Monthly Archives: September 2015

Questions and Concerns About Next Week’s CATW

  1. I am concerned about using punctuation correctly.
  2. What is a passing grade?
    • 56 out of a possible 96
  3. How early should we get there?
    • I recommend arriving by 5:50 at the latest.  Remember if I am not there when you arrive it is because I am coming from my previous class in Fiterman and will be there very soon.
  4. Where can I go to study for the test?
    • I have office hours in N751M in the main building next Monday from 4:00 – 5:00.
    • There are many resources on this website.
    • You can go for tutoring in the Basic Skill English Lab (CLICK HERE)
  5. How long or short should a paragraph be?
    • There is no absolute number of sentences a paragraph needs to be.  DO NOT count words or sentences in your essay because that will distract you.  However, most standard paragraphs tend to be between 5 and 13 sentences long.  Focus more on WHAT you are saying, not how many words or sentences you use  to say it.
  6. I am worried about the time limit and that I won’t be able to finish.
    • BUY A WATCH so you can time yourself.  Remember you won’t be able to use your phone in the test room.  I suggest rationing your time so you have enough time to finish.
      • 20 minutes to read and think about the essay
      • 10 minutes to brainstorm, come up with your response, and make an outline
      • 50 minutes to actually write the essay
      • 10 minutes to re-read it and make corrections
  7. I am worried about being late.
    • DON’T BE LATE!  If you arrive late, you will NOT be allowed to take the test and you have lost one of your chances to pass it.  If you have a conflict with another class, have that professor get in touch with me.  If you have a work conflict, you really need to let your boss know how important this exam is for your school career.
  8. Do you recommend writing 5 paragraphs?
    • YES.  You MUST write at LEAST FOUR (4).  Any less than four paragraphs and you are extremely likely to fail.
  9. What is the “formula” for passing the CATW?
    • This is not math class; there is no one formula for writing a passing or effective essay.  Some things you DO need in your essay:
      • An introduction (first paragraph)
      • Summary of the reading (this can go in the introduction)
      • At least two body paragraphs discussing your reaction to the reading
      • A conclusion (last paragraph)
  10. What if I get thirsty or need to use the bathroom during the test?
    • If you leave the room, your test will be voided and not graded.  It will be like you didn’t take it and you will lose one of your chances to pass it.  If you try to sneak food or drink in the test room, the proctors will yell at you and maybe throw you out, in which case your test will be voided.
    • Make sure you eat, drink, and use the restroom BEFORE the test.
  11. What are the main things we are being graded on?
  12. Do you have any other advice that we haven’t covered yet?
    • Try to stay away from just agreeing or disagreeing with the reading.  This is the most basic kind of response and is unlikely to earn you a high or even a passing score.
    • Instead, try asking yourself questions like:
      • Why does this matter?
      • What are the implications of what the author is discussing?
      • How can I apply the author’s ideas in a larger setting?
      • What does this say about (society, people, technology, economics, etc.)?
  13. Does it matter if my writing is messy or I cross a lot of things out?
    • As long as your essay is readable, it is fine.  You are NOT graded on penmanship or neatness.
    • DO NOT try to write a first draft and re-copy it neatly.  DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO THIS.  You WILL run out of time and fail the test.
    • You CAN bring an erasable pen or white-out if you are really worried.
    • DO NOT try to write in pencil and then copy it over with pen.
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