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Massachusetts Educator Certification Tests

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NOTE: None of the examples of questions and answers was actually on the April 4, 1998, test of prospective teachers. However, they represent the full range of the types of questions and answers given.
READING SUBTEST:
The reading subtest assesses vocabulary, main idea, writer's purpose, relationship of ideas, reasoning, and outlining/summarizing.

The subtest consists of multiple-choice and short-answer items.  The multiple-choice items are matched to reading passages of up to 750 words each.  The reading passages reflect a variety of subject areas and are similar to reading materials used in college.  Responses to the multiple-choice items are scored as correct or incorrect.

The short-answer items ask for a definition of given words.   Responses to the short-answer items are scored as correct or incorrect based on the accuracy and sufficiency of the definition provided.

Sample item: Define the word "abolish."
Sample responses:
A law about something.
T o do away with completely, to put an end to.
WRITING SUBTEST:
The writing subtest consists of four sections: grammar and usage, written summary, written composition, and written mechanics.
Sample item:
The following sentence contains one or more grammatical errors.  Rewrite the sentence in the proper grammatical form.

A distinguished scholar and a great teacher, Professor Smith's famous lecture on the pyramids are not to be missed.

Sample incorrect responses:
A distinguished scholar and great teacher, the famous lecture on the pyramids given by P rofessor S mith is not to be missed.
B ecause he is a distinguished scholar and a great teacher, you should not miss the famous lecture about the pyramids of P rofessor S mith.
Sample correct responses:
B ecause P rofessor S mith is a distinguished scholar and a great teacher, his famous lecture on the pyramids is not to be missed.
P rofessor S mith is a distinguished scholar and a great teacher whose famous lectures on the pyramids are not to be missed.
Sample item: What is a preposition?
Sample responses:
A description of what is taking place in a sentence.
A word used to show the relationship of a n oun to another in a sentence.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Education.


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