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

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Strategy #11

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 #12

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 #13

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 #14

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 #15

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the state preparation manual and 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 #16

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the study guide from the state website and the practice tests at 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 #17

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.

Strategy #18

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: For this test I did what majority of everyone else is saying. I used the free study guide. The study guide did a great job of giving me an idea of how the questions would be structured. I also went on quizlet just to see what others posted as far as terminology was concerned. The majority of my study time was spent on the free study guide and the rationales listed for each question.

Test: I wouldn't say the test was hard, but it will require you to take your time and think. In my opinion the test seemed long and you can become fatigued. When I answered 60 questions I decided to take a break just to clear my mind and to refocus, which I think helped. After I finished the test I went back over it and actually changed about 8-10 questions that I felt I misread. My advice is to take a couple of breaks, go back over your answers at the end with a clear mind, and don't panic over a question you may not know because one single question will not cost you the test. I passed the test and I'm sure you will too! Good luck!

Strategy #19

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I started studying for the exam a month before taking the test. I used the website and downloaded the online exam. The exams were actual previous TExES exams used in the past. The flash card application was very useful to study terms I was unfamiliar with. If I made a wrong answer on the practice exams the program would explain the steps to the right answer. It also monitored my progress so I knew how much I was improving. I also used the TExES preparation manual on the ETS website.

Test: The exam was very easy and I was able to relate the new questions to everything I studied from the Certify Teacher program.

Strategy #20

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I tallied up what most others used for study materials and the consensus is overwhelming-use the free (official) study guide. There were also a few recommendations for Quizlet. I'd never used it prior, but decided to give it a quick look. I did not, however, upload anything for myself. I simply searched for the test and used a couple vocab lists that someone else made. A majority of my time was spent combing over the study guide and going through the practice test. Like others said here, know concepts rather than definitions. I would say understand the competencies, but I don't see the necessity in memorizing them.

Test: I was pretty nervous going into this test. Many of the answers seemed legit and I really had to dig pretty deep into the wording. Leaving the test center, I was not confident at all. I passed with a 256, so my worries were unfounded in the end.

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