CAHSEE English-Language Arts: The Best Test Prep for the California High School Exit Examination in Language Arts


California CAHSEE (California High School Exit Examination) – English Language Arts

Completely aligned with California’s Core Curriculum Content Standards

REA helps California students get ready for CAHSEE English Language Arts!

- Prepared by a California educator for California students
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CAHSEE English Language Arts

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California CAHSEE (California High School Exit Examination) – English Language Arts

Completely aligned with California’s Core Curriculum Content Standards

REA helps California students get ready for CAHSEE English Language Arts!

- Prepared by a California educator for California students
Provides the instruction and practice students need to pass the exam
- In-depth CAHSEE English review covers all test topics
- Students at all levels will benefit from the many lessons and examples
- Proven tips and study tactics for achieving a passing CAHSEE score
- Student-friendly lessons build CAHSEE reading and writing skills and reinforce learning
- 2 full-length CAHSEE English Language Arts practice tests with detailed explanations of answers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738600017
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 12/22/2004
  • Series: California CAHSEE Test Preparation
  • Pages: 416
  • Age range: 15 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel L. Moody is a Professor in the School of Languages and Humanities at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, where he teaches Grammar, Listening/Speaking, and Writing in the English as a Second Language program, as well as Basic Writing and Editing for both native English speakers and bilingual students.

He received a B.A. in French with a minor in Spanish from San Diego State University in 1984 and an M.A. in English as a Second Language from the University of Arizona in 1985. In the past ten years, he has coauthored several textbooks for developmental level college writing with Professor Anna Ingalls, including Expectations: A Reader for Developing Writers, now in its second edition.

About Our Editor

David Rosen received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Oregon. He is currently developing a comprehensive English program for a private preparatory high school in California. Mr. Rosen is listed in the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” and is cited by several honor students as being their most influential instructor.

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Passing the CAHSEE: English-Language Arts

About this Book
This book will provide you with an accurate and complete representation of the English-Language Arts section of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). Inside you will find reviews that are designed to provide you with the information and strategies needed to do well on the test. Two practice tests are provided, both of which are based on the official CAHSEE. The practice tests contain every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the CAHSEE English-Language Arts. Following each test, you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you completely understand the test material.

About the Test

Who Takes the Test and What is it Used For?
Beginning with the class of 2006, every high school student who plans to graduate from a California public high school must first pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). The test consists of two parts: Mathematics and English-Language Arts.
Students are first required to take the CAHSEE in grade 10. Those who pass both parts, Mathematics and English-Language Arts, have completed the test requirement for graduation and do not have to retake the test. Students who do not pass either or both parts need to retake the part or parts they have not passed in 11th grade and 12th grade, until they pass.

When and Where Is the Test Given?
Every public school district in California will provide students with multiple opportunities to take the CAHSEE. Each district may administer the CAHSEE several times a year, choosing from a list of test dates that are designated by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The CAHSEE test is administered over two days. The English-Language Arts section is given on the first day followed by the Mathematics portion the next day.

Is There a Registration Fee?
No. Because all California public high school students are required to take and pass this test in order to receive a high school diploma, no fee is required.

Test Accommodations and Special Situations
Parents of special education students, students with disabilities (including attention deficit disorder), and students who are learning English should contact their local high school officials regarding possible waivers, extra time, or special arrangements (accommodations or modifications) during the CAHSEE. These special arrangements can include the use of a calculator, special seating, a quiet environment, or a large print test booklet, among others. English learners may be able to use a glossary.

Scoring of the test may be done differently, depending on whether the special arrangement is an accommodation or a modification. Ask your school officials for further information or check on the CAHSEE website.

Additional Information and Support
Additional resources to help you prepare to take the CAHSEE include:
* the official State of California CAHSEE website at
* REA's The Best Test Preparation for the CAHSEE Mathematics

How to Use this Book

What Do I Study First?
Read over the review sections and the suggestions for test-taking. Studying the review sections thoroughly will reinforce the basic skills you need to do well on the test. Be sure to take the practice tests to become familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking the actual CAHSEE.
To best utilize your study time, follow our CAHSEE Independent Study Schedule located on page xix of this book.

When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the CAHSEE. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more time you will have to familiarize yourself with the exam content.

Format of the CAHSEE: English-Language Arts
Overview of the English Language Arts Portion of the CAHSEE
The English-Language Arts portion of the CAHSEE is designed to test students' ability to read and write, knowledge of basic literary concepts, and familiarity with basic writing strategies. Each exam has 72 multiple-choice questions and one essay. In addition, there are seven multiple-choice questions that are not scored; they are just being tried out for future tests.

Types of Questions
There are a total of 45 multiple-choice questions that test reading ability. These fall into the following categories:
* Word Analysis—7 Questions
* Reading Comprehension—18 Questions
* Literary Response and Analysis—20 Questions
There are a total of 27 multiple-choice questions that test writing ability. These questions are divided as follows:
* Writing Strategies—12 Questions
* Written English Language Conventions—15 Questions
Students must also write one essay, assigned at random from five possible essay types.

Scoring the Practice Tests
These practice tests cannot determine what exact score you would receive when taking the actual CAHSEE, but they can help you find out if you are improving. To pass the English-Language Arts portion of the CAHSEE you need to receive approximately 60% of the possible points.
To get a rough estimate of the percentage correct on each of the two practice tests in this book, follow this procedure:
1. Determine the approximate score (1-4) on the writing sample by asking several people to compare it with the sample essays in the "Detailed Explanations of Answers" section that follows each practice test. _____________
2. Multiply by 4.5. ____________ ´ 4.5 = ____________
This number shows the approximate number of points you would receive for the essay.
3. Determine the number of correct answers on the rest of the test. _____________
4. Add the number of correct answers to the number of points for the essay to find the total points. _____________ + _____________ = _____________
5. Divide the total points by 90 to get an approximate percentage of points correct.
_____________ / 90 = _____________

Test-Taking Strategies
What to Do Before the Test
* Pay attention in class.
* Carefully work through the review sections of this book. Mark any topics that you find difficult so that you can focus on them while studying and get extra help if necessary.
* Take the practice tests and become familiar with the format of the CAHSEE. When you are practicing, simulate the conditions under which you will be taking the actual test. Stay calm and pace yourself. After simulating the test only a couple of times, you will feel more confident, and this will boost your chances of doing well.
* Students who have difficulty concentrating or taking tests in general may have severe test anxiety. Tell your parents, a teacher, a counselor, the school nurse, or a school psychologist well in advance of the test. They may be able to suggest some useful strategies to help you feel more relaxed so that you can do your best on the test.
What to Do During the Test
* Read all of the possible answers. Just because you think you have found the correct response, do not automatically assume that it is the best answer. Read through each answer choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
* Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a question and eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating two answer choices, you will give yourself a better chance of getting the item correct since there will only be two choices left to choose from.
* Work quickly and steadily and avoid focusing on any one question for too long. Taking the practice tests in this book will help you learn to budget your time on the actual test.
* Work on the easiest questions first. If you find yourself working too long on one question, make a mark next to it on your test booklet and continue. After you have answered all of the questions that you know, go back to the ones that you skipped.
* Be sure that the answer oval you are marking corresponds to the number of the question in the test booklet. Since the multiple-choice sections are graded by machine, marking one wrong answer can throw off your answer key and your score. Be extremely careful.
* Work from the answer choices. You can use a multiple-choice format to your advantage by working backwards from the answer choices to answer the question. You may be able to make an educated guess based on eliminating choices that you know do not fit the question.

The Day of the Test
On the day of the test, you should wake up early after a decent night's rest and have a good breakfast. Make sure to dress comfortably, so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test, and give yourself enough time to arrive at your school early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test.

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Table of Contents


Section 1 : Introduction

Passing the CAHSEE: English-Language Arts
About this Book
About the Test
How to Use this Book
Format of the CAHSEE: English-Language Arts
Scoring the Practice Tests
Test-Taking Strategies

CAHSEE Independent Study Schedule

Section 2 : Reading Skills

Chapter 1: Vocabulary
Vocabulary Development Tools
Using a Dictionary
Making a Word List
Practicing with Flashcards
Root Words
Understanding Vocabulary from Context
Figurative Language
Idiomatic Expressions
Similes and Metaphors
Synonyms and Antonyms
Commonly Confused Words

Chapter 2 : Reading Comprehension
General Strategies
Schedule Time to Read
Keep a Reading List and a Reading Log
Specific Reading Skills
Identifying the Theme or Main Idea
Selecting the Best Summary
Discovering Meaning from Context
Understanding Connotations
Finding Information by Skimming and Scanning

Chapter 3 : Analysis of Readings
Analyzing the Purpose of a Reading (or Author's Purpose)
Wording of CAHSEE Questions and Answers
Analyzing Attitude, Tone, and Mood
Author's Attitude
Mood and Tone
Analyzing Plot, Conflict, and Resolution
Analyzing a Character's Personality, Feelings, and
Definition of Character
Simple or Complex
Environment, Background, and Motivation
Relationships and Interactions Between Characters
Tips for Answering Questions about Character
Identifying Literary Devices
Dialogue, Soliloquy, and Asides
Fact and Opinion
Identifying Types of Literature (Genres)
Analyzing and Evaluating Supporting Information
Evaluating Paragraph Unity

Section 3: Writing Skills

Chapter 4: Writing Strategies
Using Specific Details and Language
Using the Active Voice
Sentence Combining
Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Chapter 5: Recognizing and Writing Correct Sentences
Identifying Subjects and Verbs
Definitions of Clause, Phrase, and Sentence
Types of Sentences
Simple Sentences
Basic Compound Sentences
Basic Complex Sentences
Advanced Compound Sentences
Complex Sentences with Relative Clauses
Avoiding Common Sentence Errors: Fragments,
Run-on Sentences, and Comma Splices
Run-On Sentences
Comma Splices
Summary of Sentence Punctuation
Sentence Patterns
More About Sentences
Placement of Modifiers
Parallel Structure

Chapter 6: Grammar and Usage
Verb Tense
Verb Forms that Show Past Time
Verb Forms that Show Present Time
Verb Forms that Show Future Time
Subject and Verb Agreement
Most Verbs
Modal Verbs
The Verb "To Be"
Adjectives and Adverbs
Introduction to Descriptive Adjectives
Introduction to Adverbs
Comparative Adjectives and Adverbs
Superlative Adjectives and Adverbs
Participial Adjectives
Definition of Pronouns
Personal Pronouns
Indefinite Pronouns

Chapter 7: Punctuation and Capitalization
Titles of Publications
Books and Other Complete Works
Articles, Chapters, Poems, Songs, etc.
Quotation Marks
Reporting Exact Words
Apostrophes with Contractions
Apostrophes with Possessives
Special Uses of Apostrophes
Commas with Sentence Connectors
Commas with Extra Information
Commas with Introductory Elements
Commas with items in a Series
Commas in Certain Special Cases
To Join Clauses Together
To Separate Parts of a Sentence
Using Colons to Introduce a List
Using a Colon to Introduce a Quotation
Using a Colon to Introduce an Explanation
The First Word of a Sentence
The Pronoun "I"
Proper Nouns

Section 4: Essay Writing

Chapter 8: The Steps of the Writing Process
Outline of Instructions for Writing an Essay
Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing an Essay
Understanding the Assigned Topic

Chapter 9: Essay Structure
The Introduction
Introductory Sentences
Thesis Statement (Main Idea Statement)
Body Paragraphs
Key Points
Support for Key Points
Transitions Between Paragraphs
Interesting Details and Specific Language
The Conclusion
Unity and Clarity

Chapter 10: Types of Essays
Response to Literature
General Tips
Possible Response to Literature Essay Topics
Analytical Essay (Expository Writing)
General Tips
Actual CAHSEE Analytical Essay Topic
Informational Essay (Expository Writing)
General Tips
Example Informational Essay Assignments
Persuasive Composition
General Tips
Actual CAHSEE Persuasive Essay Topic
Biographical Narrative
General Tips
Example Biographical Essay Assignments
Business Letter
Types and Purposes of Business Letters
General Tips
Example Business Letter Assignments

Practice Test
Answer Key
Detailed Explanations of Answers

Practice Test
Answer Key
Detailed Explanations of Answers

Appendix: CAHSEE Scoring Guides

Answer Sheets


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