• General Directions

    This placement test has two different sections: Reading and Language Use.

    In Section 1 (Questions 1-20), the reading section, you will read several short passages.

    After you read each passage, choose the correct answer for each question.  

    In Section 2 (Questions 21-50), the language use section, you will see incomplete sentences.

    Choose the correct completion for each item and select your answer.

  • Section 1: Reading

    Directions: In this section of the objective placement test, you will read some short passages and answer questions about them. Choose the word (or words) that best complete the sentence. For each item, fill in your answer on the answer sheet. You will have 20 minutes to complete this section.

  • Passage 1:

    Read the following quote and fill in the blank.

    Betty: "I usually stay home on Sundays and take it easy. I read, clean the house, and do stuff like that. But today I’m at the mall. I am buying some things for my kids."

  • Passage 2:

    Read this conversation and fill in the blank with the correct answer.

    Frank: "What do you do?"

    Tony: "I am a flight attendant with a major airline. Flying isn’t dangerous, but it can be stressful. When I am up in the air working, I always have something to do."

  • Passage 3:

    Read this letter and fill in the blank with the correct answer.

    Dear Sal, 

    Greetings from France! It is so good to be back here again. We left the kids with their grandparents in Chicago, and we’re biking across the French countryside by ourselves. We brought a tent and sleeping bags, so we can camp out if we want to, but we’re really enjoying the small hotels we find along the way. 


    Michel and Paul

  • Passage 4:

    Read this passage about the "Zone," and respond to the following questions.

    You are deeply involved in a task and can ignore everything around you - ringing telephones, your neighbor’s television, even your own hunger - and still do things in record time. This is similar to what athletes call the "zone," or the power to concentrate so hard that you can ignore everything else. This ability can bring success in any field, but in athletics it can mean all the difference between winning and losing a game or event.

  • Passage 5:

    Read this passage about Henry Ford and respond to the following questions.

    Henry Ford became famous and rich because he found a better, faster way to build cars. This is shown in the history of the Model-T. When the Model-T was first introduced in 1908, it took 14 hours to build and cost $850. After Ford introduced into his own factory the mass-production techniques that he saw in a meat packing plant, the time for building a Model-T was reduced to less than two hours. As a result, Ford was able to drop the price of the car to $265. By 1927, he had sold over 15 million Model-T cars.

  • Passage 6:

    Read this passage about American body weight and then respond to the following questions.

    When it comes to body weight, Americans stand out. Most visitors to the United States, no matter where they go across this vast country, comment on the size of many Americans. In fact, these impressions are backed by numerous statistics. For example, the average 5’4" American weighs 162 pounds, or 15 pounds more than the average person of the same height from Western or Central Europe. Another comparison: At 150 pounds, the average 5’4" American woman is 24 pounds heavier than her Japanese counterpart. Why are Americans so heavy? Some blame the American diet. Certainly it’s true that Americans eat more high fat foods – meat, dairy products, and processed food – and fewer grains and vegetables than people in other countries. But fat isn’t the whole story. Lifestyle factors – including the tendency for Americans to drive rather than walk or ride a bicycle to work, to snack throughout the day, and to have so many labor-saving devices in the home – appear to contribute to the problem.

  • Passage 7:

    Read the following passage about conversation and then respond to the following questions.

    Small talk may not be about serious issues; nevertheless, researchers into the subject have concluded that it is important. That’s because small talk keeps us connected to one another and can lead to bigger things, such as a job or a new friendship. Yet people who find themselves alone with another person often don’t know what to say. Here are a few trips to help you start a conversation and to keep the conversational ball rolling:

    Start with the obvious. If you have something in common with another person (your job, hobbies, a person you both know, etc.) then begin with that. If you don’t know the person, it is always acceptable to bring up a neutral topic such as the weather or a recent news event. It isn’t necessary to be clever – all that’s required is to show interest in the other person and to be willing to talk. 

    Compliment where appropriate. If the other person has done something you like or is wearing something attractive, it is always appropriate to compliment. But avoid talking about the specifics of a person’s physical appearance (people can’t usually change how they look) and keep your compliments short and to the point ("what a great tie!" or "you look great tonight!") and continue with another topic.

    Talk about yourself – then return to your partner. It is perfectly OK to talk about your own interests for a while, but keep your conversation from becoming a monologue. It is only polite, for example, that after talking about your own children, you turn the conversation back to your partner by asking about his or her children.

  • Passage 8:

    Read this passage about headaches and then respond to the following questions.

    Everyone has experienced headaches, but only recently have medical researchers begun to learn more specifically about the causes and possible treatments for different types of headache pain. 

    The most common type of headache is the simple tension headache. Tension headaches are usually mild and short lasting and can result from various factors, such as stress caused by worry or noise. Tension headaches are caused by a tightening of the neck or back muscle, which slows the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. 

    A more serious type of headache is the migraine. Migraine headaches are often extremely painful and can last for hours or days. Like tension headaches, they can be the result of different factors, including stress hormonal changes and allergies. Unlike tension headaches, however, they are caused by an abnormal expansion or swelling (rather than a contraction) of the blood vessels within the head. Medicines that shrink swollen blood vessels can be used to treat migraine headaches. 

    A tiny minority of headaches can be linked to severe physical problems such as head injury or brain tumors. For these types of headaches, there are medicines to treat the symptoms, but there is no cure unless the underlying problem is removed.

  • Section 2: Language Use

    Directions: In this section, you will answer questions about the use of English. Choose the word or words that best complete the sentence. For each item, fill in your answer on the answer sheet.