Writing Practice Test (English)

You have been registered to take ALTA’s Online Writing Test. This test is designed to assess your ability to write in a given language. The evaluation is done online with pre-selected questions.

Here are some important things to remember when taking the test:

  • ALTA’s Writing Test is a 5-question test.
  • The time limit is 1 hour. A timer in the corner of the screen will inform you how much time you have remaining, and you will be given a warning five minutes before the end of your test.
  • It is important to take the test in a quiet area where you can concentrate fully on what you are writing .
  • The questions are designed to elicit writing samples in a variety of styles and forms. You will be asked to report a personal experience, to persuade, to describe, to give an opinion, to explain a procedure.
  • You must answer all questions. An effective answer will typically consist of a minimum of 100 words.
  • You are able to move backward and forward through the test, if you choose. That is, if you skip a question, you will be able to come back to it later.
  • You may not use reference materials of any kind on this test (dictionaries, electronic devices, external websites, etc.)
  • Once you have started your test, you may not stop it, start over, or take the test again.
  • It is important that you complete your scheduled test in one sitting. If you close your browser window or otherwise log out of a test before you have completed the test, you will not be able to log back in to finish.
  • You must click “Submit Test” when you have finished answering the last question – otherwise, your test will not be scored.


You will be evaluated on the following:
  • Quality and style of your sentences.
  • Organization and expression of ideas.
  • How well the responses relate to the questions asked.
  • Use or formal and informal structures when appropriate.
  • Grammar, spelling (including accent marks where applicable), punctuation.


Computer Requirements:
  • PC Users: Windows 10
  • Mac Users: OSX 10.5 and higher
  • Java Script (turned on)
  • Flash (downloaded for free)
  • Broadband connection
  • Supported Browsers (latest version – Chrome (recommended), Safari and Firefox)


Also, for languages with non-roman characters, character encoding needs to be set up at Unicode. It’s usually done per default. In case it’s not: in the Firefox task bar, go to view, to character encoding and make sure that Unicode (UTF-8) is selected.

(If “view” does not appear, go to web developer)

It is your responsibility to use the appropriate settings on your keyboard for the language being tested. You will not be able to insert characters with diacritical marks. Note also that the copy and paste functions are disabled within the test. If you do not know how to set up your keyboard to type those marks, please use the character codes (ALT codes). Click here to see those codes and the options based on the device you are using to take the test.

Practice Writing Test – Prompts and Responses

1. Describe a time when you provided assistance to a colleague. Discuss why you took on that role, what you did, and how it made you feel.

Sample answers:

Level 6 Response

I provided assistance to a colleague at work. I work in feild of insurence. We make quots for people about there cars and houses. Quots are for when there is accident or other problem. And they need to get money for the problem. We estemat the money they need to fix the problem. This is when I help people. I like my job. I am happy to help people. One time last week I spok to a man who had a snow storm at his house. The part of his roof of his house fell down. I went to his house. I looked at the problem and made a quot. He got the money and fixxed the house.

Level 10 Response

Last week I helped a colleague finish a project. She was running behind on the project, which had a tight deadline. I saw her notes about the project on our Slack group (workplace chat), and I told her I could work on some of the charts and graphs for the project report. She was extremely thankful. Since I was familiar with the style of the report, it was easy for me to jump in. All I needed to do was ask her where the project data was. Once I had the data spread sheets, I created the tables she needed. We create and market software and apps at my workplace. And our reports show the usage stats for apps over time. We also look at user ratings for apps. The charts I created showed this data. Once they were finished, I sent them to my colleague, and we put them into the report.

The important thing about helping a colleague is finding a role where you can give immediate help. If my colleague had to give me a lot of backround information about the data, or teach me a new skill, it would of taken a lot of her time. Because I found a way to be helpful without needing a lot of instruction, it was beneficial to her. I was glad that I had been able to help her, and proud of myself for being able to identify a situation where I could provide assistance.

2. In the past five years, how has technology affected people’s health?.

Level 6 Response

With technology such as TVs phones and computers we sit more. We do not excersize. We look at skreens all the time. It is importent to stop watching TV and move around. Help is in apps. There is an app on my phone for counting my foot steps every day. This app teeshes me health and the hours I sleep also. This is good informasion. But is it nessesery? Maybe its better when we excersize without an app. It is also not good so much technology using all the time like reading a phone and watching a TV.

Level 10 Response

In the past five years, I have noticed more and more people looking at their cell phones any time of the day. People are on their phones at the supermarket, in their cars, or at a restaurant. I noticed that people use to talk on their phones at these places, but now they are looking at the screen instead. Sometimes they are reading the news, or texting, or even watching a television show. It is amazing all the things we can do with our phones. But there are many problematic side effects of using a phone all the time! For one thing, the light from the screen can cause damage to the skin of your face over many years. For another thing, we become disconnected from our families and friends when we are always staring at a phone. Even though we may use them to keep in touch with people who do not live near by, we still need to keep track of the time we spend texting with people on a phone instead of talking to people in the room with us. Lastly, the mental effect of having so much information near us all the time could be damaging. There is no reason we need to know everything instantly. Having a constant “feed” of news headlines, messaging from friends, and other various updates is so much for our brains to process.

3. You recently had a positive experience at a new local restaurant, and you want to let the manager know about it. Write an email to the manager that addresses the following points:
      a. The food was unique and delicious.
        b. The staff was helpful and polite.
          c. The manager should advertise more in the local community to bring in more new business.

Level 6 Response

Dear Manager, I love your restaurant! The food was so good. I ate chiken roasted and potatos and these were very different to other restaurants. Also the ppl help us were so nice. The waiter got water and soda very fast. Then food was very fast. This was the best service.

I think the ppl in our town will like the restaurant! Make an ad for the restaurant is my recommend. Thank you!! I will come back and eat the chiken again and I will try the other foods and drinks on the menu. Thank you very much.

Sincerely

Anna Kalmar

Level 10 Response

Dear Mr. Gilbert: I visited Spring Café last night and I thought it was an excellent experience. My husband and me both had the catfish special and it was delicious. It was also so different from the fish we had at other restaurants in town. Our server’s name was Karen and she was very pleasant. She recommended the catfish and was helpful throughout the meal.

I realized I had not seen anything about Spring Café in local magazines or websites. The only way I knew about the restaurant was because I drive by that corner everyday. My request is you advertise in local publications to let people know about Spring Café! I think people will really love the food and service and become repeat customers.

Sincerely,

Frances Young

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Discuss, with specifics, why you would choose this location.

Level 6 Response

Australia is nice place. Citys like Sydney, Melborn, Brisben, Perth, Canbra, Ares rock, Bondi beach, & the great barrer reef.I went to these places. I liked them all very much. Good wether, intresting buildings & houses, nice people. We had a good meal in all places. We had a good beer in all places. I will go back take my family. We will be near ocein and stores and animals. We will have nice wether in every day. We will have store to sell cloths and juwlry on beach. The friends at home will love to make a visit.

Level 10 Response

If I could live anywhere in the world, I would choose the island of Mallorca. Mallorca is an island off the coast of Spain. It has become very popular with tourists over the last few decades, however it remains a beautiful place, full of nature and history. I visited Mallorca with my family several years ago and I have lovely photos and memories from our time there. We were there for a week and we got to see some of the stone villages and Roman ruins, as well as the gorgeous beaches. Still, it was not enough time to take in everything about the culture of Mallorca. When I was there, I said I wished I had more time to spend.

5. You are training a new employee at your company. Write a brief list of instructions telling them how to set up a signature for their email..

Level 6 Response

    1. He must have computer

    2. he must have email account

    3. he must have internet

    4. He must open email program,

    5. He must write name and company name

    6. He must write contacting info like number and email account and street name

    7. He must check the work

    8. He must click OK button and save

    9. He must open new email. To test the signature.

    10. He must set signature. To be on all emails.

Level 10 Response

An email signature is important to be sure that other people know your work title and your contact information. Here is how you can make an email signature:

-Login to your computer using your login name and password

-Go to your email program. It is probably MS Outlook.

-Go to the “settings” page in Outlook

-There should be a box for your signature. Type your signature in the box. It should have your full name, your work title, your address and your other contact information such as office phone number and mobile number.

-Then click”save” or “OK” to be sure that the signature is saved.

-Make sure you check the box that says you want the signature on all emails (default)

Then open “new message” screen. Your signature should be at the bottom of your email.:



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