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How to Take the Objective Test 

You need to get 25 out of 40 correct (62.5%) to pass the objective test.

Show up ahead of time, rested, and alert. Bring a No2 lead pencil with a new eraser.

Questions 1-10 are based on a passage that you will read. They are the most time-consuming.

The passage will be hard to read because it has intentional errors. As you read it, look for these flaws:

  1. The thesis will be in the wrong place or it may be missing. When you answer the question identifying it, remember that the thesis does more than name the topic; it also states the point.
  2. One sentence will be irrelevant, not belonging in the paragraph.
  3. One sequence of three sentences may be in the wrong order. Skip down to find the question that will tell which three sentences may in the wrong order..
  4. Transitions words will be missing. When you choose what word makes the best sense, you can be confident that all the punctuation is correct for each choice.
  5. One sentence of specific detail will not follow the opinion that it supports.


You may want to work the questions on the reading last to make best use of your time. If so, be sure you begin at the correct numbered question on your Scantron. More important, when you finish question 40, remember to go back and work the first ten questions.


Each item can test for only one skill. Figure out what skill it is, and you can be sure that all the other skills are correct in the item. Consider this item, for example:


Pick the choice that best completes the thought.

22. He did not study for the final exam ________ he failed it.

  1. , but
  2. whereas
  3. ; however,
  4. ; consequently,
  5. unless

Because the skill is picking which word makes the best sense, all the choices must be punctuated correctly. Therefore, do not worry about the punctuation or lack of punctuation. The correct answer here is 4.


You are not penalized extra for a wrong answer, so do not leave any questions blank. Go ahead and guess, but guess intelligently. Eliminate obvious wrong answers until you narrow them down to two choices.


Do not leave early. Too much is riding on your performance. Make sure your performance is the best that you can do.


Scantron advice: Machines do make errors but never in your favor. The machine will count as wrong any item where it detects two marks, even if they are accidental. Do not make a mark on the Scantron to remind you of questions to come back to. Do not make large marks that go outside the bubble. Erase cleanly: a smudge could be detected as a double answer. I suggest you mark lightly until you finish the test. Then go back and darken your answers.

The English Department will supply the Scantron Answer sheets.


Last updated 11/13/2007

This document is protected by copyright. It may be used and reproduced only for non-profit educational use.

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