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  • 1. SCHOOLResource Guide | 2013 Testing HIRING GUIDE | 2011 Arizona Teaching Fellows www.ArizonaTeachingFellows.org Arizona Teaching Fellows 6218 S. 7th Street |Phoenix, AZ, 85254 602.243.2636 | Info@ArizonaTeachingFellows.org | www.ArizonaTeachingFellows.orgThe AEPA, NES Test, Praxis, or any other similar subject knowledge examination is not administered by Arizona Teaching Fellows. The content in this packet is subject to change and candidates should obtain the most up-to-date information from the AEPA, NES Test, Praxis, and Arizona Department of Education websites or by contacting these agencies directly. Arizona Teaching Fellows is a program of TNTP (www.tntp.org).
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction 3Testing Options and Test Registration 4What to Do on Test Day 7Test Prep Resources and Tips from Current Fellows 8Praxis Tests at a Glance & Study Plans 10General Test Taking Tips and Strategies 11Frequently Asked Questions 15 2
  • 3. INTRODUCTIONDear Fellow Candidate,The process of becoming an Intern teacher in Arizona has many steps and requirements. Arizona Teaching Fellows ishere to help streamline this process as much as possible. Candidates are both nervous and excited to start teaching. Onthe road to certification, one of the early challenges is passing the required subject area proficiency assessments.To assist you in this process, our staff has pulled together some AEPA, NES Test, and Praxis preparation resources thatwe think you’ll find helpful as you prepare to take these required exams. While Arizona Teaching Fellows does notspecifically endorse any of these materials, and while individual’s preparation needs will vary, our current Fellows havecited these resources as helpful starting points in studying for these important tests.We cannot overemphasize how important it is to prepare for these exams! The AEPA, NES Test, Praxis can bechallenging and may require multiple attempts before passing. Fellows – even those with deep content knowledge orprofessional experience – report the need to study and prepare well before the exams.We strongly suggest you complete test requirements as early as possible. The earlier you take your required subject areatests the more chances you have to re-take a test if necessary. Please take note of the following AZTF testing due dates: • Fellows who enroll between December 2012 – March 2013 must pass required tests no later than eight weeks after an official enrollment offer. • Fellows who enroll between April 2013 – May 2013 must pass required tests no later than four weeks after an official enrollment offer.Here are just a few tips as you prepare: 1. Take a practice test. This will show your areas of strength and development. You can then prioritize your study plan. Practice tests are available online on the websites of the testing agency. 2. Create a study plan. Starting with the day of the exam, backwards plan and block off time for studying. 3. Join a study group. Connect with fellow Fellows via the AZTF Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaTeachingFellows) to create independent study groups. It’s a great way to get to know each other prior to the summer Pre-Service Training, and it’s more fun than studying alone.Hopefully, some of the materials in this Testing Guide will be helpful, but it’s not an exhaustive list of best resources. Ifyou find something that works, please share it with us and with the Facebook group. Happy studying!Kind regards,The AZTF Program Staff 3
  • 4. TESTING OPTIONS AND TEST REGISTRATIONTESTING OPTIONSAnyone who teaches in the state of Arizona is required to take and pass qualifying certification exams. Fellowcandidates may choose from a number of testing options including the AEPA, NES Test, Praxis, and comparable out-of-state exams. The Arizona Department of Education has very stringent guidelines regarding exams other than the AEPAand NES Test. One such requirement is that the official exam score report must reflect the word “PASSED.” (TheONLY exception to this rule is the NES Test, which requires a minimum score of 220.) Before choosing whichcertification exam to take, we highly recommend you review the Teacher Certification home page of the ArizonaDepartment of Education (ADE) website to educate yourself on all exam requirements: http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/certificate-requirement/TESTING REGISTRATIONOnce you know your assigned subject area, which will be in your invitation to interview with us and based on thesubject area you indicated preference to teach in your application, it is your responsibility to register for your exam. Thefollowing tables provide a list of the exams with their accompanying test and registration dates. Which Tests do I Take? When do I take theAssigned Subject Area (Take the AEPA, NES Test or Praxis tests? in your assigned subject area.) AEPA Math # 10 ASAPMath NES Test Math 304 (No later than 8 weeks Praxis Math # 0061 between 12/2012 - 3/2013 enrollment AEPA English # 02 offer; 4 weeks afterLanguage Arts 4/2013 – 5/2013 NES Test English 301 enrollment offer) Praxis English # 0041 AEPA Biology # 07 or AEPA Middle School Science # 39 Chemistry # 08 Same as above. or Physics # 09Science NES Test Biology 308(Must take a content orexam and the Middle Chemistry 306 NES Test Middle School General Science 204 Same as above.Grades General Science orexam) Physics 308 Praxis Biology 0235 or Chemistry 0245 Praxis Middle School Science# 0439 Same as above. or Physics 0265 AEPA Elementary # 01 AEPA Cross Categorical # 22Special Education(Must take the Elementary NES Test Elementary 102 & 103 NES Test Special Education K-12 601 Same as above.Exam and the SpecialEducation exam) Elementary # 0014 or Praxis Elementary # 5014 Praxis Special Education #0354 4
  • 5. See the Arizona Teaching Fellows website(http://arizonateachingfellows.ttrack.org/HowToApply/TestingRequirements.aspx) for information regarding limitedexceptions to taking the required subject area test(s).For the list of comparable out-of-state exams please refer to the ADE website under Certification Requirements:http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/certificate-requirement/ AEPA Exam Dates Test Date Regular Registration Late Registration Deadline Emergency Score Report Date Deadline (additional fee applies) Registration Deadline (additional fee applies) November 10, 2012 October 12, 2012 October 26, 2012 November 2, 2012 December 10, 2012 January 12, 2013 December 14, 2012 December 28, 2012 January 4, 2013 February 11, 2013 March 16, 2013 February 15, 2013 March 1, 2013 March 8, 2013 April 15, 2013 May 18, 2013 April 19, 2013 May 3, 2013 May 10, 2013 June 17, 2013Note that not all tests are available on all test dates. Furthermore, some score reports may be delayed depending upon subject area.For more detailed information regarding test availability, please refer to the Test Selection portion of the AEPA website athttp://www.aepa.nesinc.com/AZ14_testselection.asp. NES Test Exam DatesThe NES Test provides more flexible test dates compared to the AEPA or Praxis. Please view the NES Test Website tolocate the exam dates available by appointment, year round, and based on exam location and subject. Test appointmentsare on a first-come, first-served basis so please register early at http://www.nestest.com/RegChooser.aspx. Praxis Exam DatesTest Date Registration Deadlines Scores Regular Extended Emergency Outside Monday Testing Multiple Constructed U.S. Choice Response 11/3/12 10/4/12 10/11/12 10/26/12 9/6/12 9/20/12 11/27/12 12/4/12 1/26/13 12/27/12 1/3/13 1/18/13 11/29/12 12/13/12 2/19/13 2/26/13 4/13/13 3/14/13 3/21/13 4/5/13 2/14/13 2/28/13 5/7/13 5/14/13 6/8/13 5/9/13 5/16/13 5/31/13 4/11/13 4/25/13 7/2/13 7/9/13For more detailed information regarding test availability, please refer to the Test Selection portion of the AEPA website athttp://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates/paper.Please note: If you choose to take the Praxis you cannot have your score reported to the state of Arizona. You must haveyour scores sent to and reported to another state Department of Education that will write the required “PASSED” onyour score report. This extra step requires another layer of planning and logistics; thus, AZTF highly recommends 5
  • 6. Fellows testing within Arizona take the AEPA or the NES Test if at all possible given testing due dates and that Fellowstesting outside of Arizona take the NES Test available at testing centers through the country.To register please keep these key points in mind:AEPA♦ Visit www.aepa.nesinc.com to address all your questions about AEPA test registration.♦ Candidates are able to register online, over the phone, or by mail. o There may be limited test sites available outside of Arizona, visit http://www.aepa.nesinc.com/AZ12_testsites.asp for more information.♦ Please register only for the exam(s) Arizona Teaching Fellows has recommended for your subject area. o Have your AEPA scores reported to the Arizona Department of Education as well as sent to you.♦ Once you are officially enrolled, Arizona Teaching Fellows will guide you on how to submit a copy of your test registration. Please do not send Arizona Teaching Fellows documentation prior to your enrollment as a Fellow.NES TEST♦ Visit http://www.nestest.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_AboutTheNES.html to address all your questions about NES Test testing.♦ Candidates are able to register online.♦ Please register only for the exam(s) Arizona Teaching Fellows has recommended for your subject area. o Have your scores sent to you. o The passing score for all NES Tests is 220.♦ Once you are officially enrolled, Arizona Teaching Fellows will guide you on how to submit a copy of your test registration. Please do not send Arizona Teaching Fellows documentation prior to your enrollment as a Fellow.PRAXIS♦ Visit www.ets.org/praxis/ for all your questions about Praxis registration.♦ Candidates are able to register online or over the phone. o Test sites are available in all states.♦ Please register only for the exam(s) Arizona Teaching Fellows has recommended for your subject area. o Have your Praxis scores sent to you. o Make sure your scores are reported by a state department of education that has the word “PASSED” noted on the score report.♦ Once you are officially enrolled, Arizona Teaching Fellows will guide you on how to submit a copy of your test registration. Please do not send Arizona Teaching Fellows documentation prior to your enrollment as a Fellow.COMPARABLE OUT-OF-STATE EXAMS♦ Visit http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/certificate-requirement/ and contact the Arizona Department of Education Certification Office if you have any questions about comparable out-of-state exams.♦ Follow up with the registration guidelines of your chosen out-of-state exam site.♦ Please register only for the exam(s) Arizona Teaching Fellows has recommended for your subject area. o Have your scores sent to you. o Make sure your scores are reported by a state that has the word “PASSED” noted on the score report. o Contact the Arizona Department of Education if you have any questions regarding comparable out-of-state exams: http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/contact-certification/contact-phoenix/♦ Once you are officially enrolled Arizona Teaching Fellows will guide you on how to submit a copy of your test registration. Please do not send Arizona Teaching Fellows documentation prior to your enrollment as a Fellow. 6
  • 7. WHAT TO DO ON TEST DAY♦ You must bring the following with you to the test site: o Your official admission ticket or printout of your email admission information o Several sharpened No. 2 pencils o Proper identification:  One piece of current, government-issued identification, in the name which you registered, with a photograph and signature • Examples: Passport, driver’s license  One additional piece of identification; photograph and signature are not mandatory o Calculators:  AEPA: For math and science tests: An approved graphing calculator from the list below: • Texas Instruments TI-30X • Texas Instruments TI-30X Solar • Texas Instruments TI-30Xa • Texas Instruments TI-30Xs • Texas Instruments TI-30XIIs  Praxis: Visit the Praxis website for more information about calculator usage: http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/policies/calculators  The NES Test may provide graphing calculators for math and science tests. For more information, please see the NES Test website, select a test, and view information on Reference Materials Provided: http://www.nestest.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_Tests.html♦ Prohibited Materials at the test site: o Cell phones: leave your phone in your car, this is strictly enforced o Electronic devices, such as PDAs, pagers, iPods, calculator watches, watches with alarms, spellcheckers, etc o Calculators, unless specifically noted for math and science exams o Handwritten or printed material, such as dictionaries, notebooks, scratch paper (scratch paper will be provided for you) o Backpacks, briefcases, etc. Purses are allowed o Food and drink, except water o Miscellaneous aids, such as rulers, translation aids, highlighters, etc 7
  • 8. TEST PREP RESOURCES AND TIPS FROM CURRENT FELLOWS OUR CURRENT FELLOWS RECOMMEND…As you prepare, consider the following test preparation resources and tips recommended by current Fellows: ♦ Visit www.aepa.nesinc.com, www.nestest.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_Tests.html, www.ets.org/praxis/ for information. Select the Study Guides feature to review topics covered on the exam and to identify which topics you need to focus on during your studying. However, please note that many candidates report that the exams are more rigorous and difficult than these study guides; thus, you should supplement your preparation with other resources. ♦ Morrison Media (http://flashcardsecrets.com/aepa/) website, specializing in flashcards for people who do not have much time to study for the AEPA or Praxis exam. ♦ Form study groups with other candidates or teachers that you already know. Visit AZTF’s Facebook page to post messages and connect with other candidates. To join, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Arizona-Teaching-Fellows/135471623167957?ref=ts ♦ Access online resources designed for Praxis I test prep, such as www.praxismath.com, www.praxisreading.com, and www.praxiswriting.com. ♦ For Fellows eligible to teach math, access online resources designed for math test prep, such as www.PraxisHighSchoolMath.com, www.PraxisMiddleSchoolMath.com, www.PraxisFundamental.com, and www.PraxisMathExam.com. ♦ Refer to college textbooks, high school textbooks, or Cliffs Notes focused on the appropriate subject matter for your test. ♦ Ask a local middle school if you can borrow math or science textbooks used in seventh and eighth grade classes. ♦ Pull out those old AP exam study guides. One Fellow who took the Biology exam shared: “In order to study, I first downloaded the practice test from ETS. (I think you have to pay around $20 for it, but it was worth it). I also looked at the assessment limits ETS posted that were on the test and used my AP Biology prep book from high school to review any concepts I didnt remember. I took the practice test and from there made a study sheet of information that I still was not completely confident with (using my AP Bio study book to guide me to the answers). This was extremely helpful and I felt very confident after taking the test.” ♦ Cliffs Notes (www.cliffsnotes.com) o Tools and Resources: Subject-specific “cheat sheets” and glossaries o Math: Algebra, Basic Math, Geometry, Statistics o Introduction to the Mathematics Section of the Praxis I o Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science o Praxis II: Mathematics Content Knowledge Test Cliffs Test Prep Guide  Available on Amazon  Includes 3 full-length practice exams ♦ Check out the guides for sale in the Praxis Exam Secrets Series (www.mo-media.com). ♦ TExES free prep materials, offered at www.texes.ets.org/prepMaterials/ o Out-of-state guides are often very useful in preparing for the AEPA.  The exact objectives and the nature of the questions will vary from test to test, but these guides often provide excellent content for Subject Knowledge AEPA and Praxis exams. In particular: • Middle Grades Science AEPA candidates should review the TExES Science 4-8 (#116) materials • Cross-Categorical Special Education AEPA candidates should review the TExES Special Education EC-12 (#161) and Special Education Supplemental (#163) materials ♦ Consider purchasing GRE or SAT study guides from major test preparation providers (e.g., Barron’s, Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc.). ♦ If you are preparing for the Elementary Education a Fellow has this advice: “I used a website called Brain POP (www.brainpop.com) that is basically a site for kids but worked really well at preparing me for the exams general knowledge questions. They offer free 2 week trials, but overall its a subscription site.” 8
  • 9. ♦ For another resource for Fellows taking the Elementary Education Content Knowledge exams, check out the Making the Grade series. One Fellow shared that she read these books to beef up on many of the topics covered in the different grade levels. The titles in this series range from: Making the Grade: Everything Your Kindergartener Needs to Know to Making the Grade: Everything Your 6th Grader Needs to Know. These books can be found on Amazon. ♦ Check out the “Exambusters Study Cards” (www.exambusters.com). A Fellow who used the Biology study card set shared this tip: “I used the ‘Exambusters Biology Study Cards’ that I purchased from Borders. They are the size of business cards and are separated by topic so it was great to be able to pull out a topic, put them in a ziplock bag, carry them in my pocket and flip through them whenever I had a free moment.” ♦ Before you buy, consider where you could get free resources. Your local public library is a great option. Pair up with another Fellow teaching in your content area. You’ll have a study partner, and you can split the cost of resource materials. You can also check out discount book websites like www.half.com. ♦ ETS offers free webinars related to the different Praxis exams. You can check out their website to register for these sessions. ♦ The Special Educator’s Survival Guide o Available on Amazon for $19.77 o Comprehensive guide to special education; great resource for developing special education content knowledge ♦ Wrightslaw (www.wrightslaw.com) o Special Education Laws and Information o IDEA 2004 Resources ♦ XAMonline (www.xamonline.com) o AEPA test prep guides o Consider sharing the cost of these guides with another candidate; post on the AZTF Facebook or Yahoo pages to get in contact with each other. ♦ Test Prep Guide Purchasing Hints o Verify that you are purchasing the guide specified for your exam. o Check the publication date. Nearly all teaching exams go through frequent revisions; in most cases, guides published before 2006 will be out of date. o Not all guides are created equal; check out product reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble to get a sense of whether certain guides are worth your time and money.TEST-PREP RESOURCES: ♦ Out-of-state Test Prep Guides (i.e., CSET, TExES, etc) ♦ TExES free prep materials, offered at www.texes.ets.org/prepMaterials/ o Out-of-state guides are often very useful in preparing for the AEPA.  The exact objectives and the nature of the questions will vary from test to test, but these guides often provide excellent content for Subject Knowledge AEPA and Praxis exams. In particular: • Middle Grades Science AEPA candidates should review the TExES Science 4-8 (#116) materials • Cross-Categorical Special Education AEPA candidates should review the TExES Special Education EC-12 (#161) and Special Education Supplemental (#163) materials 9
  • 10. PRAXIS TESTS AT A GLANCE & STUDY PLANSFor all of the Praxis exams, ETS offers smaller versions of the practice tests for free. Taking these small tests can be a goodstarting point in prioritizing which topics to study.In addition to the ETS Tests at a Glance, ETS also has study plans designed to help test takers maximize their time spentstudying. You can use the Tests at a Glance to modify the study plans to meet your individual studying needs. The mostimportant thing is to have a study plan that works for you. These resources and more can be found on the ETS website: athttp://www.ets.org. The websites to specific subject area resources are listed below. Praxis Test ResourcesMath Praxis Math # 0061 http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0061Language Praxis English # 0041 http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0041Arts Praxis Biology 0235Science http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0235(Must take a orcontent Praxis Chemistry 0245exam and Middle School Science# 0439 http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0245the Middle http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0439 orGrades Physics 0265Exam) http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0265SpecialEducation Praxis(Must take Praxisthe Special Education # 0354Elementary Elementary # 0014 http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0354Exam and orthe Special Elementary # 5014Education http://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0014exam) 10
  • 11. GENERAL TEST TAKING TIPS AND STRATEGIES5 TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES 1. Time is Your Greatest Enemy a. Pace yourself. b. If forced to speed up, do it efficiently. Usually one or more answer choices can be eliminated without too much difficulty. c. Don’t dwell on the problems you were rushed on. If a problem was taking up too much time and you hurried a guess, it must be difficult. The difficult ones are the ones you are most likely to miss anyways, so it isn’t a big loss. It is better to end with more time than you need than to run out of time. d. Sometimes it is beneficial to slow down if you are constantly getting ahead of time. Careless errors effect the score more than mastery of material. 2. Guessing is Not Guesswork a. What most test takers don’t realize is that to ensure the 20-25% chance of getting the answer right, you have to guess randomly. b. Monkeys Take the Test. i. Test writers intentionally write deceptive answer choices that “look” right. A test taker has no idea about a question, so picks the “best looking” answer, which is often wrong. The monkey has no idea what looks right and what doesn’t, so will consistently be lucky about 20-25% of the time. ii. Test takers will eliminate answer choices from the guessing pool based on a hunch or intuition. Simple but correct answers often get excluded, leaving a 0% chance of being correct. The monkey has no clue, and often gets lucky with the best choice. 3. Practice Smarter, Not Harder a. Just like a marathon runner, it is important to work your way up to the full challenge. b. Success Strategy: i. Find a good source for practice tests. ii. If you are willing to make a larger time investment, consider using more than one study guide – often the different approaches of multiple authors will help you “get” difficult concepts. iii. Take a practice test with no time constraints, with all study helps “open book.” Take your time with questions and focus on applying strategies. iv. Take a practice test with time constraints, with all guides “open book.” v. Take a final practice test with no open material and time limits. c. By gradually exposing yourself to the full rigors of the test environment, you will condition your mind to the stress of test day and maximize your success. 4. Prepare, Don’t Procrastinate a. If you take the test three times, you will get three different scores. This is due to the way you feel on test day and the level of preparedness you have. b. In order to maximize the likelihood of success, you’ve got to prepare in advance. This means taking practice tests and spending time learning the information and test taking strategies you will need to succeed. c. Never take the test as a “practice” test, expecting that you can just take it again if you need to. Feel free to take sample tests on your own, but when you go to take the official test, be prepared, be focused, and do your best the first time! 5. Test Yourself a. Once you have taken a practice test under real conditions of time constraints, then you will know if you are ready for the test or not. b. Benchmark your abilities by retaking practice tests and seeing how much you have improved. Once you score high enough to guarantee success, then you are ready. 11
  • 12. c. If you have scored well below where you need, then knuckle down and begin studying in earnest. Check your improvement regularly through the use of practice tests under real conditions. Above all, don’t worry, panic, or give up. The key is perseverance! d. When you go to take the test, remain confident and remember how well you did on the practice tests. If you can score high enough on a practice test, then you can do the same on the real thing.26 GENERAL STRATEGIES From Morrison Media’s website, specializing in test-pre for people who do not have much time to study for the AEPA exam. ♦ Make Predictions o As you read and understand the question, try to guess what the answer will be. Your mind is typically the most focused immediately after you have read the question and digested its contents. ♦ Answer the Question o Don’t pick an answer just because it sounds right, or you believe it to be true. It MUST answer the question. Once you’ve made your selection, always go back and check it against the question and make sure that you didn’t misread the question and the answer choice does answer the question posed. ♦ Benchmark o After you read the first answer choice, decide if you think it sounds correct or not. If it doesn’t, move on to the next answer choice. If it does, mentally mare that answer choice. This doesn’t mean that you’ve definitely selected it as your answer choice; it just means that it’s the best you’ve seen thus far. If the next choice is worse than the one you’ve already selected, keep going to the next answer choice. If the next choice is better than the choice you’ve already selected, mentally mark the new answer choice as your best guess. o The first answer choice that you select becomes your standard. Every other answer choice must be benchmarked against that standard. That choice is correct until proven otherwise by another answer choice beating it out. Once you’ve decided that no other answer choice seems as good, do one final check to ensure that your answer choice answers the question posed. ♦ Valid Information o Don’t discount any of the information provided in the question. Every piece of information may be necessary to determine the correct answer. ♦ Avoid “Fact Traps” o Don’t get distracted by a choice that is factually true. Your search is for the answer that answers the question. Stay focused and don’t fall for an answer that is true, but incorrect. ♦ Milk the Question o Some of the questions may throw you completely off. They may deal with a subject you have not been exposed to, or one that you haven’t reviewed in years. While your lack of knowledge about the subject will be a hindrance, the question itself can give you many clues that will help you find the correct answer. Read the question carefully and look for clues. ♦ The Trap of Familiarity o Don’t just choose a word because you recognize it. On difficult questions, you may not recognize a number of words in the answer choices. The test writers don’t put “make-believe” words on the test; so don’t think that just because you only recognize all the words in one answer choice means that answer choice must be correct. Try to determine if the answer choice is correct. If it is that is great, but if it doesn’t answer the question, eliminate it. ♦ Eliminate Answers o Eliminate choices as soon as you realize they are wrong. But be careful! Make sure you consider all of the possible answer choice. Just because one appears right, doesn’t mean that the next one won’t be even better! ♦ Tough Questions o If you are stumped on a problem or it appears too hard or too difficult, don’t waste time. Move on! Remember though, if you can quickly check for obviously incorrect answer choices, your chances of guessing correctly are greatly improved. 12
  • 13. ♦ Brainstorm o If you get stuck on a difficult question, spend a few seconds quickly brainstorming. Run through the complete list of possible answer choices. Look at each choice and ask yourself, “Could this answer the question satisfactorily?” By systematically going through all possibilities, you may find something that you would otherwise overlook.♦ Read Carefully o Understand the problem. Read the question and answer choices carefully. Don’t miss the question because you misread the terms. You must read carefully, but efficiently.♦ Face Value o When in doubt, use common sense. Always accept the situation in the problem at face value. Don’t read too much into it. These problems will not require you to make huge leaps of logic. Don’t overcomplicate the problem by creating theoretical relationships or explanations that will warp time or space. These are normal problems rooted in reality. Use your common sense to interpret anything that isn’t clear.♦ Prefixes o If you’re having trouble with a word in the question or answer choices, try dissecting it. Take advantage of every clue that the word might include. Prefixes and suffixes can be a huge help. Usually they allow you to determine a basic meaning. Pre- means before, post- means after, pro- is positive, de- is negative. From these prefixes and suffixes, you can get an idea of the general meaning of the word and try to put it into context.♦ Hedge Phrases o Watch out for critical “hedge” phrases, such as likely, may, can, will often, sometimes, often, almost, mostly, usually, generally, rarely, sometimes. Question writers insert these hedge phrases to cover every possibility. Often an answer choice will be wrong simply because it leaves no room for exception. Avoid answer choices that have definitive words like “exactly,” and “always.”♦ Switchback Words o Stay alert for “switchbacks.” These are the words and phrases frequently used to alert you to shifts in thought. The most common switchback word is “but.” Others include although, however, nevertheless, on the other hand, even though, while, in spite of, despite, regardless of.♦ New Information o Correct answer choices will rarely have completely new information included. Answer choices typically are straightforward reflections of the material asked about and will directly relate to the question. If a new piece of information is included in an answer choice that doesn’t even seem to relate to the topic being asked about, then that answer choice is likely incorrect. All of the information needed to answer the question is usually provided for you, and so you should not have to make guesses that are unsupported or choose answer choices that require unknown information that cannot be reasoned on its own.♦ Time Management o On technical questions, don’t get lost on the technical terms. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you don’t know what term means, then since you don’t’ have a dictionary, odds are you aren’t going to get much further. You should immediately recognize terms as whether or not you know them. If you don’t, work with the other clues that you have, the other answer choices and terms provided, but don’t waste too much time trying to figure out a difficult term.♦ Contextual Clues o Look for contextual clues. An answer can be right but not correct. The contextual clues will help you find the answer that is most right and is correct. Understand the context in which a phrase or statement is made.♦ Don’t Panic o Panicking will not answer any questions for you. Therefore, it isn’t helpful. When you first see the question, if your mind goes blank, take a deep breath. Force yourself to mechanically go through the steps of solving the problem and using the strategies you’ve learned.♦ Pace Yourself o Don’t get clock fever. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you’re looking at a page full of questions, your mind is full of random thoughts and feeling confused, and the clock is ticking down faster than you would like. Calm down and maintain the pace that you have set for yourself. When you get to the last few minutes of the test, it may seem like you won’t have enough time left, but if you only have as many questions as you should have left at that point, then you’re right on track! 13
  • 14. ♦ Answer Selection o The best way to pick an answer choice is to eliminate all of those that are wrong, until only one is left and confirm that is the correct answer. Sometimes, though, an answer choice may immediately look right. Be careful! Take a second to make sure that the other choices are not equally obvious. Don’t make a hasty mistake. o There are only two times that you should stop before checking other answers.  When you are positive that the answer choice you have selected is correct.  When time is almost out and you have to make a quick guess!♦ Check Your Work o Since you will probably not know every term listed and the answer to every question, it is important that you get credit for the ones that you do know. Don’t miss any questions through careless mistakes. If at all possible, try to take a second to look back over your answer selection and make sure you’ve selected the correct answer choice and haven’t made a costly careless mistake.♦ Beware of Directly Quoted Answers o Sometimes an answer choice will repeat word for word a portion of the question or reference section. However, beware of such exact duplication – it may be a rap! More than likely, the correct choice will paraphrase or summarize a point, rather than being exactly the same wording.♦ Slang o Scientific sounding answers are better than slang ones. An answer choice that begins “to compare the outcomes” is much more likely to be correct than one that begins “Because some people insisted….”♦ Extreme Statements o Avoid wild answers that throw out highly controversial ideas that are proclaimed as established fact.♦ Answer Choice Families o When you have two or more answer choices that are direct opposites or parallels, one of them is usually the correct answer. A family of answer choices is when two or three answer choices are very similar in construction, and yet often have a directly opposite meaning. Usually the correct answer choice will be in that family of answer choices. The “odd man out” or answer choice that doesn’t seem to fit the parallel construction of the other answer choices is more likely to be incorrect. 14
  • 15. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSHow do I know what test to take?Below are the steps you take to determine what subject area test to take – Ask yourself: 1. What is my assigned subject area? In your application to the Arizona Teaching Fellows program you will be asked your subject area preference. In your invitation to interview, you will receive your subject area assignment based on the subjects Arizona Teaching Fellows recruits for (language arts, math, biology, chemistry, physics, and special education), your subject area preference, and education/work experience. 2. What are the required AEPA, NES Test, Praxis, or comparable out-of-state tests for your assigned subject area? 3. When do you need to take the test by according to your date of enrollment offer into the Arizona Teaching Fellows program and test completion due dates? 4. When are the AEPA, NES Test, Praxis, or comparable out-of-state tests available so I receive my test scores before the Arizona Teaching Fellows test completion due dates?How much do the tests cost?Approximately $75-100 per test. Go to the AEPA, NEST Test, and Praxis websites for testing fees.I’ve already taken a subject area test. How do I know if the Arizona Teaching Fellows program will accept it?Look at page 4 of this Testing Resource Guide these are the required tests as determined by the Arizona Department ofEducation for each subject area.My Praxis score report does not say PASSED. What do I do now?The Arizona Department of Education will not accept a Praxis score report unless PASSED is written on the report. Thisis true even if the test taker received an exemplary score. In the event a candidate’s score report does not state PASSED,the candidate must call Praxis and request the score be reported to a department of education of a state that will writePASSED on the score report. Please note: Arizona Teaching Fellows is not allowed to suggest a particular state tocandidates. Candidates must work with the Praxis operator to determine which state to report the score to.What if I don’t pass the test?You will need to retake the test until you pass. Arizona Teaching Fellows recommends Fellows complete testing beforethe start of summer Pre-Service Training. If you are concerned you will not be able to pass the test in a particular subjectarea, Arizona Teaching Fellows advises you test in another subject area that Arizona Teaching Fellows recruits for—math,biology, chemistry, physics, or special education. 15