Written Communication Proficiency Test

Passage & Questions

The following examples show some of the question types used in the Written Communication Proficiency Test. This list is not exhaustive, however. Also, please note that these questions are not necessarily of the same difficulty as those in the test.

In the explanations following each sample question, some of the reasons for choosing the designated answer and not the other choices are provided.

Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.

NOTE: The order of the paragraphs in the following text has been purposely modified.

  1. [1] In the women's relay in the 1928 Olympics, Rosenfeld began and Myrtle Cook ran the final part as the Canadian team dramatically demonstrated excellence. [2] They won the gold medal in the world record time of 48.4 seconds.
  2. [3] Canadas' finest Olympic moments occurred in the 1920s. [4] The first competition was in the Winter Olympics which took place in 1924, at this competition, one of the athletes, Cecile Smith, finished sixth in figure skating. [5] Moreover, Canadian female athletes were to make a remarkable showing in the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam. [6] In many ways those Games were a sporting watershed for Canada, a high-water mark of achievement not __________ until the 1984 Summer Games.
  3. [7] The Canadian women's 4 x 100-metre relay team in the 1928 Games was made up of a quartet of some of the finest athletes ever to represent their country. [8] Fanny Rosenfeld was __________ competitor who later coached women's hockey and baseball teams, and was named Canada's female athlete of the half-century. [9] She was an accomplished journalist who did much to promote women's sports in Canada's major daily newspapers. [10] Rosenfeld narrowly missed gold in the 100-metres, edging out her relay teammate Ethel Smith. [11] Another Canadian, Myrtle Cook, was disqualified in that race, but along with Florence Bell made up the other members of the relay team.

1. Which of the following alternatives is the right order of the three paragraphs of the text?

  1. *  B, C, A
  2. B, A, C
  3. A, C, B
  4. C, A, B

Explanation: The first sentence of B is an introductory sentence; Fanny Rosenfeld is only referred to by the last name in paragraph A, but a full name is given in paragraph C where she is introduced.

2. Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the text?

  1. Sports, Health and Politics
  2. *  Canadian Female Athletes
  3. The History of the Canadian Female Relay Team
  4. Glory of a Nation

Explanation: "(1)" is incorrect because neither health nor politics is discussed in the text. "(3)" is incorrect because other sports are discussed in the text, and "(4)" is incorrect because it gives no indication of the topic of the text.

3. Which of the following rephrases of Sentence 4 is best in terms of style and conciseness?

  1. When Canadian female athletes first participated in competition in 1924, one of the athletes by the name of Cecile Smith could get the sixth position in figure skating.
  2. During their first appearance in international tournaments, namely in the Winter Olympics, one of the Canadian athletes finished sixth in figure skating.
  3. *  Canadian women first competed in the 1924 Winter Olympics in which Cecile Smith finished sixth in figure skating.
  4. The first appearance of Canadian female athletes was in the Winter Olympics, in the competition where Cecile Smith finished sixth in figure skating.

Explanation: "(1)" does not mention the Olympics; "(2)" is imprecise; "(4)" does not include a year and Cecile Smith was not the only female athlete; "(3)" is correct because it contains all the pertinent information without being redundant.

4. Which of the following words, if inserted in the blank in Sentence 6, would best fit the style of the sentence and the whole text?

  1. *  surpassed
  2. beaten
  3. transcended
  4. surmounted

Explanation: "(2)" is too low (or too informal) a level of language for the passage; "(3)" is too high (or too formal) a level; "(4)" is an incorrect use of the word; "(1)" is the most accurate use of the word and best fits the style used.

5. Which of the following phrases, if added in the blank in Sentence 8, would best fit the meaning of the paragraph?

  1. an awesome
  2. a great
  3. a fascinating
  4. *  a multi-talented

Explanation: "(4)" is correct because it is the only one which highlights that she was involved with several sports.

6. Which of the following changes is needed in the text?

  1. Sentence 1: place dramatically after demonstrated.
  2. *  Sentence 3: change Canadas' to Canada's.
  3. Sentence 5: change were to make to made.
  4. Sentence 9: change women's to woman's.

Explanation: "(2)" is correct since Canada is a single entity; thus the apostrophe must go before the s.

7. Which of the following changes would improve the text?

  1. *  Sentence 4: change the comma after 1924 to a semicolon
  2. Sentence 6: change the comma after Canada to a colon.
  3. Sentence 9: add a comma before who.
  4. Sentence 11: add a dash between dis and qualified in the word disqualified.

Explanation: "(1)" is correct because a semicolon is used to join the two halves of a compound sentence.