The Examination Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is Daiyun upset with Chen?

2. What does Hong learn about Ye Pan?

3. From where is Chen returning?

4. Why does the Magistrate let the boys go with no punishment?

5. What does a grocer advise Chen after the second session of exams?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where does Hong find Ye Pan and what does he do before delivering the letter? What does Ye Pan do when he sees Hong?

2. What happens after Chen is shown to his testing cubicle?

3. What surprises Hong when the boys leave on their journey and how does Chen feel about it?

4. What did Chen need in order to take the first examination and how did he get it?

5. Who has tutored Chen and what type of examinations has he passed at the beginning of the book? What is he now called in China?

6. What happens as the brothers leave Ma's home?

7. What does Ye Pan tell Hong when Hong gives him the letter? What does he invite Hong to do?

8. What test taker treats the brothers to tea and what does he tell Chen about the examination?

9. What does Shen Ding explain to Chen about the grading of the exams?

10. Who is suspicious of the brothers, why and what does he intend to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "The Examination" is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

In the world of academia, historical fiction is often considered an inferior form of the novel compared to "classic" literature. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think historical fiction might be considered second-rate compared to the classics?

2. Do you think historical fiction has the same elements as the classics? Why or why not?

3. What are the purposes do you think for people reading "the classics"? What are the purposes for people reading historical fiction? Is one purpose better than another? Explain your response.

4. Would you read historical fiction even outside an educational setting? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Most protagonists are a mixture of admirable traits and character flaws, and Lao Chen is no exception. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze situations when Chen demonstrates his prodigious powers intellect. Give specific examples to illustrate your analysis.

2. Trace and analyze Chen's character flaws offering specific examples of these flaws in your discussion.

3. Discuss how you think Chen's admirable traits helped him obtain a high position in the government despite his background as a child. Have his flaws impacted his career at all? Do any of those around him seem to notice these flaws? Who? How does the reader know this?

(see the answer keys)

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