Thea Writing Essay Samples

Test-Based Review and Practice Materials

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
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eCOMPASS
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Quick THEA
- About Quick THEA
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General Review Material

Test Taking Strategies and Test Anxiety

Re-testing Options and Considerations

  • Retesting is available for incoming students who score close to the next level. Speak to an advisor or counselor if you are concerned about your retest scores.
  • It is recommended that students spend time preparing for the retake.
  • You should not retest on the same section more than once. Remember, the goal is to have a solid foundation in reading, writing and math before you start your college-level courses.

The Writing Section of the THEA Practice Test consists of two subsections: a multiple-choice subsection and a writing sample subsection.

MULTIPLE-CHOICE
SUBSECTION

The multiple-choice subsection of the Writing Section consists of 16 passages. All parts (e.g., sentences, sentence fragments) of the passages are identified by number. The questions refer to the numbered parts of the passages.

After each passage, there are several questions to answer related to the passage. Read each question carefully and choose the ONE best answer. There are a total of 40 questions.

In the Writing Section the term "nonstandard" refers to language use that does not conform to the conventions of edited American English.

 

Read the passage below, written in the style of a student letter to a college newspaper.
Then answer the questions that follow.


1The parking situation on this campus is truly outrageous. 2Sure, for full-time students who live on campus, convenient parking isn't a big deal. 3But by now everyone—except, evidently, those responsible for campus parking—must know that there are a lot of us commuter students who struggle to balance a job, a family, and academics. 4We are not the ones you see strolling leisurely from dormitory to class to dining hall to student hangout. 5Nothing in our lives is leisurely: we race from job to classroom to the library to the daycare center to the grocery store and finally, exhaustedly, back home.

6We commuter students don't have time to park our cars in lots that require us to walk a mile to get to the nearest classroom building or the library. 7Sure, it's nice to look at all those neat lawns and walk along those pretty paths and not see any ugly cars anywhere. 8But wake up! 9We're here to get an education, not to fritter away our time in some kind of ecological never-never land. 10I say forget the lawns and build a couple of convenient parking lots for we harried commuters!



1. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 3 and 4 of the first paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. We commuter students don't drive to campus just because it's nice to have a car around in case we want to go shopping or to the movies.

  2. Even a cursory survey of the situation should be sufficient to reveal the significant burdens that such a demanding life style must place on the average commuter student.

  3. One must accept the statistically verifiable fact that, as a group, commuter students take more difficult courses than students who live on campus.

  4. I am aware that commuter students cannot and should not request special treatment from campus officials.

 

2. Which one of the following changes is needed in the second paragraph?

  1. Part 6: Change "nearest" to "nearer."

  2. Part 7: Change "it's" to "its."

  3. Part 9: Change "our" to "their."

  4. Part 10: Change "we" to "us."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a student essay. Then answer the questions
that follow.


Note: An error in paragraph organization has been purposely included in the second paragraph.

1Measuring public opinion has unfortunately become a growth industry in the United States. 2As each major election approaches, newspaper readers and television viewers are swamped with trivial data from the latest polls. 3Indeed, public opinion polls have proven a valuable addition to the political process in the twentieth-century United States. 4With a minimum of research, the average citizen can find out what percentage of Americans on any given day think candidate X is trustworthy, loyal, and kind to animals. 5Is it all really necessary? 6Do we need to know such things in order to vote intelligently? 7Plainly, we do not.

8If not conducting public opinion polls, what should the media be doing? 9To be sure, this may not be the best way to make friends. 10Rather than counting heads, newspaper and television networks ought to spend more time analyzing a candidate's positions on the issues. 11And when these positions are so lacking in substance as to make such analysis impossible, the media should inform their audiences of the fact. 12It would, however, be a real service to the voting public.



3. Which of the following changes would help focus attention on the main idea of the first paragraph?

  1. Delete Part 3.

  2. Delete the phrase "with a minimum of research" from Part 4.

  3. Change Part 6 from an interrogative to a declarative sentence by dropping the word "Do."

  4. Change Part 7 from the plural to the singular, as in "Plainly, I do not."

 

4. Which of the following should be used in place of the underlined word in Part 4 of the first paragraph?

  1. thinking

  2. will think

  3. thinks

  4. should think

 

5. Which of the following changes would make the sequence of ideas in the second paragraph clearer?

  1. Reverse the order of Parts 8 and 9.

  2. Place Part 9 after Part 11.

  3. Reverse the order of Parts 10 and 11.

  4. Delete Part 12.

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of an education textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


1Current methods of foreign language teaching often aim for more than mastery of vocabulary and grammar. 2A new topic called "pragmatics" has been added to the curriculum. 3Researchers have observed that every language community has different rules not only about how to construct meaningful sentences, but about when, where, and how to say them—and when to remain silent. 4_______________________________________________ 5And as a result, more students than ever before are learning to look for cues to appropriate behavior when speaking a foreign tongue.

6For example, how do individuals know when it is their turn to speak in a conversation? 7Every language community has specific signals involving body gestures, shifts in tone of voice, and other subtle cues that indicate when a speaker is ready to let someone else have a turn talking. 8What is the proper way to greet people? 9Every culture has it's rules about who should greet whom first and which verbal and physical form of greeting is appropriate for different circumstances. 10The proper greeting usually depends on such factors as the speakers' gender, status, type of relationship between the speakers, and relative age of the speakers.

11Such questions were largely ignored in traditional foreign language teaching. 12This may explain why until recently students could study a language for years and yet have great difficulty using it for real-life communication.



6. Which of the following sentences, used in place of the blank line labeled Part 4, would best fit the writer's pattern of development in the first paragraph?

  1. Simply remaining silent is, in fact, often the best way to understand what another person is really trying to say.

  2. Consequently, many teachers now instruct their students in the pragmatics, or practical applications, of correct vocabulary and grammar.

  3. Another topic of great interest to researchers today is the difference between adults' and young children's approaches to language learning.

  4. Of course, pragmatics is of less concern to students whose primary aim is to learn to read, rather than to speak, another language.

 

7. Which of the numbered parts should be revised to reduce its unnecessary repetition?

  1. Part 6

  2. Part 7

  3. Part 8

  4. Part 10

 

8. Which of the following changes is needed in the second paragraph?

  1. Part 6: Change "their" to "they're."

  2. Part 7: Change "specific" to "specifically."

  3. Part 8: Change "proper" to "properly."

  4. Part 9: Change "it's" to "its."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a student essay. Then answer the questions
that follow.


1A good book is like a good friend. 2It may not be affection at first sight, but after about page thirty, or the third time you get together with your new acquaintance, you know whether or not to pursue the relationship. 3When you've finished the book. 4You can feel that your life is suddenly richer. 5As you go about your business, you find yourself pondering and reliving certain of its parts, just as your daily life keeps triggering thoughts about something peculiarly wise or amusing your new friend has said.

6One of the greatest pleasures derived from a good book—as from a good friend—is the way in which it grows with you through the years. 7You happen to pick it up and read it again, after barely surviving yet another mid-life crisis, and you are delighted and comforted that there are still some things in life you can count on. 8You are delighted—and downright amazed—that this same old book has somehow magically been transformed. 9How can it be that it suddenly speaks to you of new things, things you didn't see there before, things that happen to be exactly relevant to what's on your mind and in your heart right now, just like a best friend?



9. Which of the following parts of the first paragraph is a nonstandard sentence?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 3

  3. Part 4

  4. Part 5

 

10. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 7 and 8 of the second paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. I rarely read the same book more than once, though; I think that is a waste of time.

  2. Within that realm of fictional escapism, you extract solace and intellectual gratification.

  3. That, of course, is not true of the books that you are forced to read for most college literature courses.

  4. You are comforted by the fact that your friend still has all of the same wonderful qualities that captured your affection when you first met.

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a college history textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


1For more than two hundred years, the proper role of government in American society has been a topic of intense political discussion. 2Long, long ago, the main outlines of the debate were shaped by the conflicting views of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. 3As a spokesman for the northeastern banking and commercial interests, Hamilton believed the federal government should make every effort to promote economic growth. 4Accordingly, he proposed the enactment of high tariffs on imports to protect new industries, the creation of a national bank to provide large loans for government and business enterprises, and the construction of roadways and lighthouses to stimulate trade. 5The passage of these and related measures, Hamilton believed would enable the United States to realize its destiny as a great industrial nation.

6But not all Americans shared Hamilton's vision. 7People from the plantations and farms of the South and West hoped to preserve a quiet agricultural world of independent landowners. 8They believed that the creation of an urban, industrial society would diminish their political influence. 9They also believed that a federal government with Hamiltonian powers would threaten their individual liberties. 10It was for these people that Jefferson spoke. 11In doing so, he initiated a debate that in some respects still continues today.



11. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 6 and 7 of the second paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. Some folks knew better than to jump on Hamilton's bandwagon, which was sure to face a bumpy road once the country really got going.

  2. On the contrary, many people living in the United States, including Thomas Jefferson, did not want their new nation to become heavily industrialized.

  3. How anybody could fail to see the fact that Hamilton clearly had the best plan for the future of this country is totally beyond me.

  4. Rather, there were those who viewed the Federalist geopolitical and economic strategy as a movement toward tyrannical despotism and away from democratic ideology.

 

12. Which of the underlined words in the first paragraph should be replaced by more precise or appropriate words?

  1. proper role

  2. Long, long ago

  3. economic growth

  4. high tariffs

 

13. Which of the following changes is needed in the first paragraph?

  1. Part 2: Place a colon after the word "by."

  2. Part 3: Change "As" to "Like."

  3. Part 4: Move "Accordingly" after the word "enactment."

  4. Part 5: Place a comma after the phrase "Hamilton believed."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a sociology textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


Note: An error in paragraph organization has been purposely included in the first paragraph.

1Historians and lawyers have much in common. 2One shared characteristic is the kinds of tasks they are required to perform. 3For example, a major task of both lawyers and historians is collecting evidence to construct and support an argument. 4For instance, sources such as tax records, interviews, and photographs are as much tools of the historian's craft as they are of the lawyer's. 5In addition, lawyers and historians sometimes even use similar kinds of sources in their work. 6And, like lawyers, historians too have their adversaries. 7Academics who object to the views of one of their peers can argue just as forcefully as rival counsel in a legal proceeding.

8This, however, brings us to a major difference between lawyers and historians. 9Where lawyers are most often called upon to defend a person or institution, historians must defend a point of view, an interpretation of the past that is seldom shaped by the facts alone. 10Historians have debated for years whether Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency was one of relative unawareness or great subtlety. 11This explains why historical controversies are less easily resolved than legal disputes. 12In a legal dispute, establishing the facts generally led to a final decision; in history, a "final interpretation" is a rarity.



14. Which of the following changes would make the sequence of ideas in the first paragraph clearer?

  1. Delete Part 1.

  2. Reverse the order of Parts 1 and 2.

  3. Delete Part 3.

  4. Reverse the order of Parts 4 and 5.

 

15. Which of the following editorial changes would help focus attention on the main idea of the second paragraph?

  1. Delete Part 8.

  2. Reverse the order of Parts 8 and 9.

  3. Delete Part 10.

  4. Add a sentence after Part 11 describing the major steps involved in deciding a legal dispute.

 

16. Which one of the following changes is needed in the second paragraph?

  1. Part 8: Change "between" to "among."

  2. Part 9: Change "where" to "when."

  3. Part 11: Change "less" to "least."

  4. Part 12: Change "led" to "leads."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a college history textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


1Recent scientific evidence has shed new light on the disappearance of the Minoan civilization, which flourished on Crete and other islands of the eastern Mediterranean for nearly a thousand years before it was abruptly and utterly destroyed around 1450 B.C. 2The Minoans were among the first peoples to build ships that could sail across the Mediterranean Sea, and they traded with islands as far away as Sicily. 3The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been a trade center for thousands of years. 4Excavations in Crete have revealed well-built roads, terraced gardens, and palaces many stories high equipped with running water and adorned by elegant frescoes depicting the playful and carefree life the Minoans enjoyed. 5These frescoes show women exercising independence and equality with men, something entirely unheard of in the rest of the ancient world.

6The disappearance of the Minoans and their culture was long considered an unsolvable mystery, but recent geological evidence indicates that it was caused by a volcanic eruption on the Minoan island of Thera (now called Santorini) about 70 miles from Crete. 7__________________________________________________ 8In addition, the explosion sent tidal waves 150 feet high sweeping across the other Minoan islands at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. 9If there were any survivors left in the ruins of the great Minoan palaces, they had to leave their island homes because the volcano covered the islands with thick layers of ash that probably made them uninhabitable.



17. Which of the following numbered parts is LEAST relevant to the main idea of the first paragraph?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 3

  4. Part 4

 

18. Which of the following sentences, if used in place of the blank line labeled Part 7, would best develop the main idea of the second paragraph?

  1. Geologists estimate that the massive eruption obliterated 50 square miles of land on Thera.

  2. Another intriguing Minoan mystery is the practice of bull vaulting, known to us only from ancient wall paintings.

  3. Accurately predicting volcanic eruptions must have been as difficult then as it is today.

  4. The science of geology is becoming an increasingly reliable source of historical information.

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a college economics textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


1As federal budget deficits have grown in recent years, there have been increasing calls for a constitutional amendment that would require Congress to balance the budget each year. 2Congress has added only 26 amendments to the Constitution since it was ratified in 1788. 3Supporters of the amendment contend that federal spending is now out of control. 4They further insist that there is little likelihood that the budget will be balanced at any point in the foreseeable future. 5These people argue that legislators invariably find it easier to spend money than raise taxes; they say that Congress will continue to spend unchecked unless it is pressured to do otherwise. 6If something is not done soon, they warn, such uncontrolled spending will do serious long-term damage to the economy.

7Although no one defends huge budget deficits, many economists believe that a balanced budget amendment would create more problems than it would solve. 8For example, such an amendment would prevent Congress from creating jobs or reducing taxes in response to an economic slowdown. 9The result might be a depression comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s. 10These are seriously concerns, and they should be given careful consideration by anyone who believes that a balanced budget amendment is a cure-all for the nation's current economic woes.



19. Which of the sentences, if added between Parts 9 and 10 of the second paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. Does that sound like a very smart idea?

  2. Some question the fiscal wisdom of instituting a macroeconomic policy that reduces the national debt but negates federal social responsibility.

  3. Personally, I think a balanced budget amendment would really help this country by forcing Congress to get its act together.

  4. Other economists worry that a balanced budget amendment would prompt Congress to shift responsibility for public service programs to state and local governments that lack the money to pay for them.

 

20. Which of the following numbered parts draws attention away from the main idea of the first paragraph?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 3

  4. Part 4

 

21. Which of the following changes is needed in the above passage?

  1. Part 5: Change "than" to "then."

  2. Part 6: Change "soon" to "sooner."

  3. Part 7: Change "Although" to "Because."

  4. Part 10: Change "seriously" to "serious."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a sociology textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


1Population growth trends in developed countries have passed through several phases. 2Before about 1850, birth rates and death rates were both high. 3The large number of births and deaths that occurred each year tended more or less to cancel each other out, so that populations remained fairly constant or exhibited relatively low growth rates.

4This began to change after 1850, when industrialization led to a substantial rise in living standards for the general population and advances in medical science markedly reduced the number of deaths caused by infectious diseases. 5The rapid decline in death rates that resulted was accompanied by a much slower decline in birth rates. 6Thus, far exceeding the number of people who died each year, developed countries grew increasingly populous.

7By 1950, ________________, population growth rates in the developed countries again dropped off substantially. 8The main reason was the continuing decline in birth rates, which occurred gradually as the role of children in the family changed and parents began deciding to have fewer offspring. 9________________, in the decades since 1950, birth rates and death rates have both been low. 10This has resulted once again in populations that are growing only slowly or not at all.



22. Which words or phrases would, if inserted in order into the blanks in the third paragraph, help the reader understand the logical sequence of the writer's ideas?

  1. as a result; Furthermore

  2. for example; On the other hand

  3. however; Consequently

  4. in conclusion; Yet

 

23. Which of the following parts of the passage displays nonstandard placement of a modifier?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 5

  4. Part 6

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a college writing textbook for first-year students.
Then answer the questions that follow.


1Beginning writers often have a hard time setting an appropriate length for their paragraphs. 2And they generally have an even harder time locating a reference source that offers reasonable advice about how to deal with this problem. 3Composition textbooks are often distressingly vague when they discuss this topic. 4One might learn, for example, that paragraphs should not be too short because one- or two-sentence paragraphs make a composition disjointed and difficult to follow. 5At the same time, they should not be too long: lengthy paragraphs can be dense and confusing to the reader.

6The truth is that there are no hard-and-fast rules for determining how long paragraphs should be. 7Actually, this is just as well because rules usually restrict creative impulses, not only in writing, but also in other artistic areas. 8There are, however, two general principles that writers should keep in mind. 9The first is that the main purpose of a paragraph is to develop an idea. 10The second is that writing is broke into units such as paragraphs to help readers understand the writer's message. 11All decisions about paragraph length should reflect both of these concerns.



24. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 3 and 4 of the first paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. If you ask me, those books aren't even worth the trouble it takes to read them.

  2. These books can be very useful, however, when a writer is looking for information on subjects other than paragraph length.

  3. In these texts, sections on paragraph structure tend to concentrate on what to avoid rather than what to do.

  4. These tomes are rife with rambling, ambiguous theoretical discourse that fails to provide any constructive counsel.

 

25. Which of the following editorial changes would help focus attention on the main idea of the second paragraph?

  1. Delete Part 7.

  2. Combine Parts 8 and 9 by changing the period after "mind" to a comma.

  3. Add a clause to Part 9 giving some examples of ideas that might be presented in a paragraph.

  4. Delete Part 11.

 

26. Which of the following parts of the passage displays nonstandard use of a verb form?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 4

  3. Part 6

  4. Part 10

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a college communication textbook. Then answer the questions that follow.


1"Are we going to support this development project, or are we going to let this town become a howling wilderness?" 2Of course, this is a rhetorical question—no answer is really expected. 3It is also a fallacious question, based on a false assumption. 4Clearly, the speaker is attempting to persuade people not by logic, but by deceit. 5This and similar rhetorical tricks are known as "informal fallacies."

6The informal fallacies that public speakers sometimes employ to sway an audience include such techniques as making appeals to emotions (arousing feelings of anger, for example), special pleading (presenting only one side of a question), and making faulty analogies (treating two things as essentially similar even though they have significant differences). 7Although most informal fallacies are designed to cloud the issue being discussed, some can also be used to place an opponent on the defensive. 8___________________________________________________________________
9The use of fallacious arguments may sometimes be effective, but it is never honest. 10Informal fallacies have no place in reasoned discussion.



27. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 3 and 4 of the first paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. Despite the speaker's implication, a town would not be reduced to "a howling wilderness" by its failure to support a development project.

  2. I bet a lot of readers think that most towns would be better off if they had more "howling wilderness" and less development anyway.

  3. How could a speaker think anybody would fall for such a crazy argument?

  4. It's pretty obvious that the creator of that "howling wilderness" sentence was just trying to pull a fast one on us.

 

28. Which of the following sentences, if used in place of the blank line labeled Part 8, would best support the main idea of the second paragraph?

  1. Newspaper editorials make use of many different rhetorical and persuasive devices, including informal fallacies.

  2. It is no easy task, for example, to respond convincingly to the question, "Why do you think you're the only important person in this room?"

  3. The increased use of informal fallacies in writing and speaking reflects the fact that most people no longer believe that "honesty is the best policy."

  4. But public speakers do not always intend to persuade; speakers may also address an audience to inform, explain, demonstrate, or entertain.

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a popular magazine. Then answer the questions that follow.


1The two halves of the human body generally work together so well that it may be surprising to learn that they are controlled by two separate centers of consciousness, the right and left sides of the brain. 2Just like the outside of the body, the brain is symmetrical, comprising two identical halves, each half, or hemisphere, controls the movement, sensation, hearing, and vision of the opposite side of the body. 3Thus the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body; the right hemisphere controls the left side.

4The two sides of the brain have different specialties. 5The left side controls speech and other communication involving words and numbers, as well as the process of reasoning. 6______________________________________________________________________
7The hemispheres are connected by a special nerve bridge that allows information to pass rapidly between the two sides of the brain. 8This is what enables the two hemispheres to coordinate their activities and function as a single unit.



29. Which of the following sentences, used in place of the blank lines labeled Part 6, would best fit the writer's pattern of development in the second paragraph?

  1. The right side controls the perception of patterns, the ability to recognize people and places, and the process of imagination or visualization.

  2. This is by far the more interesting side of the brain, which may explain why it has been more extensively studied than the right side.

  3. The right-left division within the brain was not widely recognized before the twentieth century.

  4. Some scientists believe that this fact may cause left-handed people to be better in artistic areas, while right-handers have stronger verbal skills.

 

30. Which of the following parts of the passage is a nonstandard sentence?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 4

  4. Part 8

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a popular magazine. Then answer the questions that follow.


1Too many people are afraid to take on woodworking projects because they think they are not qualified to do their own carpentry. 2But the fact is that anybody can successfully complete projects such as hanging doors or building bookshelves. 3Woodworking is difficult only if you do it by the "trial and error" method. 4If you take time to organize your work, you can do your own woodworking and achieve professional results.

5The best woodworkers know that each project must be planned carefully. 6Before you buy a nail or cut a board, you must analyze your project and define the work that needs to be done. 7Then you should develop a written plan for the job. 8_______________________________________________________________ 9There are many fine do-it-yourself handbooks available that can guide you as you design your project. 10You should also talk to the salespeople at your lumber and hardware stores; they can often provide advice that will save you both time and money.

11Once you have finished your plans and your planning is complete, you can use your completed plan to begin the final construction phase. 12Follow your plan exactly; don't try to improvise as you go along. 13If you have planned well, you will quickly discover how easy and rewarding it can be to do your own carpentry.



31. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 2 and 3 of the first paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. Let's face it: if I can be a woodworker, so can you.

  2. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn't force somebody to try woodworking if they really don't want to do it.

  3. No one should panic at the thought of nailing down a few loose boards or building a new magazine rack.

  4. For a novice suddenly cast into the world of joists, sills, and sashes, confidence is a primary asset.

 

32. Which of the following sentences, used in place of the blank line labeled Part 8, would best support the main idea of the second paragraph?

  1. Unlike metalworking, woodworking can be done with fairly few expensive tools and relatively little specialized training.

  2. Professional carpenters and architects usually have extensive drafting training and regularly use technical drawing techniques in their work.

  3. Some personal computers have highly sophisticated graphics capabilities that enable you to inspect a design from all possible angles.

  4. Draw detailed sketches showing all necessary measurements and make a list of the materials you will need (including their costs).

 

33. Which of the numbered parts should be revised to reduce its unnecessary repetition?

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 6

  3. Part 7

  4. Part 11

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a natural history article. Then answer the questions that follow.


1Along with alligators and crocodiles, turtles are among the world's most oldest reptiles—the last survivors of the age of the dinosaurs, when giant reptiles of all kinds dominated the earth. 2Yet today, after 200 million years of existence, some species of turtle are in danger of extinction.

3In particular danger is the green turtle, a sea turtle found in temperate oceans throughout the world. 4Although they are not commonly eaten in North America, green turtles are prized as a delicacy elsewhere, and they are hunted extensively. 5These turtles are at a distinct disadvantage in the hunt because of one unfortunate trait: they must come ashore to lay their eggs. 6Once on land, the female turtle is easy prey. 7Her buried clutch of eggs are also vulnerable—to find the eggs, a hunter need only follow the mother's unmistakable tracks up the beach.

8Fortunately, countries around the world have taken steps to protect green turtles by restricting turtle hunting or banning it altogether. 9                           , conservationists have begun efforts to restore turtles to areas where they have been nearly wiped out. 10                        , eggs are collected and transported to beaches where they were once found in abundance. 11                           , they are placed in a nest that is fenced in and carefully guarded until the newly-hatched babies are able to scramble to the relative safety of the ocean.



34. Which words or phrases would, if inserted in order into the blanks in the third paragraph, help the reader understand the sequence of the writer's ideas?

  1. Nevertheless; Moreover; In other words

  2. In addition; First; Next

  3. Eventually; Furthermore; As a result

  4. By contrast; However; Still

 

35. Which of the following should be used in place of the underlined word in Part 7 of the second paragraph?

  1. were

  2. will be

  3. is

  4. was

 

36. Which of the following changes is needed in the above passage?

  1. Part 1: Delete the word "most."

  2. Part 2: Change the phrase "Yet today" to "Although today."

  3. Part 4: Change "commonly" to "common."

  4. Part 5: Put quotation marks around the phrase, "they must come ashore to lay their eggs."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a college fine arts article. Then answer the questions that follow.


Note: An error in paragraph organization has been purposely included in the second paragraph.

1Martha Graham's innovative dancing and choreography have had a profound influence on the development of modern dance in America. 2Her concept of dance as an expression of the inner self led to the creation of a highly athletic disciplined, and passionate dance technique.

3Graham was born in 1893. 4Her professional dancing career began when, as a teenager, she trained and performed with the Denishawn dance company, where she remained for seven years. 5Her use of violent movement and discordant music in those original works was disturbing to many people, and her creations were not well received at first. 6The company's traditional emphasis on grace and lyricism, however, was ultimately too confining for her, and in the mid-1920s she began to choreograph, or design, her own dances. 7She pursued her own course, however, and during the 1940s created some of her most acclaimed works, including Letter to the World, based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson, and the joyous Appalachian Spring, for which Aaron Copland composed the score.

8Although Graham spent years struggling against the disapproval of audiences who disliked and ridiculed her work, the power and substance of her unique vision proved in the end to be undeniable. 9Martha Graham's technique has long since been recognized as a truly monumental contribution to the art of modern dance.



37. Which of the following changes would make the sequence of ideas in the second paragraph clearer?

  1. Reverse the order of Parts 3 and 4.

  2. Place Part 7 before Part 3.

  3. Reverse the order of Parts 5 and 6.

  4. Delete Part 7.

 

38. Which of the following changes is needed in the above passage?

  1. Part 1: Add a comma after "choreography."

  2. Part 2: Add a comma after "athletic."

  3. Part 8: Replace the comma after "work" with a semicolon.

  4. Part 9: Change "recognized" to "recognizing."

 



Read the passage below, written in the style of a student essay. Then answer the questions
that follow.


1Why do we remember some things, but forget others? 2That question has puzzled scientists for years. 3Recently, however, psychologists have discovered some of the answers about how the human memory functions.

4Psychologists believe that the human memory has three distinct parts. 5The first part, called the sensory memory, stores information for one second or less. 6One function of the sensory memory is to hold the image of your surroundings so that you don't forget where you are each time you blink. 7The second part of the memory, short-term memory, holds information for up to one minute. 8The third and most permanent part of the memory is the long-term memory. 9Once information enters long-term memory, it may be retained for the rest of a person's life.

10Recent research indicates that how often we use a piece of information determines which type of memory will be used to store it. 11Some computer memories also have sorting systems that arrange information according to how frequently it is used. 12Data that we need for a brief time, such as a telephone number we call only once, will probably be stored in short-term memory and then discarded. 13But information we use repeatedly, such as the name of a close friend, is more likely to be held in long-term memory.



39. Which of the following sentences, if added between Parts 7 and 8 of the second paragraph, would be most consistent with the writer's purpose and intended audience?

  1. The intrinsic differences between the sensory and the short-term memories are apparent at both the biological and psychological levels.

  2. I guess that's why a lot of people have a hard time keeping track of little things that they only need to remember for a minute.

  3. Information such as new telephone numbers or addresses may be stored in this part of the memory.

  4. Don't you think it's kind of neat how the brain keeps everything organized that way?

 

40. Which of the following editorial changes would help focus attention on the main idea of the passage?

  1. Add a clause to Part 3 naming some psychologists who have done research on the human memory.

  2. Rephrase Part 5 so that it reads, "The sensory memory, which stores information for one second or less, is the first part."

  3. Reverse the order of Parts 4 and 5.

  4. Delete Part 11.


 

WRITING SAMPLE SUBSECTION

 

DIRECTIONS FOR WRITING SAMPLE

This portion of the Writing Section of the test consists of one writing assignment. You are asked to prepare a MULTIPLE-PARAGRAPH writing sample of about 300–600 words on an assigned topic. The assignment can be found in your test booklet. You should use the time available to plan, write, review, and edit what you have written.

Find the assignment and read it carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize what you plan to write. At the test, space for your writing sample is limited to the pages provided for that purpose in your test booklet and your answer document. Additional paper is not permitted. Your score will be based solely on the version of your writing sample written in the space provided in the answer document.

Your writing sample will be scored on the basis of how effectively it communicates a whole message to the specified audience for the stated purpose. You will be assessed on your ability to express, organize, and support opinions and ideas rather than the position you express. Pay particular attention to the seven characteristics listed below when preparing your writing sample. These seven characteristics will be used in scoring your writing sample.

  • APPROPRIATENESS—the extent to which you address the topic and use language and style appropriate to the given audience, purpose, and occasion.
  • UNITY AND FOCUS—the clarity with which you state and maintain your main idea or point of view.
  • DEVELOPMENT—the amount, depth, and specificity of your supporting details.
  • ORGANIZATION—the clarity of your writing and the logical sequence of your ideas.
  • SENTENCE STRUCTURE—the effectiveness of your sentence structure and the extent to which your writing is free of errors in sentence structure.
  • USAGE—the extent to which your writing is free of errors in usage and shows care and precision in word choice.
  • MECHANICAL CONVENTIONS—your ability to spell common words and to use the conventions of capitalization and punctuation.

Be sure to write about the assigned topic and to use MULTIPLE PARAGRAPHS. Please write legibly. You may not use any reference materials during the test. Remember to save some time to review what you have written and make any changes you think will improve your writing sample.

The final version of the essay should conform to the conventions of edited American English. Your written response should be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.


Writing Sample Assignment

Do the benefits of technology outweigh the risks? Technological advances have lengthened human life, allowed people to travel in space, and enabled us to communicate with one another from any place on earth. But technology can also consume enormous amounts of natural resources, pollute the environment, or be used to create powerful weapons of war.

Your purpose is to write an essay, to be read by a classroom instructor, in which you analyze the impact of a particular technological advance on modern society.

  • Select one of the following technological innovations: the telephone, the computer, the automobile; the television, the tractor; the skyscraper; or the nuclear power plant.
  • Discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of that technology for individuals and society.

Be sure to support your analysis with logical arguments and appropriate examples.


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"Texas Higher Education Assessment," "THEA," and the "THEA" logo are registered trademarks of National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (NES™).
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