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Section 4: Sample Selected-Response Questions
TX PACT: Speech: Grades 7–12 (729)

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This section presents some sample exam questions for you to review as part of your preparation for the exam. To demonstrate how each competency may be assessed, sample questions are accompanied by the competency that they measure. While studying, you may wish to read the competency before and after you consider each sample question. Please note that the competency statements do not appear on the actual exam.

The correct answer is provided for each sample exam question. The sample questions are included to illustrate the formats and types of questions you will see on the exam; however, your performance on the sample questions should not be viewed as a predictor of your performance on the actual exam.

Domain I—Elements of Communication

Competency 002—Understand the principles of listening to, comprehending, and interpreting messages.

1. Use the conversation below to answer the question that follows.

Tom: I despise biology.

Ed: Is it really the subject that you dislike so much?

Tom: Not really. It's just that I hate labs because I have so much trouble getting the microscope to work right.

Ed: Yes, that can be very frustrating.

The exchange above best shows how:

  1. supportive listening can be used to solve a problem.
  2. analytical listening can be used to clarify a miscommunication.
  3. supportive listening can be used to repair a communication failure.
  4. analytical listening can be used to determine what information is most important.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct. Tom's initial statement represents an impasse in communication as it does not correctly represent the reason for his difficulty in biology. Ed's analytical listening and inquiry allow for the resumption of the conversation, leading ultimately to a more accurate identification of Tom's problem.

Competency 006—Understand the principles of vocal production.

2. Which of the following are purposes of the breath control exercises used by actors and oral interpreters?

  1.  roman numeral 1 and 2 only 
  2.  roman numeral 1 and 3 only 
  3.  roman numeral 2 and 4 only 
  4.  roman numeral 3 and 4 only 
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct. Through its interaction with other muscles, the diaphragm plays a key role in the breathing process. Making conscious use of this large, dome-shaped muscle to fill the lungs with air helps produce a forceful voice when needed. It is also important that actors and oral interpreters be able to control exhalation in order to support vocal tone.

Domain II—Interpersonal and Public Communication

Competency 007—Understand theories and principles of interpersonal communication.

3. One can best provide constructive feedback about another person's insensitivity by adopting a combination of which of the following approaches?

  1.  roman numeral 1 and 3 only 
  2.  roman numeral 1 and 4 only 
  3.  roman numeral 2 and 3 only 
  4.  roman numeral 3 and 4 only 
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct. Since feedback that may be intended as constructive may be perceived under certain circumstances as critical or confrontational, it is important to provide such feedback at a moment when the person is not likely to feel defensive. Describing a person's conduct gives that person the opportunity to view his or her conduct as others might and thus reflect upon the behavior in more sensitive terms. Evaluating the person's behavior, on the other hand, can easily be experienced by that person as critical or confrontational, and therefore frequently gives rise to a defensive response.

Competency 011—Apply audience analysis to public communication.

4. Which of the following strategies would best enable a speaker to reduce the animosity of an audience that is strongly opposed to the main argument of the speaker's address?

  1. refuting likely counterarguments at the beginning of the address
  2. asking members of the audience to submit written questions
  3. trying to establish common ground at the beginning of the address
  4. citing well-known authorities to support one's point of view
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct. By seeking and explicitly articulating common ground, the speaker may somewhat disarm possible objection, or at least limit its scope. When the speaker's message is placed in the context of certain shared beliefs or positions, its controversial content may be seen in a broader, more widely accepted context. This approach is less likely to produce an emotional response on the part of the audience and therefore allows the audience to consider the message in a more balanced, reflective fashion.

Domain III—Group Communication

Competency 017—Understand the processes of group decision making, consensus building, conflict resolution, and complementary techniques of group communication.

5. For which of the following reasons would a discussion group most likely organize a symposium?

  1. to establish criteria for a successful resolution to a problem
  2. to reconcile differences of opinion about how to resolve a problem
  3. to reduce the scope of a problem to manageable dimensions
  4. to provide an informed analysis of various aspects of a problem
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct. In a symposium, a group of individuals deliver brief, uninterrupted addresses about a specified topic. The main purpose of symposiums is not to make a decision about a problem but to present a variety of perspectives on different areas of a topic or problem. A major advantage of symposiums is that they can be arranged to provide a systematic examination of various aspects of a problem.

Domain IV—Debate

Competency 020—Understand the characteristics of Lincoln-Douglas debate.

6. Which of the following best illustrates the Lincoln-Douglas debate format?

Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct. In the Lincoln-Douglas format, a single speaker on each side debates a proposition of value. During the course of the debate, each speaker delivers a constructive speech, followed by a cross-examination by his or her opponent. The constructive speeches and cross-examinations are then followed by rebuttals from the speakers on both sides of the debate.

Competency 021—Understand the characteristics of legislative debate.

7. Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the parliamentary procedures adopted to govern legislative debate in student congresses?

  1. to ensure recognition of those speakers best prepared to discuss the bill under consideration
  2. to prevent speakers from interpreting a bill in ways that conflict with the author's intentions
  3. to guarantee majority rule while respecting the rights of speakers representing the minority
  4. to promote consensus by limiting the extent to which one speaker can challenge the position of another
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct. Two major purposes of legislative debate are to ensure that majority decisions dictate group action and to provide for a full and free discussion of all propositions. Parliamentary rules that guarantee majority rule while respecting minority rights are designed to achieve both of these aims.

Domain V—Mass Communication

Competency 023—Understand strategies for evaluating mass media messages.

8. Listeners can best evaluate the objectivity of a radio news program by asking which of the following questions?

  1. Do newscasters use unnecessarily complex terms to explain issues?
  2. Do newscasters cover the most important stories at the beginning of the broadcast?
  3. Do newscasters give equal attention to different viewpoints?
  4. Do newscasters provide relevant background information on major stories?
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct. By representing opposing viewpoints, a news program may avoid representations that are exclusively biased to a particular viewpoint and thereby aspire to objectivity.

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