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This test was taken on Paper.
Study: I would recommend the Ultimate Guide to the Generalist EC - 4 (big yellow book).
Test: The test was what I expected. The trick that helped me was to take practice tests over and over.
This test was taken on Computer.
Study: I reviewed information on Texas Teachers website and information I found on the internet.
Test: The test appeared to contain more real life class situation questions.
Study: I purchased the following books to study for the EC-4 Generalist #101: Ultimate Guide to the EC-4 Generalist TExES by Diane Bauer & Janet Scott (the infamous "yellow book" - $35 new ....use the online link through Tx Teachers website - click on picture to print out order form & mail in w/ your check) & Preparing for the Texas PreK-4 Teacher Certification: A Guide to the Comprehensive TExES Content Areas Exam by Janice L. Rath & John Ramsey (bought online at walmart.com for $47 new w/ shipping - best price I could find). I studied nearly every day for a month since I don't really have any teaching experience & have been out of school for 8 years. Of the two books, I feel that the Ultimate Guide (yellow book) was the most helpful because it has an easier format to read - not so compacted - and it breaks down all subject areas for you and gives good examples. Also there is a practice test at the end of the book which gives an answer key and tells why that answer was correct (very important for a curious & critical mind). I also used the free online state practice test link through TX Teachers website. I took the online practice test (printed out on paper) online both before I had studied any material and then after having studied. I noticed how my answers to the questions had matured from what I thought was the right answer to how the right answer was what was best for the student.
Test: The 101 was easier than expected for me, but only for 2 reasons: #1. practice test in yellow book seemed harder & #2. I had taken the 161 Special Ed EC-12 test the week before. I did notice about 3 of the questions from the 161 on the 101.
To prepare for the 101, I would suggest allowing yourself plenty of time - at least a couple of weeks of daily study... if this can't happen for you, then take the practice tests & focus on making the wrong answers right. I did see a heavy focus on elementary subject material, specifically reading and math.... different approaches on how to teach both. For reading/language arts... study semantics, print awareness, graphemes, phonemic/phonological awareness, letter-sound relationships, consonant digraphs, consonant blends, CVCe pattern, reading fluency (several questions on this), independent reading level, choral reading, readers' theatre, partner reading, round robin reading (no longer used), KWL charts, different types of narrative literature classified by genre (ie. fiction, fantasy, fable), self-monitoring techniques for students, multicultural awareness (on the real test several times), stages of emergent writing, prephonetic/phonetic/transitional/conventional spelling, alphabetic principle (big on test), importance of big books and students re-reading them for fluency, various types of assessments & what they test for & why.
For math, there were several math problems, at the most a simple algebraic word problem or two... nothing really requiring a calculator, but nice to have to check your work. Study things such as: how to decipher word problems by turning them into graphs/charts/etc. and how to read these graphs/charts without a word problem, rubrics & portfolios- why they're used, importance of technology in the classroom (noticed every classroom equipped with several computers in my subbing - not like this back in the 80's-early 90's), exponents/fractions/least common multiple/least common denominator/place value/patterns (repeating & growing)/basics of geometry - types of angles.
For social studies, know types of government (democracy, oligarchy, judicial branch & its' opposites), supply & demand, bias, adaptation/migration, some US & Texas History & holidays (pgs 180-185 in yellow book), geography - how to read latitude & longitude, topography, human-environmental interaction, & renewable resources.
For science, study safety (several questions on test - think in terms of little kids handling things in a lab... no glass), scales, gases/liquid states, discovery/experimental approaches, control & dependent variables, measuring volume/mass/weight/etc. - how to teach it & how to solve it, force & motion, kinetic & potential energy, basic needs of plants/animals.
For music, study classification of musical instruments.
For health, a question about the food pyramid, reporting child abuse (teacher's obligation).
For physical education (PE), study locomotor/non-locomotor/manipulative skills - how they work.
I believe the key is to think outside the box, be open-minded to what's best for the individual child's learning, not what's easy for you. Don't plan to teach how we were taught prior to the late 90's. Employ the use of technology in your answers. The latest teaching methods seem to be adapting to our fast-paced, busy world such as in the huge use of computers & calculators in the classrooms now. Also, give the students choices & allow them to express their creativity & individualness.
I think if you go into the test with this knowledge, you will do well.
Finally, you have 5 hours to take the computer test - you are checked into the testing site, you lock all your stuff in a locker & keep your drivers license/ID with you & then sign some papers, have your photo taken for the test, get set up at your computer (they provide you with scratch paper, pencils & calculator), you're offered headphones to drown out noise (it was pretty quiet without them), and you're ready to begin! The testing personnel allow you to take breaks but you must sign in/out on their notebook & your time is still running on the clock.
I completed mine in 2 hours, but it's a good idea if you finish early to take a short 5-10 minute break away from the test & go back in and read over your answers. The study guides are very good resources to keep for future-teaching references. Good Luck!!
Study: The book "Preparing for the Texas Pre K - 4 Teacher Certification" by Janice L Nath and Jonn Ramsey
I read it cover to cover and made sure I understood the purpose and point of the practice questions. I did great on the test, so I think the book's a terrific resource and I wouldn't have done anything differently.
Test: The test was about what I expected, but I studied every day for four weeks before it. I recommend lots of studying, especially if you've never had any teaching experience, because in that case the questions aren't really "common sense." While you're studying the "how-to-teach" process type stuff, don't neglect to brush up on subject (math, history, etc.) content type stuff, too.
Study: I bought (off Amazon.com) and studied the preparation manual by Nath/Ramsey. It should provide you with all you need in order to pass your exam. Great study questions, explaining the correct responses throughout the book, for all subjects.
Test: The book mentioned above is sufficient. I started preparing myself about three weeks before the exam by reading through the book and making my own notes in a notebook. I didn't spend more than 2 hours a day, 3 or 4 days a week looking over the information/reading the book/taking notes. Three days before, I reviewed everything intensely, going back through notes and picking out important vocab in the book as well as redoing the practice questions and rereading carefully the explanations for the correct answers. Know your Texas facts and some basic science and math questions. Know your vocab and assessment tools in the Language Arts section.
Study: Used the state manual and cliff notes EC-4 generalist.
Test: Read the question 2 times before answering.
Study: Used the Ultimate Guide for EC-4. It was very helpful.
Test: It was a little bit harder than I expected but I didn't study quite as hard as I could have because I had heard from various people that it was easy. Common sense test is not true.
Study: Used the Ultimate Guide EC-4 book. Also used handouts from the website. Know terminology and stages of child development in language.
Test: It was easy but I had 13 years of teaching experience in 4-8 grade.
Study: Used the Ultimate Guide to EC-4 by Diane Bauer. Also used the practice tests. Tutored with Diane Bauer.
Test: It was hard and the test was long. You often second guess what you put for an answer. Never pick the answer to a question that says "teacher has the students list..." List is not a a good word.
Study: Used the Ultimate Guide to EC=4. It did help.
Test: There were many questions that were not covered by any of my study materials. The tests were mind-numbing. Even though I passed both 85% and 86%. I wasn't sure I passed it at the time. I did go over the tests completely after I got done and successfully corrected several mistakes that I made.
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