DC CAS Corner

Test-taking Strategies that Work

Brief Constructed Response Tip Sheet

What do you do when you see a BCR–brief constructed response? Here’s a great template to help you practice and remember the RACER steps to creating an excellent BCR.

TIPs STRATEGY – Before you Read!

T – What can you figure out about the topic?

I – Consider background information

P – What is the purpose of this passage?

Q-A-R   Strategy

“Right There.” Right There questions require you to go back to the passage and find the correct information to answer the question.  These questions sometimes include the words “According to the passage….” “How many…” “Who is….” “Where is…” “What is…”

 “Think and Search” Think and Search” questions usually require you to think about how ideas or information in the passage are related to each other.  You will need to look back at the passage, find the information that the question refers to, and then think about how the information or ideas fit together.  “Think and Search” questions sometimes include the words “The main idea of the passage…” “What caused…”  “What does the statement…” “What is the effect…”

“Author and You” “Author and You” questions require to use ideas and information that is not stated directly in the passage to answer the question.  These questions require you to think about what you have read and formulate your own ideas or opinions.  “Author and You” questions sometimes include the words “The author implies…” “The passage suggests…” “The speaker’s attitude…

KATCH Reading Game Plan

Kill the text

  • Mark the text before you read and while you read
  • This includes highlighting and underlining

Ask questions

  • Before you read (Look at title, introduction and text features)
  • While you’re reading and answer those questions as you move through the text

Text features

  • Use text features to help you understand the text
  • Footnotes, introductions, pictures, etc…

Chunk the text

  • Summarize paragraphs as you read for longer texts

How do you know?

Vocabulary Game Plan

  1. What’s the word?
  2. What do you think it means? What’s the prefix?
  3. What does it mean? What’s the suffix?
  4. What does it mean? What’s the root word?
  5. What does it mean?
  6. What clues are in the sentence? paragraph? passage?
  7. What do they tell you about the word? What’s your guess?