HSPT Language Skills : Ordering Sentences Logically

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Language Skills

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Ordering Sentences Logically

[1] Of all the different types, black teas usually contain the most caffeine. [2] There are many different varieties of tea. [3] So, if you’re drinking tea late at night, you might want to choose a red or herbal tea instead of a black tea if you don’t want to be kept awake by caffeine. [4] Teas can be grouped into a few major categories: black, green, white, red, and herbal teas. [5] On the other hand, red teas and herbal teas can be almost entirely caffeine-free.

Choose the order in which the sentences shown above create a paragraph that as a whole is clearest and makes the most sense.

Possible Answers:

2 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 3

2 - 4 - 5 - 1 - 3

4 - 1 - 5 - 3 - 2

4 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 5

Correct answer:

2 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 3

Explanation:

   

Example Question #1 : Ordering Sentences Logically

[1] Of all the different types, black teas usually contain the most caffeine. [2] There are many different varieties of tea. [3] So, if you’re drinking tea late at night, you might want to choose a red or herbal tea instead of a black tea if you don’t want to be kept awake by caffeine. [4] Teas can be grouped into a few major categories: black, green, white, red, and herbal teas. [5] On the other hand, red teas and herbal teas can be almost entirely caffeine-free.

Choose the order in which the sentences shown above create a paragraph that as a whole is clearest and makes the most sense.

Possible Answers:

2 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 3

4 - 1 - 5 - 3 - 2

4 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 5

2 - 4 - 5 - 1 - 3

Correct answer:

2 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 3

Explanation:

To answer this question correctly, we need to figure out how the sentences most logically relate to one another. Since we're not given any sentence that is already in place, it makes the most sense to work from general to specific, introducing a topic in a general sense before following up with more details about it. The most general sentence in the paragraph is Sentence 2, "There are many different varieties of tea." This sentence logically needs to precede Sentence 4, which lists the different varieties of tea. It wouldn't make much sense to list the many different types of tea and then say "There are many different varieties of tea." This would be providing the reader with information that has already been conveyed. It would be extraneous.

If our paragraph starts with 2 - 4, this narrows down our answer choices from four options to two. To pick out the correct answer, we need to figure out if the logical order of the remaining sentences is 5 - 1 - 3, or 1 - 5 - 3. 

Let's take a look at these two options:

5 - 1 - 3:

[5] On the other hand, red teas and herbal teas can be almost entirely caffeine-free. [1] Of all the different types, black teas usually contain the most caffeine. [3] So, if you’re drinking tea late at night, you might want to choose a red or herbal tea instead of a black tea if you don’t want to be kept awake by caffeine.

1 - 5 - 3: 

[1] Of all the different types, black teas usually contain the most caffeine. [5] On the other hand, red teas and herbal teas can be almost entirely caffeine-free. [3] So, if you’re drinking tea late at night, you might want to choose a red or herbal tea instead of a black tea if you don’t want to be kept awake by caffeine.

1 - 5 - 3 is the best option. In 5 - 1 - 3, the introductory phrase "On the other hand" in Sentence 5 doesn't make sense; the transition is unclear and confusing. In 1 - 5 - 3, this transition relates Sentence 5 to Sentence 1 in a logical way, comparing the vastly different amounts of caffeine in black and red teas. The correct answer is "2 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 3."

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