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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2011, High School Technology/Engineering

  Question 44: Open-Response  
The illustration below shows three major components of a fiberoptic cable.
Fiberoptic cable showing three major components: protective coating, cladding, and core.
  1. Describe the function of the core and the function of the cladding.
In recent years, fiberoptic cable has been replacing copper wire as a means of transmitting communication signals.
  1. Describe the difference between the signals that are transmitted by fiberoptic cable and those transmitted by copper wire.
The core in a fiberoptic cable can be made of plastic or glass.
  1. Identify two advantages of using plastic instead of glass in a fiberoptic cable.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

4 Response demonstrates a thorough understanding of fiberoptic technologies. The response correctly describes the functions of the core and the cladding of a fiberoptic cable, correctly describes the difference between signals transmitted by a fiberoptic cable and signals transmitted by a copper wire, and correctly identifies two advantages of using plastic instead of glass in a fiberoptic cable.
3 Response demonstrates a general understanding of fiberoptic technologies.
2 Response demonstrates a limited understanding of fiberoptic technologies.
1 Response demonstrates a minimal understanding of fiberoptic technologies.
0 Response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

In 2011, the Department did not release any questions from the high school Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests.
This was done in order to support the future development of tests in these subjects.

Return to the MCAS 2011 Student Work Directory

Last Updated: March 11, 2015
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