HiSET: Language Arts - Writing : Maintaining consistency in Style and Tone

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Maintaining Consistency In Style And Tone

Jimmy is annoyed at the video game that he was playing. For one thing, there was not nearly enough interesting characters suspenseful moments or exciting escapes in the game to satisfy him. For another, it was incredibly hard while playing the game to control the cars. It always wanted to veer to the left when he tried to steer to the right. But the ending of the game was worst. By the time he got to the end, the hero had decided to stop chasing rogue spies and therefore marry his girlfriend, a surprise attack resulted in her being kidnapped, and the hero must go on a final mission to save her before the game can be completed. That would of been fine, except it involved tracking the enemy using a helicopter, and Jimmy much to his chagrin never mastered flying the helicopter.

Which of the following is a redundant phrase that could be removed from the bolded and underlined sentence?

Possible Answers:

For another

while playing the game

(no change)

to control the cars

Correct answer:

while playing the game

Explanation:

The phrase "while playing the game" is not needed since there would be no other circumstances under which Jimmy would have trouble controlling a car in the context of this passage.

Example Question #2 : Maintaining Consistency In Style And Tone

(1)  I’m completely convinced that the little hole in the wall with the green awning is the best coffee shop in the city. (2) Right on the corner of 89th Street and 2nd Avenue next to the bus stop. (3) I grew up just a couple of blocks away, and this place has been around since before I was born. (4) I’m sure you’ve never heard of it, but it is definitely the best. (5) Their coffee is delicious and always the perfect temperature—not too hot, and not too cold. (6) They get their coffee beans from a local coffee roaster about ten blocks north. (7) Believe me when I tell you that the pastries are out of this world. (8) You’ve got to try their chocolate croissants. (9) One would be remiss not to mention that all aforementioned pastries are made daily in-house. (10) The chef, a woman named Julie, supposedly trained in Paris and learned from some of the best French pastry chefs. (11) I’d have expected that a chef like that would wind up in some fancy bakery instead of an unassuming little neighborhood spot like this. (12) Julie lives in the apartment right above the shop. (13) She’s hired a few local kids to work at the counter, but she bakes every weekday. (14) It’s rare that tourists make it this far north in the city, so most of the customers are locals who live nearby. (15) A few other coffee shops and bakeries have come and gone over the years, but none of them are anywhere near as good as this one. (16) I’ll take you tomorrow morning, and you can see for yourself. 

Which sentence does not match the overall tone of the rest of the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence (9)

Sentence (16)

Sentence (2)

Sentence (4)

Sentence (1)

Correct answer:

Sentence (9)

Explanation:

The tone of the passage is very conversational and informal. A few clues that the passage is written in an informal tone are the frequent use of contractions, and use of the personal pronouns "I" and "you," none of which would be correct to use in more formal writing.  Sentence (9) is much more formal in its tone and word choice and uses the impersonal pronoun "one" instead of the more personal "I" and "you" used throughout the rest of the passage. Words like "remiss" and "aforementioned" also suggest a higher register than the one used throughout the rest of the passage. 

Example Question #3 : Maintaining Consistency In Style And Tone

Harrison had math test last Wednesday. He studied really well and thought that he did really good. When he walked into school today, Harrison’s teacher looked at him strangely. Harrison started to sweat, because he assumed the teacher’s expression meant he did poorly on the test. Harrison began to wonder wear he went wrong. The teacher walks around the room and handed out the graded assessments. Then the teacher, who had been walking around the room, paused in front of Harrison’s desk, and Harrison thought that he must of performed worst on the test than the rest of the class had. Then, to Harrison’s surprise, the teacher smiled, exclaiming that Harrison had scored one hundred percent. 

What is the best way to revise the bolded phrase to improve the flow of the passage?

Possible Answers:

Then Harrison saw that the teacher, who had been walking around the room, paused in front of Harrison’s desk

Then the teacher, who had walked around the room, paused in front of Harrison’s desk

Then the teacher paused in front of Harrison’s desk

Then the teacher, who had paused in front of Harrison’s desk, walked around the room

Then the teacher, who had been walking around the room, paused in front of Harrison’s desk (no change)

Correct answer:

Then the teacher paused in front of Harrison’s desk

Explanation:

The sentence prior to the bolded section of the passage is "The teacher walks around the room and handed out the graded assessments." As such, the highlighted section contains a redundancy because it states for a second time that the teacher had been walking around the room. So, you can discard all answer choices where this fact is restated. The correct answer does not restate this simple fact, and instead moves on in a simple way that moves the plot forward and removes repetitiveness.

Example Question #4 : Maintaining Consistency In Style And Tone

(1) The recent years have provided an increase in what many are calling “disruptive technologies:” applications and websites that allow the average person to circumvent the traditional means of doing business with taxis, hotels, and other services. These businesses are appealing because they cost much less, on average, than traditional services and can provide equal experiences. (2) The people who use them and the people who profit from them are passionate about these companies. (3) They have created millions of entrepreneurs who get what they put into their enterprise, while making traditional businesses rethink customer service and stuff like that. The question isn’t whether these disruptive technologies will last, but what other companies and industries are waiting to be disrupted. (4) Some of the most prominent examples of disruptive companies include Soooper, the driving service, Stay'nLay, the house-sharing service, and DogVacationland, a dog-sitting service.

Which of the following sentences contains a word/words that are inappropriate for the formal tone of the paragraph?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 3

Sentence 1

Sentence 2

Correct answer:

Sentence 3

Explanation:

Sentence 3 is the correct choice because the phrase “stuff like that” is not appropriate for this passage's formal informational/argumentative style. The other sentences have vocabulary that is appropriately formal and matches the rest of the paragraph’s tone. The phrase "stuff like that" undermines the credibility of the speaker and sounds too casual. 

Example Question #2 : Maintaining Consistency In Style And Tone

Sometimes, a person may not be able to buy fresh produce if they live [2] in neighborhoods without supermarkets. The closest thing to vegetables that a corner store may stock is potato chips. In some areas, it is less expensive to walk to a corner store and pick up a candy bar than to drive to a far-away grocery store. These areas are called food deserts; where it is even harder to find fresh food than water in a desert! [3]

Choose the option that is the most grammatically correct.

Possible Answers:

Sometimes, people may not be able to buy fresh produce if they live in neighborhoods without supermarkets.

Sometimes, persons may not be able to buy fresh produce if they live in neighborhoods without supermarkets.

Sometimes, people may not be able to buy fresh produce if he lives in neighborhoods without supermarkets.

Sometimes, people may not be able to buy fresh produce if they lives in neighborhoods without supermarkets.

No change

Correct answer:

Sometimes, people may not be able to buy fresh produce if they live in neighborhoods without supermarkets.

Explanation:

This question is testing the student's knowledge of subject-verb agreement. The original statement is incorrect, because the subject, "a person", is singular, while the verb is plural, "they live." In the correct answer, the subject, "people", and the verb, "they live" are both plural and therefore in agreement.

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