4th grade too tough for me?

May is my dumbest month. Oh, I don’t feel too smart most months. April isn’t good, but May is the worst. By the middle of the month, I’m wondering how I ever got out of elementary school.

It’s all my wife’s fault. Jenny starts fretting about how her fourth graders are going to do on the state language test, something called the MCT. She starts looking up practice questions and making practice tests, gearing up for the real thing, which is being given this week.
Looking at the practice questions is depressing. I can answer some of them, but others are just a guess. Try your luck on these from the 2008 state language test:
1. Read the following dictionary entry: il-lu-mi-nate v 1: to supply or brighten with color 2: to make clear 3: to decorate with colors
Based upon the dictionary entry, which of the following sentences does not use the word illuminate correctly?
A. The lantern illuminated the patio.
B. The front door illuminated the house.
C. Margie likes to illuminate her art projects for school.
D. The footnotes illuminated the harder parts of the book.
2. Which word below does not represent a base word with an affix?
A. Champion
B. Editor
C. Nonsense
D. Overhead
3. Which of the following sentences uses specific descriptive details?
A. The girl walked inside the cafeteria carefully carrying her tray.
B. The girl moved through the cafeteria quietly holding her bright red tray.
C. The girl went very slowly inside the really big cafeteria and held her tray while she walked.
D. The girl weaved her way through the crowded cafeteria balancing her red tray in both hands.
4. Which of the following sentences uses a colon correctly?
A. For his birthday Daniel wants: a baseball glove, a football, and a joke book.
B. We have three kinds of trees in our front yard: an oak, a pine, and a pear.
C. My favorite kinds of dogs are: collies, poodles, and beagles.
D. I like desserts such as: cake, ice cream, and pudding.
5. Which of the following sentences correctly punctuates a title?
A. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a book that was made into a movie.
B. The ice cream truck is playing Turkey in the Straw over its speaker system.
C. “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty is an interesting story.
D. Shel Silverstein wrote a poem called Messy Room.
Here are the answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-B, 5-C. Had enough? If not, you can find the test online at mde.k12.ms.us.
It’s a good thing Jenny teaches fourth grade, not fifth or sixth. I bet those questions are even harder.
T. Wayne Mitchell, Gazette publisher, can be reached at 662-534-6321 or at publisher@newalbanygazette.com.