What is content focus? Content focus is a term that defines the specific content measured by each FCAT test item. Sunshine State Standards (SSS) benchmarks are often very broad statements of knowledge or skills. <http://fcat.fldoe.org/pdf/fc04contentfocus.pdf>
Reading ProcessStandard 6: Vocabulary Development. The student uses multiple strategies to develop grade appropriate vocabulary.LA.10.1.6.7 The student will identify and understand the meaning of conceptually advanced prefixes, suffixes, and root words.1.6.11 Student uses a variety of strategies to comprehend grade level text.
Strand 2: LITERARY ANALYSISStandard 1: Fiction. The student identifies, analyzes, and applies knowledge of the elements of avariety of fiction and literary texts to develop a thoughtful response to a literary selection.LA.10.2.1.1 The student will analyze and compare historically and culturallysignificant works of literature, identifying the relationships among themajor genres (e.g., poetry, fiction, nonfiction, short story, dramaticliterature, and essay) and the literary devices unique to each, andanalyze how they support and enhance the theme and main ideas of thetext.
PIRATES is an acronym.Positive affirmations is the 6th tip of the Law of Attraction for test and exam stress. That’s right confident thoughts go a long way in making an exam easier to do.Positive affirmations prime the brain to give you the information that you “KNOW YOU HAVE STUDIED FOR”. Knowing you have the information there tells the brain you are confident, and it will not hesitate to give it to you.
NOTE-Be sure to do exactly what you have to do and listen for any verbal directions or corrections from the exam supervisor. Before you attempt any answers, skim quickly through the entire exam. Doing this allows you to gain an overview of the exam, plan your time (how long to spend on each section or question).
Note: One memory strategy is to write test question notes on the 1st page of the text. Ex. 1. What is the main Idea of this passage? Is written as 1. Main Idea or 1. MI
When abandoning a question, place a light, erasable mark next to it. You will return to your abandoned questions once you have cycled through the test and answer them. Don’t forget to completely erase your stray marks.
In objective tests the wording of the question and potential answerscan be tricky. Each word is important so it’s vital to read and thoroughlyunderstand each question and the various responses to it.Consider all the options before choosing your answer, even if thefirst option seems correct. This is important when you have to choose the‘best’ or ‘most correct’ answer in some multiple choice exams.Take special note of phrasing, such as:• Negative phrases (e.g. Choose the answer which DOESN’T describe)• Subjective questions (e.g. Choose the option that BEST describes)• Judgement questions (e.g. Choose the MOST CORRECT answer)• Multiple answers (e.g. Choose MORE than one)
Only change your answer if you have a very strong hunch that it’s wrong, you find new evidence, or suddenly remember otherwise.Don't Be Afraid to Change Your First AnswerEven though first answers are often correct, you shouldn't be afraid to change your original answer if, upon reflection, it seems wrong to you. Dozens of studies over the past 70 years have found that students who change dubious answers usually improve their test scores. For example, a May, 2005, study of 1,561 introductory psychology midterm exams found that when students changed their answers, they went from wrong to right 51% of the time, right to wrong 25% of the time, and wrong to a different wrong answer 23% of the time (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 88, 725-735).
MC items should take an average of one minute per item to answer. MC items are worth one point each. MC items should have four answer choices (A, B, C, D; or F, G, H, I for alternating items). MC items should be clearly identified and have only one correct answer. Incorrect answer choices (distractors) should relate to the context of the selection. Each distractor should be plausible but incorrect. Grades 4–10 should use the terms passage, article, or poem. -If more than one sentence is quoted from the passage or article, the term excerpt should be used. -When just one sentence is quoted, the term sentence should be used. -When ellipses are used to indicate an omission within a quoted sentence, the quoted text should be referred to as an excerpt. -In poetry, the term line or lines should be used when referring to the quote from the poem. -Outliers should be avoided because they are answer choices that clue or draw the student’s attention away from the other answer choices. -Outliers may contain grammatical clues and may involve answer choices that are longer or more specific than other answer choices. Answer choices that are opposite of correct answer choices should not be used as distractors.
Note: Even though it is important to answer questions you have made up on your own or in study groups, you need to practice answering questions that someone else has chosen. After all, you're not the one picking items for the exam, so asking yourself questions that you have made up on your own is usually a poor way to simulate the behavior called for on an exam.
Answer: CIf you knew that the most common definition for “notorious” meant being known in an unfavorable sense, then you might be tempted to choose choice A, “evil.” But once you review back over the passage, choice C, “famous” fits in better into the context of the sentence of passage. Read the sentence again and substitute your chosen answer choice for the word it replaces. This gives you: ““He was famous for making decisions on the spur of the moment…,” which makes sense and is correct.
The six types of context clues do not operate in isolation; two or three types of contextual information are often included in the same sentence. The readers’ differing levels of background knowledge affect the types of word-identification strategies they can use effectively. Context clues rarely provide enough information in a sentence to help students learn a word. The clues may seem to be useful to someone who already knows a word, but context clues often provide only partial information, and the information can be misleading. Researchers do recommend that students be taught how to use context clues because some clues are useful, and they do help students develop word-learning strategies to use on their own. Students who read books at their grade level had a 1 in 20 chance of learning the meaning of any word from context. That might seem insignificant, but if students read 20,000 words a year, and if they learn 1 of every 20 words from context, they would learn 1000 words. That could be done if student s read 30 minutes daily. The best way to teach students about context clues is by modeling. It is interesting to note that capable and less capable readers learn from context at about the same rate. Researchers have speculated that the difference in vocabulary growth is due to differences in the amount of words that students read, not the differences in their reading achievement. -Literacy for the 21st Century: A Balanced Approach (Gail Tompkins)
One warning that should be made here is that often question writers may use the exact same word or wording in their answer choices that are used in the passage, but have done so in such a way as to mislead you. So, simply because a particular word or phrase appears in an answer choice and also appears exactly the same in a passage does not make that answer choice correct.
Answer: BAsk: How does the author’s main idea get developed and broken down into supporting ideas and statements?Explanation: After each of these initial questions, remember that it is not enough for them simply to be true, they have to answer the question. Simply because the author provided an example, doesn’t make choice A correct. The example provided may have been to support a comparison that he was making and the comparison may be the main method of organization, which in this case would make answer choice B correct. So always read all the answer choices and only choose the one that is the best, not just the first one you read that is factually correct.
Answer: DBenchmark Description (LA.910.2.1.5): The student will analyze and develop an interpretation of a literary work by describing an authors use of literary elements (e.g., theme, point of view, characterization, setting, plot), and explain and analyze different elements of figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, symbolism, allusion, imagery); Standard:Fiction - The student identifies, analyzes, and applies knowledge of the elements of a variety of fiction and literary texts to develop a thoughtful response to a literary selection.
Answer: CBenchmark Description (LA.910.2.1.7)-The student will analyze, interpret, and evaluate an author's use of descriptive language (e.g., tone, irony, mood, imagery, pun, alliteration, onomatopoeia, allusion), figurative language (e.g., symbolism, metaphor, personification, hyperbole), common idioms, and mythological and literary allusions, and explain how they impact meaning in a variety of texts; Standard:Fiction - The student identifies, analyzes, and applies knowledge of the elements of a variety of fiction and literary texts to develop a thoughtful response to a literary selection.
Answer: ABenchmark Statement: The student will explain how text features (e.g., charts, maps, diagrams, sub-headings, captions, illustrations, graphs) aid the reader's understanding; Standard: Informational Text - The student comprehends the wide array of informational text that is part of our day to day experiences.
Answer: ABenchmark Statement (LA.910.6.2.2)- The student will organize, synthesize, analyze, and evaluate the validity and reliability of information from multiple sources (including primary and secondary sources) to draw conclusions using a variety of techniques, and correctly use standardized citations; Standard: Research Process - The student uses a systematic process for the collection, processing, and presentation of information.SS.912.C.12Explain the changing roles of television, radio, press, and Internet in political communication.
Fcat 2.0 prep
ObjectivesO Define the Content Focus of the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 Reading Retake FCAT 2.0.O Define the importance of learning and executing effective Test Taking Strategies and behaviors.O Demonstrate the ability to use the test taking strategy, PIRATES and/or appropriate strategies for answering Multiple Choice Questions on the Retake FCAT 2.0.
About the TestO FCAT 2.0 measures student achievement of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) in Reading.O Students who were in grade 10 and entered grade 9 in the 2009-10 school year were expected to score 1926 (FCAT Equivalent Score) or above in Reading for graduation purposes. (2011)O In January 2012, the State Board of Education will approve the final FCAT 2.0 Achievement Levels (NEW cut scores) required for graduation purposes.
ContentO In 2011 the Content Focus for the Spring FCAT Reading Retake was aligned with the 1996 Sunshine State Standards (SSS) and divided into 4 Clusters. The NEW Reporting Categories are:1. Vocabulary (15% - 25%)2. Reading Application (20% - 30%)3. Literary Analysis: Fiction and Nonfiction (20% - 30%)4. Informational Text/Research Process. (25% - 35%)
Reporting Category 2. Reading ApplicationNGSSS Content Focus PointsBenchmark PossibleLA.910.1.7.2 Authors Purpose 1LA.910.1.7.3 Conclusions/inferences; Main 9 Idea; Relevant DetailsLA.910.1.7.4 Cause and effect 1LA.910.1.7.5 Test Structure/Organizational 1 PatternsLA.910.1.7.7 Compare; Contrast 2 Reporting Category Point Total 14
Category 3. Literary Analysis: Fiction and NonfictionNGSSS Content Focus PointsBenchmark PossibleLA.910.2.1.5 Character development; Plot 2 developmentLA.910.2.1.7 Descriptive language; Figurative 9 languageIncludes: Reporting Category Point Total 1184.108.40.206
Category 4. Informational Text/Research ProcessNGSSS Content Focus PointsBenchmark PossibleLA.910.6.1.1 Text features 1LA.910.6.2.2 Analyze and evaluate 11 information; Determine the validity and reliability of information; Synthesize information Reporting Category Point Total 12
Step 1 repare to SucceedO P: Put PIRATES on the test.O A: Allot time and prioritize test sections.O S: Say something positive.O S: Start within two minutes.
Step 2 Inspect the instructionsO R: Read all the instructions carefully.O U: Underline what to do and where to do it.O N: Note any special requirements
Step 3 Read, Remember, ReduceO READ the whole question. Even if you think you know the answer, there may be a better alternative.O REMEMBER it with memory strategies.O REDUCE your alternatives.
Step 4 Answer or AbandonO If you know the answer, answer the question. Answer the easy questions 1st.O If you are not sure, abandon it for a moment. Try not to get stuck on any hard questions. You will waste time and feel anxious. Go back to the harder ones later.
Step 5 Turn BackO Turn back to abandoned items at the end of the test (use the ACE guessing techniques in Step 6)O Tell yourself to earn more points.
Step 6 EstimateO Avoid absolutes (e.g. “all”). Be alert for grammatical inconsistencies between the question and the potential answers.O Choose the answer options most likely to be correct. This helps you take your „best guess‟.O Eliminate obviously incorrect answers 1st. If two alternatives are similar, one is likely to be correct; choose the best but eliminate choices that mean basically the same thing, and thus cancel each other out.
Step 7 SurveyO Survey the test.O Don’t leave any questions unanswered.O Always make „calculated‟ guesses.O Switch answers only if you are sure they are wrong. In most cases your intuition is correct.
You Have TimeDo not be disturbed about otherstudents finishing before you do.Take your time, don‟t panic, andyou will do much better on thetest.
Keep it Neat and CompleteREMEMBER - your answer booklet shouldbe neat and complete.1. Erase stray marks on the answer booklet.2. Make sure you completely bubbled in all answers. (No “donut” holes).3. Check that you‟ve answered every question.
Preparing for the Exam1. Review key FCAT Terms.2. Read and practice answering “Released Tests” for your grade level. (Reading Grade 10). Go to the Florida Department of Education‟s Official Website and download the test to your computer. Work your way through it.3. Focus on the types of “Sample Questions” you have the most difficulty with.4. Practice “as if”. When studying, DO NOT use highlighters, pens, or listen to music. Simulate the required testing behaviors.
What to Do (and not to do) the Night BeforeO Do get plenty of rest.O Do hydrate; drink plenty of water.O Do eat or drink a protein rich meal for breakfast the day of the test (eggs, nuts, yogurt, protein shake).O Do not overeat. It will make you drowsy.O Do not drink coffee or an energy drink as they may make you jittery or cause a headache. Try green tea instead.O Do stretch, take a few deep breaths or light – moderate exercise to relieve stress.
Activity 1What are some examples ofContext Clues?O With a partner, generate a list of 4 – 6 types of context clues that can be used to help you understand difficult vocabulary words in context.O Share your ideas with the whole group.REVIEW HOW TO USE THEM RETURN
Using Context CluesO AVOID following your 1st impulse. Do not choose the answer that you immediately recognize because you are already familiar with the definition of a word.O RETURN to the passage, find where the word is used, and REREAD that particular section – mentally replacing the answer choice you‟ve chosen for the word being asked about. Go to the example
Using Context Clues, cont.Example:A passage states: “He was notorious for makingdecisions on the spur of the moment…”Question: Which of the following words, if substitutedfor the word “notorious” would introduce the LEASTchange in the meaning of the sentence?A. evilB. disturbedC. famousD. despised RETURN
Six Types of Context Clues1. Definition2. Example-Illustration3. Contrast4. Logic5. Root Words and Affixes6. Grammar RETURN
DefinitionO Readers use the definition in the sentence to understand the unknownSample sentence:Some spiders spin silk with tiny organscalled spinnerets. RETURN
Example-IllustrationO Readers use an example or illustration to understand the unknown wordSample sentence:Toads, frogs, and some birds are predatorsthat hunt and eat spiders. RETURN
ContrastO Readers understand the unknown word because it is compared or contrasted with another word in the sentenceSample sentence:Most spiders live for about one year, buttarantulas sometimes live for 20 years or more! RETURN
LogicO Readers think about the rest of the sentence to understand the unknown word.Sample sentence:An exoskeleton acts like a suit of armor toprotect the spider. RETURN
Root Words and AffixesO Readers use their knowledge of root words and affixes to figure out the unknown word.Sample sentence:People who are terrified of spiders havearachnophobia RETURN
GrammarO Readers use the word‟s function in the sentence or its part of speech to figure out the unknown word.Sample sentence:Most spiders molt five to ten times. RETURN
Emotional WordsO Find words in the passage that are adjectives describing emotions.O One strategy is to sort the words by (-) and (+).O Another strategy is to look throughout the passage for attitude words that might convey a positive or negative attitude.Example:Question: The author‟s attitude on this topic is best described as:A. indignationB. eagernessC. impartialityD. fearFinding Key Words RETURN
Finding Key wordsO Key words will be nouns or verbs in the question or answer choices.O Scan through the passage quickly looking for either those key words to be repeated in the passage, or their synonyms to appear in the passage.O Be sure that you reread the answer choice and consider the context that it is in.O Always try to connect the question to the right words in the passage that will allow you to save time in finding the right part of the passage to look in for the answer and will give you the key to the correct answer choice. RETURN
Analyze Words/TextSample 1The sample item below is based on “Woman withFlower/Offspring” on page H–12.Read these lines from “Woman with Flower.”The leaf’s inclined to find its own direction;Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.Based on the rest of the poem, which sentence bestrestates the meaning of the lines above?A. The leaf isolates itself from other leaves.B. The leaf wants to create its own illusions.C. The leaf prefers to seek its own destination.D. The leaf avoids previously established paths. Next page
Word RelationshipsSample 2Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Womanwith Flower/Offspring” on page H–12.Which phrase best describes both the gardenerin “Woman with Flower” and the speaker of“Offspring”?A. devoted, but anxiousB. distressed, but cautiousC. attentive, but impracticalD. industrious, but indecisive RETURN
Multiple MeaningsSample 1: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Woman withFlower/Offspring” on page H–12.Read these lines from “Woman with Flower.”The leaf’s inclined to find its own direction;Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.In the lines above, what does the word inclined revealabout the leaf ?A. The leaf grows at an angle to find its own direction.B. The leaf bends down to find its own direction.C. The leaf hesitates to find its own direction.D. The leaf prefers to find its own direction. Next page
Multiple MeaningsSample 2: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Quest-4 Cell Phone” on page H–13.Read this excerpt from the User Manual.To obtain a WEEK VIEW mode when in MONTH VIEW mode, simplyhighlight any day in the desired week and choose WEEK at the bottom leftside of the display.In which sentence does mode have the same meaning as used in the excerptabove?A. She reacted to the change in the mode of the teacher‟s voice.B. The instructor asked the students to find the mode of a set of numbers.C. She switched the computer‟s application from keyboard to voice mode.D. The subway is her favorite mode of transportation when she visits the city.RETURN
Getting into the Author’s MindA number of questions become much easier when you place yourself intothe mind of the author of the passage. Ask yourself a few differentquestions:O “Why did the author write this passage?”O “What was the author trying to say?”O What angle is the author taking?”O “What is the single most important point the author is trying to make?”Strategy: Put yourself in the shoes of the author and imagine that youwrote the passage and try to identify what you were trying to describe andhow you were trying to describe it.GO TO Sample Question for Grade 10 RETURN
Author’s PurposeSample 1: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Walking” on pageH–9.What was the author‟s purpose in writing this passage?to relate an outdoor walking experienceB. to emphasize the importance of observing natureC. to describe some of the changes that occur in natureD. to illustrate the interdependence among plants and animals Next Sample
Author’s PerspectiveSample 2: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Cutting Off theWorld‟s Roof ” on page H–15.The author of this article would most likely make thestatement that mountains mustA. move with Earth‟s crust.B. crumble when faults occur.C. yield to the forces of nature.D. sink under their own weight.RETURN
Conclusions/InferencesSample 1: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Cutting Offthe World‟s Roof ” on page H–15.From reading the article, the reader can inferthat the “world‟s roof ” willA. be avoided by adventure seekers.B. increase in elevation in the future.C. continue to be studied by geologists.D. be affected by major fault movements. Next Sample
Relevant DetailsSample 2: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Walking”on page H–9.According to the passage, the language of theEarth isA. visible and audible.B. silent and indescribable.C. heard at certain times of the year.D. learned through studying sunflowers. Next Sample
Conclusions/InferencesSample 3: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Walking” on page H–9.Based on the passage, which action will the narrator most likelytake in the future?A. She will transplant the lonely sunflower to a place with fertile soil.B. She will collect seeds from the sunflowers along the unpaved road.C. She will return to the spot where the sunflower bloomed in the spring.D. She will explore a new walking path where numerous sunflowers grow. RETURN
Cause and EffectSample 1: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Cutting Offthe World‟s Roof ” on page H–15.What caused Nicholas Brozovic´ and his fellowgeologists to first believe that glaciers influencethe height of mountain ranges?A. models of mountain terrainB. analysis of prominent featuresC. pictures of Himalayan summitsD. measurements of various elevations RETURN
Breaking Down Passage OrganizationIn trying to understand the author‟s perspective, you will sometimes beasked about how the passage is organizedO Note how the opening sentence in a passage or paragraph relates to the rest of the passageO As you go through the answer choices for these organization problems, quiz yourself on each answer choiceA. He provides an example – Ask yourself, is there an example in thequestion? Don‟t work exclusively from your memory. Make sure you can goback and actually find the example in the passage.B. He makes a comparison – Ask yourself, is there a comparison in thequestion? Again, go back to the passage and actually find the comparisonbeing made and verify that it exists.C. He makes an acknowledgement – Ask yourself, where is theacknowledgement made and to whom?D. He discusses a theory – Ask yourself, which theory is being discussed? RETURN
Text Structures/ Organizational PatternsSample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on "Cutting Off the World’s Roof "on page H–15.How does Ken Howard organize the article "Cutting Off theWorld’s Roof "?A, He writes mainly about his personal experiences.B. He describes differences between several theories.C. He answers questions about different mountain ranges.D. He persuades readers to accept one theory over another.Go to Breaking Down Passage Organization RETURN
ContrastSample 1: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Quest-4 Cell Phone” onpage H–13.The “SYMBOLS” chart is different from the other textfeatures in the User Manual because itA. lists events in order of importance.B. illustrates how to input calendar dates.C. provides a key for categories of calendar entries.D. clarifies the operating instructions of the cell phone. RETURN Next Sample
ContrastSample 2: Sample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Womanwith Flower/Offspring” on page H–12.In “Offspring,” the images of nature in the firststanza differ from those in the second stanza. Inthe first stanza, the imagesA. are realistic.B. are extraordinary.C. refer primarily to the speaker.D. show the daughter‟s dependence. RETURN
ThemeSample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Woman withFlower/Offspring” on page H–12.Which line from the poem “Woman with Flower” mostclearly reveals its theme?A. “I wouldn‟t coax the plant if I were you.”B. “And wait until it‟s dry before you water it.”C. “Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding,”D. “The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.” RETURN
Figurative LanguageSample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Walking” on page H–9.Read this sentence from the passage.It was a green and sleeping bud, raising itself toward the sun.What literary device does the writer use in the sentence above?A. metaphor, comparing the sunflower to a tired childB. hyperbole, exaggerating the fast growth of the sunflowerC. personification, portraying the sunflower as a person waking upD. symbolism, representing the season of spring as a sunflowerplant RETURN
Text FeaturesSample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Quest-4 CellPhone” on page H–13.The use of bold-print words throughout the UserManual helps the reader toA, locate the required selections.B. categorize the individual tasks.C. identify the important information.D. understand the necessary functions. RETURN
Determine the Validity and Reliability of InformationSample Question for Grade 10The sample item below is based on “Cutting Off the World‟s Roof ”on page H–15.What is the strongest evidence in support of the glacial erosiontheory?A. The tallest mountains are those closest to the equator.B. The faults are forty miles long and several miles deep.C. Angles of mountain slopes increase below the snow line.D. Rocks of similar ages appear at different heights and locations. RETURN