Read an Excerpt
About This Book
You are preparing to take the Florida Teacher Certification Exam General Knowledge Test (FTCE-GKT). Perhaps you are taking it for the first time. Perhaps you are retaking the exam. Whatever the case, this book will help you pass.
While working through this book, you will acquire a thorough and accurate understanding of what it takes to master the FTCE-GKT. The comprehensive review material in this book covers all subject areas known to appear on the FTCE-GKT, providing you with all the information you need to take this challenging certification exam.
Test-takers should note that every time the FTCE-GKT is administered, multiple versions of the exam are created and distributed to each testing center. These versions may contain a mix of different questions with different answers. This test versioning can add a greater level of uncertainty for the test-taker. Are you sure you are studying every topic enough? Are you adequately prepared for every test subject you may encounter on the FTCE-GKT? You can rest assured. One important purpose of this book is to prepare you for every possible version of the FTCE-GKT. We at REA believe you cannot prepare enough for this career-building exam.
About Our Practice Exams
You will be allotted three and one half hours to take the actual exam. This same amount of time is allotted to take each of our practice tests. REA’s tests are carefully based on the current FTCE-GKT exams, and thus contain every type of question that you can expect to see on test day. Each practice test question is thoroughly explained in easy-to-follow detail. Sample responses are also provided for the essays to help you better understand and master the test material.
The FTCE is scored on a pass/fail basis. The following are the maximum percentages of questions in each subtest you need to answer correctly in order to pass:
• 65% Reading
• 73% English Language
• 60% Mathematics
In order to pass the Essay subtest, you need a score of at least 6 out of 12. Two raters will grade your exam independently and their grades will be combined to arrive at your final score.
About the Test
Who Takes the Test, and What Is It Used For?
The FTCE-GKT is used by the State of Florida to assess knowledge of teacher certification candidates. If you do not achieve a passing score on the FTCE-GKT, don’t panic. You can take the test again, so you can work on improving your score in preparation for your next administration.
About Computer-Based Testing
The FTCE-GKT 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. The FTCE-GKT requires the examinee to type a response to the essay assignment.
When Should the FTCE-GKT Be Taken?
The FTCE-GKT is usually taken immediately before the completion of a teacher certification program at a college or university. This gives candidates enough time to retake the test if they are not pleased with their score. Our practice tests will familiarize you with the format of the exam so that you do not have to go through the anxiety of learning about the FTCE-GKT during the actual exam.
When and Where Is the Test Given?
The FTCE-GKT is administered five times a year at testing centers across Florida. Tests are usually administered on a Saturday; however, the test may be taken on an alternate day if a conflict, such as a religious obligation, exists. The registration bulletin for the FTCE-GKT contains test dates and administration sites. You may obtain a registration bulletin by contacting:
Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson
PO Box 226
Phone: (413) 256-2893
Amherst, MA 01004
Is There a Registration Fee?
Yes, you must pay a fee to take the FTCE-GKT. Fee waivers are available for candidates who are unable to afford registration. You must be enrolled in a college undergraduate program and must prove that you are required by a registered score recipient to take the exam. Details regarding income eligibility levels are contained in the registration bulletin.
How to Use This Book
What should I Study First?
Read over our review material, and then take the first practice test. This will help you pinpoint your areas of weakness. Study those sections in which you had the most difficulty first, and then move on to those areas that presented less of a challenge to you.
When should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to begin studying for the FTCE-GKT. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to study. Give yourself enough time to become familiar with the format of the test and the material it covers. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more comfortable and confident you will be on the day of the test.
Format of the FTCE-GKT
The FTCE-GKT is divided into four sections:
The Reading Test
The Reading Test measures your ability to understand and analyze written information. The test consists of several written passages and about 40 multiple-choice questions to test your understanding of those passages. You have 40 minutes to complete this section of the exam.
The Mathematics Test
The Mathematics Test measures competency in mathematical skills that an educated adult will require.
It focuses on the ability to solve problems in a quantitative context. Several problems involve the integration of several skills into one problem-solving situation. The test consists of about 45 multiple-choice questions, which you have 100 minutes to complete.
The English Language Skills Test
The English Language Skills Test assesses your facility with the use of standard English, and you have 40 minutes to complete 40 multiple-choice questions.
The Essay Test
The Essay Test assesses the ability to communicate in written form using appropriate language and grammar. For your essay, you will choose between two topics. The 50 minutes allotted for this section of the exam includes time to prepare, write, and edit your essay.
About the Review Sections
The Reading Comprehension Review
The Reading Comprehension Review is designed to enhance the reading comprehension skills necessary to achieve a high score on the FTCE-GKT. Strategies for attacking reading comprehension questions are thoroughly explained, and a four-step approach to answering the test questions is completely outlined. In addition, a vocabulary enhancer is included to help you better understand the passages on the test.
The Basic Math Skills Review
The Mathematics Review will help you reinforce the arithmetic, algebraic, and geometric concepts that will be tested on the FTCE-GKT. Drill questions are included that will help you sharpen your mathematical skills. A valuable reference table offers quick access to important formulae and an index of mathematical symbols. Careful review of this section should give you all the information you need to pass this section of the FTCE-GKT.
The English Language Skills Review
The English Language Skills Review will help you prepare for the test by offering instruction and drills to enhance your conceptual and organizational skills; word choice skills; sentence structure skills; and grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation skills.
The Writing Skills Review
The Writing Skills Review contains a wealth of information concerning the structure, content, and form of the FTCE-GKT essay. Regardless of the topic you are assigned on the exam, a concise, well-constructed essay is essential to achieve a passing score. Careful study of the Essay Writing Review will hone your essay writing abilities, so that you will be able to write your essay with confidence.
Studying for the FTCE-GKT
Everyone has a different learning environment that works best for them, and it is very important that you find the one that works best for you. Some students prefer to set aside a few hours every morning to study, while others prefer to study at night before going to sleep. Some students are capable of studying while waiting on line at the supermarket, or even while eating lunch. Other students require absolute silence in a well-lit room to study. Only you can determine what works best for you, but be consistent and use your time wisely. Develop a routine that works for you and stick to it.
When you are taking the practice tests, you should try to duplicate the testing conditions as closely as possible. Turn off the television and radio, and sit down in a quiet area as free from distraction as possible. Make sure to time yourself, and allow yourself no more time for the practice tests than you would have on the actual exam. Start off by setting a timer for the time that is allotted to each section of the exam, and be sure to reset it for the appropriate amount of time whenever you start a new section.
As you complete each practice test, score your exam and thoroughly review the detailed explanations to all the questions you answered incorrectly. Concentrate on one question at a time by reviewing the question and the explanation, and by studying the appropriate review material until you are confident that you completely understand the material.
Keep track of your scores on the individual practice tests. Doing this will enable you to gauge your progress and discover general weaknesses in particular sections. You should carefully study the review sections that cover your areas of difficulty to help reinforce your skills in those areas.
Even though you have probably taken standardized tests like the FTCE-GKT before, you may still be experiencing some anxiety about the exam. This is perfectly normal and there are several ways to help alleviate it listed below.
• Become comfortable with the format of the FTCE-GKT. When you are taking the practice tests, simulate the testing conditions as closely as possible. Stay calm and pace yourself. After simulating the test a few times, you will boost your chances of doing well. The test-taking experience will not be unfamiliar to you, and this will allow you to take the FTCE-GKT with much more confidence.
• Read all of the possible answers. Just because you think you have found the correct response, do not automatically assume that it is the best answer. Read all the answer choices so that you do not make a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
• Use the process of elimination. Go through all the answer choices and eliminate obviously incorrect answers immediately. If you are able to eliminate one or two answer choices, you will be able to make an educated guess.
• Work quickly and steadily. You have very specific time limits for each section, so pace yourself carefully. Do not spend too much time on any one question. By taking the practice tests included in this book, you will become better able to manage your time.
• Learn the directions for each test section. Familiarizing yourself with the directions for each section will not only save time, but also help you avoid anxiety and the mistakes that anxiety breeds.
• Be sure that the answer oval you are marking corresponds to the number of the question in the test booklet. Since the multiple-choice sections of the FTCE-GKT are graded by a machine, mismarking one response can throw off your entire score. Periodically check to be sure that you have not unintentionally left a space blank, or filled in two answer choices for a single question.
• Guess, guess, guess. You are not penalized for incorrect responses on the FTCE- GKT. Your score is based on the number of questions you have answered correctly. Therefore, even if you have absolutely no idea what the answer to a given question might be, you still have a 25 percent chance of being right. If you are able to eliminate even one or two of the answer choices, your chances of guessing correctly are greatly increased.
The Day of the Test
Before the Test
On the day of the test, you should wake up early after a good night’s rest. You should have a good breakfast and dress in layers that can be removed or added as the conditions in the testing center require. Arrive at the testing center early. This will allow you to relax and collect your thoughts before the test, and will also spare you the anguish that comes with being late. As an added incentive to make sure that you arrive early, keep in mind that no one will be admitted into the testing center after the test has begun.
Before you leave for the testing site, make sure that you have your admission ticket and two unexpired forms of identification. The first form of identification must be government issued and must contain a recent photograph, your name, and a legible signature. This can be a driver’s license, state-issued identification card, passport, or U.S. military identification. The second identification must have either a clear photograph or a signature. Examples of these could be a student ID or a Social Security card. If you do not have proper identification, you will not be admitted to the testing site. Be sure to check the FTCE website close to the date of your test just in case there are any changes to these requirements.
You must bring several sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers, as well as several blue or black ball point pens for the essay, as none will be provided at the testing center!
There are also very strict rules about what you may not bring to the testing site. You may not bring cell phones or any other electronic communication devices. Scrap paper, written notes, books of any kind or any printed material is prohibited. You may not bring correction fluid or calculators. Smoking, eating, or drinking are not allowed, so do not bring any food or drinks, including water, to the site. Finally, weapons of any kind are banned, as are any visitors, including relatives.
During the Test
Once you enter the test center, follow all the rules and instructions given by your test supervisor. Failure to do so runs you the risk of being dismissed from the testing center. You may also have your scores canceled.
After all testing materials have been distributed, the test supervisor will give you directions for filling out your answer sheet. Fill out this sheet carefully since the information you enter will be printed on your score report. Remember to fill in your name exactly as it appears on the admission ticket to avoid confusion later on.
Scrap paper is not provided, but you are permitted to write in your test booklet. Mark your answers in the appropriate spaces on the answer sheet. Each numbered row will contain four ovals corresponding to each answer choice for that question. Fill in the oval that corresponds to your answer darkly, completely, and neatly. Should you change your answer, remember to erase the old answer entirely from the page.
Only one answer should be marked for each question. This is very important, because answer sheets are machine scored, and stray marks can cause the machine to score your answers incorrectly.
After the Test
Once your test materials have been collected, you will be dismissed. Congratulations! You are well on your way to certification.