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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 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 www.proprofs.com. 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 #2

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 CertifyTeacher.com 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 proprofs.com. 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!

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I originally bought 240Tutoring to study for this test. I wanted to do everything I possibly could to pass. In May, I took the 7-12 English content exam and missed it by 5 points, but I did not study as much as I should have. After reviewing the 240Tutoring material, I felt confident I knew the content. To be completely certain, I purchased Certify Teacher program for English 4-8. I am so glad I did, and also disappointed I wasted money on 240Tutoring. Certify Teacher is more expensive, but you have the option to break down the competencies and study them individually; that is what worked for me. By focusing on one at a time, I really grasped each concept. I studied for a solid 3 weeks before the test. The first week I studied about an hour a day. The last two I studied 3-4 hours a day leading up the the exam. I took my exam this past Saturday and passed with a 265!

Test: The test was about as hard as I expected, not too hard nor too easy. While taking the test, I would say definitely get a good night worth of sleep. All the reading you do during the exam strains your eyes, so if you're already tired it will be difficult. You are given 4 hours to take the exam. My strategy was completing all 100 questions first and making the ones I was uncertain of for review to go back to. Once I had finished the 100 questions, I went on a bathroom break; it helped to step away from the computer. Upon returning, I was ready to go and review every single question. I ended up changing about 10 answers due to carelessness. Domain II is what you're tested the most on. Certify Teacher does a good job of not only breaking down the competencies to be quizzed on individually, but you can also break down the domains. I would definitely recommend it to anyone! Good luck everyone!

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the practice test in the prep manual as well as the ELAR section of the Core Subjects 4-8 test. I also used a textbook called "Teaching Reading Strategies". This helped tremendously! I also looked at a bilingual TExES study guide book to learn more about ELL's. In addition, I purchased the Certify Teacher study guide. It helped a little, but not much; the explanations were terrible.

Test: You have plenty of time, pace yourself. It is not so bad, if you study the right material. Focus on how to teach and assess ELL's. Know a lot about phonemic awareness, how to teach reading comprehension and writings at all stages, and how to best assess during these stages. Eat something. Get some rest and do your best! I was so scared I didn't pass, but I did!

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used 240tutoring and Certify Teacher. 240tutoring has easily digestible material and Certify Teacher gives you a more thorough explanation and mirrors the format of the test almost exactly. I studied for two weeks, working through one competency a day and then getting really comfortable with the exam structure.

Test: It was easier than I expected, and I felt pretty well prepared. I chose to stop studying the night before and made sure to enter the exam as relaxed as possible. I took just over two hours to take the exam, and I left feeling confident but unsure. The most important thing is being able to tease out what the question is most literally asking. There are usually two good answers, and you have to apply your knowledge of the competencies to choose the best answer. Like I said, I was nervous about my exam results, but in the end, I passed with a 281 out of 300 on my first attempt!

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I had about two weeks to study, and this forum was a HUGE help. As others posted, I focused on the preparation manual and practice test from the TEA website. I also reviewed the competencies thoroughly and took a couple other practice tests. I also studied flash cards on Quizlet which were very helpful. I moved to TX from AL, and was not familiar with any of the material. I studied an average of two hours a day.

Test: I felt pretty confident going into the test. Initially I did not do well on the practice tests, but after reviewing weak areas and re-taking the practice test I did well. All of the questions were scenario-based, or asking which competency certain assignments were addressing. Many of the questions have more than one fitting answer, but take your time, re-read the question, and look for key-words to see what it's really asking. The test took me almost 3 hours, and this includes checking my answers. I left having 5 questions I was really uncertain about and 5 more I felt 50/50 about. I passed with a 261 on my first attempt.

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the state practice exam and the "Pass the TExES" book that I downloaded online. I also used the Quizlet site for the pre-uploaded terms. I took a random practice test that I found on Google, after typing in "TExES 117 practice exam." Like many have said here, take the practice test from the state. It is what resembles the actual test the most. However, be prepared for different questions. If I could have studied differently, I think I would have focused more on the teacher instruction than learning the actual definitions of terms. I did not do well on the practice tests until I went back and read each question thoroughly. I actually studied the practice tests and why the answers were the best choice. I probably would still buy the online book, just for back up. I can't stress enough, focus on teacher instruction and the competencies. I memorized them; you probably don't need to, but it will help you to identify the direction of the questions on the test.

Test: The test was very difficult. I studied for about a month and a half. I was extremely nervous. It took me about 3 hours to take the test; I read very carefully. The last 40 questions were tedious, because I was getting antsy to finish. I would suggest closing your eyes for a little bit when you can't focus. The test itself was about 90% situational questions. The rest were actual knowledge based. Know the different visual aids that can be used (KWL, Venn diagram, story map, etc). Know about emergent readers, ELL, media types, and persuasive essays in terms of instruction. I took a break after I had finished answering and marking the answers I was going to look at again. I came back and looked at each answer. I changed about 10 answers. When I left, I did not feel confident. I took the test on Saturday evening and got the scores early Tuesday morning. I got a 253! If I did it, you can!

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the state preparation manual and CertifyTeacher.com. I studied for about 6 weeks. What worked best was me going through each competency and reading it thoroughly to know exactly what the content is going to be for the exam. After that, I went through and defined key words throughout those competencies. I would then study the notes and go through the study questions in the manual to see how questions are going to be asked and formatted. I also read the description for why the answer was right or wrong and why the other answers were correct or not correct. This was extremely helpful, because I was able to see more detailed information about the questions and answer choices! I did the same exact thing on CertifyTeacher, except the website gave more variety quizzes, a practice exam, and flash cards. The website study material is very similar to the test!

Test: The test format was easy to break down, but the content was not as easy. I would also study more English content words, so that I can have a better chance of process of elimination! I did pass the test, even though I left feeling unsure. BE positive and study hard; you will get through!

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the study guide from the state website and the practice tests at CertifyTeacher.com. I took the practice quizzes and tests multiple times and read over the rationales each time. I was pretty nervous and studied for about a month before the test, racking up I would say about 25 hours total study time. I studied the domains and competencies but did not memorize anything. I didn't purchase any additional study materials.

Test: The test was about as tough as I thought it would be, perhaps a bit harder. I thought it would be all situational, but there were some questions asking definitions of terms. I marked 26 questions for review that I was unsure of and went back to those, really analyzing the questions before answering. I then went back over the entire test again. I finished in 4 hours, so I really took my time. I got my score today and I passed with a 276.

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I took test 117. I used the English area of the 4-8 generalist book and the 117 preparation manual from the TExES website. I learned the competencies(001-O.L.) and I just read over the explanation of the each to familiarize myself with the content. I also made flash cards on quizlet for the comp. and used already made to study vocab. Knowing the definitions of terms is very important for this exam.

Test: I used 4 1/2 out of my five hours to test. The test was not easy at all but I prayed to God and studied. I passed on the first time testing.

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