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Read comments on Test # 117 - English Language Arts and Reading 4-8

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Strategy #1

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: Let me just start off by saying this test is challenging! I had to study people! I did not pass my first test, I missed it by 5 questions. This was lack of poor studying habits on my part. I bought it all! I purchased the TExES secrets book, which is helpful with definitions. Certify Teacher is good for tests and how the question might be set up. 240Tutoring was also a good review. What helped me the most, was the study manual that the TExES website gives you. I took the practice several times, I also knew what each Comp was so when reading the questions I could identify what comp that would be and what should be done. So with all of that, I passed my second time with a 250, its not high but it is passing! Study people, know your definitions i.e. Structural Analysis, Phonemic, etc. I am the type of person who has to study, study, study, and if you are one of those people to give y ourself plenty of time. I recommend Quizlet for studying vocab. I used the match game to help with that! Know your stuff about verb agreement and simple things about poems and haiku!

Test: You get 5 hours, take your time read everything look for key words: Best, Least, most effective and go from there. Do them all, mark the ones for review that you question and go back and look at them. Go with your gut on answers. I have finally learned this!

Strategy #2

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used Certify Teacher and the Prep Manual on the ETS Website. I would definitely not take this test without using the Certify Teacher program.

Test: I took my test on a Friday and had my results back by the following Tuesday afternoon. I feel the test was harder than I had originally expected. It seemed that most questions always had two really great answer choices to choose from and it was hard to know for sure if you were making the correct selection. I would recommend studying no less than two weeks before your test date. Week one study anywhere from 3-5 hours per day. On your last week, be sure to study a minimum of five hours a day. Each day you should gain more and more confidence. Make sure you have a legitimate reason for picking your answer and are able to support that answer with not only your own logic, but the knowledge you have acquired over the years in school and through studying the prep manuals and other programs. I ended up passing my test with a 264! Good luck!

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the online material from the state website and studied everything that included ELAR. I also used "Language Arts: Integrating skills for Classroom Teaching," which was very resourceful and answered each competency. I studied for almost 2 months for 4-5 hours Monday-Friday. I studied each competency and made sure to make detailed flashcards. I became familiar with the questions by looking for the competency automatically. This strategy really helped me get through the exam.

Test: I read each question carefully and wrote down each phrase or word that I recognized from the competency. I ruled out the two wrong answers and focused on the right question. I got a little anxious at one point (around question 50), but I pressed through it because I knew this test was not going to beat me. After I completed 100 questions, I took a restroom break and pumped myself up to go and review my answers. There are many versions of the test, so I can tell you to make sure you know your competencies. I took my test on Wednesday and got my results on Friday. I completed the test within 4 hours and I am proud to say that I did pass the exam!

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I invested a lot of time and money when I prepared for the ELAR 4-8. I used the following programs/resources: Certify Teacher, Pass the TExES: comprehensive study guide (ed publishing), Texas teacher today's Courtney Schonfeld comprehensive study guide, the red book series from the TEA website, and the resources provided from the TExES website. I reviewed all materials multiple times and took numerous practice exams using Certify Teacher. I mostly used Certify Teacher and both comprehensive study guides to study from (Courtney Schonfeld and Pass the TExES). I used the TExES practice questions, but did not study the domains and competencies like everyone suggested. Personally, the domains and competencies were overwhelming and hard to understand. I studied for about two months (an hour a day the first few weeks, then upped the time to a few hours during the weekdays). I studied all domains and competencies offered in the exam and reading material.

Test: I was frustrated at the beginning of the test when I realized all the material I had studied was not on the test. All the material I had simply skimmed (under the impression it would not come up) was on the test. Once I got over my frustration and relaxed a bit, I realized I knew more than I thought. I used process of the elimination for all answers that I was familiar with. I guessed on the questions I did not know, since I could not use process of elimination. I took 2.5 hours to complete the test and did not review my answers (I went with my gut). I had most trouble with competencies four and six when reviewing my test scores. I received my scores in less than two days. I passed first go around with a 260/300. Use the scratch paper! Whatever you remember from studying, write it down. You memorize more than you think. Use the scratch paper when answering questions too; it helps with key words and process of elimination. Good luck!

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied for about a week and half prior to this test, however I had already taken and passed the EC-6 test a few weeks prior so I was not completely unfamiliar with this subject matter. I used Certify Teacher to get familiar with the way the test was structured. Being able to focus on one competency at a time was a huge help to me, but questions on Certify Teacher are repetitive despite their claim that every test is different. Every test may have different questions, but a lot of them are questions you have already answered. I was passing the practice exams with flying colors, but I felt it was a false confidence because I was beginning to remember the questions answers. I would still recommend it to get familiar with the test, but do not rely on it too heavily. I used; I felt there study guides were useful, but the questions do not reflect the actual exam question format. Finally, I reviewed the manual on the ETS website and took that practice test. It was the best of the resources, but I feel like all three of these materials helped me understand the material and the test format really well.

Test: The test is hard. It is hard to ever feel prepared enough for this test because of the "best answer" format. I could usually narrow down to two answers and then took my best guess. I answered the first 50 questions and marked the questions that I had no idea as I went. After I went through the first 50 questions, I went back to review each question. Then I took a break and left the room. Then I repeated the process to finish. All in all, I marked 18 that I did not know. When in doubt, choose the answer that supports collaborative learning, hands on activities, and teacher modeling when it comes to the "how to teach" questions and know your vocab. Grammar was not heavy on this test, but know your grammar terminology. I took my test on Tuesday and received my results Friday morning and passed with a 271! Good luck!

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the CertifyTeacher program, Quizlet and the ETS practice exam. If you do chose to use the Certify Teacher program, I do highly recommend taking the exams per competency. Once you are done answering, whether you are wrong or right, check your answer and description. The repetition will help you understand each competency. Use Quizlet to test and brush up on your vocabulary. I created my own, but other Quizlet members shared awesome study guides that helped greatly - just search TExES 117. From there, take the ETS exam and check what needs to be corrected. The ETS and Certify Teacher program will give you the gist of the layout and jargon used on the test. Nonetheless, this is more reading, which in turn means more time, but give yourself a good two hours per day for about a month and that's ample with the resources.

Test: The test was not very hard, mind you it was not easy. Each question had at least two answers that made sense. This is when I appreciated the extra reading from Certify Teacher. Make sure you know the different stages of reading, language and writing. The questions will include lots of vocabulary. Some that I recall: structural analysis, EMERGENT, phonemic awareness, assessments, metacognition, phonological awareness (know the differences) and fluency - just to name a few. Also, if you have difficulties understanding use YouTube as a source as well. Before you take the test, give yourself and brain time to rest. It helps as 4-5 hours is a long time to read. During the test, take a break half way if you can. Also, write down keywords. Hopefully, this will help you. I was rusty, but I passed and if I can, you definitely can. Best of luck.

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I only studied for 3 to 4 days prior to the exam. I took the practice tests on the website and then went over the preparation manual from TEA. I took those exams twice. The first time, I failed the one on the proprofs website and the other one I missed 12 questions out of 40, so I did ok. Finally, I retook the same practice tests and passed them both. I wrote down the competencies that I struggled with and went over and re-read those competencies. I realized they were going to make or break me when it came down to the real exam. The worst thing about it for me was not making enough time to study. I would recommend studying at least 2 weeks in advance if you really want to pass.

Test: The exam was almost exactly how the practice test from the preparation manual. You might want to study metacognitive strategies, morphemes, graphemes, inquiry and study skills questions, and re-read the competencies so they can stick. On the day of the test, try reducing the light on the computer screen because you will be looking at the same screen for a long time. It took me 3 hours and 20 minutes and I reviewed the questions I had marked. I came out of the exam confused about the questions, but felt a bit confident. I received my scores today and passed with a 258!

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I spent two weeks studying for the test. My primary resource was the XAMOnline book I purchased at Barnes and Noble (around $70 and completely worth it). I read every single page and continually reviewed the areas that I knew I had a more difficult time memorizing and recalling. The first week I spent reading the entire text, the second week I studied about 4 hours each day. I completed the sample test in the back and was just shy of passing, but it was still a useful tool and got me more familiar with the testing language. I use the free test on the TEA website the night before the test, which was the most accurate representation of what the real exam was like. I also purchased and used 240 tutoring and Certify Teacher, but didn't find those resources nearly as useful as the XAMOnline book.

Test: I completed all 100 questions in the first two hours, took a mental break, and spent another hour and a half reviewing all of the questions that I marked for "review". I marked anything that I felt I was less than 100% sure of; this meant 50/100 after my first run through. Going through the 50 a second time allowed me to feel more confident in my performance, but I still felt borderline about whether or not I passed when I left the testing center. I tested on a Friday morning and received my score (270) on Tuesday morning. Study the XAM text like crazy, get a good night sleep, be confident but don't rush and good luck!

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied for 4 weeks and used (CT) and (240T). I think CT was the best of the two study programs and worth the money. The questions and setup are exactly like the test. CT clearly identifies what questions come from what domains, which help you target your studying. For extra practice with fresh questions, I would buy 240T too. I spent under $100 total for both programs and ended up passing with ease the first time.

Test: The test is just like the tests on (CT). It was 100 questions, but you're only graded on 80 of those 100. It was strictly multiple choice and no "check all that apply" or anything like that, which you do see on CT. You have 5 hours to complete the test, but I finished in an hour and 15 minutes. I went through the entire test and submitted without going back to review. I passed on my first time with a 272. If you're like me, going back to review your answers causes more confusion than anything. Good luck!

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: The materials I used to study were 2 resources: Certify Teacher ($55)and 240 Tutoring ($40). The Certify Teacher does not provide written study materials; it only has the competencies and what you are required to know in each competency. Although there is no study material, the practice questions on Certify Teacher help to prepare you to become familiar with how the test questions will be. 240 Tutoring is the resource that provides study material you can print out and read from each competency, as well as practice questions. These practice questions do not really reflect the type of questions you will encounter on the exam, however it is still good to know the answers to these questions so you can conceptualize the material and apply it to the real test questions. I would recommend that you further define certain terms and concepts from the study material because some terms and concepts are listed without explanation. When it comes to my study method, I would not change it because I see that my study method was successful being that I passed on my first attempt with a 266 out of 300. I studied for a total of 2 months and spent about 1-3 hours per day studying the material and testing myself on the practice tests.

Test: The test was not as hard as I anticipated. I left the testing center feeling confident that I had passed. I took my test on a Thursday and received my results on the following Tuesday (it can take up to 2 weeks). Again, use the 240 Tutoring resource for study material (doing a little more research yourself on concepts and terms that are not defined) and use Certify Teacher for the Practice Questions and you should do fine. I took the practice tests on Certify Teacher 9 different times to ensure that I really understood the key concepts of the questions, and to be sure I passed well above the required 240 minimum score each time. It is also wise to test yourself on each competency individually to be sure you have mastered the key concepts. (Certify Teacher allows you to simulate tests on each competency or on all competencies at once, therefore you are able to focus on areas which need improvement).

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