English-Language Arts Released Test Questions



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Score Point 3

Student Response

Where Can Tourists Go?
There is a place in the world that tourists would find interesting. They may or may not have heard of this place. It is a city in Mexico called Puerto Vallarta. Tourists would like Puerto Vallarta, because the weather is perfect for different people, the relaxation, and the many things to do and have fun.

Many people like different types of weather. If you go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico you can experience theses types of crazy weather. If you go to Mexico during the month’s of April to August you would experience rainy, stormy weather. If you love rainy days, that’s just the right time for you. However from September to January the weather is just perfect for people who like it not too hot and not too cold. The weather is literally perfect. The sunset and sunrise are very pretty at this time, also. However, between

February and May, the weather is transitioning between the two extremes, so the weather can be a little crazy.

When you are on vacation, the best thing to do is relax. Puerto Vallarta is the best place for that. Not only is there perfect weather, but the atmosphere of P.V. is just relaxing. Puerto Vallarta allows you to have fun and enjoy yourself. The people also are very welcoming and caring. There is a lot of things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

This city is full of things to do to have fun. You can go on cruise ships, go shopping, or go to dinner with friends or family. You can lay out in the sun, go swimming in the ocean, or skydive. Many people came back home wanting to be there.

This city is so special, because the weather is perfect, you can have fun while you relax, and you really don’t have to do alot to have fun. Puerto Vallarta is a really good place to bring your whole family for vacation, but can also be good for wanting to have loads of fun and experience adventure. Puerto Vallarta is a great place to visit.
Writing

Score Point 3

Commentary

In this response, the writer addresses all parts of the persuasive writing task: stating a position about where the ideal tourist location would be, defending the position with evidence, and anticipating the reader’s concerns. The writer concludes the first paragraph with a thesis that is responsive to the writing task, detailing that Puerto Vallarta is the ideal tourist location because of the weather, the ability for relaxation, and the magnitude of options for fun.

The second paragraph details the diversity of the weather: rain, sunshine, and “crazy.” The writer attempts to address reader’s possible concerns by stating: “If you love rainy days, that’s just the right time for you,” and “. . . the weather is just perfect for people who like it not too hot and not too cold.” The attempt is to illustrate the best time for tourists to visit Puerto Vallarta.

The third paragraph follows the thesis by suggesting that Puerto Vallarta is relaxing, but that is all that it does. The paragraph does not contain any examples or details to support the writer’s claim.

The next paragraph lists activities that Puerto Vallarta offers the tourist (e.g., cruise ships, shopping, restaurants). While it offers support of things to do for fun, it does not elaborate.

The last paragraph concludes the essay by restating the thesis established in the first paragraph, leaving with the statement: “Puerto Vallarta is a great place to visit.”

The use of a responsive thesis that is supported by details and examples for the majority of the essay is representative of a 3point paper. The paper is organized and demonstrates a consistent tone and focus with a general sense of audience. It also provides a variety of sentence types and some descriptive language. There are, however, awkward expressions and some errors in the conventions of the English language. It is also repetitive mentioning the “perfect weather” in multiple places (paragraphs 3 and 4). Overall, this essay is an example of a 3-point response.
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Score Point 2

Student Response

Florda

This state that you can speend you vacation is Florda. With lots to do and see you will never be left out of the fun. You will see lots of amusment park on you jerony of this state of Florda.

One of the Parks is Disny world. they have lots of ride. It takes day to see it all. It also has attractions worth a while. There are others worth your while.

Another one is Universul Florda. Smaller Than Disney World, but still you should see it. There are movie stuff to see and collect. there is one more amusment park I recomend.

The last park I recomend is Sea World Florda.A park for Sea life. You see dolfins. You also see whales that are lots of fun.

I think that you should join other people that visit Florad and have a blast. come and have fun!

Score Point 2

Commentary

In this response, the writer provides a thesis and supports the thesis in the following paragraphs with limited details and examples. Florida offers many amusement parks and three are recommended: Disny world [sic], Universul Florda [sic], and Sea World Florda [sic].

The paragraphs suggesting the three parks note only the minimum attraction of the parks. Disney World has “lots of ride.”[sic] Universal Florida contains “movie stuff to see and collect.”

Sea World showcases “dolfins [sic]” and whales.

This essay provides little support for its thesis, shows little control of organization, and demonstrates a monotonous tone and focus. It also fails to anticipate reader’s concerns. In addition, errors in the conventions of the English language are substantial: misspellings, noun-number errors, and awkward syntax. All of these factors are representative of a 2-point response.

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Score Point 1



Student Response

People should go to Las Vegas to have some fun and make some money
Score Point 1

Commentary

In this response, the writer provides a weak thesis that is related to the writing task: “People should go to Las Vegas to have some fun and make some money.” There are, however, no details or examples given in support of the thesis. With only one sentence, the writer illustrates no control over organization: Because of its brevity, there is nothing to organize. One sentence also does not provide any sentence variety, and the sentence uses limited vocabulary. The paper fails to defend a position and fails to address the reader’s concerns. Overall, this paper is an example of a 1-point response.



Writing

Response to Writing Prompt

Scoring Guide
4 The essay —

• provides a meaningful thesis that is responsive to the writing task.

thoroughly supports the thesis and main ideas with specific details and examples.

• demonstrates a consistent tone and focus, and illustrates a purposeful control of organization.

• demonstrates a clear sense of audience.

• provides a variety of sentence types and uses precise, descriptive language.

• contains few, if any, errors in the conventions* of the English language. (Errors are generally first-draft in nature.)
A Persuasive Composition:

• states and maintains a position, authoritatively defends that position with precise and relevant evidence, and convincingly addresses the reader’s concerns, biases, and expectations.


3 The essay —

• provides a thesis that is responsive to the writing task.

• supports the thesis and main ideas with details and examples.

• demonstrates a consistent tone and focus; and illustrates a control of organization.

• demonstrates a general sense of audience.

• provides a variety of sentence types and uses some descriptive language.

• may contain some errors in the conventions* of the English language. (Errors do not interfere with the reader’s understanding of the essay.)
A Persuasive Composition:

• states and maintains a position, generally defends that position with precise and relevant evidence, and addresses the reader’s concerns, biases, and expectations.


2 The essay —

• provides a thesis or main idea that is related to the writing task.

• supports the thesis or main idea(s) with limited details and/or examples.

• demonstrates an inconsistent tone and focus; and illustrates little, if any control of organization.

• demonstrates little or no sense of audience.

• provides few, if any, types of sentence types, and basic, predictable language.

• may contain several errors in the conventions* of the English language. (Errors may interfere with the reader’s understanding of the essay.)
A Persuasive Composition:

defends a position with little evidence and may address the reader’s concerns, biases, and expectations.



1 The essay —

may provide a weak thesis or main idea that is related to the writing task.

fails to support the thesis or main ideas with details and/or examples.

• demonstrates a lack of tone and focus; and illustrates no control of organization.

may demonstrate no sense of audience.

• may provide no sentence variety and uses limited vocabulary.

• may contain serious errors in the conventions* of the English language. (Errors interfere with the reader’s understanding of the essay.)
A Persuasive Composition:

fails to defend a position with any evidence and fails to address the reader’s concerns, biases, and expectations.



non-scorable: The code “NS” will appear on the student answer document for responses that are written in a language other than English, off-topic, illegible, unintelligible, or otherwise non-responsive to the writing task.
*Conventions of the English language refer to grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and usage.
This guide describes the attributes of student writing at each score point. Each paper receives the score that best fits the overall evidence provided by the student in response to the prompt. However, papers that do not meet the standard for conventions at a 4 or a 3 score point receive a score that is at most one point lower.

This is a sample of California High School Exit Examination questions. This is NOT an operational test form. Test scores cannot be projected based on performance on released test questions. Copyright © 2006 by the California Department of Education.
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