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Posts Tagged ‘final countdowns’

The basics of the Regents Exam: You will take a three-hour examination on June 17th, beginning promptly at 8:15 am in the high school gymnasium.  You must arrive by 8:00 am to find your seat and prepare to write.  You will need pens and pencils; everything else, including scrap paper, will be provided when you settle into your seats in the gym.

As you review for Friday’s exam, you might also benefit from using the following website, which provides Regents prep for free: Regents Review 2.0.

This post covers Part 3 and Part 4 of the exam; it also includes scores and feedback for the four-part reflective adversarial you completed while taking the practice exam between 5/31 and 6/9.

Part 3: Paragraphing Writing and Literary Analysis

Part 4: Essay Writing and Literary Analysis

Period 1 students will be able to see their Part 4 essay scores online Monday morning; all students will receive these essays back then for review and further discussion.

A quick note on this specific critical lens: In Animal Farm, the idea of suffering or overcoming suffering plays out over ten chapters, not one; if you wrote only about the animals rebellion in the beginning, you failed to demonstrate an understanding of the plot, its themes, and its conflicts.  Using only the first chapter or so suggests that you only read the first chapter or so.  If you had read further, you would most likely use the suffering of the animals under the pigs’ rule; you would discuss the ending of the novel, I hope, and probably use it to contradict the idea of overcoming suffering.

A few of you commented that you didn’t know how to write a critical lens essay.  Ignore what the essay is called; you know how to write, so it doesn’t matter if your prompt asks for a critical lens interpretation or an expository report.  You’ve done a lot of literary analysis.  And you know what to do if you feel confused: Read the requirements and directions, noting any specific necessities (e.g., you must use two works of literature on a critical lens essay); write a thesis statement that answers the prompt; outline your response; develop each paragraph’s main idea, connecting it back to the thesis; and then double-check your work for errors.

Good writing is about meaning and detail, not filling in the blanks of some ugly and robotic formula.  You should use models and examples, just like we have all year, but give yourself the freedom to approach English tests, even those designed by a cold and unfeeling Board of Education, as exercises in critical thinking and insightful writing.  You can do that.  You don’t need to be given or to regurgitate lockstep test-taking strategies.

Reflective adversarial scores and feedback: You can load your scores (organized by student number) below.  Through the Student Portal, you can see if you were one of the few students to lose points; if you were caught playing games repeatedly in the computer lab, or if you otherwise failed to follow instructions repeatedly, those notations will accompany your final grade for the assignment.  All of you should take the time to revisit each post and read your peers’ comments.  Consider especially the discussion of possible works of literature for Part 4 of the Regents Exam.

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