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Sharpen your knowledge and skills
* The book's comprehensive review features coverage of every topic and type of question on the official exam.
* Lessons reinforce necessary skills
* Key tutorials enhance specific abilities needed on the test
* Targeted drills increase comprehension and help organize study
Practice for real
* Create the closest experience to test-day conditions with two full-length practice tests
* Chart your progress with full and detailed explanations of all answers
* Boost your confidence with test-taking strategies and experienced advice
Get to the head of the class! Get certified!
REA books and software have proven to be the extra support teacher candidates need to pass their challenging test for state licensure. Our comprehensive study guides are teacher-recommended and written by educators who have mastered the test and the related program of study.
REA's practice tests replicate the actual two-hour PLT, carefully capturing every type of question--and the level of difficulty--that you can expect to encounter on the PLT. Following each practice test, you will find an answer key with detailed explanations designed to help you not just identify the correct answer, but also to understand why it's correct. Just as important, we explain why the remaining choices are incorrect.
About the Praxis Series
The Praxis Seriesª is a group of teacher certification tests developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). There are three categories of tests in the series.
Praxis I includes the paper-based Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) and the Praxis I Computer-Based Tests (CBT). Both versions cover essentially the same subject matter. These exams measure reading, mathematics, and writing skills. These tests are often a requirement for admission to a teacher education program.
Praxis II includes Subject Assessment/Specialty Area Tests, the Multiple Subjects Assessment for Teachers (MSAT), and the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) tests. These tests are taken after the classroom training, the coursework, and the practicums in most teacher-training programs.
Praxis III is different from the typical multiple-choice and essay tests normally used for assessment purposes. ETS-trained observers evaluate an instructor's performance in the classroom. The ETS assessors use nationally validated criteria for their evaluations. The observers may videotape the lesson, and other teaching experts may critique the resulting tapes.
About the Principles of Learning and Teaching Tests
What are the PLT Tests?
The Principles of Learning and Teaching Test you will be taking is one of three PLTs that come under the Praxis II: Subject Assessments umbrella. Praxis, by the way, is ETS's shorthand for Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers. The PLT tests use case studies, constructed-response items, and multiple-choice questions to gauge what ETS calls your "general pedagogical knowledge." Most people who take the PLTs are seeking initial licensure. Check with your state's education agency to determine which PLT tests you should take. The three tests are pegged to three grade levels: K-6, 5-9, 7-12. The tests cover subject matter that is typically taught in teacher-education courses, such as human growth and development, school curriculum, methods of teaching, and other professional development courses. This book will prepare you to pass the PLT 5-9.
Who administers the PLT?
The tests are developed and administered by Lawrence Township, N.J.-based ETS, the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization.
When should I take the PLT 5-9?
The PLT 5-9 is a test for those who have completed or almost completed their teacher education programs. In some states the test is a requirement for initial certification; in other states the test is a requisite for beginning teachers during their first months on the job. Each state establishes its own requirements for certification; some states specify the passing of additional or different tests. Check with your state education agency for details.
When and where does one take the PLTs?
ETS offers the PLT tests six times a year at a number of locations across the nation. The usual testing day is Saturday, but examinees may request an administration on an alternate day if a conflict--such as a religious obligation--exists.
To receive information on upcoming administrations of the PLT, consult the ETS Registration Bulletin. Contact ETS at:
Educational Testing Service
Teaching and Learning Division
P. O. Box 6051
Princeton, NJ 08541-6051
Phone: (609) 771-7395
Special accommodations are available for candidates who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled, or specific learning disabled. Telephone numbers for questions concerning disability services are available.
Disability Services: (609) 771-7780
TTY only: (609) 771-7714
Provisions are also available for examinees whose primary language is not English. The registration booklet includes directions for those requesting such accommodations.
The ETS registration bulletin includes information regarding available test sites; reporting test scores; requesting changes in tests, centers, and dates of test; purchasing additional score reports; and other basic facts. The bulletin also includes information on test retakes. There is even a listing of the more than 30 state certification agencies that require or accept Praxis tests.
Is there a registration fee?
To take a PLT test, the examinee must pay a registration fee which is payable by a check, money order, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit cards.
In certain cases, ETS offers fee waivers. The registration bulletin gives qualifications for receiving this benefit and describes the application process.
Cash is not accepted for payment.
How to Use this Book
What do I study first?
Read over our subject reviews and 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 so you'll be familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking the actual PLT.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the PLT. 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 because it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material.
It is important, however, to review the material you need to study one last time the night before you take the test.
Format of the PLT 5-9
The Principles of Learning and Teaching Test, Grades 5-9 contains 24 discrete multiple-choice questions. These questions assess a beginning teacher's knowledge of certain job-related skills and knowledge. Four choices are available for the test-taker to choose from; the options bear the letters A through D.
The PLT also contains four case studies. Three constructed-response questions follow each case study. You will be given two hours to complete the exam. Use the practice test to learn how to pace yourself. You should spend approximately 25 minutes on each case study and 20 minutes on the multiple-choice questions.
Our book contains two full-length model tests; both practice tests completely mirror the PLT 5-9.
The PLT contains four content categories: (1) Students as Learners, (2) Instruction and Assessment, (3) Communication Techniques, and (4) Teacher Professionalism.
The topics covered under the first category, "Students as Learners" include:
+ Student development and the learning process
+ Students as diverse learners
+ Student motivation and the learning environment
This category accounts for approximately 35% of the total score.
The topics covered under the second category, "Instruction and Assessment," include:
+ Instructional strategies
+ Planning instruction
+ Assessment strategies
This category accounts for approximately 35% of the total score.
The topics covered under the third category, "Communication
+ Effective verbal and nonverbal communication
+ Cultural and gender differences in communication
+ Stimulating discussion and responses in the classroom
This portion of the exam accounts for approximately 15% of the total score.
Finally, the "Teacher Professionalism" topics include:
+ The reflective practitioner
+ The larger community
This portion of the exam accounts for approximately 15% of the total score.
REA's model exams test the content included under each of the aforementioned topics. Individual test items require different thinking levels, ranging from simple recall to more complex evaluation and problem-solving.
About the Review Sections
The reviews in this book will 1) help you sharpen the basic skills needed to approach the PLT and 2) provide strategies for attacking the questions. By using the reviews in conjunction with the practice tests, you will better prepare yourself for the actual test.
This REA study guide covers each content category in the PLT in the review. When used in concert, the book's review sections and model tests will put you in the best possible position to succeed on the PLT.
Most of what you need to know to answer the questions on the test, you should have learned through your course work and your practical experience in the schools. The education classes you took should have provided you with the expertise to make important decisions about situations you will face as a teacher. Our review should help you fit the information you have acquired into its specific testable category. Reviewing your class notes and textbooks along with systematic use of this book will give you an excellent springboard for passing the PLT.
Scoring The PLT
How do I score my practice test?
The number of raw points awarded on the PLT tests is based on the number of correct answers given. Your scaled score is computed from your total number of raw points in a way that adjusts for the difficulty of the questions. The scoring of the constructed-response items is on a scale of 0-2. Your written response to each question is read and scored by two or more qualified scorers.
Your essay will receive a score of 2 if: The response appropriately answers all parts of the question. The response shows evidence of understanding the case study, the principles of learning and teaching, and how to apply the content categories to the answer.
Your essay will receive a score of 1 if: The response appropriately answers only parts of the question. It will show only some understanding of the case study, the principles of learning and teaching, and how to apply the content categories to the answer.
Your essay will receive a score of 0 if: The response is inappropriate. It does not answer the question nor does it show any understanding of the case study, the principles of learning and teaching, and how to apply the content categories to the answer.
Your passing score will vary depending on the state in which you are taking the test. The following table provides contact information and current passing scores for each of the states that administer the PLT tests. We recommend that you check with your state education agency for the latest information on the PLT battery.
STATE CONTACT PASSING SCORE
INFORMATION PLT 5-9
AR (501) 682-4475 164
HI (808) 586-3276 157
KS (785) 296-8010 161
KY (502) 564-4606 161
LA (877) 453-2721 161
MN (651) 582-8691 144
MO (573) 751-4212 160
MS (601) 359-3513 152
OH (877) 644-6338 168
SC (803) 734-8466 165
TN (615) 532-4880, 4885 154
UT (801) 538-7500 160
WV (304) 558-7826 159
When will I receive my score report and in what form will it be?
ETS mails test-score reports six weeks after the test date. There is an exception for computer-based tests and for the Praxis I examinations.
Score reports will list your current score and the highest score your have earned on each test you have taken over the last 10 years.
Along with your score report, ETS will provide you with a booklet that offers details on your scores. For each test date, you may request that ETS send a copy of your scores to as many as three score recipients, provided that each institution or agency is eligible to receive the scores.
Studying for the PLT
It is critical to your success that you choose a time and place for studying that works best for you. Some people set aside a certain number of hours every morning to study; others may choose to study at night before retiring. Only you know what's most effective for you. Be consistent. Use your time wisely. Work out a study routine and stick to it. Don't let your personal schedule interfere and, most of all, don't try cramming the night before the test. There area any number of amazing tales about effective cramming. Don't kid yourself; most of them are false and the rest are about exceptional people who, by definition, aren't like most of us.
When you take the practice tests, try to make your testing conditions as much like the actual test as possible. Turn off your television, radio, and telephone. Sit down at a quiet table free from distraction.
As you complete the practice test, score your test and thoroughly review the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly. Take notes on material you will want to go over again or research further.
Keep track of your scores. By doing so, you will be able to gauge your progress and discover your strengths and weaknesses. You should carefully study the material relevant to your areas of difficulty. This will build your test-taking skills, and your confidence!
Although you may not be familiar with tests like the PLT, this book will help acquaint you with this type of examination and help alleviate your test-taking anxieties. Here are seven specific ways to help you become accustomed to the PLT.
1--Become comfortable with the format of the PLT. While you are practicing, simulate the conditions under which you will be taking the actual test. Stay calm and pace yourself. Wear a (noiseless) watch during the practice and during the actual test session. After simulating the test only once, you will automatically boost your chances of doing well. You will be able to sit down for the actual PLT with that much more grasp of the real exam.
2--Read all of the possible answers for the multiple-choice questions. Just because you think you have found the correct response, do not assume that it is truly the best answer. Read through each choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
3--Use the process of elimination in selecting the correct answer to the multiple-choice questions. Go through each answer to a uestion and eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating even one answer choice, you have given yourself a better chance of getting the item correct. You would have a one out of three chance of getting the answer correct; without elimination, you had only a one of four chance. Mark your booklet to indicate the answer(s) you are sure is (are) wrong. Do not leave an answer blank; it is better to guess than not to answer a question on the PLT test.
4--Organize, answer, and review your response to the constructed-response test questions. Before you begin writing your answers to the constructed-response questions, make some notes as to the order you will follow and the supporting details you will include. This outline will help you express yourself well. Remember that anything you write in the section marked "Notes" will not receive a score. For a constructed-response question, give a complete answer. Your answer should include structure, appropriate concepts and terminology, and ample supporting details.
5--Work quickly and steadily. You will have two hours to complete the test. Avoid focusing on any one problem too long. Taking the practice tests in this book will help you learn to budget your precious time.
6--Learn the directions and format of the test. Familiarity breeds confidence. But knowing the directions and format is, at a very practical level, a real time-saver, as it will cut the chance of any unwanted surprises. When you sit for the test, it should be just as you thought it would be. By studying the directions and format ahead of time will help you avoid anxiety--and the mistakes a case of the jitters causes.
7--Be sure that the answer oval you are marking corresponds to the number of the question in the test booklet. Multiple-choice sections are machine-graded, and machines know nothing of your intention to mark on the line directly above or below. Marking one wrong answer can throw off your entire answer sheet and sink your score.
The Day of the Test
Before the test
On the day of the test, dress comfortably in layers. You do not want to be distracted by being too hot or too cold while you are taking the test. Plan to arrive at the test center early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test; your early arrival will also spare you the anguish that comes with being late. You should check your registration ticket to verify your arrival time.
Before you leave for the test center, make sure that you have your admission ticket and two forms of identification, one of which must contain a recent photograph, your name, and signature (e.g., a driver's license). You will not gain entry to the test center without proper identification.
You must bring several sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers for the multiple-choice section and pens for the constructed-response questions. The proctor will not provide pencils or pens at the test center.
To apportion your testing time wisely, you may want to wear a watch to the test center. You may not, however, wear one that makes noise, which may disturb the other test takers. You may not take dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, calculators, briefcases, or packages into the test center.
During the Test
The PLT includes four case studies, each of which presents a particular teaching situation. Three constructed-response questions relate to problems the case studies pose.
ETS administers the test in one sitting with no breaks. Proctors will enforce procedures to maintain test security.
Once you enter the test center, follow all of the rules and instructions that the test supervisor gives you. If you do not abide by the regulations, the proctor may dismiss you from the test and notify ETS to cancel your score.
When all the examinees have their test materials in hand, the test instructor will provide the directions for completing the test. Follow the directions carefully.
During the test, be sure to mark only one answer per multiple-choice question, erase all unwanted answer and marks completely, and fill in the answers darkly and neatly.
When you are completing the constructed-response sections, take a moment to organize your answer, use a pen, place the answers in the proper place in the test booklet, and track your time as you work.
After the Test
When you finish your test, the proctor will collect your materials and will dismiss the examinees. Go home and relax--you deserve it.
PLT Study Schedule
The following study course schedule allows for thorough preparation to pass the PLT 5-9. This is a suggested seven-week course of study. However, you can condense this schedule if you have less time to study or expand it if you have more time for preparation. You may decide to use your weekends for study and preparation and go about your other business during the week. You may even want to tape record information and listen to your tape in the car. However you decide to study, be sure to adhere to the structured schedule you devise.
Week 1 Take the first exam as a diagnostic test. Your score will indicate your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to take the test under simulated exam conditions. Review the explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly. Make careful notes of the information you need to use for extra review and study. Assess your essays carefully. Make sure that they meet the criteria detailed for you in the REA Study Guide.
Week 2 Study REA's PLT Review. Highlight key terms and information. Take notes on the reviews as you work through them. Writing may aid in your retention of the information. You may also want to record a cassette to listen to as you drive.
Weeks 3 & 4 Review other references and sources. Make sure that you also take time to review notes from your previous classes that might help you to prepare for the test. In addition to this guide, review the free ETS publication "Test at a Glance." Use any other supplementary guides and materials that are available to you and that your counselor recommends.
Week 5 Condense your notes and findings. You should develop a structured outline detailing specific facts. You may wish to use index cards or audio tapes to aid you in memorizing important facts and concepts. Be sure to pay attention to the details on the essay.
Week 6 Test yourself using the index cards. You may want to have a friend or colleague quiz you on key facts and items.
Take the second full-length exam. Review the explanations for the questions you answered incorrectly. Make notes of additional areas to study and review. Give particular attention to the essays you have written.
Week 7 Study any areas you consider to be your weaknesses by using your study materials, references, and notes. You may want to retake the tests and practice the answers to the constructed-response questions again. The REA study guide provides extra answer sheets for your additional study and practice.
End of Week 7 The night before you take the test, lay out all your materials (pens, pencils, wristwatch, identification, admission ticket, keys, etc.). Review your notes and directions for the test one last time.
Take the test! Do your best! Afterwards, make notes about the multiple-choice questions you remember and the essay question. You may not share this information with others, but you may find that the information proves useful on other exams that you take.
Relax! Wait for that passing score to arrive.