My sophomores took the Response to Literature test today, and too many didn't finish writing the fourth essay in the 70 minute time frame. But, they told me how they answered the first three, rife with quotations and explanation to fill up each page provided. They felt great about what they had written, but depressed that they hadn't finished in the time frame.
The test asks the students to read a short story, anywhere from 5-7 pages, and then answer four questions including initial thoughts and questions, character change, thematic connections, and successful literature. Connecticut gives them 70 minutes. Why not provide them with 90 minutes, or really, as much time as they need to demonstrate their learning. I felt sad for them because I know what they know, and it is enough to pass the exam.