MSA Prep January 24, 2011
What does the MSA look like?DAY ONE • Section 1 – 12 minutes • 12 questions on vocabulary, skills like multiple meaning words, context clues, and straight-up definitions (“what does ‘arduous’ mean?” • Section 2 – 42 minutes • Several fiction and non-fiction passages, selected response questions, 2-3 BCRs • Section 3 – 35 minutes • Several fiction and non-fiction passages, selected response questions, 1-2 BCRs
What does the MSA look like?DAY TWO • Section 4 – 42 minutes • Several fiction and non-fiction passages, selected response questions, 2-3 BCRs • Section 5 – 35 minutes • Multiple passages and selected response questions. No BCRs.
Frequently Tested Skills Narrative texts
Mood and tone • The tone of this poem is best described as • appreciative • courteous • dramatic • solemn
Conflict and resolution • Read this story titled "A Team Full of Reasons." Then answer the question below. • Alex's main conflict in this story is between his — • friendship with Darren and his dream of playing for the Pirates • desire to play for a winning team and his feelings for his friends • respect for Coach Landstrom and his fear of going to a new school • concern for his parents and his determination to be a better athlete
Characterization • Read this story titled "A Team Full of Reasons." Then answer the question below. • Darren's words and actions in this story suggest that he — • is probably a selfish person • is unfriendly to his teammates • believes that loyalty is important • tries hard to be a good baseball player
Making inferences • Why does Maria wish that she had wings? • A. She likes birds. • B. She is afraid of flying in an airplane. • C. She wants to move freely between New York and Puerto Rico. • D. She does not want to walk to the store with her grandfather.
Plot / Plot stages • In the stage directions for Scene 2, which of these details is most important to the plot? • The one hundred guests • The outlined grass stains • The wedding music playing loudly and clearly • The wedding rings on a willow-covered pillow • Which of these actions occur in the rising action of this story?
Making Predictions • Based on the passage, we can conclude that Rosa will most likely • A. forget about Maria. • B. call Maria when she gets back to New York. • C. move to New York. • D. write letters to Maria in English.
Setting/How setting affects mood and plot • Read this passage from 'The Coastwatcher', a novel that takes place during World War II when the United States was at war with Germany. Then answer the following. • Explain how the setting affects the mood of the passage. In your response, use details from the passage that help explain how the setting affects the mood of the passage. Write your answer on the lines below.
Character growth and motivation • What is the best example of Maria’s growth in this story? • A. At the beginning of the story, she is in Puerto Rico, but at the end, she is on an airplane • B. She does not change at all in the story • C. Maria realizes she has two homes, and no longer dreads going back to New York • D. Maria becomes smart enough to realize that Puerto Rico isn’t her home
Genre • This story would most likely be found in a(n) — • A. book of short stories. • B. article about 42nd Street. • C. book about classic musicals. • D. guide to directing school plays.
Frequently Tested Skills Narrative texts
Summarizing the text • Read the passage 'The Lost People of Mesa Verde.' Then answer the following. • Write a summary of paragraphs 6 through 11 of "The Lost People of the Mesa Verde." In your response, include the important ideas from paragraphs 6 through 11. • Which of these details would NOT be included in a summary of this story?
Main Idea • Read the article 'A Lifeline for Lions' and answer the following question. • Explain whether the title helps a reader understand an important idea of this article. In your response, use information from the article that supports your explanation. • Which other title would best help a reader understand the main idea of this article? • Oil Rigs in the Mud • Understanding Fast Food • Protecting Bones and Joints • Two Properties and One Solution
Text Features • The photograph is most likely included in this article to — • The information provided in the chart supports the article by • The topics that will be taught in the class are indicated with • A dashes. • B bullets. • C bolded text. • D underlined text.
Author’s Purpose and Audience • The purpose of paragraphs 1 through 3 of this article is to — • explain Fosbury's problem • describe Fosbury's appearance • describe where Fosbury grew up • explain why Fosbury liked sports • The author most likely includes this sentence to • show how a seesaw works • provide a definition of a mobile • relate a mobile to a common object • describe the ideal weight of a seesaw
Organizational Patterns • Read this article titled "Why Is It So Hard to Get Ketchup Out of the Bottle?" Then answer the question below. • How is paragraph 6 organized? • by main idea and supporting details • by comparison and contrast • by least to most important idea • by time order of events
Context Clues • Read this sentence from paragraph 1 of the article. • The only thing that's missing is the ketchup, so you grab the bottle and prepare to slather your entire plate. • The details in paragraph 1 suggest that slather means — • clean • cover • pass • stack
Skills NOT frequently tested • Anything related to drama • Skills specifically related to poetry (figurative language, sound devices) • Conflict TYPE (character vs. nature, etc) • Read critically to evaluate literary texts (plausibility, ambiguities, relationship between texts and historical context)