Sample practice test prompts for the CATWThis is a featured page

SOME SAMPLE READINGS

Sample 1

Assignment: Begin by reading the passage below.

How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment

The child becomes known as the family’s only child, oldest child, middle child, or youngest child, depending on his birth order. He is thought and talked about as having that place in the family. Both in his mind and in the minds of other people, an important part of his identity is his family position.

The other members of the family assume certain attitudes toward each child in terms of his birth order. Parents usually expect their oldest child to be more capable and more responsible than the younger children. The oldest child comes to think about himself in the same way. These ways of seeing himself, of thinking about himself because of his sibling role, become part of his self-concept.

Similarly, the middle child may think of himself as able to do things better than other people because he is usually more capable than his younger siblings. Sometimes, though, he must turn to an older sibling or to his parents for help, and so he thinks of himself as being able to obtain help when he needs it.

The youngest child may develop the self-concept that he is less able to do many things than other people. However, he is not concerned because there are always others around to take care of him.

In contrast, the only child tends to think, “When my parents are not around, I have no one to turn to for help. So I’d better learn to take care of myself as much as possible.”

The place in the family establishes for the child a specific role to be played within the family group. It influences him to develop certain attitudes toward himself and toward other people and helps him develop specific patterns of behavior.

(290 words)
Adapted from an essay by Lucille Forer, “How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment”, in Write to be Read, p.7.


Writing Directions
Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents. In
your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the
author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the
passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support
your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in
school, and/or personally experienced.
Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections that are
needed to help your reader follow your thinking. You will have 90 minutes to
complete your essay.

Summary Sample for "How Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment"



Sample 2
Assignment: Begin by reading the passage below.

Modern Society and the Quest for Human Happiness

Everywhere, by all means imaginable, people are striving to improve their lives. Yet strangely, my impression is that those living in the materially developed countries, for all their industry, are in some ways less satisfied, are less happy, and suffer more than those living in the least developed countries.

Indeed, if we compare the rich with the poor, it often seems that those with nothing are, in fact, the least anxious, though they are plagued with physical pains and suffering. As for the rich, while a few know how to use their wealth intelligently – that is to say, not in luxurious living but by sharing it with the needy – many do not. They are so caught up with the idea of acquiring still more that they make no room for anything else in their lives. In their absorption with material wealth, they actually lose the dream of happiness, which riches were to have provided. As a result, they are constantly tormented, torn between doubt about what may happen and the hope of getting more, and plagued with mental and emotional suffering – even though outwardly they may appear to be leading entirely successful and comfortable lives. This is suggested both by the high degree and by the disturbing prevalence among the populations of the materially developed countries of anxiety, discontent, frustration, and depression. Moreover, the inner suffering is clearly connected with growing confusion as to what constitutes morality and what its foundations are.

(242 words)
From an essay by the Dalai Lama, “Modern Society and the Quest for Human Happiness” in Write to be Read, p. 170.


Writing Directions
Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents. In
your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the
author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the
passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support
your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in
school, and/or personally experienced.
Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections that are
needed to help your reader follow your thinking. You will have 90 minutes to
complete your essay.

Main Ideas in "Modern Society and the Quest for Happiness"


Sample 3
Assignment: Begin by reading the passage below.

The Woman Who Died in the Waiting Room

Esmin Green fell out of her chair in the waiting room of Brooklyn's largest psychiatric hospital nearly an hour before anyone realized she was in trouble. For 20 minutes, she writhed and twisted between two chairs under the watchful eye of a security camera whose footage would later be broadcast across the country, spurring a public outcry. Two security guards and two other staff members passed through the room and glanced at the 49-year-old woman, without bothering to check her vital signs or help her up. Nearly 40 minutes after she stopped moving, a nurse walked over and lightly kicked her. By then, she was already dead. The city's medical examiner cited blood clots in her legs as the official cause.
As disturbing as the circumstances of Esmin Green's death were, they should not have come as a surprise. Public hospitals across the country have struggled to provide acute psychiatric care to the poor and uninsured since the early 1960s, when large mental hospitals began closing their doors en masse. Rather than lock them away in cold, uncaring institutions, the thinking went, the mentally ill should be offered a place in society. But with insufficient outpatient services and a dearth of community-based support, the least fortunate of them have ended up in already overtaxed emergency rooms. They are the poor, the uninsured and the undocumented. Many of them suffer from chronic conditions that could potentially be treated with medication and regular counseling, luxuries most of them cannot afford. With just 50,000 inpatient psychiatric beds for tens of millions of people across the country, the mentally ill typically wait twice as long for treatment as other patient populations do. "It's like landing airplanes at JFK airport," says Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. "There is just no place for them to go."
(306 words) adapted from July 12, 2008 Newsweek article, “The Woman Who Died in the Waiting Room” by Jeneen Interlandi

Writing Directions
Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents. In
your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the
author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the
passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support
your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in
school, and/or personally experienced.
Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections that are
needed to help your reader follow your thinking. You will have 90 minutes to
complete your essay.

Main Ideas in "The Woman Who Died in the Waiting Room"

Sample 4
Assignment: Begin by reading the passage below.

How to Do One Thing at a Time

By now, we all know that multi-tasking can be a losing proposition. Talking on the phone while driving? Dumb idea. Texting while driving? Really dumb idea. But even seemingly harmless multi-tasking—like chatting with a friend while sending out an office e-mail—isn’t as harmless or efficient as we’d like to believe. A recent article published in the science journal NeuroImage revealed that when we attempt demanding tasks simultaneously, we end up doing neither as well as we should because our brains have cognitive limits.
What’s more, we’re also less efficient after we’ve shut down e-mail and turned off our phones. In a recent experiment at Stanford University, a group of students was asked to spend 30 minutes simultaneously compiling a music playlist, chatting, and writing a short essay. A second group focused on each task individually for 10 minutes each. Afterward, they were given a memory test. The single-taskers did significantly better than their multi-tasking peers.
“A tremendous amount of evidence shows that the brain does better when it’s performing tasks in sequence rather than all at once,” says Clifford Nass, Ph.D., a professor of communication at Stanford University. “We still don’t know the long-term effects of chronic multi-tasking, but there’s no question we’re bad at it, and it’s bad for us.”
Many experts believe, however, that it’s possible to repair your power of concentration. Through solutions such as yoga and acupuncture, experts believe we can break our multi-tasking habit and sharpen our focus.

Adapted from Women’s Health Magazine, May 2010

Writing Directions
Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents. In
your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the
author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the
passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support
your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in
school, and/or personally experienced.
Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections that are
needed to help your reader follow your thinking. You will have 90 minutes to
complete your essay.

Main Ideas in "How to Do One Thing at a Time"



jbelknap
jbelknap
Latest page update: made by jbelknap , Mar 26 2012, 10:53 AM EDT (about this update About This Update jbelknap Edited by jbelknap

No content added or deleted.

- complete history)
Keyword tags: None
More Info: links to this page
Started By Thread Subject Replies Last Post
Loydai CAT-W 0 Feb 26 2011, 9:33 AM EST by Loydai
Thread started: Feb 26 2011, 9:33 AM EST  Watch
I would love to see samples of student CAT-W exams. Since this is a new test, I would like samples of student's tests to show my students. They're still used to the old ACT letter writing format, and it's very difficult for them to understand the new format. Thanks a lot for any information you can provide. Student writing tests student's have taken would be great.

Loydai
32  out of 36 found this valuable. Do you?    
Keyword tags: None
MissSing CATW 1 Feb 10 2011, 7:16 AM EST by jbelknap
Thread started: Dec 7 2010, 2:00 PM EST  Watch
how to answer catw question
2  out of 3 found this valuable. Do you?    
Keyword tags: None
Show Last Reply
Showing 2 of 2 threads for this page