AEPA Middle Grades Language Arts/Reading Exam

The AEPA Middle Grades Language Arts/Reading Exam will test your ability to teach these subjects in Arizona public schools. You will answer questions in four areas from the AEPA Learning Objectives. Reading Process and Comprehension (35%) will show your understanding of ways to develop reading skills and comprehension, including phonological and phonemic awareness. You must know strategies for a variety of texts, such as expository, persuasive, and functional. In the Writing Process, Conventions, and Applications section (35%), the test taker will demonstrate an understanding of different modes of writing, as well as writing techniques from idea generation to writing and editing. Standard American grammar and usage will be tested. The Listening and Speaking portion of the test is worth 18%. This section will include effective methods of listening and speaking, including participating in group discussions. The last part is Viewing and Presenting (12%), which covers analyzing media messages and preparing effective presentations.

AEPA Middle Grades Language Arts/Reading Exam Study Questions

1. The eight-grade class will be holding class elections in the fall as part of an integrated Social Studies and English unit. The students will be studying government elections and modeling their process based on their studies. The candidates for Vice President and Presdient will debate pre-determined issues in front of their class using modified rules found in formal debates (i.e. they are timed and will use a moderator). Which of the following exercises would be most beneficial to introduce in English class to help prepare each student for the debates?

A. Watch recordings of Presidential and Vice Presidential debates from years past and model their speech from what they have heard.

B. Create multiple opportunities for students to discuss the pre-determined issues in class, allowing for free-flowing dialogue and differing opinions.

C. Students write their thoughts in short-essay format so that each section can be read aloud during the appropriate part of the debate.

D. Students determine a position on each selected issue and assign it to a note card or small piece of paper. On each card, they record two to three reasons or supporting ideas for the opinion.

2. A teacher wants to work on her student’s listening comprehension in addition to their reading comprehension, since she understand that the skill are interrelated. She has a series of short stories that she thinks the students will enjoy. Which of the following would be the best supplement to typical written comprehension exercises?

A. Preview content and then read the stories aloud to the students. Assess listening comprehension through verbal and written questions.

B. Ask the students to choose one story each to read aloud to a small group. Encourage the students to discuss what they have learned afterward.

C. Assign each student a story to read and require them to write a report on it. Each student should then present his report based on what he had learned to the class.

D. Have the students read stories aloud to the class, and create mock tests based upon the main ideas which they identify.

3. Ms. Walters wants to help her brand-new group of still-emergent fourth-grade students build comprehension skills. Which of the following exercises would be the best way to quickly guage the students’ current comprehension levels during the first week of class?

A. Provide the students with instruction-level text to be read independently. Hold an in-class discussion about what happened in the story.

B. Read a story aloud to the class and then ask each student to draw three pictures representing the beginning, middle and end of the story.

C. Put students into group or pairs to read the story aloud. Each group then collaborates to answer the story review questions.

D. Have each student re-tell the story to the class in his own words.

4. Which of the following strategies would not be helpful in building the word-identification skills of emergent readers?

A. Allowing for invented spelling in written assignments or in class work.
B. Reinforcing phonemic awareness while reading aloud.
C. Using dictionaries to look up unfamiliar words.
D. Studying and reviewing commonly-used sight words at the students’ ability level.

5. Mrs. Harris is pleased that her fifth-graders are showing progress in their reading comprehension and writing skills. The students are performing very well on their written tests, evaluations and homework. After the holiday break, she wants to design lessons that increase the students’ literacy skills by incorporating multiple contexts. Which of the following might be the best way to do this?

A. Read their next book aloud and discuss it in class.
B. Have the students quiz one another in small groups on the content of their textbooks and other reading assignments.
C. Read a play in class and allow the students to act it out for their peers following their unit test.
D. Administer spelling and vocabulary tests orally to determine students’ verbal skills.

6. Which of the following would be most useful in assessing and documenting students’ language progress throughout a school year?

A. An audio/video recording of each student reading the same text at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year.
B. A portfolio including pre-tests, post-tests, vocabulary work, journal entries, writing assignments, group projects and other relevant work from throughout the year

C. Score composites and details from state-and national-referenced exams or other standardized tests.

D. A detailed narrative composed by the student’s teacher, detailing strengths, weaknesses, and descriptions of the student’s work.

7. Valeria is a bright sixth-grader who struggles with reading fluency. She comes from a predominantly Spanish-speaking home and has only lived in the United States for two years. Her teacher plans to use the guided oral reading strategy to help increase Valeria’s reading skills. Which of the following would noe be a part of this strategy?

A. Valeria is partnered with another student who is also struggling with language fluency in class.
B. Valeria’s partner reads a given text aloud and then gives her a chance to read the text silently several times.
C. Valeria reads the text aloud three to four times.
D. Valeria’s partner gives encouragement and feedback.

8. Mr. Waleran requires his students of all ability levels to write freely in their journals twice a week. While students are encouraged to use proper spelling and mechanics as much as possible, the purpose behind this activity is to encourage students to express themselves through writing without concern for grading parameters. How should he adapt this activity for Dimitri, who has several academic delays that keep him from reading and writing in legible or coherent ways?

A. Allow Dimitri to dictate his thoughts to another student or teacher who will then record them into his journal in writing.

B. Encourage Dimitri to draw pictures in his journal that represent his thoughts, and encourage him to use the words he knows to label or describe the pictures.

C. Tell Dimitri to keep an audio journal at home, using a personal tape recorder.

D. Require Dimitri to attempt to write in complete sentences as much as he can, and then edit the journal together for spelling and mechanical errors.

9. A teacher reads to her students at least once a week. This month, she plans to read poetry to her class. The students will then discuss what they have heard for the rest of each class period. What is this teacher’s most likely purpose in designing these lessons?

A. To give students a break from extensive reading requirements
B. To build phonological awareness, specifically of rhyming words.
C. To teach students that there is more to literature than pose.
D. To increase students’ listening skills while exposing them to new kinds of literature.

10. Mrs. Taylor is working with a diverse group of fifth-graders. She introduces a lesson and project that students can work on once they have finished their regular class work. Students may visit a section of the classroom where they can listen to a lesson via headphones on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and look at various library books on the subject. Students are then expected to create their own hieroglyphics that thay can use to tell a short story. Which of the following skills is not built with this project?

A. Understanding of various kinds of written expression, including non-alphabetic languages
B. Building multi-cultural awareness that will increase understanding between students of different backgrounds
C. Reading for purpose of information or new knowledge (i.e. ‘reading to learn’)
D. Exposure to various media to build literacy skills across all levels of reading ability.

AEPA Middle Grades Language Arts/Reading Exam Answer Key