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MFT Prep - Question Style

September 9, 2021

The English Department at Southern Adventist University works toward the highest standards of academic achievement in English studies.

One measure of these standards is the Major Fields Test in literature. The Department requires majors to take this standardized examination, but the Department also prepares you to take this examination.

ELIT 490 – Senior Capstone is taken in the last semester of the senior year. This course consists of writing, portfolio preparation, oral assessment, and review for the MFT.

A key source in the course is The Princeton Review’s Cracking the GRE Literature in English Subject Test. This well-recognized self-help book is invaluable to students of English.

In this blog, English Matters, we will use this book as a basis for guiding you to achieving the 50th percentile or better on the MFT. In the past, a few students have achieved the 99th percentile. Most students achieve well above the 50th percentile. The Department is happy to see students demonstrating their knowledge of literatures in English.

In today’s blog, we will examine the sorts of questions that appear in the GRE. The GRE is taken by students going on to graduate studies in English literature and is similar to the MFT, which is an exam designed to measure the knowledge of thousands of English majors across the country, many of whom are not going on to graduate school.

Knowledge of and preparation for exams like the GRE and the MFT can help raise scores significantly.

A basic question on the GRE will ask you to read a passage of literature and then answer one or more multiple-choice questions.

Here is a made-up sample:

It was a dark and stormy night, and Amanda the authoress was pondering her next novel. She had written four so far, but none of them had been a success. She felt depressed about this situation, but jubilant at the thought that book number five could be the one. Her emotions were raw and liable to quick change.

Question: Which of the following terms would best apply to this passage?

  1. Self-referential
  2. Onomatopoeic
  3. Hyperbolic
  4. Gothic
  5. Arabesque

Answer: A, self-referential

The key to answering this question is the process of elimination. Answers A, C, and D could possibly be right. Answer A is the best answer because the passage is clearly self-referential.