Compass Writing Skills Practice Test 2
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. The argument b̲e̲t̲w̲e̲e̲n̲ ̲P̲a̲a̲r̲i̲n̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲m̲e̲ ̲a̲b̲o̲u̲t̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲d̲e̲n̲t̲ ̲i̲n̲ ̲h̲i̲s̲ ̲c̲a̲r̲ ̲c̲o̲n̲t̲i̲n̲u̲e̲d̲ until the early morning.
The correct answer is A (B, C, and E all have pronoun case errors: when the pronoun is the object of a preposition like “between,” you need to use the objective case. D is awkward, especially in its misused idiom: “argument on.”)
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. During the s̲u̲m̲m̲e̲r̲ ̲m̲a̲n̲y̲ ̲s̲t̲u̲d̲e̲n̲t̲s̲ ̲g̲o̲ ̲a̲w̲a̲y̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲s̲u̲m̲m̲e̲r̲ ̲c̲a̲m̲p̲s̲ ̲t̲h̲a̲t̲ ̲t̲e̲a̲c̲h̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲m̲ ̲s̲k̲i̲l̲l̲s̲ ̲a̲b̲o̲u̲t̲ ̲c̲a̲m̲a̲r̲a̲d̲e̲r̲i̲e̲, ̲p̲e̲r̲s̲e̲v̲e̲r̲a̲n̲c̲e̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲i̲n̲t̲e̲g̲r̲i̲t̲y̲.
Only choice C corrects the redundancy error in this sentence of writing “...summer camps...” after already stating that this event occurs “During the summer...” Choice A, B and D suffer such redundancy. Choice D also breaks the list’s parallelism (values such as camaraderie and perseverance that should be followed simply by “integrity”). Choice C and E remain, but choice E makes the same mistake of choice B by capitalizing a season. Although it may look better, seasons are NOT supposed to be capitalized unless they appear in a title or a proper noun.
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. In countries such as China the government is recognizing the advantages of a̲ ̲c̲a̲p̲i̲t̲a̲l̲i̲s̲t̲ ̲m̲a̲r̲k̲e̲t̲ ̲r̲a̲t̲h̲e̲r̲ ̲t̲h̲a̲n̲ ̲c̲o̲m̲m̲u̲n̲i̲s̲m̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲a̲d̲j̲u̲s̲t̲ economic policy accordingly.
The problem with this sentence is in parallel structure. The test is very particular about being consistent about the forms of words used. So specifically since the sentence refers to a capitalist market, then the sentence must refer to a communist market—not communism, which is an ideology rather than a market system in this context. Only choices B, D and E remain. Choice E commits terrible capitalization (neither “capitalist” nor “communist”) mistakes and structure errors (where does the “nor” fit in?! It does not!) Only choice B and choice D remain now, but B mistakenly capitalizes communism and does not change “adjust” to match the parallel verb (i.e. recognizing). Choice D uses the right adjective forms of capitalism and communism, does not make capitalization errors and maintains parallel sentence structure.
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Firefighters and police officers risk their lives often by stepping into the way of danger physically; t̲h̲e̲r̲e̲f̲o̲r̲e̲, professionals such as doctors and lawyers have an equally significant impact on individuals’ lives medically and legally.
The first clause (everything before the semi colon) definitely does not cause what is explained in the second clause (everything after the semi colon), so “therefore” is an inappropriate transition. This sentence is presenting contrasting professions (firefighter/police officer and doctor/lawyer) since two are viewed as blue-collar (working class) and the others are white-collar (professional); therefore, a contrasting conjunction is needed. Choice A (“therefore”), choice D (“as a result”) and choice E (“and”) do not present contrasting conjunctions. In this sentence “but” is not your best option for a conjunction. A semi-colon is used, so the three simple conjunctions (and/but/yet/etc.) are not as appropriate as the complex conjunctions (therefore/however/nevertheless/etc.). If just a comma was used, then “but” would have been appropriate (i.e. “...into the way of danger physically, but professionals such as doctors...”). So now it’s down to “nevertheless.” Choice C is your best answer.
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. A growing technology trend is to merge multiple devices with complimentary functions such as a phone, music player and t̲h̲e̲ ̲s̲c̲h̲e̲d̲u̲l̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲f̲e̲a̲t̲u̲r̲e̲s̲ ̲o̲f̲ ̲a̲ ̲p̲l̲a̲n̲n̲e̲r̲.
Choice E is correct. The sentence is incorrect because it does not follow parallelism. A list that begins by naming devices (i.e. phone, music player) must continue and finish in that way. Although it is informative to include the details about a planner's features, it should be accompanied by the features of a phone and a music player if that is the way the sentence is being written. Therefore, choices A, B, C and D are incorrect. Choice B and C even add “and” again making the sentence read “...music player and and...” which is clearly wrong! Be careful; the test wants to catch you off guard. Only choice E is direct and maintains parallelism.
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Learning a new language can be difficult for people a̲f̲t̲e̲r̲ ̲o̲n̲e̲ ̲r̲e̲a̲c̲h̲e̲s̲ ̲a̲ ̲c̲e̲r̲t̲a̲i̲n̲ ̲a̲g̲e̲ abilities needed to retain and apply new linguistic information deteriorate with time.
The underlined portion of this sentence is wrong because the sentence refers to people in general. Because a plural third person form of a pronoun is needed (because of the reference to “people”), “one” ,“it”, and “you” are all inappropriate responses. Choice A, D and E are all incorrect. Choice B is better than choice C because of the implied logic. People can reach a defined age; it is odd to say that multiple people are simultaneously reaching multiple ages—what is certain then? It’s almost an oxymoron to say certain ages in this context, although it is perfectly fine in other situations (i.e. This board game is only for people of certain ages). Yet the more defining difference is the singular verb form of choice C (i.e. reaches) mistakenly in place of the plural verb form of choice B (i.e. reach). Choice B is the best answer.
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised.Sports are a significant part of life for people all across the world, as was demonstrated in 2006 when billions of people came together to be involved with the W̲o̲r̲l̲d̲ ̲C̲u̲p̲ ̲e̲i̲t̲h̲e̲r̲ ̲t̲h̲r̲o̲u̲g̲h̲ ̲p̲l̲a̲y̲i̲n̲g̲, ̲w̲a̲t̲c̲h̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲o̲r̲ ̲t̲h̲r̲u̲ ̲a̲d̲v̲e̲r̲t̲i̲s̲i̲n̲g̲.
This sentence tests your knowledge of capitalization and awareness of parallelism. The original sentence is incorrect because choice A destroys the parallelism (i.e. thru advertising instead of simply “advertising”) and uses the informal spelling of through (i.e. “thru”). Only choices D and E correct the parallelism error; however, the list should strictly contain gerunds in order to be parallel, so “advertising for it” is not the best choice. By ending with “for it” the author is also implying that one may “play for it” and “watch for it,” and although one may play for the World Cup through a grammar stretch, one cannot possibly “watch for it” and do the same thing as one who simply “watches it.” Choice D uses the appropriate capitalization (because the World Cup is a major sports event it is a proper noun that must be capitalized) and maintains strict parallelism in the concluding list of ways to be involved.
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. A consummate gentleman S̲t̲e̲f̲a̲n̲'s̲ ̲e̲t̲i̲q̲u̲e̲t̲t̲e̲ ̲a̲n̲d̲ ̲s̲o̲c̲i̲a̲l̲ ̲g̲r̲a̲c̲e̲ ̲w̲a̲s̲ ̲u̲n̲m̲a̲t̲c̲h̲e̲d̲.
The correct answer is D (A, B, C, and E are all dangling modifiers. A has a verb agreement problem, too.)
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. I̲n̲ ̲m̲a̲n̲y̲ ̲c̲u̲l̲t̲u̲r̲e̲s̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲y̲ ̲c̲o̲n̲s̲i̲d̲e̲r̲ ̲f̲i̲s̲h̲ ̲e̲g̲g̲s̲ ̲a̲ ̲d̲e̲l̲i̲c̲a̲c̲y̲.
The correct answer is B (A is tempting, but the pronoun “they” is vague. E has the same vague pronoun problem. C is just weird all over. D is a fragment.)
Determine whether the underlined portion of the sentence below is correct or whether it needs to be revised. Most of my favorite movies contain s̲l̲a̲p̲s̲t̲i̲c̲k̲ ̲h̲u̲m̲o̲r̲, ̲h̲o̲w̲e̲v̲e̲r̲ ̲p̲h̲y̲s̲i̲c̲a̲l̲ ̲c̲o̲m̲e̲d̲y̲ ̲i̲s̲ ̲n̲o̲t̲ the only way to make me laugh.
The correct answer is B (A is a run-on: “however” is NOT a conjunction. C and D are missing contrast. E is not at all concise.)
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