Comments Closing June 9, 2017
Dear Teaching Certification Candidates,
The comments section for the post entitled FTCE General Knowledge Exam--Support 2016 will close on Friday June 9, 2017 due to an increase of spam posts and redundancy of topics addressed. In the 3,000+ comments that have served the FTCE community, any newcomers should be able to research the current comments for answers to most questions. For additional assistance in preparing for the FTCE, you might consider joining a Facebook Group and/or consult hard copy study guides that provide practice tests for the exams you're preparing for.
Thanks for supporting this blog and the members who have written in for help! Good luck in your teaching careers!
Hi, Folks! The comment section for the original FTCE GK Exam post has been closed, so I am offering the comment section on this new post to continue to help those find assistance in preparing for this exam. You should read the comments in the original post before posting in this one. You may have a lot of your questions answered there. If you still need help, feel free to post in the comments sections at the bottom of this post. Good luck in your preparation!
Congrats to all who have found this blog helpful in passing your exams. When I first wrote it I had no idea it would attract as much attention as it has. At this time I can no longer receive anymore essay editing requests. Please continue to help each other to become the best teachers you can be! Sincerely, Melissa Voshell (Blog Author)
If you managed to survive AND pass your certification exams, the next step is applying for jobs and preparing for the interview. It seems that most states as well as the DODEA system require online applications to get you added to a pool of "qualified applicants" for future job openings. This is an important time consuming process where attention to detail is key. Update your résumés and reference lists and order multiple copies of all of your college transcripts so you have one copy of each to upload and a couple extras in hard copy to submit if needed. The following are some questions you may be asked at your next interview. I recommend showing up with an extra copy of your résumé and reference list as well as a small notebook for you to take notes on job details you want to remember. You may also want to compose a list of questions about the job, the overall atmosphere of the school, and types of classes you might teach if hired. Do not ask about salary, benefits, etc. Those questions come after you're hired and directed to HR personnel. Lastly, dress professionally!
1. Tell us about yourself and your educational background.
2. What is unique about your teaching style?
3. What is your grading policy?
4. How do you handle "difficult" students?
5. What is your classroom management plan?
6. If I were to walk in your classroom in the middle of a lesson, what would I see?
7. How do you use technology in your classroom?
8. Have you had experience teaching students with learning disabilities? What did you do to help them?
9. Do you have any questions for us? (The answer is "YES!")
This is by no means a complete list. But, it should help prepare your mindset. Good Luck!!
FTCE Professional Education Exam
Last week I took the third of three exams required for my certification. In my opinion this was the hardest exam of the three. This test consists of 120 multiple choice questions to be answered in 2.5 hours. It took me a little over two hours to complete including reviewing questions I wanted to spend more time on. All of the questions are scenario based, which is one of the reasons why it was so difficult. To wrap my mind around a new teaching scenario for every question was mentally exhausting. I used the Cliff Notes Pro Ed exam book for about three weeks and took all three practice exams included with the book. I failed my first attempt since I used it as a diagnostic test to narrow down what I really needed to study. I passed the other practice exams, but not as well as I wanted to. You are required to answer approximately 88 questions correctly in order to pass.
Here are my recommendations for passing the test:
1. If you are already familiar with your state's laws and statutes related to teaching and professional conduct, then you are already at an advantage. If not, look them up now!
2. Pay attention to the questions that ask you to choose the "best" or "first" thing to do in a situation. The answers will most likely point to "realizing student potential" and/or the most logical choice given among the four answers if you exercise a bit of common sense.
3. Review the Bill of Rights (especially Amendments 1 and 5) and also Amendment 14.
4. Memorize the court cases related to ending segregation, any type of discrimination, disabilities, and ESOL students.
5. The topics of ESOL, ESE, and gifted were emphasized in my exam.
Apparently, I studied enough in those three weeks to pass the exam the first time! I hope my post will help you in your preparation. Good Luck!
FTCE General Knowledge Exam
Hello, Teaching Certification candidates! I want to update you on my experience with the second of three FTCE exams. I took the General Knowledge Exam today. Overall, I feel confident that I passed. This exam tests English, Reading, Writing, and Math. I would describe the math skills as a cumulative review of math topics covered in 8th through 10th grade. Those subjects would be Algebra I and II, Geometry, Statistics and basic mathematics including fractions. One excellent bonus is that the exam includes two resource sheets with metric conversions, formulas for quadratic equations (i.e., slope, distance between two points), and geometric formulas like area, volume, Pythagorean Theorem, and circumference. You also get a four function calculator to use during the exam!
The Reading Comprehension consists of 4 or 5 reading samples accompanied by 8-10 questions for each. The kinds of questions asked were very similar, if not identical, in each reading passage. Questions addressed main idea, tone, bias, inference, and argument validation.
The English Language Skills section covered misspellings, sentence structure, punctuation, and subject-verb agreement.
The Essay section was very straightforward. You have 50 minutes to write a 4-5 paragraph essay on one of two topics given. The topics are very general, so you shouldn't have any trouble thinking up something to write about.
I spent exactly one week studying for the exam using the REA FTCE General Knowledge prep course. I highly recommend this study guide!! The questions presented in the review sections and the practice tests were harder than the actual exam. I completed two practice tests and all of the review material. Math is my weakest subject, so I spent more time refreshing my memory on polynomials and geometry than the English stuff. However, I do recommend reviewing the English Language Skills section even if you think that is an area of strength for you.
The exam takes 3 1/2 hours to complete. If you can take it via computer, do it. It's easier to type an essay than write it out, and you find out whether you pass right after it's over. I didn't have that luxury, so I will have to wait several weeks for my results. Hope this helps you. Let me know if you have any questions!
FTCE Music K-12 Exam
This morning I took the Subject exam in K-12 Music and passed on the first try. This is one of three exams required for certification candidates. Here is the one thing I wish I had known about the exam when I originally registered for the program:
You CAN NOT take this exam outside the state of Florida! This is true for other resource subjects like Art and Foreign Languages.
Here are a few more tips about the exam I took today. Please note that there are different versions of the exam, so you still want to make sure you study everything covered in the FTCE Flashcards (available at Amazon.com for $40). I also recommend combing through a good Music Appreciation text if you are lacking in basic Music Fundamentals.
1. A large percentage of the questions cover the National Standards for Music K-12. The study guides on Amazon help somewhat in this area.
2. There was little to no music history covered.
3. There were 18 listening questions covering everything from musical form, style, theory and ethnic music.
4. You need to know voice ranges and types.
5. Learn what beginner guitar, string and recorder students should know including the names of the guitar and violin strings.
6. Take a brass methods class.
7. Learn basic conducting patterns.
8. Know the difference between Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze methods.
9. Use common sense and know EXACTLY what the question is asking. That really helped me narrow down the answers.
10. Learn all the instrument abbreviations in an orchestral score.
11. There were no questions on any of the learning theorists mentioned in the study flashcards (i.e. Bruner, Piaget, Vygotsky, etc.). But that doesn't mean they won't show up on a different version of the exam!
12. Listen to non-Western music (Japan, India, Middle East) and know the main characteristics.
13. Know the main characteristics (by ear!) of Western music genres (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century, gospel, ragtime, jazz).
In all honesty, this exam would be extremely difficult for someone with a minimal Music Theory/History/Performance background. The questions are really geared toward candidates who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Music Ed. or Performance and some classroom music teaching experience. Good luck in your certification endeavors, and let me know if you have any questions.