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Read comments on Test # 131 - English Language Arts and Reading 8-12

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Strategy #21

Study: I passed with a high score, despite the fact that I thought the test was very tough and I used up 4.5 of the 5 allotted hours! For studying I used the online TExES study prep manual -- the downloadable one from the TExES Web site -- and "Preparing for Teacher Certification in English, Language Arts, and Reading, Grades 8-12" by Jane S. Thielemann. Both resources were VERY helpful. IMO, the real test was exactly like what was on the TExES practice test; the essay Q was exactly the same too. And the Thielemann book was great for teaching me facts about various literary movements, authors, genres, etc., that I wasn't familiar with. The Thielemann book is chock-full of typos and misused words, and even sometimes incorrect names and other things; so if you're a word nerd like I am, that will get on your nerves. But the content was great and very helpful.

Test: It was actually harder than I expected. I was able to narrow answers for most questions down to 2 that I thought were OK, but then those 2 would stump me because they were so similar. I would really have to reread the answer several times to grasp the nuances of difference. I recommend taking your time on the test. I read the essay Q first, and wrote some notes as I read the prompts, to get my brain working on that. Then I went back and did the 90 multiple-choice questions. Then I wrote my essay, and finally I went back and rechecked my mult-choice answers. I ended up changing 5 or so, and only missed 8 Qs on the whole test, so I guess that strategy worked pretty well. Just take your time, reread everything twice, and make sure you understand what the question is actually asking.

Strategy #22

Study: The best thing to study is the manual that is provided on the TEXES website. I also looked through the XAM book I bought at the bookstore. Make sure to study the domains and competencies. Answer the question with the most Utopian world answer. Look for answers that involve other stakeholders (community members, parents, grandparents, mentors, etc.), collaboration (especially between teachers), and anything student-centered. They also like kids working together collaboratively.

Test: The multiple choice part of the test was about what I expected, but the written was worse than expected. I am normally very good at writing under pressure, but after that long test I just freaked out. I finished the multiple choice within two hours, and had PLENTY of time to write the essay, but I just blanked. Every literary term/word I wanted to use, I could define, but not name... it was just terrible. I thought for sure I failed but I ended up doing just fine. I think if I had to take it again, I would do the essay portion first. Good luck!

Strategy #23

Study: I used the preparation manual provided on the ETS website. The file had a number of sample questions and an answer sheet. I took the sample questions like as if it was a real test and then checked my answers. I got most of them correct, but I didn't really feel like I was prepared for the test. The sample test only gave me an idea of what the questions would be like. I didn't really have anything to study. Like most people are saying, I think you just need to know your basic English material.

Test: The test was what I expected. No harder or easier. I was up late because I put preparing to the last minute, and my fatigue definitely affected my ability to concentrate. Get plenty of rest and stay calm. There were a lot of questions about teaching methods, and I chose the most logical answer. That method payed off for me.

Strategy #24

Study: I used the free preparation manual from the TExES website, plus I used "Preparing for Teacher Certification in English, Language Arts and Reading" by Jane Thielemann. Highly recommend the Thielemann book because it explained what the test writers are looking for and some of the biases that are in the test.

Test: The test was basically what I expected. The constructed response portion was very difficult; definitely create an outline of all your thoughts before you start writing. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to think and write. Because the constructed response is the last section, I was already tired by the time I got there and I probably would've done better to start with that and do the multiple choice afterwards. Definitely review literary devices and how to write a literary analysis.

Strategy #25

Study: The study material I used was the Texes State manual found on the website. I did not memorize the domains and competencies, but I made sure I understood what they meant. I only studied two days before the test, but I made sure I had a thorough understanding of the material and looked up any info in questions that I was not sure about (e.g. literary terms/genres/dates). What worked best for me was having all of the info fresh on my mind and being able to get about 90% of the practice study questions correct, then understanding what I did to get the others wrong.

Test: The test was as hard as I expected. I used all 5 hours given to me, and took only one 5 minute break. I would say that the most important thing to do is use common sense!!! Look at the question, picture yourself in the classroom working with students, and think of what situation would the students enjoy most and learn from best. Also, I read the essay question and wrote out an outline first. Then I did the multiple choice section and ended by writing the essay. In the essay, I used many literary terms, was thorough, creative, and received a 4!

Strategy #26

Study: I used the practice tests online and notes from English classes. Be sure to study months in advance to help retain all the information.

Test: The test had very little to do with English and more to do with pedagogy. The trick is to know what they are asking you, not what you think the answer is.

Strategy #27

Study: I used a TExES study book that didn't help in regards to study tips but the extra practice really helps. The study material that helped was the one on the texes.ets website (state test). The question and the essay examples were right on the money. If you want more practice buy the book but if not than the free material online is great.

Test: The test was neither hard nor easy. The only hint I can give is to do as many practice questions as possible and understand the domains and competencies. The test is very long so take your time and go slow. Do the essay first to make sure you have enough time to write and your thoughts are clear enough to write an effective 3 or 4 essay.

Strategy #28

Study: "Pass the Texes" books... they were a bit useful but none of the practice questions were different than the free online state manuals.

Test: If in doubt, the questions normally have key words that are also present in the answers. There are some questions that are very specific. Others are general and are easier to study for. Just make sure you sleep well the night before, eat breakfast, and leave your cell phones outside of the testing center. 5 hours is a long time.

Strategy #29

Study: I only used the test prep brochure available on Texas Teachers website.

Test: The brochure is a good indicator of the difficulty of the test.

Strategy #30

Study: I used two of the ETS study booklets. I read each and every section even though not all would be on the test. I worked and read every problem and responded to each essay. I looked at each essay response example for all possible grade points.

Test: It is not what you expect by a "content" test. It's focus is heavy on the Language Arts aspects. What and how to address problem areas. Things such as "reading fluency" and processes.

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