Accelerated Writing Practice Test (page 2)
Just like the Advanced Writing Practice Test this practice test contains 53 questions. It contains the same types of questions, and it should take you no longer than two hours to complete. After taking this practice test and checking your answers against the answer key that follows, you will see how much you have learned. For the questions that you answer incorrectly, read the answer explanations. Good luck!
In the following sentences, circle the word(s) that makes the sentence correct.
1. George and his (friends/friend's) love to (eat/eats) pizza. 2. It seems like everybody likes (their/his) pizza crust thin, but George and his friends like (their/his) pizza crust thick. 3. I can't believe how late (it's/its) gotten. 4. Dan has (less/fewer) soup than I have. 5. (Pineapples/Pineapple's) are a tasty addition to fruit salad. 6. (She/Her) and (me/I) both wear glasses. 7. Both of my (shoes'/shoes) laces are tied in knots.
Identify each of the following sentences as either correct or incorrect.
- Taxes are due soon I had better get started.
- Because she cared so much about the plight of the homeless, Harriet decides to volunteer at a homeless shelter on the weekends.
- My friend was over, so my mother asked him and me if we wanted a snack.
- The computer, which is old, has completely stopped working.
- Because of the gusty winds, the bench tipped over.
- I slipped on the wet grass playing soccer.
- It's so slippery on the road that one of the car's wheels has lost its grip.
Rewrite the following sentences to make them correct.
- The United State's flag is red white and blue.
- Her and I ran a race after school, that ended early today.
- Everyone in the apartment building has their own mailbox in the lobby.
- Chad received a present in the mail its his birthday on Friday.
- He and his brother goes to the movies on the weekends.
- They went to the movies and buy popcorn.
For each of the following sentences, choose the correct word to fill in the blank.
- Recently, the temperatures in the area have widely, making it difficult to decide what to wear.
- The fact that Mom was mad was in the way that she was standing with her arms folded.
- We didn't think the play was anything special and, in fact, found it to be quite .
- The cat found itself to be in a bit of a when it got its tail stuck in the fence.
- Firefighters came to clear out the area so that nobody would inhale the fumes that were coming from the burning building.
- The professor told Casey not to write down what the professor had just said because it was a piece of information.
- The burst pipe in the basement created quite a .
- Oil spilling into the river may the water supply of the town.
- In order to discover more about how the machine would work if it were manufactured, the engineer created a .
- The little girl was full of so much that she was jumping up and down.
- Yesterday, there was such a sudden of hail that cars were dented and people had to run for cover.
- The knight rescued the princess from the tower, proving that he was .
- After the player caught the ball by the edge of the woods, she had trouble herself from the bushes.
- The flowers he gave her were and were spilling over the edge of the vase.
- Because the coin collector wanted only coins, he refused to buy fake ones.
- It was difficult to get the bookcase into the house because it was so large and .
Identify the topic and focus of the following topic sentences. Circle the topic and put a box around the focus.
- Learning to swim is not difficult if you follow some simple steps.
- There are many reasons why watching dog shows on television is enjoyable.
- Every household should have a smoke detector for a number of reasons.
- There are a number of ways you can make macaroni and cheese.
- By following some simple steps, a person can increase his or her vocabulary.
Write a topic sentence using each topic and focus listed.
- Topic = starting a lemonade stand
- Topic = developing your own photographs
- Topic = seeing an eye doctor
- Topic = being a good student
- Topic = revising and editing
Focus = steps to create a lemonade stand
Focus = steps in the process
Focus = reasons it's beneficial
Focus = factors that contribute
Focus = ways they strengthen your essay
Choose the correct answer to the following multiple-choice questions.
- The topic sentence of a deductive paragraph is .
- at the end
- more important than a thesis
- at the beginning
- none of the above
- Using only inductive paragraphs can make your writing seem .
Read the following paragraph and then answer the questions that follow.
- A person must prepare in many ways to be able to run a marathon successfully. Marathons are 26.2-mile running races that take place all over the world. Recently, there was a marathon in New York. Marathons are so difficult to complete that a person must be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared. A marathon runner must physically prepare by running almost every day for months in advance. Each run should get longer and longer to prepare the body for the 26.2-mile run. Visualizations are used to prepare mentally. For example, a runner may visualize him- or herself crossing the finish line without trouble. For emotional support, a runner may surround him- or herself with other runners who are having similar experiences or people who support his or her goal of completing the race.
- What is the topic sentence of the paragraph?
- What kind of paragraph is this?
- Which sentence in the paragraph is out of place and should be omitted?
Write an essay for each of the following writing prompts.
- Many careers involve serving the community in some way. Think of a career that involves serving the community. Would you like to have that career? Explain why you would or would not enjoy that career.
- Sometimes the weather can alter our plans for the day. Think of a time when you had to change your plans because of the weather. What was your original plan? What kind of weather event occurred? What was your new plan? Describe how the weather altered your plans for the day.
- friends … eat
- The word friends in the sentence is plural, not possessive, so there should be no apostrophe before the s. One person eats pizza, but many people eat pizza. George and his friends is plural, so the verb must also be in the plural form.
- his … their
- Everybody refers to every one person and is singular, so the pronoun should also be singular (his or her). George and his friends is plural, so the pronoun their should be plural as well.
- In this sentence, it's is being used as a contraction for it has, so an apostrophe is needed.
- Because you can't count individual amounts of soup (unless you are comparing measured amounts, like tablespoons), less should be used in this comparison.
- Pineapple just needs an s to be plural. An 's would make the word possessive.
- she … I
- She wears glasses and I wear glasses, so She and I wear glasses.
- The laces belong to the shoes, and shoes is plural, so an apostrophe is needed after the s in shoes.
- This sentence contains two independent clauses that need to be separated by either a period or a semicolon. You may write the sentence like this: Taxes are due soon; I had better get started.
- The comma in this sentence is correctly separating an introductory clause. The error is in the verb tenses. If she cared in the past, then she must also decide in the past. Decides should be decided.
- My friend was over is correctly separated by a comma, because it needs to be separated from the second half of the sentence, which is also an independent clause. Him and me is correct, because my mother asked him and my mother asked me, so she asked him and me.
- Which is old is a nonrestrictive clause and is correctly set apart from the rest of the sentence with commas.
- Because of the gusty winds is an introductory clause and is correctly set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma.
- The sentence has a misplaced modifier, which makes it seem as if the grass were playing soccer. To clear up the confusion, you would need to rearrange the sentence to read, While playing soccer, I slipped on the wet grass.
- Both its and it's are used correctly in this sentence. It's is being used as a contraction for it is, and its is being used to show that it (the wheel) possesses the grip. Car's wheels is also correct, because the multiple wheels belong to a single car.
- The United States' flag is red, white, and blue.
- The United States is already plural, so, to make a possessive, you just need to add an apostrophe after the s. Also, this sentence should have commas separating the list of colors.
- She and I ran a race after school, which ended early today.
- You wouldn't say, Her ran the race. You would say, She ran the race, so the correct pronouns in this case are She and I. The end of the sentence is a nonrestrictive clause and is correctly set apart with a comma, but the word which, not that, should be used in nonrestrictive clauses.
- Everyone in the apartment building has her own mailbox in the lobby.
- Everyone is the same as every one person, so the correct pronoun to use is her (or his). Her is singular, and their is plural. The noun and the pronoun in the sentence should agree.
- Chad received a present in the mail; it's his birthday on Friday.
- This sentence is actually two independent clauses that need to be separated by correct punctuation. Placing a semicolon after the word mail fixes the error. Also, its should be it's in this case, because it is being used as a contraction for it is.
- He and his brother go to the movies on the weekends.
- He and his brother is plural, so the verb needs to be in plural form. Two people go to the movies, while only one person goes to the movies.
- They went to the movies and bought popcorn.
- Both verbs in the sentence need to be the same tense. If they went to the movies in the past, then they bought popcorn in the past as well.
- b. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What could the temperatures have been like recently to cause difficult clothing decisions? Fluctuating means unpredictable or irregular.
- a. This is a restatement sentence completion question. The correct word is already somehow defined for us in the sentence. We can tell that Mom is mad by the way her arms are folded, so the meaning of the missing word should have to do with something unspoken and understood. Implicit means unspoken or understood.
- d. This is another restatement question. We know that the play wasn't anything special, so the missing word should mean something similar. Mediocre means average or ordinary.
- d. This is a comparison sentence completion question. An example of the missing word's meaning appears in the sentence. A cat getting its tail stuck in a fence is in a what? Predicament means a dilemma or a mess.
- e. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What kind of fumes would cause firefighters to clear the area? Noxious means toxic or harmful.
- b. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What type of information could the professor have given Casey that would not need to be written down? Frivolous means trivial.
- c. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What would be the effect of a pipe bursting? A deluge is a flood.
- c. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What would the effect of an oil spill be on water supply of the town? Contaminate means pollute or infect.
- e. This is a restatement sentence completion question. The missing word is defined in the sentence. What would the engineer create with the purpose of seeing how it works before it was manufactured? A prototype is an example or a trial.
- a. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What would make the girl jump up and down? Vivacity means liveliness or energy.
- b. This is a restatement sentence completion question. The missing word is defined in the sentence. Which choice means a sudden appearance of something dangerous that sends people running for cover? An onslaught is an attack or ambush.
- d. This is a comparison sentence completion question. The missing word is a characteristic of the knight. We know that the knight rescued the princess, so which word would describe a knight willing to do that? Gallant means heroic or brave.
- b. This is a contrast sentence completion question. We gather from the sentence that the ballplayer has fallen into the bushes. What would be the opposite of falling into the bushes? To extricate means to remove or disentangle.
- e. This is a restatement sentence completion question. The missing word is already defined for us, so which word would mean something like spilling over the edge? Bountiful means abundant or plentiful.
- b. This is a contrast sentence completion question. We know that the coin collector doesn't want fake coins; he wants the opposite of fake. Authentic means real or genuine.
- a. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What characteristic of the bookcase would make it difficult to get into the house? Unwieldy means awkward or bulky.
- Creating a lemonade stand is easy if you follow some simple steps.
- By following some steps in a simple process, a person can develop his or her own photographs.
- Making regular visits to an eye doctor can be beneficial to your health.
- There are a few factors that contribute to a person being a good student.
- Revising and editing your essay will strengthen it in many ways.
- d. In a deductive paragraph, the topic sentence appears at the beginning.
- c. Inductive paragraphs, when used consistently, can make your writing seem dull. Similar to the passive voice, inductive paragraphs are an indirect way of writing. Keep your writing direct by using deductive paragraphs and the active voice.
- A person must prepare in many ways to be able to run a marathon successfully.
- b. This is a deductive paragraph, because the topic sentence is the first sentence of the paragraph.
- Recently, there was a marathon in New York.
- When thinking of careers that serve the community in some way, most people probably think of firefighting and police service. Both firefighters and police officers serve the community in a direct way by protecting its citizens. Other careers, however, are more indirect in how they serve the community. One of those careers is teaching. Of all the careers that serve the community in which I live, teaching is the one that I would enjoy most. The facts that it serves the community, offers a good work schedule, and provides the opportunity to work with children all make teaching a terrific career.
- Meteorologists do their best to predict the weather, but they don't always get it right. Sometimes, the weather surprises even them by changing in what seems like an instant. Of course, even when meteorologists do predict the weather correctly, we don't always pay attention, so we sometimes find ourselves in a situation in which the weather literally rains on our parade. I can think of one time in particular when the weather altered my plans.
The given answers to the following questions are only examples of topic sentences that you could write based on the information given. Just make sure that your sentence includes both the topic and the focus.
This sentence introduces what the paragraph will be about (the topic) and what about that topic will be discussed in the rest of the paragraph (the focus).
This sentence, while related to marathons in general and related specifically to the sentence that comes before it in the paragraph, doesn't exactly fit in with what is being discussed. The fact that there was a marathon recently in New York has little or nothing to do with how a marathon runner may prepare to run the race.
The opportunity to work with children appeals to me for a couple of reasons. One reason is that I think I would enjoy helping children reach their goals. Many children start out in school wanting to become a certain kind of person in the world. Some may want to be scientists and others may want to be sculptors, but whatever their aspirations may be, school is where they learn the tools that will enable them to achieve their goals. And teachers give them those tools. The other reason is that working with children allows for a less formal work environment. The school day itself is always changing as students learn various academic subjects. I'd much rather be in a school than in an office, where I would probably sit at a desk in front of a computer all day.
Teachers not only have the flexibility to avoid sitting at a desk all day, but also have an ideal work schedule. Unlike most professionals, teachers have the entire summer off. I would love to be able to use my summers for activities other than work. Specifically, I could use the time off from work to explore my hobbies, travel around the country, and spend valuable time with my family, all of which are important to me. Teachers also have a day-to-day schedule that differs from other professions. In most districts, school is over fairly early in the day, so I could also use that time to accomplish some everyday tasks, like running errands and cooking dinner.
The ability to run errands in the afternoon after school is only a small perk compared to the pleasure of knowing that you are serving your community. There are always opportunities to give back, but to be able to support yourself with a career that you know is making a difference in other people's lives is a tremendous advantage. I have had some pretty amazing teachers who have supported me in my interest and passion for learning certain subjects. To be able to give back by becoming a teacher myself seems like an ideal career.
Becoming a teacher, like the ones who have made a difference in my life, would give me frequent opportunities to contribute to my community. I would enjoy working with children and helping them along their journey to become whatever they want to become in their lives, as well as the perfect work schedule that comes with the job. Although teaching is not the career that comes immediately to mind when we think of serving the community in which we live, I believe that it is equally as important as being a firefighter or a police officer and is certainly the career I would choose to make a difference in the lives of others.
The preceding essay is just an example of what your answer to the writing prompt may look like. Of course, your essay will be different. Just make sure that your essay has an introduction with a clear thesis statement; plenty of supporting paragraphs, each with a topic sentence; and a conclusion that wraps everything up without being repetitive. It should also be free of any grammatical, spelling, or word usage errors.
It was a sunny, warm weekend afternoon in late spring, and my mother and I were on a mission. I had been assigned a project in my science class and had to collect as many different wildflower species as I could find and then accurately identify them. My mother was helping me, and we decided that the perfect place to look for wildflowers was the state park, which was about a half-hour drive from our house. We set out for the park after lunch, excited about our flower search. It had been a warm morning, but by the time we got to the park, it had really heated up. Water bottles and flower-collecting supplies in hand, we parked the car and started walking down one of the many paths that wandered its way through the woods.
As we walked down the path, we noticed the sky beginning to darken, but we hadn't heard anything about rain, so we walked on. About 20 minutes (and a few flower species) later, we heard a rumble. One rumble turned into two, and we realized it was thunder. Standing in the middle of the woods was definitely not the place we wanted to be in a thunderstorm, so we turned around to go back to the car. At just that moment, we saw a flash, heard an enormous clap, and felt a few fat drops of rain landing on our arms. It was clear that our flower hunt was over. We ran as fast as we could back to the car in the steadily increasing downpour.
The rain continued during our drive home until we were about five minutes away from the house. Stopped at a red light, just as we were feeling like our wildflower search had been a major bust because of the storm, we spotted a large clump of flowers on the side of the road. We pulled over and got out to find three different types of flowers that we hadn't seen at the park. They were beautiful, an excellent addition to my science project. Back in the car, we finished the drive home, feeling like we had completed our mission after all.
The storm had put a major dent in our plans. We were all set to spend the day at the state park, wandering the paths and collecting wildflowers for my science project, when a large, unexpected thunderstorm materialized. Our plans had to change. We couldn't stay out in the woods during a storm and would have had to make plans to return to the park a different day. Fortunately for us, on the way home, we found some interesting flowers by the side of the road. So, although Mother Nature didn't accommodate our plan for that day, I was still able to complete my science project.
This essay is also just an example of what you could write to answer the prompt in question 53. Because it is a narrative prompt, your essay will be a little bit different from the way it would be normally. You're being asked to tell a story instead of making some sort of argument, so you won't have a traditional thesis statement. But you should have a statement that introduces the story you will be telling. You should also make sure in a narrative essay that you address all the aspects of the story that you're asked in the prompt to tell. This prompt asked you to describe a time that a weather event changed your plans for the day. Make sure you touch on what your plans were, what happened with the weather, and how it altered your plans. It also needs to be a well-told tale that's free of grammatical, spelling, and word usage errors.
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