Read Introduction text version


Participant Manual

Danny Donohue, President




Introduction.................................................................................1 1. General Tips and Strategies...............................................................2 2. Reading Strategies.........................................................................10 3. Writing Strategies..........................................................................22 4. Mathematics Strategies....................................................................30 5. Instructional Support Strategies...........................................................41 Summary....................................................................................47 Answers and Explanations................................................................48 Answer Key.................................................................................54


This workshop is designed to help you prepare for the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (NYSATAS). It covers five main topics: 1. General Test Taking Tips and Strategies 2. Reading Strategies 3. Writing Strategies 4. Mathematics Strategies 5. Instructional Support Strategies Items two trough five represent the four subareas of the exam. You will learn strategies for dealing with these topics, and you will have a chance to put these strategies to work with practice questions. We recommend that you answer these questions on a separate sheet of paper so that you can use these questions again in the future. Answers and explanations for all questions are included at the back of this book. This workshop can be an important step in your preparation for exams, but the best way to improve your scores is to continue to practice with sample questions. Good Luck!


1. General Tips and Strategies


At the end of this section participants will be able to: 1. Recognize the various advantages of practicing for tests 2. Approach tests with a positive, persistent, and patient attitude 3. Recognize what needs to be done to come to a test well-prepared 4. Cope with feelings of anxiety and fatigue 5. Pick the best possible answer 6. Assess the reasonableness of conclusions 7. Recognize the importance of being accustomed to the multiple-choice format

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

The very best way to prepare for most tests is to practice with sample questions. Here's how to make the best use of the time you spend practicing. · Develop a multiple-choice mind Answering multiple-choice questions requires a certain kind of thinking that you are probably not accustomed to. You are faced with a problem and asked to choose the best of four possible solutions. The more you practice, the more you will develop the kind of mental habits you will need to deal with problems this way. We'll be talking about these mental habits throughout the course of this workshop. Practice questions will also help you learn strategies for handling specific types of questions. · Learn from your mistakes Don't worry if you answer some of the practice questions wrong. You can learn more from incorrect answers than you can from correct ones. Every test preparation booklet (including this one) contains answers and explanations in the back of the book. Study the explanations for the questions that you answered


incorrectly. It's best to answer a few questions at a time and then check the answers while the questions ­ and your thought processes in answering them ­ are still fresh in your mind. The more you study, the more you will understand how to approach particular types of questions. Analyzing your incorrect answers will also help you learn about kinds of mistakes that you often make. · Work with the same questions more than once If you make yourself a separate answer sheet, you can work with the same questions more than once. This will reinforce what you have learned from both your correct and incorrect answers. Going back over the same questions will help you become more aware of your tendencies and habits that cause you problems. It's even worthwhile to go back over questions you answered correctly the first time. Read the explanations for the answers and make sure that your answers are right for the right reasons. Reviewing questions that you answered correctly will remind you about the best way to approach particular topics. · Spread out your practice time It's better to spread out your time over several weeks rather than try to pack in several hours of study just before an exam. Being exposed to sample questions several times will help you understand them better. It will also improve your recollection of the best way to approach particular topics. Every time you come back to a particular type of question, you will have a better understanding of the best way to handle it.

2. Be positive

Like an athlete preparing for a big game, you need to keep yourself positive as you prepare for your own important contest. Think of all your successes in life ­ all the worthwhile things you have done. Remind yourself that you have prepared for this test, that you know what to expect. Remember this: Being able to answer questions correctly does not reflect upon your intelligence, your worth, or how well you actually do your job. It just reflects in your ability to answer test questions. That's all. If you doubt this, think about people you know who are good at taking tests, but lacking in other areas like job competence, or personality or basic human decency. Then think of those who are great people, highly intelligent, or incredibly effective in their jobs, but who do terribly on exams. Go into your exam knowing that you are a worthwhile person, that you are well prepared, and that you are ready to do your best.


3. Be patient and persistent

Good test takers are patient and persistent. They read each question carefully. (Speed-reading is not a good idea when you are taking the NYSATAS) Some questions will take longer than others. For example, some questions may require you to read a passage before answering the question. Other questions may require you to perform calculations and a calculator is not permitted for this exam. Be patient and persistent. Don't guess because you think you are spending too much time on a question. Some questions are more difficult than others. We all find certain types of questions puzzling, and it is easy to give up or guess on certain parts of the test. But patience and persistence are especially important with questions like these. Tell yourself, "I'm intelligent enough to answer this question if I take the time and make the effort to work through it."

4. Know where you're going and get there early

Do everything you can to feel prepared and confident before the exam. This includes: · · · Knowing exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there Making a realistic estimate of how long it will take you to get to the test site Making sure you have enough gas in your car or bus tokens in your pocket

5. Be prepared

Have everything you will need ready the night before the exam. This includes: · · · · Your admission ticket Two pieces of identification with your signature (one must contain a recent photograph) Several sharpened #2 pencils You may bring in a water bottle, but it must have a secure lid on it


6. Being prepared also means knowing what is prohibited at the test

The NYSATAS prohibits a number of items during the administration of the exam. Possession of some of these items may result in the voiding your score. The following items are prohibited: · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Food Backpacks Briefcases Packages Calculators, including calculator watches Scratch paper and notebooks Cellular phones Electronic pagers Personal digital assistants or any other types of information/communication devices Photographic or recording devices Spell checkers Dictionaries Textbooks Slide rules Any other written materials


7. Don't be thrown by initial anxiety (if you have any)

It is only natural to feel nervous before a test. Nervousness may even be a good thing because it can sharpen your mental processes and prepare your brain for peak performance. But sometimes nervousness and anxiety can keep you from doing your best. Some people become so anxious at the beginning of a test that they "freeze up." They can't concentrate and they lose all their self-confidence. If you still find yourself freezing up when you open your test booklet, try these techniques for coping with anxiety: · Listen to your body. Fear or anxiety is a signal sent by your body. Your body is urgently telling you that you are in some kind of danger. If you acknowledge the signal and just watch it, your body becomes satisfied that you are paying attention, and it will allow you to calm down. If you try to ignore the signal or push it away, as most people do, then it often acts like an alarm that gets louder and louder if no one turns it off. The more you try to ignore it the worse it affects you. Think about similar experiences you have had. How have you responded in similar situations in the past? If you're like most people, your feeling of anxiety will gradually go away as you settle into the work of taking the test. You have probably been through things like this in the past ­ an initial period of nervousness and anxiety that lasts only a short time. Do some deep breathing. Sit up straight, cross your legs at the ankles or keep your feet flat on the floor. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose and pretend that you are breathing into your abdomen. Allow your abdomen to expand. Then exhale slowly and evenly through your nose. As you exhale, allow your abdomen to go in, to slowly collapse as if the breath were coming out of your abdomen like air slowly being released from a balloon. Continue to breathe this way for five to ten breaths. Keep things in perspective. This is only a test. The people who cared about you before the test will still care about you after the test, no matter how well you do. Don't think of this as a threatening experience. Instead, think of it as an opportunity, a chance to show off your skills.




8. Pace yourself

Know how much time you have, and watch the time so that you can pace yourself. There is plenty of time to answer all of the questions on the exam without hurrying. You will have three hours to answer 100 multiple-choice questions. Usually, you will have


enough time to answer all the questions ad then go back and take a second look at the questions you found particularly difficult.

9. Take deep breaths and short rest breaks

Exams can be tedious, frustrating, and tiring. It's impossible to concentrate on test questions for several hours without taking short breaks. Your focus will start to fade and your mind will start to wander. The obvious time to take a break is when you recognize the transition from one subarea to another. You might also want to take a short break after answering a particularly difficult question or group of questions. Keep your eye on your watch so that you won't worry about running out of time. Here are a few things you can do to relax: · · · · Stretch your arms and legs Take a sip of water Stare out the window Take some deep breaths

There are many books and videotapes available on relaxation techniques. You might want to experiment with various techniques before you take the exam.

10. Read very carefully

We cannot stress this enough. Reading carefully may be the best way for you to improve your test score. Sometimes there may be just one word in an answer that will make that the wrong choice.

11. Pick the best possible answer

Part of developing a "multiple-choice mind" is learning to pick the best possible answer. Sometimes you will feel that none of the choices you are given is really a good answer. You could probably come up with a better "correct answer" on your own. Don't be thrown by questions like these. Choose the "least bad" answer you are given, even if you think it is not very good. You may be having trouble finding a good answer because you misunderstood the question. If you think that none of the choices is a good answer, go back and read the question again. Don't choose an incorrect answer "on principle." For example, on the portion of the test that deals with instructional support, you may have a good idea what the examiners would consider the correct answer, but you may disagree with them. You may have very 7

different beliefs and practices in the real world. Don't throw away points just to take a stand.

12. Assess the reasonableness of your conclusions

Be sure that your answer makes sense. Test writers often figure out the mistakes that people are likely to make and then include these as possible answers. This is especially true for questions that involve math. For example: How much does June earn per month if the $350 she pays for rent is 20% of her salary? A surprising number of people choose $70 as the answer because they make the mistake of multiplying by 20% instead of dividing by 20%. They could have avoided this mistake if they had considered the reasonableness of their answer. June could not pay $350 a month in rent if she earned only $70. Moreover, it is clear from the question that the amount she pays in rent is only a portion of her salary (20%). Especially when dealing with numbers, take a moment to check if the answer you have chosen is reasonable.

13. Don't over analyze; don't jump to conclusions

Don't read too much into a question. Don't make a question more complicated than it really is. Also be careful when answering questions about topics that are very familiar to you. For example, some reading comprehension questions may deal with a subject that you know a great deal about. When answering questions like these, use the information provided in the reading passage, not your own personal knowledge. At the opposite extreme, don't jump to conclusions. Don't be in such a hurry that you choose what you think is an obvious answer without reading the question carefully and determining that the answer you have chosen makes sense. Remember that test writers like to include incorrect possible answers that look correct at first glance.

14. Never, never leave an answer blank

Some standardized tests (such as the SAT college entrance exams) penalize you for choosing a wrong answer. The NYSATAS does not. In fact, your score will be based on the number of questions you get correct. You should never leave an answer blank. If you can narrow your choices to three possible answers, you have a 33% chance of choosing the right one. If you can narrow your choices to two possible answers, your chances improve to 50%. Even if you have no idea what the answer is, your chances of guessing the correct one are one in four. 8

15. Be sure to use the correct lines on your answer sheet

If you decide to skip a question and then come back to it, be sure to skip that line on your answer sheet. It can be very frustrating to come to the last question on a section of the test and find that you have an extra line on the answer sheet. It is a good idea to double-check yourself on a regular basis (say, every five questions) to be sure that you are using the correct line on the answer sheet. That way, if you do get out of sync, you will only have to correct a few misplaced answers.




At the end of this session participants will be able to: 1. Understand the meaning of commonly encountered words presented in context 2. Understand the stated main idea of a reading passage 3. Interpret textual and graphic information


Reading is a skill that can continually be improved with practice. Read all kinds of material ­ newspapers, magazines, books, Internet sites, etc. When an unfamiliar word appears, look it up in the dictionary. The more you read the more comfortable you will be with this area of the test.

Test Taking Tips

· Don't be intimidated by technical subjects and language. You may encounter some passages about topics that are completely foreign to you. These passages might contain technical vocabulary that you are not familiar with. Don't let these subjects or these unusual vocabularies throw you. The questions on the test require no special knowledge of their subject. Read the question and the possible answers carefully and look for the relevant sentences in the reading passages. Focus on what the question is asking, not on technical terms that you don't understand. Break down long sentences. Sometimes sentences are so long that you have trouble understanding them. The best thing to do when this happens is to break the sentence down into parts. Pay attention to the punctuation. This will help you see how the sentence is constructed. Use only the information in the reading passage. Sometimes you will come across a reading passage that you know well. It is easy in these situations to base your answer on your own knowledge. You should resist this temptation. Use only the information that is in the reading passage.





Be careful of qualifying words. Pay special attention to words such as no, few, many, most, all, never, occasionally, usually, frequently, always, and except. When they appear in a question, they can change the nature of a question. Also beware of these words in answers. Make sure the word used in an answer agrees with the word used in the passage. Does the passage say something happened frequently or rarely? Does the passage say that a certain thing is usually true or only sometimes true? Be especially careful of words like all, none, always or never. They make the statement too strong. When you don't know the entire answer to a question that asks for a specific detail, don't re-read the entire passage. Skim the passage to find the relevant sentence. As you skim, look for key words that relate to the question. Try reading the questions first. If you are having trouble getting into a passage, you might try skipping to the questions and see what you will need to know to answer them. This approach works well with especially long passages. If you know what you are looking for before you read the passage, you can disregard the irrelevant information and focus on what you need to know. Focus on the meat of the passage. Some passages contain lots of details that are included mainly to distract you. If you are having trouble comprehending a passage, ask yourself this: "What is important about what the writer is saying? What is the main point the writer is trying to make?" The topic sentence is often stated in the first or last sentence of the passage. The other sentences offer support for this main idea. Within the passage there are usually clues to help determine the meaning of vocabulary words. Look at the surrounding words to help discover the meaning of the word in question. The structure of the sentence can also help in determining the meaning of the word. The position of the word may be able to help determine whether it is a noun, a verb or an adjective. Look for clues to a word's meaning by identifying roots that you are familiar with.







Read the passage below and answer questions 1 ­ 3. The universe is 15 billion years old, and the geological underpinnings of the earth were formed long before the first sea creatures slithered out of the slime. But it is only the last 6,000 years or so that men have descended into mines to chop and scratch at the earth's crust. Human history is, as Carl Sagan put it, the equivalent of a few seconds in the 15 billion year life of the planet. What alarms those that keep track of the earth's crust is that since 1950 human beings have managed to consume more minerals than were mined in all previous history, a splurge of a millisecond in geologic time that cannot be long repeated without using up the finite riches of the earth. 1. Of the following, the main idea of the paragraph is: a. There is true cause for concern at the escalating consumption of the earth's minerals in recent years b. Human history is the equivalent of a few seconds in the 15 billion year life of the planet c. The earth will soon run out of vital mineral resources d. The extraction of minerals from the earth's crust only began about 6,000 years ago

2. "... a splurge of a millisecond in geologic time that cannot be long repeated without using up the finite riches of the earth." Select the best definition of the word finite as it is used in the passage above. a. Finished b. Boundless c. Limited d. Forever


3. According to the passage, for how many years has man been mining minerals from the earth's crust? a. 15 billion b. 6,000 c. 1950 d. 53


Read the passage below and answer questions 4 ­ 6. The idea of sexual division of labor is a changeable concept, subject to the particular needs of segments of society which frequently change. For example, in 1917 the banking community was faced with a shortage of labor. They attracted women into clerical and lower level managerial jobs by arguing that women "are exceptionally fitted for work of this character ­ their neatness, deft handling of money and papers, tact and a certain intuitive judgment all being qualifications that count in their favor." In the early 1930's, there was a very large supply of male workers available because of Depression. The banking industry changed its mind, and said it could not hire women, even as tellers, because they were poor at figures, and because the public would not accept the notion of handing their money over to women. A few years later, faced with a shortage of labor due to the second world war, banks once again hired women as tellers. Industry journals argued then that women would make ideal tellers because they were so good at dealing with the public. 4. "...their neatness, deft handling of money and papers, tact and a certain intuitive judgment all being qualifications that count in their favor."

Select the definition that means the opposite of the word deft as it used in the passage above. a. Noisy b. Skillful c. Clumsy d. Orderly

5. What is the topic sentence of this passage? a. The idea of sexual division of labor is a changeable concept, subject to the particular needs of society. b. For example, in 1917 the banking community was faced with a shortage of labor. c. In the early 1930's, there was a very large supply of male workers available because of Depression.


d. Industry journals argued then that women would make ideal tellers because they were so good at dealing with the public. 6. According to the passage, why couldn't women be hired as tellers during the Depression? a. Women were too intuitive. b. Women were unskilled in dealing with the public. c. Women were more likely to steal. d. Women were poor with figures.


Read the passage below and answer question 7 ­ 9. The primary reason for the development of a separate administrative division for the direction of human relations is a growing recognition that people are endowed with characteristics different from those of machinery or raw material. If people are to be affected in ways that give best results, that direction must be specialized just as direction in the other major fields of management has been specialized. "If people are to be affected in ways that give best results..." 7. In the passage, the word affected means_______________. a. Influenced b. Achieved c. Result d. Loved

8. According to the passage, what was the effect of a, "growing recognition that people are endowed with characteristics different from those of machinery or raw material?" a. Management of machinery and raw materials was eliminated b. New directions for machinery and raw material management. c. The creation of a management for human relations. d. There was no effect.


9. Which statement is best supported by the passage? a. Workers need supervision b. It is a good idea when organizations establish an office of human relations c. Workers are more important than machinery or raw materials d. Workers perform best when they receive on-the-job training


Read the chart below and answer questions 10 ­ 12.


Personnel Special Events May Day Festival Baseball Marathon Regular Programming Music in the Park Children's Theatre Other Park Maintenance Playground Supplies Landscaping Total % Town Budget 1979 $75,000 6,100 2,920 3,190 4,770 1,200 1,580 1,990 5,630 2,980 2,650 $91,150 3.8% 1980 $82,000 6,730 6,730 4,200 4,100 1,200 1,300 1,600 6,070 3,120 2,950 $98,900 3.7% 1981 $110,500 6,860 6,860 2,700 4,420 1,350 1,320 1,320 1,750 3,090 3,000 $127,870 3.6%

10. In which year did the Baseball Marathon cost the most? a. 1979 b. 1980 c. 1981 d. Cannot be determined from the information given

11. Based on the information in the graph, which of the following statements is an opinion? a. Park maintenance saw a reduction in funding in 1981 b. The town's budget increased for three straight years c. The town cares more about "Children's Theatre" than "Music in the Park"


d. The "May Day Festival" budget more than doubled between 1979 and 1980

12. Between 1979 and 1981, how much cumulative money did the town spend on recreation expenditures? a. $91,150 b. $98,900 c. $127,870 d. $317,920


Read the graph below and answer questions 13 ­ 15.


100 90 80 70 60 50

TE ST 1 TE ST 2 TE ST 3 TE ST 4 TE ST 5 TE ST 6 TE ST 7 TE ST 8 TE ST TE 9 ST 10

13. In 1991, how many times did John score between an 80 and a 90 on his tests? a. 1 b. 5 c. 7 d. 10 20

14. Between which two tests did John see the greatest decline in his test scores? a. 1 and 2 b. 3 and 4 c. 5 and 6 d. 9 and 10 15. Which answer is a close approximation for John's score on test 3? a. 85 b. 99 c. 93 d. 78




At the end of this session participants will be able to: 1. Understand the standard use of verbs 2. Understand the standard use of pronouns and modifiers 3. Understand sentence structure and punctuation 4. Understand the standard use of capitalization and punctuation


Many people are intimidated by grammar and are nervous about this section of the test. However, grammar questions are based on rules that can readily be learned and will make this section of the test much easier.

Test Taking Tips

· Know verb tenses. Verbs ending in ­ed are generally in the past tense, verbs in their base form or ending in ­s are in the present tense and verbs that use helping verbs such as will or shall are in the future tense. Within a sentence the subject and verb must always be in agreement. If the subject of the sentence is singular then the verb must be in its singular form, if the subject of the sentence is plural then the verb must be in its plural form. Pronouns such as each, either, neither, anybody and nobody are singular and must use the singular form of a verb. Example: Neither likes to attend music class. When two or more nouns are joined together by a conjunction the verb in the sentence must be in its plural form. Example: Mr. Smith and Mrs. Jones eat lunch after fourth period.






The form of the verb does not change by the addition to the subject of words introduced by with, together with, no less than or as well as. Example: Johnny, as well as Joey, Mary and Susie, was thrilled to receive an A on the math test. A sentence must not shift tenses. The sentence must remain in the same tense for its entirety. Example: The teacher walked up to the aide and asked her to read the quiz to Allison. A pronoun must agree with the text that it refers to earlier in the sentence, called the antecedent. The pronoun can agree in three different ways number, gender and person. Example Number: Jack and Karen went to the office because they were rude to Mrs. Johnson Example Gender: A boy can only receive the fitness medal if he can do 100 sit-ups. Example Person: If a student wants to excel in math, he or she must do their homework daily. Relative pronouns are used to link phrases together. That and which are generally used in reference to a thing or idea. Who and whomever are generally used in referring to a person. Who is used when the pronoun is used in referring to the subject of a sentence, whomever is used in referring to the object of a sentence. Possessive pronouns, such as mine, his and its, show ownership. Possessive pronouns do not use an apostrophe! Demonstrative pronouns, such as that, this and such, point out specific nouns. Comparative modifiers, such as better, are used when comparing two things. Example: Social studies is a better class than science. Superlative modifiers, such as best, are used when comparing more than two things. Example: Technology is the best class of the day. Complete sentences contain a subject and a predicate. The subject is what or whom the sentence is about and the predicate tells something about the subject. Example: Principal Smith came from Yonkers. Sentence fragments lack either a subject or predicate. Therefore, sentence fragments cannot stand by themselves. Example: Joe and Billy at the soccer game. (No predicate telling something about Joe and Billy) A sentence should contain only one thought. Run­on sentences have more than one thought which otherwise could stand on their own. These sentences should




· · · · ·




be avoided. Example: Jason was very nervous about the English essay assigned by Mrs. Thompson however Mrs. Thompson was his favorite teacher. · · Sentences must always begin with a capital letter! Names of people, places, days, months and organizations must all be capitalized. Titles are capitalized only if they are used with a specific person. Capitalize historical events and documents. Commas can be used for a variety of reasons. Commas should be used in the following situations: to separate words or word groups of three or more; to separate two adjectives where and could be inserted between them; to set off a direct quotation; to surround the name of person that is being addressed; to surround the title of a person; to separate day and month; to separate city and state; to set off expressions that disrupt the flow of the sentence; and after a phrase of three or more words that begin a sentence. Apostrophes can be used to form a contraction of two words. The apostrophe is placed in the spot where the letter is taken from the words. Example: Do Not becomes Don't. Apostrophes can also be used to show possession. When the noun is singular the apostrophe separates the word and the s. If the noun is plural then the apostrophe is placed after the word. Example: Mike's job is to teach. The boys' team finished first. Quotation marks are used for direct quotes. Periods and commas are always placed within the quotation marks.







1. Which sentence is in the past tense? a. John will ask his teacher for help on the assignment. b. John asked his teacher for help on the assignment. c. John asks his teacher for help on the assignment. d. John ask his teacher for help on the assignment.

2. Which sentence is in the future tense? a. Mrs. Carter will love those flowers. b. Mrs. Carter loved those flowers. c. Mrs. Carter loves those flowers. d. Mrs. Carter love those flowers.

3. Which sentence is in the present tense? a. Seventh graders will eat lunch after fourth period. b. Seventh graders ate lunch after fourth period. c. Seventh graders eats lunch after fourth period. d. Seventh graders eat lunch after fourth period.


4. Choose the best choice to complete the sentence below. "We wanted everyone to do _________ share of the work. a. their b. there c. its d. his

5. Choose the best choice to complete the sentence below. "Is it ______ important to see him now or for him to finish the outline?" a. most b. more c. the most d. greater

6. Choose the best choice to complete the sentence below. "Every teaching assistant in the school ______ to learn how to use the new computer." a. have b. has


c. have had d. don't have

7. Choose the best choice to complete the sentence below. "Jim ran through the school and _________ for his backpack." a. look b. looks c. looked d. will look

8. Choose the best choice to complete the sentence below. "This report was written by a person ________ style I have never liked." a. of whose b. who's c. whose d. of who's

9. Choose the best choice to complete the sentence below. "The new DVD about China, ______ is available in three languages, contains a great summary of the construction of the Great Wall of China. a. whom b. which


c. whose d. who's

10. Which of the following sentences below uses the word pare correctly. a. Homer and Marge are very compatible and make a great pare. b. Mr. Perez had to pare down the number of students who could attend the music festival. c. James was dealt a pare of eights by the dealer. d. Jenny enjoyed the pare her mother packed in her lunch.

11. Which of the following is a grammatically complete sentence? a. Principals, teachers, teaching assistants, teaching aides and custodians. b. An answer key is essential.

c. Failing marks below sixty-five. d. Often, Mike and Amy, along with Erin, Scott and Josh.

12. Examine the sentences and select the one that contains no punctuation errors. a. We wanted to see you; but she said that you weren't home. b. During the past two weeks it has rained almost every day. c. After breathing deeply for five minutes: most of the class felt relaxed. d. Let's go down to Maria's Pizza House, she has the best pizza in town?


13. In the sentence below, identify the word that is capitalized incorrectly. "On Monday, he will go to the Doctor's office for an exam by Doctor Smith." a. Monday b. Doctor's c. Doctor d. Smith

14. Which of the words below is spelled incorrectly? a. Alledge b. Recommend c. Definition d. Grammar

15. Which of the words below is spelled correctly? a. Personel b. Preferably c. Possesion d. Referrence


4. Mathematics


At the end of this session participants will be able to: 1. Understand number concepts 2. Understand the addition and subtraction of whole numbers 3. Understand the multiplication and division of whole numbers 4. Understand operations involving fractions, decimals, and percents


Many people feel uncomfortable with their math skills. This test however is testing basic math skills, not collegiate level or advanced math. Math problems often involve vocabulary that will help determine what is being asked in the question, it is important to be familiar with these vocabulary words.

Test Taking Tips:

· · In any number the decimal point is placed after the last whole number. Moving left in a number increases its place value. Moving left from the decimal point the place value of the digits is as follows: ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, millions.... Moving right in a number decreases its place value. Moving right from the decimal point the place value of the digit is as follows: tenths, hundredths, thousandths, ten thousandths, hundred thousandths, millionths...




Rounding is used as a way to estimate a number's value. When rounding any place value, if the preceding digit is five or greater round up, if the preceding digit is four or lower round down


The following roots are helpful in understanding the metric system o o o o o o Deci = 10th Centi = 100th Milli = 1000th Deca = 10 Hecto = 100 Kilo = 1000

Therefore 1 kilometer = 1000 meters = 100,000 centimeters · · The result of an addition problem is called a sum. Be sure to line up the place values of each number correctly, use the decimal point as your guide. The result of a subtraction problem is called a difference. Be sure to line up the place values correctly before subtracting, use the decimal point as your guide. When subtracting you may have to borrow from a higher place value if the top number is smaller than the bottom number.


· ·

The result of a multiplication problem is called a product. The result of a division problem is called a quotient. In division the number being divided by is the divisor and the number being divided into is the dividend. If a number does not divide evenly then there is a remainder left over. Example:



In a fraction the top number is called the numerator and the bottom number is called the denominator. If the numerator and denominator share a common number then factoring the shared number out of both the numerator and denominator can reduce the fraction. Example:

6=3 8 4

(A two was factored out of both the numerator and denominator) · The reciprocal of a fraction is when the numerator and denominator switch places. Example:

Original fraction = 3 7 Reciprocal =


7 3

When adding or subtracting fractions the denominators must be identical. If the denominators are different then the fractions must be adjusted. Once the denominators are identical then the numerators are added or subtracted and the denominator remains the same.



5­2 = 5­4 = 1 6 3 6 6 6


When multiplying fractions the numerators and denominators do not need to change. The first numerator multiplies the second numerator and the first denominator multiplies the second denominator. Example:

5 x 3 = 15 11 7 77

· Fractions can be divided using multiplication principles. The first fraction remains the same but the second fraction becomes its reciprocal. The fractions are now multiplied using the ordinary multiplication principles of fractions.


2 / 3 = 2 x 5 = 10 7 5 7 3 21

· A fraction can be turned into a decimal by dividing the numerator by the denominator. This decimal can also be represented as a percentage by moving the decimal point two places to the right and adding a percent sign. Example:

¼ = .25 = 25%



Similarly, any percentage can be turned into a decimal by removing the percent sign and moving the decimal place two places to the left. Any percentage can be turned into a fraction by placing the value over 100. Example:

9% = .09 39% = 39 100

· When multiplying numbers with decimals, the decimal point in the product must be moved to the left the total number of places in both of the original numbers. It is not necessary to line up the decimal points like in addition and subtraction. Example:

.57 x .20 00 1140 .1140

or 0.114



When dividing numbers with decimals, the decimal point in the divisor should be moved to the right to create a whole number. The decimal point in the dividend must then be moved an equal number of places.



8.2 9.84


82 98.4 82 16 4 16 4 0



1. Which answer below correctly rounds 843,567,645 to the nearest thousand? a. 844,000,000 b. 843,567,900 c. 843,568,000 d. 800,000,000 2. Which digit represents the thousandth place in 7,951,634.0254? a. 1 b. 7 c. 5 d. 6 3. How many meters are in 10 kilometers? a. 1 b. 100 c. 1,000 d. 10,000


4. What is the sum of 54 and 9? a. 63 b. 45 c. 486 d. 6 5. What is the difference between 1,035 and 601? a. 434 b. 1,434 c. 1,636 d. 4,915

6. The New York City School System began the year with 23,457,943 students in grades K ­ 12. Between September and June, 4,359 new students entered the school system and 6,305 students left the school system. How many students were enrolled in the New York City School System on the final day of school? a. 23,455,997 b. 23,462,302 c. 23,451,638 d. 23,453,584 7. What is the product of 252 and 47? a. 299 b. 11,744 c. 11,844 d. 225,594


8. What is the remainder when 453 is divided by 7? a. 1 b. 3 c. 5 d. 7 9. Maria purchased 15 boxes of paper for $11 each. How much did Maria spend? a. $26 b. $151 c. $165 d. $1511

10. What is the sum of 5/8 and 3/16? a. 1/8 b. 8/16 c. 13/16 d. 2/8

11. Before the school year began Mr. Perez allotted himself $100.00 to spend on school supplies. At a local store he purchased a carton of chalk for $43.78, a ream of construction paper for $37.54 and 100 markers for $9.59. How much of Mr. Perez's original allotment remains? a. $9.09 b. $.90 c. $90.90


d. $0

12. If a new computer costs $640, how much would Ms. McCord spend if she had a coupon for 20% off the purchase of the computer? a. $128 b. $512 c. $576 d. $768 13. The fraction 2/5 can be represented as which percentage? a. 25% b. 20% c. 40% d. 80% 14. Carl's social studies test consisted of 60 multiple-choice questions. When Carl got his test back he had missed 20% of the questions. Of the questions he missed, 75% of those were related to interpreting political cartoons. How many total questions did Carl miss regarding political cartoons? a. 6 b. 9 c. 12 d. 48


15. The Middle School grounds are rectangular in shape, with sides approximately 240 yards wide by 730 yards long. Approximately how much fencing would the school district to need to buy in order to surround the perimeter of the grounds? a. 500 yards b. 1,000 yards c. 2,000 yards d. 187,500 yards


5. Instructional Support


At the end of this session participants will be able to: 1. Understand classroom instruction related to reading 2. Understand classroom instruction related to writing 3. Understand classroom instruction related to math


This section of the test will assess the candidate's ability to apply their practical knowledge to classroom scenarios. The questions will focus on how teaching assistants can help students reach their full potential and how they can assist a teacher with instruction. These questions are not necessarily testing the subject matter but the techniques that teaching assistants use in their jobs. The scenarios in the questions will reflect situations which teaching assistants encounter on a regular basis. In these questions, recognizing and understanding the situations is of most importance.

Test Taking Tips:

· Reading application questions often revolve around scenarios in which a student is involved in the reading process. These questions may involve the tools of the reading process. Questions may involve how the teaching assistant can help a student by using instructional resources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, multimedia materials...) or by offering a variety of techniques to aid comprehension (interpreting directions drilling, skimming, questioning, summarizing, relating material to real life contexts...). Reading application questions may also involve how a teaching assistant can help the classroom teacher. Questions may involve how a teaching assistant can 41


plan, along with a teacher, to match individual student needs to reading instruction, or how a teaching assistant can gather information regarding a student's progress in reading.


Writing application questions often revolve around classroom scenarios in which the student is involved in some stage of the writing process. These questions may involve how a teaching assistant can help with outlining, drafting, editing, and proofreading. Questions may also involve how teaching assistants can help students with their writing through the use of instructional resources (dictionaries, grammar books, library resources, technological resources...). Writing application questions may also involve how teaching assistants can support the classroom teacher. Assistance may be in the form of gathering information regarding a student's progress in writing or reporting back to a teacher regarding. Mathematics application questions often revolve around classroom scenarios where a teaching assistant is helping a student. These questions may involve how a teaching assistant can relate math to everyday life, how a teaching assistant can identify and correct basic computation errors, or how a teaching assistant can help students in math through the use of instructional resources (rulers, money, charts, graphs, hands-on materials...) Mathematics application questions may also involve how teaching assistants can support the classroom teacher. Techniques could include the gathering information regarding a student's progress in math.






1. A high school English teacher has asked a teaching assistant to help a learning disabled student with a lesson she is conducting. The student has been identified as a visual learner. Which technique would be most appropriate for the teaching assistant to use in order to effectively help the student with the reading lesson? a. Read the passage to the student in a separate room that is quiet b. Show pictures or photographs that convey the main ideas of the passage c. Reword difficult vocabulary d. Have the student read the assignment aloud over and over again

2. Mrs. Donald, a special education teacher, is scheduled to have a parent conference next week about a student's academic progress. What information can the teaching assistant, whom works with the student daily on reading, provide the teacher to help prepare her for the conference? a. Conversations heard in the faculty room about the student b. A copy of the literature test that the student will take next week c. Copies of the books the student has read over the past six months d. Art work the student has created 3. A teaching assistant in a sixth grade classroom has been asked to lead a science class to the computer lab to work on a project about weather. The project involves the students working in groups. The groups must develop an oral presentation about a weather related topic. What would be an appropriate role for the teaching assistant to help the students with this project? a. Use a projector to show a PowerPoint presentation about clouds


b. Keep the lab silent and not allow the students to converse with each other c. Create a list of websites that the students can use to research information d. Have students practice their public speaking skills in front of each other 4. A teaching assistant has been asked to prepare a group of tenth grade students prior to their English class, so that they are ready to begin reading and discussing Romeo and Juliet in class. Which of the following would be an inappropriate method of preparing the students? a. Have the students read a biography of William Shakespeare b. Lead a discussion about movies, such as West Side Story and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, that the students may have seen c. Have the students skim through the Act I of the play and monitor for understanding d. Read with the students an analysis of Romeo and Juliet's theme in an old textbook. 5. A teaching assistant for a middle school social studies classroom was asked to assist a student who is struggling on a DBQ essay. As the teaching assistant spoke with the student, he realized that the student understood the material for the essay but cold not organize his ideas. What could the teaching assistant have done to help the student focus his ideas? a. Shown the student a copy of an essay by another student in the class b. Helped the student create an outline for the essay c. Brought over an encyclopedia to help the student gain more information d. Immediately told the teacher of the student's problem

6. An English teacher is creating a plan for a girl that is struggling with her writing. The teaching assistant in the classroom was asked to provide a report with her assessment of the girl's deficiencies in writing. Which of the following information would be least helpful to the English teacher? a. An observation that the girl uses only simple vocabulary in her essays


b. An observation that the girl has trouble with introduction and conclusion paragraphs c. An observation that the girl is a good creative writer d. An observation that the girl's older sister was also a poor writer 7. Which of the following instructional aids would be most useful for a teaching assistant to provide to a student that uses the same words repeatedly in his/her writing? a. An encyclopedia b. A thesaurus c. A dictionary

d. A grammar and punctuation guide 8. A seventh grade boy is struggling to understand the concept of averages in his math class. Ms. Hogan, a teaching assistant, finds out from speaking with the student that he feels like nothing in math class ever relates to his life. How could Ms. Hogan convince the student that averages are relevant to his life? a. Talk to the student about the stock market and the Dow Jones Industrial Average b. Talk to the student about how baseball statistics are all based on averages c. Talk to the student about how the Consumer Price Index is an average of the cost of household goods d. Give the student an article from Newsweek entitled "Average Home Prices -- On the Rise" 9. A teaching assistant notices that a second grade student in the classroom consistently misses addition problems involving one digit numbers with two digit numbers. On a practice sheet the teaching assistant notices that the student made the following mistakes: 12 + 4 = 52; 34 +6 = 94; 61 + 2 = 81. What is the cause of the student's mistakes? a. The student is multiplying rather than adding b. The student is forgetting to carry numbers when the sum is more than ten


c. The student is lining the digits up improperly d. The teaching assistant would not be able to tell based on the information given 10. A student is having a hard time understanding the addition and subtraction of fractions. Mr. Barnaby, the teaching assistant in the classroom, is asked to demonstrate the concept to the student so that the student better understands it. How might Mr. Barnaby effectively show the student this concept? a. Have the student stay after school and write sample problems on the blackboard for the student to take notes on b. Have the student copy sample problems fifty times each in his notebook c. Show the student a math video about fractions d. Bring in measuring cups and have student follow a recipe that involves fractions



The Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Score on the NYSATAS

1. Practice, Practice, Practice! 2. Be positive, patient, and persistent. 3. Don't jump to conclusions or make assumptions. 4. Determine exactly what the question is asking. 5. Break down complex sentences into their parts. Use punctuation as a guide. 6. Don't be intimidated by technical subjects or unusual vocabulary. 7. Watch out for qualifying words (for example, all, never, rarely). 8. Use the test to take the test. 9. Brush up on basic grammar and math. 10. Know where you're going and what you will need.




1. (a) The main idea of the passage revolves around the impact the human beings are having on the earth's crust. Both answer choices (c) and (d) relate to this idea, but (c) is not actually stated in the passage and (d) is a minor fact within the passage. Answer choice (b) has no relevance to the main idea. 2. (c) Using the text clues of the passage can help with the answer to this question. Since the sentence contains the words "using up", this is an indication that there are still resources available but they could eventually disappear. Don't become confused because the word finite looks like choice (a), finished, or sounds like infinite, which is a synonym for choice (d), forever. 3. (b) The third line of the passage states that only 6,000 years ago did man start descending into mines to scratch the earth's surface. Choice (a) refers to the age of the universe, choice (c) refers to the year that man began using more resources than ever before. 4. (c) The key to this question is that it is looking for the opposite of the word deft. While deft does mean skillful, answer choice (b), this is not what the question is looking for. Answer choices (a) and (d) are meant to confuse people because they relate to the word deaf, which sounds very similar to deft. 5. (a) The topic sentence is the sentence which states what the rest of the passage will be about. It is generally found in the first sentence or two of a paragraph. Choices (b), (c), and (d) are all supporting sentences of the topic sentence.\ 6. (d) The ninth line of the passage clearly states two reasons women were not allowed to be tellers. The sentence prior to the quoted sentence is in regards to the Depression. 7. (a) Again, clues within the text can help you determine the meaning of this word. Since the word ends in ­ed we know that it is a verb, therefore the answer must also be a verb. This eliminates choice (c). One strategy is to substitute the reaming choices for affected and choose the one that does not change the meaning of the sentence. Don't get confused between affected and affection, this why choice (d) is there.


8. (c) This is a cause and effect relationship. The question gives you the cause and asks you to determine the effect. In this case, the cause was a "growing recognition that people...", the effect was choice (c). 9. (b) When you are looking for a statement that supports the passage, choose the answer that best comes to a conclusion similar to the main idea. The main idea here is that humans have different characteristics than machines, choice (b) is the only one that relates to this main idea. 10. (b) As you scan left to right on the chart, next to the row for the "Baseball Marathon", the second column contains the highest number (4,200). When you move up the chart from that figure you see the column is for 1980. 11. (c) The key to fact and opinion questions is determining whether or not the answer choices can be proven by the information that is given to you. Choices (a), (b), and (d) can all be found in the chart and therefore can be proved. Although the "Children's Theatre" does receive more money than the "Music in the Park" it does not mean that the town cares about it more. 12. (d) The key word is cumulative, this means a total of all the expenditures. By adding up the totals for 1979, 1980, and 1981 you will come up with choice (d). 13. (b) In determining the number of scores between 80 and 90 the blocks must fall between the line for 80 and the line for 90. In this particular graph five blocks are between the 80 line and the 90 line. 14. (c) The key to this question is the word greatest because all of the choices show a decline in one test to the next. However, choice (c) has the steepest line and therefore is the greatest decline. 15. (c) To determine this answer you need to approximate the value of the block coming up from test three. Since it is not quite half way between the 90 line and the 100 line, answer choice (c) is the only answer that is reasonable.


1. (b) Verbs in the past tense often end in the suffix ­ed, in answer choice (b) the verb in the sentence, ask, ends in ­ed. 2. (a) Verbs in the future tense often are preceded with the word will, in answer choice (a) love is preceded by will. 3. (d) Both answer choices (c) and (d) are in their infinitive form and therefore in the present tense. However, because "seventh graders" is plural, answer choice (d) is the only choice that is grammatically correct.


4. (a) Answer choice (c) is not an option because its is only used when the subject is an object. Answer choice (d) would be used when the subject is masculine. Finally, answer choice (b), although it is a homonym of the correct answer, is only used for location or direction 5. (b) This sentence is comparative in nature, the question wants to know which option is better. Therefore, answer choice (b) is the only option. 6. (b) Although the sentence is referring to all of the teaching assistants, the word every is singular. Therefore, the verb must also be singular. This explains why answer choice (b) is correct and why answer choice (a) is incorrect. 7. (c) Since the first verb in the sentence is in the past tense, the rest of the verbs in the sentence must also be in the past tense. The only choice that is also in the past tense is answer choice (c). 8. (c) Answer choices (b) and (d) refer to the contraction of "who" and "is" and therefore are inappropriate choice. Also there is no need to include the word "of", making choice (a) incorrect. 9. (b) Answer choices (a), (c), and (d) are all used when the subject of the sentence is a person. Since a DVD is not a person, the only option is choice (b). 10. (b) This question involves a word that has three homonyms; pare, pair and pear. In this case, "pare" means to cut down, making answer (b) correct. Answer choices (a) and (c) should use the word pair, while answer choice (d) should use the word pear. 11. (b) The only choice that has both a subject and a predicate. The rest of the choices are all sentence fragments even though they are longer in length. 12. (b) Even though the period is the only form of punctuation it is the correct option. In answer choice (a) the semi-colon is used improperly, in answer choice (c) the colon is used improperly and in answer choice (d) the question mark is used improperly. 13. (b) Answer choice (b) is incorrect because it is not referring to a specific office. All days of the week must be capitalized, all names must be capitalized and all titles must be capitalized. This explains why answer choices (a), (c), and (d) are correct.


14. (a) Answer choice (a) may look correct because the word ledge contains a d, but allege is spelled without one. People may mistakes with choice (b) by adding a second c and may make mistakes with choice (d) by ending the word with mer. 15. (b) Often people will misspell preferably by adding either an extra f or an extra r, don't be fooled by this. Also people are confused with answer choice (a) because they think the word is personal or they wan to add an extra l.


1. (c) The digit in the thousands spot is the 7 and since the number preceding the 7, 6, is closer to ten than it is to zero the 7 is rounded up to an 8. 2. (c) In this problem the key word is thousandth, meaning the digit must be right of the decimal point. Remember when moving right from the decimal the first place value is tenths, then hundredths and then thousandths. 3. (d) The root kilo means 1000, so 1 kilometer = 1000 meters. Therefore there are 10,000 meters in 10 kilometers. 4. (a) The word "sum" indicates addition, answer choice (a) is therefore correct 5. (a) The word "difference" indicates subtraction, therefore answer choice (a) is correct. 6. (a) This question requires two steps. First, you must add 4,539 to the initial enrollment. Then you must subtract 6,305 from the new figure you created in step one. This difference will result in answer choice (a). 7. (c) The word "product" signifies that this is a multiplication question, therefore answer choice (c) is the correct choice. 8. (c) The word "remainder" indicates a division problem that will not divide evenly. In this case 7 goes into 453 evenly 64 times with a left over, or remainder, of 5. 9. (c) There are two ways to approach this problem. One-way would be to add 11, the price of each box, 15 times, the number of boxes purchased. The other way would be to multiply the number of boxes by the price of the boxes. Either way will produce the correct answer, answer choice (c).


10. (c) Again the word "sum" indicates that this will be an addition problem. However, before you can add these two fractions you must ensure that they have common denominators, bottom numbers. Since, 8 can quickly be multiplied by two to reach 16, 16 is the easiest common denominator to use. In the fraction 5/8 the denominator would be multiplied by two to reach 16. Therefore two must, also multiply the numerator, or top number. This creates a new fraction of 10/16. When adding fractions with like denominators, the denominator does not change only the numerator does. So, adding the numerator from the converted fraction, 10, with the numerator from the second fraction, 3, gives us 13. 11. (a) This is a multiple step subtraction problem. The key to the problem is to make sure that your decimal point is lined up through each step of the process. 12. (b) This is also a two-step problem, but with two different types of calculations. First you must multiply the 20% by the purchase price of $640. The easiest way is to change the percentage into a decimal by placing the decimal point before the number, in this case .20. This multiplication step will result in a number of 128. This number must then be subtracted from the original purchase price of $640, resulting in answer choice (b). 13. (c) The easiest way to convert a fraction into a percentage is to divide the numerator by the denominator. In this case the quotient would be .40. We also know that any decimal can be converted to a percentage by moving the decimal two places to the right, in this case 40%. 14. (b) Again we have a two-step question. The first step of the question is to multiply the number of questions, 60, by the percentage Carl missed, 20%. Again we transform 20% into .20 and multiply by 60. The product of this computation is 12 and is the total number of questions Carl missed. Then we must multiply the number of questions Carl missed, 12, by the percentage that were political cartoon questions, 75%. Again, transform 75% into .75 and multiply by 12. The product is 9 , which is the number of political cartoon questions Carl missed. 15. (c) The easiest way to come up with an estimation for this answer is to round both of the figures first and then calculate the perimeter. The width would round down to 200 and the length would round up to 800. Now the perimeter can be estimated by adding up two width and two lengths, since the perimeter is the distance around an area, resulting in an answer of 2000.



1. (b) The key to this question is recognizing that the student is a visual learner. As a visual learner the student will do best when his reading is reinforced with other visual stimuli. In this question the only answer choice that would target the student's visual learning aptitude is answer choice (b). 2. (c) In this question the parent conference is focusing on the student's progress. Answer choice (c) would help the teacher evaluate how far the student has come over the last six months. 3. (c) As a teaching assistant, one responsibility you have is to guide students in their learning. Answer choice (c) is an example of how a teaching assistant could allow students to learn on their own, but be in a controlled environment. 4. (b) In this question, the teaching assistant was asked to prepare the students for an opening discussion of Romeo and Juliet. Teaching assistants can often help by tapping into students' prior knowledge. By discussing the themes of Romeo and Juliet with works of art students are familiar with, students would be provided with a base of knowledge for the classroom discussion. 5. (b) The key to this question is recognizing that the student understood the content for the DBQ essay. By helping the student to create an outline, the teaching assistant would have provided the student with a guide he/she could use in writing the essay. 6. (d) Although there may be a link between the student's skills as a writer and her sister's skills as a writer, this is the least useful piece of information. All of the other answer choices relate directly to the girl's specific writing skills and are therefore relevant to report to the teacher. 7. (b) Since the student is using words repeatedly the most useful writing tool would be a tool that offered alternate words for those words that are being repeated. A thesaurus, answer choice (b), offers synonyms of words and would be helpful to the student. 8. (b) The key to understanding this question is recognizing that the teaching assistant must try to make averages relate to the student's life. Since the student is a seventh grade boy, it is reasonable to believe that he is interested in sports and therefore answer choice (b) is the best option. 9. (c) By writing the problems in the question vertically, rather than horizontally it is easier to see the mistakes that the student is making. Do not be tempted by answer choice (d), it should be chosen only as a last resort after all of the other options have been thoroughly disproved. 10. (d) In this questions a visual representation of fractions may help the student understand the concept better. By bringing in measuring cups, the teaching


assistant could have the student measure out different amounts and add them together to see the sum and then show hoe the answer is achieved mathematically on paper.


Reading 1 (a) 2 (c) 3 (b) 4 (c) 5 (a) 6 (d) 7 (a) 8 (c) 9 (b) 10 (b) 11 (c) 12 (d) 13 (b) 14 (c) 15 (c) Writing 1 (b) 2 (a) 3 (d) 4 (a) 5 (b) 6 (b) 7 (c) 8 (c) 9 (b) 10 (b) 11 (b) 12 (b) 13 (b) 14 (a) 15 (b) Mathematics 1 (c) 2 (c) 3 (d) 4 (a) 5 (a) 6 (a) 7 (c) 8 (c) 9 (c) 10 (c) 11 (a) 12 (b) 13 (c) 14 (b) 15 (c) Instructional Support 1 (b) 2 (c) 3 (c) 4 (b) 5 (b) 6 (d) 7 (b) 8 (b) 9 (c) 10 (d)




56 pages

Report File (DMCA)

Our content is added by our users. We aim to remove reported files within 1 working day. Please use this link to notify us:

Report this file as copyright or inappropriate