- ISBN: 9780738610085 | 0738610089
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 1/17/2012
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About This BookREA’sFTCE Elementary Education K–6test preparation is comprehensive and designed to assist you in getting certified to teach in Florida. To enhance your chances of success in this important step toward your career as a teacher in Florida elementary schools, this test guide:• Summarizes the content for a quick review• Provides sample questions in the actual test format• Offers tips and strategies for successfully passing the test• Presents an accurate and complete overview of the FTCE K–6• Provides a diagnostic test to help you pinpoint your weaknesses• Provides one true-to-format full-length practice test for rehearsal before your test dateThis guide is the result of extensive research. The editors considered the most recent test administrations, other test guides, and professional standards; they also researched information from the Florida Department of Education, professional journals, textbooks, and journals in the field.In addition to guiding your preparation for certification, recertification, out-of-field certification, or multiple certifications, this REA test prep is a valuable resource for college and university personnel and in-service trainers. They will find the book helpful as they construct help sessions and recommend resources for a test candidate. The guide may even suggest topics or content to include in a college course syllabus.Although our book is intended to help you succeed on the FTCE K–6, you should not consider it a replacement for any college course, a duplicate of the actual test, or a complete source of subject matter to master. Like knowledge itself, the FTCE K–6 can change.This book includes the best test preparation materials based on the latest information available from test administrators. The number and distribution of questions can vary from test to test. Accordingly, prospective examinees should pay strict attention to their strengths and weaknesses and not depend on specific proportions of any subject areas appearing on the actual exam.About the Test
Who Must Take the Test?
Individuals take the FTCE K–6 to obtain a temporary certificate (nonrenewable and valid for three school years) or a professional certificate (Florida’s highest educator certificate, renewable and valid for five school years). To obtain either certificate, a prospective teacher must demonstrate mastery of subject matter knowledge, as indicated by a passing score on the FTCE K–6.People taking the test include (1) individuals seeking initial teacher certification in Florida, (2) educators with temporary certificates who want professional certificates, and (3) educators who are making changes in their teaching career. You are eligible to take the test if you are:• enrolled in a college or university teacher education program at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level,• teaching with provisional certification, or• making a change in your teaching career.What If I Do Not Pass the Test?
If you do not achieve a passing score on the FTCE K–6, don’t panic! Instead, as a serious test taker, plan to retake the test after waiting at least 31 days. The waiting period enables you to do additional work to improve your score on the next test. Remember, a low score on the FTCE is not an indication that you should change your plans about a teaching career.Who Designs the Test?The Florida Department of Education, together with the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson Education, Inc., develops and administers the FTCE K–6. The test reflects modifications the Florida Legislature has made to the program of testing required for teacher candidates, who must demonstrate mastery of subject matter in areas covered by the certification.A diverse committee developed the FTCE K–6. The specialists on the committee came from within the state and included teachers, supervisors, and college faculty with expertise in the content areas. Recommendations by professional organizations, content area experts, and teachers’ unions assisted in the selection of committee members.The committee identified the information for inclusion on the FTCE K–6 and validated the content. To develop the test, the committee used reviews of the literature, surveys of and interviews with teachers, pilot tests, and their own expertise. They designed and implemented a validation process to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test are appropriate.About Computer-Based Testing
The FTCE K-6 is offered only on computer, at flexible times and locations throughout the year. Minimal computer and typing skills are required to complete the computer-based tests. You need to be comfortable with a Windows environment, using a mouse (including clicking, double-clicking, dragging, and scrolling), and typing at a rate that will allow you to complete the assignment in the allotted time (approximately 30 words per minute). In computer-based testing, examinees complete the tests by selecting answers on-screen to multiple-choice questions and typing or recording a response to a performance assessment component.When Should I Take the FTCE K–6?
Most candidates for teacher certification take the test just before or after graduation. Some institutions have rules about the dates by which students must take and pass the examination. Consult the rules of the college where you are enrolled to determine if any stipulations exist.The Florida Department of Education establishes the tests you must take for certification and the deadlines by which you must complete the tests for certification purposes. For instance, if you have a temporary certificate, it is good for only three years; if you do not take and pass the required FTCE K–6 within the period that the state sets, your certificate can lapse.Several websites, phone numbers, and addresses help you stay up-to-date with information about the FTCE K–6. You can contact the Florida Department of Education as follows:FTCE/FELE Customer Service
P.O. Box 660
Amherst, MA 01004-9018
Phone: (413) 256-2893
In addition, these websites provide useful information:• The FTCE Home Page:www.fldoe.org/asp/ftce.
• Certification Examinations for Florida Educators:www.cefe.usf.edu/
Is There a Registration Fee?
To take the FTCE K–6, you must pay a registration fee. Payment must be by personal check, money
order, cashier’s check, or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Cash is not accepted. For information on the current test rules, regulations, and fees, contact the Florida Department of Education or go to the website listed above.How to Use This Book and TestWare®
The following sections outline ways you can use this study guide and take the practice tests to help you prepare for the FTCE K–6. Apart from the book itself, we give you an online diagnostic test, and a CD-ROM with a full-length practice test.We strongly recommend that you begin your preparation with online diagnostic test which will pinpoint your weaknesses making it easier to focus your study.After some studying, then take the practice test on CD-ROM. The software provides the added benefits of instantaneous, automatic scoring and enforced time conditions. What’s more, its powerful diagnostic component provides performance percentages for individual competencies, allowing you to manage your study time efficiently and effectively.How Do I Begin Studying?
1. Review the organization of this test preparation guide.2. Follow the “FTCE K–6 Study Schedule” presented at the end of this chapter. The schedule is for a seven-week independent study program, but you can condense or expand the schedule according to the time you have available.3. Take the Online Diagnostic Test atwww.rea.com/FTCE/ElemEdK6.htmand begin by reviewing those competencies where you are weak.4. Review the section of this chapter titled “Format of the FTCE K–6,” which provides the format of items on the sample test and a replica of the real test.5. Review the suggestions for test-taking presented later in this chapter.6. Pay attention to the information about the competencies and skills, content, and topics on the test.7. Spend time reviewing topics that warrant more study.8. Take the Practice Test and study those competencies that your test scores indicate need more review.9. Follow the suggestions presented later in this chapter for the day before and the day of the test.Thoroughly studying the subject reviews in Chapters 2 through 6 of this guide will reinforce the basic skills you need to do well on the exam. Taking the practice test under timed, simulated testing conditions will help you become familiar with the format, and question types characteristic of the actual test.When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the Elementary Education K–6 test. (Actually, you started preparing when you began your first college course.) The earlier you begin using this guide, however, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not the most effective way to study; it does not give you the time you need to think about the content, review the competencies, and practice the test. It is important, however, to review the material one last time the night before the test administration.Format of the Test
The Elementary Education K-6 test requires all morning and most of the afternoon to complete; test takers get a lunch break between the two parts. The morning test is about 135 minutes, and the afternoon test is 125 minutes. The total test-taking time is, therefore, 260 minutes (4 hours, 20 minutes). Adding the tutorial time and the lunch break, the total examination period is 330 minutes. The Elementary Education K-6 is the only subject area test that you cannot take on the same day as another test (e.g., the Professional Education Test).You should have plenty of time to complete the Elementary Education K-6 during the examination period, but you will need to be aware of the amount of time you spend on each question. You do not want to find you have run out of time before you finish all the questions. You’ll want to set a steady pace when answering the questions. Using the practice tests will help you establish a rhythm.Each of the roughly 225 questions has four answer options: A, B, C, and D. Individual test items require levels of thinking, ranging from simple recall to evaluation, analysis, and problem solving. The questions, however, are all in multiple-choice format. To complete the FTCE K–6 in the allotted 260 minutes, you should allow yourself about one minute for each test question.Content of the Test
The FTCE K–6 comprises five subject areas, with competencies (areas of content knowledge) under
• Language Arts and Reading: 6 competencies
• Social Science: 5 competencies
• Music, Visual Arts, Physical Education, and Health: 9 competencies
• Science and Technology: 8 competencies
• Mathematics: 5 competencies
The Florida Department of Education has identified skills related to each competency. These competencies and skills are the basis for the Elementary Education K–6 exam. You can use these competencies and skills as an inventory of information to consider when preparing to take the test. The subject area reviews, competencies, and skills in Chapters 2 through 6 of this guide will help you prepare for the Elementary Education K–6 test.
About the Subject Area Reviews in This Book
The subject area reviews in Chapters 2 through 6 of this book will help you sharpen the basic skills
you will need when you take the test. In addition, the reviews provide you with strategies for attacking the test questions. Each teaching area has its own chapter; subtopics in each chapter include the competencies within the subject area and information on the skills within the competencies.
Your education has already provided much of the information you need to score well on the Elementary
Education K–6 exam. Education classes and internships have given you the know-how to make
important decisions about situations that teachers face. The review material in this book will help you fit
the information you have already acquired into specific competency components. Reviewing class notes
and textbooks and using the competency and skill reviews in this book will provide excellent preparation for passing the test. Each subject area review includes a competency statement and a list of the associated skills.
Another important part of the book is the practice test which will help develop your test-taking skills.
Although the review sections and the practice test will help prepare you for the Elementary Education K-6 exam, this guide is not an all-inclusive source of information or a substitute for course work. The sample test items cannot be exact representations of questions that actually appear on the test.
Scoring the Test
How Do I Score the Practice Tests?
There are about 225 questions on the Elementary Education K–6 exam. The exact number of questions
varies with different administrations of the test and therefore the number necessary for a passing
score varies. Generally, a passing score on the test is 65 percent correct. In other words, if the test you
take has 225 questions, you need to answer roughly 146 questions correctly to achieve a passing score.
The passing score for each of the practice tests in this guide is also 65 percent. If you do not achieve a passing score on the practice test in this guide, you should pay particular attention to the questions you answered incorrectly, note the types of questions you missed , and reexamine the corresponding review section. After further study, you might want to retake the practice test.
When Will I Receive My Score Report?
Unofficial score reports are available through the FTCE website after 5:00 p.m. on the day of the test.
Official score reports will be posted to your account (as a PDF file) at approximately 10:00 p.m. eastern time approximately 3 weeks after you take your test. The Bureau of Educator Certification will receive an electronic copy of the score report. A copy of the score report will go to one Florida college or university and/or one school district if you so requested. Additional copies are $10.00 each.
Studying for the Test
Choose a study time and study place that suit the way you live and learn. Some people set aside a
certain number of hours every morning to study; others choose to study at night before going to sleep.
Busy test candidates study at random times during the day: while waiting in line for coffee, while eating
lunch, or between classes. Only you can determine the study plan that is best for you.
It is important to study consistently and to use your time wisely. After you work out a study routine,
stick to it. It is crucial not to wait until the last minute and not to cram. When you take the practice test in this book, observe the time constraints and try to simulate the conditions of the actual test as closely as possible. Turn off the television, the phone, and the radio. Sit down at a table in a quiet room, free from distraction.
After you complete the practice test, calculate your score. Keeping track of your scores will enable you to gauge progress and discover general weaknesses in particular sections. Reviewing thoroughly the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly and noting the reasons for the correct answers will help you gain mastery. Give extra attention to the review sections that cover areas of difficulty you have noted, and gradually build skills in those areas.It is important to concentrate on just one problem area at a time; a good way to do this is by studying the questions you missed and the explanations of why those answers are inappropriate. Study the corresponding chapter for additional information. Giving extra attention to competencies and skills related to your areas of weakness is an effective learning tool and will help increase your knowledge and confidence in subject areas that initially gave you difficulty.Using note cards or flashcards to record facts and information for future review is a good way to study and keep the information at your fingertips in the days to come. You can easily pull out the small note cards and review them at random moments: during a coffee break or meal, on the bus or train as you head home, or just before falling asleep. Using the cards gives you essential information at a glance, keeps you organized, and helps you master the materials. Ultimately, you gain the confidence you need to succeed.To create you own eFlashcards visit the FTCE site atwww.rea.com/ftce.
Before the Test
If the test center is not located in a familiar area, you might want to make a trial run to ensure that you do not get lost and that there are no detours. It is always a good idea to check your registration slip to verify the time and place. Before leaving for the test center, be sure you have your admission ticket and two forms of identification. Both forms of identification must be valid, unexpired, and printed in English. The first must be government-issued and have a photograph and signature (e.g. driver’s license, state-issued ID, US Military ID, or passport). The second form of identification must have either a photo or signature (e.g., Social Security card or student ID). You may not enter the test center without proper identification.
You should wear a watch to the test center. However, you cannot wear a watch that makes noise because it can disturb the other test takers. You cannot bring cell phones, electronic devices, paper, dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, calculators, briefcases, or packages. Food, drinks, and cigarettes must also remain at home.During the Test
The Elementary Education K-6 exam requires 260 minutes to administer. You will have a lunch break during the test. To maintain test security, test takers and the proctor must follow certain procedures. Once you enter the test center, you must follow all the rules and the instructions that the proctor gives. Test takers who do not do so risk dismissal from the test and having their test scores canceled.After being seated for your computer-based test, you will complete a tutorial. The tutorial demonstrates how to move from question to question, how to mark and change answers, and how to go back and review previously answered or skipped questions.
Here are ways you can get ready to take the Elementary Education K-6 exam:Tip 1. Become comfortable with the format.Use the diagnostic and practice tests to simulate the conditions under which you will be taking the actual test, try to stay calm, and pace yourself. In fact, after simulating the test only once, you will boost your chances of doing well and will be able to sit down for the actual test with much more confidence.Tip 2. Read all the possible answers.Even if the first response appears to be the correct answer, the savvy test taker will read all the choices and not automatically assume that the first is the best answer. Read through each choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.Tip 3. Use the process of eliminationby going through each answer to a question and discarding as many of the answer choices as possible. For instance, if you eliminate two of the four answer choices, the chances of getting the item correct have increased because you have only two choices left from which to make a guess—a 50-50 chance of choosing the correct answer.Tip 4. Never leave a question unanswered.It is better to guess than to leave a question blank.Tip 5. Work quickly and steadily when taking the test.The actual test consists of roughly 225 questions, and you will have 260 minutes to complete the test. Therefore, you will need to work at a constant pace over a long period of time. Wearing a watch and referring to the time occasionally will help you gauge the time left. Remember, you will need to allow about a minute for each question.Tip 6. Do not focus on any one question too long.Don’t second guess yourself.Tip 7. Take the practice test in this guideto help you learn to budget the precious time allotted for the test session.Tip 8. Study the directions and the format of the test.Familiarizing yourself with the directions and format of the test will not only save time but also alleviate anxiety and the mistakes caused by being anxious.
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