English Language Arts 30-2
Diploma Exam Preparation – “Part B”
Reading Comprehension
 8-10 reading selections (readings booklet)
 70 questions (questions booklet)
 three hours
 This examination contains questions that
refer to more than one reading selection.
Read the texts and answer the questions in
the order that they appear in the Readings
Booklet and Questions Booklet.
 non-fiction
 multimedia
 short stories
 poetry
 Shakespeare
 modern drama
 novel
 visual texts
 theory unit
 U5L3
 literary terms list
 multiple choice strategies
 reading comprehension
 Part “B” diploma exams with key
 There are questions about or involving terms;
therefore, you need to know which term is
which in order to answer those questions.
 For example, if you know what paradox is,
and are asked about the paradoxical aspect of
a character’s existence, you will have a much
easier time responding to the question than if
you have no idea how to define the term.
common terms
frequency #
terms included
allusion, imagery, metaphor, tone
context, contrast, mood, paradox,
purpose, setting, symbol, theme
alliteration, analogy, anecdote, character,
cliché, conflict, excerpt, foreshadowing,
hyperbole, juxtaposition, narrator,
personification, simile, speaker, thesis,
basic MC strategies
 read questions, selection, questions
 re-read in context
 check all questions answered
 don’t change your answers!!
 don’t over-think / over-analyze
question order
 The questions are constructed in a certain
 They are designed to lead you through the
text, and the last question is often the
theme/idea question
 Read through all the questions to the last
one, for a specific piece of text, before
beginning to answer any.
 title
 preamble
 author biography
 Create concept maps / graphic organizers
for excerpts.
 If it’s not important, it wouldn’t be included
on the exam!!
 Write on the text, with either a pencil or a
 highlight the
line in the text to which the
question refers
 highlight key words
in the stem
 cross out choices which are
 circle answers
not possible
which are possible.
key words
 Circle the key word or idea in the stem, and draw a
line to a connecting word in the answer.
 Focus on what the question asks.
 The repetition of the word “boxes” in the first stanza
emphasizes images of constraint, while the repetition
of the word “music” in the second stanza emphasizes
images of
 a. experience
 b. strength
 c. freedom
 d. wisdom
text rules!
 When writing a literary essay, your interpretation of
literature is acceptable >> a logical interpretation
supported by concrete details from the text.
 In multiple choice, however, it’s not your opinion.”
 In the case of the multiple choice test,
Text Always Wins.
 It is very important that you go back to the text, as
that's where the answers are. When it comes down
to two answers, the one that can be supported best
from the text overall is the answer (for directing
questions especially).
general . . .
 Look for specific responses, not general ones
 Directing words suggest that all alternatives
have some element of truth – discriminate
between weaker and strongest choices. “In the
context of” is also directing.
 Linked passages are linked more by perspective
than context – find the commonality.
 Shakespeare tends to be literal comprehension
while poetry tends to be figurative.
directing words
 most clearly
 most emphatically
 most strongly
 mainly
 (best)
 “in the context of”
 These words certainly indicate that there is an
element of truth in ALL of the responses. Look
for the one that works for the entire paragraph,
passage, or selection under question.
 Use a solid, opaque ruler to read text line by
 This forces you to track the text and keeps
your focus on it.
 Be sure to read what the questions asks, not
what you think it asks.
 How many species of each animal did
Moses take along on the ark?
construction of questions
 Each answer is a possibility.
 1. 3 X 2 =
 a.
 b. 6
 c. 1
 d. 1.5
 Each of the answers is possible, if a mistake in
reading or reasoning is made.
unfamiliar vocabulary
 Don’t choose an answer simply because you
don’t know what a word means and you think
that must make it a good choice.
 Go back into the text, using context clues to
help you to determine what a word means.
 Very
low incomes are exempt from taxation.
 Money
cannot compensate him for the loss
of his child.
filling in the scantron sheet
 One suggestion is to fill in the scantron sheet at the end.
 With two booklets and a scantron sheet, the possibility
for filling in the wrong answers exist.
 Circle answers on the test, so at the end, you can quickly
fill in the scantron sheet.
 This method also eliminates the problem of erasing a
change completely.
 If you are not comfortable with this method, be sure to
clearly mark on the sheet when you skip a question!!
Prepare: Part B
• Write a previous exam under exam
conditions – two hours, no breaks, no
dictionary or thesaurus.
• If possible, use an exam from “The KEY”
which provides an annotated answer key.