Top UK authors have slammed a compulsory grammar test aimed at primary school pupils, calling it 'batty'. Celebrated authors Sir Michael Morpug
Top UK authors have slammed a compulsory grammar test aimed at primary school pupils, calling it ‘batty’.
Celebrated authors Sir Michael Morpugo, who penned War Horse, and Anne Fine, who wrote Madame Doubtfire, both said they couldn’t answer one of the questions from the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test (SPaGs) that ten and eleven-year-old pupils will have to take at the end of this school year.
Teachers have criticised the test for discouraging pupils from being creative and for putting them off writing altogether.
Sir Michael Morpugo was stumped by some of the test questions: ‘I obviously shouldn’t be a writer,’ he joked.
Oh, oh! Can you ace all of these grammar questions aimed at primary school pupils? Top UK authors said they couldn’t understand the ‘batty’ questions (Stock photo)
Celebrated author Anne Fine, who wrote Madame Doubtfire, slammed the test, saying: ‘the grammar business has gone bats’
Anne Fine said she ‘wouldn’t know a fronted adverbial from a hole in the ground,’ and that ‘the grammar business has gone bats.’
An adverbial is a word or phrase that has been used like an adverb to add detail or further information to a verb.
‘Fronted’ adverbials are ‘fronted’ because they have been moved to the front of the sentence, before the verb.
Teachers have also criticised the test’s complicated questions for putting promising students off writing.
Some are even campaigning for the compulsory test to become optional.
Sir Michael Morpugo joked he ‘obviously shouldn’t be a writer,’ after he heard of the questions from the SPaG test
Do you think you can pass the test? Try your hand at these eight questions and check the answers below to see if you got it right.
Can you pass the spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) test?
1. Turn this sentence into a fronted adverbial:
He ate his breakfast before the sun came up.
2. Find the connective word in this sentence:
Until it was dark, we couldn’t light the fireworks.
3. Insert three commas in the correct places in this sentence:
Mum brought some crisps a bag of apples some cans of coke and cakes.
4. Underline the subordinate clause in each sentence below
Before he could go swimming, Ali packed his towel.
The twins asked Dad to turn up the heating, as it was cold.
After drinking his water, Mark washed up his glass.
5. Circle the three words in the sentence below that need capital letters, pick one and explain why it needs it:
it was raining on tuesday even though the weather forecast said it would not rain in brotton.
6. Which of the following sentences uses the correct plural?
The lady brought three pints of milks.
There was five bottles of waters on the table.
There are lots of shelves in the library.
Foxies live in the woods.
7. Which of the following sentences is correctly punctuated?
James ran a marathon (even though it was) a challenge and raised £200 for charity.
James ran a marathon even though it was a challenge and raised (£200 for charity).
James (ran a marathon) even though it was a challenge and raised £200 for charity.
James ran a marathon (even though it was a challenge) and raised £200 for charity.
8. Write a different adverb to complete the sentence below and describe what Josie did:
Josie ran home ____ and put her bags away _____.
Think you got it right? Check the answers below to see if you answered all eight questions correctly (Stock photo)
1. The fronted adverbial is: Before the sun came up, he ate his breakfast.
2. The connective word is: Until
3. The correct punctuation is: Mum brought some crisps, a bag of apples, some cans of coke, and cakes.
4. The subordinate clauses are:
Before he could go swimming.
as it was cold.
After drinking his water.
5. The three words were: It, as it starts the sentence, Tuesday as it is a proper noun, and Brotton, as it is the name of a location: It was raining on Tuesday even though the weather forecast said it would not rain in Brotton.
6. The sentence that used the correct plural was: There are lots of shelves in the library.
7. The sentence with the correct punctuation was: James ran a marathon (even though it was a challenge) and raised £200 for charity.
8. Two examples of adverbs: Josie ran home quickly and put her bags away neatly.