Testing Time Is Coming; I Can Help You Get Ready!

The new year signals in many places the approach of standardized exams. Whether required by individual states or demanded by colleges for admission, such tests as the GRE, SAT, ACT, and STAAR, despite being decried by educators at great length and across many years, do much to determine the academic fates of students at many, if not most, levels of instruction. Consequently, doing well on such tests is a matter of some importance for students, parents, and schools. And I can help prepare students to do well on them.

I’ve worked to write tests not only for my own students, but as a contractor generating content for standardized exams and as a private tutor helping students get ready for their own exam experiences. I’ve talked about it before (here, here, here, and here), and it remains true: whether you’re an educator needing new content, a parent concerned for their child’s performance, or a student looking to get some additional practice in, I have materials for you.

The assessment example below comes out to 114 words at a ninth-grade reading level. As with the earlier examples noted above, formatting is adapted to suit the medium.


Read the following passage and use the information in it to identify the most accurate answer to each of the questions below.

1One area in which modern Arthuriana deviates from the traditional is in conflating the important swords of the text. 2That is, modern Arthuriana moves away from its sources in that it merge swords together in the narrative. 3The most prominent example is Excalibur. 4Modern tellings of the Arthurian legend equate it with the Sword in the Stone, the sword that Arthur draws out to confirm his kingship. 5In Malory, however, the Sword in the Stone is placed by Merlin as part of his plot to see Arthur enthroned. 6Excalibur, by contrast, is given Arthur by the Lady of the Lake. 7It is accompanied by a scabbard of greater value—but that is another story.

1.
In sentence 1, “deviates” is what part of speech?
A. Adjective.
B. Adverb.
C. Noun.
D. Verb.

2.
In sentence 1, “deviates” carries what meaning?
A. Moves against.
B. Moves away from.
C. Moves toward.
D. None of the above.

3.
Sentence 2 provides what kind of context clue about the meaning of “deviates?”
A. Antonym.
B. Example.
C. Synonym.
D. None of the above.

4.
In sentence 1, “conflating” is what part of speech?
A. Adjective.
B. Adverb.
C. Noun.
D. Verb.

5.
In sentence 1, “conflating” carries what meaning?
A. Eating.
B. Gathering.
C. Mixing.
D. None of the above.

6.
Sentence 2 provides what kind of context clue about the meaning of “conflating?”
A. Antonym.
B. Example.
C. Synonym.
D. None of the above.

7.
In sentence 5, “enthroned” is what part of speech?
A. Adjective.
B. Adverb.
C. Noun.
D. Verb.

8.
In sentence 5, “enthroned” carries what meaning?
A. Put into a box.
B. Put into clothing.
C. Put into power.
D. None of the above.

9.
Sentence 4 provides what kind of context clue about the meaning of “enthroned?”
A. Antonym.
B. Example.
C. Synonym.
D. None of the above.

10.
How does sentence 2 relate to sentence 1?
A. Addition.
B. Comparison / Contrast.
C. Illustration / Exemplification.
D. None of the above.

11.
How does sentence 3 relate to sentence 2?
A. Addition.
B. Comparison / Contrast.
C. Illustration / Exemplification.
D. None of the above.

12.
How does sentence 4 relate to sentence 3?
A. Addition.
B. Comparison / Contrast.
C. Illustration / Exemplification.
D. None of the above.

13.
How does sentence 5 relate to sentence 4?
A. Addition.
B. Comparison / Contrast.
C. Illustration / Exemplification.
D. None of the above.

14.
How does sentence 6 relate to sentence 5?
A. Addition.
B. Comparison / Contrast.
C. Illustration / Exemplification.
D. None of the above.

15.
How does sentence 7 relate to sentence 6?
A. Addition.
B. Comparison / Contrast.
C. Illustration / Exemplification.
D. None of the above.

16.
The main idea of the paragraph is in which sentence?
A. 2.
B. 4.
C. 6.
D. None of the above.

17.
There is an error in sentence 2. At which word does it appear?
A. Merge.
B. Narrative.
C. Sources.
D. Swords.

Answers: 1, D; 2, B; 3, C; 4, D; 5, C; 6, C; 7, D; 8, C; 9, C; 10, C; 11, C; 12, A; 13, B; 14, B; 15, A; 16, A; 17, A


If you need custom materials for your students, or you are looking to design tests for use now and in the future, I’m happy to help. Do me a favor, take thirty seconds, and fill out the form below. I’ll respond as quickly as I can, and we can discuss how I can generate to-order content for you!

Or just help me start the year in a better place!

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