Read an Excerpt
About This Book & TestWare
REA’s FTCE Professional Education Test (083) Test is a comprehensive guide designed to assist you in preparing to take the FTCE. 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 online diagnostic exam and TestWare® CD, offers these features:
• An accurate and complete overview of the FTCE Professional Education (083) test.
• 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.
• Full-length practice tests 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 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.
About the Test
Who takes the test, and what is it used for?
The FTCE is taken by individuals seeking initial teacher certification in Florida. Educators must pass the Professional Education Test as one of the requirements for their first five-year Florida Professional Certificate. You are eligible to take the test if you are enrolled in a college or university teacher-preparation program, are teaching with provisional certification, or are making a teaching career change to public school teaching. Consult the Florida Department of Education’s Bureau of Educator Certification at www.fl doe.org/edcert to determine what tests are appropriate for you.
If you do not do well on the FTCE, don’t panic! The test can be taken again, so you can 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.
Who administers the test?
The FTCE is developed and administered by the Florida Department of Education with the assistance of Pearson Education, Inc. A test development process was designed and implemented to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test are appropriate.
When should the FTCE be taken?
The test should be taken just before or right after graduation for those seeking certification right out of school. While the FTCE is required to teach in Florida, you may be issued a three-year temporary certificate while completing your teaching requirements and working toward passing the FTCE itself.
Computer-based tests are offered throughout the year in many locations; you simply schedule an appointment at a testing center. Special accommodations can also be made for applicants who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled, or specific learning disabled.
To receive information on upcoming administrations of the FTCE, consult the FTCE Registration Bulletin, which can be obtained by contacting:
PO Box 660
Amherst, MA 01004-9018
Phone: (413) 256-2893
Website: www.fl .nesinc.com
The FTCE Registration Bulletin also includes information regarding test retakes and score reports.
Is there a registration fee?
To take the FTCE, you must pay a registration fee. You may pay by personal check, money order, cashier’s check, or Visa or MasterCard. Cash is not accepted.
How to Use This Book
What do I study first?
Read over the reviews and the suggestions for test-taking. Studying the reviews thoroughly will reinforce the basic skills you will need to do well on the exam. Make sure to take the practice tests to become familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking the actual FTCE.
To best utilize your study time, follow our FTCE Independent Study Schedule located at the end of this chapter. The schedule is based on a seven-week program, but can be condensed to four weeks if necessary.
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 needed to learn the test material.
Format of the FTCE
The Professional Education Test, like all FTCE exams, is offered only on computer at flexible times and locations throughout the year. Minimal computer and typing skills are required to complete the test. 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 Professional Education computer-based test, you will complete the test by selecting answers on-screen to 120 multiple-choice questions and you will have two-and-one-half hours to complete the exam.
The test covers the 14 teaching competencies identified by the Florida Department of Education as foundational to effective teaching. Mastery of the content included in each of the competencies is gauged by one or more items on the examination. 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 that reflects the information an entry-level educator needs in order to be a truly effective teacher. Within the review section, each competency is broken down into the competency statement and a description of what the competency covers. The competencies will not be discussed in the actual FTCE test.
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 gage your time as you prepare for this task.
About the Review Sections
The reviews in this book are designed to help you sharpen the basic knowledge needed to approach the FTCE, as well as to provide strategies for attacking the questions. Each teaching competency is examined in a separate chapter. All 14 competencies are extensively discussed to sharpen your understanding of what the FTCE covers.
Your schooling has taught you most of what you need to answer the questions on the test. The education classes you took should have provided you with the know-how to make important decisions about situations you will face as a teacher. Reviewing your class notes and textbooks together with our competency reviews will give you an excellent springboard for passing the FTCE.
Scoring the FTCE
How do I score my practice test?
There are a total of 120 questions on the FTCE Professional Education Test. A score of 200 or higher, which is equivalent to 73% correct, is needed to pass. In other words, you need to answer approximately 88 questions correctly to achieve a passing score. If you do not achieve a passing score, review the detailed explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly. Note which types of questions you answered wrong, and re-examine the corresponding review. After further review, you may want to retake the practice tests.
When will I receive my score report, and what will it look like?
At the conclusion of your exam you will receive an unofficial score reports. Official score reports are issued approximately 3 weeks after each test. Your scores will be submitted electronically to the Bureau of Educator Certification. A copy of your score report is provided to one Florida college or university and one Florida school district. You should have requested this information on your registration application.
When you receive your score report and have passed with a 200 or higher, only the word PASS will be reported. If you do not pass, you will receive a numeric score and will have to retake the test.
Studying for the FTCE
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 on 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 practice tests, 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 practice 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.
Although REA’s TestWare records your score, you should keep track of your scores on the practice tests in the book too. 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.
Although you may not be familiar with tests like the FTCE, this book will help acquaint you with this type of exam and help alleviate your test-taking anxieties. Listed below are ways to help you become accustomed to the FTCE, some of which may be applied to other tests as well.
Become comfortable with the test conditions of the FTCE. When you are practicing, simulate the conditions under which you will be taking the actual test. Stay calm and pace yourself. After simulating the test only once, you will boost your chances of doing well, and you will be able to sit down for the actual FTCE 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 through each choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a question and eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating two answer choices, you have given yourself a better chance of getting the item correct since there will only be two choices left from which to make your guess. Do not leave an answer blank; it is better to guess than to not answer a question on the FTCE test.
Work quickly and steadily. You will have two and one-half hours to complete the test, so work quickly and steadily to avoid focusing on any one problem too long. Taking the practice tests in this book will help you learn to budget your precious time.
Learn the directions and format of the test. Familiarizing yourself with the directions and format of the test will not only save time, but will also help you avoid anxiety (and the mistakes caused by getting anxious).
Be sure that the answer circle you are marking corresponds to the number of the question on the screen. Since the test is is graded by machine, marking one wrong answer can throw off your answer key and your score. Be extremely careful.
The Day of the Test
Before the Test
On the day of the test, make sure to dress comfortably, so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. Plan to arrive at the test center early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test, and will also spare you the anguish that comes with being late. You should check your FTCE Registration Bulletin to find out what time to arrive at the testing center.
Before you leave for the test center, make sure that 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 will not be admitted to the test center if you do not have proper identification.
If you would like, you may wear a watch to the test center. However, you may not wear one that makes noise, because it may disturb the other test takers. Cell phones, electronic devices, paper, dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, calculators, briefcases, or packages will not be permitted. Drinking, smoking, and eating are prohibited.
During the Test
The FTCE is given in one sitting with no breaks. Procedures will be followed to maintain test security. Once you enter the test center, follow all of the rules and instructions given by the test supervisor. If you do not, you risk being dismissed from the test and having your scores cancelled. When all of the materials have been distributed, the test instructor will give you directions for filling out your online form. Fill out this form carefully since this information will be printed on your score report. Once the test begins, mark only one answer per question.
After the Test
When you finish your test, signal the test supervisor, and you will be dismissed. Then, go home and relax—you deserve it!