Test Information Guide
Field 52: Academically Advanced
Sample OpenResponse Item
The following materials contain:
 Sample test directions for the openresponse item
 A sample openresponse item
 An example of a strong response to the openresponse item
 The scoring rubric
Sample Test Directions for OpenResponse Items
This section of the test consists of two openresponse item assignments. You will be asked to prepare a written response of approximately 150–300 words for each assignment. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response for each assignment. You must write responses to both of the assignments.
For each assignment, read the topic and directions carefully before you begin to work. Think about how you will organize your response.
As a whole, your response to each assignment must demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge of the field. In your response to each assignment, you are expected to demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the subject area by applying your knowledge rather than by merely reciting factual information.
Your response to each assignment will be evaluated based on the following criteria.
 PURPOSE: the extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
 SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE: appropriateness and accuracy in the application of subject knowledge
 SUPPORT: quality and relevance of supporting evidence
 RATIONALE: soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject area
The openresponse item assignments are intended to assess subject knowledge. Your responses must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of the evaluation criteria by scorers. Your responses should be written for an audience of educators in this field. The final version of each response should conform to the conventions of edited American English. Your responses should be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.
Be sure to write about the assigned topics. You may not use any reference materials during the test. Remember to review your work and make any changes you think will improve your responses.
Sample OpenResponse Item
Objective 0008
Prepare an organized, developed analysis related to topics from one or more of the following: curricular content and promoting learning in academically advanced students.
Read the information below; then complete the exercise that follows.
You are a fourthgrade teacher in a selfcontained classroom. You have a cluster group of five academically advanced students who are working in the sixthgrade math curriculum.
You are teaching an instructional unit based on the "Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability" strand contained in the Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework. The academically advanced students will be working on learning standards related to calculating probability.
Using your knowledge of mathematics and instruction for academically advanced students, write a response in which you:
 describe two concepts that are important to know about calculating probability, and explain how these concepts are important in developing students' understanding of calculating probability;
 describe how you will provide accelerated instruction on calculating probability for the students in the cluster group; and
 explain why this instruction would be effective with these students.
Sample Strong Response to the OpenResponse Item
The sample response below reflects a strong knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
I would include the cluster group in my general presentation on the topic of probability to the fourthgrade class. I would first introduce the concept of sample space (the set of all possible outcomes) and the concept that each outcome is equally likely. For examples, I would toss a coin, where the sample space is (H, T), and roll a die, with sample space (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). I would then have the entire class perform some experiments in predicting particular outcomes using a die.
Sample space and the equal likelihood of each outcome are important concepts because, once understood, the students can begin to calculate probability. For example, I would ask students to figure out the probability of rolling a 5 with a die. Students could list the sample space and literally count the number of favorable events. In this case, 5 would appear once. The number of favorable events divided by the total number of events equals the probability of the favorable event.
The members of the cluster group should extend their learning about probability to a more advanced level. For instance, I would have them determine the sample space when two dice of different colors are rolled. Students could graphically demonstrate why there are 36 possible outcomes and then explain why. Next, I would have the advanced students design their own experiments using two dice, restricting themselves to outcomes such as the sum of seven, or pairs—a subset of the sample space. Students would calculate the probability of the favorable outcome, roll the dice repeatedly, record the results, and compare the results with their calculations.
This instruction would be effective with academically advanced students because it allows them to apply their knowledge to an experimental question that they have formulated themselves. These students would have the opportunity to study the topic of probability more in depth and then demonstrate their understanding of the advanced content through problem solving.
Scoring Rubric
Performance Characteristics
The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the openresponse item(s).
Purpose  The extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment. 

Subject Matter Knowledge  Accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge. 
Support  Quality and relevance of supporting details. 
Rationale  Soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter. 
Scoring Scale
The scoring scale below, which is related to the performance characteristics for the tests, is used by scorers in assigning scores to responses to the openresponse item(s).
Score Point  Score Point Description 

4 
The "4" response reflects a thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

3  The "3" response reflects an adequate knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

2  The "2" response reflects a limited knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

1  The "1" response reflects a weak knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

U  The response is unrelated to the assigned topic, illegible, primarily in a language other than English, not of sufficient length to score, or merely a repetition of the assignment. 
B  There is no response to the assignment. 