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English Assessment Preparation

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Essay Preparation

 Assessment Content

 

You will be required to write a multi-paragraph essay (approximately 300 - 600 words) to express and support your opinion/argument on a single given topic.

 

You will be assessed on:

  • how well you present and support ideas in a clear and organized way,
  • how well you use appropriate vocabulary and sentence variety,
  • how well you use standard spelling, punctuation, grammar and paragraphing.

Assessment Format

  • Time limit: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Scrap paper and a dictionary will be provided
  • There is no spell check on the computer

 

Tips

  • Before you begin, read the questions carefully to understand what you are being asked to do.
  • Planning will allow you to think about the topic and how you want to present your thoughts through an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion.
  • Planning must be done within the time limit.

 

Essay Preparation

Please note: the Common Errors document is a guide only and is not designed to be an exhaustive list of the types of possible errors.

Reading Comprehension Preparation

Assessment Content

 

The ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension test assesses the ability to understand short passages of varying difficulty.

 

The first type of question consists of a reading passage followed by a question based on the text.

  • Both short and long passages are provided.
  • The reading passages can also be classified according to the kind of information processing required, including explicit statements related to the main idea, explicit statements related to a secondary idea, application, and inference.

The second type of question, sentence relationships, presents two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between these two sentences.

  • The question may ask, for example, if the statement in the second sentence supports that in the first, if it contradicts it, or if it repeats the same information.

 

Assessment Format

  • 20 questions, multiple choice
  • Computer – adaptive
    • The test software will select questions based on your previous answers. Answer all the questions to the best of your ability and do not skip any, as you cannot go back. 
    • No time limit (on average, students take 30 – 60 minutes)
    • Score range: 200-300
    • Use of a dictionary is not allowed

     

    Reading Comprehension Sample Questions

     

    ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Sample Questions - See pages 2-7. The answer key is on pages 8-13.

     

    Free ACCUPLACER App - ACCUPLACER has created an App containing a sample Reading Comprehension test. To find the sample test and review test content, please create an account.

     

    Websites for English Skill Review

    Websites For Developing Essay Writing Technique 

     

    Literacy Education On-Line (LEO) 

    Contains numerous links for assisting with the development of writing style including organization, developing introductions, thesis statements and conclusions, and grammar.

     

    OWL On-line Writing Lab  

    This site offers handouts and exercises on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. There is also an entire section of handouts and resources for  English as a Second Language learners that might also prove useful to all learners.

     

    Essay Punch 

    Essay Punch is a guided writing program. It will help you to write a short essay that presents and supports a personal opinion. The aim of the essay is to persuade others to your point of view.

     

    Websites For Improving Knowledge of Grammar 

     

    OWL On-line Writing Lab
    This site offers handouts and exercises on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. There is also an entire section of handouts and resources for English as a Second Language learners that might also prove useful to all learners.

    Grammar Bytes! 

     Provides exercises and information on a variety of different grammar points.

     

     

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       Looking for more English preparation materials? 

       

      Visit the Tutoring and Learning Centre's English resources page for handouts and useful links!