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Study: The free study guide from the TExES website.
Test: The test was harder than I expected. I thought I would get more "content" questions and fewer "situational" questions. However, most of the questions I received were about what type of advice to give another teacher who notices a reading or writing problem in a particular student or how to handle a reading or writing problem in your own classroom. Therefore, I suggest beefing up on your knowledge of how TExES feels you should appropriately handle hypothetical situations involving reading and writing at this level. Also, pay very close attention to how old the question says the child is. What is the best answer for an 11th grader can be the worst answer for an 8th grader.
Study: I used Teaching Solutions study manual for this test. This proved to be very helpful. The test is not very content based. The questions are classroom theory more than anything. The practice questions were nearly identical to the actual test and the written example was exactly like the actual test. For the money spent, I highly recommend this program.
Test: The test is hard to study for. Again, more theory than content. The written portion is the most difficult. It calls for a comparative essay of a short story and a selected poem. However, after 3 plus hours it is hard to get your brain jump started to write. I recommend doing your written portion first. Best of luck to all! I passed after a week of study...so can you!
Study: I used an online study guide from ECAP as well as the Texes study manual. These resources helped me to know what was on the exam. I went through the materials and then took assesments to see where I was struggling. In the areas I was stuggling, I re-learned the material.
Test: The test was hard but based on the pre-tests I expected it to be. For the multiple choice, just move slowly and mark ones that you don't know to come back to because you might remember later. For the written portion, study the literary terms like crazy! Flash cards worked for me, but I started this portion last so I could refresh some of the literary elements that were presented in the multiple choice section. Watch your time while writing, almost used the full 5 hours.
Study: I studied the Texes sample test packet. I would study the same way if I had to do it again.
Test: Much harder than I expected. I would tell a student to study every day for at least 45 minutes a day. Study the practice tests intensely.
Study: I studied the material provided on the state website. It was good to do the practice test so I could see what to expect, but beyond that it wasn't overly helpful.
Test: The content aspect was about the level I expected, but the pedigogy questions were harder than I expected.
Study: I used the XAM book and downloaded the sample test and prep book from the ETS site. As someone else noted, the XAM book has typos in it. I had 2 prep exams (the XAM and the ETS), so I felt comfortable with the format and depth of knowledge required.
Know your pedagogy in addition to your subject matter. The literature referenced was mostly European and American, with little to no World lit.
FYI, you give up your cell phone at the beginning and get it at the end of the exam.
Test: The multiple choice was easier than I had thought. It's definitely not harder than the GRE English subject exam. I had thought the essay was dreadful when I first approached it. The general format was to examine two very different passages and essentially write a compare/contrast literature essay. I suggest you identify a theme and develop it across the passages. Use the booklet to make notes before you write in your exam booklet. Also, make sure you use references from the text. Just your basic college lit essay tips. Be specific and well organized. If you can do that, you'll do fine.
I ended up doing great on the test. The worst part was waiting the 4 weeks after the test for the results! ETS ends up sending you an email notification to download your results.
Do try to get some sleep the night before. Do pay the meter enough so you don't have that on your mind. Eat something for breakfast. You have to finish your coffee before the exam begins. Do bring many wooden number 2 pencils pre-sharpened. (No mechanical pencils allowed!) Do take a break during the exam to clear your head. Do bring a snack to eat during your break.
If I can answer any other questions, feel free to write. Our teacher networks can never be too big! Cheers and good luck.
Study: I utilized four different study materials -- XAM, Passthetexes, CertifyTeacher, and the free materials available through SBEC. Passthetexes is great for helping you learn and understand the domains and the competencies. XAM has a lot of typos in the material, but it is very useful for content. I also researched a lot of the literary history and authors on the internet. I only used CertifyTeacher for sample test questions. If you ask me, it isn't worth the $60 I paid for it. Once you've worked one full test, all of the questions repeat. I don't personally think one full set of sample test questions is worth $60, but that is my opinion.
Test: The difficulty of the test was pretty much what I expected after reading all of the comments on this website. The essay question was exactly like the sample question in the SBEC free study materials. The only difference was the test included different literary work excerpts. I really had to focus on the multiple choice questions, but what everyone has said is true -- the answer is really in the question. If you pay close enough attention to the wording of the question, you can figure out the answer they are looking for on the exam. Of course, I don't find out the results for three and 1/2 weeks, but I feel pretty good about it right now.
Study: I used the state prep manual that I downloaded from the SBEC website. I think it's important to familiarize yourself with the way the questions are worded.
Test: This test wasn't hard. It's just time consuming and you have to really look at what the question is asking for. Be sure to know the time periods of literature. For example, know the time frames for the Romantic Period, NeoClassical, Renaissance, etc. Think student-centered when you answer questions. It's not so much about content, but about the best strategies.
Study: I downloaded the free study guide from the website. I read everything on the test, and did the study questions. It gives you an idea of the KIND of questions on the test, but not the actual questions you will be asked. Think about WHY you got the question wrong on the practice test... it was probably just the way the question/answer was worded. It shows you what to look out for on the actual test.
Test: I took about 4.5 hrs to take the test. I had just gotten out of the hospital (for major surgery) and I was on pain killers... and I PASSED!!! So... don't fret. The test is not that hard. The focus is on teaching strategies, not on content. (If only I could get a job... *sigh*)
Study: I compared study guides online and in bookstores to find the right one for me. Reading Reviews for Books: a lot of people will write a reivew if they aren't happy with the book wheras good reviews are sparse. I studied starting a month before the test date. I would have made more notes and note cards for easier studying.
Test: The test was about what I expected. Make sure you have at least 2 #2 pencils. THere are 90 multiple choice questions and an essay. About 95% of the time, if the answer involves coop. groups and or higher order thinking it's the correct answer. Make sure you're knowledgeable about genres and literary devices they'll come in greta use on the essay.
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Click here to post for: Test # 131: English Language Arts and Reading 8-12
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