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!