The social studies test that some Queens students took twice

The principal who allowed her fifth-graders to re-take parts of the state social studies test told the Times that she had a good reason for doing so. The students, she said, had somehow failed to answer entire sections of the test.

How is that possible? While the Department of Education prepares an official investigation, we thought we’d look at the test itself.

A low-stakes annual exam that’s the first in a battery of social studies tests that students take between fifth and eighth grade, the 2009 test is divided into two booklets. Booklet 1 has multiple choice questions and questions that require short written answers. Booklet 2 has “document-based questions” that require short written answers and an essay. The existence of each booklet and all three parts is clearly stamped on the front page of Booklet 1.

Here’s each booklet in turn:

And Booklet 2: