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Kaplan New York State Regents Exam U S History and Government Second Edition
KaplanCopyright © 2000 Kaplan
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The Regents Exam: Structure and Content
Since June 1999, all high school juniors in the state of New York must pass the "new" Regents Comprehensive Examination in English in order to graduate. You undoubtedly know all about this, and may be asking yourself, "Why did they change the old exam? And how can I do well on the new exam?"
The first question would take many pages to answer, and would require delving into the past and detailing the present with references to the philosophy behind the examination, the educational research that supports it, and the rationale for implementing it. Simply stated, the new Learning Standards for New York State define the discipline of English Language Arts more comprehensively than merely learning how to spell correctly, knowing the definitions of words, understanding grammar and punctuation, and reading and responding to literature. These standards reflect how language is used in the real world.
The new Comprehensive Regents Examination in English assesses these standards through use of the following tasks:
* Listening comprehension (written response)
* Reading comprehension (written response)
* Literary response (essay)
In addition to the nonfiction passages that are common in standardized tests -- memoirs, journals, articles -- the Regents English exam also incorporates graphic expressions of information, such as charts, graphs, and maps. Poetry and other forms of literature are also used. The last section of the test asks students to write an essay about two works of literature.
The major change in the new examination is that it goes beyond asking you to merely select answers. Instead, it requires you to produce responses that involve analysis and synthesis of information. This is a performance-based assessment: It requires you to demonstrate your ability to use language by creating a product. In the future, you will likely see more performance-based assessments in other subject areas, too, as objective formats like multiple-choice questions are used less frequently.
The purpose of this review book is to prepare you for this new test and to help you achieve the highest possible grade. It is not your typical Regents review book, since you will not be reviewing the content of your English 11 course. There will be no spelling words or vocabulary words to memorize, no sections on grammar, and no summaries of literature. Instead, you will explore strategies and techniques designed to help you best apply the communication skills that you have been developing for the last 11 years of your education as you prepare for the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English.
THE OLD AND THE NEW
A good place to start would be to compare and contrast the old Regents examination with the new one. In fact, the ability to compare and contrast is one of the basic skills tested by the new exam, so we will start by using a technique that uses graphic organizers to organize information (such as facts, ideas, and opinions).
Graphic organizers allow you to:
* Visually organize information
* Assort, arrange, classify, and categorize
* Group by similarities or differences
* Present an overview of the information for the purpose of analysis
In order to analyze the old and the new tests, we will use three such graphic organizers: the T-chart, the Venn diagram, and a "compare and contrast" organizer. First, descriptions of the two tests will be presented textually, then we will organize that same information by using the graphic organizers in order to compare and contrast. The purpose of comparing and contrasting is to determine how the tests are similar and how they are different.
The OLD Regents Comprehensive English Examination
Part I of the old examination consisted entirely of short-answer questions (multiple-choice questions). It was divided into five main sections and usually had about 60 questions. This part of the examination counted for 45 points.
Part I was divided into the following sections:
* The listening section (question 1-10), which counted for 10 points
* The vocabulary section (questions 11-30), which counted for 10 points
* The spelling section (questions 31-40), which counted for 5 points
* The reading comprehension section (questions 41-60), which counted for 20 points
Part II required you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of two works of literature in one essay of about 250 words. You chose choice A or B. This part of the examination counted for 25 points.
Part III required you to write a composition of about 250 words. You chose one from among six composition topics or two specific writing tasks. This part of the examination counted for 30 points.
The administration time for the test was three hours.
The NEW Regents Comprehensive English Examination
The new Comprehensive English examination calls for a four-part assessment to be completed in two separate three-hour sittings, with a total administration time of six hours. The four sections are:
Part I: Listening and writing for information and understanding, assessed by (a) multiple-choice questions on key ideas and (b) an extended response to a speech.
Part II: Reading and writing for information and understanding, assessed by (a) multiple-choice questions on basic comprehension (salient information, vocabulary, and interpretation) and (b) an extended response to technical sources (text and graphic).
Part III: Reading and writing for literary response and analysis, assessed by (a) multiple-choice questions on key ideas, details, and vocabulary, and (b) an extended response to two or more literary texts.
Part IV: Reading and writing for critical analysis and evaluation, assessed by an extended response to one or more works of literature read in class.
It's interesting to note that multiple-choice questions weren't part of the original blueprint for the exam. However, the test makers decided that a student's ability couldn't be measured through subjective assessment alone. So a small number of objective multiple-choice questions were added for the sake of balance. At press time, the number of multiple-choice questions given in each of the first three sections of the test are as follows:
Part I: (6)
Part II: (10)
Part III: (10)
Copyright © 1998, 2000 by Kaplan Educational Centers
Excerpted from Kaplan New York State Regents Exam U S History and Government Second Edition by Kaplan Copyright © 2000 by Kaplan. Excerpted by permission.
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of ContentsHow to Use This Book
PART I: An Overview of the Exam
Chapter 1: The Regents Exam: Structure and Content
Chapter 2: Studying for Success in U.S. History and Government
Chapter 3: Strategies for Mastering the Test
PART II: Diagnostic Test
Sample Regents Exam 1: Diagnostic Test
Answers: Sample Regents Exam 1
PART III: U.S. History and Government Review
Chapter 4: Constitutional Foundations of the United States
Chapter 5: Industrialization of the United States
Chapter 6: The Progressive Movement
Chapter 7: At Home and Abroad
Chapter 8: The United States in an Age of Global Crisis
Chapter 9: A World in Uncertain Times (1950-Present)
PART IV: Practice Exams and Answers
Sample Regents Exam 2
Answers: Sample Regents Exam 2
Sample Regents Exam 3
Answers: Sample Regents Exam 3
Sample Regents Exam 4
Answers:Sample Regents Exam 4
Sample Regents Exam 5
Answers: Sample Regents Exam 5
Appendix A: Timelines: U.S. History
Appendix B: Presidents of the United States
Appendix C: Constitutional Amendments