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Author Topic: Is your English better than that of a competition-level high school senior?  (Read 14493 times)
Joe Carillo
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« on: September 19, 2009, 03:24:45 PM »

What follows are questions I handpicked from the English proficiency tests administered to the finalists of the First A-Z English Proficiency Challenge (AZEPC) conducted last September 16, 2009. In the actual test, the finalists had to answer 30 questions—10 in vocabulary, 10 in grammar, and 10 in syntax and style. 

Now, in complete privacy, test yourself to see if your English proficiency is better, on a par, or below that of a competition-level Metro Manila high school senior. The champion answered 22 of the questions for an average score of 73.3%. Very roughly, based on your English proficiency now, how would you fare against that competition performance?

Now take the test: 

VOCABULARY:

1.   The word “aberrant” means
a.   markedly different from an accepted norm
b.   able to run errands
c.   related to “knight errant”
d.   average

2.   What word best describes someone who expresses opinions in a highly pompous or dogmatic
        way?

a.   overarching
b.   pontificating
c.   overbearing
d.   adjudicating

3.   Which of these words is not like the others?
a.   abrogate
b.   abolish
c.   amend
d.   repeal

4.   In this particular conflict, three major areas for ____________ need to be pursued considering
        the __________ of the views of the protagonists.
 

Choose the most appropriate word combination to fill the blanks in the sentence above:
a.   pacification … duplicity
b.   unification … peculiarity
c.   simplification … sensibility
d.   conciliation … diversity

GRAMMAR:

1.   In the sentence “There is no one whom I trust more,” the word whom
a.   should be changed to who
b.   should be deleted
c.   should not be deleted
d.   none of the above

2.   Which of these sentences does not contain a grammatical error?
a.   Having traveled overseas was gotten into the head of Roberto, making him such a braggart in
        class.
b.   Having traveled overseas has gotten into the head of Roberto, making him such a braggart in
        class. 
c.   Having traveled overseas are gotten into the head of Roberto, making him such a braggart in
        class.
d.   Having traveled overseas have gotten into the head of Roberto, making him such a braggart in
        class.

3.   Which of these sentences is the most effective?
a.   The student applied for the scholarship; still, it turned out that the quota for the scholarships
        had already been filled.
b.   The student applied for the scholarship; however, it turned out that the quota for the
        scholarships had already been filled.
c.   The student applied for the scholarship; even so, it turned out that the quota for scholarships
        had already been filled.
d.   The student applied for the scholarship; nevertheless, it turned out that the quota for the
        scholarships had already been filled.

4.   Which of these sentences is the most effective?
a.   The employee implicated in one of the financial scandals are appealing for fairness in the
        investigation of the case.
b.   The employee implicated in one of the financial scandals have appealed for fairness in the
        investigation of the case.
c.   The employee implicated in one of the financial scandals were appealing for fairness in the
        investigation of the case.
d.   The employee implicated in one of the financial scandals has appealed for fairness in the
        investigation of the case.

SYNTAX & STYLE:

1.   Comedians can have their audiences _______________.
a.   climbing up the wall
b.   keeping up with the Joneses
c.   rolling in the aisles
d.   running around like headless chickens

2.   Which of these sentences is not correct?
a.   The doctor says you will drink lots of fluid and get plenty of rest.
b.   I’m almost done.
c.   We’ll never get there on time.
d.   He just won’t listen.

3.   Which of these sentences is the most effective?
a.   In spite the difficulties along the way, the explorers managed to reach the treacherous
        mountain summit in just three days’ time.
b.   Irregardless of the difficulties along the way, the explorers managed to reach the treacherous
        mountain summit in just three days’ time.
c.   Despite the difficulties along the way, the explorers managed to reach the treacherous
        mountain summit in just three days’ time.
d.   Nevertheless the difficulties along the way, the explorers managed to reach the treacherous
        mountain summit in just three days’ time.

4.   Which of these sentences is the most effective?
a.   The club members having meted him with a three-month suspension, afterwards for a change
        Antonio decided to focus on his studies.
b.   The club members having meted him with a three-month suspension, so Antonio decided to
        focus on his studies for a change.
c.   The club members having meted him with a three-month suspension, therefore Antonio decided
        to focus on his studies for a change.
d.   The club members having meted him with a three-month suspension, Antonio decided to focus
        on his studies for a change.

Used with permission courtesy of A-Z Direct Marketing, sponsor of the First A-Z English Proficiency Challenge (AZEPC).

YOUR SCORE:
12/12:  100%
11/12:    92%
10/12:    83.3%
9/12:        75%             
8/12:      66.7%   
7/12:      58.3%
6/12:      50%
5/12:      41.7%
4/12:      33.3%
3/12:      25%
2/12:      16.7%
1/12:        8.3%
0/12:        0%

Click the attached file to download the official answers to these test questions (Requires registration)

NOTE: The attachment button appears only if you have logged in as a registered member. If you are not a member yet, simply register now and log in again. Registration is absolutely free.

Click to read the story on the A-Z English Proficiency Challenge championships!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 12:18:33 AM by jciadmin » Logged

rjmarmol
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 02:29:56 PM »

Thanks for this test, Joe! Boy, am I relieved that I passed it! Smiley 
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"It's only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away." -- from the song "Words" by Elvis Presley
Joe Carillo
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 03:20:00 PM »

Have you also taken the nine other English-proficiency practice tests in the "How Good is Your English?" section of the Forum? There is a G-TELP Level 3 Grammar Test and a G-TELP Level 3 Reading and Vocabulary Test; a G-TELP Level 2 Grammar Test and a G-TELP Level 2 Reading and Vocabulary Test; a TOEFL Reading Comprehension Test and a TOEFL English Structure and Written Expression Test; and a TOIEC Incomplete Sentences Test, TOEIC Error Recognition Test, and TOEIC Reading Comprehension Test (Part VII).

Test yourself when you find the time and see how good your English really is at the moment!



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scvien
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 01:56:32 PM »

My score was 9 out of 12 with one error in each category. I will try the other exams to see how much I have improved in English. Thanks Joe for posting these exams.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 02:12:25 PM by scvien » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 08:06:30 PM »

My score was 9 out of 12 with one error in each category. I will try the other exams to see how much I have improved in English. Thanks Joe for posting these exams.

Wow, we have the same score! I must admit that English is not my line of expertise (I am not sure if this is even correct to say). I am an engineer and struggled a lot in English. 75% is not bad at all I think. Smiley

Thanks Joe for posting this exercise here in the forum!
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 02:46:59 PM »

To both scvien and jeffreyDEL:

You're most welcome! I'm delighted to know that the high-school-level practice English-proficiency tests in the Forum have been of help to both of you. You can actually take the progressively more difficult practice tests in the Forum's "How Good is Your English" section--TOEFL, TOEIC, and G-TELP--to get a better idea of the level of your English proficiency. Do that when you find the time and let me know how you fared with the particular tests.

Good luck! 
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 03:07:22 AM »

Got 11. And maybe Mr. Carillo would like to review the answer to this question:

"1.   In the sentence “There is no one whom I trust more,” the word whom
a.   should be changed to who
b.   should be deleted
c.   should not be deleted
d.   none of the above"

 
The answer is supposed to be "b."  So the sentence should now read:  "There is no one I trust more."  I find the sentence awkward -- something's amiss somewhere. Like perhaps the person alluded to? 

When you say the sentence, it doesn't sound right. "There is no one I trust more (than I trust Maria)."  

So I answered "d." Because after correcting, I thought the sentence should have been "There is no one I trust."

Anyway, 92% is not bad.  Wink
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 09:56:56 PM »

Congratulations! A score of 92% on that test is definitely not bad at all!

Based on your observation that the sentence for the correct answer choice doesn’t sound right, I looked more closely at how that test is constructed:

Quote
1.   In the sentence “There is no one whom I trust more,” the word “whom”
a.   should be changed to “who”
b.   should be deleted
c.   should not be deleted
d.   none of the above

The sentence in question is a rather tricky expletive sentence that uses the relative pronoun “whom” to link a subordinate noun clause (“whom I trust more”) to the main clause (“there is no one”). In this particular sentence construction, the expletive “there” is used. By definition, of course, an expletive occupies the position of the subject in normal English word order and anticipates a subsequent word or phrase that supplies the needed meaningful content. (Another expletive is “it” in such constructions as “It is Mary who went to Spain.”)

Now, in English, there’s another form of sentence construction called the elliptical sentence. An elliptical sentence is one that uses the ellipsis, which is the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete. The ellipsis is used to streamline sentences, making them more concise and easier to articulate. (Click this link for a more extensive discussion of elliptical sentences in the Forum.)   

The sentence “There is no one whom I trust more” can actually take this elliptical form: “There is no one I trust more.” Here, the relative pronoun “whom” has been dropped without changing the meaning of the sentence. This is the construction that would result when answer choice “b” is chosen as the answer to the test question.

That test question was developed by someone else and I simply posted it in the Forum as administered during the competitive test. Looking at it more closely now because of the concerns you have raised about it, I am inclined to think that the phrasing of answer choices “b” and “c” should have been more refined to preclude any doubt as to answer choice “b” being the only possible answer. In particular, these answer choices should have used the modal “can” instead of “should.” 

Why “can” instead of “should”? It’s because the elliptical sentence “There is no one I trust more”—the construction that drops the relative pronoun “whom”—is actually only a grammatical option or alternative for the complete form “There is no one whom I trust more.” In other words, we can have the sentence both ways, so the use of the imperative modal “should” isn’t totally warranted in answer choice “b.”

To be much more definitive, that test therefore should have been constructed as follows:

Quote
1.   In the sentence “There is no one whom I trust more,” the word “whom”
a.   should be changed to “who””
b.   can be deleted
c.   cannot be deleted
d.   none of the above
   
Having said that, I must also observe that strictly speaking, choosing “d. none of the above” would have been correct for the original question in which answer choices “b” and “c” both use the modal “should.” Answer choice “d” couldn’t become correct when the sentence is revised to “There is no one I trust,” as you suggest. This is because when you drop the comparative “more” from the sentence, its meaning is completely changed. When “more” is restored, however, the sentence takes the correct expletive form that I showed earlier: “There is no one I trust more.” This, of course, is the correct answer contemplated for that test. I have simply refined the phrasing of two of the answer choices to make this answer the definitive and only grammatically correct answer.
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 02:40:46 PM »

Thank you sir for that very comprehensive and enlightening explanation. Smiley
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Rakesh
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 10:06:10 PM »

Quote
3.   Which of these words is not like the others?
a.   abrogate
b.   abolish
c.   amend
d.   repeal

Can you please explain why (c) amend is the correct answer?

I chose (b) Abolish.

I am a non native speaker and got 10/12:     83.3%.

Thank you.
Rakesh


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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011, 10:54:15 PM »

The word “amend” means to modify, “abrogate” to abolish or nullify, “abolish” to annul or destroy, and “repeal” to revoke or abandon. Clearly, “amend” is the only word in the set that denotes change without destroying; the other three all denote abolition or destruction. Because it’s unlike the three other words in the set, “amend” is therefore the correct answer.
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 05:47:52 PM »

I got 92%, Sir! I would keep in mind the difference of in spite and despite from now on  Wink
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 06:09:47 PM »

That's great, Miss Mae! Keep it up!
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2011, 07:15:13 PM »

around 85% it's good concerning that i'm not native speaker.
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 03:00:32 PM »

The questions are really designed to test the skill. It will help in great way.
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