California High School California High School
Exit Examination Exit Examination
Released Test Questions
California Department of Education
Selected Questions for
Reading Institutes for Academic Preparation
*Note: The categories “Grammar, Usage, and Idiom” and “Sentence Control and Clarity” assessed by the RCST are NOT addressed by this Pre-Test. These questions come from the Word Analysis, Reading Comprehension, and Literary Response strands on the CAHSEE. The Writing Strategies and Writing Conventions strands attempt to assess student knowledge of sentence structure and mechanics.
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This printing (2006) of the English-Language Arts Released Test Questions contains the following privately copyrighted passages:
A Day Away (Random House)
Dances With Dolphins (National Geographic Society)
White Fang (Troll Communications)
Acting Up [The ALAN Review 24(3): 42-46]
The Courage That My Mother Had (© 1954, 1982, by Norma Millay Ellis. Reprinted by permission of Elizabeth Barnett, Literary Executor.)
A Brain Divided (© 1984 by Harcourt, Inc.)
Housepainting (Reprinted by permission of Lan Samantha Chang.)
Early Spring (From Navajo Voices and Visions Across the Mesa by Shonto Begay. Copyright © 1995 by Shonto Begay. Used by permission of Scholastic Inc.)
English-Language Arts Released Test Questions
All California public school students must satisfy the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) requirement, as well as all other state and local requirements, in order to receive a high school diploma. The CAHSEE is divided into two parts: English-language arts and mathematics. All questions on the CAHSEE are evaluated by committees of content experts, including California educators, teachers, and
administrators, to ensure the questions’ appropriateness for measuring the designated California academic content standards in English-language arts and mathematics. In addition to content, all items are reviewed and approved to ensure their adherence to the principles of fairness and to ensure no bias exists with respect to characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, and language.
This document combines released test questions that have appeared on the English-language arts part of the CAHSEE since the 2000-2001 school year and contains new test questions from the 2005-2006 school year. A similar document for mathematics is also available. The questions are grouped by strand (e.g., Word Analysis). At the beginning of each strand section is a list of the specific standards assessed on the CAHSEE. Following a group of questions is a table that gives the correct answer for each question, the content standard each question is measuring, and the year each question originally appeared on the CAHSEE.
The following table lists each strand, the number of items that appear on the exam, and the number of released test questions that appear in this document.
NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ON EXAM
NUMBER OF RELEASED
• Word Analysis (RW)
• Reading Comprehension (RC)
• Literary Response (RL)
• Writing Strategies (WS)
• Writing Conventions (WC)
• Writing Applications (WA)
In selecting test questions for release, three criteria are used: (1) the questions adequately cover the content standards assessed on the CAHSEE; (2) the questions demonstrate a range of difficulty; and (3) the questions present a variety of ways each standard can be assessed. These released test questions do not reflect all of the ways the standards may be assessed. Released test questions will not appear on future tests.
For more information about the CAHSEE, visit the CDE’s Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/.
English-Language Arts Released Test Questions
The Reading portion of the CAHSEE has three strands: Word Analysis, Reading Comprehension, and Literary Response and Analysis. A description of each strand follows. The released passages and test questions for the Reading portion of the CAHSEE follow the strand descriptions.
The Word Analysis Strand
The following two California English-language arts academic content standards from the Word Analysis strand are assessed on the CAHSEE by 7 test questions and are represented in this booklet by 18 released test questions. These questions represent only a few of the ways in which these standards may be assessed on the CAHSEE.
READING (GRADES NINE AND TEN)
Standard Set 1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development:
10RW1.1 Identify and use the literal and figurative meanings of words and understand
10RW1.2 Distinguish between the denotative and connotative meanings of words and
interpret the connotative power of words.
English-Language Arts Released Test Questions
The Reading Comprehension Strand
The following six California English-language arts academic content standards from the Reading Comprehension strand are assessed on the CAHSEE by 18 test questions and are represented in this booklet by 49 released test questions. These questions represent only a few of the ways in which these standards may be assessed on the CAHSEE.
READING (GRADES NINE AND TEN
WITH ONE STANDARD FROM GRADE EIGHT AS NOTED†)
Standard Set 2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials):
†8RC2.1 Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to
gain meaning from documents (e.g., warranties, contracts, product
information, instruction manuals).
10RC2.1 Analyze the structure and format of functional workplace documents,
including the graphics and headers, and explain how authors use the
features to achieve their purposes.
10RC2.4 Synthesize the content from several sources or works by a single author
dealing with a single issue; paraphrase the ideas and connect them to other
sources and related topics to demonstrate comprehension.
10RC2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original
analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.
10RC2.7 Critique the logic of functional documents by examining the sequence of
information and procedures in anticipation of possible reader misunderstandings.
10RC2.8 Evaluate the credibility of an author’s argument or defense of a claim by
critiquing the relationships between generalizations and evidence, the comprehensiveness of evidence, and the way in which the author’s intent affects the structure and tone of the text (e.g., in professional journals, editorials, political speeches, primary source material).
† Eighth-grade content standard
The Literary Response and Analysis Strand
The following twelve California English-language arts academic content standards from the Literary Response and Analysis strand are assessed on the CAHSEE by 20 test questions and are represented in this booklet by 54 released test questions. These questions represent only a few of the ways in which these standards may be assessed on the CAHSEE.
READING (GRADES NINE AND TEN
WITH ONE STANDARD FROM GRADE EIGHT AS NOTED†)
Standard Set 3.0 Literary Response and Analysis:
10RL3.1 Articulate the relationship between the expressed purposes and the characteristics of different forms of dramatic literature (e.g., comedy, tragedy, drama, dramatic monologue).
10RL3.3 Analyze interactions between main and subordinate characters in a literary text (e.g., internal and external conflicts, motivations, relationships, influences) and explain the way those interactions affect the plot.
10RL3.4 Determine characters’ traits by what the characters say about themselves in narration, dialogue, dramatic monologue, and soliloquy.
10RL3.5 Compare works that express a universal theme and provide evidence to support the ideas expressed in each work.
10RL3.6 Analyze and trace an author’s development of time and sequence, including the use of complex literary devices (e.g., foreshadowing, flashbacks).
10RL3.7 Recognize and understand the significance of various literary devices, including figurative language, imagery, allegory, and symbolism, and explain their appeal.
10RL3.8 Interpret and evaluate the impact of ambiguities, subtleties, contradictions, ironies, and incongruities in a text.
10RL3.9 Explain how voice, persona, and the choice of a narrator affect characterization and the tone, plot, and credibility of a text.
10RL3.10 Identify and describe the function of dialogue, scene designs, soliloquies, asides, and character foils in dramatic literature.
†8RL3.7 Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author. (Biographical approach)
10RL3.11 Evaluate the aesthetic qualities of style, including the impact of diction and figurative language, on tone, mood, and theme, using the terminology of literary criticism. (Aesthetic approach)
10RL3.12 Analyze the way in which a work of literature is related to the themes and issues of its historical period. (Historical approach)
† Eighth-grade content standard
Read the following passage and answer questions 1 through 9.
A Day Away
by Maya Angelou
Most people today know Maya Angelou as one of America’s most important poets. One of her stories, “Georgia, Georgia,” was the first story by an African-American woman to be made into a television movie. Angelou also wrote the screenplay for the movie All Day Long and even directed it. The variety, quality, and passion of her work continue to inspire people today.
We often think that our affairs, great or small, must be tended continuously and in detail, or our world will disintegrate, and we will lose our places in the universe. That is not true, or if it is true, then our situations were so temporary that they would have collapsed anyway.
Once a year or so I give myself a day away. On the eve of my day of absence, I begin to unwrap the bonds which hold me in harness. I inform housemates, my family and close friends that I will not be reachable for twenty-four hours; then I disengage the telephone. I turn the radio dial
to an all-music station, preferably one which plays the soothing golden oldies. I sit for at least an hour in a very hot tub; then I lay out my clothes in preparation for my morning escape, and knowing that nothing will disturb me, I sleep the sleep of the just.
On the morning I wake naturally, for I will have set no clock, nor informed my body timepiece when it should alarm. I dress in comfortable shoes and casual clothes and leave my house going no place. If I am living in a city, I wander streets, window-shop, or gaze at buildings. I enter
and leave public parks, libraries, the lobbies of skyscrapers, and movie houses. I stay in no place for very long.
On the getaway day I try for amnesia. I do not want to know my name, where I live, or how many dire responsibilities rest on my shoulders. I detest encountering even the closest friend, for then I am reminded of who I am, and the circumstances of my life, which I want to forget for a while.
Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.
Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.
Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spaces of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.
If we step away for a time, we are not, as many may think and some will accuse, being irresponsible, but rather we are preparing ourselves to more ably perform our duties and discharge our obligations.
When I return home, I am always surprised to find some questions I sought to evade had been answered and some entanglements I had hoped to flee had become unraveled
in my absence.
A day away acts as a spring tonic. It can dispel rancor, transform indecision, and renew the spirit.
From WOULDN’T TAKE NOTHING FOR MY JOURNEY NOW by Maya Angelou, copyright © 1993 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.
1. What is the narrator’s main purpose in this passage?
A to entertain readers with a story of an unusual day
B to inform readers how to organize a day away from home
C to persuade readers to take some time for themselves
D to describe to readers what it is like to rediscover a city
2. Which sentence below is an example of a simile?
A I will have set no clock . . .
B I do not want to know my name . . .
C We need hours of aimless wandering . . .
D A day away acts as a spring tonic.
3. The words casual, wander, and gaze in paragraph 3 suggest a feeling of—
4. The narrator MOST likely laid out her clothes the night before her day away so that she—
A wouldn’t forget what she wanted to wear.
B wouldn’t have to make a decision in the morning.
C would be able to sleep late in the morning.
D would be as stylishly dressed as possible.
5. Which BEST describes the narrator’s tone in the second half of the passage?
6. Which sentence from the passage is an example of figurative language?
A Once a year or so I give myself a day away.
B On the eve of my day of absence, I begin to unwrap the bonds which hold me in harness.
C I enter and leave public parks, libraries, the lobbies of skyscrapers, and movie houses.
D It can dispel rancor, transform indecision, and renew the spirit.
7. In which sentence from the passage does the narrator acknowledge those who disagree with her main argument?
A I inform housemates, my family and close friends that I will not be reachable for twentyfour hours; then I disengage the telephone.
B I detest encountering even the closest friend, for then I am reminded of who I am, and the
circumstances of my life, which I want to forget for a while.
C If we step away for a time, we are not, as many may think and some will accuse, being
irresponsible, but rather we are preparing ourselves to more ably perform our duties and
discharge our obligations.
D When I return home, I am always surprised to find some questions I sought to evade had been answered and some entanglements I had hoped to flee had become unraveled in my absence.
8. Which statement from the passage BEST describes the narrator’s motivation for “a day
A . . . we will lose our places in the universe.
B . . . I sleep the sleep of the just.
C . . . I want to forget for a while.
D . . . friends can exist one day without any one of us.
9. Which of the following is the main theme of the passage?
A Self-energizing oneself is necessary.
B Time is of the essence.
C Problems will solve themselves.
D A single decision has many consequences.
Read the article and answer questions 10 through 13.
Dances With Dolphins
By Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill has been writing about nature for more than 25 years. In 1969, Cahill received a master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In 1976, he was the founding editor of Outside Magazine, which won several national magazine awards. Cahill has worked as an editor for other magazines, including Esquire and Rolling Stone. He has also published articles in magazines such as National Geographic, The New York Times Book Review, and Travel and Leisure. Additionally, Cahill has published six books. Dances With Dolphins was originally written as the screenplay for an IMAX documentary film which, in
2000, was nominated for an Academy Award in the category “Best Documentary Short Subject.” Cahill also has written screenplays for the IMAX films The Living Sea and Everest.
1 Before dawn, Kathleen and I boarded a fishing boat at Tsubota Port and headed for the island of Mikura, 45 minutes away. The water temperature was about 60 degrees, the air around 15 degrees cooler. Minor squalls swept across the sea. Hard rain stung our faces.
2 The Japanese captain took us within 50 yards of shore. Almost immediately we saw dolphins rolling over the surface as they breathed. The captain turned toward the animals and slowed the engine to idle.
3 For a moment I lost the dolphins, couldn’t see them at all. Then suddenly they were all around us. In an instant Kathleen and I plunged into the dark, churning sea.
4 The poet-scientist Loren Eiseley expressed the wistful thought that someday the dolphin might “talk to us and we to him. It would break, perhaps, the long loneliness that has made man a frequent terror and abomination even to himself.”
5 I think this is the motive and purpose behind the work of Kathleen Dudzinski. She would never put it that way, though. As a scientist, Kathleen favors precision over poetry, at least in describing her own work. But sometimes she admits that when swimming with dolphins, she feels like a kid living out a dream.
6 Kathleen has always loved animals. As a teenager in Connecticut, she worked part-time with a
veterinarian. She put together a petting zoo for inner-city kids who’d never seen a cow before—or
goats or chickens. Then she took the little traveling exhibit to urban parks, showing youngsters
something of the natural world.
7 In the summer of 1987, during college, she went off to the Gulf of Maine to do field research on marine mammals. After graduating, she entered the Ph.D. program at Texas A&M University, where she spent five, six-month seasons studying dolphins in the Bahamas. Since then her research has been conducted mostly on free-ranging dolphins.
8 Dressed in her shiny high-tech wet suit, the 31-year-old Dudzinski swam beside me as half a
dozen bottlenose dolphins swept by us like torpedoes. The dolphins were much bigger than I had imagined. And faster.
9 My first impression was not that of happy squeakers, or mystical healers on a watery mission to enlighten humanity. I thought, Whoa, these guys are great, big, powerful predators!
10 Kathleen was recording the dolphins with an audiovisual device of her own design—a pair of
hydrophones (underwater microphones) set apart on a bar, with a video camera between them. Underwater, sound moves faster than in air, which causes it to seem to be coming from everywhere at once.
11 Studying her films and wearing headphones, she has been able for the first time ever to consistently identify which dolphins are producing which sounds while underwater.
12 Kathleen had told me she does not believe dolphins have a language like ours. They use clicks, chirps, whistles, and squawks to transmit signals to each other, or to echolocate—to identify the position of objects by bouncing sound waves off them—much the way submariners use sonar.
13 This is not to say that they cannot learn the meaning of words and syntax. In a University of Hawaii study, researchers created an artificial visual and acoustic language and were able to teach the animals the difference between sentences like “Take the surfboard to the person” and “Take the person to the surfboard.”
14 When the dolphins approached us again, they swam slowly, moving their heads from side to side. I thought I could hear the sounds they made—the squeaking of a rusty hinge, a whistle, a squawk—and I knew they were scanning me.
15 Kathleen took a deep breath and dived straight down about 20 feet. The dolphins seemed to understand the dive as an invitation to dance. They swarmed about us, swimming in slow sinuous curves, more than a dozen of them now.
16 Kathleen muscled her big video/audio recorder about, following one dolphin—her focal animal—as it looped over backward, swimming slowly in a vertical circle that was at least 20 feet in diameter. The two swam together, human and dolphin, belly to belly, only inches apart.
17 Kathleen tried to get some distance on the animal, but it wanted to dance slow and close. They surfaced together, both of them breathing simultaneously—Kathleen through her snorkel, the bottlenose dolphin from its top-mounted blowhole—and my immediate thought was, Hey, we’re all mammals and air breathers here.
18 Now, as Kathleen surfaced, I dived. I turned with one of the passing animals and tried to swim at its flank. As a collegiate swimmer, I set records in butterfly and freestyle sprints. Even now, years later, I’m very fast—for a human. But the dolphins swept by me like jets past a single-prop biplane. They shot past at speeds in excess of 20 m.p.h., I guessed.
19 One dolphin drifted slowly by me, close enough to touch. It dived, then looked up at me, moving its head from side to side.
20 I needed to breathe and moved slowly toward the surface. As I did, a dolphin below rose with me. A female. We were both upright in the water, belly to belly. I could see its round black eye, and the jaw anatomically designed in a constant grin.
21 Although I knew the smile is no more expressive of the animal’s mood than an elephant’s trunk, one still feels obliged to smile back. There was something bunching in my throat, like sorrow, but it came out in a brief snort through my snorkel. A laugh.
22 The dolphin moved with me, then sped around my body like a ball on a string as I rose to the surface. There were six- to nine-foot swells. One of them washed over my snorkel, and I gulped down what felt like half a pint of sea water. The dolphin dived and moved off toward more amusing pursuits as I treaded water on the surface, coughing and spitting.
23 Kathleen rose beside me. “They’re gone,” she said. Her lips were blue, and she was shivering like a child who has played too long in the water.
24 “Was that long enough to be an encounter?” I asked.
25 She laughed. In her studies Kathleen had defined a dolphin encounter as three minutes long or more. “Nearly fifteen minutes,” she said.
26 I honestly thought it could have been less than three minutes.
27 “How was your first dolphin encounter?” she asked.
28 I searched for words. Finally, I appropriated one of Kathleen’s strongest expletives. “Yikes,” I said. “This is what you do every day of your life?”
29 “Every day I can get the boat time.”
30 “And they pay you for this?”
From the book Dolphins by Tim Cahill. Copyright © 2000 by MacGillivray Freeman Films. Text Copyright © 2000 by Tim Cahill. Reprinted by arrangement with the National Geographic Society.
. . . half a dozen bottlenose dolphins swept by us like torpedoes.