Test questions: 11th-grade ELA

This is a sample item from the New York Common Core Regents Exam in English Language Arts. New York is one of the states that created its own tests rather than use the common tests (SBAC and PARCC) many other states have chosen.

Directions: Read the sonnet. Then answer the questions below.


The narrator’s use of the phrase “zealous pilgrimage” (line 6) emphasizes

(1) an emotional attachment
(2) a fatiguing journey
(3) a religious conversion
(4) an unpleasant memory

As used in line 10, “shadow” most likely refers to the narrator’s

(1) soul
(2) surroundings
(3) reflection
(4) friend

The poet’s use of figurative language in line 11 emphasizes his

(1) regret
(2) fear
(3) desire
(4) faith

The couplet in lines 13 and 14 of the sonnet serves as

(1) an exaggeration
(2) a clarification
(3) a summation
(4) an allusion

Correct answers (top to bottom): 1, 4, 3, 3

To see an explanation of correct answers, and how the questions relate to the Common Core standards, click here p. 12 of PDF file at the bottom of the page.