Open-ended questions are an essential part of the HSPA exam you will be taking in 11th grade. Don’t worry, open-ended questions are easy to answer if you follow the correct formula.
First, what is an open-ended question? An open-ended questions are usually given to the test taker after reading a passage. There will be a statement usually followed by two bullet pointed questions.
Ex. In Dead Man’s Walk, Bigfoot Wallace has a dream about Gomez and Buffalo Hump.
- In his dream, what are the two of them doing?
- Why might the two war chiefs be doing this?
How do they want me to answer an open-ended question? The HSPA people are nice enough to give out a booklet with a checklist of the things for which their exam graders look. Here is that list:
- Restate the Question
- Include the author of the story and the title of the story/book/poem/etc.
- Provide evidence from the text (quote)
- Relate the story (question) to a personal example or an example from literature/movies/etc.
- Answer all the questions
How do I apply it? Well it’s very easy. For every bullet point, write a paragraph.
But of what does a paragraph consist? Here is the simple formula, which I will explain later.
Restate the question and add your answer (main idea).
Provide the name of the author and title of article/story Provide an example from the text which proves that your answer is correct.
Explain how your example from the text proves that your answer (main idea) is true.
Restate the question and add your answer.
Provide an example from your life or movies/literature.
Explain how your example relates to the story/answer (main idea).
The formula is rather simple and, if you follow it, not only will you have done everything on the checklist, you probably have gotten a 3 or a 4 on it (which are very good scores).