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Read comments on Test # 116 - Science 4-8

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Strategy #1

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used a released STAAR test and took a few practice tests from ExamEdge.com. I only studied for 3-4 days prior to taking the exam

Test: Don't freak out over the comments on this test; the test is not that difficult. If you have basic knowledge in Science, you will pass this test. Be confident in yourself and take your time. Almost every question had two answers that were completely irrelevant. I passed with a 271.

Strategy #2

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used 7th and 8th grade Science books and also did the released 8th grade TAKS test. You don't need any paid study material; you will just be wasting money. I also took the practice test at the end of the prep manual on the TEA website. I studied for about 3 weeks. These books are easy reads; you can knockout 3-4 chapters a day.

Test: If you read these two books, you will know all you need to pass this exam. It's not hard, but it is not easy either. There's not any "gotcha" questions, it's just knowledge of Science. Know how to balance chemical equations, work and force question.

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used ExamEdge.com and found their tests to be very good for learning the format of the real test; I purchased the 5 pack of tests. I made my own personal note cards from the Mometrix book "Secret Study Guide" and passed comfortably on the first try. The questions on ExamEdge.com and the one test in the back of the Mometrix guide were exponentially harder than the questions on the actual test. I studied and then the last few days I took the 5 ExamEdge.com tests and was worried that I kept getting 220's, but that corresponded to a score in the 260's on the real test.

Test: No calculator on the test. Other than that, it is pretty straight forward. I had the same exact flower phenotype question as the person below me so I wonder if that was a sample question. I would say there is pretty much a question on everything you are studying, so it is hard to say look at one section over another. I had no mole calculations. I had to balance a portion of an equation. I had a few questions on the lunar cycle, rock cycle, water cycle, etc. Pretty much a couple questions on everything.

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I searched around online and found several "free" downloadable Glencoe Interactive Textbooks books as PDFs. I used the Physical Science, Biology, Life Science and Earth Science books. I highlighted and reviewed the sections in each book that aligned with the competency standards for the test. I also used videos from YouTube channels: Crash Course, Tyler DeWitt, Socratica, and Bozeman Science for a few concepts I need visuals on like the Krebs Cycle, isotopes, black holes, etc. I used a few Quizlets that had information on teaching standards. I studied for about six hours a day during the week and about eight hours a day on the weekends, for about three weeks. I also used the STAAR test as practice and that was extremely helpful.

Test: The test was easier than I expected. I studied the exact material; some of the questions on the STAAR test were almost an exact replica. Make sure you read slowly and carefully.

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: What materials did I not use! I studied pretty much non-stop for about 2.5 months. I work from home and have 3 kids, so if I wasn't doing something related to them, I was studying. I read the XAMonline book and took the test in the back. The book is good, but there are some grammatical errors. I also read the TExES Secrets Study Guide. Do not use this book as your only source. It is ok for an overview of material, but not for in-depth studying. There is a test in the back and another one online. I took a released STAAR 8th grade Science test. I read an 8th grade science textbook. I also took the TEA prep manual material test. I used Quizlet (it's ok), certifyteacher.com (thought it was way too easy), 240tutoring.com (again, way too easy), and texesprep.com. Texesprep.com is very hard, the questions are way harder than the actual test, but they do help you prepare and show you your weak areas. If you can pass one of their tests, you should have no problem with the real thing. I watched many YouYube videos. I highly recommend Crash Course (they have playlists on Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Ecology), Bozeman Science, and Earth Science X (he has a whole Geology course online that was very helpful) I have a Marine Giology degree, but graduated 13 years ago, so I needed a major refresher. I made flashcards on EVERYTHING, from all the books, tests, and videos and I would drill them every few days or so. Any formulas or how to solve chemistry problems, I researched online and found problems and walk-throughs to help me understand.

Test: Honestly, it wasn't that hard. I am a pretty fast test taker, but I made myself slow down and read the question, read the answers, and then read the question again. Most every problem you can immediately throw 2 out. It took me about an hour and 20 mins to answer all 100 questions. I took a short break and then went back through all the questions to make sure I didn't misread anything. I ended up changing a couple of my answers. I was surprised at the number of calculation questions I had on my test. Several in Physics and a few in Chemistry. No formulas were given and no calculator provided. I made a 267, missed 14 out of 100. I have no idea how many questions were being field-tested, I just assumed 20 from other peoples info. The questions are straight forward, but you really have to think about what they are asking you. For ex: there was a question about red and white flowers being co-dominate. If you cross 2 white flowers, what is your phenotype? The way the question read and looking at the answers, I could see how some people would immediately jump to the answer with the pink flowers, but that's not what they were asking. Crossing 2 white flowers would never give you a pink flower. Any questions regarding the learning, instruction, and assessment, the answer is always going to be the one that is the most hands-on for the student or the one that requires the student to think more critically. This test is totally passable. Stay calm, and read carefully! Hope this helps and good luck!!!

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: In the past few months I've studied for and passed three TExES Exams on the first attempt. I preface with that because I am truly confident that your best plan of action is to use the ETS Preparation Manual as a primary outline and review for this exam. Start with the practice exam located at the bottom of the prep manual. Understand not only the correct answer to the questions, but also the other answer choices as well. I have found that the answer choices will help fill in many of the competencies on the review guide portion of the prep manual. Some of the competency statements can, on the surface, appear kind of vague, so I would recommend really trying to interpret what they are asking you to know. If you find yourself clueless in terms of what one of the competencies is asking for, I would advise using Study.com or the XAM Online book if you cannot find information on a particular competency. The XAM Online book consistently wanders off-topic from what the competency is asking for and I found that to be somewhat frustrating and overwhelming. Please note that there is a post on the Online Study Community that lists nearly twenty different topics that they encountered on the exam. I would recommend looking as far as possible into every single one of those topics. Also, Texasexamprep.com (i.e. Texas Tutoring Services) is a waste of your time and a lot of money.

Test: If you stick to the prep manual, you will find that you will be somewhat over-prepared. Go as far down the rabbit hole as you can for each of the competencies on the prep manual and you will walk out of the test feeling confident you did very well.

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: To study for the test I used the Mometrix study guide. I read through it twice and worked on the test at the end. The test at the end was much more in-depth than what the real test is like. I also purchased Certify Teacher, which I think was the best tool I used. It was the most similar to the test. I also went back and studied old STAAR tests that have been released online for free.

Test: I was nervous going into the test, but the test was so much easier than I thought it was going to be. The "Earth" and "Space" gave me the most trouble, but I still passed with a 259. If you study, you can pass this test.

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the Xam online book, 240tutoring.com, Quizlet, and a few STAAR tests. I made flashcards of all of the content in the Xam Online book. I studied for exactly 29 days. I studied for 4-6 hours each day on the weekend, and then the weekend before the test for 12 hours each day. For the last few days before the test, I purchased the 240tutoring.com online study. The format was great, but I flew threw and was quickly getting all the practice questions right. I felt like it was too easy; they claim that if you can pass their domains with 95%, they guarantee you will pass the TExES 4-8 Science. That being said, only a few of their questions helped me and I would NOT rely totally on this program. The XAM online, by far, gave me the best overall study of the domains. If I had it to do over, I would take about two more weeks and look over a Life Science, Physical Science and Earth Science textbook.

Test: It was tough; I wouldn't say it was harder than I expected, but the questions were different than any of the practice questions I used. I would liken it to a college level final exam on general knowledge of Life, Physical and Earth Science. Don't forget to study your Scientific Inquiry/Process and Science Learning. I had 100 questions. About 10 of them I for sure was not sure on and I assume they might have been the 'pilot' questions. Of the other 90, I nailed about half of those without even thinking too much, and the other half I narrowed to 50/50 and chose what I thought was the best. Every domain was well represented. I didn't have to balance a chemical equation or determine mole ratio. I did have a few problems on calculating force and half life. The way the questions are worded and the answer choices demand that you know the material. I passed with a 244! Good Luck!

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: A lot of the information that was provided on this online study community was very helpful; I made some flashcards with information that was provided. I also used 240tutor.com; they guarantee that you will pass your TExES exam, if you can score a 95% on their test or your money back. Another thing I liked about them is that they test your knowledge to see where you need improving. You study the materials they provide, and a few weeks later you test again and see where you have improved and where you still need work. I also reviewed a lot of free study guides that I found online. Finally, I viewed a few videos on YouTube: planets, Punnett squares, rock cycle, Newton’s laws, calculating a chemical equation, calculating moles, and the periodic table. The only thing I would have done differently is given myself more time to study. I studied several hours everyday for 6 weeks.

Test: The test had very little information that I had reviewed. There were some trick questions regarding systolic and diastolic blood pressure and a few others that I did not see in the study guides. I scored a 200 and hope that I can pass the second time around. I plan on reviewing the information that I had previously studied. I also plan on reviewing information that was on the test that I had not studied before. I wish everyone the best of luck.

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the Study.com program TExES Science 4-8: Practice & Study Guide; it went over every single thing on the test. It's long, but I think it was well worth the money as it broke everything down to a simple level. I also used the Mometrix book, but more for the test at the end. It gives detailed reasons behind every answer choice: ex. A is the right answer, it will tell you why, then it will tell you what B,C,D are and why they are not correct.

Test: The test, overall, wasn’t hard. Some of the Chemistry was hard, but I’m extremely weak in Chemistry. Some of my question were: what is a lunar eclipse, the Jovian planets differ from the interior how, what is an element that losses and electron called, and if 2 people who are heterogeneous had a child, what are the odds the child will also be heterogeneous?. I started the test at 8 and was done by 10:30. It was tough to have to wait over a weekend for my results, but I passed with no problem.

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