Test Information Guide

Field 07: English
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Literature and Language

Objective 0001
Understand American literature from the colonial period through the end of the nineteenth century.

1. Which of the following statements best describes a significant way in which American literature developed during the early nineteenth century?

  1. American writers developed dystopian fiction that offered an alternate view of society's potentialities.
  2. American writers used their work to explore psychological theories about the power of the subconscious mind over human behavior.
  3. American writers created fictional characters whose idiosyncratic personalities celebrated individualism as a national trait.
  4. American writers looked to the unlikely fields of science and technology as sources of artistic inspiration.
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Objective 0003
Understand the literature of Great Britain from the Anglo-Saxon period through the Romantic period.

2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight most clearly reflects which of the following concerns of the medieval period in Britain?

  1. the decline of feudalism
  2. the ethical conduct of the nobility
  3. the role of the Crusades
  4. the authority of the Church
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.

Objective 0005
Understand literature from the ancient world to the fifteenth century.

3. Read the traditional Zen parable "The Tigers and the Strawberry" (ca. 1400 C.E.) below; then answer the question that follows.

A man was walking across a field when he saw a tiger. He fled, but the tiger ran after him. Coming to the edge of a cliff, he spied the root of a wild vine. Grabbing on to it, he swung himself down over the edge, out of reach of the tiger. He was safe!

The tiger came to the edge and sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down and saw another ferocious tiger prowling below. Only the thin vine held him.

Two mice, one white and one black, scurried out of a nearby nest in the cliff and began gnawing at the vine. As they chewed, the man saw a luscious strawberry on a nearby ledge. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.

Ah, how sweet it tasted!

The above parable most reflects the Zen sensibility in its depiction of an individual:

  1. drifting through an indifferent, unpredictable universe.
  2. finding peace in a single, brief moment.
  3. discovering a natural, balanced order.
  4. meeting the challenges of survival in a harsh and cruel world.
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.

Objective 0006
Understand world literature from the fifteenth century to the present.

4. The literature of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and other twentieth-century African writers frequently examines conflicts between:

  1. traditional values and modern Western ways of life.
  2. individual desire and conscience.
  3. women's rights and traditional patriarchal society.
  4. government policy and tribal unity.
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

Objective 0008
Understand literary theory and criticism.

5. Read the excerpt below from "Preface to Shakespeare" (1763) by Samuel Johnson; then answer the question that follows.

The truth is, that the spectators are always in their senses, and know, from the first act to the last, that the stage is only a stage, and that the players are only players. They came to hear a certain number of lines recited with just gesture and elegant modulation. The lines relate to some action, and an action must be in some place; but the different actions that complete a story may be in places very remote from each other; and where is the absurdity of allowing that space to represent first Athens, and then Sicily, which was always known to be neither Sicily nor Athens, but a modern theatre?

This excerpt best exemplifies how neoclassical British dramatic criticism rejects which of the following concepts derived from classical criticism?

  1. the dramatic unities
  2. the possibility of perfection
  3. the ideal of truth
  4. the imitative quality of art
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

Rhetoric and Composition

Objective 0011
Understand the composition process.

6. Which of the following descriptions of a car accident is written in the most appropriate style for the lead of a newspaper article?

  1. It was only a matter of time before a serious accident occurred at this notorious intersection, and yesterday it happened—two cars collided at Summer and Main Streets, injuring five people.
  2. The unmistakable sound of metal against metal was heard yesterday as two cars smashed into each other at the town's most dangerous intersection.
  3. A two-car collision yesterday at the intersection of Summer and Main Streets sent five people to the hospital and shut down traffic for almost two hours.
  4. Passersby were shocked as they witnessed a collision in the center of town yesterday; several went to the aid of the occupants of the two cars as others tried to divert traffic.
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Objective 0012
Understand written language conventions.

Read the paragraph below; then answer the two questions that follow.

1Some writers produce early works that foreshadow future masterpieces. 2At the tender age of thirteen, H. G. Wells wrote an entire novella, The Desert Daisy, complete with a map and illustrations. 3Virginia Woolf, at age ten, wrote a journal entry and gave it the title "To the Lighthouse." 4As a nine-year-old, Helen Beatrix Potter's drawings of wild flowers won acclaim; by the time she was a teenager, Potter's descriptive prose was as beautiful as her drawings. 5By age sixteen, T. S. Eliot had written a South Seas vignette and a lovely poem called "A Lyric."

7. Which of the following sentences in the paragraph shown above should be revised to eliminate the use of a cliché?

  1. Sentence 2
  2. Sentence 3
  3. Sentence 4
  4. Sentence 5
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

8. Which of the following revisions is needed to make this paragraph conform to the conventions of standard written English?

  1. Reposition the period in Sentence 3 to be outside the quotation marks.
  2. Revise Sentence 3 to correct an error in pronoun-antecedent agreement.
  3. Revise Sentence 4 to eliminate a misplaced modifier.
  4. Replace the semicolon in Sentence 4 with a comma.
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Reading Theory, Research, and Instruction

Objective 0013
Understand language acquisition, reading processes, and research-based theories relating to reading.

9. A high school English teacher considers ways to help students use metacognitive strategies to improve their reading comprehension. Which of the following activities would be most effective for this purpose?

  1. Students take detailed notes on a complex informational text after reading it.
  2. Students read a persuasive essay and a news story on the same topic, and then write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two texts.
  3. Students write questions and remarks in the margins of a photocopied essay as they read.
  4. Students skim a text to identify unfamiliar vocabulary and then look up the words in a dictionary before rereading the text.
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Objective 0014
Understand effective, research-based reading instruction and the role of children's literature and young adult literature in promoting reading proficiency.

10. Which of the following activities for high school students would best promote their understanding of the relationship between main ideas and supporting details in a nonfiction text they have read?

  1. Students collaborate in small groups to take notes on the text and then present their findings orally.
  2. Students work with partners to identify what else they would like to learn about the subject.
  3. Students collaborate in a small group to write a brief paragraph summarizing the text.
  4. Students work with partners to create an outline of information contained in the text.
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Martin, Rafe. Zen parable titled "The Tigers and the Strawberry," from ONE HAND CLAPPING, published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. Copyright © 1995 by Rafe Martin. Used by permission of Rafe Martin, www.rafemartin.com.