SAT Writing Prep Test 2

Carefully read the passage and select the answer to each question that is most effective in improving the quality of the writing or in making the passage conform to the standard conventions of English.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingall O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born at 1 Merrion Square in Dublin, on October 16th, 1854. Wilde was the second son of Sir William Robert Wilde, a celebrated ear and eye surgeon. Wilde’s father was also the President of the Irish Academy. (1) He had a mother who was Jane Francesca. (2) She became famous in literary circles under the pen names of ‘Speranza’ and ‘John Fenshawe Ellis.’

Oscar Wilde received his early education at Portora Royal (3) School, which he entered in 1864 at the age of nine years, and he later won a scholarship to study at Trinity College, Dublin, to study Classics.

In 1874 he obtained another scholarship, this time to Oxford University, where he continued his academic successes and won numerous awards. After graduating, he gave lectures on Art and Classics, and continued to write poetry. (4) In 1884, Oscar Wilde married Constance Lloyd, and gave birth to two sons.

During the next five or six years, articles from his pen appeared in several major magazines. In July, 1890, The Picture of Dorian Gray (5) had been published in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. It was the only novel Oscar Wilde ever wrote, and was published in book form along with seven additional chapters in the following year, (6) being one of the most remarkable books in the English language.

(7) With the production of Lady Windermere’s Fan early in 1892, he was at once recognized as a dramatist of the first rank. This was followed a year later by A Woman of No Importance, and after brief intervals by An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest.

(8) Thus, Oscar Wilde was arrested for “indecency” in 1895, as homosexuality was considered a crime in England at that time, and on Saturday, May 25th, 1895, he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labor.

After his release from prison in 1897, he moved to France and wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol under the nom de plume ‘C.3.3.,’ Oscar Wilde’s prison number. Of this poem a reviewer said, “This is (9) a simple, a poignant, a great ballad, one of the greatest in the English language.”

Wilde passed away on the afternoon of November 30th, 1900, (10) in poverty and almost alone. The little hotel in Paris — Hotel d’Alsace, 13 rue des Beaux Arts, — where he died, (11) has become a place of pilgrimage from all parts of the world for those who admire the genius of Oscar Wilde.

1. Check underlined words and phrases (5) in the passage above.


2. Should the underlined (10) portion be deleted?


3. Check underlined words and phrases (11) in the passage above.


4. Based on the context, which construction most logically concludes the paragraph (4)?


5. Which of the following sentences, if inserted, would provide the best transition into paragraph five?


6. Check underlined words and phrases (3) in the passage above.


7. Check underlined words and phrases (6) in the passage above.


8. Check underlined words and phrases (8) in the passage above.


9. Which choice provides the most effective transition from the first paragraph to the second paragraph (2)?


10. Which choice best maintains the sentence structure already established in the paragraph (1)?


11. Check underlined words and phrases (9) in the passage above.


Question 1 of 11

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