High School Exit Exam

Language Arts Blueprint*and History-Social Science

Based on Language Arts Blueprint
Revised July 2003

California Department of Education

Social Science connections are shown in red type or red shaded boxes. These connections were developed by Dr. Margaret Hill, H/SS Coordinator, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

California Content Standard

Number and

Type of Items

Reading (Grades Nine and Ten with two standards from Grade Eight as noted*)


Items Total

1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
7 Multiple-choice Items
1.1 Identify and use the literal and figurative meanings of words and understand word derivations.
1.2 Distinguish between the denotative and connotative meanings of words and interpret the connotative power of words.
1.3 Identify Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology and use the knowledge to understand the origin and meaning of new words (e.g., the word narcissistic drawn from the myth of Narcissus and Echo).
2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
18 Multiple-choice Items
8.2.1 Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to gain meaning from documents (e.g., warranties, contracts, product information, instruction manuals).
2.1 Analyze the structure and format of functional workplace documents, including the graphics and headers, and explain how authors use the features to achieve their purposes.
2.2 Prepare a bibliography of reference materials for a report using a variety of consumer, workplace, and public documents.
2.3 Generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched.
2.4 Synthesize the content from several sources or works by a single author dealing with a single issue; paraphrase the ideas and connect them to other sources and related topics to demonstrate comprehension.
2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.
2.6 Demonstrate the use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical directions (e.g., those found with graphic calculators and specialized software programs and in access guides to World Wide Web sites on the Internet).
2.7 Critique the logic of functional documents by examining the sequence of information and procedures in anticipation of possible reader misunderstandings.
2.8 Evaluate the credibility of an author 's argument or defense of a claim by critiquing the relationship between generalizations and evidence, the comprehensiveness of evidence, and the way in which the author 's intent affects the structure and tone of the text (e.g., in professional journals, editorials, political speeches, primary source material).
3.0 Literary Response and Analysis


Multiple-choice Items

3.1 Articulate the relationship between the expressed purposes and the characteristics of different forms of dramatic literature (e.g., comedy, tragedy, drama, dramatic monologue).
3.2 Compare and contrast the presentation of a similar theme or topic across genres to explain how the selection of genre shapes the theme or topic.
3.3 Analyze interactions between main and subordinate characters in a literary text (e.g., internal and external conflicts, motivations, relationships, influences) and explain the way those interactions affect the plot.
3.4 Determine characters ' traits by what the characters say about themselves in narration, dialogue, dramatic monologue, and soliloquy.
3.5 Compare works that express a universal theme and provide evidence to support the ideas expressed in each work.
3.6 Analyze and trace an author 's development of time and sequence, including the use of complex literary devices (e.g., foreshadowing, flashbacks).
3.7 Recognize and understand the significance of various literary devices, including figurative language, imagery, allegory, and symbolism, and explain their appeal [as in the study of persuasive writing such as propaganda]
3.8 Interpret and evaluate the impact of ambiguities, subtleties, contradictions, ironies, and incongruities in a text [as in the study of persuasive writing such as propaganda]
3.9 Explain how voice, persona, and the choice of a narrator affect characterization and the tone, plot, and credibility of a text.
3.10 Identify and describe the function of dialogue, scene designs, soliloquies, asides, and character foils in dramatic literature:
Ý8.3.7 Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author. (Biographical approach)
3 on one test form
3.11 Evaluate the aesthetic qualities of style, including the impact of diction and figurative language on tone, mood, and theme, using the terminology of literary criticism. (Aesthetic approach)
3 on one test form
3.12 Analyze the way in which a work of literature is related to the themes and issues of its historical period. (Historical approach)
3 on one test form
Writing (Grades Nine and Ten)


Multiple-choice Items

1.0 Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students ' awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
1.1 Establish a controlling impression or coherent thesis that conveys a clear and distinctive perspective on the subject and maintain a consistent tone and focus throughout the piece of writing.
1.2 Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate modifiers, and the active rather than the passive voice.
1.3 Use clear research questions and suitable research methods (e.g., library, electronic media, personal interview) to elicit and present evidence from primary and secondary sources.
1.4 Develop the main ideas within the body of the composition through supporting evidence (e.g., scenarios, commonly held beliefs, hypotheses, definitions).
1.5 Synthesize information from multiple sources and identify complexities and discrepancies in the information and the different perspectives found in each medium (e.g., almanacs, microfiche, news sources, in-depth field studies, speeches, journals, technical documents).
1.6 Integrate quotations and citations into a written text while maintaining the flow of ideas.
1.7 Use appropriate conventions for documentation in the text, notes, and bibliographies by adhering to those in style manuals (e.g., Modern Language Association Handbook, The Chicago Manual of Style).
1.8 Design and publish documents by using advanced publishing software and graphic programs.
1.9 Revise writing to improve the logic and coherence of the organization and controlling perspective, the precision of word choice, and the tone by taking into consideration the audience, purpose, and formality of the context.
2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
Essay Items
2.1 Write biographical or autobiographical narratives or short stories:
a. Relate a sequence of events and communicate the significance of the events to the audience.

b. Locate scenes and incidents in specific places.

c. Describe with concrete sensory details the sights, sounds, and smells of a scene and the specific actions, movements, gestures, and feelings of the characters; use interior monologue to depict the characters ' feelings.

d. Pace the presentation of actions to accommodate changes in time and mood.

e. Make effective use of descriptions of appearance, images, shifting perspectives, and sensory details.

2.2 Write responses to literature:
a. Demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the significant ideas of literary works.

b. Support important ideas and viewpoints through accurate and detailed references to the text or to other works.

c. Demonstrate awareness of the author 's use of stylistic devices and an appreciation of the effects created.

d. Identify and assess the impact of perceived ambiguities, nuances, and complexities within the text.

2.3 Write expository compositions, including analytical essays and research reports:
a. Marshal evidence in support of a thesis and related claims, including information on all relevant perspectives.

b. Convey information and ideas from primary and secondary sources accurately and coherently.

c. Make distinctions between the relative value and significance of specific data, facts, and ideas.

d. Include visual aids by employing appropriate technology to organize and record information on charts, maps, and graphs.

e. Anticipate and address readers ' potential misunderstandings, biases, and expectations.

f. Use technical terms and notations accurately.

2.4 Write persuasive compositions:
a. Structure ideas and arguments in a sustained and logical fashion.

b. Use specific rhetorical devices to support assertions (e.g. appeal to logic through reasoning; appeal to emotion or ethical belief; relate a personal anecdote, case study, or analogy).

c. Clarify and defend positions with precise and relevant evidence, including facts, expert opinions, quotations, and expressions of commonly accepted beliefs and logical reasoning.

d. Address readers ' concerns, counterclaims, biases, and expectations.

2.5 Write business letters:
a. Provide clear and purposeful information and address the intended audience appropriately.

b. Use appropriate vocabulary, tone, and style to take into account the nature of the relationship with, and the knowledge and interests of, the recipients.

c. Highlight central ideas or images.

d. Follow a conventional style with page formats, fonts, and spacing that contribute to the documents ' readability and impact.

2.6 Write technical documents (e.g. a manual on rules of behavior for conflict resolution, procedures for conducting a meeting, minutes of a meeting):
a. Report information and convey ideas logically and correctly.

b. Offer detailed and accurate specifications.

c. Include scenarios, definitions, and examples to aid comprehension (e.g. troubleshooting guide).

d. Anticipate readers ' problems, mistakes, and misunderstandings.

1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions


Multiple-choice Items

1.1 Identify and correctly use clauses (e.g. main and subordinate), phrases (e.g. gerund, infinitive, and participial), and mechanics of punctuation (e.g. semicolons, colons, ellipses, hyphens).
1.2 Understand sentence construction (e.g. parallel structure, subordination, proper placement of modifiers) and proper English usage (e.g. consistency of verb tenses).
1.3 Demonstrate an understanding of proper English usage and control of grammar, paragraph and sentence structure, diction, and syntax.
1.4 Produce legible work that shows accurate spelling and correct use of the conventions of punctuation and capitalization.
1.5 Reflect appropriate manuscript requirements, including title page presentation, pagination, spacing and margins, and integration of source and support material (e.g. in-text citation, use of direct quotations, paraphrasing) with appropriate citations.

1 Essay
Randomly rotated from the following categories:

  • From standards 2.2 or 2.3 - Response to Literature or Analytic Essay (Expository Writing)

  • From standards 2.1, 2.4 or 2.5 - Biography, persuasion, business letter