Directions: Read each selection and the questions that follow it. Then mark your answer on the Answer Sheet. Make sure you find the question number on the Answer Sheet that matches the question number in the Practice Test



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Grade 8

OCCT Practice Test, Form A


Directions: Read each selection and the questions that follow it. Then mark your answer on the Answer Sheet. Make sure you find the question number on the Answer Sheet that matches the question number in the Practice Test.

Sample Selection: The Great Land Rush

It was April 22, 1889, almost noon. A light breeze swirled about the fields. George and Mary stood gazing at the giant blue horizon. It seemed to be filled with nothing but warm sunshine and promise.

An enormous crowd had gathered, tens of thousands of people dense. Hungry land-seekers from all parts of the country had come to the Oklahoma District to claim land. Now, in this last quiet moment, they were getting ready to stake their claims.


The race began. George caught his breath hard and quickened his pace. “C’mon, Mary,” said George. “Our day has finally come!”
Sample A:

This selection can be best described as

  1. A folktale

  2. A mystery

  3. A biography

  4. Historical fiction


Sample B:

The author provides enough evidence to conclude that

  1. The runners were planning to steal the horses.

  2. George and Mary were feeling hopeful.

  3. The riders would have the best chance of getting good land.

  4. George and Mary had already found good land the night before.


Read the selection below. Then answer the questions that follow.
Oklahoma’s Great Outdoors, Then and Now

By Jill Foley




Oklahoma, 100 Million Years Ago

1 If you found yourself in Oklahoma a hundred million years ago, you would have seen an incredible landscape. Standing in a shallow swamp surrounded by ferns, giant horsetails, and ginkgo trees, you would feel wrapped in a blanket of fog and green. It was a leafier, more humid world then, and it would have felt slower, sleepier.
2 At that time, dinosaurs roamed the marshy Oklahoma landscape. You might have seen twenty-foot-long Tenontosauruses slowly wading through the swamp, snacking on lycopod leaves as they went. You might have witnessed a jaguar-sized Deinonychus (dyn-ON-ik-us) sneak up on the herd and lash at them with its huge, curved talons. Looking down around your swamp-soaked ankles, you might have spotted a ten-foot-long, frog-like Metoposaurus lurking on the muddy bottom.
Oklahoma’s Diverse Landscape
3 Nowadays, you won’t find prowling dinosaurs or fern forests covering the hills and valleys of Oklahoma. Coyotes, armadillos, and black-tailed prairie dogs live here now. Swamps surrounded by lycopod trees have been replaced by oak and hickory woods and mixed-grass prairies. The top layers of the earth have shifted, making way for Ozark streams and limestone caves. Over millions of years, natural processes like rainfall, rivers, volcanoes, and the earth’s gradual inner churning have slowly transformed the landscape. As a result, today Oklahoma is one of the most geologically and ecologically diverse states in the country. With its ancient past, this ruggedly beautiful land has many fascinating stories to tell.
4 The Cross Timbers region is the largest plant-covered area in Oklahoma. It is a savanna, a dense grassland dotted with post oak and blackjack trees, that runs down central Oklahoma.
5 Today, the Cross Timbers are quickly traversed by several major highways. But long ago, the Cross Timbers were a rugged wilderness of brush-covered hills and ravines that acted as a geographic bugger. Miles of entangled oaks and briars isolated the Five Civilized Tribes of the Indian Territory from the Plains Indians to the west. Years later, the scrubby brush would act to divert most major trails and railroad routes to the north and south of the region. The thick, thorny growth also made travel difficult for early American explorers and settlers. Author Washington Irving described it as “like struggling through forests of cast iron.”
6 Because of the rugged nature of the Cross Timbers, the region is one of the least disturbed forest areas in the country. Thousands of 200- to 400-year-old post oak and a few 500-year-old red cedar trees survive in the Cross Timbers, one of the few remaining authentic American woodlands.
7 To the southeast of the Cross Timbers lie the Ouachita (WAH-she-tah) Mountains. Today, you can camp, hike, and fish in the Ouachita Mountains. But long ago, the Caddo Native American faming people lived here. Certain of the Ouachita rocks were used by the Caddo for making tools like knives and axes. Even before that, as early as 5,000 years ago, prehistoric humans used rocks from the Ouachita Mountains to make tools.
8 Across the state to the northeast, in Oklahoma’s panhandle, is the state’s highest point. At 4,973 feet, Black Mesa sits atop the earth like an ancient, weathered pyramid. The mesa is a broad, flat-topped hill that got its name from the layer of black lava rock that coated it millions of years ago. Today, you can climb the hills near Black Mesa, check out the fossil footprints of dinosaurs, or hike the petrifies forest trail at Black Mesa State Park.
9 Being in Oklahoma’s great outdoors shrinks the distance between you and the time when Tenontosauruses plodded along in the swamps that used to be here. You can look at dinosaur footprints at Black Mesa and imagine that sleepy, fern-filled world that existed millions of years ago. You can visit the Ouachita Mountains and picture prehistoric people making tools. To walk for hours through pine forests or across rolling prairies cloaked in sagebrush is to experience an environment that has existed in one form or another for eons. These wild places, be they hill tops or lowland swamps, provide space, perspective. They allow you to connect with Oklahoma’s past in a whole new way.


  1. What is the main idea of “Oklahoma’s Great Outdoors, Then and Now”?

    1. Black Mesa looks like an ancient, weathered pyramid.

    2. Long ago, the Cross Timbers acted as a geographic buffer.

    3. Oklahoma’s ancient past is imprinted on today’s diverse landscape.

    4. Although extinct now, dinosaurs roamed the land 100 million years ago.




  1. You can tell that this selection is not a fictional story because

    1. There is a setting and a plot.

    2. There are lots of facts and details.

    3. There is a dialogue between characters.

    4. There are factual and fictional details.




  1. In the last paragraph, “picture prehistoric people making tools,” is an example of what poetic device?

    1. Alliteration

    2. Simile

    3. Rhyme

    4. Hyperbole




  1. Using the dictionary entry, the word ravine most recently comes from which language?


    1. Spanish

    2. Latin

    3. French

    4. English


  1. Which would be the best resource to find more information about dinosaurs that lived in Oklahoma?

    1. An encyclopedia entry, “All About the Three-Horned Triceratops”

    2. A book, North American Prairies and Woodlands

    3. an article, “Triassic Oklahoma: When Dinosaurs Roamed

    4. a tourist guide to Oklahoma’s wilderness


  1. Which of these fits best in the blank box in the flow chart?


    1. The Caddo used Ouachita rocks to make tools.

    2. Deinonychus hunted the plant-eating Tenontosaurus

    3. Ancient ferns, horsetails, and gingko trees covered the land.

    4. Black Mesa was coated with lava from an erupting volcano.





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