Program Admission Assessment: Writing
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Learn About the Test
What’s on the Program Admission Assessment Writing
Knowing the structure of the exam helps, but taking a Program Admission Assessment exam can be a daunting prospect, and the Program Admission Assessment Writing exam is no exception.
Because its goal is to test your classroom readiness across the spectrum of content, it covers a lot of ground. This breadth can make it hard to know how to prepare. Luckily, if you understand how the test is organized and what it is testing, you will have no problem prepping for this test. In order to cover everything needed, the exam is broken into two sections—Text Types, Purposes, and Production and Language and Research Skills for Writing.
The exam is made up of 40 selected-response questions and 2 essays. You are given 40 minutes to complete the selected-response questions and 30 minutes for each essay.
What to Expect the Day of the Test
|Number||Time Limit (Minutes)|
|Essays||2||30 minutes each|
Now that you have your test date set, you can turn to preparing for the exam itself. To begin, let’s look at the structure of the exam. The Program Admission Assessment Writing exam in its entirety consists of 40 selected-response questions and 2 essays. You should expect most questions to require you simply to click an oval next to the correct answer. However, there may be questions that utilize the technology more. They may ask you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture, click boxes next to all that apply, click on checkboxes, click on parts of a graphic or sentence, use a drag and drop feature, or select your answer from a drop-down menu.
Now that you know the “what” and “how”, it is time to develop a solid test-taking strategy that will maximize your preparation.
First, go through the test and answer all of the questions that you are confident about. The questions that will probably be fastest to answer are the single-answer questions. These will be direct-response questions or unfinished statements. Make sure to read all of the answer options before responding.
Stimulus-based questions are also a good place to start. Look at the chart, graph or image first, then examine the answer choices before selecting the right one. Just like with single-answer questions, though, if you don’t know the answer right away, move on and come back to it.
Once you have answered all of the questions that are easiest for you, head back to the beginning to work on the questions you skipped. (NOTE: You can mark questions you are skipping as you go so that you remember to go back to them later.)
For single-answer questions, the best approach is to use process of elimination and then educated guessing. There is no penalty for guessing—no points off for wrong answers—so it is worth a shot.
For cluster questions, you want to take your time. Cluster questions are a series of questions that are based off the same stimulus or set of stimuli. For a graph or image, it is usually best to read the questions first, then look at the graphic to find your answer. For reading passages, you should flip that. Read through the passage, making note of key points, then read through and answer the questions. This way, you can more quickly find the information you need.
Things to Remember
Test Day: Can you imagine doing all of this work to get ready, and then getting turned away on test day? To make sure that isn’t you, read through these guidelines:
Be on time! Pay careful attention to the time on your “Admission Ticket” and plan to arrive 30 minutes in advance. This will give you enough time for any snafus or complications. They will not let you test if you arrive after this time (and they won’t refund you!).
No electronic devices! In fact, all you should have with you is your Admission Ticket and your ID. If there is anything else you must carry into the testing facility with you, put it in a small bag. There will be places to store your belongings inside.
Check your ID before you go. Your ID should be the one you used during registration. If it does not exactly match what you entered when registering, you will be turned away. Make sure it also has your picture and signature on it.
You will be photographed and fingerprinted at the testing site in order to verify your identity. If you refuse, you will not be allowed to test.
Study Time: Make sure to read through all of the competencies and descriptive statements—they are there to guide you! If you have mastered those, you should have no problem on the test.
Practice: To make sure you are adequately prepared, do some practice questions.