Writing Competencies Tested on the MTLE NES Essential Academic Skills Subtest
The MTLE Writing subtest consists of multiple-choice test and one written assignment (essay). The skills addressed in this subtest require demonstration of the ability to write effectively at the college level. An outline showing these skill areas and their major sub-skills is shown below.
0001 Understand purpose, audience, organization, and development in writing.
- Recognize writing that is effective for a given purpose, audience, and occasion.
- Recognize methods of organizing paragraphs and passages.
- Recognize effective thesis statements, topic sentences, and supporting details.
- Select revisions that improve the unity and focus of a piece of writing or that improve cohesion and the effective sequence of ideas.
- Recognize shifts in point of view (e.g., from first to third person).
- Recognize details that distract from the development of the main idea of a paragraph or passage.
- Select appropriate transitional words or phrases to convey text structure and to help readers understand the sequence of a writer's ideas.
0002 Understand problems in sentence formation.
- Identify sentence fragments and run-on sentences.
- Identify errors in subject-verb agreement.
- Replace imprecise and inappropriate words and phrases.
- Recognize wordiness, redundant expression of ideas, ineffective repetition of words or phrases, and other errors in sentence formation (e.g., incorrect placement of modifiers, lack of parallel structure, double negatives).
0003 Understand conventions of Standard Written English grammar, usage, and mechanics.
- Identify and edit errors in the standard use of verb forms.
- Identify and edit errors in the standard use of pronouns.
- Identify and edit errors in the standard formation and use of adverbs and adjectives.
- Identify and edit errors in the standard use of comparatives, superlatives, and possessives.
- Identify and edit errors in standard punctuation.
- Identify and edit errors in standard American spelling and capitalization.
0004 Written Assignment: In response to an assignment, demonstrate the ability to compose a developed composition in Standard Written English on a given topic.
- Use language and style appropriate to the specified audience and purpose.
- State and maintain focus on a thesis statement.
- Provide reasoned, relevant, and specific support to develop the thesis statement and to expand on ideas and assertions.
- Employ an organizational structure that enhances meaning and is logically sequenced from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph.
- Use precise word choice and accurate, effective, and varied sentence structure.
- Employ correct grammar, usage, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.