U.S. English AP Style Editing Skills Test (For Writing Professionals)
Read the following sentence and identify the style error it contains.
The flu shots were given to over a hundred people by the nursing staff in just six hours.
a. The word “six” should not be spelled out.
b. The sentence is in passive voice and should be recast into active voice.
c. The figure “hundred” should be written as “100”.
d. The phrase “flu shots” should be changed to “shots for influenza.”
Read the following sentence and identify the grammar or usage error it contains.
The forthcoming community celebration in Nashville has many surprises in store for whomever arrives before 9 a.m. and finds one of the 15 golden tickets hidden in the haystack.
a. The time should be formatted as “9:00 a.m.”
b. The verb “has” should be changed to “will have had.”
c. The correlative pronoun “whomever” should be “whoever.”
d. There should be a comma after “tickets.”
Read the following passage and identify the line that contains an error in agreement or parallel structure:
That boat has cost us a fortune so far: more than $25,000 to repair the hull after the hurricane; $10,000 upgrading the interior; and $5,000 to keep it docked for the summer. What do you say we get rid of it and buy a beach cottage?
a. That boat has cost us a fortune so far: more than $25,000 to repair the hull
b. after the hurricane; $10,000 upgrading the interior; and $5,000 to keep it docked
c. for the summer. What do you say we get rid of it and buy a beach cottage?
d. No error
Choose the series of verb forms that best completes the following passage.
A doctor at the Metropolitan Clinic in Chicago claims that if women ________ and ________, their children _________ less likely to develop lung diseases.
a. gave up smoking / ate a healthy diet / would be
b. give up smoking / ate a healthy diet / will be
c. give up smoking / eat a healthy diet / are
Which of the following sentences contains an error in grammar or usage?
a. Twenty top hats, 12 of which are covered in sequins, have been donated to the theater.
b. Rhonda, who desperately needs a new car, has started skiing to work.
c. Please compile a list of all the animals that are currently housed in the shelter.
d. Robert is one of those people that can’t be depended upon to keep his word.
Which of the following sentences does NOT require editing to correct errors in word choice, word usage or spelling?
a. He told jokes for half an hour before finally homing in on the point of his lecture.
b. The mayor really hit the nail on the head with his idea – it’s the idyllic solution.
c. The court’s decision impelled the disgraced politician to hand over all his correspondence.
d. Please ask the secretary to disperse some money from petty cash for the luncheon.
Read the following sentence and identify the type of verb or tense error it contains.
If we decided to move venues, our production process would not be likely to suffer much as long as a system of checks keeps production tasks on schedule.
a. Subject-verb agreement error
b. Modal verb error
c. Incorrect use of past participles
d. Unnecessary verb tense shift