Paraprofessional Study Guide

Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Competency 0001
Understand how to determine the meaning of words and phrases used in a text.

1. Which of the following pairs of words refers to the concept of leading or guiding?

  1. conduct, induce
  2. fragment, refract
  3. congregate, segregate
  4. renovate, innovate
Answer
Correct Response: A. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of word structure to determine the meaning of words. "Duct" and "duce" are suffixes found in words derived from the Latin word "ducere," which means to lead.

Competency 0004
Understand writing mechanics and the conventions of Standard English used in the United States.

2. Which of the following sentences contains an error in punctuation?

  1. Damon was an excellent fiddler; he practiced every day.
  2. The lion let out a roar; it was an awe-inspiring sound.
  3. My parents love their niece; they always bring her presents.
  4. She checked the oil level in her car; and found that it was low.
Answer
Correct Response: D. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of the rules of punctuation and the standard use of punctuation marks. In the sentence, "She checked the oil level in her car; and found that it was low," the semi-colon after "car" should be deleted because "and found that it was low" is a subordinate clause that cannot stand alone as a sentence.

Competency 0005
Understand grammatical writing.

3. Which of the following words would be most appropriate to use in the blank in the sentence below?

If you are interested in renting the apartment, please contact Jason or ________.

  1. me
  2. I
  3. myself
  4. mine
Answer
Correct Response: A. This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of the standard use of pronouns. The pronoun "me" should be inserted in the blank line because the sentence requires a first person, singular pronoun in the objective case.

Competency 0007
Understand numbers and number operations.

4. Which of the following expressions is equivalent to the expression below?

(4 7) + (4 8) (3 2) - (3 1)

  1. (4 3) (7 + 8 + 2 + 1)
  2. (4 + 3) (7 2) (8 1)
  3. 4 (7 + 8) 3 (2 + 1)
  4. (4 3) (7 + 8) (2 + 1)
Answer
Correct Response: C. This question requires the examinee to recognize the correct order of operations. Apply the order of operations to the given expression:
(4 7) + (4 8) (3 2) (3 1) = 28 + 32 6 3 = 60 6 3 = 60 9 = 51.
Only one of the responses also evaluates to 51:
4 (7 + 8) 3 (2 + 1) = 4 15 3 3 = 60 3 3 = 60 9 = 51.

Competency 0008
Understand algebra and data analysis.

5. A craftsperson is making clocks to sell at a fair. The materials for one clock cost $10.00 and the clocks sell for $25.00 each. If c represents the number of clocks sold at the fair, which of the following expressions can be used to determine how much money the craftsperson will make?

  1. (25 10) c
  2. 25 c + 10
  3. (25 10) c
  4. 25 + 10 c
Answer
Correct Response: C. This question requires the examinee to interpret and evaluate basic algebraic expressions in which letters represent numbers. If one clock sells for $25, but the cost of its materials is $10, the profit made on each clock is $25 $10 = $15. If c represents the number of clocks sold, then the craftsperson makes $25 $10 per clock, or ($25 $10) c.

Competency 0009
Understand measurement and geometry.

6. The coordinates of four corners of a geometric figure are (1, 0), (0, 3), (4, 0), and (3, 3). What shape is the figure?

  1. square
  2. rectangle
  3. kite
  4. trapezoid
Answer
Correct Response: D. This question requires the examinee to locate points and recognize basic geometric figures on a coordinate plane. Plot the points given, (1, 0), (0, 3), (4, 0), and (3, 3), and the result is a trapezoid, a quadrilateral with exactly one pair of parallel sides.

Competency 0010
Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to one or more of the following: foundations of reading development; development of reading comprehension; reading assessment and instruction.

7. A paraprofessional is helping a third-grade student who wants to read about horses choose a book from the library. Which of the following questions from the paraprofessional would best help the student establish a clear purpose for reading before choosing the book?

  1. "Have you ever been horseback riding?"
  2. "What do you want to know about horses?"
  3. "What do you think it would be like to own a horse?"
  4. "Have you read books about horses before?"
Answer
Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of reading strategies for students to use before, during, and after reading to aid comprehension (e.g., making predictions, skimming, summarizing). By asking the student what he or she wants to know about horses, the paraprofessional will help focus the reading exercise and help the student establish a clear purpose for reading.

Competency 0011
Understand how to support writing instruction in the classroom.

8. A ninth-grade student has used the word accept incorrectly in a paragraph he has written. Which of the following reference materials would be most appropriate for the student to use to find the correct word?

  1. language usage manual
  2. encyclopedia
  3. literature textbook
  4. thesaurus
Answer
Correct Response: A. This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate use of instructional resources and technology to support students' learning in writing. Usage manuals are helpful resources for finding the correct use of words and phrases that are commonly misused, such as accept and except.

Competency 0012
Understand how to support mathematics instruction in the classroom.

9. Which of the following manipulatives is most appropriate for promoting students' skills related to composing and decomposing geometric shapes?

  1. compass
  2. geoboard
  3. tangrams
  4. balance
Answer
Correct Response: C. This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate use of instructional resources, manipulative materials, and technology to support students' learning in mathematics. A tangram is a set of seven different shapes that can be arranged to form various larger geometric shapes.

Use the passage below to answer the two questions that follow.

1    Many hanging scroll paintings produced during China's Northern Song Dynasty were landscapes depicting waterfalls cascading down steep mountainsides. The vertical format of most of these paintings was ideal for capturing the height and grandeur of a mountain. Northern Song painters often created a foreground in the lowest portion of the painting and a background that rose up from there. The background typically covered much more of the painting's area than the foreground—the mountain's full aspect dwarfed everything else.

2    Northern Song officials strove for artistic expression of their political ideals of bringing order to the world and tackling major social issues. For this reason, their paintings often depicted huge, sweeping landscapes.

3    Mist was frequently used as a visual path to lead the viewer's eye from the foreground up to the background. While the use of mist did not result in a realistic sense of perspective, it set a mystical stage for the looming mountain.

Competency 0002
Understand how to identify and recognize ideas presented in a text.

10. Which of the following statements best expresses the main idea of the passage?

  1. Northern Song painters experimented with vertical formats.
  2. Several noteworthy features of Northern Song landscapes make them unique.
  3. Mountains shrouded in mist were the main subjects of Northern Song paintings.
  4. Backgrounds were a surprising focus of Northern Song art.
Answer
Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to identify the main idea of a paragraph or passage. The noteworthy and unique features of Northern Song landscapes discussed by the writer include the subordination of foreground to background features and the use of visual elements such as mist to direct the gaze of viewers from the foreground to the background. That the paintings were intended to express political ideals further sets them apart from many artistic works.

Competency 0003
Understand how to analyze and assess ideas presented in a text.

11. Which of the following statements best expresses the main idea of the passage?

  1. Northern Song artists lacked knowledge of perspective.
  2. Nature was a great inspiration to Northern Song painters.
  3. Depictions of mist hid flaws in Northern Song paintings.
  4. Northern Song artists influenced modern European artists.
Answer
Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to assess the relevance or importance of details used to support an idea in a paragraph or passage. The writer's discussion of the prevalence of "huge, sweeping landscapes" that often featured "waterfalls cascading down steep mountainsides" in the work of Northern Song painters strongly suggests that they drew great inspiration from nature.

Use the writing sample below to answer the two questions that follow.

1As the farm-to-table movement grows, the population of mushroom foragers grows. 2Mushrooms are essentially free for the taking, ________ it's not surprising that more and more people are heading to the woods, looking under decaying logs and trees for prized chanterelles, morels, and truffles. 3The inexperienced forager must be careful, though. 4Many species of mushrooms are poisonous; novice pickers are advised to pick only species that can be easily identified. 5Another potential problem is getting lost in the woods. 6To find edible fungi, foragers have to scan the ground. 7Its easy to get disoriented if one is constantly looking down while walking, so mushroom pickers should remember to look up from their foraging periodically to make sure they know where they are.

Competency 0006
Understand effective writing.

12. Which of the following words would be most effective to use in the blank in Part 2?

  1. and
  2. so
  3. but
  4. for
Answer
Correct Response: B. This question requires the examinee to recognize effective ways to coordinate and subordinate ideas and to transition between ideas in writing. The transitional expression "so" best completes Part 2 of the passage because it is used to indicate a result: the growing number of people who are heading to the woods to look for mushrooms as a result of the fact that they are relatively free for the taking.

Competency 0006
Understand effective writing.

13. Which of the following words underlined in the paragraph should be replaced to correct an error in usage?

  1. advised
  2. easily
  3. periodically
  4. Its
Answer
Correct Response: D. This question requires the examinee to recognize effective and appropriate word usage in writing. In Part 7 of the passage, the pronoun "Its" should be changed to the pronoun-verb contraction "It's" because independent clauses require a subject and predicate.