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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 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 #2

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 #3

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 #4

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 #5

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).

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I was told that this test you can't really study for, which is true, to an extent. I brushed up on basic grammar (which seemed to show up more on the practice tests than the actual test). I used the practice exam on the ETS website for ELA 117, as well as the Core Subjects practice test. I broke down each question and looked up anything I didn't understand. I also used the Xam book by Sharon Wynne. It was helpful, but I think the ETS information was most helpful.

Test: Read the questions and be sure what they are asking. This should help you eliminate at least one of the answer choices. I only took a 5 minute break to use the bathroom and get a drink of water; they don't let you have water in the room. I took the exam Wednesday morning and received my results Friday afternoon. I passed the test the first time with a 266/300. This exam does not have an essay portion. Good luck!

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the ETS preparation manual and the program from CertifyTeacher, both were very helpful. I also made study cards on Quizlet of important terms to study. I reviewed materials related to early language development, like Birsh's Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, which helped me understand some of the early reading/oral language concepts better. I also bought the TExES Secrets Study Guide from Mometrix, but I found it to be mostly a waste of money. It didn't really focus on the competencies very much. My main advice would be to use the competencies listed as your study guide and seek out any of the concepts you don't know. I passed with a high score doing that.

Test: It's very much based off of teacher scenarios you might encounter, not so much a test of your knowledge of concepts. Make sure to understand how you can apply the concepts, not just memorize them.

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I started studying about two weeks prior to the test. I used an XAMonline review book, as well as Quizlet and 240Tutoring. I also searched on Google for test practice questions and used those. I read through the entire content of the XAMonline book and took the practice test. I then went through and looked at all the questions I missed and essentially did corrections. I then made sure to know the basic terminology backwards and forwards (I practiced with a Quizlet I found after searching TExES 117). I went through many rounds of practice questions on 240Tutoring and made sure to read the review materials in the areas I was week in.

Test: The biggest thing that helped me when taking the test was to try and pick apart the question to figure out what it was ultimately asking. This test doesn't have extraneous information in the question, so you need to think about how to best respond to each part of what it is asking. If you aren't sure what one of the answers is, use process of elimination for the answer choices that you do know what they are. It is important to know key terms so you can use that basic knowledge as the basis of your critical thinking process. I passed with a 284.

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I took two weeks to prepare to take this exam and I studied for 2-3 hours a day. I used two references to study: the preparation manual from the ETS website and a practice test from Read each competency; I wouldn't say completely memorize it, but it does help to know each one. The TExES manual is the exact format of the test! Use it to your advantage! The explanations for the study questions are very helpful. I used those to dissect each question. Know why your answer is correct.

Test: The test was 100 questions long and the time given is 5 hours. I used about 4 hours total to take the test and review it. Know what the question is asking you; it makes a difference in a right or wrong answer choice! Pay attention to what they say or ask of the teacher in the question. This test is not difficult. Take your time, take a break at the half point if needed, read each question more than once to have a good understanding of what's asked. Use process of elimination. I took my test on a Wednesday morning and got my results by Saturday afternoon. I passed on my first attempt with a 266.

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: When I started studying for the test, I had no idea what I was about to experience. I read this message board which helped me identify which study materials to use and what worked the best. Originally, I was going to go through and get the online program for $55, but I didn't buy it in enough time before my test. I just used the materials on the Texas Education Certification website (ETS). All the competencies are listed and there's a practice tests with 40 questions. This is all that is needed. I wrote all the competencies down in a notebook and printed the practice test. When I first took the practice test, I did 20 questions and got around 7 wrong. I was so stressed from that because I knew if I didn't understand these questions I would fail. This test is about your critical-thinking skills. I found a couple more practice tests online, one test was on That test was extremely helpful as well, and had 39 questions. Study and memorize each competency name and know basic information about each. When it comes to test day, you need to be able to read the question and know which competency the question is referring to.

Test: It wasn't necessarily hard, but it was nerve-wracking. It took me about 3 hours to take the test out of a possible 5 hours. I didn't take a break at all. I thought I needed one originally but when I got past question 40, I just did the last 60 with no problems. The test is almost like the practice test found on the ETS website, with exception to asking about certain literary terms I wasn't familiar with such as onset rime. Know phonemes and the linguistics in the competencies. Try and memorize that information. I walked out not knowing how I did, but I received my test scores and passed with a 259 out of 300! There are so many horror stories associated with this test, but I passed on the first try. Good luck!

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