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About This Book & TestWare®
REA’s FTCE Mathematics 6–12 (026) Test is a comprehensive guide designed to assist you in preparing to take the FTCE required for teaching mathematics in grades 6–12. To enhance your chances of success in this important step toward your career as a teacher in Florida schools, this test guide, along with REA’s exclusive TestWare® CD, offers these features:
• An accurate and complete overview of the FTCE Mathematics Grade 6–12 (026).
• All of the important information and its representation on the exam.
• A comprehensive review of every competency.
• Sample questions in the actual test format.
• Tips and strategies for successfully completing standardized tests.
• Diagnostic tools to identify areas of strength and weakness.
• Half-length diagnostic test to help pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
• Full-length practice test based on the most recently administered FTCE.
• True-to-format practice materials calibrated to the appropriate levels of difficulty.
• Detailed explanations for each question on the diagnostic and practice tests, enabling you to identify correct answers and understand why they are correct and, just as important, why the other answers are incorrect.
This guide draws from many resources. The editors considered the most recent test administrations and professional standards. They also researched information from the Florida Department of Education, professional journals, textbooks, and educators in the field. This guide includes the best test preparation materials based on the latest information available.
Format of the Test
The FTCE Mathematics 6–12 addresses 15 main areas of competency identified by the Florida Department of Education as foundational to effective teaching. Divided between the 15 competencies are 118 skill areas that you will be questioned about to assess your mastery of Mathematics 6–12. Individual test items require a variety of different thinking levels, ranging from simple recall to evaluation and problem solving.
The competencies are broad statements written in a way to reflect the information that an entry-level educator needs in order to be a truly effective teacher. The competencies themselves will not be discussed in the actual FTCE test, only the skills.
All the questions on the FTCE are in multiple-choice format. Each question will have four options, lettered A through D, from which to choose. You should have plenty of time in which to complete the FTCE, but be aware of the amount of time you are spending on each question so that you allow yourself time to complete the test. Although speed is not very important, a steady pace should be maintained when answering the questions. Using the practice tests will help you prepare for this task.
The FTCE 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 the FTCE Mathematics Grades 6–12 computer-based test, you will complete the test by selecting answers on-screen to 80 multiple-choice questions.
Who Administers the Test?
The Florida Department of Education develops this test and it is administered by Pearson Education’s Evaluation Systems group. Visit the FTCE website at www.fl.nesinc.com. Subject area knowledge tested on the Mathematics 6–12 examination of the FTCE was identified and validated by committees of content specialists from the state of Florida. Public school teachers made up the majority of the committee members, but the committees also included district supervisors and college faculty. Selection of committee members was based on recommendations by professional associations, experts, and teachers’ unions. Development of the appropriate content and difficulty levels of the exam involved literature review, teacher interviews, beta tests, and professional judgment.
When Should the FTCE Be Taken?
Florida law requires that teachers demonstrate mastery of basic skills, professional knowledge, and content area of specialization. If you’ve graduated from a Florida state-approved teacher preparation program and made the decision to teach Mathematics 6–12, you need to begin the process by applying for a Florida Temporary Certificate in that subject. The Bureau of Educator Certification will only evaluate your eligibility in the subject/s you request on your application form. The Temporary Certificate is valid for three school years, which allows you time to complete the certification tests while teaching full-time.
For high school grads and out-of-state educators, the Bureau of Educator Certification will provide you with official information about which test(s) to take to complete requirements for the Professional Certificate. During registration you can request special accommodations. To receive information on upcoming administrations of the FTCE you should consult the FTCE Registration Bulletin, which can be obtained by contacting:
FTCE/FELE Customer Service
P.O. Box 660
Amherst, MA 01004-9018
Telephone: (413) 256-2893
8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday–Friday
The FTCE Registration Bulletin also includes information regarding test retakes and score reports.
Is There a Registration Fee?
You can register online at any time as there are no deadlines for the computer-based registration. But to hold a desired date, it is wise to register early, as seating is limited. To register online use the following web address: http://www.fl.nesinc.com/FL_InternetReg.asp.
You must be ready to pay for the test with a credit card when you register.
Can I Retake the Test?
If you do not achieve a passing grade on the FTCE, don’t panic. The test can be taken again after 31 days, so you can seriously work on improving your score in preparation for your next FTCE. A score on the FTCE that does not match your expectations does not mean you should change your plans about teaching.
How to Use This Book & TestWare®
How Do I Begin Studying?
1. Review the organization of this test preparation guide.
2. To best utilize your study time, follow our FTCE Independent Study Schedule. The schedule is based on a seven-week program, but can be condensed to four weeks if necessary.
3. Take the diagnostic test on CD-ROM, and score it according to directions.
4. Review the format of the FTCE.
5. Review the test-taking advice and suggestions presented later in this chapter.
6. Pay attention to the information about competencies and skills, content, and topics on the test.
7. Spend time reviewing topics that stand out as needing more study.
8. Take the Practice Test on CD-ROM, review the explanations to your answers carefully, study the competencies that your scores indicate need further review.
9. Follow the suggestions at the end of this chapter for the day before and the day of the test.
10. If time allows, retake the practice test printed in the book.
Note: Scientific calculators may be used during this test, so use one during the practice tests in this book. However, do not bring one on test day—calculators are provided by the testing center for the exam.
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the FTCE. 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, since it does not allow you the time to think about the content, review the competencies and the practice test. It is important, however, to review the material one last time the night before the test administration.
Studying for the Test
It is very important for you to choose the time and place for studying that works best for you. Some individuals may set aside a certain number of hours every morning to study, while others may choose to study at night before going to sleep. Other people may study during the day, while waiting in line, or even while eating lunch. Only you can determine when and where your study time will be most effective. Be consistent and use your time wisely. Work out a study routine and stick to it.
When you take the diagnostic test and the practice test, simulate the conditions of the actual test as closely as possible. Turn your television and radio off, and sit down at a quiet table free from distraction. As you complete each test, score your test and thoroughly review the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly; however, do not review too much at any one time. Concentrate on one problem area at a time by reviewing the question and explanation, and by studying our review until you are confident that you have mastered the material. Keep track of your scores. By doing so, you will be able to gauge your progress and discover general weaknesses in particular sections. Give extra attention to the reviews that cover your areas of difficulty, as this will build your skills in those areas.