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Study: I purchased the flash cards from Morrison Media,which I would not advise because of information overload, along with several errors in content. (They might work for you, if you want separate over 300 cards that specify the 4 domains,but do not list the 11 competencies, which is most important) I would advise adhering to the prep booklet on the TEXES website! I did use the Study Guide from XAM Online.com., which helped much better MO Media's Flash Cards. The competencies were explained thoroughly and there was an "okay" practice test at the back. This reference was easy to study with!
Test: I focussed in on the verbage indicating what an educator should do (words like "promote, fosters, guides")in the question stem and answer. I wrote a list of all of the "verbs" by competency. This works for some answers but not for all. I did the essay first because it would be the most time consuming, then I answered all of the non-stimulus questions first, scanning through finding the easier and obvious answers first, saving the stimulus response ones last! I paid 120.00 for five hours, and used every minute of it!
Study: I bought a study manual at www.passthetexes.com, it came with a CD rom too. I also used EVERY literary term that fit in my essay!
Test: I think learning the competencies is important, knowing them helped me mark out some answer choices.
Study: Do NOT use the Texas Teaching Solutions #131 prep - this information is not complete, nor is it organized in any coherent manner. I also could not get a response to my repeated attempts to contact the company regarding tutoring. After weeks of being frustrated by this preparation program, I went to certifyteacher.com and received online interactive practice exams/study sessions that were very authentic. My outstanding score is a result of my second preparation program, not the Texas Teaching Solutions (which were aimed at grades below 8-12). I highly recommend certifyteacher.com
Test: The test was a little easier than I expected, given the online practice exam experience. I previewed the essay question and did a small outline. Then I went back and completed the MC section, giving my brain time to think on the essay. I'm very glad to say this strategy worked perfectly for me because I scored higher than a 90%!
Study: Download the free state manual first and look through it, try the questions to get a feel for the test ... the questions look just like these. I signed up for the free email tips from Texes Teaching Solutions, which were great and then got a coupon for the course. Great for re-establishing your English background. The only practice tests I could find were in the CliffsTestPrep Praxis II (from Amazon) ... well worth timing myself and practicing test-taking. I spent less money on the study manuals than having to take the test a second time, so it was worth it!
Test: I studied way too much "English" for this test because it's more situational than actually about the subject. However, I now have a renewed lease on the subject for teaching so it was time well spent ... and during the test I was able to disregard the "subject" of the question and focus on what was really being asked. I would recommend first turning to the back of the test and doing a rough draft of the constructed response (mark up your test booklet all you like), then do the multiple choice, then complete the constructed response, then go back and re-answer the multiple choice ... YES, you can change the answers and YES, I got more right by changing some answers when I re-read more carefully after knowing I'd finished the test. I took every minute of the five hours on purpose ... it was painful, but I only had to do it once and I passed with flying colors!
Study: Study materials used: English Teacher Certification Exams in Texas by Beatrice Mendez Newman (url: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780205420452&itm=1) and Texes English Language Arts and Reading 8-12 131 by Sharon Wynne, Xamonline (Editor), (url: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781581979350&itm=12).
The xam study guide was very helpful in that it contained a lot of content-specific information. It was broken down by the domains and competencies in the test and gave specific information about each area. It was like taking a quick review course in grammar, literature, etc. The other study guide I listed was very helpful with test strategies and how to analyze the questions to figure out the best answer. It also listed several other books and resource materials to help you study. I bought another book that is basically a glossary of literary terms which wasn't essential for the test but definately a good book to have. I first studied with the xam book and took extensive notes and made flash cards. I then read over the other book which helped immensely with the essay portion of the test. I wouldn't have studied any differently. It's important to know the content but extremely important to know how to read the questions to figure out the best answer.
Test: It was about as hard as I expected since I heard that it was pretty difficult. I had five hours for the test and I used up every last second. I read the essay question and tried to come up with some ideas before starting on the multiple choice. Although I want to say take your time, make sure that you watch the clock to see how long you're taking. I wished I would have left more time for the essay. I had about 2 hours left after finishing the multiple choice to complete my essay. I'm a perfectionist and it takes me a while to really get going on an essay and make it the way I want. If you're the same way, try to get through the multiple choice as quickly as possible (without being careless) so that you can really work on your essay. This test is incredibly intense so try not to get caught up on one question and the whole back and forth "which answer is the best?" scenario. Many questions come down to two answers that both seem right. Just trust your instincts, select the best one that you think, and move on. Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat breakfast, and don't cram the night before.
Study: Kaplan TEXES Study guide was allthe material that I used. I would have taken a refresher course on literary terms and elements. I also would have reviewed popular literary works, such as, Jane Erye and Hamlet.
Test: The test was not hard it was just about KNOWING the competencies. I would say that less than 10% of the test was content based. I would complete the writing portion before completing the multiple choice questions. By the time I got to the writing portion I was exhausted!!!
Study: I used the free online manuals to study. I believe the practice tests work best. I would tell someone to focus less on definitions and terminology and focus more on pedagogy.
Test: It was harder than I expected. I would tell someone to be prepared to stay at least four hours. One trick I would pass on is to read the questions before you read the passages, therefore you can know what you are looking for.
Study: The SBEC study guide, flash cards with domains, standards and competencies, test writing and American timelines.
Test: Much harder than expected and completely unorganized. Instructions online were opposite of those read aloud before the exam. I thought I was prepared for the exam, but I realized during the exam I was not. I've told others to continue studying and reviewing even when they feel prepared.
Study: I used the study guide provided online at the Tx Teachers website.
Test: Easier, not a lot of English content, more classroom management than anything else.
Study: I practiced by using the example examination given on the TExES website to gauge my performance and identify areas of weakness. I also bought a study guide from XAMonline.com which was very useful. This book was not so much a practice test or tip-off on strategic test taking procedures, rather a solid foundation and background in the knowledge necessary to draw from when answering test questions.
Test: The test was as tricky as I thought it would be. There are ninety multiple choice questions, some easier than others. Most of the questions try to "trick" you by using superfluous rhetoric and give 2 possible 'correct' answers (on many of the questions I would get the answer options down to a 50-50 choice). It will be essential for you to underline KEY WORDS in the questions. These words will help you identify what the question is asking and guide you in seeing continuities between the multiple choice options and the question. While it is important to have a broad knowledge in the subject matter to answer these questions, a majority of the questions deal with pedagogy rather than content knowledge. This is where it becomes especially important to use the KEY WORDS in the questions to decide on an answer. The essay question will not be hard if you have studied the XAMonline.com book, have a strong background in literature, can formulate a cohesive argument, and can analyze literary works. My biggest tip would be to finish the essay with about an hour to spare; allow yourself the time to read over your essay once, and then go back over every single multiple choice question to ensure that you chose the "most correct" response.
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