Study Guide

Field 085: Special Education Comprehensive Assessment 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section that includes one writing assignment.

Each question in the first section of this test is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer 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  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment will appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of human development and factors that influence growth, development, and learning from birth through age 21.

1. In general, autism spectrum disorder (A S D) most typically affects a student's overall cognitive development due to:

  1. inconsistent mastery of daily living skills.
  2. variations in language acquisition and social engagement.
  3. delays in all areas of sensory skill development.
  4. additional implications of co-occurring conditions.

Correct Response: B. Autism spectrum disorder open parenthesis A S D close parenthesis is a developmental disability characterized by language and communication delays which impact developmental domains. Delays in overall cognitive development are not generally considered to be primary characteristics of A S D. However, research identifies the significant relationship between language/communication and cognition. As a result, young children with A S D may demonstrate delayed cognitive development without early intervention to explicitly develop language and communication skills.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of assessment instruments and procedures for evaluating students' strengths and needs.

2. A fourth-grade student has been referred for a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether the student is eligible for special education services. The student has lived in the United States for approximately one year and has limited English proficiency. Which of the following actions should the Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Eligibility Group Summary (M E E G S) address first to avoid bias during the assessment process for this student?

  1. providing a brief program of instruction of basic English literacy skills in the student's primary language
  2. investigating the availability of appropriate testing instruments in the student's primary language
  3. determining the student's dominant language as well as the student's level of proficiency in the primary language and in English
  4. locating an individual who fluently speaks the student's primary language to explain testing procedures to the student

Correct Response: C. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act open parenthesis I D E A close parenthesis includes several provisions related to students with limited English proficiency and students who are English learners open parenthesis E ells close parenthesis. A number of these provisions address the overrepresentation of E ells determined eligible for special education services. One factor that has been identified as strongly contributing to this misidentification of E ells is language bias in the assessment process and the administration of the assessment. Taken together, Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act requires public agencies to identify a student's language proficiency in English and their primary language, while I D E A requires that local education agencies close parenthesis L E Aees close parenthesis distinguish language proficiency in English from disability determinations and ensure that assessments are administered in the student's dominant language if their level of English proficiency so warrants.

Competency 0004 
Apply knowledge of principles, strategies, and procedures for promoting successful transitions for students with disabilities.

3. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

For the past year, an 18-year-old student with an intellectual disability has attended high school classes in functional academics for half of the day and participated in a supervised work program at a restaurant for the other half of the day. The special education teacher is reviewing a work-readiness assessment completed by the restaurant manager. An excerpt of the assessment is shown below.

Observed by Employer
intentionally left blank Mastered Progress Not Yet
Interpersonal Interactions
1. Speaks in an appropriate tone of voice. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
2. Accepts responsibility for actions. intentionally left blank X intentionally left blank
3. Dresses appropriately. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
4. Respects personal space of others. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
5. Responds appropriately to feedback. intentionally left blank X intentionally left blank
Work Habits and Behavior
6. Demonstrates punctuality. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
7. Checks in with supervisor. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
8. Listens to and follows directions. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
9. Remembers instructions from day to day. intentionally left blank X intentionally left blank
10. Maintains productivity with change in routine. intentionally left blank intentionally left blank X
11. Seeks assistance when needed. intentionally left blank X intentionally left blank
12. Follows safety procedures. X intentionally left blank intentionally left blank
13. Demonstrates ability to learn job-specific skills. intentionally left blank X intentionally left blank
14. Maintains work productivity with reduced supervisor contact. intentionally left blank intentionally left blank X

The student's work readiness assessment most clearly indicates a need for continued support in which of the following areas?

  1. interacting appropriately with supervisor and coworkers
  2. practicing skills and tasks specific to the job
  3. adhering to explicit procedures and directions
  4. developing personal responsibility and independence

Correct Response: D. The data presented in the work readiness assessment indicate the student has mastered some entry-level employment skills. The areas not yet achieved, and some that are progressing, are typically known as "soft skills." This set of skills relates to an individual's willingness to learn (i.e., personal responsibility) and emotional intelligence and adaptability in any given situation or setting with a student to request a comprehensive evaluation for a possible disability. Parents/guardians have the legal right to a due process hearing should a local education agency open parenthesis i.e., independence close parenthesis.

Competency 0005 
Demonstrate knowledge of the policies, principles, and procedures related to referral, eligibility, program planning, instruction, and placement of students with disabilities, including students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

4. In which of the following ways does the Child Find mandate support parents/guardians of children with suspected delays or disabilities?

  1. allowing all parents/guardians the opportunity to access an annual comprehensive special education evaluation for their child from birth to age five
  2. including the right for parents/guardians to seek a due process hearing if their child has been denied a special education evaluation
  3. offering parents/guardians the ability to request special education teachers and support staff for their child based on the child's needs
  4. establishing guidelines with parents/guardians for determining the most effective educational setting for their child

Correct Response: B. The Child Find mandate requires all public education systems to locate, identify, and evaluate any children with a student to request a comprehensive evaluation for a possible disability. Parents/guardians have the legal right to a due process hearing should a local education agency open parenthesis birth to age 21 close parenthesis suspected of having a disability, including students parentally placed in private school settings. States are required to have established protocols and provisions for anyone who is familiar with a student to request a comprehensive evaluation for a possible disability. Parents/guardians have the legal right to a due process hearing should a local education agency open parenthesis L E A close parenthesis deny the request for an evaluation.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of practices for establishing safe, engaging, and productive learning environments for students with disabilities.

5. Which of the following scenarios best illustrates an effective collaborative relationship between a special education teacher and a paraprofessional?

  1. A special education teacher and a paraprofessional meet at the start of the week to review lesson plans and activities. They discuss which students will need the most support from the paraprofessional during each lesson, and how the paraprofessional should support students.
  2. A special education teacher gives a paraprofessional a daily assessment to complete with students. The teacher randomly observes the paraprofessional working with students and reviews the assessment at the end of each day.
  3. A paraprofessional has the following roles each day: leading circle time on the rug, monitoring outside play, supervising student lunchtime, and ensuring students transition appropriately throughout the school setting. The special education teacher is available for any issues that may arise during the paraprofessional's contact with students.
  4. A paraprofessional works with one student all day in a general education classroom. The paraprofessional checks in occasionally with the special education teacher or general education teacher for suggestions on what to teach next.

Correct Response: A. Paraprofessionals have an important role in supporting students with disabilities in both the general education setting and the separate settings. The special education teacher has a responsibility to provide the necessary information, training, and support to the paraprofessional in their varied assignments. Evidence-based practices recommends weekly planning discussions between the special education teacher and paraprofessional to address effective support for both the students and the paraprofessional.

Competency 0007 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies and instructional methods for promoting communication and language development of students with disabilities.

6. A seventh-grade student with emotional disturbance (E D) has trouble expressing ideas and opinions during discussions in a social studies class. The special education teacher observes the student's verbal interactions with others in a variety of situations around the school. The teacher's approach would be most useful in helping to answer which of the following questions?

  1. Are the student's communication difficulties in class a result of a problem with the teacher's interpretation of the student's ideas or the student's ability to express them?
  2. What conditions appear to enhance the student's ability to contribute and meaningfully communicate with others in a small group?
  3. What does the student's communicative competence outside of class suggest about abilities to communicate effectively when motivated to do so?
  4. How likely is it that the student's communication problems in class result primarily from the student's feelings about that particular class or teacher?

Correct Response: B. In this scenario, the teacher has identified the student's specific need. The most useful approach in developing an appropriate intervention or instructional plan is for the teacher to determine what conditions support the student in other settings or situations. Once that has been determined, the teacher can establish a more effective instructional plan, strategy, or intervention by incorporating that information.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies and instructional methods in the instruction of reading to students with disabilities.

7. A special education teacher in an elementary school often uses a constant time-delay technique when teaching functional words to students with severe disabilities. This technique would be especially effective in fostering a student's ability to:

  1. respond accurately to a print cue without being prompted by a teacher.
  2. generalize a nonphonetic spelling to other words that follow the same pattern.
  3. comprehend a word's meaning in the context of a narrative text.
  4. incorporate a word into their written and oral expressive vocabulary.

Correct Response: A. The constant time-delay technique is an evidence-based strategy for teaching simple discrete skills or behaviors using a stimulus-response cycle to present information to the student. This technique is most effectively used to support instruction in tasks requiring the student to memorize facts and recall information when prompted/cued. The use of time-delay for cues/prompts promotes the student's learning and provides reinforcement for the student's correct responses.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies and instructional methods in the instruction of reading to students with disabilities.

8. A special education teacher is providing instruction to a fourth-grade student with a specific learning disability (SLD) in reading. The teacher's lesson follows the sequence shown below.

1. Show the student a printed list of five high-frequency words.

2. Point to and pronounce each word for the student.

3. Read the word list chorally with the student.

4. Read aloud a passage that includes the targeted words and have the student raise his or her hand each time he or she hears a word from the list.

5. Have the student read the passage aloud several times.

Which of the following areas of reading development will this instructional sequence most effectively promote?

  1. fluency
  2. phonemic awareness
  3. phonics
  4. comprehension

Correct Response: A. The teacher's use of explicit instruction presented in this sequence most effectively promotes the student's development of oral reading fluency. High frequency words are typically taught through rote memorization. This strategy accesses the student's auditory, visual, and oral modalities to support retention and recall, gradually leading to automaticity.

Competency 0010 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies for developing social skills and providing effective positive behavior interventions for students with disabilities.

9. A special education teacher observes a third-grade student three times in different settings to collect data for a functional behavior assessment (FBA).

Excerpt of Observation Notes of Student A

Location Observed Activity and Behavior
Morning Meeting The class is asked to read aloud the daily message written on the whiteboard. Student A doesn't read and instead starts poking another student.
Math Class The teacher asks the students to follow along as she completes a math problem on the whiteboard. Student A does not follow along and instead rips a page out of the math book.
Social Studies Class Students are working independently on drawing maps of their homes. The teacher reminds the students to draw in windows and doors on their homes. Student A refuses, breaks the pencil in half, and throws it across the room.

Based on the documentation in these three situations, the antecedent for Student A's behavior is most likely related to:

  1. the general education classroom.
  2. proximity to other students.
  3. verbal direction or redirection.
  4. the specific academic content.

Correct Response: C. When determining the antecedent for a student's observed behavior, it is important to consider specific times of day, setting, people, and activities. In this scenario, the challenging behavior during each class period followed the teacher's verbal direction or redirection to the student.

Competency 0011 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies and instructional methods for promoting the academic achievement and independent learning of students with disabilities.

10. A high school student with a degenerative neurological disorder has begun to experience difficulty with the fine-motor movements required for written assignments. The student has been using a computer with word-processing software, but this accommodation alone is no longer sufficient for the student's needs. Which of the following additional solutions would best support this student in completing written assignments and projects?

  1. a wireless, flexible keyboard that can be positioned to facilitate access
  2. an adapted keyboard tailored so that single keystrokes produce frequently used words and phrases
  3. a tablet device that receives input through a touch screen keyboard
  4. an alternate keyboard with the letters arranged in alphabetical order instead of the standard configuration

Correct Response: B. In this scenario, the student has experience using word-processing software. At this time, the student's use of an adapted keyboard that allows for word prediction would be most appropriate to complete written assignments and continue to use fine-motor skills while accommodating for accuracy.