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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: If you are unfamiliar with anything regarding SpEd, especially the history of Special Education and identifying disabilities, you have to know this! IDEA, LRE, ADA, the ARD process, just to begin. Very, very important, never segregate the student from the general population! It is all about inclusion. I used the study manual from the TExES website and an old "Intro to Special Education" book from one of my Child Development courses. Learn important terminology. Know the professionals and their roles who work with students with disabilities. Above all, be well prepared, give yourself plenty of time to study.

Test: Test was just as I expected, various scenarios regarding what is best for the student. There were only 3 Math problems, (I was so thankful for that!). On my test there was an Egyptian number system question. Anyway, that seemed strange but I did my best with that. Again, never take the student out of the classroom! I passed! Wish all well!

Strategy #2

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I purchased the TExES book and studied for a month here and there. Each chapter has end of chapter quizzes, and the book has 2 practice exams that mimic the real exam. You can also take both practice exams online. I took first practice exam online and then again using the book(to re-enforce what I knew and what I needed to correct). I repeated this for the second practice exam. Throughout my studying and practice exam, I created index cards with words I was unfamiliar with. I completed the Texas Teachers training modules related to SPED and went over them one more time. Doing the training modules was a big help, since it introduces you to teaching strategies and behavior management.

Test: A LOT more scenarios than I had expected. It took me 4-1/2 hours. Focus on situational things and learning disabilities. Do not spend too much time on topics such as Autism, OHI, and Math (there was only about 5 questions). I did not think I passed, but I got my scores the following Tuesday and passed with a 260.

Strategy #3

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I did not buy any study materials. I used the Quizlet app and the TExES Special Education 161 Study Guide that I checked out from the library.

Test: The test was actually easier than I expected. My advice would be to make sure you read carefully! I went through all the questions and marked any I wasn't sure about. Then, I went to the water fountain and stretched before returning and reviewing the questions I marked. I waited two days for my score and passed with a 282.

Strategy #4

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the TExES book with 2 practice exams; I used the online version from Amazon. I also used CertifyTeacher.com. I believed they both helped understand SpEd in general. It didn't help as much with the autism spectrum disorder, which a lot of my questions had. I would recommend practicing a lot of the reading questions as well.

Test: I passed on my first try with a 248. I agree, it felt like I failed the exam as others are saying. It was difficult, but with consistent study prep, you should be fine.

Strategy #5

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I used the practice test provided by ETS, took it twice. Surprisingly, YouTube was a huge source of info for me. There are videos of someone reading out a study guide for this test that helped a lot. Also study Special Education laws, very important.

Test: Show up early and prepared. Read your admission ticket for instructions on what not to bring. You get 5 hours for 150 questions. Note: I was a bit surprised to see that all 150 questions are just presented as one group and the timer starts with your 5 hours. That can be overwhelming, but just take your time. Use the "MARK QUESTION" feature. This is so helpful in making sure you don't dwell on one question too long or sit there doubting your first choice. I spent about one week studying, took about 2 hours on the test and I passed with a 280. If you know your laws and disabilities, you got this!

Strategy #6

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 #7

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 #8

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 #9

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 REA.com 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 #10

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.

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