Read an Excerpt
Congratulations! By taking the TExES Special Education EC–12 (161) test, you’re on your way to a rewarding career working with exceptional students. Our book and the online tools that come with it give you everything you need to succeed on this important exam, bringing you one step closer to being certified as a special education teacher in Texas.
Our TExES Special Education EC-12 Book + Online test prep package provides these key features:
- Complete overview of the TExES Special Education EC–12 test
- Comprehensive review of all 4 domains and 12 competencies
- Two full-length practice tests, both in the book and online, with powerful diagnostic tools to help you personalize your prep
- Detailed answer explanations that not only identify correct answers but also explain why the other answer choices are incorrect
There are many different ways to prepare for the TExES Special Education EC–12 exam. What’s best for you depends on how much time you have to study and how comfortable you are with the subject matter. Our Book + Online Prep has a plan that you can customize to fit both your lifestyle and study style.
How to Use This Book + Online Prep
About the Review
The review chapters in this book are designed to help you sharpen your command of pedagogical skills so you can pass the TExES Special Education EC–12 test. Each of the skills required for all 12 competencies is discussed at length to optimize your understanding.
Keep in mind that the education courses you have taken thus far have taught you what you need to know to answer the questions on the test. You already possess the know how to understand and make important decisions about professional situations involving Special Education students.
Our review is designed to help you relate the information you have acquired to Texas’s specific competencies. Like the test itself, our review evenly covers the competencies within each domain. However, studying your class notes and textbooks together with our review will give you an excellent foundation for passing the exam.
This book is organized into four parts that correspond with the four domains on the test. The chapters in each part match up with the competencies within each domain.
About the REA Study Center
We know your time is valuable and you want an efficient study experience. At the online REA Study Center, you’ll get feedback right from the start on what you know and what you don’t know to help make the most of your study time.
Here’s what you’ll find at the REA Study Center:
- 2 Full-Length Practice Tests – These full-length tests cover everything you need to know for the TExES Special Education EC–12 test and are a great way to evaluate what you’ve learned.
Each practice test comes with:
- Automatic Scoring – Find out you how you did on your test, instantly.
- Diagnostic Score Reports – Get a specific score on each of the 12 competencies, so you can focus on the areas that challenge you the most.
- Detailed Answer Explanations – See why the correct answer is right, and why the other answer choices are incorrect.
- Timed Testing – Learn to manage your time as you practice, so you’ll feel confident on test day.
All TExES tests, with the exception of Braille (183), are given only as computer-administered
(CAT) tests, so we recommend you take the online versions of our practice tests to simulate test-day conditions.
An Overview of the Test
The TExES Special Education EC-12 test ensures that you have the essential knowledge and skills to teach the state-required curriculum, which is known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS.
This book helps you prepare for the area of specialization called Special Education K–12. Separate tests are required for certification in the areas such as American Sign Language (184), Braille (183), Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (181), and Visually Impaired (182).
Whether you are a student, a graduate from a Texas state-approved teacher preparation program, or an educator who has received certification in another state, you should carefully read the requirements for working with Special Education students provided at the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards website http://cms.texes-ets.org.
What Is Tested on the TExES Special Education EC–12 Test?
Twelve competencies are covered on the TExES Special Education EC–12 exam. These competencies represent the knowledge that teams of teachers, administrators, subject-area specialists, and others have determined to be important for beginning teachers who work with Special Education students in the state’s public schools.
Here is the approximate percentage of the total exam devoted to each domain.
Domains: Approximate Percentage of Exam
Domain I Understanding Individuals with Disabilities and Evaluating Their Needs 13%
Domain II Promoting Student Learning and Development 33%
Domain III Promoting Student Achievement in English Language Arts and Reading and in Mathematics 33%
Domain IV Foundations and Professional Roles and Responsibilities 20%
What is the Format of the TExES Special Education EC–12 Test?
The 135 multiple-choice questions on the TExES Special Education EC–12 exam are designed to assess your knowledge of the competencies and the related skills required to become a special education teacher in Texas.
In general, the multiple-choice questions require critical thinking – mirroring the classroom imperative to promote exactly this among your future students. You are frequently expected to demonstrate more than an ability to recall factual information; you may be asked to evaluate the information, comparing it with knowledge you have, or are making a judgment about.
The multiple-choice questions are set up straightforwardly. Each question has four choices labeled A, B, C, and D. The test is scored based on the number of questions you answer correctly, and no points are deducted for wrong answers. Therefore, do not leave any item unanswered, since you will not be penalized for guessing.
You are given five hours to complete the test—which may seem like a lot—but be aware of the amount of time you are spending on each question so you allow yourself time to complete the whole test.
Keep a steady pace when answering questions. Taking our online practice tests with timed testing conditions will help you use your time efficiently. However, if you choose to take the printed versions of the tests in the book, be sure to time yourself.
When Should the TExES Be Taken?
Traditionally, teacher preparation programs determine when their candidates take the required tests for teacher certification. These programs will also clear you to take the examinations and make final recommendations for certification to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). For those seeking certification right out of college, the TExES Special Education EC–12 exam is generally taken just before graduation.
The TExES Registration Bulletin offers more information about test dates and locations, as well as information on registration and testing accommodations—for those with special needs. The registration bulletin is available at http://cms.texes-ets.org/registrationbulletin/.
Registration bulletins are also available at the education departments of Texas colleges and universities. To address issues that cannot be solved at the teacher preparation program level, you can contact the offices of SBEC at (888) 863-5880 or (512) 469-8400. You can also find information about the test and registration on the SBEC website at http://cms.texes-ets.org/.
How Do I Register for the Test and Is There a Registration Fee?
The TExES exams are administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which has very specific rules for registering for the test. It is important that you read the registration information on ETS’s website (http://cms.texes-ets.org/texes) and follow the instructions given there.
To register for an exam, you must create an account in the ETS online registration system. Registration will then be available to you online, 24/7, during the regular, late, and emergency registration periods. You must pay a registration fee to take the TExES, and you will also incur additional late fees if registering after the scheduled date.
When Will I Receive My Score Report?
On the score report release date, you will receive an email notifying you that your score report is available in your online account. Test scores are released on Tuesdays after 10 p.m. Eastern time within six weeks of the test date.
Can I Retake the Test?
If you don’t do well on the TExES Special Education EC–12 test, don’t panic! You can take the exam again, and in fact, many candidates do. However, you must wait 60 days to retake it.
Studying for the Test
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the TExES Special Education EC–12 exam. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills and focus your efforts. Do not procrastinate. Cramming is not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you enough time to learn the test material. Work out a study routine and stick to it. Reviewing your class notes and textbooks along with our book will provide you with an even better foundation for passing this exam.
Taking an important standardized test like the TExES Special Education EC–12 test might make you nervous. Here are tried-and-true tips to help alleviate your test-taking anxieties.
Tip 1: Become comfortable with the format of the test. When you are practicing, 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 TExES Special Education EC–12 exam with much more confidence.
Tip 2: Familiarize yourself with the directions on the test. This will not only save time, but it will also help you avoid anxiety (and the mistakes anxiety causes).
Tip 3: 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.
Tip 4: Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer choice and eliminate as many as possible. If you can eliminate two answer choices, you will give 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 TExES Special Education EC–12 exam as there is no penalty for wrong answers.
Tip 5: Work at a steady pace and avoid focusing on any one question too long. Taking the timed tests at the online REA Study Center will help you learn to budget your time. Remember to time yourself when taking the practice tests in this printed book.
Tip 6: When taking computer-based tests like the TExES battery, be sure your answer registers before you go to the next item. Look at the screen to see that your mouse click causes the pointer to darken the proper oval. If your answer doesn’t register, you won’t get credit for that question.
As test day draws near, here are a few things to keep in mind so that you’ll be prepared for the TExES Special Education EC–12 test.
Before the Test
Check your registration information to find out what time to arrive at the testing center. Make sure you arrive 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. (If you arrive late, you might not be admitted to the test center.) Check your admission ticket 24 hours before the test in case there is a change. If there is a change, you will have to print out a new ticket.
Before you leave for the test center, make sure you have your admission ticket and two forms of identification, one of which must contain a recent and recognizable photograph, your name, and signature (e.g., a driver’s license). All documents must be originals (no copies). You will not be admitted to the test center and you will forfeit your test fees if you do not have proper identification. (More information about proper forms of ID is listed on the official TEA website: http://cms.texes-ets.org.)
Dress comfortably, so you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. 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. Do not bring cell phones, smartphones, or other electronic, listening, recording, or photographic devices into the test center. Food and drink, dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, calculators, briefcases, or packages are also not permitted. If you bring these devices into the test center, you will be dismissed from the test, your fee will be forfeited, and your test scores will be canceled.
During the Test
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 canceled. The test administrator will provide pencils and scratch paper. You may not take your own scratch paper into the test center.
You will be provided with a Texas Instruments IIs scientific calculator. As we said, you may not use your own calculator.
After the Test
When you finish your test, hand in your materials and you will be dismissed. Then, go home and relax—you deserve it!
Good luck on the TExES Special Education EC–12 test!