Free VRA Exam Overview

The Virginia Reading Assessment (commonly known as the VRA exam) is administered to prospective early childhood, elementary, and special education teachers in the public school system of the state of Virginia. In some cases, it may be mandatory for other teachers.

The VRA exam measures the candidate's knowledge and skill with regard to Standard English. The VRA exam is consistent with the English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools and the standards established by the National Reading Panel. The difficulty level of the questions is meant to be appropriate for entry-level teaching professionals.

There are two different tests in the VRA program: the VRA exam for Elementary and Special Education Teachers and the VRA exam for Reading Specialists. The VRA exam for Elementary and Special Education Teachers measures knowledge in phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. It consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and 4 constructed-response assignments. Constructed-response assignments are extended exercises in composition and personal expression. The VRA exam for Reading Specialists has the same content focus, but is composed of 90 multiple-choice questions and two constructed-response assignments. The constructed-response assignments are based on a case study, in which a scenario is described and the test-taker must outline an instructional strategy.

The scoring of the VRA exam is based on the raw score, or number of questions answered correctly. This score is placed on a scale ranging from 100 to 300. The minimum passing scores are 235 on the VRA exam for Elementary and Special Education Teachers and 244 on the VRA exam for Reading Specialists. The official score report will summarize performance in each area of the test. If you do not pass the test on your first try, you can retake it as many times as is necessary.

Free VRA Practice Questions

1. An author visits a classroom and talks about her historical novel, which the students have read. Which of the following activities could the author use to MOST effectively promote learning by integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing?

a. Use a map to show the historical locations, discuss the novel with the students, and ask students to write a brief synopsis and share it with their classmates.
b. Ask the students to reread the novel at a later time and talk to their classmates about it.
c. Have students listen to the author speak about the novel.
d. Ask students to design a different cover for the book and share it with their classmates.

2. A high school English teacher is trying to work across disciplines to assist a chemistry student with the scientific vocabulary. The chemistry student is also an English Language Learner. What could both the English and chemistry teachers suggest to help him improve his chemistry vocabulary MOST effectively?

a. Use a glossary of chemistry terms developed by the chemistry teacher for each chapter of the textbook, and discuss these terms with the student as the relevant chapters are referenced.
b. Assign a specific number of scientific terms for the student to look up in a scientific dictionary and share with the class.
c. Explain the scientific terms to this student as concepts are presented and related experiments performed.
d. Ask the student to look for context to define difficult scientific words, and have the student record the definitions in a notebook.

3. The English teacher asked English Language Learners to write several paragraphs about their countries in both English and their native languages, and to read these brief essays to the class. This exercise would help the students MOST by

a. generating respect for the language backgrounds of other people.
b. showing them that they can write and read in both languages.
c. allowing them to overcome fear of speaking in class.
d. fostering pride in their own language backgrounds.

4. From which languages do we get MOST of the origins of our English words?

a. Latin, Greek, and French
b. German, Dutch, and Polish
c. Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish
d. Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese

5. A number of verb forms are used in headlines. These include simple tenses, infinitive forms, and auxiliary verbs dropped in the passive voice. Which headline below uses a simple tense?

a. LOST DOG RETURNS
b. GOVERNOR TO VISIT CITY
c. GRADUATE NAMED VALEDICTORIAN
d. HERO GIVEN AWARD

Answer Key

1. A: is correct because it uses reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing to promote learning. B, C and D do not include all the methods.

2. C: is the MOST effective strategy because it relates concepts to experiments.

3. D: is correct because it would help the MOST. A is incorrect because it would not help the MOST. B is incorrect because it would not help the MOST. C is incorrect because it would not help the MOST.

4. A: is correct because Latin, Greek, and French provide MOST of the origins. B is incorrect because these languages do not provide MOST of the origins. C is incorrect because these languages do not provide MOST of the origins. D is incorrect because these languages do not provide MOST of the origins.

5. A: is correct because it uses a simple tense. B is incorrect because it uses the infinitive form. C is incorrect because it drops the auxiliary verb in the passive voice. D is incorrect because it drops the auxiliary verb in the passive voice

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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