Make your own free website on
hspa reading
working with ELL's
assessment Schedule: 2008
scoring methods
differentiated instruction
writing to speculate
writing to persuade
matrix of content clusters and skills
open-ened scoring rubric
clearinghouse reading research
"hot" reading strategies
adolescent literacy: research and practice
research-based instruction
leave no child behind
hspa reading
graphic organizer for open-ended questions
graphic organizers
"hot" lesson plans
"hot" graphic organizers
hspa reading tips
project based learning
n.j. core curriculum content standards
cumulative progress indicators
hspa resources

HSPA Reading: 

Two Text Types

  • Narrative
  • Persuasive

Narrative Passages:

Students have 50 minutes to:

  • Read between 2,100 to 3,300 words
  • Answer 10 multiple choice questions and
  • Write 2 open-ended responses


Persuasive Passages:

Students will have 45 minutes to:

  • Read between 1,000 to 1,600 words
  • Answer 10 multiple choice questions and
  • Write 2 open-ended responses


Scores for HSPA Reading:

Multiple Choice Questions:

  • Equal 56% of the total reading score
  • Each question is worth 10 points for a total possible of 20 points.

Open-Ended Questions/Responses:

  • Equal 44% of the total reading score***
  • Have a maximum value of 16 points possible.




Usually Consist of Two Parts:

  • First Bullet: usually a question that is "close to the text."
  • Second Bullet: inference level, "beyond the text," related to characters, or events in the story that the student needs to understand, or the world in general ( applying text to the outside world.)
  • Question Ends With:                                                      

"Use information from the text to support your answer."

*Source: Barbara King Shaver (2/00), (Workshop by Lynnda Williams presented by 10/00)

Here is an example from the NJPEP HSPA:

In paragraph 1, the author mentions "kings of steal, of petroleum, and all the other kings of the United States"

  • What criteria do you think he is using to distinguish "kings" from "other mortals"?
  • Does what he learns in his interview with the billionaire support or refute the idea of vast differences between such "kings" and "other mortals"?

Use information from the story to support your response.

12. Throughout the first six paragraphs of the narrative, the author uses simile to describe his so-called "kings".

  • Give examples of several similes employed by the author.
  • Explain why the author used the similes he did to describe men of vast wealth.
  • Are the similes appropriate? Why or why not?

Use information from the story to support your response.

NJPEP: Virtual Academy
Designed by the faculty at
FDU's School of Education in partnership with the consultants of IDE Corp.

Since open ended questions represent 44% of the total reading score, it is critical that students practice writing open-ended responses.   See teacher made graphic organizer you can use to practice writing open ended responses.