Sample Writing Test

Graphic–Clark College Academics


In the passage that follows, certain words and phrases are bolded, placed in brackets, [ ], and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for each bolded part. You are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole.

For each question in the test, choose the alternative you consider best and blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. You cannot determine some answers with out reading several sentences beyond the phrase in question. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

The following paragraphs may or may not be in the most logical order. Each paragraph is numbered in braces, { }, and item 11 will ask you to choose the sequence of paragraph numbers that is in the most logical order.   

After you have checked one for each question, click the "Check Your Answers" button.


  In the end, everyone gives up jogging. Some find that their strenuous efforts to earn a living [drains] away the energy necessary for


B.  drain
C.  has drained
D.  is draining


running. Others [suffering from]


B.  suffered
C.  suffer
D.  suffering with


defeat by the hazards of the course, which can range from hard pavement to muddy tracks and from smog to sleet and snow. [Person's can also] simply


B.  Still others
C.  One may also
D.  It's also possible to


collapse in their sneakers. My experience [having been different.] however; I had a revelation.


B.  being different,
C.  was a difference,
D.  was different,



  It happened two summers ago up at Lake Tom, where I was vacationing with friends. I had been accustomed to running fairly regularly, but that week I decided to be lazy. I sailed, basked in the sun, and [ate wonderful:] lobster, steak,


B.  ate wonderfully:
C.  eating wonderful:
D.  eat wonderful;


corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and ice cream. By the fourth day of this routine I had to face the [truth which] my body was slowly changing to dough.


B.  truth about
C.  truth:
D.  truth, which



  So, filled with worthy ambition, I tied on my favorite pair of running shoes and loped out to the main road in search of a five-mile route. [Out of curiosity, I turned onto Lookout Hill Road] and soon discovered how the




B.  Out of curiosity, Lookout
            Hill Road was turned onto

C.  Having become curious,
           Lookout Hill Road I turned

D.   Lookout Hill Road, having
            become curious, was the
            route I turned onto


road had come by its name. I was chugging, at a painfully slow rate, up one the [longest, steepest] inclines in the region. Perched at the faraway top of the hill was a solitary house, and only a desire to get a closer look at the place kept me going.


B.  longest, steepest,
C.  steepest longest,
D.  longest and steepest



  I was exhausted when, gasping and bedraggled, I reached the crest of the hill. There I found a native New Englander rocking tranquilly on the front porch of the [house, which was painted.] "Mister," I panted, "you sure live on a big hill!"


B.  house (painted).
C.  house, and it was
D.  house.



  He studied me closely for moment and then responded, "Yep, and I've got the good sense not to run up it." That night I tied the [laces of my running] shoes around a rock and pitched them into Lake Tom.


B.  laces, of my running
C.  laces of my running,
D.  laces; of my running


Items 11 and 12 pose questions about the essay as a whole.

Choose the sequence of paragraph numbers that will make the essay's structure most logical.


B.  1, 4, 5, 2, 3
C.  1, 5, 4, 3, 2
D.  4, 5, 1, 2, 3


Is the use of direct quotation in the essay appropriate?


A. No, because the essay is an           explanation of why the
          writer gave up jogging.

B. No, because more physical
          detail would  be better in a
          descriptive essay.

C. Yes, because the story is
          enlivened by

D. Yes, because the essay           persuades readers to talk
          about running.

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