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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
  • Essay Subtest: 1 essay
  • ELS Subtest: approximately 40 multiple-choice questions
  • Reading Subtest: approximately 40 multiple-choice questions
  • Mathematics Subtest: approximately 45 multiple-choice questions
Time
  • Essay Subtest: 50 minutes
  • ELS Subtest: 40 minutes
  • Reading Subtest: 55 minutes
  • Mathematics Subtest: 1 hour and 40 minutes
If you take all 4 subtests in a single session, you will receive a 15-minute break.
Passing Score
  • Essay Subtest: At least 8 out of 12 points
  • ELS, Reading, and Mathematics Subtests: a scaled score of at least 200 per subtest
  • Examinees must pass all 4 subtests to pass the GK

 

Competencies, Skills, and Approximate Percentages of Questions

Subtest 1: Essay

Essay Skills

 

Subtest 2: English Language Skills

graph depicting percentages of each E L S competency's weight toward overall test score.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score for English Language Skills
Competency Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of language structure 25%
2 Knowledge of vocabulary application 25%
3 Knowledge of standard English conventions 50%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of language structure
  1. Evaluate correct placement of modifiers.

  2. Apply knowledge of parallelism, including parallel expressions for parallel ideas.

  3. Apply knowledge of a variety of effective structures (e.g., recognizing fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, syntax errors).

  4. Determine patterns of organization in a written passage (i.e., modes of rhetoric).

Competency 2—Knowledge of vocabulary application
  1. Determine the meaning of unknown words, multiple-meaning words, and phrases in context.

  2. Determine and select the correct use of commonly confused words, misused words, and phrases.

  3. Determine diction and tone appropriate to a given audience.

Competency 3—Knowledge of standard English conventions
  1. Determine and select standard verb forms.

  2. Determine and select inappropriate shifts in verb tense.

  3. Determine and select agreement between subject and verb.

  4. Determine and select agreement between pronoun and antecedent.

  5. Determine and select inappropriate pronoun shifts.

  6. Determine and select clear pronoun references.

  7. Determine and select pronoun case forms (e.g., subjective, objective, possessive).

  8. Evaluate the correct use of adjectives and adverbs.

  9. Determine and select appropriate comparative and superlative degree forms.

  10. Demonstrate command of standard spelling conventions.

  11. Demonstrate command of standard punctuation.

  12. Demonstrate command of standard capitalization.

 

Subtest 3: Reading

All items are passage based. The passages will be both expository and narrative. Each test form will contain approximately 5 passages.

graph depicting percentages of each reading competency's weight toward overall test score.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score for Reading
Competency Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of key ideas and details based on text selections 40%
2 Knowledge of craft and structure based on text selections 25%
3 Knowledge of the integration of information and ideas based on text selections 35%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of key ideas and details based on text selections
  1. Identify textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from text.

  2. Identify explicit meaning and details within text.

  3. Determine inferences and conclusions based on textual evidence.

  4. Discriminate among inferences, conclusions, and assumptions based on textual evidence.

  5. Determine and analyze the development of central ideas or themes from one or more texts.

  6. Summarize one or more texts using key supporting ideas and details.

  7. Determine how and why specific individuals, events, and ideas develop based on textual evidence.

  8. Determine the cause and effect relationship(s) among individuals, events, and ideas based on textual evidence.

Competency 2—Knowledge of craft and structure based on text selections
  1. Interpret the meaning of words and phrases as used in text (e.g., figurative language, connotative language, technical meanings).

  2. Analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

  3. Analyze how the author uses organization and text structure(s) to convey meaning.

  4. Contrast the point of view of two or more authors on the same topic by analyzing their claims, reasoning, and evidence.

  5. Analyze how point of view and purpose shape the content and style of text.

Competency 3—Knowledge of the integration of information and ideas based on text selections
  1. Evaluate and relate content presented in diverse formats.

  2. Evaluate specific claims in text based on relevancy, sufficiency, and validity or reasoning.

  3. Synthesize information from a range of texts to develop a coherent explanation of a process, phenomenon, concept, or theme.

  4. Analyze multiple texts to differentiate approaches authors take to develop similar themes (e.g., mode, authorís craft, genre, point of view).

 

Subtest 4: Mathematics

An on-screen four-function calculator and an on-screen reference sheet will be provided.

graph depicting percentages of each mathematics competency's weight toward overall test score.

table describing the competencies, skills, and approximate percentage of each competency's weight toward overall test score for Mathematics
Competency Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions
1 Knowledge of number sense, concepts, and operations 17%
2 Knowledge of geometry and measurement 21%
3 Knowledge of algebraic thinking and the coordinate plane 29%
4 Knowledge of probability, statistics, and data interpretation 33%

Competencies and Skills

Competency 1—Knowledge of number sense, concepts, and operations
  1. Compare real numbers and identify their location on a number line.

  2. Solve real-world problems involving the four operations with rational numbers.

  3. Evaluate expressions involving order of operations.

Competency 2—Knowledge of geometry and measurement
  1. Identify and classify simple two- and three-dimensional figures according to their mathematical properties.

  2. Solve problems involving ratio and proportion (e.g., scaled drawings, models, real-world scenarios).

  3. Determine an appropriate measurement unit and form (e.g., scientific notation) for real-world problems involving length, area, volume, or mass.

  4. Solve real-world measurement problems including fundamental units (e.g., length, mass, time), derived units (e.g., miles per hour, dollars per gallon), and unit conversions.

Competency 3—Knowledge of algebraic thinking and the coordinate plane
  1. Determine whether two algebraic expressions are equivalent by applying properties of operations or equality.

  2. Identify an algebraic expression, equation, or inequality that models a real-world situation.

  3. Solve equations and inequalities (e.g., linear, quadratic) graphically or algebraically.

  4. Determine and solve equations or inequalities, graphically or algebraically, in real-world problems.

  5. Graph and interpret a linear equation in real-world problems (e.g., use data to plot points, explain slope and y-intercept, determine additional solutions).

  6. Identify relations that satisfy the definition of a function.

  7. Compare the slopes of two linear functions represented algebraically and graphically.

Competency 4—Knowledge of probability, statistics, and data interpretation
  1. Analyze data presented in various forms (e.g., histograms, bar graphs, circle graphs, pictographs, line plots, tables) to solve problems.

  2. Analyze and evaluate how the presentation of data can lead to different or inappropriate interpretations in the context of a real-world situation.

  3. Calculate range, mean, median, and mode of data sets.

  4. Interpret the meaning of measures of central tendency (i.e., mean, median, mode) and dispersion (i.e., range, standard deviation) in the context of a real-world situation.

  5. Analyze and evaluate how the selection of statistics (e.g., mean, median, mode) can lead to different or inappropriate interpretations in the context of a real-world situation.

  6. Solve and interpret real-world problems involving probability using counting procedures, tables, and tree diagrams.

  7. Infer and analyze conclusions from sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies.

 

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