So you have completed your teacher preparation program, and you are excited to teach your first students. Before you can snag your dream teaching job, you need to take your state's specific exams. Remember that you have already done the hard part! The rest is a breeze from here. We have compiled the best test-taking tips for you so you can be confident and crush that state exam!
Do Plenty of Research Online
There is a ton of information about there about each state’s teacher certification exam. Do a quick internet search. Find out what the passing score is for that particular exam. It is important to know when you can retake the exam, should you need to. Be sure you plan in advance to make sure you have plenty of time to study and prepare to rock the exam! Some tests allow teachers to retake the exam the next day, others in a couple of weeks, or some are longer. Knowledge is power! Do your research and know what to expect from your particular exam.
Get Your Hands on the Test Prep Guide & Sample Tests
There is a reason there are so many study guides and test prep materials out there because they work! If you can, get access to the best-reviewed study prep for your specific teacher certification test. You might be surprised that many public libraries already offer your specific test prep books. What’s better is you can check them out for free! Take advantage of that! Call ahead or go online and reserve a copy of the materials you will need to get familiar with the test’s format and content. Once you’ve got your copy of the study resources, be sure and take the practice test. Most guides will have them included while some are a separate text. By taking the sample version, you will be building your confidence and familiarizing yourself with the way the test writers think. The more you can think like a test writer, the better!
Leading Up to Test Day
Take some time before your exam to know the ins and outs of your particular testing site. It’s important to understand the rules and regulations before you show up. For example, you will probably need to lock up your personal items in a secure location before entering the testing room itself. When you know that ahead of time, you can prepare to pack fewer items to take in with you. Leave your bag or purse behind. Consider bringing a snack and water bottle to enjoy during any breaks in the exam. You’ll want to know if there are any breaks built into the specific certification test you are taking or if you are allowed breaks while the clock continues to run on your test. Either way - be prepared! Get a good night's sleep before your big day, and make sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Arrive early at the test site so you can get situated.
During the Test
Once you have made it into the testing room and have begun your test, keep these tips in mind. Consider the format of the test. Test writers typically design their tests with you in mind. There will probably be higher-level questions in the middle and several lower-level questions at the end. Outsmart the test! Skip questions you are unsure of and flag them to revisit them later. Most online testing programs have tools that are similar for test-takers. Use those tools to help you! Read the questions carefully before finalizing your selection. Remember to use common sense and choose the best answer out of all of the choices in front of you. Finally, eliminate as many choices as possible before guessing. If it comes down to it, choose the longest multiple-choice answer, which is statistically more likely to be correct than shorter answers.
Remember that you have already done the work of completing your teacher preparation program, and you are going to be an amazing teacher! Teacher certification exam or not, you are going to make a huge difference in your students’ lives - so hurry up and dominate that test! Your students are waiting on the other side of that passing score!