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Read comments on Test # 116 - Science 4-8

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Strategy #21

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: To be honest, I really didn't prepare for this exam. I STARTED reading the XAM prep manual at 4 am the day of my test, which was at 8:30 am. I read about half of it and then quickly glanced over the practice exam available on the TEXES website right before the exam in my car. I was EXTREMELY nervous because reading the comments on this website really scared me. I would definitely prepare for the exam at least 2 weeks in advance to reduce test anxiety. (more time if you have been out of school)

Test: I JUST took the test and I must say it was extremely easy in my opinion. (I was expecting a difficult test. The practice exam was a harder then the actual exam!!) A lot of the questions were basic recall and there were some simple calculations. I could not believe some of the questions asked on this test because there were VERY BASIC. If you are a recent grad and majored in biology, this is no problem for you. Even if you didn't major in biology, you can use common sense and process of elimination to select the correct answer. I would definitely review various texts and topics in advance to refresh your memory and to reduce test anxiety. If you feel prepared, get a good night's sleep, and eat breakfast you will be ready to take this test. Knowing the material and being in a good physical/emotional state is the key to passing any test. I would also focus on earth science, especially if this is a weak area for you. I did not expect so many questions on this topic. Know how to do simple calculations like balancing equations, able to determine the next number in a pattern, and using a chemical equation to figure out mole ratios and knowing how to convert from grams to moles when given information. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is TAKE YOUR TIME, dont stress or freak out about what the question is asking you. Read the question slowly and read the answers slowly. Then read them again to understand what the question is asking. Use the scratch paper to draw pictures or write things down. Then use process of elimination. YOU KNOW THE ANSWER just think back to what you learned in your classes and through your teaching experiences. YOU CAN DO IT! :-D

Strategy #22

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used Brain Pop and found that helpful for review of general concepts. I also purchased MoMedia review guide, which I found poorly organized and basically useless.

Test: I walked out of the test knowing that I had not studied Chemistry in enough depth, and that indeed was a problem area when I received my scores. Best wishes to all!

Strategy #23

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I know the XAM online book is looked down on because of the ridiculous number of grammatical errors it involves, but content wise it really is a very good book. In fact, it was the only book I used. I read the book in its entirety over a few days without trying to gleam every last detail. I just read it at an enjoyable pace taking what I could from it. After I read it all, I went back and re-read everything. The difference was this time I left no stone unturned. I analyzed every sentence and didn't move until I was certain I knew what was being taught. Pretty easy since I had already read it once before. As I moved through each sub section, I answered the questions in the back of the book and at the end of each section (physical science for example). I read the question explanations which are found after the practice exam. I felt completely confident going into this exam based on the material alone. I did go over the official study guide questions once. The last thing I did was take the released TAKS exams for Science grades 5 and 8. I didn't even bother with the high school level TAKS exams, although they can't hurt. I disagree with saying any of this is college level content. The Science 8-12 has some college freshman level content, but this test does not.

Test: This really is not a hard test if you study properly. I passed pretty comfortably, and I am far from being genius. The majority of the questions were extremely easy questions if you read and understand the XAM book. There were only 12 out of 90 questions that I had to mark because I wasn't certain about them. The rest I was pretty confident in. Even a lot of those 12, I felt semi-confident in. The good news is that almost every question had 2 immediate throw away answers that were simply ridiculous. 50/50 odds help a lot on those you aren't certain about. Give yourself at least 2 weeks and study every day. I suggest focusing on a new section every day. By section I mean Physical Science or all of Earth and Space Science. In other words, the sections as outlined in the XAM book. There was only 1 calculation question. All of the needed information was provided in the question. There was no formula needed. It was very basic math that could be done in your head or on the scratch paper provided. It wasn't needed though and I'm not that great at math. Study the XAM, answer the official review questions, and take the released TAKS tests. It really is not that bad.

Strategy #24

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the laminated guides from Bar Charts. I sold some books to Hastings for a gift certificate and got Chemistry for Dummies. I also used XAM Science 4-8 #116 off eBay. Go online to pick up some lab safety information. The laminated guides are mainly what you need and some practice tests.

Test: It was easy. I kept checking to make sure it was the right exam. After two hours, I left and probably missed only four.

Strategy #25

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I bought a study guide, but you really just need to know the basics from each area (chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science). I checked out some books from the library on each subject and brushed up on some stuff, but didn't delve too deeply into specifics.

Test: It was much easier than I expected, but science has always come easily to me. I was a Language major in college, so I was worried, but it's mostly conceptual (there are a few specific equations/problems). I would suggest preparing pretty seriously for this test, but don't stress about it. It's definitely not too hard to pass.

Strategy #26

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I purchased 2 different study guides. The paper bound (yellow and black cover) is a hard read. I found the CD more helpful ( The most useful is the TExES website. I had been reviewing this information for 2 months before taking the exam.

Test: The test was much harder than I expected.

Strategy #27

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I studied the TAKS study guides for 8th grade and the Science exit exam. I also took the released TAKS tests for grades 5, 8, and 11.

Test: After reading the reviews, I was scared about how difficult the test would be. This is NOT like a college Science exam, let alone an exit-level exam for a college course. The test questions are not difficult or tricky, and are actually very simplistic. However they represent a comprehensive review of science - Geology, Astronomy, Biology, Ecology, and basic Physics. The TAKS study guide helps give you this overview and the level of questions on the Texes test are similar to the practice questions in the study guide and the released TAKS test.

Strategy #28

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied the TeXes study guide and practice tests and took all the previous released TAKS tests on TEA site through graduation exit TAKS. Used websites to study topics I really needed help with.

Test: It was much more comprehensive than I expected. It had ecology, physics, chemistry, life sciences, geology, and astronomy questions on it. make sure to study some on all topics. Study the periodic table. It is good to know a complete one like is presented in a 10th grade science book with the complete names and color coded groupings, but be aware the one they give you will not have all that information on it and there were some questions about that information. This test was the fastest for me and I passed the first time.

Strategy #29

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I took this test January 2010 electronically. It was the second time and I passed. What i learned in terms of prepraration was as follows: Study Materials - TAKS Tests, State Review Materials, Science Books Teachers Editions (4, 6, 7, 8) I familiarized myself with content section requirements. I then went through the books, and reviewed the study guide and TAKS sections for each chapter. I then made flash cards for major items such as Water Cycle... I spent several hours each day in short increments.

Test: Since this was the second time, I prepared differently. I thought the test would be much different content wise the second time and it was, but not much. The main suggestion, read the question carefully; eliminate the obvious and if you do not know, leave it blank and come back to it. Use the paper provided to keep track of the ones you eliminated the first time. Understand the question. that is what got me the first time.

Strategy #30

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied for this test and the 136 test simultaneously. I wish I had studied differently, although I did pass with 268/300 (I took it yesterday). I bought the laminated broad overviews of Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Astronomy/Geology-Earth Science. I wish I had just memorized these and wikipedia'd some of the topics that weren't included on those in the competencies. Those were by far the most helpful. I also bought college Physics/Chemistry/Biology textbooks and looked up most of the competencies in depth. This was helpful, but if I had less time I would stick with the laminated guides and wikipedia. There are some great websites put out through colleges that are interactive (google Biology project) that are great preparation.

Test: I thought that the test was as expected...about the same difficulty as the state practice test. Read the questions carefully and keep context in mind if given. Eliminate incorrect answers first if you are clueless. Good luck

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