As preparation for our test today, I ask students to gather needed materials for text structure and language use, including notes and any previous assignments they feel would be useful.
Why allow notes? This is a skills test, meaning there is no way to "memorize" answers or "copy" answers from notes. It's all about application. Besides, in the real world, most professions don't ask workers to complete tasks without the ability to refer to manuals or other helpful tools.
At long last, it is test day for the skills related to language use and text structure. Students have this class period to show me what they can do with a new text.
The test itself is scaffolded to help students fully meet the standards. I could simple say, "Analyze and evaluate the text for structure." If I did this, students would probably do one but not the other; for some reason, directions given in pairs are rarely followed thoroughly. Plus, students have worked with the standards in this same format all through the unit. I also give students a text by a familiar author, Emerson, so the style and content is not brand new.