HiSET: Language Arts - Writing : Evaluating relevance

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HiSET: Language Arts - Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Evaluating Relevance

1    The recruitment of elite athletes by American universities has recently reached new levels of both sophistication and it is very competitive. The benefits of having top-quality athletic programs are obvious: massive television revenues, marketing deals with major corporate sponsors, and increased alumni donations.  However, the desire to achieve these riches led many colleges to sanction practices that are both ethically and legally questionable.

2    Colleges have traditionally made allowances in their admission standards for athletes who might not have otherwise been academically qualified.  In recent years, however, several cases of outright academic fraud have been uncovered at major American universities.  These include fraudulent transcripts, fictitious online coursework, and the increasingly common practice of having a star athlete repeat a grade or two in order to achieve a higher grade point average.

3  The recruitment of potential college athletes is also starting at a much earlier age as it was before.  Some football and basketball players have been given scholarship offers before they enroll in high school.  The presence of various types of social media also plays a large role in the recruiting process.  Of course, the offers are non-binding, and oftentimes, the athletes in question do not actually attend the school at all.

4.  It would be a good idea for the leaders of American universities to remind themselves of the academic mission of their institutions before they allow the pursuit of money and fame  to corrupt them.  Success on the playing fields is a noble goal, but not if it comes at the cost ignoring the true purpose of higher education.

The writer is considering deleting the following sentence.

"The presence of various types of social media also plays a large role in the recruiting process."

Should the writer make this change?

Possible Answers:

Yes, because the sentence interrupts the development of the paragraph's main idea

No, because understanding social media's influence on recruiting is essential to an understanding of the author's main point

Yes, because the sentence is factually incorrect

No, because the sentence introduces an idea which is explained later in the paragraph

Correct answer:

Yes, because the sentence interrupts the development of the paragraph's main idea


The purpose of the third paragraph is to explain the recruitment of athletes at increasingly early ages by colleges.  No explanation is offered to explain the role that social media plays in this process.  As such, the sentence interrupts the flow of the paragraph and should be deleted.

Example Question #2 : Evaluating Relevance

(1) Yoga is an ancient practice. (2) It is a practice that originated in India. (3) Although many modern yoga practitioners think that yoga is mostly about stretching and exercise, its origins are much more closely related to meditation and spirituality. (4) One major text that forms a large portion of what we now know about yoga is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  (5) Hatha is the name of one style of yoga. (6) In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, eight different components or “limbs” of yoga are introduced. (7) Only one of these “limbs” pertains to a physical yoga practice. (8) The other seven are related to moral virtuous behavior, breathing, and inward focus. (9) Yoga was first introduced to the west in the 19th century and gained major mainstream popularity in the 20th century. (10) In the United States and around the world, a wide variety of yoga styles have taken hold. (11) A few current popular yoga styles include vinyasa, ashtanga, bikram, and many others. (12) Many of these styles are quite different from the earlier forms of yoga. (13) In fact, many of the poses in contemporary yoga were actually influenced by calisthenics done by the British army. (14) Krishnamacharya, the yogi-in-residence in Mysore, India for much of the twentieth century, combined the earlier mystic elements of yoga with movements borrowed from gymnastics and military conditioning routines. (15) Often called “The Father of Modern Yoga,” Krishnamacharya personally instructed some of the most influential teachers who then went on to establish their own styles of teaching. 

Which sentence could most easily be removed from the passage without changing its meaning?

Possible Answers:

Sentence (5)

Sentence (4)

Sentence (6)

Sentence (3)

Sentence (8)

Correct answer:

Sentence (5)


This sentence is not linked to either the sentence before or after it. The writer could have included it in the later outline of different styles of yoga, but it is not necessary to the overall meaning of the passage. As it stands,  the sentence comes between two sentences both dealing with the same topic—The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali—a clear indication that this sentence does not belong. 

Example Question #3 : Evaluating Relevance

Dear Author,

Thank you for bringing the Harold Rodgers series into the world—your books have made my life so much better and more interesting. (1) Your books are just amazing. The characters and the plot spark my imagination and take me into a new world. (2) I just couldn’t put the books down once I read them they are so suspenseful. I think you should write another book. If you did, a lot of people would buy it. (3) When your previous books were published, the lines at the bookstore were out the door, and people were waited all night to get your book. You could make a lot of money selling your books to children and adults since so many people would buy it. (4) Everyone needs to make money to survive. Please consider writing another book for your fans. Thank you for taking time to read my request. 

Which sentence in the paragraph contains an irrelevant detail that should be deleted?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 1

Sentence 4

Sentence 3

Sentence 2

Correct answer:

Sentence 4


The correct choice is sentence 4 because the fact that people need money to survive is off topic in this fan letter. The rest of the letter is focused on the author’s books and her impact, but this sentence seems out of place. Sentences 1, 2 and 3 all contribute to the letter's main idea: how much writer and other fans appreciate the author's books-- but sentence 4 is not relevant to these ideas. It should be removed in order to present a more cohesive letter. 

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: