RICA Practice Test Answers

1: A
If a student has trouble pronouncing printed words, he may need help with sight vocabulary, phonetic analysis, or context clues. Inferential evaluation, on the other hand, is a reading comprehension skill that has little to do with pronunciation. A student with excellent inferential evaluation skills may still have trouble with pronunciation if he does not have experience in reading aloud. Pronunciation is aided by the expansion of sight vocabulary, or the set of words a student recognizes and knows how to pronounce automatically. Once words become familiar to a student, he does not need to sound them out: they become a part of sight vocabulary. Unfamiliar words can be subjected to phonetic analysis, in which the student works through the word and attempts to pronounce it according to the general rules of phonics. Finally, a student who has trouble with spelling is likely to have similar trouble with pronunciation. Spelling involves an encoding of words according to the rules of phonics; as a result, a student who is poor at encoding in print will often have a hard time with verbal production.

2: C
In a dialogue journal, the student makes an entry and receives a written response from another student or the teacher. A dialogue journal takes on the character of a conversation, in which the student and his interlocutor ask questions, compare experiences, and trade information. All of these journals are meant to improve students’ writing ability and enhance their experience of texts. In a double-entry journal, students divide the page in half and write down different types of information on either side. For instance, on one side of the page the student might make a list of characters, and on the other side he might detail the statements and actions of each character. In a reader response journal, students describe their emotional and intellectual reactions to a text. In a personal journal, students record their personal feelings and thoughts. The entries in a personal journal should only be read by the teacher, so students feel comfortable recording ideas they might feel embarrassed to share with their classmates.


3: A
The state of California does not recommend that reading instruction should be the same for all students. On the contrary, it recommends that instruction be differentiated for each student. Every student will have unique strengths and weaknesses and will require a modified approach in order to achieve best results. A teacher needs to exercise flexibility in his method so each student can reach his potential. The other answer choices all express guidelines espoused by the state of California. Instruction should be determined by ongoing assessment so teachers can adjust their pedagogical methods. Instruction should be balanced, meaning that teachers should use a variety of instruction methods so students will develop well-rounded knowledge and skills. Finally, instruction should be comprehensive: in other words, teachers should cover all of the mandatory material without becoming bogged down in one area. In the state of California, comprehensive instruction must include assessment, development of phonemic awareness, development of reading comprehension and independent reading, and oral and written language development.

4: C
Darren is using the stop-and-think strategy. To some extent, all good readers use this strategy automatically. However, developing readers should have the stop-and-think strategy modeled by a teacher. In this strategy, the student regularly pauses and self-assesses his comprehension. When comprehension is judged as poor, the student either rereads the material or seeks help from an outside source such as a reference book or the teacher. The other answer choices represent alternative reading comprehension strategies. When reading for information, a student focuses on the objective facts presented by the text. Reading for information is most successful when the student has a clear idea of what he would like to learn. Self-correction is similar to the stop-and-think strategy, but students perform this strategy continuously rather than at the end of each passage. As readers develop, they begin to correct their own reading mistakes automatically. Finally, retelling is a strategy for improving comprehension. After completing a reading assignment, the student describes the main events and ideas expressed by the author. This process of retelling forces the student to reconsider and organize his thoughts on the subject.

5: D
By having her students write sentences with several words beginning with the same letter, Mrs. Navarro is teaching her students alliteration. Alliteration is the juxtaposition of several words beginning with the same letter. For example, ‘The waves washed ashore with white caps.’ Assonance, on the other hand, is the juxtaposition of several similar vowel sounds. An example of a sentence with assonance is ‘We meet each other and greet each other.’ Idiom is a figurative language in which the meaning of the expression is not taken from the literal meanings of the words. For instance, the phrase ‘buy the farm,’ meaning to die, is an idiomatic expression in English. The act of buying a farm is not equivalent to death in a literal sense, but this meaning has adhered to the phrase over time. Personification, finally, is the description of a nonhuman thing as if it were human. Therefore, the phrase ‘babbling brook’ personifies the brook, since people, rather than brooks, actually babble.

RICA Practice Test Questions