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冷静备考 自信应对ACT写作改革

2015-07-21 11:20

来源:北京新东方

作者:北美VIP项目 刁爽

  教师简介:刁爽,北美VIP项目SAT/ACT写作组组长,全程班优秀规划师。SAT作文改革新课程组组长,ACT作文讲义编写组组长,哥伦比亚大学访问学者。多年写作及语法授课经验,教授SSAT/托福/SAT/ACT作文及语法科目,细致耐心、责任心强,善于把握学生个性,有效帮助学生快速提分。

  暑期来报名学习ACT考试的同学人数明显增多,而且几乎所有同学都将选考的作文部分选择了必考。有一部分同学是为了规避SAT改革而选择ACT考试,在前一段时间得知ACT作文考试也要进行改革时,有些同学就开始不太镇定了,我也收到了不少同学询问的消息。为了解答大多数同学和家长的疑问,本文回答关于ACT写作改革的几个关键问题。

  一、新旧对比

  一直都在叫喧的ACT作文改革终于打算在今年9月全球同步,之前一直宣传的改革要点是“分析性写作:对于复杂问题的多角度分析”。我们来详细地看下新旧考试的具体区别,看看改革后的考试究竟与之前有何不同。

ACT Essay

改革前

改革后

考试时间

30分钟,一篇议论文

40分钟,一篇(分析性)议论文

话题范围

基本集中于教育类话题

更广泛多样的社会话题

考题形式

提供正反两方观点供参考,需独立表达观点,不要求一定与题干观点结合

提供三方观点,须结合所给观点分析较复杂问题,要求必须与题干观点结合进行议论

评分维度

主要从文章议论的复杂度、观点展开、文章组织及语言进行评分

四维评价:想法和分析(Ideas and Analysis)、发展与支持(Development and Support)、文章组织(Organization)、语言使用及规范(Language Use and Conventions

算分方法

两位阅卷人评分,分别按照1-6分评价,加和汇总。例如两位阅卷人的分数分别是:6分,5分,最后的得分为11分。

两位阅卷人评分,每人在四个维度内按照1-6分评价,最后每个维度加和汇总,即每个维度得分区间2-12分。例如两位阅卷人分数分别是:3-3-3-33-3-3-3,最后得分为6-6-6-6。另外,除了每个能力维度的得分外,考生还会获得一个最终换算的1-36分范围内的写作总分。

  我们可以很清晰地看到,改革后的ACT写作扩展了话题范围,缩小了议论范围,明晰了计分维度,完善了算分方式。客观地讲,这是对之前ACT写作考试的进一步完善,也顺应了不断变化的考试市场需求。新的写作考试更全面、深入地考查学生的写作能力,也有利于广大考生明确写作备考方向,更好地为大学学术写作打下基础。

  那么,ACT作文写出来是什么样的呢?

  二、满分范文及解析

  在官方(Http://www.actstudent.org/writing)给出的唯一一篇宝贵的参考题目“Intelligent Machines”下面,列出了6篇范文,分数从1-6分不等。我们仔细阅读下面的满分作文,会发现一些有机可循的规律。

  题目是让针对目前不断升温的intelligent machines代替人工的现象展开议论,并一共以下三个观点:

  Perspective 1: What we lose with the replacement of people by machines is some part of our own humanity. Even our mundane daily encounters no longer require from us basic courtesy, respect, and tolerance for other people.

  Perspective 2: Machines are good at low-skills, repetitive jobs, and at high-speed, extremely precise jobs. In both cases they work better than humans. This efficiency leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone.

  Perspective 3: Intelligent machines challenge our long-standing ideas about what humans are or can be. This is good because it pushes both humans and machines toward new, unimagined possibilities.

  我们来看下满分作文:

  As technology improves, and more and more tasks are completed by machines instead of humans, the question is no longer about what we can do with machines, but rather what we should. Although the usage of machines increases efficiency and our standard of living, it detracts from the value of human life.

  As machines increasingly perform all our basic tasks, society is able to produce more. The additional production adds material value to our society and frees people up from these low-skill tasks. This is in agreement with Perspective Two which claims that this industrialization leads to more prosperity. For example, in the 18th century, short-staple cotton that was grown in the Southern United States required an immense amount of labor in order to seperate the seeds from the fiber to process the cotton to make it marketable. However, in the mid-19th century, Eli Whitney, an American entrepreneur, invented the cotton gin, which allowed for automation of cotton processing. This machine replaced the need of a large work force for the process and greatly improved production. As a result of the cotton gin, short-staple cotton production skyrocketed, increasing by more than 10 times in the South while bringing prosperity to the region and setting in motion a new industrial era in America. This is in agreement with Perspective Three, which says that mechanization allows for “unimagined possibilities”. Although there are clearly many advantages to industrialization, there are also some heavy drawbacks.

  The replacement of humans by machines leads to the loss of value to human life, an effect that outweighs the material gains of automation. The search to find human tasks that can be performed by machines inevitably leads to comparisons between the human and the machine. If a company executive wants to see if a inventory management team can be replaced by a robotic system, he will compare the two and determine which can do a better job. When this occurs, the people on the team are evaluated not for their worth as human beings, but for their effectiveness at performing a specific function—in essence, as we would evaluate a machine. In a larger sense, when we begin to think about humans in this way, the worth of a person’s life becomes dependent on only what they can do and no longer has any intrinsic value. As Perspective One states, we begin to lose our humanity. This new mindset and way of evaluating people, though seemingly harmless in the workplace, is devastating when it begins to pervade a society. If a person is judged only on his or her capability, there is no reason for a person to remain after they have served their function. This would warrant genocide against the elderly and the disabled because their burden on society would not be made up for by any production. Although the machines may seem to only fulfill the low skill jobs at the moment, there is no barrier to prevent the machines from replacing more. As the machines increase in intelligence, they will replace any tasks done by humans and render us unnecessary and worthless.

  Due to the risks of dehumanization, the material benefits of machines are not enough to justify its increasing presence.

  之前准备过ACT作文的同学,有没有发现其实改革后的作文并没有想象中的那么令人恐惧,全然不同。在这篇作文中,有下面几个突出的特征

  1. 观点清晰、视角独立;

  2. 例证有力支持观点,且非常集中连贯;

  3. 与题干观点联系紧密,不偏不跑;

  4. 语言多样性强。

  其实除了与题干观点联系紧密这一点,其它都是ACT作文课上强调的重点。因此我个人认为,完全不必备考恐慌。题干中提供分论点且要求密切集合议论,会为同学们节省时间,有利于更专注在既有论点议论的铺陈上,反而为同学们带来了新的机会和优势。而且,我们之前一直强调正反面思考和讨论问题,这与改革后的多观点分析也是不谋而合的,都需要大家在注重complexity和insight。

  三、备考建议

  现在离9月份备考改革后的ACT作文还有约两个月的时间,建议大家在明确考试要求之后,制定科学合理的备考计划:

  1. 扩大阅读量,尤其是推荐权威报纸、期刊中高质的议论文,观察和学习议论的思路和展开;

  2. 增强练习量,虽然目前官方发布的新ACT作文资源非常有限,但大家完全可以充分利用之前多样的ACT备考真题和练习题目,稍加修改后进行练习,不能等官方给多少题目就练习多少题目,坐以待毙;

  3. 能够找到良师益友修改作文,作文毕竟不同于客观选择题,需要在讨论和修改中不断扩展思路、灵活想法和提升表达,通过有经验的老师或者优秀同学的修改,能够进一步了解作文中的不足,有的放矢地提高。

  祝大家ACT作文备考一切顺利!

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