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Study: Study guide on TxTeachers.org. I would study more. I read the material and went through the study guide questions.
Test: The test was easier than I expected. I have not taken an English class in 10 years and was still able to pass the exam.
Study: I used the practice manuals online and studied the basic grammatical lessons. The manual worked best because it was a good representation of how the questions are written. The test was not in a subject based content format; the questions were in a pedagogy format.
Test: The questions were harder than I expected because there seemed to be more than one answer. Take your time on each question and pay attention to exactly what the question asks of you.
Study: I used the study guide from the TExES website. I started the process very late and only had two weeks to prepare. I suggest registering early and studying for longer than a week or two before the test.
Test: The test was easier than I expected, but I was fresh out of college when I took it. I feel that that was the best advantage I had.
Study: I studied the study guide, which was full of material about authors, literature, grammar, etc.
Test: It was TOTALLY different than what I studied for. The test asked questions solely about situations. For example, you have a student with reading difficulty, which of the following strategies...?
Study: I studied the free online study guide and Teaching Solutions.
Test: Harder than expected. Study the free guide online. Be familiar with the questions and the correct answers. In general you'll know more what to expect and possibly be more relaxed.
Study: I downloaded and printed the free prep info from the state site. It was useful in that it gave me a sense of the nature of the exam. The practice questions were similar to the actual test. Not a lot of explicit study material; just provides a frame work.
Test: Hardest exam I've ever taken. There were always two answers you could throw away. Then you had one which made sense and one which was the "right" thing to do. The ambiguity left me clueless as to how I performed. Not much English info, more what you would do type questions.
Study: I went over the free online study guide. I wouldn't tell people to study any differently.
Test: It's not based on factual knowledge of the subject but rather situations and what you would do.
Study: I made a decision to buy a $50 study guide on Amazon.com and it helped in the sense that it reviewed the specific needs of a person teaching the course. It was useful in general knowledge, but it did not prepare me for questions about teaching scenerios. Common sense does play a part in a lot of the questions.
Test: Threw me for a loop - slightly. Some tips are to go back after you first pass through the test and look for your mistakes, and the essay is 30% of the grade. It really can make the difference in a score. I find when taking a test that if I think positively I do better.
Study: I used materials from Passthetexes.com. It worked well. I would tell someone studying for it to stay calm and prepare stress-free.
Test: It was harder than I expected, but you will do well even if you think you won't.
Study: I began studying about 3 months before the test. I used was "English Teacher Certification Exams in Texas: Strategies for Approaching ELA/Reading TExES Exams" by Beatrice Mendez Newman ($15-$20 on half.com). I really liked this study guide because it really showed me how to analyze each question to find out what it was REALLY asking. I also printed out the sample test from the SBEC website. I took the test BEFORE reading the study guide, then again AFTER reading the study guide. There's no way to really study for the essay. The only thing I can suggest is going over the most common literary elements.
Test: The test was a little more difficult than I expected. The majority of the test was on Domain II & III. The essay is the EXACT same format as the sample test, except the poems/stories are different. You will have to compare the two, discuss themes, and literary elements. I began the test by reading the prompt and jotting down a few ideas. Then I went on to the multiple choice questions. I gave myself 2 hours for the prompt. Use all 5 hours on the test (you're paying for it), and take 3-4 breaks to clear your mind.
After you pass your test, please post your comments.
Click here to post for: Test # 131: English Language Arts and Reading 8-12
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