E T S Praxis Series

Pre-Professional Skills Test: Writing (0720)

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Sample Test Questions

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Answers

  1. The error in this sentence occurs at C. The phrase "annually each year" is redundant, since "annually" and "each year" convey the same information. The sentence would be correct with either "annually" or "each year" at C. The error is one of diction, or word choice.

  2. The error occurs at A. In the phrase "those who win," the pronoun "those" indicates the people who win prizes. But the magazine will not print the people who win; it will print what the winners have written, or the submissions of those who win prizes. The error in this question is the illogical use of a pronoun.

    Note that at B you are required to determine whether a punctuation mark — the underlined semicolon — is correct or incorrect. In this instance, the semicolon is used correctly.

  3. Because this sentence contains no grammatical, idiomatic, logical, or structural errors, the best answer is E. Note that at B you are required to determine whether the underlined letter — a lowercase o — needs to be capitalized, and that at D you are asked to determine whether the sentence requires some mark of punctuation in the underlined space. In this sentence, the use of the lowercase o is correct because "ordinance" is not a proper noun, and no comma is required after "candles."

  4. The error in this sentence occurs at D. The pronoun "it" is incorrectly used to refer to two nouns, "country" and "time." The pronoun required here is the plural "them."

  5. This sentence presents no problem of structure or logic. The verb tense is correct, and the use of the adverb "passionately" is also correct in this context. In choice B and in choice E, the verb form is correct, but the adjective "passionate" is incorrectly used instead of the adverb. Choices C and D use the correct adverb but use incorrect verb forms, "did spoke out" and "has spoke out." Thus, the best answer is A.

  6. Choice A presents two major problems: it is not a complete sentence, and the phrase "without . . . hardly" is not idiomatic. Although choices B, C, and D are complete sentences, each uses "hardly" in an equally unidiomatic construction. E, the best answer, is an idiomatic and complete sentence.

  7. The problem in this sentence concerns parallelism and agreement in pronoun number. The underlined portion of the sentence uses the singular pronoun "one," which correctly agrees with its antecedent, "consumer." However, in the portion of the sentence that is not underlined, the first person plural, "we," is used as the subject in the second part of the sentence. To create a sentence free of agreement faults, you must look for a choice that contains both "we" and the plural of "consumer." E is the only one that corrects the agreement problem and has a phrase parallel to "we can reject them."

  8. Choice A, the best answer, is both logical and idiomatic: the use of the construction "safe for one person but not for another" expresses an opposition between the two different effects some mushrooms have on people in general. Choices B, C, and D change "another" to "the other" (B and C) or to "some other" (D), thus suggesting incorrectly that one particular person is being discussed. In choices C, D, and E the appropriate conjunction "but" is changed to "and." Choice E changes the meaning of the sentence by introducing a new subject, "some (other mushrooms)."