Test questions: 6th-grade ELA

This is a sample item from the New York Common Core test for 6th-grade English Language Arts. New York is one of the states that made its own tests. The tests for grades three through eight were created through a contract with the test company Pearson.

Directions: Read this article. Then answer the questions below.

sea-turtle

Questions

Which detail is most helpful for understanding the central idea of the article?

A. Loggerhead turtles hatch in eastern Florida.
B. Loggerhead turtles prefer to feed in warm waters.
C. Scientists are interested in protecting animal habitats.
D. Scientists have studied how different animals navigate.

Why are lines 9 through 13 important to the article?

A. They show how the turtles hatch eggs.
B. They show the types of beaches turtles prefer.
C. They explain why the turtles travel long distances.
D. They explain why the turtle’s sense of direction is so important.

Why do loggerhead hatchlings have to learn differently from the way many other animals learn?

A. They hatch when it is dark outside.
B. They do not have adults to teach them.
C. They do not live completely on land.
D. They depend on their surroundings.

Scientists conducted experiments to track the movements of baby turtles because they

A. wanted to study how quickly turtles learn new behavior
B. were hoping to recreate turtle territories in a laboratory
C. were hoping to discover where turtles hatch
D. wanted to learn how turtles react to light

According to the article, how might humans threaten loggerhead turtles’ survival in the wild?

A. by creating artificial magnetic fields
B. by building bright structures near the ocean
C. by preventing turtles from returning to their eggs
D. by removing baby turtles from their natural habitat

What is the author’s main purpose for including Dr. Lohmann’s work in the article?

A. to explain to readers how turtles behave in captivity
B. to show how Dr. Lohmann conducts his experiments
C. to highlight the important role of environment on turtles
D. to describe the influence Dr. Lohmann has on the scientific community

Which statement from the article best represents a central idea?

A. “It’s born with a magnetic sense that tells it how to find its way from any place on Earth.” (lines 5 and 6)
B. “Loggerheads also seem to have a good memory for places, even for places they have seen just once before.” (lines 9 and 10)
C. “In the wild, swimming west would take them the wrong way—away from the ocean.” (lines 47 and 48)
D. “Lohmann is working to find other factors that are important in helping sea turtles find their way around the world.” (lines 59 and 60)

Correct answers (top to bottom): D, D, B, D, B, C, A

To see an explanation of correct answers, and how the questions relate to the Common Core standards, click here and scroll down to “Grade 6 ELA Annotated 2014 State Test Questions,” p. 14.