Part III Task, texts, and Question-Sample A*

Direction: Read the passages on the following pages (a poem and an excerpt from a story) and answer the multiple-choice questions. Then write the essay described in "Your Task." You may use the margins to take notes as you read and scrape to plan your response.

Your Task:

After you have read the passages and answered the multiple-choice question, write a unified essay about effects of war on the soldiers who do the fighting as revealed in the passages. In your essay, use ideas from Both passages to establish a contr olling idea about the effects of the soldiers who do the fighting, use evidence from both passages to develop your controlling idea, and show how each author used specific literary elements or techniques to convey ideas.


  • Use ideas from both passages to establish a controlling idea about effects of war on the soldiers who do the fighting, as revealed in the passages
  • Use specific and relevant evidence from both passages to develop your controlling idea
  • Show how each author uses specific literary elements (for example, theme, characterization, structure, point of view) or techniques (for example, symbolism, irony, figurative language) to portray the effects of war on the soldiers who do the fighting.
  • Organize your ideas in a logical and coherent manner
  • Use language that communicates ideas effectively
  • Follow the conventions of standard written English
Read a sample task III essay.

Direction: Answer the following questions. The question may help you think about the ideas you might want to use in your essay. You may return to these questions any time you wish.

Passage I (the poem)-Questions 1-7 refer to passage I.

  1. The mood conveyed in the first stanza is one of
  2. 1. mystery 3. peacefulness

    2. foreboding 4. confusion

  3. Lines 13 and 14 (dawn…gray) refer to
  4. 1. storm clouds 3. hungry rats

    2. advancing soldiers 4. enemy tanks

  5. In stanza 4 of the poem the dominant figure of speech is
  6. 1. onomatopoeia 3. oxymoron

    2. personification 4. alliteration

  7. In lines 6 through 20, the soldiers are bombarded by
  8. 1. overwhelming hunger 3. painful memories

    2. merciless weather 4. paralyzing fear

  9. Lines 17 through 19 suggest that the action of the snowflakes is
  10. 1. puzzling 3. erratic

    2. noisy 4. threatening

  11. The statement "Slowly our ghosts drag home" (line 26) refer to dead comrades as well as
  12. 1. injured animals 3. suffering survivors

    2. living relatives 4. absent soldiers

  13. The repetition of the phrase "But nothing happens: underscores the soldiers’ feelings of
  14. 1. fear 3. anger

    2. hopelessness 4. indifference

    Passage II (the excerpt from a story)- Question 8-12 refer to passage II.

  15. Throughout Passage II, "they" refer to
  16. 1. soldiers 3. Civilians

    2. trains 4. Ambulances

  17. The variety of items the men carried reflects their desire to
  18. 1. make friends 3. sell products

    2. bribe villagers 4. maintain morale

  19. The repetition of the expression "they carried" helps establish a feeling of
  20. 1. relentlessness 3. suspense

    2. fond memories 4. unexplained forces

  21. The word "gravity" (lines 23) is used to mean
  22. 1. earthly delights 3. weighty matters

    2. fond memories 4. disappointment

  23. The organization of this passage is characterized by a movement from

1. literal to figurative 3. emotion to reason

2. past to present 4. far to near

After you have finished these questions, review Your Task and the Guidelines and write your response to Part III. You may use scrape paper to plan your response.

Note: The operational examination will include only 8-10 questions on Part III. Additional questions are included here to suggest a fuller range of possible question types.

Other Ideas

  • use How to Mark a Book By Mortimer J. Adler and THE VOICE YOU HEAR WHEN YOU READ SILENTLY Thomas Lux.