales of the play or song performance for the school's drama program
  3. when the director has requested and received permission from the author or owner of the play or song to alter the wording
  4. when the wording changes are made specifically to tailor the script or song to the school's name and/or location

Correct Response: C. The student director of a school play is legally allowed to change the words in a copyrighted play or song only after requesting and receiving permission from the copyright owner of the play or song. The request must be made in writing and specify the nature of the planned change. Even a small change to a line of dialogue in a play or a lyric in a song may change the integrity of an artistic work, and thus requires authorization from the copyright owner.

Competency 0012 
Apply knowledge of content-specific instruction and assessment in a dramatic arts program.

8. To help prepare students for a reader's theatre play, a third-grade teacher reads from a list of emotions found throughout the script to the students, who are sitting in a circle. The teacher asks students to use their upper bodies and faces to communicate one of the emotions nonverbally. This activity primarily promotes students' ability to:

  1. convey a character's feelings.
  2. build audience empathy for a character.
  3. represent a character's physicality.
  4. recognize peers' facial expressions.

Correct Response: A. By reading from a list of emotions depicted in a script and asking students to communicate one of the emotions, the teacher promotes students' ability to convey characters' feelings through facial expressions, gestures, and posture. Students could depict emotions such as sadness, happiness, anger, or fright, and guess which emotions classmates are demonstrating. In this fun exercise, students can use their imagination and creativity, as well as gain experience in improvisation and character development.

Multi-Competency Activity

Use the description of an instructional activity below to answer the two questions that follow.

Activity: Opposite Corners Debate

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will work in groups to clearly verbalize their positions on a specific issue/topic.
  2. Students will be able to use convincing arguments to sway others' opinions.

Materials: Four large signs labeled: Strongly Agree, Agree to Some Extent, Strongly Disagree, Disagree to Some Extent


Post the four signs in the four corners of the classroom. Introduce a controversial issue and a position on that issue (e.g., human cloning should be banned, the voting age should be lowered) and write it on the whiteboard. Ask students to write their choice on a card to ensure honest reactions; then have students move to the corner that matches their position.

Each corner group will have two minutes to discuss their reasoning. Each group selects a spokesperson to express the group's position in turn. The spokesperson has 30 seconds to express the group's thoughts and opinions persuasively to the other groups. Once all four corners have presented, invite students who have been persuaded by another group's position to move to that group's corner.

Competency 0004 
Apply knowledge of principles and practices of argumentation and debate.

9. Which of the following topics would be most important to teach in conjunction with the Opposite Corners Debate activity?

  1. the roles and duties of affirmative and negative speakers in a formal debate
  2. debate etiquette (e.g., no put-downs, no interruptions, respect other viewpoints)
  3. techniques and skills for refutation and making counter-assertions
  4. types of persuasive appeals used in marketing (e.g., appeals to fear, logic, empathy, or humor)

Correct Response: B. Debate etiquette refers to the behaviors and practices that teachers, and debate judges and coaches, expect from students participating and competing in debates. It includes speaking one at a time, addressing comments to the previous student's comment or point rather than shifting an argument to an unrelated point, using notes but not reading them, maintaining good eye contact with the audience, using proper language, and remaining polite in referring to the opposing team. In the Opposite Corners activity, students are moving around the classroom, having hurried group discussions, and sharing opposing points of view. By establishing expectations for civil behavior, the teacher helps ensure that the highly interactive debate activity is carried out in an orderly, courteous way.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of content-specific instruction and assessment in speech communication and debate education.

10. Which of the following additional learning objectives does this activity most directly address?

  1. Students will be able to use critical listening skills to identify persuasive elements and main points of arguments.
  2. Students will be able to take a definitive stand either for or against a stated position, with no qualifications.
  3. Students will be able to use assertive communication skills to respectfully disagree with peers in small work groups.
  4. Students will be able to express oppositional arguments as clearly and succinctly as their own arguments.

Correct Response: A. In the Opposite Corners activity, it is essential that students use critical listening skills to identify persuasive elements and main points of arguments; they must do so to determine their level of agreement or disagreement with the premise of each speech. In the small group activity, students are likely to use persuasive terms and techniques as they formulate a position; they can then listen for these terms and techniques in the other speeches presented. To listen effectively to four different persuasive speeches in a short amount of time, students must consciously, actively listen and analyze the main message in each. One strategy they could use is to listen for and identify the main argument, then discern the organizational pattern used in the speech (e.g., identify a problem and describe a solution, present a series of steps toward a goal), and then listen critically for examples, reasons, and other evidence used to support the main argument.