Anything one does has a WHAT, a WHY and a HOW. They ensure its credibility and its meaningfulness. This work here shall not be an exception, as far as the authors believe in its usefulness and efficiency; needless to say, both these would-be credentials are to be ''testified'' by those interested in using it.
The WHAT. The book is structured on 10+1 chapters, each meant to test the capacity of high school pupils to discern between right and wrong in a wide range of sections of English, be it its grammar (2, 5, 6), vocabulary (1, 4, 7, 8), spelling and pronunciation (10), their feeling of the language when it comes to the logic of a text (3, 9), or the building up of a composition (11). The chapters, whose order reflects a certain gradation in difficulty, focus – each in turn – on a strictly selected type of exercise, as follows:
I. Multiple Choice
• at the level of grammar (A), vocabulary (B), and synonymy (C)
II. The Right Verbal Form
• checking Tense, Mood and Voice
III. Cloze Exercises
• the most ''relative'' of all tests, due to its strictness and vastness of possibilities, and one at the same time checking all parts of speech
IV. The Fitting Word
• when it comes to strictness, Pronouns, Adverbs, Conjunctions, and, particularly, Prepositions are the most challenging
V. Language Traps
• a quite careful selection of the most frequent errors made by Romanian students
• handling synonymous relationships that cross sentences indicates mastery of the language
VII. Word Building
• enriching one's vocabulary by exploring word-families
VIII. Thematic Vocabulary
• or more precisely defined areas of semantic interest
IX. Reading Comprehension
• finding your way through the maze to the core meaning of a text
X. Pronunciation and Spelling
• rules and exceptions, Homophones and Homographs
XI. Steps in Writing
• a guide from sentence building to paragraph, composition and letter (formal / informal) writing.
The WHY. We make no claims to originality in this book. From the very beginning – a year ago – it was meant to be a support, a tool, a ''pathfinder''. We have followed these objectives against a background of older, classical text-books whose status and reliability are outside the scope of this book, the format of entrance examination papers (based mainly on translations), and a foreground of national contests and other sorts of exams – Soros tests, Oxford, Cambridge, Michigan, TOEFL examinations, and, indeed, part of the graduation exam paper itself. We recognised the need to offer all pupils the same chance by ensuring them access to more ways of testing so that they might become familiar with these apparently ''sophisticated'' exercises and eliminate the fear of facing the ''unknown''. We are sure that it will take time for all our pupils to afford to buy or borrow ''Made-in-England'' support materials and, without exhausting, in the least, the vast range of possibilities, we have chosen, this time, the most widely-spread types of exercises. The book undoubtedly addresses the needs of the better pupils who are interested in acquiring top performance and competence, especially when it comes to enter for exams such as those mentioned above.
The HOW. Teachers we are, yet our access to sources of such exercises is limited. We do hope some of our colleagues will feel our intention is to share part of the activities we frequently do in class. The bibliography at the end of the book makes clear the vast range of information sources we have drawn upon. However, we do trust the capacity of our readers to differentiate between imitated sources and the more original, carefully-chosen items whose responsibility was the authors'. This sprang from the desire to meet and correct the most common mistakes and drawbacks we have noticed amongst our own pupils. All the exercises have been practised with chosen groups of pupils and they have worked. Although the number of these exercises is merely a drop in an endless ocean, they may be taken as an illustrative sample each of us may start from, build on and supplement for the sake of good and efficient teaching of English.