BA I&P English Placement Test A

Welcome to the BA I&P English Placement Test A

Student Name
Parent/Guardian Name (If Applicable)
Placement Essay

Please write about one of the following topics. Do not write about all three. Write a well-organized essay about the topic you choose. When you finish your essay, read it over and correct any mistakes you find.

Topic 1: Describe a person that you know well. Why is that person special to you?

Topic 2: What foreign languages have you learned? Based on your experience, what advice would you give to someone who wants to learn a foreign language?

Topic 3: What are the advantages and disadvantages of marrying someone from another country?
1 out of 24
Section I: Listening

(Instructions and Example)

NOTE: You will only get to hear the audio once. Do not click "play" until you are ready, and listen carefully to the entire audio clip.


In this section of the test, you will hear conversations and answer some questions about them. For each conversation, first read the situation and the question or questions. Then listen to the conversation. Answer the questions after you hear the conversation. Respond to the questions by marking the correct answer (a, b, c, or d).
Read the example situation and question.


Situation: Bill Sanchez calls Dr. Stockton’s office to make an appointment.

Bill is going to see the doctor on _________.
a. Tuesday at 10:00
b. Tuesday at 4:00
c. Wednesday at 10:00
d. Wednesday at 4:00

Now listen to the example conversation.


Now answer the example question.

The answer for the example is d, Wednesday at 4:00. The answer d should be selected.

Now go on to the next page.
2 out of 24

Situation 1: David is talking with Tomomi when Monica comes into the room.

1. ______ are meeting for the first time.
3 out of 24
2. Ken _______.
4 out of 24
Situation 3: Karen calls Jason’s home. Jason’s father answers the telephone.

3. Karen is going to _________.
5 out of 24
Situation 4: A reporter is giving today’s weather forecast.

4. It will be clear in _______.
5. In Seattle, the weather is ______.
6 out of 24
Situation 5: Bill invites Jennifer to go to dinner and a movie.

6. Jennifer doesn’t accept right away because she can’t _______.
7. They’re going to ________.
7 out of 24
Situation 6: Linda is asking Jim about his plans for the summer.

8. In the summer, Jim usually ________.
9. This summer he’s planning to _______.
8 out of 24
10. Phil is upset because ______.
11. Albert _________.
12. Susie doesn’t lend money to friends because _______.
9 out of 24
Situation 8: Natalie and Chuck are talking about their experiences abroad.

13. Chuck went backpacking __________.
14. Chuck says he “would have liked to have seen Portugal.” He means that he ________.
15. While Natalie was in Japan, she _______.
16. Chuck doesn’t want to ________.
10 out of 24

Situation 9: Diane and Conrad are talking about their careers.

17. Conrad got into advertising because he _______.
18. When he was young, Conrad wanted to ________.
19. Diane’s parents didn’t want her to _______.
20. Conrad _______.
11 out of 24
Section II: Reading

In this section of the Objective Placement Test, you will read some short passages and answer questions about them. Choose the word or words that best complete the sentence. You will have 20 minutes to complete this section (20 Questions).
12 out of 24
Passage 1: What are you doing today?

Betty Chan: I usually stay home on Sundays and take it easy – read, clean the house, do stuff like that. But today I’m at the mall. I’m buying some things for my kids.
21. Betty is _______ today.
13 out of 24
Passage 2: What do you do?

Tony Perez: I’m a flight attendant with a major airline. Flying isn’t dangerous, but it can be stressful. When I’m up in the air working, I always have something to do. I like it because I meet a lot of interesting people.
22. Tony’s job is ________.
14 out of 24
Passage 3: A vacation postcard

Dear Sal,

Greetings from France – it’s so good to be back here again! We left the kids with their grandparents in Chicago, and we’re biking across the French countryside by ourselves. We brought a tent and sleeping bags, so we can camp out if we want to, but we’re really enjoying the small hotels we find along the way.

Michael and Paula
23. Michael and Paula _______.
15 out of 24
Passage 4: The “zone”

You’re deeply involved in a task and can ignore everything around you – ringing telephones, your neighbor’s TV, even your own hunger – and still do things in record time. This is similar to what athletes call the “zone”: the power to concentrate so hard that you can ignore everything else. This ability can bring success in any field, but in athletics it can mean all the difference between winning and losing a game or event.
24. In this reading, the “zone” refers to a person’s _______.
25. Athletes in the “zone” are more likely to _______.
16 out of 24

Passage 5: Henry Ford and the Model-T

Henry Ford became famous and rich because he found a better, faster way to build cars. This is shown in the history of the Model-T. When the Model-T was first introduced in 1908, it took 14 hours to build and cost $850. After Ford introduced into his own factory the mass-production techniques that he saw in a meat-packing plant, the time for building a Model-T was reduced to less than two hours. As a result, Ford was able to drop the price of the car to $265. By 1927, he had sold over 15 million Model-Ts.

26. The first Model-T was expensive because it ________.
27. The Model-T became so popular because it was ________ than other cars.
17 out of 24
Passage 6: It’s a big country!

When it comes to body weight, Americans stand out. Most visitors to the United States, no matter where they go across this vast country, comment on the size of many Americans. In fact, these impressions are backed by numerous statistics. For example, the average 5' 4" American weighs 162 pounds, or 15 pounds more than the average person of the same height from Western or Central Europe. Another comparison: At 150 pounds, the average 5’ 4” American woman is 24 pounds heavier than her Japanese counterpart.       Why are Americans so heavy? Some blame the American diet. Certainly it’s true that Americans eat more high-fat foods – meat, dairy products, and processed food – and fewer grains and vegetables than people in other countries. But fat isn’t the whole story. Lifestyle factors – including the tendency for Americans to drive rather than walk or ride a bicycle to work, to snack throughout the day, and to have so many labor-saving devices in the home – appear to contribute to the problem.
28. According to the article, visitors to the United States often comment on the size of
the _______.
29. According to the article, the average Western European weighs ________.
30. In comparison with Americans, people in other countries eat more ______.
31. The article implies that Americans would lose weight if they ______.
18 out of 24
Passage 7: Small talk isn’t so “small”

Small talk may not be about serious issues; nevertheless, researchers into the subject have concluded that it’s important. That’s because small talk keeps us connected to one another and can lead to bigger things, such as a job or a new friendship. Yet people who find themselves alone with another person often don’t know what to say. Here are a few tips to help you start a conversation,and to keep the conversational ball rolling:

    • Start with the obvious. If you have something in common with another person (your job,hobbies, a person you both know, etc.), begin with that. If you don’t know the person, it’s always acceptable to bring up a neutral topic such as the weather or a recent news event. It isn’t necessary to be clever – all that’s required is to show interest in the other person and to be willing to talk.

    • Compliment where appropriate. If the other person has done something you like or is wearing something attractive, it’s always appropriate to compliment. But avoid talking about the specifics of a person’s physical appearance (people can’t usually change how they look) and keep your compliments short and to the point (“What a great tie!” or “You look great tonight!”) and continue with another topic.

    • Talk about yourself – then return to your partner. It’s perfectly OK to talk about your own interests for a while, but keep your conversation from becoming a monolog. It’s only polite, for example, that after talking about your own children, you turn the conversation back to your partner by asking about his or her children.

32. According to the article, the main function of small talk is to _______.
33. “Start with the obvious” means that you should talk about things that you _____.
34. You need to be careful when complimenting someone because most people ______.
35. You should avoid monologs because other people ________.
19 out of 24
Passage 8: Headaches

    Everyone has experienced headaches, but only recently have medical researchers begun to learn more specifically about the causes and possible treatments for different types of headache pain.
    The most common type of headache is the simple tension headache. Tension headaches are usually mild and short-lasting and can result from various factors, such as stress caused by worry or noise. Tension headaches are caused by a tightening of the neck or back muscles, which slows the flow of blood and, therefore, oxygen to the brain. It is the lack of oxygen that causes the pain. Most headaches can be relieved by taking a mild analgesic such as aspirin. Analgesics expand the blood vessels and restore the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
    A more serious type of headache is the migraine. Migraine headaches are often extremely painful and can last for hours or days. Like tension headaches, they can be the result of different factors, including stress, hormonal changes, and allergies. Unlike tension headaches, however, they are caused by an abnormal expansion or swelling (rather than a contraction) of the blood vessels within the head. Medicines that shrink swollen blood vessels can be used to treat migraine headaches.
    A tiny minority of headaches can be linked to severe physical problems such as head injury or brain tumors. For these types of headaches, there are medicines to treat the symptoms, but there is no cure unless the underlying problem is removed.
36. This article discusses the ________.
37. A tension headache can result when _______.
38. Migraine headaches ________.
39. Medicines for migraines ______.
40. Headaches caused by serious physical problems ________.
20 out of 24
Section III: Language Use

In this section, you will answer questions about the use of English. Choose the word or words that best complete the sentence. You will have 15 minutes to complete this section (30 Questions).
21 out of 24
41. _____ several good restaurants in our neighborhood.
42. The gas station is _______ Main Street.
43. “I can’t swim very well.”
        “I can’t _______.”
44. I enjoy _____ out two or three times a week.
45. These days, _______ women keep working after they get married.
46. My new job is very _______.
47. After finishing college, I hope ______ married.
48. Mt. Everest is ______ mountain in the world.
49. Bob’s never been bungee jumping, ______ he?
50. I’ve run out of money. I wish I ______ more.
22 out of 24
51. Could you tell me where _______?
52. If I had known about the accident, I ______ it to the police.
53. Yolanda ______ part time for several years now.
54. The Taj Mahal is really worth _______.
55. If I went to live in a foreign country, _______ my friends.
56. Would you mind _______ the window?
57. I was interested ______ the violin.
58. Before a film is finished, it needs ______.
59. By 2030, scientists ______ a cure for cancer.
60. “What happened to Kate?”
       “She must ______ about our appointment.”
23 out of 24
61. We’re not used ______ our own meals.
62. Chicago, _______ is nicknamed the Windy City, is the largest city in Illinois.
63. ______ John, I like to cook.
64. Before _______ breakfast, I usually take a shower.
65. I’m taking a class ______ learn more about my computer.
66. For me, mathematics is ______ difficult than biology.
67. I would rather ______ evening classes.
68. I feel sick. I shouldn’t ______ so much.
69. Jim’s boss demanded that he ______ to work earlier.
70. The earlier children learn to read, ______ for their education.
24 out of 24