Commonwealth of Virginia

Standards of Learning Assessment Program

Blueprint for Secondary English: Reading/Literature and Research

©1997 by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, James Monroe Building,

101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23219. All rights reserved. Except as permitted by law, this material may not be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner. Please contact the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education at (804) 225-2102, Division of Assessment and Reporting, to request written permission.

Standards of Learning (SOL) Test Blueprint

Introduction

What is a test blueprint?

A test blueprint is a guide for test construction and use. The Standards of Learning (SOL) test blueprints serve a number of purposes. One, they serve as a guide to test developers as they write test questions and construct the SOL tests. Two, they serve as a guide to educators, parents and students in that they show (a) the SOLs covered by the test and which, if any, have been excluded; (b) which SOLs are assigned to each reporting category; (c) the number of test items in each reporting category and on the total test; (d) general information about how the test questions were constructed; and (e) the materials that students are allowed to use while taking the test.

How is the test blueprint organized?

There is a blueprint for each test (e.g., grade 3 English, grade 5 mathematics, grade 8 science, U.S. History). Each blueprint contains the following information:

1. Test Development Guidelines: guidelines used by Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement and the members of the Content Review Committees in developing the SOL tests. This section contains three parts:

A. General Considerations — lists general considerations that were used in developing the test as well as considerations specific to a particular content area.

B. Item Format — lists information on how items for the test are constructed.

C. Ancillary Materials — lists any materials (e.g., calculators, rulers, protractors, compasses, dictionaries) that students are allowed to use while taking each test.

2. Blueprint Summary Table: a summary of the blueprint which displays the following information:

• reporting categories for each test;

• number of test items in each reporting category;

• Standards of Learning (SOLs) included in each reporting category. SOLs are identified by numbers and letters that correspond to the original SOL document (letters are assigned to the "bullets" in the original document);

• SOLs which are excluded from the SOL test;

• number of operational items on the test;

• number of field-test items on the test; and

• total number of items (operational and field-test items) on the test.

3. Expanded Blueprint: provides the same information as the Blueprint Summary Table except that the full text of each SOL is included. In addition, SOLs that are excluded from the test are categorized by the reason they were not included.

What is a reporting category?

Each test covers a number of SOLs. In the test blueprint, SOLs are grouped into categories that address related content or skills. These categories are labeled Reporting Categories. For example, a Reporting Category for the Grade 5 Mathematics test is "Computation and Estimation." Each of the SOLs in this reporting category addresses computation using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division or require the student to estimate the answer to a problem. When the results of the SOL tests are reported, the scores will be presented in terms of scores for each Reporting Category and a total test score.

Are some SOLs assigned to more than one reporting category?

"Bullets" under a particular SOL are sometimes coded to different reporting categories. For example, the Science SOL 2.7a which deals with the effects that weather and seasonal changes have on the growth and behavior of living things is assigned to the reporting category "Life Processes and Living Systems" in the Grade 3 Science test. However, SOL 2.7b which deals with the effects of weather and seasonal changes on weathering and erosion of the land surface is assigned to the reporting category "Earth/Space Systems and Cycles." Each "bullet" is assigned to only one reporting category.

Why are some SOLs not tested on the SOL tests?

In some content areas, there are SOLs that do not lend themselves to multiple-choice testing. For example, in English, the oral language SOLs cannot be appropriately assessed in a multiple-choice format. In other cases, an SOL listed in one content area is covered by a similar SOL in another content area. For example, English SOL 4.9 which addresses the use of available technology to research a topic is covered by a similar SOL at grade 5 (Computer/Technology SOL C/T 5.3).

At the end of the blueprint for each test, the SOLs not tested are listed in "SOLs Excluded from Testing." In the expanded blueprint the SOLs excluded from testing are categorized by the reason they are not being tested.

Will all SOLs listed in the blueprint be assessed each time the SOL tests are given?

Due to the large number of SOLs in a content area for a grade span, every SOL will not be assessed on every SOL test form. By necessity, to keep the length of a test reasonable, each test will sample from the SOLs within a reporting category. However, every SOL is eligible for inclusion on each form of an SOL test.

A. General Consideration

1. All items included in this test will address the knowledge and skills specified in the reading/literature and research strands of the 1995 Virginia Standards of Learning in English for grades 9-11.

2. Reading selections and items will be free of stereotyping or bias directed at a particular age, gender, economic status, racial, ethnic or religious group, or geographic region.

3. The test will be untimed. The reading/literature and research test should be administered in a single day.

4. There is no penalty for guessing. Students will be scored on the number of correct answers out of the total number of operational items on the test.

5. A variety of types of reading selections will be included in the test. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, functional text, and simulated student research papers may be included in this test. Fiction selections may be contemporary fiction, historical fiction, folklore, science fiction, or mysteries. Nonfiction selections may be biographies, autobiographies, history-related articles, or science-related articles. Functional text may be sets of directions or instructions, applications, advertisements, editorials, or critical reviews. Simulated student research papers will be similar to papers high school students would write. Documentation of sources for the simulated student research papers will be according to a style sheet such as MLA or APA. However, there will be no items that ask the student’s knowledge of any particular style sheet.

6. Selections will be appropriate for high school students in terms of interest, experiences, length and reading level, as determined by the Content Review Committee. Selections will be similar in format to excerpts from trade books, content textbooks, magazines, or practical reading tasks.

7. Whenever possible, reading selections and corresponding test items will appear on facing pages.

8. Students may not use a dictionary or thesaurus for any portion of this test.

B. Item Format

1. Each item will be a multiple-choice item containing four choices. Choices such as "None of the above," "All of the above," and "Not here" will not be used.

2. Each item will be linked to a reading selection and will be written at a level appropriate for high school students.

C. Ancillary Materials

None

Secondary English:

Reading/Literature and Research

Blueprint Summary Table

Reporting Categories

No. of Items

Grade Nine

SOLs

Grade Ten

SOLs

Grade Eleven

SOLs

Understand a variety of printed materials.

12

9.4a-f

10.4a-e

11.4b-e

Understand the elements of literature.

24

9.3a-f

9.5c

10.5a-c

10.6a, b

11.3b-f

11.5a, c

11.6b-d

Locate and use information from a variety of resource materials.

6

9.7a, b

10.10a, b

11.9a-d

SOLs Excluded from This Test

9.1a-d

9.2a-e

9.5a, b

9.7c

9.8a-c

10.1a-c

10.2a, b

10.3a-d

10.6c

10.10c

11.1a-c

11.2a, b

11.3a

11.4a

11.5b

11.6a

11.9e-i



Total Number of Operational Items

42

Field-Test Items*

10

Total Number of Items

52

These field-test items will not be used to compute students' scores on the test.

Reporting Category: Understand a variety of printed materials.

Number of Items: 12

Grade 9 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

9.4 The student will read and analyze a variety of print materials.

a) Identify a hypothesis to be confirmed, disproved, or modified.

b) Evaluate clarity and accuracy of information.

c) Synthesize information from sources and apply it in written and oral presentations.

d) Identify questions not answered by a selected text.

e) Extend general and specialized vocabulary through reading and writing.

f) Read and follow instructions to use computer software, assemble or construct models or equipment, or complete a project.

Grade 10 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

10.4 The student will read and interpret printed consumer materials.

a) Identify essential information needed to operate specific tools, appliances, technology hardware, or other equipment.

b) Analyze the information contained in warranties, contracts, job descriptions, and technical descriptions.

c) Skim manuals or consumer texts to locate information.

d) Compare and contrast product information contained in advertisements with instruction manuals and warranties.

e) Apply the information contained in labels, warnings, manuals, directions, applications, and forms to complete simulated or real-world tasks.

Grade 11 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

11.4 The student will read a variety of print material.

b) Read and follow directions to complete an application for college admission, a scholarship, or for employment.

c) Read and follow directions to complete a laboratory experiment.

d) Extend general and specialized vocabularies for reading and writing.

e) Generalize ideas from selections to make predictions about other texts.

Reporting Category: Understand the elements of literature.

Number of Items: 24

Grade 9 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

9.3 The student will read and analyze a variety of literature.

a) Identify the characteristics that distinguish literary forms.

b) Use literary terms in describing and analyzing selections.

c) Explain the relationships between and among elements of literature: characters, plot, setting, tone, point of view, and theme.

d) Explain the relationship between author’s style and literary effect.

e) Describe the use of images and sounds to elicit the reader’s emotions.

f) Explain the influence of historical context on the form, style, and point of view of a written work.

9.5 The student will read dramatic selections.

c) Describe how stage directions help the reader understand a play’s setting, mood, characters, plot, and theme.

Grade 10 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

10.5 The student will read and critique a variety of poetry.

a) Compare and contrast the use of rhyme, rhythm, and sound to convey a message.

b) Compare and contrast the ways in which poets inspire the reader to share emotions expressed in poems.

c) Paraphrase the meaning of selected poems.

10.6 The student will read and critique dramatic selections.

a) Explain the use of asides.

b) Explain the role of a director.

Grade 11 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

11.3 The student will read and analyze relationships among American literature, history, and culture.

b) Describe the development of American literature in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

c) Contrast periods in American literature.

d) Differentiate among archetypal characters in American literature.

e) Describe the major themes in American literature.

f) Describe how use of context and language structures conveys an author’s point of view in contemporary and historical essays, speeches, and critical reviews.

Reporting Category: Understand the elements of literature.

Number of Items: 24

Grade 11 SOLs in This Reporting Category (continued):

11.5 The student will read and critique a variety of poetry.

a) Analyze the poetic elements of classic poems.

c) Compare and contrast the works of contemporary and past American poets.

11.6 The student will read a variety of dramatic selections.

b) Describe the dramatic conventions or devices used by playwrights to present selected plays.

c) Explain the use of monologue and soliloquy.

d) Explain the use of verbal and dramatic irony.

Reporting Category: Locate and use information from a variety of resource materials.

Number of Items: 6

Grade 9 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

9.7 The student will credit the sources of both quoted and paraphrased ideas.

a) Define the meaning and consequences of plagiarism.

b) Distinguish one’s own ideas from information created or discovered by others.

Grade 10 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

10.10 The student will collect, evaluate, and organize information.

a) Organize information from a variety of sources.

b) Verify the accuracy and usefulness of information.

Grade 11 SOLs in This Reporting Category:

11.9 The student will analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and organize information from a variety of sources into a documented paper dealing with a question, problem, or issue.

a) Narrow a topic.

b) Develop a plan for research.

c) Collect information to support a thesis.

d) Evaluate quality and accuracy of information.

Grade 9 SOLs Excluded from This Test

The following SOLs are not measurable in a multiple-choice format.

9.1 The student will present and critique dramatic readings of literary selections.

a) Choose literary form for presentation, such as poems, monologues, scenes from plays, or stories.

b) Adapt presentation techniques to fit literary form.

c) Use verbal and nonverbal techniques for presentation.

d) Evaluate impact of presentation.

9.2 The student will make planned oral presentations.

a) Include definitions to increase clarity.

b) Use relevant details to support main ideas.

c) Illustrate main ideas through anecdotes and examples.

d) Cite information sources.

e) Make impromptu responses to questions about presentation.

9.5 The student will read dramatic selections.

a) Identify the two basic parts of drama.

b) Compare and contrast the elements of character, setting, and plot in one-act plays and full-length plays.

9.7 The student will credit the sources of both quoted and paraphrased ideas.

c) Use a style sheet method for citing secondary sources, such as MLA or APA.

9.8 The student will use electronic databases to access information.

a) Identify key terms.

b) Narrow the focus of a search.

c) Scan and select resources.

Grade 10 SOLs Excluded from This Test

The following SOLs are not measurable in a multiple-choice format.

10.1 The student will participate in and report small-group learning activities.

a) Assume responsibility for specific tasks.

b) Participate in the preparation of an outline or summary of the group activity.

c) Include all group members in oral presentation.

10.2 The student will critique oral reports of small-group learning activities.

a) Evaluate one’s own role in preparation and delivery of oral reports.

b) Evaluate effectiveness of group process in preparation and delivery of oral reports.

10.3 The student will read and critique literary works from a variety of eras in a variety of cultures.

a) Explain similarities and differences of structures and images as represented in the literature of different cultures.

b) Identify universal themes prevalent in the literature of all cultures.

c) Describe cultural archetypes in short stories, novels, poems, and plays across several cultures.

d) Examine a literary selection from several critical perspectives.

10.6 The student will read and critique dramatic selections.

c) Compare and contrast character development in a play as compared to other literary forms.

10.10 The student will collect, evaluate, and organize information.

c) Use available technology.

Grade 11 SOLs Excluded from This Test

The following SOLs are not measurable in a multiple-choice format.

11.1 The student will make persuasive presentations.

a) Organize evidence to support a position.

b) Present evidence clearly and convincingly.

c) Support and defend ideas and thoughts in public forums.

11.2 The student will analyze and evaluate persuasive presentations.

a) Critique the accuracy, relevance, and organization of evidence.

b) Critique the clarity and effectiveness of delivery.

11.3 The student will read and analyze relationships among American literature, history, and culture.

a) Describe contributions of different cultures to the development of American literature.

11.4 The student will read a variety of print material.

a) Use information from texts to clarify or refine understanding of academic concepts.

11.5 The student will read and critique a variety of poetry.

b) Identify the poetic elements and techniques that are most appealing and that make poetry enjoyable.

11.6 The student will read a variety of dramatic selections.

a) Describe the relationship between farce and characterization.

11.9 The student will analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and organize information from a variety of sources into a documented paper dealing with a question, problem, or issue.

e) Synthesize information in a logical sequence.

f) Document sources of information using a style sheet format, such as MLA or APA.

g) Revise writing for clarity of content.

h) Edit final copy for correct use of language, format, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

i) Use available technology.