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Home : 2002 : Apr : 12

    The Test
    By Amanda K.

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    The California certification exam that I took is brutal, as well. It's supposed to be one of the toughest ones out there. Many of our teachers fail it 3-5 times, just like your test. I took it with the attitude that I wasn't going to let it beat me. I, like you, really wanted to keep teaching and was afraid of the consequences of failure.

    Surely you can find a test prep book that will help you prepare for the thing. In CA, we take the MSAT, and there is a great prep book for that put out by Barron's. It might be similar to what your test requires of you. I'm not sure what is on your test... you say you either know it or you don't... on our test, it's basically an overview of history, math, language arts, p.e., human development, fine arts, and science. It's a lot of material. Barron's book did a great job of prepping me for it. Also, some districts and colleges provide courses.

    I set aside one hour a day for studying, and I studied for about a month and a half. I also worked on test-taking strategies, which are half the battle. I did this while working, which was tough. But, you have to ask yourself (as did I), where are your priorities? You can give 100% of yourself to your job this year, fail the test and not get to work next year, or you can split it 50/50 just for this year and keep your job in the future. It is unlikely that anyone will fault you because they know what you are going through with the test. Everyone knows that new teachers have many other responsibilities.

    You can pass this thing! Trust me, I hear your concerns from many new teachers that I work with, and they've all passed the test eventually. Even if you can't teach until you pass the test, you can look at the time off as more time to prep for the thing. Ask people you know who have passed it to give you some pointers.

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