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

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Strategy #21

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: First let me say I was certified in Arizona 7-12 ELAR in 2000, there we took a basic skills, professional, and subject test. When I moved to Texas in 2003 I passed the professional and ELAR 8-12 on the first try, but had been teaching at the time. I was very nervous about this test because of the emphasis on early literacy (something I had never used)so all of my study focus was that section of the exam. My study materials included: ets practice questions, reading the textbook: The Informed Reading Teacher, and using the certify teacher study program at ( others have said the test was very much like the ets practice test. Book Reference: Harp, B. & Brewer, J. (2005). The informed reading teacher : research-based practice. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Test: The test itself was as expected and I thought it was easier than the ELAR 8-12 because it was all teaching scenarios and not an "English Exam." My advice is to study early literacy vocabulary and writing vocabulary so that you know what the questions are asking... the test is very close to the ets practice questions, some of the questions were nearly identical, and if you are still feeling iffy after that and need more questions is the way to go! I was able to pass with a 271 on the first try with 1 week of studying and having spent the last 9 years out of the classroom I know you guys can too!

Strategy #22

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I had originally scheduled this test a week later than I did but a weekend date opened and I spent 4-5 hours over 3 evenings studying. I used the software and the official prep manual.

Test: I was not comfortable in my study time due to the three days from registering to taking the test. I spent 4-5 total hours studying for it and found the test pretty difficult. It was almost as hard in my opinion as the ESL. I could usually get the answers down to two choices but then it as extremely difficult. I finished the test in a little under two hours and passed with a 243. I would definitely suggest the certifyteacher software and also encourage a longer study time. I believe I would have achieved a higher score with more study time but I passed.

Strategy #23

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: First, I want to thank everyone that post comments on this website. Your information really helped me narrow down study material for the Texes 117. Secondly, I passed my test on the first attempt! I say this with humility and excitement because without some of the information on this website I would have studied everything without focusing on key elements. Now, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on the test. I did the practice test from the ETS website as a pre-test and copied down any word used in the scenarios and answer choices that were unfamiliar to me. Study and know the vocabulary used on the test. I found a comprehensive list on but I always make sure the vocabulary words have the same meaning as to what is used on the test. We all know some words have multiple meanings. Many times we may not choose an answer from the choices because we do not know what the term means. This was very helpful. Yes, you end up with a list of words but every word on that practice test will be seen again on the actual test just in a different format and question. Most importantly know what each COMPETENCY for Texes 117 is focused on and key words listed under each concept. I made flashcards to learn the competency and key focal points listed under each. This was a huge success for me passing the test. Again, when reviewing the competencies highlight any words listed under each that you are not familiar with and add those to your vocabulary list. Some of the websites I used for practice were the Ets site, ETS test preparation manual,, and tea website. I studied and practiced for this test in sections over a 2 month period. I did push my initial test date back when I felt I was not fully ready to take the test; so do not be shy about delaying your test for a week or two. Your ETS online account will allow you to edit your test dates which also aided in the success of me passing my test. I would rather pay less to postpone a test then the entire fee for not passing it. These are tips from an outstate teacher which I am now certified in Texas. Good Luck and using these study tips will assist you in your success of passing these state test.

Test: Prior to taking the test on the computer, go to the ETS website and review the computer based test video. It helped me remember all the key tabs and functions on the computer test before I arrived at the testing center. This way you do not have to waste valuable time clicking on the help button to review what a button means or not using a function because you did not know it was available to you.

Strategy #24

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the XAM book that I checked out from the Harris County Library. It was a little dated, but still gave me information to help me choose the right answers. Pay close attention to the stages of reading development. I did not pass the practice test from the book, but did well on the exam. I studied for a total of about 12 hours in a period of 4 weeks and I majored in business, so I had basic knowledge before taking the test.

Test: The test was much easier than I had expected. It wasn't about knowing definitions and theories as much as it was about understanding how to assist students in their particular stages of reading development. The testing center I went to was very cold, I would recommend bringing extra layers of clothing and staying completely focused on testing during the check-in process.

Strategy #25

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: Check out this book at your library. It raised my score by 25 points. Informed Reading Teacher: Research-Based Practice, The by Bill Harp and Jo Ann Brewer (Apr 16, 2004)


Strategy #26

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the Mometrix Media TExES (117) study guide. It was very useful and worth the money. I studied for four days have have been out of school since 1997. Obviously I needed more than just a review! I took the exam in the guide and went over each answer I got right and wrong. I used the guide in depth and took the practice exam several times. The flash cards they offer are useless and overwhelming. I wouldn't recommend purchasing them. I also did the free practice exams that are available online.

Test: The text was very, very difficult. It is useless to study specific authors or literary time periods. The test is all situational. It is important to study types and levels of learning. What is fluency, oral and written communication, literacy, synonyms, etc. I finished the exam in 2.5 hrs but took the rest of the time to go over it again. This helped tremendously! I recommend going over the exam a second time.

Strategy #27

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the official practice test on the SBEC website, XAM study book, and random sample questions online.

Test: It was at the same difficulty level as the official practice test on the SBEC website. I took the practice test in the XAM book as well. Take practice tests multiple times to get used to the format. The test is almost entirely scenario based. Know teacher jargon.

Strategy #28

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the Pass the Texes book by Ed Publishing and Consulting. The book was extremely helpful. That book is the only book you need to study, along with the ELAR 4-8 preparation manual on Also, know your competencies and vocabulary.

Test: The test wasn't bad at all. As long as you study and use the Pass the Texes book and the preparation manual, then you should do just fine.

Strategy #29

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: Don't think that you need to study ONLY 4-8 Reading and Writing skills and practices for this test! I went in confident about my 4-8 level knowledge and left angry at myself for not reviewing beginning literacy skills as well. There were quite a few scenarios that dealt with students in the stages of reading and writing that I had to dig really deep into my longterm memory to answer, because I hadn't studied those stages since college. Also, don't do what I did and use other study guides that are not specifically geared to this test--it will be a waist of your time. The online TEXES study guide is truly a shorter version of what the actually test will be like.Also, study the TEKS--they will really help you with answering scenario questions about the purpose of given instructional methods.

Test: The computer test was not as stressfull as I thought it would be. I thought I would struggle with not being able to write notes and highlight important words in the question. However,it was not bad at all. The font was large and only one question came up per screen, and you can place a check mark next to questions you want to go back to review. You can go back and check and change your answers at any time during the test before submitting.

Strategy #30

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the computer study guide for the TExES test. 117 English Language Arts and Reading from I also used the free online study material from the SBEC.

Test: Since I had done some studying, it was about as hard as I expected it to be. I did better than I expected when I finally recieved my scores. I would advise anyone to study using the materials I used and to be accustomed to the test format. Just think each question through before you answer.

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