psat-quiz-writing-and-language

PSAT Writing and Language Quiz

Test your PSAT Writing and Language readiness by taking this quiz!

Question 1

Read the following sentence. What mistakes or weaknesses need to be corrected?

First introduced by Senator John Sherman of Ohio, the U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

A. NO CHANGE

B. In 1890, first introduced by Senator John Sherman of Ohio, the U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act.

C. The U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, first introduced by Senator John Sherman of Ohio, in 1890.

D. The U.S. Congress, first introduced by Senator John Sherman of Ohio, passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

Answer 1

C: Modifying phrases must be placed as close as possible to what they modify. The intended meaning is not that the U.S. Congress was “first introduced by Senator John Sherman of Ohio”; rather, the phrase describes the Sherman Antitrust Act. Only (C) correctly places the modifying phrase adjacent to the Act, so (C) is correct.

Question 2

Read the following sentence. What needs to be changed about the bolded portion?

He decided to culture the mold; and found that a broth filtered from it inhibited the growth of several species of bacteria.

A. NO CHANGE

B. mold and found

C. mold, and found

D. mold. And found

Answer 2

B: As written, the sentence uses a semicolon to join the sentence’s parts. The first part of the sentence is an independent clause with subject-verb “He decided.” The second part does not contain a subject or express a complete thought, so eliminate any answer choices that punctuates the sentence as if it contains two independent clauses: (A), a semicolon; (C), a comma and FANBOYS conjunction; and (D), a period that results in two sentences. (B) is correct because the word “and” joins the compound verb “decided … and found”; no extra punctuation is necessary.

Question 3

Read the following sentence. What needs to be changed about the bolded portion?

Scientists estimate that 70 percent of the world’s fresh water is locked away in Antarctica’s ice cap, if this ice were ever to melt, sea levels might rise 200 feet, inundating coastal lands together with their major cities.

A. NO CHANGE

B. ice cap; and if

C. ice cap and if

D. ice cap; if

Answer 3

D: The underlined comma separates two independent clauses, each expressing a complete thought with a subject and predicate verb (“Scientists estimate” and “sea levels might rise”). Remember that semicolons combine two independent clauses, while commas can join independent clauses only when followed by a FANBOYS conjunction. Choice (D) is correct because it properly joins the independent clauses with a semicolon. The other answer choices are not valid ways to join independent clauses. (A) creates a run-on because it joins independent clauses with only a comma. (B) adds an unnecessary “and” after the semi- colon. (C) omits the necessary comma before “and.”

Question 4

Read the following sentence. What needs to be changed about the bolded portion?

Excepted by art historians as the first truly American art movement, the Hudson River School movement began in the early nineteenth century.

A. NO CHANGE

B. Accepted

C. Excepting

D. Accepting

Answer 4

B: This question is testing two commonly confused words: accept and except. Except denotes an exclusion, while accept can mean to either receive or recognize something. In this context, “art historians” are recognizing the status of an art movement, so eliminate any choice containing “except”: (A) and (C). The -ed form of the word fits in this context, so (B) is correct.

Question 5

Read the following passage. What needs to be changed about the bolded portion?

The protagonist is no hero: his actions are listless and forgettable, and his obsession with obscene and undignified behavior is virtually nauseating. And even more shamefully, Joyce wasted his talent; subject matter aside, the art of masterfully crafting words came naturally to him.

A. NO CHANGE

B. himself

C. his own self

D. he

Answer 5

A: Besides matching their antecedent, pronouns must also be in the correct form: subjective, objective, or possessive. The underlined pronoun should be in the objective form since it is the object of the preposition “of.” (A) is correct. (B) and (D) are incorrect because they use pronoun forms that are not appropriate for the context. (C) is incorrect because it is not a grammatically correct pronoun form.

 

Next: PSAT Writing and Language Quiz 2