Study Guide

Field 076: OPTE: 6–12
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test contains two sections: a selected-response section and a constructed-response section. You may complete the sections in the order you choose, but it is suggested that you complete the selected-response section of the test first. The directions for each section appear immediately before that section.

For the constructed-response section of the test, you will be presented with three written performance assignments—a Managing the Learning Environment assignment, an Instruction for Students with Diverse Needs assignment, and a Collaboration in the School Community assignment. You will be asked to prepare a written response of 150–300 words for each performance assignment. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and revise what you have written for each performance assignment.

After you have completed a section, you may go on to the other section. You may go back and review your answers to the selected-response questions and your written responses, but be sure you have answered all selected-response questions and completed all performance assignments.

This session will last four hours. You may work at your own pace on the different sections of the test. If you have any questions, please ask them now before you begin the test.

Selected-Response Directions

Each question in this section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the ONE best answer.

Try to respond to all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will NOT be penalized for guessing.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Apply knowledge of how students grow and develop, variations in patterns of learning and development, and strategies for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

1. Cognitive development in late adolescence is characterized primarily by an increased ability to:

  1. resolve interpersonal conflicts.
  2. comprehend abstract concepts.
  3. define achievable goals.
  4. tolerate ambiguity.

Competency 0002
Apply knowledge of individual differences, the implications of diversity for teaching and learning, and strategies for establishing and maintaining inclusive learning environments that enable all students to meet high standards.

2. Which of the following situations is likely to have the greatest positive effect on an English language learner's second-language acquisition?

  1. The student regularly serves as an interpreter for family members who do not speak English.
  2. The student is immersed in classes with native English speakers to provide ongoing support in using English.
  3. The student has access to digital books and DVDs in the primary language with English subtitle capabilities.
  4. The student has well-developed literacy skills in the primary language to form a foundation for English learning.

Competency 0003
Apply knowledge of strategies for creating and maintaining positive learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

3. One student in a middle school teacher's class consistently distracts classmates during independent work. Which of the following actions by the teacher in response to this behavior best represents a logical consequences approach to classroom management?

  1. reminding the student frequently of the established behavior guidelines for independent work
  2. assigning the student a peer to provide support in staying on task during independent work
  3. having the student move to an individual work space during independent work
  4. sending the student to another area of the school, such as the library, during independent work

Competency 0004
Apply knowledge of guiding principles, tools of inquiry, and structures of the teacher's discipline; strategies for creating learning experiences to make the discipline accessible and meaningful; and strategies for engaging students in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving.

4. Teaching students to analyze affixes and root words is a particularly effective strategy for helping them determine the meaning of academic vocabulary in which of the following areas?

  1. geography
  2. the fine arts
  3. literature
  4. the sciences

Competency 0005
Apply knowledge of how to use a variety of assessment strategies and assessment data to evaluate and modify the teaching and learning process and to ensure students' continuous intellectual, social, and physical development.

5. An essay or open-response assessment would be the most appropriate method for which of the following purposes?

  1. measuring the depth of a student's conceptual understanding
  2. evaluating the various characteristics of a student's project
  3. determining a student's knowledge of a broad body of content
  4. monitoring a student's growth and learning progress over time

Competency 0006
Apply and analyze instructional planning strategies for supporting all students in meeting rigorous goals that are based on content knowledge, curriculum and cross-disciplinary skills, and knowledge of students.

6. Formative assessment data reveal that many students in a ninth-grade English class have not mastered skills related to analyzing text structures. The teacher's most appropriate response to these data is to:

  1. adjust instructional plans to incorporate different strategies and reteach students the skills in question.
  2. proceed with planned instruction and come back to the skills in question at a later date.
  3. develop additional homework assignments for students that address the skills in question.
  4. consult with department colleagues about how they are teaching the skills in question.

Competency 0007
Analyze the use of various instructional strategies for encouraging students to develop a deep understanding of content and for building students' skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

7. In which of the following situations is a teacher most clearly acting as a coach in the instructional process?

  1. A sixth-grade teacher demonstrates for small groups of students how to use a specific piece of equipment in the science lab.
  2. A seventh-grade teacher suggests alternate strategies students could try during a small-group problem-solving activity.
  3. An eighth-grade teacher assists students in using a university's online library catalog to locate resources on specific topics.
  4. A ninth-grade teacher circulates through the classroom offering encouragement to students during a challenging activity.

Competency 0008
Apply knowledge of strategies for fostering collaboration and positive interactions with students, families, colleagues, and members of the community and for engaging their active participation in promoting students' growth and well-being.

8. Which of the following uses of technology would best support a high school teacher in building a learning community among colleagues from around the state?

  1. joining e-mail groups to receive newsletters from educational organizations for secondary teachers
  2. attending annual conferences of discipline-specific organizations (e.g., National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
  3. subscribing to the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed for the state education association
  4. establishing and maintaining a blog as a discussion forum for interested teachers on current issues and trends in secondary education

Competency 0009
Apply knowledge of strategies for engaging in professional learning and for seeking leadership opportunities to ensure learner growth and advance the profession.

9. Use the checklist below to answer the question that follows.


A high school teacher has created the checklist shown to use at the end of each instructional unit. The teacher's use of this approach most clearly demonstrates understanding of the importance of:

  1. designing lessons that promote positive interactions between all students.
  2. emphasizing students' academic growth over reaching a specific achievement goal.
  3. engaging in ongoing reflection on professional practice to improve student learning outcomes.
  4. modifying instruction and the learning environment to address the learning needs of all students.

Competency 0010
Apply knowledge of legal and ethical aspects of teaching, including the rights and responsibilities of teachers, students, and families in various educational contexts.

10. A middle school social studies teacher believes some topics related to the Holocaust are inappropriate for middle school students even though the topics are part of the school curriculum. The teacher decides to skip the topics in question when teaching students about the Holocaust. Which of the following statements provides an accurate assessment of the teacher's legal rights in this situation?

  1. The teacher does not have a right to alter course content without written approval from a school administrator.
  2. The teacher's right to academic freedom allows the teacher to exercise personal discretion regarding course content.
  3. The teacher does not have a right to ignore or omit course content set by the district or the state.
  4. The teacher has a right to tailor course content according to students' developmental characteristics.