The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 1, 2012

Keystone English: Are you smarter than an 11th-grader?

Pass the test and graduate from high school!


7. This passage comes from Main-Travelled Roads, a book published in 1891. Whichsentence describes the historical significance of the passage?

A. It represents prairie life of the American Midwestern farmer during the pioneer movement.

B. It shows the luxurious comfort of American train travel through the far Western states.

C. It presents the splendor of the landscape of the Eastern part of America.

D. It shows the value of education in the Western states of America.

8. What is the main effect of the dialect in the passage?

A. It creates a sense of realism.

B. It adds a touch of humor.

C. It creates a dignified mood.

D. It reveals a rivalry between characters.


1. What does the word squalid mean as used in the passage?

A. neglected

B. distant

C. hectic

D. bulky

The student is asked to determine the meaning of the word “squalid.” The student must use context clues in the passage to decide that the word means “neglected,” which is option A. Options B, C, and D are not correct meanings of the tested word.

2. Based on information in the passage, which conclusion can be made about life in Howard’s childhood town?

A. Life is simple and characterized by hard work.

B. Life is luxurious and distinguished by great wealth.

C. Life is communal and filled with hectic social activities.

D. Life is depressing and marked by unproductive idleness.

The student is asked to draw a conclusion about what life is like for people in Howard’s childhood town. Based on how the author describes the town and the residents, life in the town is simple, and the people are hard working; therefore, option A best reflects life in the town. Options B, C, and D are not supported by the text.

3. Which characteristic of the passage best indicates to the reader that it is fiction rather than nonfiction?

A. the use of active verbs

B. the use of paragraphs

C. the development of a tone

D. the development of a plot

The student is asked to determine which characteristic of the passage best indicates to the reader that it is fiction rather than informational nonfiction. Option D, “the development of a plot,” is the characteristic that is more oft en associated with fiction. Options A, B, and C could be found in both fiction and nonfiction.

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