Accelerated Writing Practice Test (page 2)

Updated on Aug 25, 2011


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. it's
      In this sentence, it's is being used as a contraction for it has, so an apostrophe is needed.
  4. less
      Because you can't count individual amounts of soup (unless you are comparing measured amounts, like tablespoons), less should be used in this comparison.
  5. Pineapples
      Pineapple just needs an s to be plural. An 's would make the word possessive.
  6. she … I
      She wears glasses and I wear glasses, so She and I wear glasses.
  7. shoes'
      The laces belong to the shoes, and shoes is plural, so an apostrophe is needed after the s in shoes.
  8. incorrect
      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.
  9. incorrect
      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.
  10. correct
      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.
  11. correct
      Which is old is a nonrestrictive clause and is correctly set apart from the rest of the sentence with commas.
  12. correct
      Because of the gusty winds is an introductory clause and is correctly set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma.
  13. incorrect
      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.
  14. correct
      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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. c. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What would be the effect of a pipe bursting? A deluge is a flood.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. a. This is a cause-and-effect sentence completion question. What would make the girl jump up and down? Vivacity means liveliness or energy.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. .
  38. .
  39. .
  40. .
  41. .
  42. 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.

  43. Creating a lemonade stand is easy if you follow some simple steps.
  44. By following some steps in a simple process, a person can develop his or her own photographs.
  45. Making regular visits to an eye doctor can be beneficial to your health.
  46. There are a few factors that contribute to a person being a good student.
  47. Revising and editing your essay will strengthen it in many ways.
  48. d. In a deductive paragraph, the topic sentence appears at the beginning.
  49. 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.
  50. A person must prepare in many ways to be able to run a marathon successfully.
  51. 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).

  52. b. This is a deductive paragraph, because the topic sentence is the first sentence of the paragraph.
  53. Recently, there was a marathon in New York.
  54. 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.

  55. 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.
  56. 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.

  57. 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.
  58. 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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