E T S Praxis Series

Pre-Professional Skills Test: Writing (0720)

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Sample Test Questions

Current section: Multiple Choice > Questions

The sample questions that follow illustrate the types of multiple-choice questions in the test. They are not, however, representative of the entire scope of the test in either content or difficulty. Answers with explanations follow the questions.

Part A: Usage

(Suggested time – 10 minutes)

Directions:  In each of the sentences below four portions are underlined and lettered. Read each sentence and decide whether any of the underlined parts contains a grammatical construction, a word use, or an instance of incorrect or omitted punctuation or capitalization that would be inappropriate in carefully written English. If so, note the letter printed beneath the underlined portion and completely fill in the corresponding lettered space on the answer sheet with a heavy, dark mark so that you cannot see the letter.

If there are no errors in the underlined portion, fill in space E. No sentence has more than one error.

Remember, try to answer every question.

1.
The club members 
agreed
A
 that 
each would contribute
B
 ten days of volunteer work 
annually each year
C
 
at the local hospital.
D
 
No error
E
 
2.
The school magazine will print 
those who win
A
 prizes for poetry, short stories, and drama
;
B
 nonfiction, however, 
will not
C
 
be accepted for
D
 publication. 
No error
E
 
3.
Plagued by
A
 robbers, Paris in 1524 passed an 
o
B
rdinance 
requiring citizens
C
 to burn candles
 
D
in windows fronting on the streets. 
No error
E
 
4.
For a writer, the 
rarest
A
 privilege 
is not merely
B
 
to describe
C
 her country and time but to 
help shape 
it
D
No error
E
 

Part B: Sentence Correction

(Suggested time – 20 minutes)

Directions:   In each of the following sentences some part of the sentence or the entire sentence is underlined. Beneath each sentence you will find five ways of writing the underlined part. The first of these repeats the original, but the other four are different. If you think the original sentence is better than any of the suggested changes, you should choose A; otherwise you should mark one of the other choices. Select the best answer and completely fill in the corresponding lettered space on the answer sheet with a heavy, dark mark so that you cannot see the letter.

This is a test of correctness and effectiveness of expression. In choosing answers, follow the requirements of standard written English; that is, pay attention to acceptable usage in grammar, diction (choice of words), sentence construction, and punctuation. Choose the answer that expresses most effectively what is presented in the original sentence; this answer should be clear and exact, without awkwardness, ambiguity, or redundancy.

Remember, try to answer every question.

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke out passionately for the poor of all races.

    1. spoke out passionately
    2. spoke out passionate
    3. did spoke out passionately
    4. has spoke out passionately
    5. had spoken out passionate
  2. The agent, passing through the crowd without being noticed by hardly anyone.

    1. The agent, passing through the crowd without being noticed by hardly anyone.
    2. The agent passed through the crowd without hardly being noticed by anyone.
    3. The agent's passing through the crowd was not hardly noticed by anyone.
    4. No one hardly noticed how the agent passed through the crowd.
    5. The agent was hardly noticed as she passed through the crowd.
  3. As a consumer, one can accept the goods offered to us or we can reject them, but we cannot determine their quality or change the system's priorities.

    1. As a consumer, one can accept
    2. We the consumer either can accept
    3. The consumer can accept
    4. Either the consumer accepts
    5. As consumers, we can accept
  4. The fact that some mushrooms are perfectly safe for one person but not for another probably accounts for differences of opinion as to which species are edible and which are not.

    1. but not for another
    2. but not for the other
    3. and not for the other
    4. and unsafe for some other
    5. and some are unsafe for others