School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Sample Assessments: Each sample assessment item gives an idea of how an assessment item on the MSA might be presented. The items appropriately measure the content of the State Curriculum and may be formatted similarly to those appearing on the MSA; however, these are sample items only and have not appeared on any MSA form.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 5. Analyze purposeful use of language

Objective a. Analyze specific word choice that contributes to the meaning and/or creates style

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Read the article 'The Sharebots' and answer the following question.

Explain whether the author's choice of words and phrases effectively describes the robots and their behaviors. In your response, use words and phrases from the passage that support your explanation. Write your answer on your answer document.


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Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Read the passage 'The Lost People of Mesa Verde.' Then answer the following.

Explain the importance of the word "Lost" in the title of this article. In your response, use information from the article that supports your explanation.

Write your answer on your answer document.


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Selected Response Item

Read the article titled 'Adventure's Call' and answer the following questions. Circle the letter of the correct answer.

Read this sentence from paragraph 16.

Jack became so absorbed in his writing that the work grew to book size.

The word absorbed mostly suggests that Jack—

  1. was deeply involved in his writing.
  2. wanted to sell many copies of his book
  3. excluded everything other than his writing
  4. was intent on the number of pages in his book

Correct Answer:

Assessment limit:
Significant words and phrases (e.g., figurative language, idioms, colloquialisms, etc.) in the text or a portion of the text

Resources for Objective 2.A.5.a: