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This test was taken on Paper.
Study: I went to the library on campus and checked out tons of books about the Special Education process. The books by Roger Pierangelo are good to read! I also used the study materials online from the ETS website.
Test: The test is long. It took me about 3 and a half hours. Take your time! I would definitely suggest taking breaks to clear your mind. You can narrow down answer choices to two, and from there make the best choice based on "child centered environment". Good luck!
Study: I downloaded and bought the study guide "Secrets on How to Pass the Special Education 161 EC-12. I read over page by page and paid special attention on the practice test and the answers.
Test: It was harder than I expected. Make sure you read the question at least twice. There are correct answers but that does not mean it is the correct answer. Study the practice test and go to the library and read resources about Special Education. Manage your time. If you finish early, do not leave, take advantage and go over the test again. I did that and I noticed that two questions had the wrong answer, so I corrected them and I passed!
Study: Know about the laws pertaining to Special Education students. Really study ARD information. There were a lot of questions about "what if" situations and "what would you do" as a Special Education teacher.
Test: It was hard for me because I heard that it was a breeze and didn't study like I should have. However, if you study from www.texes.ets.org, you should do fine. I took a break, went to the bathroom and prayed to gather myself. I passed!
Study: I studied using the official review material and sample questions.
Test: The test was not what I expected. You should read the questions very carefully. Look through the answers and read the questions again. It will help in the elimination process. Answer the question keeping in mind the Least Restrictive Environment.
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.
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.
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.
Study: I bought the online exam prep from certifyteacher.com ($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!
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.
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.
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Click here to post for: Test # 161: Special Education EC-12
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