Middle Grades English 5 to 9

Printer icon Print

Competencies and Skills and Blueprint

The test design below describes general testing information. The blueprints that follow provide a detailed outline that explains the competencies and skills that this test measures.

Test Design

table describing the format of the test, including test time, number of questions, and required passing score
Format Computer-based test (CBT)
Number of Questions
  • Multiple-Choice Section: approximately 80 multiple-choice questions
  • Written Performance Section: 1 essay
Time
  • Multiple-Choice Section: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Written Performance Section: 1 hour
Passing Score
  • Multiple-Choice Section: A scaled score of at least 200
  • Written Performance Section: At least 8 out of 12 points

 

Competencies, Skills, and Approximate Percentages of Questions

Multiple-Choice Section

graph of percentages of each competency's weight toward overall test score, described in table below

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score
Competency Approximate Percentage of Multiple-Choice Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of the characteristics of students in order to make instructional decisions for teaching and learning language arts 12%
2 Knowledge of applications of evidence-based research and best practices in teaching language arts 14%
3 Knowledge of language arts content 24%
4 Knowledge of pedagogical content for teaching language arts 24%
5 Knowledge of various assessments and use of corresponding data to drive instructional decisions within language arts 14%
6 Knowledge and application of the collaborative processes of reading and writing 12%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of the characteristics of students in order to make instructional decisions for teaching and learning language arts
  1. Identify the characteristics of cognitive development that impact student learning in language arts.

  2. Identify the characteristics of social and emotional development that impact student learning in language arts.

  3. Identify the cultural characteristics that impact student learning in language arts.

  4. Apply knowledge of students' characteristics (e.g., cognitive, social, emotional development, culture) in making instructional decisions in language arts.

Competency 2— Knowledge of applications of evidence-based research and best practices in teaching language arts
  1. Identify effective instructional practices that are aligned with state-adopted standards at the appropriate grade level.

  2. Identify and apply evidence-based research to select appropriate technology for language arts instruction.

  3. Identify and apply evidence-based research in the integration of language arts content with other disciplines.

  4. Determine and apply appropriate methods and materials for meeting the diverse learning needs of students.

  5. Determine and apply strategies for incorporating multicultural experiences in reading and writing activities.

Competency 3—Knowledge of language arts content
  1. Identify and apply the components of text complexity (i.e., quantitative, qualitative, reader and task).

  2. Analyze various literary and rhetorical devices (e.g., symbolism, style, allusion, irony, foreshadowing, tone, figurative language, syntax).

  3. Evaluate the characteristics of various genres (e.g., drama, biography, speeches).

  4. Evaluate various texts using a range of critical approaches (e.g., gender, sociological).

  5. Differentiate among various forms of writing (e.g., expository, narrative, persuasive, argumentative) in various texts.

  6. Identify and analyze effective organizational and stylistic choices in various forms of writing.

  7. Identify and apply knowledge of the writing process (i.e., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, publishing).

  8. Identify the characteristics of effective collaborative discussions to enhance speaking and listening opportunities.

  9. Determine multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays to communicate and present information.

  10. Analyze media to evaluate meaning, intent, effect, and technique.

  11. Identify and apply standard English grammar and usage with proficiency.

  12. Identify and apply the conventions of English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling with proficiency.

  13. Identify and distinguish the effective use of sentence variety.

  14. Identify and interpret figurative language (e.g., idioms, figures of speech).

  15. Determine and apply the connotation and denotation of key words.

  16. Identify and use general academic and domain-specific language.

Competency 4—Knowledge of pedagogical content for teaching language arts
  1. Select appropriate strategies for teaching the conventions of standard English (e.g., grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, spelling).

  2. Select strategies to engage students in a variety of collaborative discussions.

  3. Identify appropriate strategies to teach students how to comprehend literary and informational texts.

  4. Identify appropriate strategies to teach students how to analyze literary and informational texts.

  5. Select appropriate strategies to teach students to analyze and evaluate the purpose of information presented in multimedia literacies and formats.

  6. Determine effective strategies to teach students to speak and listen in collaboration with generating ideas and assimilating knowledge.

  7. Identify and apply strategies for teaching the writing process (i.e., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, publishing).

  8. Identify strategies for teaching the research process (e.g., gathering relevant information, synthesizing, paraphrasing, citing information, avoiding plagiarism).

Competency 5— Knowledge of various assessments and use of corresponding data to drive instructional decisions within language arts
  1. Identify appropriate and effective, formal and informal assessment tools in language arts.

  2. Select appropriate formal and informal assessments to differentiate instruction as needed.

  3. Analyze results of formal and informal assessments to diagnose students' strengths and needs.

  4. Analyze and evaluate results of formal and informal assessments to prescribe modifications and accommodations appropriate to instruction and student achievement.

  5. Identify ways to share the outcomes of student assessment data with students and stakeholders.

Competency 6— Knowledge and application of the collaborative processes of reading and writing
  1. Identify and apply appropriate instructional practices to teach the reading and writing processes for a variety of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

  2. Select appropriate instructional practices to teach writing and speaking in response to literary and informational texts (e.g., images, sound, performance, oral presentations).

  3. Apply strategies for teaching the research process (e.g., gathering relevant information, synthesizing, paraphrasing, citing information, avoiding plagiarism).

  4. Identify and determine how text structure (e.g., compare-contrast, cause and effect, chronological) impacts comprehension.

  5. Determine the meaning of a word, phrase, paragraph, or text based on its context.

Written Performance Section

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score
Competency Approximate Percentage of Written Performance Subtest Score
7 Demonstration of the ability to respond critically through an analysis of a literary selection 100%

Competency and Skills

Competency 7—Demonstration of the ability to respond critically through an analysis of a literary selection
  1. Demonstrate the ability to organize ideas around a clear and coherent thesis statement.

  2. Incorporate relevant details and ample textual evidence to support the thesis statement.

  3. Demonstrate proficient use of postsecondary level standard written English (e.g., varied word choice and syntax, semantics, language conventions).

  4. Use appropriate style to enhance the reader's interest and understanding.