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Read comments on Test # 138 - Life Science 8-12

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Strategy #1

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I have a BS in Biology, but haven't taken a biology class in about 25 years, so I was a bit nervous. I have worked in the field of molecular biology for those 25 years, so felt solid on those related competencies. The others I followed the advice from the online community here: took the competencies one by one and reviewed the information using the XAM 138 book, the Texes study guide and an AP Biology review guide. I think the AP Biology review is great for any topics that you feel especially weak - it gives just the right amount of detail to regain understanding. The XAM is helpful in keeping competencies straight and providing some insight into what will be considered important to know. Finally, I loved Khan Academy's Crash Course Biology. It is a fabulous way to get all the information in a different format. I used it in combination with the books for reinforcement. I studied for about 5 days prior (found out at the last minute I needed to take it). The day prior to the test I basically studied all day long. The practice test seemed challenging, so I wanted to be prepared.

Test: The test was much easier than what I was anticipating, but it wasn't a complete piece of cake either. I was just expecting the worst I think. I took 3.5 hours to take it, but included time to review all of my answers twice. I got my scores the next day and passed with a 275. Best advice is to cover all the competencies as you study, take the time to do the practice test, and try not to stress too much. The answers have to be thought through so staying calm helps.

Strategy #2

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the state preparation manual, khanacademy.org, and various articles researched on the internet. KhanAcademy.Org was absolutely valuable to me. I watched almost all of their biology videos. It is a non profit free site for learning and it helped the most. Once I mastered that I looked through the study community on here for any topics people said that were on the test that I hadn't studied yet. I looked those up on the internet. I would not study any differently. I graduated with a biology degree 2 years ago, studied for about 3 hours a day for 7 days before the test, and I passed with a 274.

Test: The test was harder than I expected. It only took me an hour but I've always been a fast test taker. Re read every question to make sure you understand it. I left feeling uneasy about if I passed or not....but turns out I passed with points to spare. Definitely study until you know the information front and back. This test is passable for biology majors but I think it would be very difficult for a non biology major to pass.

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the TExES Preparation Manual and a freshman year college Biology book. I only really had time to study on the weekends, and I studied hard the two weekends before the test. Both materials were excellent study sources in my opinion. I study best if I have something to read, so the textbook layed out all the topics the prep. manual covered. The best way to study is to go through each of the competencies and write down the information for each. You could always use wikipedia or some other online source if you don't have a textbook, but I think you might end up wasting time having to look up all the different topics.

Test: The test was about what I expected. I have a masters in genetics, but there were topics (like ecology) I hadn't seen in a while. I made sure to brush up on those and didn't really focus too much on the things I already knew. I passed on the first try, but I'm definitely glad I studied. If you know the competencies well you'll do fine. The practice questions also help you to study. I made sure I knew the 'ins and outs' for each of those questions. There were a few questions on the exam that were related to the practice questions, so it helps to study those as well.

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I took the test in April. The best information was on the online study community. The test was based on a lot of scenarios. I bought a book from certifyteacher.com and it helped me a lot. I studied for 2-3 hours a day for two weeks before the test. I would go over the teaching lessons for the special education teacher.

Test: The test was what I was expecting from all the information I gathered in studying. I used all 5 hours they gave me to take the test and went back over the questions I could. I would recommend to go over all of the information within the online classes Texas Teachers provides labeled special education for the special education teacher.

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I took the Texes free practice exam first to get an idea of which topics needed some refresh. I then spent a few hours going through the objectives, focusing on the topics I missed on the practice test, then the ones that weren't on the test but that I knew I hadn't seen in a while. I've taught Biology for years and I still had to look up some details that you just don't retain year-round!

Test: It was much easier than the practice exam - more content and less of those questions that are ambiguous. There were a variety of questions covering each competency so it was pretty fair. I know there are different versions of the test, so I lucked out with an easier one, I guess. Just go through the objectives and study each one. As for the teaching questions, if I didn't have a decade of experience, I would have no idea how to study for them...common sense maybe?

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used a high school textbook, notes from classes I’ve taken and the Texes prep manual. I definitely recommend using the Texes prep manual. It is free and it helped me so much. It doesn't give you actual information, but instead what you need to study. I then used that information to study from my notes and textbook.

Test: It was pretty much on point with what I thought it would be. It was slightly easier than the practice quizzes in the prep manual. I passed with a 255. My best advice is to use the manual as an aide on what to study, and then use various sources like notes, textbooks, internet, and videos to help you learn the information.

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I have a strong bkgd in Bio since I did my undergrad in neurobiology. So I really just needed to know what would be tested on the exam. I used the XAM Texes #138 book. Bought it on Amazon, brand new, for really cheap. I also bought the Spark Notes Bio 101 book, but I ended up not using it. I studied for the exam about 2 weeks before my test date, and read a few competencies a day. Then I just brushed up mainly on material that I didn't remember (mainly diversity of life / ecology stuff). I also used the state prep manual's practice questions to quiz myself 2 days before the exam.

Test: I was a little nervous about the exam since there weren't many practice exams available and I wasn't sure what the question format would be like. Questions were a mixture of direct knowledge-based questions (i.e. what is the purpose of lysosomes?) and application questions (i.e. which of the following environments would support an r-selection population?) Be sure to emphasize cell biology (phases of mitosis and meiosis, haploid/diploid, differences between prokaryote and eukaryote, and organelles of a cell, DNA replication -- basically, really study these competencies!), ecology (population biology - know what commensalism, mutualism, etc means), genetics (there were a lot of questions on incomplete/codominance -- if you can set up and do punnett squares, then you'll be ok), and study your graphs (s-curve, j-curve, r/k selection theory), know your biomes. There were also a few common sense questions, like if you wanted to get your class thinking on an inquiry heavy subject, how should you introduce the lesson for the day? (obviously, the answer was to start by asking a question to get them thinking). I didn't think the exam was hard, but it certainly was not easy either. I went into this thinking that it would be easy peasy, but I came out not so sure of my grade. If you don't have a background in science, I would suggest studying for about a month using both XAM and the bio 101 book. You are given 5 hours to complete the exam. It only took me 2 hours. They say it takes about 5 business days for you to get your scores, but since the computer exam is strictly multiple choice, I took the exam on Friday and got my scores on Tuesday. Passed with a 264. Bottom line is to know your material, especially for those application questions! Good luck!

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied very hard for the test. Please know your graphs and theories.

Test: I was sick during the test and I did not pass the test. I use XAM book to study...and it did not cover half the material the test did. I feel stupid. I'm retaking the test this time using the TEXES book for similar questions.

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I found the Prentice Hall Biology high school textbook online. This was very helpful because there were quizzes at the end of each section and chapter that helped me understand key concepts. Do not get caught up in details! Learn basic concepts. I felt like I wasted a lot of study time outlining every chapter. I also watched the entire biology series on khanacademy.org. I'm a biology major, but it has been several years since I've taken a class. This is a good overview. I took the test before I did any teacher training but that is a small part of the test.

Test: The test was hard to me. I passed, but not by much! Like I said earlier, do not get caught up in the details of each chapter if you are studying from a book. A lot of other reviews said there was a lot of ecology on the test, but I found that there was way more cell structure and processes. It took me 3 hours to take the exam. After looking at it that long I was ready to go. It helped that you could mark questions to return to on the computer based test.

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I felt that the high school Biology book was the best way to study for the exam. It had the right amount of information and gave me a general knowledge of all the concepts without overwhelming me with too much detail. The college Biology book was too detailed for this test. I took a practice (paper) exam at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and found that much more difficult than the actual computerized exam. I spent an hour or so everyday studying.

Test: Take your time reading the questions, especially the longer ones. I found that using headphones to block out noise really helped. 5 hours is allotted for the test, but I took 2.5 hours and had plenty of time to check my answers. I failed the test the first time by one point, but retook it and passed with a 267. The main reason I didn't pass the first time was because I didn't study hard enough and second guessed a lot of questions when I shouldn't have. If you have a background in Biology, this test should be extremely simple for you. Good luck!

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