Border Patrol Agent

Sample Questions for the Spanish Language Proficiency Test

INTRODUCTION
Purpose of this Section
The purpose of this Section is to provide you with information about the Spanish Language Proficiency Test. All Border Patrol Agents are required to know the Spanish language. Accordingly, all applicants for the position of Border Patrol Agent are required to take either the  Spanish Language Proficiency Test or the ALT. Applicants who already know Spanish should take the Spanish Language Proficiency Test; all other applicants should take the ALT. The sample questions in this section will make you very familiar with both the type and the difficulty
level of the questions on the Spanish Language Proficiency Test, thus giving you a guide to judge whether you should take the Spanish

Language Proficiency Test or the ALT.

These sample questions and explanations are not intended to teach you enough Spanish to pass the Spanish Language Proficiency Test. The purpose of these questions and explanations is to make you familiar with the types of questions on the Spanish Language Proficiency Test.

Organization of this Section

The Spanish Language Proficiency Test is divided into two parts. The first part consists entirely of vocabulary questions; the second part is divided into three sections, each section dealing with a different type of grammar question. The following pages contain four examples of each type of question included in the Spanish Language Proficiency Test.

 

Sample Questions for the Spanish Language Proficiency Test

Read the sentence and then choose the most appropriate synonym for the underlined
word.
1. Es muy complicado pilotar mi avión.

A) fácil
B) difícil
C) divertido
D) compilado
E) comparado

The word complicado means complicated. In the context of the sentence, it refers to
something that is hard to do. Hence, response B, difícil (“difficult”), is the best synonym.
Response A, fácil (“easy”), is opposite in meaning to complicado. Response C,
divertido, has the same beginning syllable (“di-”) as the correct answer, but its meaning
(“amusing”) is completely different. The basic meanings of responses D and E
(“compiled” and “compared,” respectively) are completely different from the meaning of
complicado, although both compilado and comparado are phonetically similar to it.

2. Es fácil comprender lo que el agente está diciendo.

A) responder
B) comprobar
C) entender
D) pretender
E) desentender

The word comprender means to understand something after watching, listening to, or
reading it. Hence, response C, entender (“to understand”), is the best synonym.
Response E, desentender, is the exact opposite of the correct answer; in fact, it is
entender, but with a negative prefix added to it, thus giving it the meaning of “to
misunderstand.” Responses A, B, and D (“to respond,” “to verify,” and “to pretend”) are
completely unrelated to the meaning of comprender.

3. Hay que esclarecer todo el proceso.

A) encontrar
B) concentrar
C) aclarar
D) empeorar
E) aplastar

The word esclarecer means to clarify. Hence, response C, aclarar (“to clarify”), is the
best synonym. Responses A, B, D, and E (“to find,” “to concentrate,” “to worsen,” and
“to crush”) are completely unrelated to the meaning of esclarecer.

4. Hemos otorgado concesiones especiales a los países en vías de desarrollo.

A) privilegios
B) determinaciones
C) estipendios
D) cortesías
E) ofrendas

The word concesiones means concessions, rights or privileges that have been granted.
Hence, response A, privilegios (“privileges”) is the best synonym. Responses B, C, D,
and E (“determinations,” “stipends,” “courtesies,” and “offerings”) are completely
unrelated to the meaning of concesiones.

PART II
Section I
Read each sentence carefully. Select the appropriate word or phrase to fill each blank
space.

1. Me gusta entrar la puerta que está de la oficina.

A) a, sobre
B) en, desde
C) con, bajo
D) en, al lado
E) por, detrás

The correct answer is response E, por, detrás. Responses A, B, C, and D all use
incorrect prepositions.

2. La agente me la correspondencia cuando yo no en casa.

A) traido, estoy
B) traer, estuviera
C) trajo, estaba
D) traerá, habré estado
E) habrá traido, estar

The correct answer is response C, trajo, estaba, because both verbs represent the
correct past tense in the indicative mood (preterite indefinite trajo and preterite imperfect
estaba). In responses A, B, D, and E, the wrong forms of the verb have been used.

3. Los oficiales _______ usan la sala de reuniones para discutir asuntos ______.

A) sumariamente / difícil
B) frecuentemente / variadas
C) normalmente / diversos
D) rara vez / personal
E) ocasionalmente / unilateral

Choice C is the correct answer. The adverb normalmente (“normally”) correctly
modifies the verb usan (“[they] use”), and the plural, masculine adjective diversos
(“diverse”) agrees in gender and number with the noun it modifies (“asuntos”). In
responses A, D, and E, there is no agreement in number between adjective and noun.
In response B, there is no agreement in gender between adjective and noun.

4. ________ a los detenidos y ________ al tanto de los resultados.

A) Visita / pónlos
B) Visite / ponerlos
C) Visitaré / ponga
D) Habré visitado / pondré
E) Visitando / había puesto

Response A is the correct answer. The two imperative verb forms [tú] visita and [tú]
pónlos are the correct choices. In responses B, C, D, and E, there is no agreement
between the two main verbs.

Section II
Read each sentence carefully. Select the one sentence that is correct.

1. A) Todos los agentes coincidieron del sospechoso cuando entrarían por la puerta.
B) El sospechoso que entró fue señalado en la puerta con los agentes coincidiendo.
C) Todos los agentes señalaron al mismo sospechoso cuando entró por la puerta.
D) Todos los agentes coincidió en señalar al sospechoso cuando entrarán por la
puerta.

The correct answer to this item is response C because it has the proper sentence
structure (subject, verb, direct object) and contains no errors. Responses A, B, and D
contain various errors, including incorrect prepositions, illogical structures, or incorrect
verb forms; hence, none of them can be the correct answer.

2. A) La inmigración ilegal y el contrabando suponen un gran problema para
muchos países.
B) La inmigración ilegal y el contrabando supongo un problema grande para
muchos países.
C) Muchos países con gran problemas suponían la inmigración ilegal y el
contrabando.
D) La inmigración ilegales y el contrabando suponen un gran problema para
muchos países.

The correct answer to this item is response A because it has the proper sentence
structure (subject, verb, direct object, indirect object) and contains no errors.
Responses B, C, and D contain various errors, including incorrect terms, illogical
structures, or incorrect verb forms; hence, none of these responses can be the correct
answer.

3. A) Como el agente sabía que andando es bueno para la salud, andaría unos veinte
minutos antes de iniciar el entrenamiento oficial.
B) Como el agente sabía que andar es bueno para la salud, anduvo unos veinte
minutos antes de iniciar el entrenamiento oficial.
C) Andaría unos veinte minutos como andar es bueno sabía el agente antes de
iniciar el entrenamiento oficial.
D) Que andar es bueno para la salud unos veinte minutos antes de había iniciado el
entrenamiento oficial el agente sabía que andaría.
The correct answer to this item is response B because it has the proper sentence
structure (subject, verb, direct object) and contains no errors. Responses A, C, and D
contain various errors, including incorrect terms, misplaced clauses, or disagreement of
verb tenses; hence, none of these responses can be the correct answer.

4. A) Aunque hay países donde existen varias agrupaciones de derechos humanos
que se preocupan por velar sobre las garantías individuales y que resultan muy
efectivas en ciertas sociedades en que su esfera de influencia es muy limitada o
casi nula.
B) Existen varias agrupaciones internacionales de derechos humanos que se
preocupan por velar sobre las garantías individuales y que resultan muy
efectivas en ciertas sociedades, aunque hay países en que su esfera de
influencia es muy limitada o casi nula.
C) Existen de derechos humanos varias agrupaciones internacionales que se
preocupan por velar sobre las garantías individuales, aunque hay países en que
su esfera de influencia que resultan muy efectivas en ciertas sociedades es muy
limitada o casi nula.
D) Hay países en que existen varias agrupaciones internacionales de derechos
humanos y que resultan muy efectivas en ciertas sociedades aunque que se
preocupan por velar sobre las garantías individuales en que su esfera de
influencia es muy limitada o casi nula.

The correct answer to this item is response B because it has the proper sentence
structure (subject, verb, direct object, indirect object) and contains no errors.
Responses A, C, and D contain misplaced clauses; hence, none of these responses
can be the correct answer.

Section III
Read each sentence carefully. Select the correct word or phrase to replace the
underlined portions of the sentence. In those cases in which the sentence needs no
correction, select alternative (E).

1. Los agentes detectaron el contrabando antes de abrir la maleta.

A) abriendo
B) abrirá
C) abriremos
D) abrió
E) No es necesario hacer ninguna corrección.

The correct answer to this item is response E because the infinitive form of the verb,
abrir, must be used after the preposition de. Incorrect forms of the verb have been used
in the other responses; namely, response A (gerund), response B (future imperfect),
response C (future imperfect), and response D (preterite indefinite).

2. Es necesario tener todo las documentos de identificación en regla.

A) todos las
B) todo el
C) todas las
D) todos los
E) No es necesario hacer ninguna corrección.

The correct answer is response D because todos los is plural in number and masculine
in gender, and is thus in agreement with documentos. Responses A, B, and C have
either the wrong gender or the wrong number.

3. Los manuales hemos abarcado un sinnúmero de posibilidades y hemos abreviado

el tiempo que se necesita para completar los trámites.
A) abarcando / abreviando
B) abarcados / abreviados
C) abarcó / abrevió
D) abarcan / abrevian
E) No es necesario hacer ninguna corrección.

Response D is the correct answer because the two verbs in the third person plural
[abarcan (“cover”) and abrevian (“shorten”)] agree with the masculine plural subject
manuales (“manuals”).

Responses A and B use incorrect verb forms (gerund and participle). In responses C
and E, there is no agreement between verbs and subject.

4. Los que abastecen las cocinas de las unidades de rescate anoche trajeron
magníficas provisiones.

A) habían abastecido / lentamente
B) abasteciendo / no
C) abastecieran / mañana
D) abastezco / arriba
E) No es necesario hacer ninguna corrección.

Response E is the correct answer because the present indicative verb abastecen
(“[they] supply”) agrees with the preterite indefinite trajeron (“[they] brought”) after the
correctly selected adverb anoche (“last night”). In response A, the adverb of manner
lentamente (“slowly”) is incorrect. Responses B and C use the wrong verb form.
Response D does not have agreement in number between subject and verb.


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