2014Grades 6–8FSA ELA ReadingTraining Test QuestionsThe purpose of these training test materials is to orient teachers andstudents to the types of questions on FSA tests. By using these materials,students will become familiar with the types of items and response formatsthey will see on the actual test. The training questions and answers are notintended to demonstrate the length of the actual test, nor should studentresponses be used as an indicator of student performance on the actual test.The training test is not intended to guide classroom instruction.Directions for Answering theELA Reading Training Test QuestionsIf you don’t understand a question, ask your teacher to explain it to you.Your teacher has the answers to the training test questions.

To offer students a variety of texts on the FSA ELA Reading tests, authenticand copyrighted stories, poems, and articles appear as they were originallypublished, as requested by the publisher and/or author. While thesereal-world examples do not always adhere to strict style conventions and/orgrammar rules, inconsistencies among passages should not detract fromstudents’ ability to understand and answer questions about the texts.All trademarks and trade names found in this publication are the propertyof their respective owners and are not associated with the publishers of thispublication.Every effort has been made to trace the ownership of all copyrightedmaterial and to secure the necessary permissions to reprint selections.Some items are reproduced with permission from the American Institutes forResearch as copyright holder or under license from third parties.Page 2

FSA ELA Reading Training Test QuestionsRead the passage “James “Jim” Bridger” and then answer Numbers 1through 5.James “Jim” Bridger1804-18811James Felix “Jim” Bridger’s life story is as interesting as the talltales he used to tell. Bridger was born in Virginia in 1804. Later, hisfamily moved to a farm near St. Louis, Missouri. At age fourteen, hewent to work as a blacksmith’s apprentice. He learned how to makehorseshoes and other products out of iron.2When Bridger was eighteen years old, he was the youngest memberof a group that explored and mapped the Missouri River. As a part ofthe expedition, he was one of the first European American people tosee the natural wonders of what is now Yellowstone National Park.3Yellowstone was the first in a long line of landscapes that Bridgerwas to encounter before others. While spending the winter of 1824–25in what is now Cove, Utah, members of the team Bridger was withargued about which direction they thought the Bear River went. Theteam chose Bridger to explore the river. He ended up at the Great SaltLake, which he mistook for an inlet of the Pacific Ocean because of thelake’s saltiness. For many years, people assumed Bridger was the firstnon-Native American to discover the Great Salt Lake. However, somenow think that Etienne Provost, a French-Canadian trapper, may haveseen it first.4Using the skills he learned while exploring the Missouri, Bridgerbecame very good at trapping beavers for their furs, also called “pelts.”By 1830, Bridger became part owner of a company that specialized inbeaver trapping. Beaver pelts were very popular for hats and clothingat the time.5Bridger’s success at trapping—as well as the growing number ofpeople moving to the western part of America—led to the building of atrading post and fort near the Green River in Wyoming. It becameknown as Fort Bridger. Many people passed the fort as they traveledwest on the Oregon Trail. Often, the settlers stopped to buy supplies,get their wagons fixed, and hear Jim Bridger’s stories. He becamefamous for telling tall tales to the people passing through.Page 3

FSA ELA Reading Training Test Questions6Bridger’s stories were funny, extravagant, and often unbelievable.He would tell stories of glass mountains, “peetrified” birds singing“peetrified” songs, and talk about days when Pike’s Peak was just ahole in the ground. These outrageous stories were told both to teasenew arrivals from the east and to amuse the locals who knew theyweren’t true.7The Rocky Mountains were largely unexplored and Bridger spentmany years hiking them and trapping animals. In his travels, helearned a great deal about the terrain and wildlife of the area. Becauseof his knowledge and skills, he became a valued guide. People oftenhired him to lead them across the mountains.8In 1850, Bridger found a short cut through the mountains ofWyoming through the Rocky Mountains. This path became known asBridger’s Pass. Because the pass shortened trips by sixty-one miles,settlers moving west frequently used it. In addition, the pass laterbecame part of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Union Pacific was part ofthe Transcontinental Railroad, the first railroad to cross America fromcoast to coast.9Bridger spent twenty years working as a guide. When he retired, hewent back to Missouri to live on a farm, where he died in 1881 at theage of seventy-seven. Jim Bridger is remembered for being a skilledmountain man and storyteller. Today, there are many places in theAmerican West named in honor of Jim Bridger.“James “Jim” Bridger” written for educational purposes.958Page 4

FSA ELA Reading Training Test QuestionsNow answer Numbers 1 through 5. Base your answers on thepassage “James “Jim” Bridger.”1. How does the author introduce Jim Bridger in the passage?A by mentioning the tall tales he often toldB by mentioning a few of the places that he discoveredC by describing his first career as a blacksmith’s apprenticeD by describing the details of his first trip exploring the country14327Page 5

FSA ELA Reading Training Test Questions2. Part AWhich statement describes Bridger’s importance as an explorer?A Bridger spent many years hiking and traveling the Rocky Mountains.B By the time he reached his fifties, Bridger was an experienced explorer.C Bridger was the first European American to discover much of the West.D Bridger had many talents besides exploring: blacksmithing, trapping,and story-telling.Part BWhich statement from the passage supports the response in Part A?A “At age fourteen, he went to work as a blacksmith’s apprentice.”B “Yellowstone was the first in a long line of landscapes that Bridgerwas to encounter before others.”C “For many years, people assumed Bridger discovered the GreatSalt Lake.”D “Because of his knowledge and skills, he became a valued guide.”14320Page 6

FSA ELA Reading Training Test Questions3.CoveWyomingFort BridgerUtahSt. LouisMissouriVirginiaWhat three details can the reader get from both the map and thepassage?A the state where Bridger diedB the route of Bridger’s travelsC the location of Bridger’s PassD the state where Bridger was bornE a place that was named after Bridger14323Page 7

FSA ELA Reading Training Test Questions4. The root of the word terrain is terra, which means “earth.”Based on this information, what does the word terrain mean as it is usedin the passage?“In his travels, he learned a great deal about the terrain and wildlife ofthe area.” (paragraph 7)A a type of soilB a rugged areaC plants and animalsD features of the land14324Page 8

FSA ELA Reading Training Test Questions5. Part AFill in the circle before the meaning of the word extravagant as it is usedin this sentence from the passage.“Bridger’s stories were funny, extravagant, and often unbelievable.”(paragraph 6)A recklessB wastefulC generousD larger than lifePart BFill in the circle before the two words or phrases from the passage thathelp readers determine the meaning of the word.6A Bridger’s stories were B funny, C extravagant, and D oftenunbelievable. E He would F tell stories G of glass mountains,H “peetrified” birds singing “peetrified” songs, I and talk about dayswhen Pike’s Peak was just a hole in the ground. J TheseK outrageous stories L were told both to M tease new arrivalsN from the east and to O amuse the locals P who knew Q theyweren’t true.14322Page 9

FSA ELA Reading Training Test QuestionsChoose the correct word or phrase to fill in each blank in the passage. Foreach blank, fill in the circle before the word or phrase that is correct. 9656. Have you ever wondered how a relatively thin sleeping bag, jacket, orcomforter filled with down can be so warm? Down feathers are the light,soft feathers found beneath the tougher exterior feathers of birds. Theirloose structure allows them to trap air, and this insulation keeps the birdwarm. In the same way, humans use down as insulation in manyeveryday products that keep [ A us B it C we D who]warm.144477. People have been using down feathers in this way for centuries. Though[ A feathers from various B feathers variously fromC variously feathers from D various feathers from] species of birdswere used in the past, the most common source today is the domesticgoose. Most of the supply comes from [ A China. WhileB China, C China, while D China, and while] the rest mostly originatesin Europe and Canada.144498. How do you know whether your jacket or pillow is actually lined withdown? The Federal Trade Commission, which[ A prommotes B primotes C premotes D promotes] consumer[ A protection-- B protection: C protection, D protection]mandates that products labeled “100% Down” must contain nothing butdown feathers. If you just see “Down” on the label, this indicates there isa mixture of both fiber and feathers. A label of “Goose Down” signifies acomposition of at least 90% goose feathers.14451Page 10


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