Compass Writing Skills Practice Test 1

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Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Fleeing the horde of zombies on foot,a̲n̲ ̲a̲p̲p̲a̲r̲e̲n̲t̲l̲y̲ ̲s̲a̲f̲e̲ ̲b̲u̲i̲l̲d̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲b̲e̲c̲a̲m̲e̲ ̲v̲i̲s̲i̲b̲l̲e̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲t̲e̲r̲r̲i̲f̲i̲e̲d̲ ̲c̲o̲u̲p̲l̲e̲.

Correct! Wrong!

The correct answer is B (A, C, D, and E are all dangling modifiers. Who was fleeing the horde? The terrified couple was.)

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Inside the glove compartment were legal documents, pictures, a̲n̲d̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲r̲e̲ ̲w̲e̲r̲e̲ ̲a̲ ̲f̲e̲w̲ ̲n̲a̲p̲k̲i̲n̲s̲ ̲f̲r̲o̲m̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲c̲o̲f̲f̲e̲e̲ ̲s̲h̲o̲p̲, ̲b̲u̲t̲ ̲n̲o̲ ̲g̲l̲o̲v̲e̲s̲.

Correct! Wrong!

The correct answer is D (A and B break the parallelism of the list of things in the glove compartment. C and E are run-ons.)

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Natural disasters h̲a̲v̲e̲ ̲b̲e̲e̲n̲ ̲i̲n̲c̲r̲e̲a̲s̲i̲n̲g̲l̲y̲ ̲e̲f̲f̲e̲c̲t̲i̲n̲g̲ nearly every part of the world in the past decade with catastrophic tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis.

Correct! Wrong!

The only problem with the underlined portion of this sentence is the use of the word “effecting” instead of “affecting.” When an object/s undergoes changes, these changes are effects such as in the following sentence: John’s excellent attendance at school has had positive effects on his education. However, in the verb form, “effects” turns into “affects” such as in the following sentence: John’s excellent attendance has affected his education. Noun (effect) vs. verb (affect). Only choice C and choice E properly used “affecting” but choice E uses the future tense when the sentence clearly describes an occurrence of the past (“...in the past decade...”). Choice C is correct.

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence is correct or whether it needs to be revised. F̲o̲r̲ ̲h̲o̲m̲e̲s̲ ̲i̲n̲ ̲t̲y̲p̲i̲c̲a̲l̲l̲y̲ ̲c̲o̲l̲d̲e̲r̲ ̲g̲e̲o̲g̲r̲a̲p̲h̲i̲c̲ ̲r̲e̲g̲i̲o̲n̲s̲, it is particularly important to have effective and efficient heating systems.

Correct! Wrong!

The problem with this sentence is that it makes sense conversationally but not in written English. You cannot just say “colder geographic regions” when there is no object of comparison. Colder compared to what? An area can easily be identified as cold without a prior standard (such as the southern regions or areas near the equator) but not “colder.” Also, it is wrong to refer to people as the subject of this sentence because the second clause states that “it is particularly important to have...heating system.” People cannot have heating systems usually. Therefore, choice C, which uses a descriptive rather than comparative term, is the best choice.

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Concerns about global warming have grown into actual efforts sanctioned by non-governmental organizations and governments that not only work to u̲n̲d̲e̲r̲s̲t̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲g̲l̲o̲b̲a̲l̲ ̲w̲a̲r̲m̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲a̲l̲s̲o̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲p̲r̲e̲v̲e̲n̲t̲ ̲i̲t̲.

Correct! Wrong!

The original underlined portion is incorrect because of the improper use of the “not only...but also...” structure. Only choice B and choice D use this structure, but choice D accurately adds “to prevent its growth.” The sentence began by discussing growth because global warming is a dynamic problem that has not just stagnated; it continually has changed. Choice D corrects the structure and also uses the proper possessive form of it (i.e. its).

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Even though I have seen the movie countless times, I still l̲a̲u̲g̲h̲e̲d̲ ̲w̲h̲e̲n̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲s̲h̲e̲r̲i̲f̲f̲ ̲t̲h̲r̲o̲w̲s̲ ̲h̲i̲s̲ ̲m̲u̲g̲.

Correct! Wrong!

The correct answer is B (A, C, D, and E all have verb tense mismatches.)

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Y̲e̲s̲t̲e̲r̲d̲a̲y̲ ̲I̲ ̲f̲e̲l̲l̲ ̲d̲o̲w̲n̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲s̲t̲a̲i̲r̲s̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲n̲ tried to act like I did so on purpose.

Correct! Wrong!

The correct answer is A (B and C are run-ons. D and E misuse their semicolons: the parts before them are not independent clauses.)

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. For every song that is a hit, it is critical to have a quality “beat” and quality lyrics; h̲o̲w̲e̲v̲e̲r̲ music companies hire professional producers and song writers.

Correct! Wrong!

The underlined portion of this sentence is wrong because the conjunction “however” needs to properly reflect the supporting nature of the second clause—NOT a contrasting relationship. Choice A, C and E all reflect a contrasting relationship when a supporting and united relationship should be here. Choice B and D are left. Choice B is best because the initial clause creates a premise (the requirements for a good song) that the second clause needs to support (how the se requirements are met); therefore is the ideal transition for this type of cause-effect relationship.

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. H̲i̲g̲h̲ ̲s̲c̲h̲o̲o̲l̲ ̲r̲e̲u̲n̲i̲o̲n̲s̲ ̲a̲r̲e̲ ̲u̲s̲u̲a̲l̲l̲y̲ ̲l̲o̲o̲k̲e̲d̲ ̲f̲o̲r̲w̲a̲r̲d̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲b̲y̲ ̲a̲l̲u̲m̲n̲i̲ ̲t̲h̲a̲t̲ ̲h̲a̲v̲e̲ ̲w̲o̲r̲k̲e̲d̲ ̲h̲a̲r̲d̲ ̲s̲i̲n̲c̲e̲ ̲g̲r̲a̲d̲u̲a̲t̲i̲o̲n̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲n̲o̲w̲ ̲c̲o̲n̲s̲i̲d̲e̲r̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲m̲s̲e̲l̲v̲e̲s̲ ̲s̲u̲c̲c̲e̲s̲s̲f̲u̲l̲.

Correct! Wrong!

The problem with this sentence is that it uses the passive voice and a mistaken pronoun to refer to people (i.e. that). Choice C and choice D change the passive voice to the active voice by writing that the alumni commit the action, rather than writing that the action was committed by the alumni. Also, choice D mistakenly changes “alumni” (plural) to “alumnus” (singular). Choice C is the best choice because “alumni” is plural as it should be based on the logic of the sentence (not just one person looks forward to high school reunions) and the active voice is properly implemented.

Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Lockers in schools are often dilapidated, m̲a̲k̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲s̲t̲u̲d̲e̲n̲t̲’s̲ ̲v̲a̲l̲u̲a̲b̲l̲e̲s̲ ̲s̲u̲s̲c̲e̲p̲t̲i̲b̲l̲e̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲f̲t̲.

Correct! Wrong!

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