Praxis English Language Arts: Content Knowledge Ultimate Guide2019-07-24T20:18:34+00:00

Praxis English Language Arts: Content Knowledge: Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

Preparing to take the English Language Arts: Content Knowledge exam? 

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Praxis English Language Arts Quick Facts

The Praxis English Language Arts: Content Knowledge exam tests the knowledge of prospective teachers in reading, language use, and vocabulary, and writing, speaking, and listening. Its purpose is to gauge an individual’s readiness by testing English Language Arts standards.

You are allowed 2.5 hours to complete 130 selected-response questions. 

Cost: 

$120 

Scoring: 

The score range is 100-200. The passing score is set by the state or licensing agency and ranges from 147-167. Most states require a passing score of 167. 

Pass rate: 

The pass rate percentage is 89%. 

Study time: 

You should set aside time each day to devote to studying. Familiarizing yourself with the content that will be on the test will help you decide what areas you should study each day. Make sure to start studying early and allow enough time to adequately cover all areas that will be tested on the exam.

What test takers wish they would’ve known: 

  • Test takers tend to overestimate their abilities to perform well on Praxis assessments. Many students regret not putting more time and effort into preparing for Praxis assessments beforehand. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid this mistake by using test preparation materials.
  • It’s a great strategy to track your time while taking the test. You can monitor your time by periodically checking the timer in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Because time management is crucial, skip questions you find extremely difficult and move forward to questions you find easier to answer. Don’t worry, you can mark the questions you skip as you take the test. Try to finish the other questions with 10 to 15 minutes remaining and use that extra time to return to the more challenging questions. If you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than to leave a question blank.
  • When answering the selected-response questions, you should read all possible answers before marking the correct one. You don’t want to miss out on the best answer by not reading all of the responses!
  • Always check your answer before moving to the next question. Many test takers are surprised by how they’re able to find overlooked errors in their work by using this strategy. 

Information and screenshots obtained from the ETS Praxis website.

Reading

Overview

This content category has 49 selected-response questions. These questions account for 38% of the entire exam.

The Reading content category can be broken down into two sections:

  • Literature
  • Informational Texts and Listening

Literature

This section tests your knowledge of literature by looking at major works and defining characteristics, themes, structures, and elements. You should also be able to understand reading strategies, research-based strategies and literary theories in the literature. When looking at informational texts you should be able to understand textual evidence, organizational patterns, text structure, word choice, rhetorical strategies, and methods authors use. 

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Literary Genres

The following table defines the typical characteristics and terminology of major literary genres.

Figurative Language

Example Text:

As I walked outside I felt the chill in the air. The cool breeze blew my hair across my face. I looked up into the sky and recognized the dark, gray clouds. They were as dark as night. I knew I only had minutes to get to my car safely. As soon as I slammed the door, it began to rain cats and dogs.

In the text, there are multiple examples of figurative language used to add depth to the text. Imagery is created by using senses to describe how the sky looked and how the air felt. When comparing the clouds’ color a simile was used. Hyperbole was used when saying it began to rain cats and dogs.

Common Strategies for Reading Instruction

Informational Texts and Rhetoric

This section tests your knowledge of textual evidence, organizational patterns, text structures, word choice, methods and rhetorical strategies of authors, and the interpretation of media in informational texts. 

Check out these two specific concepts from this section.

Organizational Pattern of an Informational Text

Common organizational patterns:

  • Problem-solution is a pattern that has a solvable way to fix the dilemma in the text. It is often confused with the cause and effect pattern but has a clear resolution. 
  • Cause-effect pattern explains the reasons why something happens. Readers can usually find this type of structure being used in expository and persuasive texts. 
  • Sequence order is used to put text in order of when it happens. It is usually used in procedural texts and usually uses time-order transition words.
  • Compare-contrast is a pattern used to list the similarities and differences of two or more things. Words like same, different, unlike, both, and similar can be found in this type of text structure.

Rhetorical Strategies

Rhetorical strategies are tools that help the author play on words to create an effect to their writing. 

  • Satire is the use of humor, exaggeration, or criticism to try to change the reader’s stance on an issue. An author sometimes uses it to influence the reader’s political or social opinion.
  • Irony is when the unexpected happens in a situation that is expected. Example : Raining on your wedding day. Being offered a free dessert after you’ve already paid for yours. 
  • Understatement is making something seem less important. The author might use an understatement to be polite or sensitive to the reader.
  • Hyperbole is an exaggeration or overstatement. The author might use hyperbole to be more dramatic or add a level of humor to the text.

Methods of Appeal or Persuasion

  • Expert opinions gives the reader statistics and facts that make the author seem knowledgeable. 
  • Generalizations are statements based only on one or two sources that make assumptions based only on those sources. 
  • Testimonials feed into the reader’s emotions to persuade them to feel sympathetic.

Language Use and Vocabulary

Overview

This content category has 33 selected-response questions. These questions account for 25% of the entire exam.

The Language Use and Vocabulary content category can be broken down into 5 competencies:

  • Conventions of Standard English
  • Word Meaning
  • Reference Materials
  • Dialect and Diction
  • Language Acquisition and Vocabulary Development

Let’s look at each of these competencies and discuss a specific concept from each one.

Conventions of Standard English

This competency tests your knowledge of the use of conventions, grammar, syntax, and mechanics.

Sentence Structures

  • Simple sentences are complete thoughts that contain a subject and a verb. They are referred to as an independent clause.
    Example: The girl ran.
  • Compound sentences have two independent clauses connected by conjunction or semicolon.
    Example: I like running and he likes running.
  • Complex sentences begin with an independent clause and have conjunction that connects a dependent clause. The connected dependent clause does not express a complete thought.
    Example: I missed my bus because I was late.
  • Complex-compound sentences have two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses connected by conjunctions.

Example: Paul did not run in the race because he was sick so he was disappointed.

Word Meaning

This competency tests your knowledge of understanding word meaning by using affixes, context clues, and applying your knowledge of syntax.

Affixes

Affixes are 1 or more letters added to a base word to change its meaning. If you understand the meaning of the affix, it can help you to determine what the derivative means.

Reference Materials

This competency tests your knowledge of the use of print and digital references used to enhance language.

Digital Reference Materials

Online dictionaries can be used to define unknown terms.
Example: https://www.dictionary.com 

Online encyclopedias teach students to do research with reliable sources.
Example: https://www.encyclopedia.com 

Online almanacs can be used to follow timelines and do research for specific eras and times in history.
Example: https://www.brainyhistory.com 

Online atlases can be used to do research on specific geographic areas.
Example: https://www.worldatlas.com

Online websites can be used as a source to teach students the research process and create projects on animals, a specific area of geography, and more.
Examples: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com or Britannica Kids

Dialect and Diction

This competency tests your knowledge of the different dialects used across cultures, regions, and time periods. 

Dialect

Dialect is specific to each region, cultural, group or time period. It is the way language is expressed within a group of people that they understand. In the United States you can recognize where a person is from based on how they greet someone. 

Example: If you live in the south you might greet someone with a “Howdy” while in the north a simple hello or hi would be used. 

Dialect can even be specific to a genre of literature that is specific to the time period. For example, Shakespearean dialect usually needs to be translated into modern English to understand the text.

Language Acquisition and Vocabulary Development

This competency tests your knowledge of how to use, evaluate, and interpret research-based strategies to develop language acquisition and vocabulary for diverse learners.

Language Development

When children develop their first language it is usually automatic and effortless, but second language acquisition takes more time. Students progress through 5 phases of language development.

  • Pre-production has minimal comprehension and relies on more nodding and pointing than verbal responses.
  • The early production has more comprehension and one or two-word responses.
  • Speech emergence has good comprehension but makes grammatical errors and frequently does not understand the slang of peers or jokes.
  • Intermediate fluency has great comprehension and makes fewer grammatical errors. 
  • Advanced fluency is close to the equivalency level of a native speaker. 

Students should progress through each stage and receive specific support to help them succeed in school. When teachers provide appropriate support for students they create a safe environment for students to learn and grow.

Writing, Speaking, and Listening

Overview

This content category has 48 selected-response questions. These questions account for 37% of the entire exam.

The Writing, Speaking, and Listening content category can be broken down into 10 competencies:

  • Modes of Writing
  • Task, Purpose, and Audience
  • Clear and Coherent Writing
  • Research Practices
  • Speech and Presentation Delivery
  • Teaching Students to Use Digital Media
  • Teaching Components of Writing
  • Assessing Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
  • Oral Communication
  • Incorporating Student Diversity

Let’s look at each of these competencies and discuss a specific concept from each one.

Modes of Writing

This competency tests your knowledge of identifying, comparing, and determining the author’s purpose of the different modes of writing.

Common Modes of Writing

Task, Purpose, and Audience

This competency tests your knowledge of identifying, choosing, and evaluating the appropriate type of writing for a specific task, purpose, or audience.

Purpose

The purpose of writing is dependent on the task and the audience. An author writes a piece of writing to state their opinion, create a literary work, inform, entertain, or persuade their reader. Effective writing starts with an author understanding what their purpose is for writing so they can create a piece of writing. Understanding their intended audience is important so they can use elements and figurative language to connect to their reader when appropriate. 

Clear and Coherent Writing

This competency tests your knowledge of what clear and coherent writing looks like based on the organization, conventions, style, and details used within the piece of writing.

Effective Transitions

A transition can be a word, group of words or a sentence that creates a flow in the text to connect thoughts and ideas. There are different transitional words or phrases associated with each type of writing.

Research Practices

This competency tests your knowledge of digital and print sources and how to effectively evaluate, identify, and cite sources. 

Components of a Citation

The components of a citation include the who, what, when and where of a source. 

  • The Who = the author of the source
  • The What = the title of the source
  • The When = the date of when the source was published
  • The Where = where the source was published or where to find it online

Example:

Rowling, J. K., author. (1998). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books

Speech and Presentation Delivery

This competency tests your knowledge of how to deliver effective speeches or presentations by identifying characteristics, evaluating different media, and determining how information is presented.

Characteristics of Effective Delivery of a Presentation

  • Eye contact involves being able to read the room and look for reactions, as well as being able to keep your eyes up and look the audience in the eyes. 
  • Visual aids could include powerpoints, videos, charts, or graphs. Being able to create a visual helps the audience to see and relate to the topic you’re explaining. 
  • Tone creates the mood of your presentation. Being able to use your voice effectively to create an appropriate tone for your presentation includes being able to control your volume, clarity, pauses and use emphasis when needed. 

Teaching Students to Use Digital Media

This competency tests your knowledge of how to instruct students by choosing technological tools and the effectiveness of technology-based strategies to enhance communication. 

Technological Tools for Effective Communication

  • Presentation software like Prezi or Microsoft Powerpoint can be used in the classroom to teach students how to present a topic. 
  • The software can be used in the classroom to communicate between students and parents. Examples: email, Remind 101
  • Blogs can be used for students to write and respond to their peers’ writing. They can also gain information from blogs to relate to a topic.
  • Wikis allow for a group of people to collaborate and create content on a specific topic. Wikis are helpful when teaching students how to collaborate during group projects.

Teaching Components of Writing

This competency tests your knowledge of research-based strategies to teach the writing process.

Writing Workshop

Writing workshop is designed to have students become better writers by writing. It consists of 4 main components:

  • Mini-lesson is only about 5-10 minutes and in a whole group setting. Teachers bring students together to be direct and focus on specific writing skills. For example, it includes expectations of the writing process, the qualities of good writing, and editing skills. 
  • Writing usually lasts about 35-45 minutes and is where students are working independently on their writing and going through the writing process.
  • Conferring happens during independent writing time. Teachers monitor writing around the room and use this time to pull individual students or small groups who are struggling in an area of the writing process to work with them. 
  • Share Time is when students choose a part or a whole piece of their writing to share with the entire class. It is a time when students learn how to appropriately respond to other’s writing. 

Assessing Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

This competency tests your knowledge recognizing and evaluating the use of formative and summative assessments of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

Using Rubrics to Assess Writing

Using a rubric to assess writing sets expectations for students to meet. You should share the rubric when explaining a writing assignment to a student so they are able to use it to guide their writing assignment. Rubrics help set clear expectations and provide feedback to show where improvement is needed. All areas that are to be assessed need to be included on the rubric. Each area assessed needs to be broken down into categories that show where students mastered that area or where they need improvement. The rubric should have a grading scale and each category should show how many points can be earned for each area.

Oral Communication

This competency tests your knowledge of identifying and evaluating the effectiveness of strategies and techniques used to create productive and collaborative discussions. 

Active Listening

Active listening is intentionally being focused on the speaker and not just passively hearing what they are talking about. It is important to actively listen to your students to create a comfortable, safe, and respectful environment in the classroom. Students should also practice actively listening to their peers. It is important to model active listening so students understand how to actively listen. 

  • Make eye contact with the person
  • Listen to how they feel, not just the content of what they are saying
  • Be sincere
  • Restate what the person said
  • Ask clarifying questions
  • Be aware of your body language

Incorporating Student Diversity

This competency tests your knowledge of what strategies to use to create a safe environment based on the needs a student has based on their perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds they bring into the classroom. 

Creating a Safe Environment

Understanding that all students bring something different into the classroom based on their background is important. Understanding your student’s backgrounds can help you plan and use sources to connect the learning to something they understand. When students are connected to their learning they feel safe and want to share. They are more likely to participate in discussions and share their work and progress if they feel supported. Setting up background knowledge prior to learning a new topic will help those students who might not have enough knowledge on a new topic be successful. 

And that’s some basic info about the exam.

Practice Questions and Answers

Questions 1-6 are based on the following excerpt written about World War I By Vernon Bartlett.

(1) Those at home in England, with their experience of war books and photographs, of Zeppelin raids and crowded hospitals, are beginning to imagine they know all there is to know about war. The truth is that they still have but little idea of the life in the trenches, and, as far as mud is concerned, they are delightfully ignorant. They do not know what mud is.

(2) They have read of Napoleon’s “Fourth Element,” they have listened to long descriptions of mud in Flanders and France, they have raised incredulous eyebrows at tales of men being drowned in the trenches, they have given a fleeting thought of pity for the soldiers “out there” as they have slushed home through the streets on rainy nights; but they have never realised what mud means, for no photograph can tell its slimy depth, and even the pen of a Zola or a Victor Hugo could give no adequate idea of it.

(3) It is the infantryman who suffers most, for he has to live, eat, sleep, and work in the mud. The plain of dragging slime that stretches from Switzerland to the sea is far worse to face than the fire of machine guns or the great black trench-mortar bombs that come twisting down through the air. It is more terrible than the frost and the rain—you cannot even stamp your feet to drive away the insidious chill that mud always brings. Nothing can keep it from your hands and face and clothes; there is no taking off your boots to dry in the trenches—you must lie down just as you are, and often you are lucky if you have two empty sandbags under you to save you from the cold embrace of the swamp.

Question 1

While making a point that those who had never served in WWI could not truly know the horrors of the front, the author assumes that:

 

  1. readers have a solid grasp of the conditions of trenches and mud on the front.
  2. readers know the major generals of the war.
  3. readers have handled weapons before and can identify the different kinds.
  4. readers understand the parameters of the Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the war.

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. The author makes references to the trenches without explaining them, so the assumption is that the readers know what trenches are. 
  2. The author does not name specific generals in the war.
  3. The author does not mention weapons, except in passing in the third paragraph.
  4. The author does not mention the Treaty at all.

Question 2

What attitude does the author hold towards “[t]hose at home in England”?

  1. The author thinks those at home are too sympathetic towards the soldiers at the front.
  2. The author thinks those at home are too harsh in their judgment of conditions on the front.
  3. The author thinks those at home will never have any idea how terrible conditions are at the front, as they have never experienced it firsthand.
  4. The author thinks those at home are right and that the war should end as soon as possible.

 

Correct Answer: 3

 

Explanations:

 

  1. The author does not believe those at home are too sympathetic. 
  2. The author explains that, although those at home may judge conditions at the front, they will never know what it’s really like.
  3. The author’s attitude shows that he does not think those at home know what it is like to be at the front. One example of this is when he says “The truth is that they still have but little idea of the life in the trenches.”
  4. Although this may be the opinion of both the author and “those at home,” this passage does not specifically discuss the end of the war.

Question 3

What is the organization of the paragraphs in this passage?

  1. The first paragraph describes what “those at home” think they know about conditions at the front, the second describes how they learned about the conditions, and the third describes how horrible the conditions actually are.
  2. The first paragraph describes the way the soldiers got to the front, the second describes the uses of the different weapons, and the third describes the effects of the different weapons on infantry.
  3. The first paragraph describes “those at home” and the homes they live in, the second describes the uses of the different weapons, and the third describes the effects of the different weapons on infantry.
  4. .The first paragraph describes what resources “those at home” are reading, the second describes the feelings of the soldiers on the front, and the third describes the assumptions of “those at home.”.

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. This is the correct organization for this passage.
  2. This is not correct, as the passage does not describe weapons or their effects in detail.
  3. This is not correct, as the passage does not describe weapons or their effects in detail.
  4. This is not the organization of the passage.

Question 4

What is the impact of the POV shift from the third person to the second person in the third paragraph of this passage?

  1. It alienates the reader because it makes the reader understand how little they know about the conditions at the front.
  2. It draws the reader closer to the soldiers’ experiences because it directly addresses the reader as “you” and puts the reader into the mud.
  3. It creates sympathy in the reader because it enforces the feeling of fatality that hangs over all the soldiers.
  4. It makes the reader lose interest in the off-putting account.

 

Correct Answer: 2

 

Explanations:

 

  1. Shifting from the third- person POV into the second- person does not alienate the reader but draws them further into the narrative. 
  2. By directly addressing the reader, the author puts the reader into the scene and makes the experience more vivid.
  3. This passage does create sympathy, but it does not mention the sense of fatality.
  4. The shift in POV draws the reader in close because it puts them directly in the scene; it does not push them further away.

Question 5

Which persuasive technique is used in the passage?

  1. pathos
  2. personal anecdote
  3. ethos
  4. rhetorical questions

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. The passage uses pathos because the description of horrible conditions makes the readers feel sympathy.
  2. The passage does not relate any stories about the author personally.
  3. The author does not state whether or not he was a soldier, so we are unable to judge the credibility of his stance.
  4. The author does not pose rhetorical questions in this passage.

Question 6

The author’s claim that “those at home” will never know the reality of the war is:

  1. invalid because it is one person’s opinion and not backed up by facts.
  2. valid because the author uses statistics to back up his claim.
  3. invalid because the evidence the author provides is contradictory.
  4. valid because the author is a soldier himself and interviewed many soldiers, as well as civilians, at home.

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. The claim is the author’s opinion and not based in fact. 
  2. The author does not provide statistics for his claim.
  3. The author does not provide contradictory evidence, just his own opinion.
  4. The claim is not backed up by personal interviews from both sides.

Question 7

In what ways do small-group conversational activities help improve oral language development?

  1. Students are able to chat with their friends, relieving stress and clearing the mind for more learning.
  2. Students can respond to each other and learn to formulate arguments and critique other’s responses.
  3. The teacher can step back from the discussion and allow students to express themselves.
  4. Students are able to respond to each other in a low-stakes setting, which contributes to higher student involvement.

Correct Answer: 2

Explanations:

  1. While time to chat with friends can improve oral language, this answer doesn’t address the impact on oral language skills.
  2. Bouncing ideas off each other and learning to formulate arguments are important oral language skills, and thus an important byproduct of small group discussions.
  3. A teacher can use the small-group time to observe and record student interactions, but this answer doesn’t apply to develop oral language skills.
  4. Student involvement is important, but not relevant here to developing oral language skills.

Question 8

A dialect is different from a standard language in all of these ways except:

  1. a dialect pronounces words differently than the standard language.
  2. a dialect includes words not commonly accepted in the standard language.
  3. a dialect has its own unique grammatical rules from the standard language.
  4. a dialect blends words and structures of multiple standard languages.

Correct Answer: 4

Explanations:

  1. Dialects have different pronunciations associated with the region it occurs in.
  2. Dialects include terms that are not accepted in the standard, such as “ain’t.”
  3. Dialects may use variations of the standard’s grammatical rules.
  4. Dialects are variations on the standard language rather than a mixing of different languages.

Question 9

Why might reading and performing poetry be an area in which oral language learners struggle?

  1. Poetry is written in stanzas, not sentences and paragraphs.
  2. Poetry sometimes contains rhyming words.
  3. Poetry has its own unique grammatical and punctuation standards.
  4. Poets often use complicated and figurative language.

Correct Answer: 3

Explanations:

  1. As long as students are familiar with the difference, they should not struggle to read the words just because it’s a stanza and not a paragraph.
  2. The rhymes used in poetry should help a struggling oral language learner because they would be able to more easily use phonemic knowledge to pronounce and read the text.
  3. Because poetry is often missing punctuation marks found in the standard language, students may have trouble knowing when to stop, pause, or properly inflect while reading.
  4. The complicated and figurative language might cause students to struggle with comprehension, but would not necessarily affect their ability to read poetry out loud.

Question 10

Which of the following sentences best demonstrates active listening?

  1. “I liked the movie because of all the famous actors and action sequences.”
  2. “How could you not like the movie?”
  3. “John thinks the movie overlooked the plot in favor of extended action sequences.”
  4. “I will write on my blog that the movie was entertaining.”

Correct Answer: 3

Explanations:

  1. This statement is an example of dialogue, not active listening. The speaker is telling a fact.
  2. Although this question asks for more information, the question is stated in a way that demands an explanation, instead of seeking to understand.
  3. This answer best exemplifies active listening. Active listening is a process of being engaged and responding to another person in a way to build and improve communication. Active listeners spend more time listening than speaking. Paraphrasing someone else’s thoughts best demonstrate active listening because it demonstrates an understanding of another person’s communication.
  4. This is a one-sided statement, not an example of listening and responding to another person.

Question 11

What is the most important reason a speaker needs to plan for his specific audience before giving a presentation?

  1. to ensure that subject matter is explained using terms and details the audience will understand
  2. to ensure that he will not be nervous before or during his speech
  3. the skills used in a presentation are the same for any audience; this is not important
  4. to use appropriate volume and tone during his speech

Correct Answer: 1

Explanations:

  1. Knowing and preparing for the knowledge level of your audience is important when determining word choice and structure. If a speaker doesn’t take these into account, his audience may lose the message of the presentation. This is the most important reason a speaker should plan for his audience.
  2. While knowing and being prepared for your audience may help with nervousness, that is not an important reason to plan for your audience.
  3. Certain presentation skills like tone, vocabulary, and structure may change based on the audience or circumstance of the presentation.
  4. Tone may vary depending on who is listening, but word choice and content of the speech is more important when thinking about the audience of a presentation.

Question 12

What is the benefit of providing a rubric for self-evaluation of an oral presentation?

  1. The teacher can take a break from assessment and allow the student to grade himself.
  2. Grading goes more quickly because all the content and areas are laid out with a corresponding grade.
  3. Students are able to compare themselves to their peers.
  4. Students can understand what they could have done to earn the next level.

Correct Answer: 4

Explanations:

  1. While self-assessment can be a break for the teacher, a combination of teacher-evaluation and self-evaluation is the best option for improving student skills.
  2. The speed of grading with a rubric is not relevant to improving student self-evaluation skills.
  3. While students may be able to compare their performance to that of their peers via a rubric, it is not the main benefit of providing self-evaluation and rubrics.
  4. Giving students a rubric to use for self-evaluation is an easy way for a student to see where he is on the scale of performance and see what he should do next time to better his performance and skills. 

Question 13

Students in Mr. Tulip’s class have just finished a unit, learning about the persuasive techniques used in commercials. What activity below would help solidify his students’ understanding of how commercials use persuasive techniques to convince consumers?

  1. an exit ticket after students have watched a sample commercial that tests their understanding of the concept
  2. a summative assessment testing knowledge of persuasive techniques in the media
  3. a project where students write and film a commercial for a made-up product of their own
  4. a short writing assignment where students watch and evaluate a commercial for persuasive techniques

 

Correct Answer: 3

 

Explanations:

 

  1. This activity would be best during the unit, not at the end. 
  2. While an assessment can demonstrate understanding, it is not the best activity option.
  3. Allowing students to write and perform a commercial using persuasive techniques is the best option for proving they understand the concept.
  4. While a written assessment can demonstrate understanding, this is not the best activity option.

Questions 14-18 are based on the following excerpt

(1) Whenever travelers penetrate into remote regions where human hunters are unknown, they find the wild things half tame, little afraid of man, and inclined to stare curiously from a distance of a few paces. It takes a long time and much restraint to win back their confidence. This is ideal, a paradise for the naturalist and the camera hunter.

(2) In the early days of the West, when game abounded and when fifty yards was the extreme deadly range of the hunter’s weapons, wild creatures were comparatively tame. The advent of the rifle and of the lawless skin hunter soon turned all big game into fugitives of excessive shyness and wariness. One glimpse of a man half a mile off, or a whiff of him on the breeze, was enough to make a Mountain Ram or a Wolf run for miles, though formerly these creatures would have gazed serenely from a point but a hundred yards removed.

(3) The establishment of the Yellowstone Park in 1872 was the beginning of a new era of protection for wildlife; and, by slow degrees, a different attitude in these animals toward us. In this Reservation, and nowhere else at present in the northwest, the wild things are not only abundant, but they have resumed their traditional Garden-of-Eden attitude toward man.

Question 14

Which of the following statements best expresses the central idea of the passage?

  1. Animals learn to fear men, but fear can be reversed over time. 
  2. Yellowstone National Park should be a model for other parks. 
  3. Hunting is bad for animal populations. 
  4. It is better to have tame animals. 

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. All paragraphs in the passage relate to this idea. Animals were not afraid of men until they became more of a threat with the advent of the rifle. Then, when protected from hunting in Yellowstone, the animals eventually became more comfortable with the presence of men. 
  2. While the passage does describe the success of Yellowstone National Park in protecting its animals, looking at it as a model for other national parks is not suggested and is not the central idea of the passage.
  3. The author does not make any assertions regarding the effect of hunting on animal populations except for how it impacts their comfort with humans. 
  4. The author suggests that it is preferable to him for animals to not be afraid of humans, but the main idea is more focused on why animals behave the way they do. 

Question 15

Read the first sentence of the excerpt. The author most likely uses the phase “penetrate into remote regions” to convey:

  1. blame toward hunters and travelers.
  2. regret for the inevitable.
  3. impatience for change.
  4. frustration with the destruction of natural habitats.

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. The word “penetrate” has an aggressive connotation, and “remote” demonstrates how far a person must travel to find these animals. The author chooses these words to present the travelers and hunters as invaders of the animals’ homes.
  2. Describing the regions as “remote” implies that they are difficult to reach. If these places are remote, it is unlikely that their disruption would be considered inevitable. 
  3. The word choice of this phrase does contain negative connotations, but they aren’t related to impatience.
  4. Their habitat is not being destroyed. The presence of hunters changes the behavior of the animals, but, as described, does not ruin their homes.

Question 16

Which of the following statements is an example of an assumption?

 

  1. Animals came to associate danger with the smell and sounds of humans.
  2. If other locations provide protections for animals like those at Yellowstone, they would also see animals return to being more comfortable around humans. 
  3. Hunting is prohibited inside of Yellowstone National Park.
  4. Rifles allowed for accuracy at significantly farther than 50 yards.

 

Correct Answer: 2

 

Explanations:

 

  1. This is an example of a conclusion, not an assumption.
  2. Since Yellowstone is referenced as being the first of its kind and responsible for the change in animal behavior, we can assume that other locations would have the same results if they followed the same rules as those that are imposed on visitors to Yellowstone.
  3. This is an example of inference, not an assumption.
  4. This is an example of inference, not an assumption.

Question 17

Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the passage?

  1. Other national parks were created to recreate the success of Yellowstone.
  2. Yellowstone National Park was established for the main purpose of protecting animals.
  3. Without the protections offered by the national park, it would be much more difficult to photograph the animals native to that area.
  4. Hunting is no longer considered an acceptable activity by most people. 

 

Correct Answer: 3

 

Explanations:

 

  1. While the audience may know that many more national parks have been created, there is nothing in the excerpt to lead you to conclude that this occurs, or that it will occur specifically due to the success of Yellowstone. 
  2. While the passage does discuss the improved conditions for animals, it does not provide evidence to suggest that animals were the number one focus when creating the park.
  3. The first paragraph mentions the struggle of the naturalist and camera hunter when animals are fearful of humans. It is reasonable to conclude that with less fear, these naturalists and camera hunters would have easier access to their animal subjects. 
  4. This passage does not suggest any judgement on hunting in general; it is only describing its impact on those trying to observe animals in their natural habitat.

Question 18

What is the relationship between these two sentences from the passage? 

Sentence 1: The advent of the rifle and of the lawless skin hunter soon turned all big game into fugitives of excessive shyness and wariness.

Sentence 2: One glimpse of a man half a mile off, or a whiff of him on the breeze, was enough to make a Mountain Ram or a Wolf run for miles, though formerly these creatures would have gazed serenely from a point a hundred yards removed.

  1. Sentence 2 provides examples to support the claim in sentence 1.
  2. Sentence 2 describes a contrast with sentence 1.
  3. Sentence 2 contradicts the point made in sentence 1.
  4. Sentence 1 explains the effect, while sentence 2 provides the cause.

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

 

  1. Sentence 1 claims that rifles changed how animals reacted to humans. Sentence 2 provides examples of the change. 
  2. Sentence 1 and 2 do not contrast with each other but do contrast with the description of nature before the introduction of the rifle in other parts of the passage. 
  3. Sentence 2 does not contradict sentence 1.
  4. Sentence 1 contains a cause and effect. Sentence 2 lists examples of the effect.

Question 19

Which of the following statements about reading instruction is most accurate?

  1. Students who do not ask for individualized reading instruction should not be provided individualized reading instruction.
  2. It is best to assess students’ reading comprehension through formal assessments.
  3. Reading comprehension is increased when reading fluency is increased.
  4. Reading should be taught to students by addressing each concept separately.

 

Correct Answer: 3

 

Explanations:

  1. Just because students do not ask for specific instruction does not mean that they should not be provided that specific instruction. Students may not know what they need to learn. 
  2. A teacher can assess students’ reading comprehension in a variety of forms. Sometimes informal assessments can provide quick feedback to solve simple problems. 
  3. This is a correct correlation.
  4. Reading concepts are all interconnected. Isolating one concept to improve it is not a good strategy because all concepts are related to each other.

Question 20

Which of the following contains a root that means “to look”?

  1. inspect
  2. describe
  3. advocate
  4. conduct

 

Correct Answer: 1

 

Explanations:

  1. “Inspect” contains the root “spect” which means “to look.”
  2. “Describe” contains the root “scribe” which means “to write.”
  3. “Advocate” contains the root “voc” which means “voice.”
  4. “Conduct” contains the root “duct” which means “to lead.”

Question 21

Which part of speech is the underlined word an example of?

Bull sharks swim in both fresh and saltwater.

 

  1. noun
  2. verb
  3. adjective
  4. preposition

 

Correct Answer: 2

 

Explanations:

 

  1. “Swim” is not a noun in this sentence. A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.
  2. This is the correct answer.
  3. “Swim” is not an adjective in this sentence. An adjective describes a noun or pronoun.
  4. “Swim” is not an adverb in this sentence. An adverb describes a verb, adjective, or other adverbs.

Question 22

In Ancient Greece, how was the chorus used in plays?

  1. to describe and comment on the action of the play, directing the audience’s reaction to it
  2. to break the fourth wall by engaging with the audience directly and telling them about events in the play, creating dramatic irony
  3. to sing the musical scores that accompanied the plays, especially those performed at festivals celebrating Dionysus
  4. to rotate with the main characters between acts

Correct answer: 1

Explanations:

  1. The main function of the chorus was to comment and interpret the action of the play for the audience.
  2. The chorus would make more general comments and not engage with the audience on a personal level.
  3. The chorus did not sing.
  4. The chorus and the characters did not rotate out and swap roles.

Questions 23-24 are based on the following poem.

Glory of Women

Siegfried Sassoon

You love us when we’re heroes, home on leave,


Or wounded in a mentionable place.


You worship decorations; you believe


That chivalry redeems the war’s disgrace.


You make us shells. You listen with delight,


By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.


You crown our distant ardours while we fight,


And mourn our laurelled memories when we’re killed.


You can’t believe that British troops “retire”


When hell’s last horror breaks them, and they run,


Trampling the terrible corpses—blind with blood.


O German mother dreaming by the fire,


While you are knitting socks to send your son


His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

Question 23

What type of poem is “Glory of Women”?

  1. villanelle
  2. epic
  3. sonnet
  4. haiku

Correct answer: 3

Explanations:

  1. Villanelles have 19 lines, this poem has 14.
  2. Although epic poems often describe the battle, this is not long enough.
  3. “Glory of Women” is a sonnet, with the turn of focus occurring before the sextet.
  4. This is not haiku.

Question 24

This poem focuses on primarily what major concern of war poets from WWI?

  1. the inescapable sense of worthlessness and isolation that WWI soldiers felt
  2. the difficulty many soldiers had trying to adapt to civilian life
  3. hero worship and the glorification of war
  4. the disparity between the reality of war and civilians’ perception of what war is like

Correct answer: 4

Explanations:

  1. Many war poets wrote about isolation, but this poem, in particular, looks at how women see war.
  2. This is not a poem set after the war but during it.
  3. The poet accuses women of doing just this, but he is maligning them for it.
  4. This poem describes the major divide between what war is really like and what those at home thought about it.

Question 25

One significant feature of Shakespearean tragic heroes is that each of them:

  1. must die.
  2. will overcome his or her hardships.
  3. will never know what the future holds.
  4. has a tragic flaw. 

Correct answer: 4

Explanations:

  1. Not all tragic heroes die at the end of the play.
  2. The hero’s downfall is an innate trait, and so the hero does overcome hardship.
  3. This is incorrect.
  4. Every Shakespearean tragic hero has a tragic flaw.

Question 26

What is Lady MacBeth’s fatal flaw?

  1. compassion
  2. overreaching ambition
  3. femininity
  4. integrity

Correct answer: 2

Explanations:

  1. Lady MacBeth does not have compassion for any of the other characters.
  2. Lady MacBeth is too ambitious in this play, causing her own downfall.
  3. This is not correct as displayed in the text when she states, “unsex me here.”
  4. She is a liar and a murderer and does not have integrity.

Question 27

A draft of a research paper includes a passage quoted directly from a source. The writer does not need to use the whole sentence as evidence, and so she takes out a portion of the sentence. Which of the following is used to indicate that there is purposefully missing material in the text? 

  1. using an ellipsis to show that material has been removed
  2. adding the deleted material to a footnote
  3. using a dash to indicate that there is missing material
  4. identifying the missing material in an endnote

Correct answer: 1

Explanations:

  1. To indicate to the audience that there is material that was taken out for clarity of argument, the author would use an ellipsis.
  2. Footnotes are used to clarify and expand on certain points, not to indicate missing words.
  3. A dash works like parentheses in that it indicates a pause and the information after it clarifies previous points.
  4. Endnotes are used to clarify information or sources, not to indicate missing material.

Question 28

After a recent interview at a prestigious company, the job applicant writes her interviewer a thank-you email. Which of the following matches the tone and content of such a letter?

  1. To Whom it May Concern,
    I want to extend a feeling of appreciation for the attention I received in my recent interview process with your esteemed company. I expect to be hearing from you as soon as possible. Cheers, ___________.
  2. Hey there. I had a blast interviewing for that position at your company. I hope I get the job. Fingers crossed, __________________
  3. Good afternoon,
    Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the editorial assistant position. As you can tell from speaking with you, I am the ideal candidate for this position. I’m looking forward to getting a call-back.
  4. Dear ________,
    Thank you for the recent opportunity to interview at _________ Company. I enjoyed learning more about your company and look forward to hearing back from you about the assistant editor position. Sincerely, _____________

Correct answer: 4

Explanations:

  1. This thank you note is too wordy and arrogant and doesn’t have any specifics.
  2. This choice is too casual.
  3. This response is overly confident and may offend the potential employer.
  4. Short and to the point, this thank you note addresses the interviewer by name and lists the specifics of the company and position without being too long-winded.

Question 29

Which of the following describes a compound-complex sentence?

  1. one independent clause and one dependent clause
  2. one independent clause and two dependent clauses
  3. at least two independent clauses and one dependent clause
  4. at least three independent clauses and only one dependent clause

Correct answer: 3

Explanations:

  1. This is incorrect.
  2. This is incorrect.
  3. This is correct; two independent clauses is a compound sentence, and a dependent clause makes is a compound-complex sentence.
  4. This is incorrect.

Question 30

What was the effect of the Great Vowel Shift in Europe?

  1. Regional accents became more noticeable.
  2. The way certain vowel sounds were written no longer corresponded with how they sounded.
  3. The English and French vowel sounds were no longer correspond consistent with one another.
  4. Vowel sounds in the British Isles no longer correlated with mainland Britain.

Correct answer: 2

Explanations:

  1. This is incorrect.
  2. This is the correct answer as the vowel shift changed the way certain vowels sounded, altering the way the word was pronounced.
  3. This is incorrect.
  4. This is incorrect.
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