Question Explanations For

Writing Practice Section (Writing Test)

1.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This choice is more concise and conveys the original meaning. (A) and (B) are not more concise, and so are incorrect. (D) is more concise, but it implies the researchers already understood what they conducted the study to learn about, which changes the original meaning; therefore, it is incorrect.

2.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This choice makes clear who is enjoying the first days of camp and is grammatically correct. The original sentence says that the researchers are the ones who enjoyed the first days of camp, which is not the case, so (A) is incorrect. (B) does not solve the problem and is grammatically incorrect. (C) does not solve the problem; instead, it makes it seem as if the researchers and the boys both enjoyed the first days of camp, which is incorrect.

3.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This joins the two clauses concisely and correctly. The original sentence is a comma splice and therefore a run-on sentence, so (A) is incorrect. (C) is incorrect; the seimcolon is being used to join an independent clause to a dependent clause, but semicolons are used to join two independent clauses. (D) makes the second clause into a dependent clause, but in a way that is confusing and does not make sense, so it is incorrect.

4.

The Correct Answer is (D) — “Increase” is a noun that can be used to describe the growth of physical and emotional conflict and makes sense in context. “Ascension” can mean “rise,” but cannot be used to describe the growth of conflict, so (A) is incorrect. “Arising” is not a noun, so it cannot replace a noun, and thus (B) is incorrect. The conflict increased within the same groups, but did not spread to people outside the boys in the study, so “expansion” would not be accurate and thus (C) is incorrect.

5.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This sentence provides an example of the kinds of problems the previous sentence mentioned, so the sentence is correct as it is. “Successively” and “finally” both imply that the example in this sentence happened after the problems in the previous sentence, which is not true, so (B) and (C) are incorrect. “Yet” implies that this sentence somehow contradicts the previous sentence, which is not true, so (D) is incorrect.

6.

The Correct Answer is (C) — “Between” is used when talking about two things. “Among” is used for more than two things, but the sentence explicitly refers to the two groups of boys, so (A) is incorrect. Neither “concerning” or “through” makes sense in the context of the sentence, so (B) and (D) are incorrect.

7.

The Correct Answer is (B) — “Its” is here a possessive pronoun with the antecedent “outgroup,” so “its members” is correct. “It's members” means “it is members,” which does not make sense in context, so (A) is incorrect. “Their” would refer to a plural antecedent, but “outgroup” is singular, so (C) is incorrect. “There” is an adverb and cannot modify a noun, so (D) is incorrect.

8.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This choice is more concise and accurately conveys the original meaning. The original sentence is unnecessarily wordy, so (A) is incorrect. (B) is less concise and so is incorrect. (C) is more concise, but it is grammatically incorrect because “was cooperating” is a singular verb paired with a plural subject (boys); the correct answer can never be grammatically incorrect, so (C) is incorrect.

9.

The Correct Answer is (A) — The sentence correctly reflects the data presented in the graph. The graph shows that friendships with members of the outgroup increased for Eagles after stage three, not decreased, so (B) is incorrect. After Stage 2, fewer Rattlers than Eagles had friendships with members of the outgroup, not more, so (C) is incorrect. The article and graph do not tell us how many boys there were on the teams; the graph only talks about percentages, not numbers, so while (D) may or may not be true, it is not a correct representation of the data in the graph.

10.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This choice is more concise and accurately conveys the original meaning. The original sentence is unnecessarily wordy, so (A) is incorrect. (B) is more concise, but not as concise as (D), so it is incorrect. (C) features an incorrectly used form of the verb—“Sherif tending”—so it is incorrect.

11.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This paragraph details Sherif's conclusions from his experiment; sentence 3 talks about other researchers who are not mentioned elsewhere, so it distracts from the focus of the paragraph no matter where it is and should be deleted. None of the other options involve deleting the sentence, so (A), (B), and (C) are incorrect.

12.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This choice is more concise and accurately conveys the original meaning. (A) is incorrect because it is grammatically wrong; there should be a comma after “world.” “Although” implies a contradiction of expectations between the information in the two clauses, but it is not surprising that shows still performed around the world have remained beloved, so (B) is incorrect. (C) is grammatically right, but it is unnecessarily wordy compared to (D), so it is incorrect.

13.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The subject is “dancers and audiences,” which is plural and requires the plural form of the verb, “appreciate.” The sentence currently has a singular verb with a plural subject, so (A) is incorrect. “To appreciate” and “appreciating” are both verb forms that can't be used as main verbs by themselves, so (C) and (D) are incorrect.

14.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This choice is more concise and accurately conveys the original meaning. The original version is unnecessarily wordy, so (A) is incorrect. (C) is also wordy, so it is incorrect. (D) joins two independent clauses with only a comma, which is a comma splice and therefore grammatically wrong, so it is also incorrect.

15.

The Correct Answer is (A) — “Who” refers to the plural “sailors,” so “enjoy” is the correct form. (B) uses a singular verb, so it is incorrect. (C) uses “which” to refer to people, so it is incorrect. (D) uses “whom,” which is an object pronoun, but it should be a subject pronoun since it is the subject of the verb, so it is incorrect.

16.

The Correct Answer is (C) — It was Robbins who was “seamlessly transitioning,” so Robbins should be as close to that clause as possible, as it is in this choice. The original sentence technically says that “storytelling” was seamlessly transitioning, making “seamlessly transitioning” a case of a misplaced modifier, so (A) is incorrect. (B) and (D) both repeat this error, so they are also incorrect.

17.

The Correct Answer is (D) — West Side Story became an iconic American musical after it was written in 1957, but still in the past from the present-day in which the article was written, so “would become” is the correct verb form. The use of “will” in the original sentence implies that West Side Story is not yet an iconic American musical, which is not true, so (A) is incorrect. “Have become” does not make sense as the appropriate tense to use and, furthermore, is a plural verb with a singular subject, so (B) is incorrect. “Becomes” does not make sense because the passage is not written in the present tense, so (C) is incorrect.

18.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This choice is more concise and avoids needless repetition. The original sentence is needlessly wordy and repetitive, so (A) is incorrect. (C) and (D) are both slightly more concise, but they are also repetitive so they do not fix the problem and are therefore incorrect.

19.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This sentence describes a positive reaction to the material mentioned in the previous sentence; it also makes sense as something the next sentence, which also talks about the show's reception, is building on. In the original paragraph, sentence 3 is awkward because there is nothing in sentence 2 about the show's reception to be contradicted by “however,” so (A) is incorrect. Neither (B) nor (D) talk about the response to the show, so they would not improve the paragraph by being placed in that spot and are therefore incorrect.

20.

The Correct Answer is (A) — “While” introduces a dependent clause joined to the independent clause the finishes the sentence, which is an appropriate use of the word. (B) and (D) both use an adverb followed by a comma, which means that the resulting sentence joins two indpendent clauses with only a comma, so (B) and (D) are incorrect because they result in a comma splice. “Because” implies that the second clause is the result of the first clause, which is not the case, so (C) is incorrect.

21.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Robbins' artistic legacy was strong from his work in theater, but became stronger through his work in film, which, unlike theatrical productions, is permanent; “solidified” is an appropriate word to describe that transition. His work in film did not make his artistic legacy smaller, so “condensed” is not the right word and (A) is incorrect. His legacy was not up for debate before his expansion into film, so “settled” is not the right word and (B) is incorrect. “Toughened” is not a word that can be used to describe something that happens to a legacy, so (D) is incorrect.

22.

The Correct Answer is (D) — There is no reason to separate “works” from “in” with punctuation, so (D) is correct. (A), (B), and (C) all separate “works” from “in” and are therefore incorrect.

23.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The antecedent for the relative pronoun is “facilities,” which is a thing, not a person, so “which” is correct. (A), (C), and (D) all use either “who” or “whom,” which are used to refer to people, and are therefore incorrect.

24.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This choice is more concise and accurately conveys the original meaning. The original sentence is unnecessarily wordy, so (A) is incorrect. (B) and (D) are not more concise, so they are incorrect.

25.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This choice is concise and clear. (B) and (D) are incorrect; in both cases, “even though” implies that there is a contradiction between rising healthcare costs and the increasing importance of regulation, which is not the case. (C) is incorrect; it is unnecessarily wordy.

26.

The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage is primarily concerned with regulation, which this sentence deals with. (A), (B), and (C) are primarily concerned with ethical concerns, medical school costs, and cost containment, none of which are the main focus of the passage.

27.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The sentence describes something that happens habitually in the present tense. Using the future perfect tense does not fit in the context of the paragraph, so (A) is incorrect. Using the past tense would imply that the action took place before the action of the previous sentence, so both (C) and (D), which use different kinds of past tenses, are incorrect.

28.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The underlined portion is all part of the object of the verb “increase”: this choice reflects that the physician increases the number of tests. The original sentence says that the physician increases “ordering more tests,” which is not a quantity that can be increased, so (A) is wrong. (B) and (D) both have the direct object of a verb starting with an infinitive verb form, which is not grammatically possible, so they are incorrect.

29.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This sentence describes a conclusion one can draw from previous information, so “therefore” is an appropriate way to begin it. “Surprisingly,” “nevertheless,” and “however” all imply that expectations are being contradicted to a degree that is not present in context, so (B), (C), and (D) are incorrect.

30.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This choice is grammatically correct and concise. The original sentence uses “then” in a comparison, which is wrong, so (A) is incorrect. (C) introduces a pronoun without a clear antecedent, so it is incorrect. (D) is unnecessarily wordy, so it is incorrect.

31.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This choice is grammatically correct and clear. The original sentence is a comma splice, so (A) is incorrect. “But” implies a contradiction, and there is no contradiction in meaning, so (C) is incorrect. (D) uses a semicolon to join an independent and a dependent clause, so (D) is incorrect.

32.

The Correct Answer is (C) — When discussing the correct courses of action for a particular profession, you are talking about ethics, so “ethical” is the correct word. “Virtuous” is too broad, so (A) is incorrect. The word being modified is “duty,” which cannot logically be modified by either “earnest” or “dispassionate,” so (B) and (D) are incorrect.

33.

The Correct Answer is (D) — There is a clear connection between the “specialized knowledge of medical services” mentioned in sentence 3 and the “first-hand knowledge of medical practices” mentioned in this sentence; there is also a clear connection between the idea of the “best” investors and the idea of “the most needed facilities,” as the best investors would theoretically be those who invested in the most needed facilities. Sentence 3 is not concerned with nurses, so while (A) could be adding evidence to an overall argument, it would not be supporting the statement in sentence 3 and thus is incorrect. Nothing in (B) or (C) connects to the specialized knowledge mentioned in sentence 3, so (B) and (C) are incorrect.

34.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This is an informative passage about submarine volcanoes, and the original sentence captures that. Although the passage mentions both the marine life that live around submarine volcanoes and some differences between land and submarine volcanoes, neither of those is the main point of the passage, so (B) and (C) are incorrect. The passage is not an argumentative passage in favor of more research on submarine volcanoes, so the argumentative thesis presented in (D) is incorrect.

35.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Scientists are the ones listening in order to measure underwater earthquakes, so “scientists” should be close to “To measure underwater earthquakes.” In the original sentence, “To measure underwater earthquakes” modifies the pronoun “it,” making it a misplaced modifier, so (A) is incorrect. Neither (B) nor (C) solves this problem, so they are both incorrect.

36.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The “surrounding areas” are those of the volcanoes, so “volcanoes” should be the possessive “volcanoes’.” In the original sentence, it is only plural, not possessive, so (A) is incorrect. Neither (C) nor (D) solves this problem, so they are both incorrect.

37.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Scientists are the ones using these techniques, so “Using these techniques” should be as close as possible to scientists, as it is in this choice. In the original sentence, “Using these techniques” modifies “effects,” which does not make sense because effects cannot use techniques; therefore, (A) is incorrect. (B) does not solve this problem, so it is incorrect. (C) does solve this problem, but in doing so it creates an incomplete sentence where the subject “effects” does not have a corresponding verb, so it is incorrect.

38.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Underwater lava should be compared to something of the same kind, such as terrestrial lava, as it is in this choice. In the original sentence, underwater lava is being compared to terrestrial eruptions, making for a comparison of unlike things, so (A) is wrong. Neither (B) nor (D) solves this problem, so they are incorrect.

39.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This version is more concise and a clear representation of the original meaning. The original sentence is unnecessarily wordy, so (A) is incorrect. Although (C) and (D) address this issue, neither of them is as concise as (B), so they are incorrect.

40.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The subject of this verb is pillows, which is plural, so “create” is the right form of the verb. The original sentence wrongly uses a singular verb with a plural subject, so (A) is incorrect. The verb forms in (C) and (D) do not make sense for the main verb of the sentence, which this is, so they are incorrect.

41.

The Correct Answer is (A) — “Proceed” can mean to do something as a natural next step, which makes sense as a way to describe what the water is doing in this sentence. “Precede” means to come before, which does not make sense in context, so (B) is incorrect. “Propose” means to suggest, which does not make sense in context, so (C) is incorrect. “Purport” means to claim, which does not make sense in context, so (D) is incorrect.

42.

The Correct Answer is (D) — The information in the clause introduced by “that” is necessary to the sentence, so it should not be set off by a comma or by any other punctuation. (A), (B), and (C) all set off the clause with punctuation, so they are incorrect.

43.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Sentence 4 mentions organisms that can live without the energy from sunlight, and this choice explains what they use instead. Sentence 4 does not mention anything about minerals, so (A) is irrelevant and therefore incorrect. (C) and (D) describe the water conditions in thermal vents, but not the organisms that live in them, so they are incorrect.

44.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This is an informative passage, so a neutral statement about the state of our knowledge about submarine volcanoes fits. (A), (B), and (D) are all strongly worded opinions that might work in a persuasive or argumentative passage but do not fit the tone of this one, so they are incorrect.