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 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 8. Read critically to evaluate literary texts

Objective b. Analyze and evaluate the extent to which the text contains ambiguities, subtleties, or contradictions

Assessment limit: Questions and predictions about events, situations, and conflicts that might occur if the text were extended

Selected Response Item

Read this passage from 'Dear Mr. President Thomas Jefferson Letters from a Philadelphia Bookworm', a novel that takes place when President Jefferson was in office. Amelia Hornsby has grown up in Philadelphia but has recently followed her father, a doctor, to Pittsburgh. Then answer the following.

Which of these questions is NOT answered by the details and events in this passage?

  1. What happened to Amelia's mother?
  2. What is Amelia's attitude toward Sacagawea?
  3. How concerned is Amelia with current events?
  4. Why is Amelia interested in the purchase of Pvt. Cruzatte's rifle?
/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_8_028.xml

Correct Answer:
A

Selected Response Item

Read this passage titled 'Deliverance' and answer the following questions. Circle the letter of the correct answer.

After reading this passage, a reader might still want to know—

  1. how difficult the climb becomes
  2. the physical condition of the narrator
  3. why the narrator is climbing the cliff
  4. the possibility of another route up the cliff
/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_8_095.xml

Correct Answer:
C

Assessment limit:
Questions and predictions about events, situations, and conflicts that might occur if the text were extended

Resources for Objective 3.A.8.b:
Lesson Seeds | SAMPLE ASSESSMENTS |