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Study: What study material(s) did you use?
The best thing to study is the manual that is provided on the TEXES website. Also,think about what you would do as a teacher that would have the student's guiding their educational process while you act as the facilitator. Base template on social constructivist theories, which you can find examples online, for Texas and many other states want the teacher to become an instructional guide and not a lecturer.
What worked best/worst?
Getting plently of rest, beliving in yourself, and committing to one set of procedures that you will inact while taking this exam
How would you study differently?
I would have given myself more time to study. I passed the exam, and performed better on this exam than I did on two out of the three other exams that I had taken while in college.
Test: Was it harder or easier than you expected (what sections)?
As usual, you don't know which questions are the pilot questions so it is hard to tell what you have or have not anwsered correctly. I think you have an overall sense of "I know I anwsered that one correctly", when its a content driven question.
Any 'tricks' or hints to pass on?
How would you tell someone to prepare for this test?
What is difficult is when you are trying to decide what is the (best) anwser for a particular procedure.Tip 1: eliminate all unneccessary anwsers. Tip 2: look for an anwser in which the students can have a chance to work in peer-to-peer, small,and/or cooperative groups to reinforce a concept. Tip 3: when you are asked how you directly teach a concept look for a design that teaches the overall concepts, yet it compells the student to react in a proactive manner within the pre, during, and post portions of the designated task(s).
Study: I bought a study guide for $70 from Texas Teaching Solutions that promised a money-back guarantee that you will pass the test. I downloaded and printed the 247 pages and put them into two binders; the first part with reading material and the second part with the practice questions. I looked up and wrote down the definition of any word I didn’t remember if it was in the study guide. I especially studied definitions of literary devices, such as personification, oxymoron, metaphor, hyperbole, etc. I read and worked through the sample questions for three weeks before the test. I also printed the TExES preparation manual and read through the domains and competencies and worked through the sample questions.
Test: The test was pretty much like both study guides that I used. The most difficult thing about the multiple choice is that many don’t seem to have a wrong answer. You have to choose the BEST answer, and those questions are about teaching methods and ways to help kids who are having difficulties. I have never taught in a classroom yet, so I just tried to use common sense in choosing the best answer. There are 90 multiple choice, but on my results sheet there were only 80 that were scored. After I answered the first couple of pages of multiple choice, I went to the back and read the constructed-response assignment to get an idea of what I had to write about. It was to compare and contrast two excerpts from two different writers about the same subject, but from two very different points of view. This is where the definitions and uses of literary devices really come into play. As I finished the rest of the multiple choice, I kept in mind the writing assignment, and made notes along the way as ideas came to me. By the time I finished the multiple choice, I had formed a good outline of the writing assignment. You have 5 hours, and I finished in 4. I was sure I failed when I left, because so many of the multiple choice I just didn’t know what the “right” or “best” answer was. But 3 and ½ weeks later, I got my score and passed with 20 points to spare.
I still have all my study materials if anyone is interested in buying them from me.
Study: English Teacher Certification Exams in Texas: Strategies for Approaching ELA/Reading TExEs Exams- Beatrice Mendez Newman
-This book was very helpful, not with study material, but tips on how to study and how the test works. There are glossaries and a very limited amount of practice questions. This, coupled with review of TEKS and Competencies and the study guide offered by the state worked well for me, and I had about 5 weeks to study.
One of the suggestions from the above metioned book was "The Well-Educated Mind." This is great for those who need a little brush up on Lit. This book offers tips on how to read some of history's most important novels, as well as biographies and dramas. It provides a synopsis for many classic works, which comes in handy because the test refers to characters and such.
Make sure you also give study time to the literary periods and when each took place, who were the major contributors.
One thing I would do differently is not take the TX Teachers training close to the exam. The training is helpful but it's not about the content test. It's about classroom management, organization, etc. Essentially it is more info ON TOP OF everything you're already studying and kinda piles on the stuff. Take the test, then do the training so your mind is fresh.
Test: Most people will say, "As you take the test, imagine you live in a perfect world. This will help you." That didn't make much sense to me.
The test was as expected, difficulty-wise. But it was exhausting!
I was bugged out that EVERY answer seems right. And pretty much all the answers are good ones. But concentrate on the scenario you were given, even if it is a really LONG one. Because only one of those answers applies to THAT situation.
I am a really good test taker and I always finish fast, especially with mult. choice. This was the exception. I did pre-writing over the written part first and then did the MC. Then I went back, considered my pre-writing and wrote my entry. After that, I went back and reviewed all the MC then changed my answers on some. People will tell you never to do that. The test is so grueling though, and looking at it again after you've answered the other questions may help you make a better decision. I changed about 5 answers and got them right.
Study: Studied the material I printed off the web page listed on the Texas Teacher web page at the study button.
Test: It was different for me but I passed it. I developed a positive attitdue about taking the test. I studied the material from the web page. I slept for 9 plus hours the night before. I read the questions thoroughly before answering.
Study: Looked over old english textbook and reviewed grammar. Also revisited writing vocabulary (ie similies,metaphors, and literary devices).
Test: Its more about the process of teaching rather than identifying shakespeare or verbage. The writing supplement was to write a paper comparing and contrasting 2 pieces of literature and a excerpt from a short story and a poem.
Study: It was very helpful to know the domains and competencies.
Test: Take your time because you have 5 hours.
Study: The only materials I used where the study materials from the website. One of the questions on the study practice test was also on the TExES test. Basically, I just read over all the material the study guide provided and did the practice exams. It didn't seem like the practice exam helped when I took the actual exam, but it prepared me better than if I had not studied at all. It gives a good idea of what to expect. I would also try other resources if I had to take another TExES exam. I was informed of a good resource for the TExES and PPR test help: www.rea.com; it will help prepare for both exams. The ISB # is ISBNO-7386-0008-3 for the book they have out. It's very informative and a big help -- I wished I had reviewed prior to taking the exam.
Test: The test was much harder than I expected. I did the written part first. It is the last section of the exam, so I went straight to the back and completed it before I did anything else. This ensured that I had enough time to complete it, plus I was fresh and ready to go when I started the exam. I think if I had waited to complete it last, I would not have done so well due to being mentally exhausted after taking the multiple choice portion. A good thing to also include on the written is a TITLE. The format of the written is exactly like the study guide, just different authors/quotes/material. The basis for how to write the written is the same. I found the multiple choice to be mostly teaching-theory based. I looked at each question as logically and ideally as possible, and found the answer that best described what the question was looking for that way. It is easy to eliminate at least 2 of the 4 answers immediately if you read the questions and potential answers VERY CAREFULLY! Re-read each question and really ask yourself what the question is looking for. If you do that, you will be fine. Also, be sure to go back over your exam and quickly review: make sure you filled in every bubble. If there is a question you're not sure of when you answered it, mark it and go back to it later. I found that the test sometimes gives the answer to another question later on in the test. You have 5 hours, so take deep breaths and take your time. Read the study materials provided on the website and you will be okay.
Study: I downloaded the review from the TEXES website and had a test preparation course with HISD as well.
Test: It was about as difficult as I expected. Get a good night's sleep so you can focus. The test is very repetitive. It is not full of questions on english language or literature, it is exactly like the TEXES review. Pay attention to Key Words in the questions. They will usually appear in the correct answer choice.
Study: I used the official test reviews and textbooks like "Reading in the Content Area"
Test: Take your time and read the questions carefully.
Study: I used the downloadable material from the website and a book I bought; the material I downloaded was better because it was content-specific.
The advise I have is to understand the 10 components; understand what they are and get in that frame of mind when you read the question.
Test: The test was just about what I expected it to be. Set up some time frames - Give yourself about 2 hours for every part of the test, keep hydrated and don't forget your pencils! Take at least 2 bathroom breaks to stretch your legs - Wait until you are 1/2 done with the multiple questions, then take another break before you tackle the essay portion - it clears 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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