Need some mission critical grammar help for my son ASAP!

My son has applied to the local community college, and they require a skills assessment test be taken before you can apply to take classes. It is a multiple choice, computer based test which my son completed this afternoon. In the reading portion he scored in the high 80’s, but in the writing skills portion he scored only in the high 20’s.

When we went to look at possible class options we were were informed that because his writing skills score was so poor he have to take a remedial English class before he could take any English classes , and furthermore these remedial classes would not deliver credits transferable to a 4 year college. The counselor suggested that because there was such a disparity between the scores he might want to review the online tutorial and re-test.

I asked him where he thought he might have spun out, and he indicated that a lot of the writing skills questions were in picking out the right sentence to finish the statement, and he struggled with various grammar and punctuation questions.

I’m going over the online prep version of the test questions with him and it’s evident he didn’t take his time weighing the sentences for clarity, so we’re working on that. With respect to the comma, apostrophe, and semicolon usage I’m not a maven in that myself, so where can he go online for a good, short tutorial on basic comma, apostrophe and semicolon usage? He re-tests on Monday so I need something concise.

Any help appreciated!

Here is a link to a quick help guide.

I don’t mean to be rude or unhelpful, but while there are plenty of online grammar guides, if he really has trouble with simple punctuation don’t you think a remedial English class might be a good idea for him? Success in college can be very writing-dependent; a good foundation in basics he may have missed might not be a thing you want to skip.

ETA - my point there was, grammar and punctuation in higher education aren’t like, say, testing out of a math requirement if you won’t need to ever use that math for your major or your life again. Writing clearly and correctly is a skill you will need in every single college class, ever - not to mention in the workplace.

I’ve just gone through the writing skills test questions with him and he’s getting 95% of them correct. He apparently did not study the questions as carefully as he should have. I’ll going to start beating him shortly. I’m kind of relieved, and kind of disgusted.

High school dropout>community college>Columbia U>Georgetown Law… trust me, unless he botched the test for very specific reasons (e.g., he mis-keyed his answers) the remedial classes will be among the most important of his collegiate career. As has been mentioned, writing forms the backbone of most college classes, and it would be more than frustrating for him to lose ground for want of basic grammar and syntax.

For an aid, I’d suggest going to a primary source (e.g., Chicago, APA) and reading various sections for background. They are obviously not set up to teach and drill per se, but to get a larger picture and understanding of the functionality, they are great sources.

I second the remedial class. Learning to write is a lifetime joy and pleasure.