PARCC Writing Practice Questions 1
Each underlined section corresponds to an answer choice. The first underlined section corresponds to choice A, the second to choice B, and so forth. Select the answer choice that either contains an error, or select choice E, which is “No error.”
1. Are you all ready for the English exam?" asked mom. No error.
1. D: When used as a name, as it is here, "Mom" should be capitalized. When used as a noun, e.g. "Our mom told us," it is lower-case. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are correct in the other underlined parts.
2. According to the fire marshall's statistics, smoking cigarettes in bed are the cause of many tragic fires. No error.
2. D: The incorrectly plural verb "are" should be "is" to agree with the singular subject "smoking."
3. Signs of decay that should be recognized by every citizen includes oil spills along the shoreline as well as the absence of wildlife. No error.
3. B : The singular verb "includes" should be plural here to agree with the plural subject "signs."
4. Either Philip or Joe will always finish their trigonometry homework in class. No error.
4. C: The possessive pronoun modifying "trigonometry homework" should be the singular "his" here to agree with the singular "Either Philip or Joe," not the plural "their."
5. Who else beside Jim Smith won a scholarship? No error.
5. C: The preposition here should be "besides," meaning except or in addition to, not "beside," meaning next to or alongside of.
6. I appreciate your helping me in the kitchen when my mom is at work. No error.
6. E: This is correct as written. The speaker appreciates the helping, not you, so the object is "helping" and "your" modifies "helping." Using "you" here is a common error.
7. I am certain that the English scholarship winner will be hear. No error.
7. D: The correct spelling of the adverb indicating location is "here." "Hear" is the spelling of the verb meaning to perceive sound.
8. Talking with my grandfather about World War II effected me more than I thought it would have. No error.
8. B: The correct spelling is "affected," meaning to influence or have an impact on. "Effected" means caused or accomplished, e.g. "Our conversation effected a change."
9. The president is all together opposed to the bill. No error.
9. C: To modify/describe "opposed," the correct spelling is the adverb "altogether" (one word), meaning entirely/completely/wholly. The two words "all together" have a different meaning, e.g. "The committee members were all together yesterday."
10. Tsetse flies, which carry the dreaded disease called sleeping sickness attacks both human and cattle. No error.
10. D: The plural subject "flies" requires the plural verb "attack," not the singular "attacks."
11. According to Aunt Grace, this kind of a sweater is the warmest for the winter months. No error.
11. B: "This kind of sweater" is correct; adding the article "a" is incorrect. When describing something as a "kind of/type of," this expression places the described thing into a category. The category itself does not refer to a specific individual of that type (in this example, sweater).
12. Many reading lists for high-school students include translations from Scandinavian writers such as Lagerlog, Undset, and Ibsen. No error.
12. E: The sentence is correct as it is written.
13. Will they ascent to our proposal? No error.
13. C: The correct spelling of the verb meaning to agree is "assent." The spelling here, "ascent," is a noun meaning a climb or upward progress, literally or figuratively.
14. Earlier synthetics, such as Bakelite, have went the way of the dinosaur. No error.
14. C: The correct plural present perfect tense of "to go" is "have gone," not "have went," which is never a correct construction in any context.
15. After the attack by the U-boat, the Lusitania sunk in 18 minutes; over 1000 people drowned. No error.
15. B: The past tense of the verb "to sink" is "sank," not "sunk," which is the present perfect or past perfect (e.g. is or are sunk, has or have sunk, was or were sunk).
16. The teacher discussed the rule that the compliment of thirty degrees is sixty degrees. No error.
16. B: The correct spelling is "complement," meaning in math (as it does here), the angle that, added to a given angle, produces a right angle (here, 30+60=90). In modern English, complement means the full amount required; or something that completes, perfects, or goes well with something else. The spelling "compliment," incorrectly used here, means praise or flattery.
17. As you approach the intersection, drive as cautious as you can. No error.
17. B: The verb "drive" should be modified here by the adverb "cautiously," not by the adjective "cautious," which should only modify a noun (e.g. "Cautious behavior is advised.")
18. The queen's counsil could not agree on the correct policy. No error.
18. B: The correct spelling is "council," meaning an assembly of persons or an executive, legislative, or administrative body assisting or advising a leader. "Counsel," meaning attorney at law, could also be correct here. There is no such word as "counsil."
19. Scury, one of the diseases of modern science has conquered result from a lack of vitamin C. No error.
19. D: The subject "scurvy" is singular; to agree, the verb "results" is required, not the plural "result."
20. Some people say that compact discs offers a brighter treble and truer base than conventional records. No error.
20. B: The plural subject "discs" requires the plural verb "offer," not the singular "offers."
21. I learned about the Roaring Twenties from my great-grandmother and he. No error.
21. D: The third-person personal pronoun is the indirect object of the verb "learned" here (with the preposition "from"), so it should be the objective case "him," not the subjective case "he," which is only used as a subject. He taught me; I learned from him.
22. Mrs. Jones was formally head of the history department at Center High School. No error.
22. A: Context indicates the correct meaning here is "previously," i.e. "formerly." "Formally" means officially (e.g. "She was just formally designated head of the department this year").
23. The British navy, members of which are called "limeys," were responsible for first using limes to prevent scury during long sea voyages. No error.
23. D: "British Navy" is a singular collective noun. To agree, the verb should be "was" rather than the plural "were."
24. Please write and tell my mother and I about your trip to San Francisco. No error.
24. C: Because it is the indirect object of the verb "tell" here, the first-person singular personal pronoun should be the objective case, "me," not the subjective "I." Tell my mother and tell me, not "tell I."