Test Information Guide

Field 50: Middle School Humanities
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Literature and Language

Objective 0001
Understand the characteristics and elements of various genres and types of literature, including literature for children and young adults.

1. The poetic form known as the ballad may best be described as a:

  1. dramatic narrative poem that consists of simple stanzas with a refrain that is repeated throughout the poem.
  2. celebratory song of praise expressing spiritual feelings, usually addressed to a divine being or beings.
  3. long lyric poem written in an elevated style with a serious tone and having a complex stanzaic structure.
  4. formal and sustained lyrical expression of grief over the death of a particular person, emphasizing mutability and loss.
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

Objective 0002
Understand American literature and language from the precolonial period to the present.

2. Which of the following events most directly influenced the shift from Romanticism to Realism in U.S. literature?

  1. the outbreak of the American Revolution
  2. the disputes between the United States and other governments over westward expansion
  3. the Civil War and the rapidly growing industrialization of the Northern states
  4. the economic depression between World Wars I and II
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Reading, Rhetoric, and Composition

Objective 0004
Understand research-based theories of the reading process and effective methods of reading instruction and assessment.

3. Which of the following reading strategies would best help middle school readers self-monitor comprehension of an informational text?

  1. reading the entire text slowly, then quickly rereading the introduction and conclusion
  2. converting each header in the text to a question, then reading to answer the questions
  3. making a detailed outline of the text after reading, then discussing the outline
  4. reading aloud the introductory section of the text, then silently reading the remainder of the text
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.

Read the passage below, which contains one or more errors in standard, written American English; then answer the two questions that follow.

1The daughter of Chinese immigrant parents, Maxine Hong Kingston grew up in Stockton, California. 2Although she could not speak English before starting school, Kingston learned quickly; later winning a scholarship to the University of California in Berkeley. 3In 1967, she and her husband departed the mainland for a seventeen-year stay in Hawaii. 4It was during this period that she wrote two of her best- known novels: The Woman Warrior (1976) and China Men (1980).
5_____________________________________________________________. 6Memory, she explained to one interviewer, helps a writer capture an eternal essence. 7Once she has captured that essence, Kingston struggles to put it into a written form that will be accessible to readers. 8In the process, she uses her imagination to approach and develop the characters in her work. 9Indeed, as these characters are generally ancestors whom she has never met, it is imperative that she be able to deal with them imaginatively.
Objective 0005
Understand principles of rhetoric and uses of language as they apply to various forms and purposes of oral and written communication.

4. Which of the following sentences, if added as Sentence 5, would best fit the writer's ordering of ideas in the second paragraph?

  1. Childhood experiences made a lasting impression on Kingston.
  2. Kingston has an excellent memory.
  3. Memory and imagination are two key elements in Kingston's work.
  4. Kingston spends a great deal of time thinking about the past.
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Objective 0006
Understand the composition process and the conventions of standard, written American English.

5. Which revision is needed to correct an error in punctuation?

  1. Sentence 2: Change the semicolon after "quickly" to a comma.
  2. Sentence 4: Change the colon after "novels" to a semicolon.
  3. Sentence 6: Eliminate the comma after "interviewer."
  4. Sentence 7: Eliminate the comma after "essence."
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.


Objective 0007
Understand the characteristics of early human societies and major ancient and classical civilizations from prehistory to A.D. 500.

6. Which of the following features of Hinduism has had the greatest influence on the development of Indian society?

  1. its fundamentally hierarchical character
  2. the stress on ahimsa, or "noninjury" to living things
  3. its polytheistic pantheon of gods and goddesses
  4. the belief in a ceaseless round of birth, death, and rebirth
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.

Objective 0009
Understand major political, economic, social, and cultural developments that shaped the course of world history from 1500 to the present.

7. Which of the following was the main reason why European explorers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries wanted to find a new route to Asia?

  1. to break the Russian monopoly of trade between Europe and Asia
  2. to acquire raw materials used in the production of manufactured goods
  3. to obtain access to Asian spices, silks, and other luxury goods
  4. to develop markets for the sale of surplus agricultural products
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.

Objective 0010
Understand the causes and course of European exploration and settlement of North America; the development of colonial societies; and major political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic developments in U.S. society through the War of 1812.

8. Which of the following best describes a major cause of the tensions that resulted in armed conflicts between Native Americans and English settlers during the seventeenth century?

  1. Native American opposition to the creation of Christian towns of "praying Indians"
  2. English encroachment on Native American lands
  3. English efforts to prevent an alliance between Native Americans and French colonists
  4. Native American resistance to English participation in the fur trade
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.

Objective 0011
Understand major political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic developments in U.S. society from 1815 through the Civil War and Reconstruction.

9. The women who established and led reform movements against poverty, alcoholism, prostitution, and slavery during the 1830s and 1840s were most influenced by:

  1. the political ideology of the American Revolution.
  2. the evangelical revivalism of the Second Great Awakening.
  3. the individualism of Jacksonian Democracy.
  4. the communitarian ethic of American utopian philosophers.
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.

Geography, Government, and Economics

Objective 0014
Understand the characteristics of American government and the structure and operation of the U.S. political system.

10. Read the excerpt below from the Mayflower Compact; then answer the question that follows.

We whose names are underwritten, . . . do . . . solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; . . . and by virtue hereof, to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. . . .

The excerpt above best illustrates the Pilgrims' attachment to which of the principles that would later form the basis of the U.S. Constitution?

  1. limited government
  2. rule of law
  3. separation of powers
  4. judicial review
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.