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GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION TEST (GSP)

 

School of Journalism & Media Studies, San Diego State University

 

Why the GSP?

Command of the language is essential in majors that include writing courses and in successful professional life after graduation. The GSP helps you determine if you have sufficient command of English basics to assure probable success in the curriculum and in professional writing careers.

What is the test like?

The GSP consists of 100 multiple-choice questions in three categories: 33 questions cover grammar, 33 questions cover punctuation, and 34 questions cover spelling. The time limit is 90 minutes. Each question in the grammar and punctuation sections begins with a sentence that is usually awkward and undisciplined. The sentences may be written that way to conceal the flaws most of them contain. Your task is to correct each sentence when necessary, but not to try to improve it. Examples of questions are in the Sample GSP Questions section below.

Who must take the test?

If you are seeking admission to the Advertising, Journalism, Media Studies, or Public Relations major in the School of Journalism & Media Studies, you must complete the GSP with a passing score.

What is considered a passing score?

The passing score is 80 or higher. Only correct answers are counted. You are not penalized for guessing.

How do I prepare for the GSP?

Media writing books that focus on grammar and punctuation include When Words Collide (L. Kessler and D. McDonald), Working with Words (Brooks, Pinson, Wilson), Elements of Style (Strunk and White), and Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Truss).

Websites:

www.newsroom101.com

www.grammarbook.com (Click on the drop-down menus titled "English Rules" and "Quizzes".)

Texas Tech University has a sample test, spelling lists and links to other GSP websites.

 

Where do I sign up for and take the test?

Click here for test dates and registration information. The date time and location of your examination will be listed on the admission ticket which you print from the online registration site after you have registered. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the time listed on your ticket. The test starts promptly and you will not be admitted once the exam begins.

What do I bring to the test?

You must bring your printed (not electronic) Admission Ticket, photo identification (driver's license or student ID), and a No. 2 pencil. You will not be allowed to take the exam without a paid Admission Ticket and a photo ID.

Do you have any tips that might help me pass the GSP?

First, remember that you are trying to correct sentences if they need it, not to improve the style of the sentences. Second, read the possible answers before you read the sentences in the grammar and punctuation sections. Then, as you read the sentences, you can eliminate many of the proposed answers as incorrect.

When do I get my results?

Results can be accessed here approximately 15 days following the test.

If I don't pass, can I retake the test?

You are allowed three attempts to pass the GSP test. Contact the School of Journalism & Media Studies if you are concerned about not passing.

 

SAMPLE GSP QUESTIONS

GRAMMAR

1. Robert seemed calm; he being in Michelle's apartment came as a shock to Mark, whom Robert had attempted to instruct in moral conduct.

A. "Whom" should be replace with "who."
B. "He being" should be replaced with "his being."
C. "He being" should be replaced with "him being."
D. "Had attempted" should be replaced with "was attempted."
E. The sentence is correct as written.

2. Near the end of the meeting the council members behaved more like petulant school children rather than tolerant adults.

A. "Like" should be replaced with "as."
B. "Rather" should omitted.
C. "Tolerant" should be replaced with "tolerable."
D. "Behave" should be inserted after "children."
E. The sentence is correct as written.

3. Neither of the coaches were willing to shake hands after the disastrous homecoming game this year.

A. "Were" should be replaced with "was."
B. "Willing" should be replaced with "willingly."
C. "To" should be replaced with "too."
D. "Disastrous" should be replaced with "disastrously."
E. The sentence is correct as written.

PUNCTUATION

4. Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher who wrote "The Republic," said the ideal 'king would give people "noble myths and lies."

A. The comma after "Plato" should be omitted.
B. There should be a comma after "philosopher."
C. There should be a comma after "wrote."
D. The comma after "Republic" should follow the quotation mark.
E. The sentence is correct as written.

5. They were embarrassed to discover that the condominium they were trying to enter was Carol's, but Carol forgave them for the mistake because her condominium and their's were almost identical.

A. There should be a comma after "discover."
B. There should be a comma after 'them."
C. "Their's" should be replaced with 'theirs'."
D. "Their's" should be replaced with 'theirs."
E. The sentence is correct as written.

6. Mud choked the paths and sidewalks and destroyed flowers in gardens, it covered the steps and thresholds of the Spanish-style homes in the valley.

A. There should be a comma after "sidewalks."
B. The comma after "gardens" should be replaced with a colon.
C. The comma after "gardens" should be replaced with a semicolon.
D. The hyphen between "Spanish" and "style" should be omitted.
E. The sentence is correct as written.

SPELLING

7.
A.
pladitude
 
B.
platitude
 
C.
pladetude
 
D.
platedude

8.
A.
itinerant
 
B.
itinarent
 
C.
itenerant
 
D.
itenirent

9.
A.
salicious
 
B.
selecious
 
C.
salacious
 
D.
seliceous

10.
A.
consensus
 
B.
concensus
 
C.
concencus
 
D.
concensous