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Read comments on Test # 111 - Generalist 4-8

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Strategy #1

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I only used free study materials. The TExES study guide has a good practice exam that is of the same format of the actual exam. There were a few questions I recognized with just a couple details changed on the actual test. I also found T-Cert to be a good review for Math & Science. Quizlet.com has some good flashcards for the LA section too. There is a lot of how you would instruct, or what would be accomplished by using xyz method in the LA section especially. I studied a lot the few days before the test, but just a little before that.

Test: There is a lot of how you would instruct, or what would be accomplished by using xyz method, especially in the LA section. I was surprised in the Social Studies section there were multiple questions that were Texas specific, about TX history or geography. It took me about 2.5 hours, including going back to review some questions I had marked. Passed with a 279.

Strategy #2

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the REA Study Guide and Online Practice Tests. I barely failed both practice tests due to Calculus and Geometry on them but did well in the other areas. I did not take Texas History in school so I did not have that background either. There is just too much possible content so I did not really study at all but reviewed some math formulas and history timeline.

Test: The test was surprisingly easy compared to the practice tests. I completed it in about 1 hour 45 minutes and left. Either you know it or don't and I am not the person to review the whole thing. There were a couple of math and science questions that I closed my eyes and guessed on but I passes the test with a 272. I don't remember there being any calculus and very little geometry on the test. Take a deep breath and know this isn't going to that bad!

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the REA study manual and it really covered a lot of material. I took nearly 2 months to study, and I took my time going over each section. I also used both of the practice tests. To be completely honest, I failed both of the practice tests with a 68% and a 66%. I focused on the questions that I had gotten wrong and went back and read the section that the test question was based off of. Especially in math since it was my weak point.

Test: I took the test on 6/25/14. The test itself was modeled very closely to how the REA study book has it. Read EVERY question CLEARLY. I can't stress that enough. Sometimes it may seem like the question is asking you for one thing, but it's really asking for another. Take your time and don't be afraid to mark a question and come back to it. I was there for nearly 3.5 hours and I used that time to go over each question. My questions were together by section, English, Math, Social Studies, Science so I knew what frame of mind to be in. I honestly left the test center in tears thinking I'd failed, but I passed! Good luck!

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: To study for the exam I used the XAM study guide and practice tests, the provided State Preperation Manual and practice test, as well as purchased two practice tests from REA. I found the XAM study guide to be somewhat helpful. I only went over the English and History sections because I had scored signficantly well on the pre-test I took in the Math and Science subjects. I found the English section to be extremely helpful, however I felt as though what I studied from the History section was not relevant to what was present on the test. I honestly did not feel prepared going into the test, and felt like I slacked in the amount that I studied. I walked out of the testing center feeling very unsure of whether or not I had passed the test. I received my score the next morning following my test, and sure enough had passed with a score far higher than what I was anticipating.

Test: The test was actually easier than what I was expecting, minus the history portion. I found the practice test on the state preperation manual to be much harder than the actual test questions, especially the math portion. Language Arts questions consist of a lot of classroom scenerios in regards to the proper way to teach children according to their developmental stage in language. I would also be aware of the different types of genres of writing, there were a few questions regarding those. Also, there were a lot of questions about the importance of characters and how to get children to understand the components of a story (plot, characters, setting, climax, etc). The science portion was, in my opinion, easy. I would play close attention to the different systems of the human body, the solar system (moon, sun specifically). The math was by far the easiest section for me, almost too easy to where I started second guessing myself. History consisted of a lot of reading passages where you needed to use critical thinking to pick up on underlying messages. I was studying more specifics and unfortunately felt that what I had prepared for was not relevant, causing me to do poorly in this section. Overall, I would recommend doing a pre-test before beginning to study this way you can focus more of your attention on your weaker subects. Utilize the practice tests! There were multiple questions where I had seen the same question before or one with significant similarities. GOOD LUCK!

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the study guide provided by the state. I also purchased the REA guide from a book store. The book was mostly helpful with practice of the content. I prepared for two weeks probably studying for a total 50 hours.

Test: I am an average test taker and the type that if I study a lot I will do very well but not naturally intelligent. I wasn't sure which version I would get (hard or easy) so I didn't know whether to feel over or under prepared. I thought this was the most intense and not to mention most difficult exam I have ever taken. I walked out telling everyone I would be shocked if I passed. English was first-frustrating questions. You need to know all readers at every age level and what you would do in every circumstance. I guessed A LOT. I tried to put myself in the "best case" but it felt impossible. The math, I wouldn't say easier than I thought but it was probably the area I studied most in. There was quadratics function/equations and seemed like there was more geometry than I studied HOWEVER this was the subject I did best on. If would say to study math and ELA the most because most of the science and ss either you know or you don't. I used a lot of logic on the math part. SS was the third (on my test) section. It was hard. As I expected, there were questions that were impossible to study for. Know court cases, but random ones that weren't in the REA guide and know Texas history. Id would say half Texas history and half US history. Maybe one or two about world history. Science was maybe 1/3 about safety. I felt rushed and answered mostly on instinct. Overall study everything. I passed with a 248. I am a good judge of things and it was extremely hard. When I signed out of the test the only people that were still there were the 4th-8th generalist testers left. I took 4 1/2 hours. I only went back over once. Hardest part was ELA then SS then Science and lastly math. I am selling my REA book on craigslist for 20 on craigslist in San Antonio. There are no markings in it. The practice test were useful in sharpening your skills.

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I purchased the REA study guide. I read it through once and then took test 1. After that I focused on my weak areas (ELA/Science) and re-read over and over. I also used the quizlet site which helped with terminology, dates, etc. I spent about 2 hours per day studying for 2 weeks before the test. I scheduled an afternoon test so the worry about oversleeping, getting lost didn't add to my anxiety over the test itself. Even said a prayer to St. Joseph of Cupertino in the parking lot before I went in.

Test: I found the questions to be more about process and methods of teaching students than direct recall of dates and content facts. I found the Math easy but Math is my strong area. I left a few questions blank as I did the test and checked them so I could go back after finishing and take time in answering. Overall my test was easier than the REA tests. I was praying to get a 240 and was surprised to find that I got a 281. My scores came in 3 days after the test and I was glued to my email for those 3 days. Remember this test is about teaching in a perfect world.

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the free prep materials provided by the state. I purchased the REA on-line tests and the sample test by ETA. The material by the state was a lot of information and I found it almost impossible to try to even have a little takeaway from the 37 competencies. I really liked the REA tests (2) because it really tried to mimic the real test taking. My interests is angled towards Social Studies so I spent more time studying the other subjects because I had to revive some old memories from 20 years ago. The math prep materials were very difficult. I loved Geometry in high school but there was a lot of materials that dealt with calculus & statistics, etc.

Test: I was very nervous beforehand especially dealing with the Fort Knox testing center and the fingerprinting beforehand. Just be patient especially if you have never been in a testing center before because it is different. The subjects went in this order for the test: ELA, Math, Social Studies, and Science. I felt like the ELA questions were going to go on forever and I thought they were difficult. The best part was that almost every question had 1 easy throwaway answer and about 50% of them had 2. I figured I would miss at least half of the math problems, but that section was much easier than I thought it would be. Social Studies was a little more difficult and Science seemed ok other than the 3-4 tricky questions dealing with conductive/convective heat. I went through the test once and checked the ones that I had trouble with. Then I went back and dealt with the checked ones and some I just had to guess on. I was still good on time so I took a break to clear my head and then came back and went through every question again but at a fairly rapid pace. I used up all of the 5 hours but I'll say they seemed to go fast. I really had no idea how well I did. 240 is passing and I wouldn't have been surprised if I got scored a 180 or even a 260. I took the test on a Thursday night and for the next 3.5 days I was wearing out my ETS login while looking up the score. Finally by Monday the page showed that my score was ready and I just had to click one more box. My pulse was pounding because if I failed and had to wait another 45 days to take it again, my timeline would be messed up if that was the case! Well, I was overjoyed to see a 260 there!!! I really have no idea how they score this thing but my guess is that some questions have more weight than others. They give you a breakdown on how many you got correct in each section and to my surprise I did the best in ELA (which I thought was the hardest). Good luck to you and just read as much of these posts as possible to different studying tips.

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I really only studied for three weeks before taking the test. I found the Wynne book to be helpful, although it was far too detailed in many of the sections and it was definitely easy to get bogged down in too much information. I also used the state provided materials and found the practice questions especially helpful. It's been 20 years since I've taken algebra and geometry, so I definitely had to spend some extra time reviewing those skills and refreshing my memory.

Test: I took the test on 5/14. It wasn't necessarily difficult, just involved some critical thinking. I went through the whole test one time and answered all the questions, marking anything that I wasn't completely sure about. Then I just went back through the marked questions to spend more time and reconsider answers. There are a lot of reading passages in both the Language Arts and Social Studies sections. I tried to read through the related questions and make sure I knew what to look for as I was reading. Just don't get panicky, take your time reading, and really read all the answers before selecting the one you want. Also, dress in layers--the testing room was freezing when I was there. I finished the test in about 2 hours. My scores came within 48 hours and I was happy to pass with a 285!

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I just used the free generalist 4-8 study guide provided by the state along with a few other free online sources. I downloaded the study guides for each content area as well but the only one that had different questions was the ELAR 4-8. I couldn't really afford the extra guides (2 kids and my wife stays at home) so I just used whatever free stuff I could find. I took the generalist practice test to see where I was weakest and tried to focus on those areas. My weakest subject was math, followed by english so I went through those questions to figure out why I got them wrong. I didn't really study the competencies because there wasn't a lot of specifics I could glean from them to actually study. I would recommend quizlet.com to find study topics. You can just type in generalist 4-8 in the search to find appropriate study guides. I didn't focus on SS or science much because I did well in those areas on the practice test. I had about 3 weeks to study and spent around an hour or so a night about every other day.

Test: The first time I took the practice test, I only scored around a 75 with help from the internet so I was a little concerned about how I would do. Turns out, the math was a lot easier than the practice test (I missed 12 questions on the practice test and only 4 on the actual test) and english was the only one I had to go back and review questions on. The other 2 subjects were about what I was expecting if not slightly easier. I wound up scoring a 286 after all was said and done. It's not as hard or easy as you think it'll be. It is what it is. A lot of it is common sense and the rest just depends on how much you remember from school and how much of a history/science buff you are. You can't possibly teach yourself everything that will be covered so study what you can and relax and take your time during the test and you should do fine.

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the online study guide provided by Texas Teachers. I did the practice questions provided. I struggled with the practice math questions and used Khan Academy a little for review. I also used some grade-level TAKS study guides for social studies and science sections. I think the TAKS study guides helped me refresh a lot on science and social studies I hadn't seen in quite a few years.

Test: I thought the math was SIGNIFICANTLY easier than the practice questions I came across. It was the section I was most worried about, but I ended up doing the best on (only missed 1 question). I went through and answered the questions I was confident about and marked those that I was unsure of and went back. I had plenty of time to finish the test and scored a 283/300.

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