All entrance examinations for secondary schools in Nigeria will include written papers testing candidates on their English skills. The type and structure of these common entrance English papers varies enormously, but they all test the same skill-sets in prospective students: reading ability, vocabulary, creative writing, spelling and grammar.
The common entrance English papers will usually be divided between comprehension and composition tasks. For the comprehension tasks, candidates will be required to read a passage of fiction or non-fiction appropriate to their age range and to respond to questions about it. These questions will test candidates on their ability to retrieve information from the passage, to summarise parts of it, to explain the difficult vocabulary, and to make inferences about implied meanings within the text. Depending on the difficulty of the test and the age-range it is targeted at,
For the composition tasks in common entrance English papers, candidates will be asked to create their own short piece of original writing, either fiction or non-fiction. Examiners will assess them on the range of their vocabulary, on the accuracy of their writing (including spelling, punctuation and grammar), and on the clarity and imagination with which they express themselves and articulate their ideas.
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