Study Guide

Field 107: English 
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.

Each question in the first section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice 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 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 0002 
Apply knowledge of strategies for critical listening and viewing.

1. When determining whether a message conveyed by a speaker is based on fact or opinion, a listener should take which of the following approaches?

  1. noting the types of supporting details provided by the speaker
  2. evaluating the speaker's academic and professional credentials
  3. observing the types of nonverbal cues used by the speaker
  4. identifying the organizational pattern used by the speaker

Correct Response: A. Generally, statements of fact will be accompanied by specific information based on objective reality (e.g., precise data, specific cases, logical deductions), while expressions of opinion may be based on subjective experiences or insights and are thus often accompanied by statements of probability, likelihood, experience, or supposition.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of strategies for active listening, speaking, and participation in academic discussions.

2. A student is reluctant to take part in discussions because she feels uncomfortable disagreeing with classmates. To help the student overcome this obstacle, the teacher asks her to prepare written comments ahead of an upcoming discussion and invites the student to share the comments with the teacher beforehand. Which further action by the teacher would best help promote the student's future participation in class discussions?

  1. asking the student to practice presenting her comments at home
  2. having several classmates read the student's comments before the discussion
  3. providing the student with focused feedback on the comments
  4. posting the student's comments for classmates to read during the discussion

Correct Response: C. The teacher can best help the student by providing focused feedback in response to her written comments. For example, the teacher can guide the student in selecting relevant supporting evidence, clarifying ideas, and conveying her opinion in a way that is respectful of other students' viewpoints. The teacher's feedback will help the student gain confidence in expressing disagreement, thus promoting her future participation in class discussions.

 start bold Read the excerpt below; then answer the two questions that follow [#s 3 and 4].  end bold 

sentence 1Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri. sentence 2Despite extensive travel later in life, he never forgot the Mississippi River town where he spent his earliest years. sentence 3With his father's death, he left school at age eleven to learn the printing trade. sentence 4In such works as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Life on the Mississippi (1883) he turned his boyhood experiences into memorable fictional narratives. sentence 5Hannibal and the Mississippi also provided the backdrop for his most influential novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). sentence 6In it, Twain combined broad-ranging humor with biting social satire in a masterful exploration of the freedom and innocence of youth. 
sentence 7

sentence 8To be sure, he continued to write successful books. sentence 9Nor did he ever lose the extraordinary command of language that had marked his writing from the outset. sentence 10But his increasingly dark vision of society and human nature, formed an unappealing contrast with the cheerful skepticism of earlier novels. sentence 11As the personal, economic, and physical misfortunes of old age clouded once vibrant memories of youth, Twain became ever more embittered, and his work suffered as a consequence.

Competency 0004 
Apply knowledge of the writing process.

3. Which of the following sentences should be removed from the excerpt to eliminate a distracting detail?

  1. Sentence 2
  2. Sentence 3
  3. Sentence 5
  4. Sentence 6

Correct Response: B. The first paragraph of the excerpt describes how Twain's boyhood experiences on the Mississippi influenced his literary works. Sentence 3 describes events without any apparent connection to Twain's literary works.

Competency 0005 
Apply knowledge of the elements of effective composition.

4. Which of the following sentences, if inserted as Sentence 7, would provide the best transition between the two paragraphs in this excerpt?

  1. In later novels, Twain never recaptured the balance between humor and pessimism that made Huckleberry Finn so compelling.
  2. After Huckleberry Finn, Twain adopted a different tack in his work.
  3. A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court (1889), The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), and other later novels were not nearly as well received as Huckleberry Finn.
  4. Huckleberry Finn was the best, but by no means the last, of Twain's novels.

Correct Response: A. Sentence 6 describes the felicitous balance between humor and satire that accounted for the success of Huckleberry Finn. It is clear from Sentences 8–11 that this balance was subsequently lost, and the darker side of Twain's vision came to dominate his later works. The transition from the first paragraph to the second paragraph marks the transition in Twain's work that was characterized by the loss of this balance between humor and pessimism. This transition is best expressed by response choice A.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of techniques for writing narratives.

5. A writer is developing a short story about Brianna, a sixteen-year-old girl who works on her family's pine tree farm. Which of the following versions of a paragraph from the story most effectively establishes Brianna's point of view?

  1. From the barn I could see the stream of cars making their way to Richardson's Tree Farm. Some of the cars wore fuzzy red noses or furry brown antlers in keeping with the season. My father directed traffic, a wheel of twine looped around one arm. Before noon, our lot—really just a patch of gravel—would be packed with cars.
  2. My mother was in charge of baling the trees. My older brother sawed off the stumps so the firs could absorb water with a fresh cut. My younger brothers hefted Frasers and balsam over their shoulders as if they weighed nothing. I drove the tractor, a thankless job for which I was rarely thanked and even more rarely, tipped.
  3. Our farm was far out of town, straddling the county line. We grew conifers, pastured horses and llamas, and sold red and gold potatoes by the bushel. Other farm stands in the neighborhood were busy only during the summer and fall harvest season, but ours was busiest in the winter, when we sold our fir trees.
  4. I had had enough of driving the tractor from the parking lot to the tree lot and back again. What did my parents think I was—a team of Clydesdale horses? A pack of sled dogs? As I towed yet another wagon full of cheerful people wearing knit pompon hats, I mourned the trees that we had hacked down and sold as holiday cheer.

Correct Response: D. A writer can effectively establish a character's point of view by using diction and figurative language to reveal the character's attitude and feelings. In the paragraph, Brianna expresses her discontent through vivid images ("What did my parents think I was—a team of Clydesdale horses? A pack of sled dogs?"). Her negative attitude toward her job sets her apart from her passengers, the "cheerful people wearing knit pompon hats." In the paragraph's final sentence, the juxtaposition of "mourned" and "hacked down" with "holiday cheer" further highlights Brianna's derisive tone.

Competency 0012 
Apply knowledge of strategies for reading informational texts.

6.  start bold Read the excerpt below from "Good Growing in Oklahoma, Year Round," an article on the  U S  Department of Agriculture's Web site; then answer the question that follows. end bold 

Hoop houses, also known as high tunnels, are temporary greenhouses that allow farmers across the state to supply Oklahoma's Farm to School Program with fresh, local products from the start of classes in August to the final bell in June.

"With the use of hoop houses, more farmers can grow in the fall, throughout winter, and into early spring to provide wonderful food in our schools year round," said Chris Kirby, Farm to School Program Administrator for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

To keep these kinds of opportunities growing throughout the state, Kirby works to connect farmers with needed resources. USDA'sfootnote 1 Natural Resources Conservation Service has a Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative that provides cost-sharing for hoop houses. "If we provide economic opportunities to the farmers, we can get the food to schools," said Kirby.

In late winter and early spring, when it is too cold for outdoor planting, hoop houses allow garden-fresh favorites to flourish. Students in Oklahoma might enjoy fresh greens at the salad bar for lunch in February, root vegetables at snack time in March and even tomatoes before school is out.

footnote 1 start bold USDA end bold :  U S  Department of Agriculture

Which of the following conclusions can be reasonably drawn from the information provided in the excerpt?

  1. Oklahoma students prefer fresh fruits and vegetables to frozen and canned produce.
  2. Oklahoma is the only state participating in the USDA's Seasonal High Tunnel initiative.
  3. The cost of maintaining hoop houses is beyond the means of many Oklahoma farmers.
  4. The use of hoop houses to grow food during the off-season is rare outside Oklahoma.

Correct Response: C. According to the excerpt, Chris Kirby "works to connect farmers with needed resources," such as the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, which provides cost-sharing for hoop houses. From this information it is reasonable to conclude that many Oklahoma farmers would be unable to afford hoop houses on their own without such financial assistance.

Competency 0015 
Apply knowledge of the historical, social, cultural, and technological influences shaping the English language.

7. The words  start italics avocado end italics ,  start italics mesquite end italics , and  start italics coyote end italics  are examples of words that were introduced into American English as a result of interactions between speakers of Nahuatl and speakers of which of the following languages?

  1. French
  2. Gaelic
  3. Russian
  4. Spanish

Correct Response: D. The Spanish words, start italics, aguacate, end italics, start italics, mesquite, end italics, and start italics, coyote, end italics come from the Nahuatl words, start italics, ahuacatl, end italics, start italics, mizquitl, end italics, and start italics, coyotl, end italics, respectively. Nahuatl is an Uto-Aztecan language. During the colonial period in what is now Mexico, Spanish speakers adopted Nahuatl words for indigenous plants and animals for which Spanish words did not exist. These Spanish words were later introduced into American English as a result of interactions between speakers of English and Spanish in the Southwest.

Competency 0016 
Apply knowledge of the characteristics of various forms of poetry.

8.  start bold Read the excerpt below from a work of poetry; then answer the question that follows. end bold 

The creatures that we met this morning
marveled at our green skins
and scarlet eyes.
They lack antennae
and can't be made to grasp
your lawful proclamation that they are
our lawful food and prey and slaves
nor can they seem to learn
their body-space is needed to materialize
our oxygen absorbers—
which they conceive are breathing
and thinking creatures whom they implore
at first as angels or (later) as devils
when they are being snuffed out
by an absorber swelling
into their space….
We need their space and oxygen
which they do not know how to use,
yet they will not give up their gas unforced,
and we feel sure,
whatever our "agreements" made this morning,
we'll have to cook them all:
the more we cook this orbit,
the fewer next time around.

Which of the following statements best describes the way in which a literary technique is used in this excerpt to draw the reader into an unexpected point of view?

  1. A metaphor from science fiction is extended to reveal a particular sensibility.
  2. A distinctive diction and vivid sensory images create a convincing aura of exoticism.
  3. A meditative monologue unfolds the speaker's most intimate thoughts and feelings.
  4. A passionate poetic voice makes an emotional appeal that is difficult to resist.

Correct Response: A. The science fiction metaphor of a conquering race occupying a planet and killing the native inhabitants for their resources reveals a particular sensibility that is characteristic of the many indigenous peoples around the world who throughout history have been forced to suffer cruel and inhuman treatment by colonizing peoples.

Competency 0017 
Apply knowledge of major themes, characteristics, trends, writers, and works in American literature from the colonial period to the present.

9.  start bold Read the excerpt below from The Awakening, a novel by Kate Chopin; then answer the question that follows. end bold 

She went and stood at an open window and looked out upon the deep tangle of the garden below. All the mystery and witchery of the night seemed to have gathered there amid the perfumes and the dusky and tortuous outlines of flowers and foliage. She was seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods. But the voices were not soothing that came to her from the darkness and the sky above and the stars. They jeered and sounded mournful notes without promise, devoid even of hope. She turned back into the room and began to walk to and fro down its whole length without stopping, without resting. She carried in her hands a thin handkerchief, which she tore into ribbons, rolled into a ball, and flung from her. Once she stopped, and taking off her wedding ring, flung it upon the carpet. When she saw it lying there, she stamped her heel upon it, striving to crush it. But her small boot heel did not make an indenture, not a mark upon the little glittering circlet.

In the excerpt, Chopin uses sensory details primarily to:

  1. lend greater realism to the setting.
  2. convey the character's inner turmoil.
  3. establish a tone of wistful nostalgia.
  4. suggest that tragic events will occur.

Correct Response: B. In the excerpt, Chopin uses sensory details primarily to reflect the character's inner emotional turmoil. While the character may find solace in "seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods," she hears mournful voices that offer only despair. These external voices appear to reflect her own feelings, for after turning her gaze away from the window her restless pacing ends in an attempt to destroy her wedding ring. This "little glittering circlet" would seem to present a bright, hopeful contrast to the darkness outside the window, but it only serves to reveal the character's rage and despair.

Competency 0019 
Apply knowledge of major themes, characteristics, trends, writers, and works in the literatures of Asia, Africa, continental Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

10.  start bold Read the excerpt below from Antigone, a play by Sophocles; then answer the question that follows. end bold 

In this excerpt, Antigone has been sentenced to death for illegally burying her brother's body.

CHORUS. Acts reverent and devout
May claim devotion's name,
But power, in one who cares to keep his power,
May never be defied;
And thee thy stubborn mood,
Self-chosen, layeth low.
ANTIGONE. Unwept, without a friend,
Unwed, and whelmed in woe,
I journey on the road that open lies.
No more shall it be mine (O misery!)
To look upon the holy eye of day,
And yet, of all my friends,
  Not one bewails my fate,
  No kindly tear is shed.

In this excerpt, the Chorus reflects which of the following cultural attitudes?

  1. loyalty to family
  2. respect for authority
  3. aversion to conflict
  4. fear of the unknown

Correct Response: B. The Chorus, as representative of the ancient Greeks generally, declares that "power, in one who cares to keep his power, / May never be defied." This statement suggests that ancient Greeks respected the authority of the state and attempted to discourage rebellion by punishing individuals who defied the state's authority.


 start bold Item 8 end bold  
Carter Revard. "Discovery of the New World." Ponca War Dances, 1980. Reprinted with permission of author.