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

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Strategy #81

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: First thing I did was read through all the study strategies posted here! Then I downloaded the free ETS study guide and read through it, took the practice test several times over three weeks or so. I checked out the XAM SPED EC-12 prep book from the library and read completely through that and took the test. That book isn't great, there are a lot of typos and some wrong answers in the practice test, but it gave me a broad overview of the competencies and terms I didn't know. Then I went to the online classes that Texas Teachers offers, and watched the majority of the Special Education for Special Educators class, and the Special Education class. About a week before the test I did the Special Education TExES Review online class (located in the SPED for SP Educators class, last module), then I watched the review again the morning of the test. Its only an hour and a half long, and it covers pretty much everything!

Test: The test was what I expected, it was only "hard" because the questions are unexpected. Multiple questions about Aspergers (which I hardly studied, I read much more about autism!). Make sure you know your important laws, and know the terms and what they mean! Understand and remember the processes for all the important steps a SPED teacher has to know and who is involved- ARD committee, transition planning, IEP process, FBA and BIP, how a parent gets info on their child being assessed. There was a question about a "switch" and what kind of student would use one, and I had no idea what that was. The math stuff was easy (hardly any actual math questions, mostly situational teaching math questions). Make sure you know all the stages for spelling, reading, phonemic awareness, etc. LOTS of questions on beginning readers/writers and just know your terms and meanings! Prepare for the ELAR section by reading an EC-4 ELAR prep book - that helped me them most for that section. I also took the EC-6 Generalist test, and all the ELAR stuff from studying for that test was immensely helpful for the SPED test. Really, so much of the test is situational because they are testing your knowledge and how you apply it to real life situations. I passed with a 263 on my first try, and I didn't know anything about special education a month before the test!

Strategy #82

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: THE CERTIFYTEACHER.COM PROGRAM IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! It was an amazing program and no doubt it got me ready to pass the exam. I studied for a week for a couple of hours a day and knocked the test outta the park. I would highly reccomend this program.

Test: The test was much easier than I thought it would be, the certify teacher software really had me prepared. Be ready for the tpyical TEXES test format, you can almost always eliminate two answer choices right from the start and its down between the last two. Questions like that are tricky because the two answers that are left and very similar answer choices. Math was really simple, don't waste you time studying on math. Really study ELA/ reading, materials (phonics, phomes, etc....) Know the laws associated with sped (ARD'S, 504, NCLB, ADA, IDEA, etc.....) Know about all elements of MR,Autism, and all the different types of disabilites. hope this helps!!!

Strategy #83

This test was taken on Computer.

Study: I downloaded the study study material from the TEA website in addition to purchasing and downloading the study material from the ETS website. I thought I was motoring along pretty while taking the ETS study test. Then, I got to the TEA sample test and got worried. On the TEA sample test, there are many more reading based theory based questions. Frankly, I started studying just a few days before the actual test.

Test: Summer 2012: The test was much more difficult than I anticipated. I think it was more difficult than the Generalist 4-8. It was very heavy on the reading theory based questions ~ VERY. Not many math questions. However, as a sidenote, I could not find a math formula reference page on this test. Tricky questions, so make sure you read carefully when you got down to your last 2 possible answers. Several questions asking specific legalese numbers on laws. Ugh. The test took 4 hrs and 45 min, which including reviewing questions that I had to go back and answer.

Strategy #84

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!

Strategy #85

This test was taken on Paper.

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!

Strategy #86

This test was taken on Paper.

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!

Strategy #87

This test was taken on Paper.

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.

Strategy #88

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 #89

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 #90

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.

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