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Language Arts, Writing, Part I

Part I
There are 50 multiple-choice questions on the Language Arts, Writing Test, Part I. These questions require you to revise and edit workplace, how to, and informational documents. Scores are combined with those of Part II and reported as a single score. They are divided among the following three question types: correction, revision, and construction shift. These questions address the following content areas:

Organization (15%): Restructure paragraphs or ideas within paragraphs, identify topic sentences, create unity and coherence in the document.
 
  Sentence Structure (30%): Correct sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, improper coordination and subordination, misplaced modifiers, and lack of parallel structure.
  Usage (30%): Correct errors in subject-verb agreement, verb tense, and pronoun reference.
  Mechanics (25%): Correct errors in capitalization, punctuation, spelling (restricted to errors related to possessives, contractions, and homonyms).

Part II
The second part of the Language Arts, Writing Test consists of an essay on a general topic. Part II assesses your ability to write an essay about a familiar subject. Scores are combined with those of Part I and are reported as a single score. More information is available on the Language Arts, Writing Part II page.


SAMPLE QUESTIONS

Directions: Choose the one best answer to each question.

Questions 1 through 6 refer to the following letter of application:

June 24, 2002

Jonathan Quinn
Employment Director
Capital City Gardening Services
4120 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016

Dear Mr. Quinn:

(A)

(1) I would like to apply for the landscape supervisor position advertised in the Sunday, June 23rd edition of the Washington Post. (2) My work experience and education combined with your need for an experienced landscape supervisor have resulted in a relationship that would profit both parties. (3) In May, I graduated from Prince William Community College. (4) Graduating with an associate of arts degree in horticulture. (5) My concentration within the program was designing gardens and choosing the appropriate plants for particular soils and regions. (6) I have also had considerable supervising experience. (7) For several years, I have worked with a local company, Burke Nursery and Garden Center, and have been responsible for supervising the four members of the planting staff.

(B)

(8) Our community knows that Capital City Gardening Services is a company that does excellent work and strives hard to meet the demands of its clients. (9) As my references will attest, I am a diligent worker and have the respect of both my coworkers and my customers. (10) I will be, as a landscape supervisor at your firm, able to put to use the skills and knowledge that I have obtained from my professional career and education. (11) I have included a copy of my resume, which details my principal interests education, and past work experience. (12) I have also included photographs of the landscape projects I have supervised as well as drawings of proposed projects.

(C)

(13) I am excited about the opportunities and many challenges that this position would provide. (14) Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,

Patrick Jones
1219 Cedar Lane
Manassas, VA 20109

 

  1. Sentence 2: My work experience and education combined with your need for an experienced landscape supervisor have resulted in a relationship that would profit both parties.

Which correction should be made to sentence 2?

 
1.  insert a comma after education
2.  change combined to combine
3.  change have resulted to would result
4.  replace profit with prophet
5.  replace parties with party's
 
  2. Sentences 3 and 4: In May, I graduated from Prince William Community College. Graduating with an associate of arts degree in horticulture.

Which is the best way to write the italicized portion of these sentences? If the original is the best way, choose option (1).

 
1.  College. Graduating with
2.  College, I graduated with
3.  College. A graduation with
4.  College. Having graduated with
5.  College with
     
  3. Sentence 10: I will be, as a landscape supervisor at your firm, able to put to use the skills and knowledge that I have obtained from my professional career and education.

If you rewrote sentence 10 beginning with

As a landscape supervisor at your firm,

the next words should be

   
1.  and able I will be
2.  I will be able
3.  putting and using with ability
4.  obtaining my professional career and eduation
5.  able to put to use I will be
     
  4. Which sentence below would be most effective at the beginning of paragraph B?
   
1.  There are many companies in this community, and Capital City Gardening Services is one of them.
2.  A company such as yours is known for a lot of things, especially the beautiful fountain, great billboard, and large parking area.
3.  Like carpet-cleaning services, gardening services range in cost.
4.  A company is only as good as its reputation.
5.  Gosh, I don't know where to begin when saying good things about your company.
     
  5. Sentence 11: I have included a copy of my resume, which details my principal interests education, and past work experience.

Which correction should be made to sentence 11?

   
1.  remove the comma after resume
2.  replace principal with principle
3.  insert a comma after interests
4.  replace past with passed
5.  no correction is necessary
     
  6. Which revision would improve the effectiveness of this letter?

Begin a new paragraph with

   
1.  sentence 3
2.  sentence 5
3.  sentence 7
4.  sentence 9
5.  sentence 12

Answers to these sample questions are available on the Answers page.


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