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

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Strategy #71

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I went over the state's study guide, and then used Wikipedia to look up the terms I didn't know.

Test: Harder than I expected, but not too bad. Lots on laws and ARD committees. As long as you feel prepared walking in, you should be fine.

Strategy #72

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I bought the XAM study book and downloaded the free study materials from the TExES website. The XAM study book was well worth $70 because it gave definitive answers and information for all the domains and competencies (for example, listing the specific statutes associated with Special Needs, etc.). However, try to stay away from the practice test in the back of the XAM book. I failed it the night before the test and panicked, but it was entirely different from the actual exam. Just use it for the information. Another surprising resource was the Texas Teacher's online course for Special Education. If you haven't taken it, do so, and if you have, review it because almost all of that information is in the test. I took about 5 weeks to study, in small increments every day (e.g. an hour or less) because of my schedule.

Test: First, take the test on the computer. I took my test on a Saturday and had my results on Tuesday which saved me having to agonize a month. Second, the test is not as hard as I thought it would be. As others here have said, have an understanding of the domains, even if you don't have all of the information, and think of those when answering the questions. You have five hours, but it only took me one hour to finish. Study, get some sleep, and get there early. If you take the test by computer, some of the testing centers will let you start before the 9 am time.

Strategy #73

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used Certify Texas and The Special Educator's Survival Guide by Roger Pierangelo. I studied for months for this exam. Do not buy the resource Certify Texas because it contains advanced math that was totally unnecessary. Also, I memorized many terms and scenarios that were not remotely useful. The free state guide was very useful. Although I do recommend The Special Educator's Survival Guide for future use, I don't recommend it as a study tool for the TExES exam.

Test: I relied on my background heavily (my degree is in Psychology) and passed by quite a bit, even though I was certain I failed. The first time I went through the test, I skipped the first ten questions in a complete panic. Don't panic! You can miss many questions. Brush up on characteristics of common disabilities and psychology theorists. Take your time and don't be afraid to mark questions to review at the end.

Strategy #74

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I bought the online exam prep from ($55). It was good as far as preparing you for the test format, and you can take practice tests, but the only part I really look at were the online flash cards for vocabulary. I actually found it harder than the actual test. I have a degree in Child Development, so I was able to us a lot of knowledge from that.

Test: There were quite a few questions on theorists (Piaget, Vygotsky, etc.) and on disorders (autism, ADHD, Aspergers, etc.) so I would study that if you are not familiar with it. Some answers can be eliminated quickly once you determine specifically what the question is looking for. Many of the questions were very wordy so don't let that bother you!

Strategy #75

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I studied the online preparation material and checked out books from my local library. I also ordered flash cards available from Mometrix Media.

Test: It was much harder than expected. Although the test framework says that 33% of the test is math/English/science, this was false. There were maybe 5 math questions total, and no questions pertaining to science or reading. On the preparation materials online, one question from there was actually on the exam.

Strategy #76

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I studied using the XAM Special Education study guide. I also printed the preparation materials off of the Texes-ETS website. I used this material (outline and practice test) and followed along in my XAM study guide.

Test: I was nervous about this test because I had heard many bad things about it. I did well on it, however, it took me almost 3 hours (allotted time is 5 hours). Take your time and do not rush through this test. Give yourself enough time to think through each question.

Strategy #77

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the TEA website and it's Special Education overview for parents. I also used the Texas Teachers Special Ed presentation, the SBEC study resources, and 2 texts: The Special Educator's Survival Guide (Roger Pierangelo) and A Parent's Guide to the Special Education Process (Wilmhurst).

Test: I passed with a 284 out of 300, but it was hard. I studied on and off for 2 weeks, and knew the Special Education process very well. However, these tests are so broad, there are always curve balls. For instance, one question asked about specifics ushered in by IDEA 1997. This law was replaced by IDEA in 2004, so why there was even a historical question about the 1997 version makes no sense (one should only be concerned about current existing laws). Also, random reference to the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability and what that organization would advise a special educator who was having a new student with a tracheotomy tube introduced to his purview. Overall, know the ARD process, IDEA 2004, reading education philosophy and terms - phonology, morphology, etc. There are a lot of questions around reading instruction. Know mental retardation and expose yourself to other organizations that support/lobby for students with disabilities. Understand the difference between IDEA and Section 504. Approach every question that has to do with education practices from the approach of "Least Restrictive Environment".

Strategy #78

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I studied the night before the test. I have never taught before. I used the information posted on here from previous test takers, and I downloaded the free study guide from the SBEC website. Make sure you look at the laws regarding students with disabilities, ARD, autism, Bloom's Taxonomy, and how different disabilities affect a student's learning. There is a lot of focus on what is best to help a student with disabilities in the long run (i.e. knowing how to count money to pay for an item versus knowing algebra).

Test: The test was one of the hardest tests I have ever taken. The questions are situational and each one has 2 answers that are very similar. Always think "in the best interest of the child with unlimited resources" and you will be okay. For example, if a child recently became disabled and was afraid that his friends would stop visiting him, what should the teacher do? The teacher would want to come up with an activity that would get the student out of the house but also include their friends. This would be the least restrictive choice. Look for least restrictive choices throughout.

Strategy #79

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: Get a study guide! The first time I took it, I made a 238 and I had only used the state preparation manual to study. This time around, I used a study guide in addition to the prep manual and passed.

Test: The test isn't that difficult, however you must use "perfect classroom" thinking. Take all the time you need on the questions. Make sure to read all the questions thoroughly. Good luck!

Strategy #80

This test was taken on Paper.

Study: I used the TExES Special Education EC-12 book by Sharon Wynne (published by XAM). It is available on Amazon. I also studied the free study guide from the TExES website. My strategy was to take the "practice" test in the XAM book first (as if it were a diagnostic test). Then I studied/reviewed the areas in which I missed questions. Then, I printed the TExES test book and took the practice test in it. I then used the XAM book's explanations of the different content areas to help me understand why the correct answers were right for the questions I got wrong.

Test: The test was a wee bit harder than I expected after all the studying I had done. My advice is to: (1) do not forget about the resource sheet the test provides for math (2) take your time with the questions (for example, for every non-math question, I explained to myself in my head why each answer choice sounded wrong or right before picking which one I thought was BEST), and (3) always look for the answer that is the best for the child. Also... think positively. I got a 267 out of 300 for my score.

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