Nonfiction Reading and Writing Assessment
Many high-stakes assessments test your ability to read nonfiction and write analyses about it. You'll find these types of tasks on the high school tests for the Common Core, the ACT and SAT, and the AP tests for English Language and Composition, U.S. History, and World History.
Of course, these assessments seek to measure the reading and writing ability you have gained over the whole of your schooling so far, so simply cramming won't spell success. However, taking a practice test that requires the same skills will help you know what kinds of questions to anticipate, allowing you to score your best.
How Can I Practice for Assessment?
Listen to "How Can I Practice for Assessment?"
In this unit, you'll get to practice closely reading nonfiction texts. After each, you'll answer a bank of multiple-choice questions that check your comprehension but also require you to infer shades of meaning. Then you'll need to analyze a writing prompt about the texts and write an on-target essay response. You'll find three such practice tests.
You'll also find a practice test that requires you to view advertisements, answer questions about them, and write an essay response. Finally, you will find a practice test for answering document-based questions (DBQs) like those on the AP history exams. You'll analyze a writing prompt, closely read seven documents related to it, and write a response to the prompt.
At the end of this unit, you'll find sample argument and explanatory rubrics showing the way that essays are scored on high-stakes assessments. You can find the specific rubrics used for a given high-stakes writing assessment at these locations:
- PARCC Scoring Rubric for Prose Constructed Response Items (Grades 6-11)
- Smarter Balanced Performance Task Writing Rubrics
- ACT Writing Test Scores
- SAT Essay Scoring
- AP English Language and Composition Scoring Guidelines
For practice with high-stakes literature assessments, see the units "Reading and Writing Literature for Assessment" and "Practice Tests for Reading and Writing Literature."
Reading and Writing Nonfiction Assessment I
Closely read the following articles and answer the questions afterward. Then you will need to analyze a prompt about these models and respond by writing an insightful essay.