EOCT Study Guide
• All questions are multiple choice
• Each section of the American Literature
EOCT contains 40 questions; there are 2
sections with a total of 80 questions
• Each EOCT has two sections and
students are given 60 minutes per section
• A student’s EOCT score is averaged as
15% of his/her final grade
Preparing for the EOCT
• Know your study skills habits
• Practice good time management skills by setting
realistic goals, studying for reasonable amounts
of time, establishing a routine and studying the
most challenging things first.
• Be organized- establish a study area with
minimal distractions and gather materials in
• Actively participate while studying, it makes the
information stick with you. Create sample test
questions, ask yourself questions or rewrite the
Test-taking Strategies
• Start now- don’t wait until the last
minute to prepare for the test.
• Prepare a little each day by practicing
the skills that will be measured by the
• Determine what skills you need to
master and focus on those skills.
The day before the EOCT
• Review the general test-taking
• Get a good night’s sleep- most people
need at least 8 hours
• Don’t drastically alter your routine- if
you go to bed too early, you might lie
in bed and focus on the test.
• Relax!
The morning of the EOCT
• Eat a good breakfast! Peanut butter, meat
and eggs are good choices.
• Dress in layers to make certain you will not
be too hot or cold during the test.
• Arrive on time for the test. You do not want
to be rushed and anxious.
Focus on the test
Budget your time
Take a quick break if you feel tired
Use positive self-talk
Mark in your test booklet
Read the entire question and answers
Use what you know
TOP TEN (Cont.)
• Use content specific strategies to
answer the questions
• Think logically
• Check your answers- go back and
check your work when you are finished!
Content Domains on EOCT
1. Reading and
American Literature
2. Reading Across the
Speaking and Viewing
3. Writing
4. Conventions
Studying the Content Domains
• Reading passages: Domains 1 and 2 will
be based on informational and literary
• Informational passages (nonfiction) will
share knowledge and convey messages.
Examples include letters, biographical
accounts, etc.
• Literary passages (fiction) will tell a story
or express an idea. Examples include
short stories, novels, poetry, etc.
Content Doman 1:
Reading and American Literature
EOCT Review – 11th Grade
Standard 1
“Identify, analyze, and apply
knowledge of the structures and
characteristics of American
fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and
drama and provide evidence from
the work to support
• You will be presented with a selection from
the following types of passages:
Official documents
Expository (informational)
Narrative (fiction/nonfiction)
Literary Devices: Terms to KNOW
Metaphor (regular/extended)
Literary Devices: Terms to KNOW
Fiction: Terms to KNOW
• Chronological – story is arranged in order of
time from beginning to end
• Epistolary Novel – novel written in the form
of letters, journals, diary entries, letters etc.
• Frame Narrative – a story told within in a
• In medias res – Latin for “in the middle of
things” – the novel begins with a significant
moment, this style uses flashbacks to fill in
the details
Influences on American Literature
• You will be asked to relate American
Literature to the following:
– Historical setting
– Other works of fiction or nonfiction
– Greek/Roman myths – roots of literature
Sample Question
• What quote by Henry David Thoreau
BEST reflects transcendentalist ideals?
A. It is never too late to give up your prejudices.
B. Beware of all enterprises that require new
C. On tops of mountains, as everywhere to
hopeful souls, it is always morning.
D. Read the best books first, or you may not
have a chance to read them at all.
• C. On tops of mountains, as
everywhere to hopeful souls, it is
always morning.
• Explanation – Transcendentalists
believed in the unity of all things, the
innate goodness of humans, and the
divinity found in nature.
Sample Question
• Which statement BEST describes a main
difference between journals and diaries?
A. A journal is more likely than a diary to be
B. A journal mostly contains secret thoughts
and feelings.
C. A diary mostly records a specific event or
period of time.
D. A diary is more formal and carefully written
than a journal.
• A. A journal is more likely than a diary to
be published.
• Explanation: The other answers confuse
the two genres. “A” is the only choice that
correctly describes a main difference
between journals and diaries. Because
they are less private, journals are more
likely to be shared with others.
Poetry: Terms to KNOW
• Rhyme
End Rhyme
Internal Rhyme
Slant Rhyme
• Rhyme Scheme
– Fixed form
– Free form
– Blank verse
Poetry: Terms to KNOW
• Subject matter
Narrative – tells a story
Ballad – narrative poem, folk origin,
intended to be sung
Lyric – expresses a person’s
thoughts or feelings
Figurative Language: Terms to
These types of figurative language are often
found in poetry, but can be found in many
genres of literature.
• Allusion
• Conceit
• Metonymy
• Synecdoche
Drama: Terms to KNOW
Political drama
Modern drams
Theatre of the Absurd
Dramatic conventions
Fourth Wall
Dramatic Irony
Stage directions
Standard 2
“Identifies, analyzes, and applies
knowledge of theme in a work of
American Literature and provides
evidence from the work to support
Terms and Idea to KNOW
• Terms
– Main idea
– Theme
– Universal theme
• Big Ideas
– American individualism
– American dream
– Cultural diversity
– Tolerance
Native American Period,
 Based on oral tradition of songs and
 Focuses on:
1) The natural world
2) The sacred world
3) Importance of land and place
Colonial Period, 1620-1750
 Focuses on Lives
of Puritans
1) Moral and religious
2) Historical events
3) Daily life
4) Political unrest
Major Authors
William Bradford
Anne Bradstreet
Jonathan Edwards
Benjamin Franklin
Revolutionary Period, 17501815
 Focuses on:
1) Intellect
2) Age of
3) Justification of
the American
4) Nationalism
5) Patriotism
Major Authors
Thomas Paine
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Franklin
Romanticism and
Transcendentalism, 18001855
 Focuses on:
1) Reason and rational
1) Individualism
2) Nature
3) Imagination
4) Emotions
 Major Authors:
1) Washington Irving
2) Nathaniel
3) Edgar Allen Poe
4) Walt Whitman
5) Ralph Waldo
6) Henry David
Realism, 1850-1900
Focuses on:
Realities of life
Human frailty
Regional cultures
Major Authors:
Mark Twain
Ambrose Pierce
Emily Dickinson
Stephen Crane
Willa Cather
Naturalism, 1880-1940
 Focuses on:
1) Viewing life as a set of
natural laws to be
2) Characters studied by
their relations to their
surroundings (luck,
heredity, environment)
Major Authors:
Jack London
Theodore Dreiser
James T. Farrell
Frank Norris
Modern Period, 1900-1950
 Focuses on:
1) Disillusionment
with old ways
2) Themes of
3) Experiments with
new techniques
4) Irony, symbolism,
5) Harlem
 Major authors:
1) F. Scott
2) T.S. Eliot
3) Ernest Hemingway
4) Langston Hughes
5) Zora Neale
Possible Questions on Literary
Which detail from the passage informs
the reader of the time period?
The poem is characteristic of which
period in American Literature
Which characteristics of the Modern
Period are found both in the story and
the poem?
Identifying Style Devices
Example of style device:
Tone—overall sense of author’s
attitude toward the subject matter
What are the tones in the
following excerpts?
The woman trudged through the heavy snow,
struggling against the wind, her face shielded by a
thick gray scarf. She kept her face down, her
eyelids nearly closed, dark slits in a pale white
face. Her shoulders sagged as if laden with a heavy
burden, yet her arms were empty.
The woman danced across the snow, her feet barely
leaving prints, her arms lifted upward, embracing the
She flung back her head and tossed her red hat into
the air, lifting her face into the driving snow and
allowing the snowflakes to caress her skin.
Identifying New Vocabulary
Questions for this standard will ask
you to understand and acquire new
vocabulary terms that are appropriate
fro high school students.
Identifying New Vocabulary,
Be familiar with the following terms:
Idioms: phrases or expressions peculiar
to a particular language
Example: A person who looks like the
cat who swallowed a canary is satisfied
with something that has happened. She
has not literally swallowed a canary.
Identifying New Vocabulary,
Cognates: words that have the same
origin or are related in some way to
words in other languages
Example of Cognates:
Identifying New Vocabulary,
 Denotation—dictionary definition of a word
 Connotation—meaning or idea associated with
a word
Examples of denotation and connotation:
Laugh and giggle have similar denotations;
however, the word giggle has youthful
connotations. We associate “giggle” with
children and not adults.
Content Domain II
Your answers to the questions will help show how well you can perform on the
following standards:
• Acquire new vocabulary in each content area and use it correctly
• Establish a context for information acquired by reading across subject areas
• Evaluate the messages and effects of mass media
Read the following selection and try
to figure out what the word
truncated means.
Everyone could tell it had once been a huge tree.
The roots at its base were as large as a grown
person. When the tree died, someone had used a
chainsaw to cut away most of the tree. All that
was left was a truncated stump of wood. The
stump made a picnic table that could seat eight
people around it comfortably
As it is used in this Paragraph , the word
truncated most nearly means
A modified
B added
C shortened
D replaced
– Use the Words Around It
When you are faced with an unknown word, go
back to the passage. Start reading two
sentences before the word appears, and
continue reading for two sentences afterwards. If
that doesn’t give you enough clues, look
elsewhere in the passage. By reading the
context in which the word appears, you may be
able to make an educated guess
How a word is used in a sentence can also determine its
meaning. If the context of the word changes, the meaning
of the word can also change. This change can be very
basic, such as a word being used as a noun in one sentence
and a verb in the next.
Set as a noun: That is a lovely set of dinner plates.
Set as a verb: Please set the books down on the table.
However, a change in meaning can be subtler. Look at the
word shrieked in the next two sentences, and notice how
the meaning of the word changes slightly.
Sentence 1: “There’s a monster in the house!” the woman
Sentence 2: “I just won 65 million dollars!” the woman
In the first sentence, the woman shrieks out of fear. In the
second sentence, the shriek is one of extreme excitement and
happiness. The context of the sentence has determined whether
the shriek is good or bad.
Items written for this standard will ask you to
relate common human experiences to a given
For example, a sample passage might be an excerpt from
Sandra Cisneros’ The Houseo n Mango Street, which
describes the coming of age of Esperanza, a young
Hispanic girl trying to find her place in the Chicago
neighborhood in which she lives. The passage might
describe the incident when Esperanza tries to eat in the
same eatery as the children who go to her school but
who don’t live in her poor neighborhood. She discovers
that she is not welcomed there and this makes her feel
ashamed. A reader need not be a young Hispanic girl
growing up in the barrios of Chicago to identify with
Esperanza’s feelings of hurt.
Which life experience would MOST improve a
reader’s ability to identify with the main
character in the passage?
A discrimination
B misfortune
C failure
D disappointment
A reader who has experienced any sort of discrimination could
identify with the character in this story
.Choice A is correct. It is the life experience most closely related to
this excerpt.
Good readers usually try to understand the
characters better by empathizing, or
identifying with their thoughts and feelings.
Empathizing with the characters helps
stories come alive, and it gives readers
more insight into the motivations of the
characters and how they influence each
Context is also helpful in identifying the meaning of
words that are being used indifferent subjects. For
example, in science class the word revolution refers to a
planet’s complete turn around the Sun. In social studies
class, a revolution is a complete upheaval in
government or society. The context of the passage will
help you decide which meaning is appropriate in the
Plug It In
To answer questions for this standard, look
at the answer choices. Does one seem
the most likely? Try “plugging” it in the
sentence to replace the word in the
question. Does the word from the answer
choice make sense in the sentence?
If so, it is probably the correct answer. If
not, try plugging in another answer choice.
What is Mass Media?
Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and Web
sites are all different channels through which
Americans can receive information. Taken together,
all these different modes of communication—
television, radio, newsprint, etc.— are often referred
to as mass media.
Common Modes of Rhetoric
1. Narration. Narrative writing tells a
story. This story can be true (like a
firsthand account in a magazine article)
or completely made up (a short story with
talking dragons). Narrative writing
usually has a story with a plot, a climax,
and a resolution of events in the story.
2. Description
As its name suggests, descriptive writing uses language to
describe a person, place, or thing. Descriptive writing is often
filled with colorful, precise language, since the goal of good
descriptive writing is to make a person, place, or thing come alive
in the mind of a reader. A character sketch—a picture of a person
captured in words—is one example of descriptive writing.
3. Persuasion
Persuasive writing is designed to influence the
reader’s thoughts in someway. Politicians use
persuasive speeches to convince voters to cast
their ballots for them. Editorials in local
newspapers are written to convince readers that
one particular viewpoint is better than the other.
4. Exposition
Expository writing is used to provide information
on a topic or to explain something. A common
encyclopedia entry is a good example of expository
Types of Arguments
Arguments= facts or assertions offered as proof
that something is true
•Argument by authority relies on statements from
authority figures, experts, or professionals to
convince you of something.
•Argument by emotion appeals to your feelings.
•Argument by logic is an appeal to reason and
evidence to convince you of something.
Match the following examples to
the appropriate type of argument
Relief organizations showing pictures of people in very
unfortunate situations to move you to donate money to their
B. “People who have used our product have lost weight. You want to
lose weight. If you buy this product, you will lose weight.”
C. An advertisement claiming that three out of four dentists agree that
this toothpaste is the best
American Literature
EOCT Review
Content Domain III:
What does the EOCT cover?
• Organize a writing sample
• Demonstrate ability to convey information
and ideas from primary and secondary
• Use research and technology to support
• Use the writing process to develop, revise,
and evaluate writing
The Test
• Apply knowledge about grammar, usage,
and style to create an organized writing
sample that:
– Engages the reader
– Maintains a coherent focus
– Signals closure
• Tested on a variety of passages
– Letters, reports, essays, journals, and
newspaper articles
Finding the Main Idea
• Thesis or Main idea – primary message of
a piece of writing
• Main idea can be found
– In title
– The thesis statement
– The conclusion
• Subordinate, or supporting ideas can be
– Topic sentence of each paragraph
– Body paragraphs
Every Paper Needs Evidence!
• Evidence will support the main and
subordinate ideas
• Evidence might include
– Ancedotes
– Descriptions
– Facts
– Statistics
EOCT Questions
• Questions may look like these:
– Which sentence does NOT fit with the main
idea of the report?
– Which sentence is the BEST thesis for this
• Common ways to organize a passage
– Chronological order
– Cause and effect
– Compare and contrast
– Asking and answering questions
• Writer’s choice in structure depends on the
point they want to make.
Nuts and Bolts of Effective Writing
• Good writers use precise language
– Use action verbs rather than passive voice
• Active voice – subject of the sentence acts
– Ex. – A man wearing jeans and a baseball cap robbed the bank
and stole its money
• Passive voice – subject of the sentence is acted upon buy
the verb (look for “by”)
– Ex. – Money was stolen from the bank by a man wearing jeans
and a baseball hat.
• Questions on the EOCT
– Finding the best topic sentence, concluding sentence,
identifying a sentence that is out of sequence, or one
that is unrelated to the topic
Choose the BEST Answer
• You will come across answers that are
• You need to find the BEST Answer
• Don’t mark your final answer until you
have read ALL of the answer choices!!!
Demonstrate ability to convey
information and ideas from sources
• You will be asked to choose the best
sentences to:
– Engage the audience, develop a controlling
idea, summarize a passage, provide detailed
information in style and tone
• Passages will be
– Informational reports, articles, or essays
• Could be tested on rhetorical devices
– Repetition, analogy
Identify and Use Rhetorical
• Parallelism
– repetition of similar parts of a sentence
• Ex – “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
• Repetition
– Part of parallelism
– may repeat words or phrases throughout a
literary piece
• Analogy
– Like a simile, compares two items
– Can be more extensive than a simile
Use Research and Technology to
Support Writing
• Questions will test your ability to choose the best
sources and methods for researching a topic
• Steps in the Research Process
– Deciding on a topic – not too broad or too narrow
– Locate Primary and Secondary Sources
• Primary Source – records of events by people who participated in
or witnessed the events
– Ex – English paper, author’s work, personal interviews, and news
paper accounts
• Secondary Source – records of events by people who did not
– Ex – textbook, literary reviews, and criticisms
– Paraphrasing Information – putting the information you
read and writing it in your own words
• Is taking someone else’s words or ideas
and presenting them as your own.
• Questions related to this topic might ask
you to select the correct way to quote
material from sources
Organizing and Recording
• Recording information on note cards is a great way to
keep information organized
• Anecdotal scripting – term for recording the events in a
literary work
– List or timeline of the events
• Annotated Bibliography
Brief summary of the work – include thesis & main idea
Evaluation of the work – authors background knowledge
Intended audience – for whom is the book written?
Evaluation of usefulness – will it help with your research?
• Other systems of organization
– Outlines, mindmaps, charts, and graphs
Identifying and Analyzing
• Questions will ask about appropriate
sources for research and tests your ability
to choose the best written or electronic
source to use in researching a topic
• Reference Materials – informative,
nonfiction resources, like a dictionary, or
electronic source (ie Galileo)
• Helpful to know the parts of a book and
the function of each part
Documenting Your Sources
• Cite the source when you use information
from another source
• Bibliography contains all the works you
consulted during your research
• Works Cited only documents the works
you have specifically referenced in your
Use the writing process to develop,
revise, and evaluate writing
• Questions will focus on recognizing the best
revisions to poor writing
• Asked to rewrite awkwardly worded sentences,
misplaced modifiers, and errors in sentence
• Steps in the writing process
Prewriting – gathering ideas, organizing thoughts
Drafting – creating the rough draft
Revising and Editing – making improvements
Proofreading – polishing the paper
Publishing – sharing your finished paper
Trust Yourself
• Don’t be afraid to trust your ear and make
an educated guess
• You can often “hear” a problem even if you
can’t explain exactly what is wrong with
the sentence
Ability to Revise for Audiences and
• Understanding who the intended audience
is will help you understand the purpose of
the writing
• Understanding your audience also helps
you use appropriate language
– Choose between formal and informal
– Formal is grammatically precise, contains
longer sentences
– Informal not always grammatically accurate,
may use slang words or phrases
Who is your Audience?
• Consider the situation and audience
• The goal is to match the formality or the
situation and audience with the formality of
the writing
• Good writers adjust vocabulary, style, and
tone to fit their intended audiences
• Questions will ask you to determine
appropriate language for a particular
Study Ideas for the EOCT!
• Be able to recognize good writing and
understand the importance of audience
and purpose
• Practice researching a topic
• Find a variety of reference materials,
review and compare their contents
Content Domain IV
Test Question will do the following
• Test your ability to demonstrate
understanding and control of the rules of
the English language.
• test your ability to apply conventions of
Standard American English to formal
manuscript requirements.
Demonstrate understanding of
Standard American English
• Topics you can expect to see
– Main and subordinate clauses
– Gerund, participle, and infinitive phrases
– Punctuation marks
– Verb tense consistency and agreement
– Proper placement of modifiers
– Precise word choice
– Spelling
– Parallel structure
A closer look at Phrases
• Gerund phrase: combines a gerund with the
object of the gerund or other modifiers. A
gerund is a verb uses as a noun, with an –ing
• Participle phrase: includes a participle and the
object of the participle. A participle is a form of a
verb but does not act as a verb – it acts as an
adjective, often ends in –ing or –ed.
• Infinitive phrase: Includes an infinitive and any
modifiers or complements. An infinitive is always
a verb with to in front of it. It can serve as a
noun, adjective, or adverb.
Example – why are the wrong
answers wrong?
What is the correct way to write the following
A. Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper,
and then had taking a break.
B. Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper,
and then takes a break.
C. Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper,
and then took a break.
D. Teresa studied for an hour, outlined her paper,
and then will take a break.
• The previous question also tested
• Parallelism states that objects linked
together have to be similar in tense and
• So studied, outlined and taking are not
parallel – taking should be took – because
all three verbs should be past tense.
Apply conventions of Standard
American English to Formal manuscript
• This section will focus on how well you
know formatting requirements for
• These questions may ask about things like
pagination, spacing, and margins.