Test Information Guide

Field 01: Communication and Literacy Skills
Writing Subtest
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions and Short-Answer Items

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Sample Test Directions for the Multiple-Choice Section of the Writing Subtest

The multiple-choice section of the writing subtest is based on several passages. For testing purposes, the passages contain numbered "parts" (e.g., sentences, sentence fragments, run-on sentences that should be punctuated as two sentences); these are the "parts" to which the test questions refer. In this part of the writing section, the term error refers to language use that does not conform to standard English conventions.

Each passage is followed by several multiple-choice questions related to the passage. Read each passage carefully and then read the questions that refer to that passage. For each question, choose the ONE best answer based on the information contained in the passage you have just read.

Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

Read the passage below; then answer the four questions that follow.

    1No more than a speck of land in the vast Pacific, Easter Island is the site of one of the world's largest archaeological mysteries. 2At the center of the mystery are more than 600 gigantic human-like heads—ranging in height from 10 to 37 feet and weighing anywhere from 25 to 80 tons—that were being carved from a type of volcanic rock indigenous to the island. 3Located 2,200 miles west of Chile in the southernmost part of Polynesia, Easter Island is one of the most isolated places in the world.

    4Archaeologists are uncertain why the statues were created, but most observers believe they played an important role in the islanders' religious life, despite the inability of scholars to provide confirmation of that hypothesis. 5What is known is that enormous amounts of time and energy were devoted to constructing the monuments and dragging them from the area near the volcano called Rano Raraku to the sites they now occupy. 6Experiments reveal that with the technology the islanders posessed it took 18 people at least 18 days to move and erect just one of the monuments. 7The unfinished figures that litter the Rano Raraku building site raise another puzzling question: Why did the islanders abruptly halt the work?

Objective 0007
Understand methods for establishing and maintaining a central theme or main idea.

1. Which part is least relevant to the main idea of the passage?

  1. Part 3
  2. Part 4
  3. Part 5
  4. Part 6
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.


2. Which part of the passage contains a redundant expression of ideas or information?

  1. Part 2
  2. Part 4
  3. Part 6
  4. Part 7
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.


Objective 0008
Recognize common errors of sentence construction, grammar, and usage.

3. Which part of the passage should be revised to correct an error in verb usage?

  1. Part 2: Change "were being carved" to "were carved."
  2. Part 4: Change "were created" to "have been created."
  3. Part 5: Change "were devoted" to "would have been devoted."
  4. Part 7: Change "raise" to "have raised."
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.


Objective 0009
Recognize common errors of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

4. Which underlined word in the passage is spelled incorrectly?

  1. mysteries
  2. statues
  3. believe
  4. posessed
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Read the passage below; then answer the three questions that follow.

(Note: An error in paragraph organization has been purposely included in the second paragraph.)

    1Martha Graham's innovative dancing and choreography have had a profound influence on the development of modern dance in America. 2Her concept of dance as an expression of the inner self led to the creation of a highly athletic, disciplined, and passionate dance technique.

    3Graham was born in 1893. 4Her professional dancing career began when, as a teenager, she trained and performed with the Denishawn Dance Company, where she remained for seven years. 5Her use of violent movement and discordant music in those original works was disturbing to many people and her creations were not well received at first. 6The company's traditional emphasis on grace and lyricism, however, was ultimately too confining for her, and in the mid-1920s she began to choreograph her own dances. 7She pursued her own course, however, and during the 1940s created some of her most acclaimed works.

    8Although Graham spent years struggling against the disapproval of audiences who disliked and ridiculed her work, the power and substance of her unique vision proved in the end to be undeniable. 9Martha Graham's technique has long since been recognized as a truly monumental contribution for the art of modern dance.

Objective 0007
Understand methods for establishing and maintaining a central theme or main idea.

5. Which of the following changes would make the sequence of ideas in the second paragraph clearer?

  1. Reverse the order of Parts 3 and 4.
  2. Place Part 7 before Part 3.
  3. Reverse the order of Parts 5 and 6.
  4. Delete Part 7.
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.


Objective 0008
Recognize common errors of sentence construction, grammar, and usage.

6. Which part of the passage should be revised to correct an error in the use of prepositions?

  1. Part 5: Change "to" to "for."
  2. Part 7: Change "during" to "in."
  3. Part 8: Change "in" to "at."
  4. Part 9: Change "for" to "to."
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Objective 0009
Recognize common errors of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

7. Which change is needed in the passage?

  1. Part 1: Insert a comma after "choreography."
  2. Part 5: Insert a comma after "people."
  3. Part 6: Delete the comma after "her."
  4. Part 8: Delete the comma after "work."
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.


Sample Test Directions for the Short-Answer Items

This section of the Writing subtest consists of seven items. For each item you are asked to revise text that contains two errors (e.g., in construction, grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation). For each item, rewrite the text so that the errors are addressed and the original meaning is maintained. In addressing the errors, you may restructure the syntax of the original text, but the essential elements (e.g., names, places, actions) and relationship among those elements (e.g., cause/effect, before/after) must be maintained. Your rewrite should not introduce any new errors in construction, grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. Note that proper names of people and places are correctly spelled within the text.

Write only one sentence for each question. Type the entire sentence as you have revised it in the box that appears below the item. If you write more than one sentence, the last sentence will be scored. Your score will be based solely on the responses that are typed in the space provided for each item.

Sample Short-Answer Items

Objective 0010
Demonstrate the ability to analyze and revise sentences containing common errors of sentence construction, grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

8. The following sentence contains two errors (e.g., in construction, grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, punctuation). Rewrite the text so that the errors are addressed and the original meaning is maintained.

Even though they both knew the boat was your's, neither Arthur nor Ed thought to ask themselves whether it was proper to use it without first obtaining permission.

Answer

Error 1: incorrect use of an apostrophe with your's
Error 2: lack of agreement between pronoun and antecedent

Sample Correct Responses:
Even though they both knew the boat was yours, neither Arthur nor Ed thought to ask himself whether it was proper to use it without first obtaining permission.
Even though they both knew the boat belonged to you, neither Arthur nor Ed thought to ask himself whether it was proper to use it without first obtaining permission.

Error 1: incorrect use of an apostrophe with your's
Error 2: lack of agreement between pronoun and antecedent Sample Correct Responses:
Even though they both knew the boat was yours, neither Arthur nor Ed thought to ask himself whether it was proper to use it without first obtaining permission.
Even though they both knew the boat belonged to you, neither Arthur nor Ed thought to ask himself whether it was proper to use it without first obtaining permission.


9. The following sentence contains two errors (e.g., in construction, grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, punctuation). Rewrite the text so that the errors are addressed and the original meaning is maintained.

By the way did you know that the new band arrived late, grabbed dinner, and only then start to play?

Answer

Error 1: missing comma after an introductory phrase
Error 2: use of present tense instead of past tense of start

Sample Correct Response:
By the way, did you know that the new band arrived late, grabbed dinner, and only then started to play?

Error 1: missing comma after an introductory phrase
Error 2: use of present tense instead of past tense of start. Sample Correct Response:
By the way, did you know that the new band arrived late, grabbed dinner, and only then started to play?


10. The following sentence contains two errors (e.g., in construction, grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, punctuation). Rewrite the text so that the errors are addressed and the original meaning is maintained.

I put you're letter in my briefcase, but now I can't find it.

Answer

Error 1: misuse of you're instead of your
Error 2: vague pronoun reference (it)

Sample Correct Responses:
I put your letter in my briefcase, but now I can't find my briefcase.
I put your letter in my briefcase, but now I can't find your letter.

Error 1: misuse of you're instead of your
Error 2: vague pronoun reference (it). Sample Correct Responses:
I put your letter in my briefcase, but now I can't find my briefcase.
I put your letter in my briefcase, but now I can't find your letter.