Tough questions New York's 3rd-graders had to answer on a statewide English Language Arts test

The New York State Department of Education has released a sampling of the 2015 Common Core standardised test questions given to third- through eighth-grade students this year.

The exam is considered by some to be the toughest standardised test in the US and has raised questions from testing experts about whether it’s too difficult, The New York Times reported.

That echoes similar concerns voiced by New York State parents earlier this year that the tests contain puzzling questions and that test preparation takes up too much of their children’s valuable time. New York saw record numbers of students opt out of tests this year.

The third-grade English Language Arts exam included a reading excerpt followed by multiple choice or short-response questions.

Take a look below at some of the more difficult ELA questions with the percentage of statewide students who answered correctly. Go to the Department of Education site to download the questions or to see the entire reading passage.

The correct answer is C; 78% of students answered correctly.

For the next question, read the paragraphs then answer the question.

Paragraph 2: But the real dig wasn’t at all what he’d expected. For starters, he wasn’t even digging. “No shovels,” Dave, the paleontologist in charge, told them. “Any dinosaur bones buried here should be within a couple of feet of the surface. We don’t want to risk clunking around and breaking them.” Then he’d handed out ice picks and paint brushes and showed everyone how to chip and brush away sand and dirt, slowly and carefully, a little bit at a time.

Paragraph 7: Dave nodded. “Yep,” he agreed. “It’s hard work. Sometimes paleontologists and fossil hunters look for weeks without finding anything. And we hardly ever find a whole skeleton.” He added, “You know, Ben, if you’re tired of searching, you can always help someone else on the crew.”

The correct answer is B; 54% of students answered correctly.

The correct answer is A; 49% of students answered correctly.

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