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Read comments on Test # 161 - Special Education EC-12

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Strategy #1

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I work as a paraprofessional in the SPED department and I work closely with our chairperson. He recommended Certify Teacher as my means of studying for the content exam. After purchasing the program, I used the Study Tracker to cover all the competencies. I studied the program for about ten hours a week for a month. Another SPED teacher recommended that I purchase the XAMOnline Manual to supplement Certify Teacher. I purchased it and skimmed through each of competencies. I also downloaded the TExES ETS Study Guide that is offered on their website. About a week before the exam, I took the practice exam on Certify Teacher - this is not necessary. Their Practice Exam is FAR from the format of the real test. Use their quizzes in Study Mode for the best example of the actual exam. I also took the Practice Tests in the XAMOnline book and the TExES Study Guide. These tests are much closer to the real thing than Certify Teacher. I reviewed the XAMOnline book the night before the exam as a final means of studying. If I had to do it over again, I would focus more on the ELA competency. This is the area that I needed to improve the most.

Test: I arrived to the test location feeling fairly comfortable with the content. The test was just about what I thought it would be. There were more ELA questions than I anticipated and minimal Math questions. The majority of the 150 questions placed you in situations you would face in the classroom. A few questions asked about IDEA, ADA, 504, etc. Know the ARD and IEP process. In most questions, you can eliminate two answers immediately. Like most of the tips I read in this forum, have the mindset as if you have unlimited resources. There were only maybe 10 questions that I absolutely did not know the answer. I was given 5 hours to test, but finished just under 4 hours. I left feeling pretty confident. I did not feel that I failed the exam, but if I did, it was by only a few points. I received my score 5 days later; I passed with a score of 253.

Strategy #2

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the study guides provided by TExES-ETS. I also did the 161 study guide, as well as the supplemental study guide. I took them initially to see where I stood, then I began studying using Quizlet, free online practice quizzes, and I rented a Praxis study book (the Kentucky version of the test) from the library where I live currently. I did not purchase any study materials. I studied after work daily for about 2 weeks before taking the exam.

Test: I completely agree with the previous comments when they say you feel like you failed. I walked out pretty defeated assuming I would have to take it again. My test did not have a lot of vocabulary, but was mostly scenarios. There was only one Math problem. I marked about 70% of the questions to go back and review again. I started to get antsy during the test, so I got up to take a restroom break. I completed the test in about 2.5 hours and it took a few days to get my scores back. I got a 272 on the exam which I was very happy with considering I didn't think I passed. I should note that I have no experience with teaching or special education. I think the methods I used to study worked out pretty well. I made sure to pay close attention to the specifics of each question like grade level, type of disability, etc. to make the best decision. There are usually two you think could be right, but always think about what is best for the student.

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I had exactly one week to prepare for the exam. I studied for a least 2-3 hours a day. I first read the prep manual, twice, to fully understand what I would be tested on. Second, I watched the Texas Teachers video module on SPED, twice. I then paid for T-Cert and reviewed the material given there. Lastly, I went to Barnes and Noble and read the TExES Study Guide book. The day before the test, I took all the practice tests I could find and reviewed any areas I struggled with. The best study material I found useful was the Texas Teachers video lesson, this gives you all the information you will need. Definitely watch it twice. The TExES study guide book was great in breaking the test down into competencies and then testing you on it before moving on. The practice test at the end of the book mimics the actual test. Do not waste your time and money on the T-Cert, as it was repetitive to what you learned on the Texas Teachers modules on SPED.

Test: I took the exam on a Friday morning and received my passing scores on Tuesday, so a two day business turn around time. Leaving the test, I felt indifferent. There were questions that only had one correct answer and were straight forward, but majority were "what is the best solution" when faced with two possible choices. The best trick taking the test is to get in the mind set that resources, time and money are not an issue. Place yourself in the scenario being asked and you will have no problem selecting the correct choice, even though it is not realistic in the real world. Also, the TExES Study Guide practice test had similar questions asked on the actual test. I could not tell you how many times it felt that I was answering the same practice question just with a different teacher's name. Someone told me the code that comes with the book unlocks a second practice test online, so definitely worth a look into if you purchase it. Know all the SPED disabilities and how to teach children with these disabilities. Understand the laws, not just memorize them. Know what the procedures are from birth to transition out of high school for a SPED student. Good luck!

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the Special Ed EC-12 lesson on Texas Teachers as suggested by the other posts. I also purchased two sample tests off for only $10.

Test: The test was what I expected. The questions weren't too hard, as long as you read the question well. The sample tests were well worth it to me. They really helped show the question format on the test. The test took me just about 2 hours and I passed on the first try.

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied all 1800 Exam Edge questions, 500 Quizlet definitions, and a few online practice questions. I studied for 30 consecutive days, for 8 hours, five days a week on my overnight job. I can honestly say that Exam edge and Quizlet was extremely helpful.

Test: The test was just as hard and difficult as I expected. The test was based on a perfect world that was accommodating to the Special Education students learning. Every question had two correct answers, and you have to pick the one that is the most correct. Study hard and you will be fine. I passed with a 247. I would purchase Exam Edge and pull as many definitions off Quizlet as possible.

Strategy #6

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used Certify Teacher, but mostly a Special Ed 161 Study Guide book. This book HELPED! Honestly, it has a lot of information, but it makes it clear and simple to understand and remember.

Test: This test was just as I imagined it would be; the book prepared me well. ALWAYS remember: it doesn't matter if you think the student will do better outside of the classroom, don't ever choose to take the student out of the class; this helped me with several questions.

Strategy #7

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I completed the Special Ed training on the Texas Teacher website. I then purchased the study material from Certify Teacher. I found that the material from Certify Teacher was not very helpful and pretty redundant of what you will find on the Texas Teachers website. The practice exams on Certify Teachers was not at all comparable to the actual exam either, so I felt this was waste of money for me. I would recommend studying the information on the ETS TExES website and Texas Teachers website, as this was must helpful. Also, do not spend much time on the actual Math formulas and English rules. Instead, focus on what are the best teaching methods for students are.

Test: I had only one Math question and a couple questions on Langue Arts. The bulk of the test was on teaching methods and different classroom scenarios. There seemed to be more than one right answer on many questions, so I chose the one that I felt was the best of the right answers. I do recommend you review all your answers before leaving. I took all but 10 minutes of the time given to me for testing. This test was not easy and I had no idea how I did on it leaving the testing center. I did pass on my first attempt, but this test was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Just study and focus more on the teaching methods and scenarios and you should be fine.

Strategy #8

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the following: 1. REA TExES Spec. Ed. EC-12 (161) Study Guide - A MUST have!, 2. Ultimate Guide to the Generalist EC-6 Study Guide - ELAR and Math Sections ONLY!, 3. 10 Practice Tests online from Exam Edge, to then go online and search more details on things I did not fully understand.

Test: No tricks on the exam. I recommend completing all of Texas Teachers Online Modules before taking exam, as the modules prepare you for things like Special Populations, Mental Health Issues, Differentiating Instruction and Questioning & Assessment Strategies and Classroom Management.

Strategy #9

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the XAMonline study book. I read through the book itself multiple times, so I felt that I had a really solid base of SPED knowledge. Then, I began taking the practice tests in this book, as well as whatever I could find just by searching online. As I missed questions, I made sure I knew why I missed them and how to do better the next time. I also used Quizlet to go over key terms, acronyms, and laws. I studied for about three weeks prior. I would only study about an hour each week night, but I studied for much longer on the weekends.

Test: The test is a lot like what you have likely heard about it: use the mindset that your school has endless money and the kids are a best case scenario. In addition, always use the mindset that is student focused (ex: it doesn't matter if a certain strategy takes forever for the teacher if that is what would best work for the student). One thing that significantly helped me is picking apart the question and reading deeply to see what I was supposed to notice about it. This test rarely gives extraneous information in the question so pay close attention. If you don't know what all the answer choices are, use process of elimination with what you do know. I passed with a 269.

Strategy #10

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I studied for the test for about an hour every weekday three weeks straight, then taking a two week break with minimal studying on weekends, and finally studyied for at least 6 hours a day the final week before I took the exam. I took the exam on the Saturday after thanksgiving so I had a whole week off to study and prepare myself for the test. I used Quizlet notes, an exam I found online, the T-Cert module, the state manual, and most importantly Certify Teacher. I studied the flashcards, took numerous quizzes and then took the practice exam 3 times until I passed with a 270. The Certify Teacher module worked the best to prepare me for the amount of questions the test had. I am very glad that I took the test after having a full break to study. I would suggest, if possible, to take a few days off from work to study hardcore.

Test: The exam was easier than I expected, but I have also worked the last year as a special education aide and took numerous training classes that explain what is the best choice in a perfect world scenario. The sections that troubled me were the teaching ELL and Math. Like others have said, there were two right answers and two completely wrong. By really focusing on what the question is looking for, you can figure out what answer is best. If you study and prepare you will pass. I feel great after the test and was proud to see my test results!

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