Comprehensive English Examination: June 2015

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Heroes rise from adversity. That theme forms the focus of the critical lens essay in a sample comprehensive English examination. The exam, which is part of a larger series of sample standardized tests, also includes two short response questions and 25 multiple-choice questions. A third of the multiple-choice items are based on a dictation passage, while the other two-thirds connect to two first-person literary and informational passages as well as a poem.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Find one or two additional texts related to the controlling idea of life choices and have learners practice answering the first short response question with those texts
  • Review common literary elements and literary techniques before administering the exam
Classroom Considerations
  • Use the conversion chart to compare raw student scores to where they would fall on the official test scale
  • Includes passages from modern and high-interest texts, such as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Provides rubrics to help grade the essay and short response questions
  • The final essay requires that readers have previously read novels that fit the theme