Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Mathematics 7-12
Study & Test Strategies

Strategy 1

Submitted by Kyle

Study Strategy

I used the Prep Manual from the ETS website and took the practice test on the same website. Both had questions that were much harder than the actual test.

Testing Strategy

I went in to the test completely nervous. However, I found that I could answer almost all of the questions using a backdoor method. The best thing you can do is study basic algebra and geometry. If you can review some trig, that would be great as well. Do not worry about the Calculus questions. Just do the practice problems from ETS, and you'll be fine. I have an English degree, and I passed with a 269. I got 65 out of 80 questions correct. However, be prepared to spend the ENTIRE time allotted. I had 15 minutes left at the end of the test.

Strategy 2

Submitted by Amanda

Study Strategy

I used 240Tutoring; it wasn't as useful as I would have hoped. If you have taken math classes recently or remember everything, 240Tutoring would be beneficial for you because it walks you through most of the main concepts that will be on the test. If you haven't taken a math class in awhile, I would suggest looking in to other study guides because 240Tutoring was lacking in details. The practice tests were also useless because you had to complete ALL of the study guide before taking them and then the test was composed of the exact same questions as the preliminary quizzes.

Testing Strategy

The test was a little harder than expected. I expected to complete the test fairly quick, but ended up using almost all of the time. Definitely practice with the given calculator before going to the test.

Strategy 3

Submitted by Sarah

Study Strategy

After reading alot of the other strategies on this forum, I used Khan Academy and Pauls Online Math Notes as my primary source of studying. I have an Exercise Science degree so I dont have a heavy background in math. My last math class was statistics 6 years ago. I took this test to make myself more marketable. I had remembered some of the content but i struggled with understanding the unit circle and trigonometry. I gave myself 2 months to study. The first month i went through the test prep manual and briefly went through each competency just to get a basic understanding. The second month is when i went into more depth and started going through more advanced problems in each section. Khan academy was great for this. I made a VERY large stack of note cards that included problems that i struggled with so that i could go over them and become familiar with it. Basic information was also included. I practiced problems on the 135 test prep manual, the 235 test prep manual, and the interactive practice test on the ETS website.

Testing Strategy

The test was extremely difficult. I went in confident and left unsure of myself. Practice timing yourself. I tried pacing myself and caught myself looking at the time too frequently so i hid the timer to focus on the problems; that was a huge mistake. When I reached the last question, I had skipped a few questions that I knew required more time to go over. I checked the time and I only had 45 minutes left to complete the other questions. I did not have time to take a break. I passed with on my first try with a 253.

Strategy 4

Submitted by Jonathan

Study Strategy

I used Study.com practice tests; the first 5 days are a free trial, but they will bill you 40-60 a month depending on your package. Unfortunately, the site did not help me prepare for the test as effectively as it should have. This is because the questions on Study.com were more focused on actual calculations (Algebra thru Calculus), and the test questions were mostly theoretical concepts. However, I studied as if it was going to be a hard test with lots of calculations, and that knowledge helped me figure out the theoretical questions by process of elimination. I passed with a 242 because I focused on the material from Study.com. I do not recommend Study.com; I recommend the reviews from the official website instead.

Testing Strategy

The test was harder than I expected because I used Study.com when I should have used other study material. I paced myself and did 20 questions per hour. If I had time left over, I would go back and review the 20 questions allotted for that hour. I took a small 5 minute break. I closed my eyes when I had a few minutes to spare to re-charge myself and continue forward. Good luck on the test everyone.

Strategy 5

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I got a 278 on my first try, but it was hard. I searched at my local public library and borrowed an e-book "Texas TExES 135 Mathematics 8-12 (TExES Teacher Certification Test Prep)" so I paid nothing for the study guide. The study guide was for the previous version 135 not the 235, but still helped. I studied for two weeks 8 hours a day. I went over all the chapters in the study guide, solved every problem, and worked on the two practice tests. I worked through the sample tests available on the ETS website three times, and also solved the problems that ETS provided on the small study guide for 135 and 235. Practice your timing, I finished 5 minutes before the 5 hours were over! Some advice would be to look at the wordiness of the problems, that is where I spent most of my time figuring out what they are asking. For the calculus part, just know the basics and the limits. Know Trigonometry identities and a lot of Geometry.

Testing Strategy

Practice your timing, it is a long test. If you practice well, you will get a good result! I got 278, and my score card showed that I got 70 correct out of the 80 questions they grade.

Strategy 6

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I studied consistently for a month before taking this test. I used the Certify Teachers online study material which was very helpful. If you use it too long, it becomes very repetitive. I also got my hands on every practice question I could find. The ETS full practice test is the best representation of what was actually on the test. Test taking strategies and tips are no substitute for knowing the material on this test. Textbooks and online tutorials are helpful for refreshing your memory. You will need to memorize and know far more formulas and definitions than what is provided to you. Making my own flash cards was incredibly helpful. They included probability formulas, trig identities, different forms of equations for graphs, geometric postulates, definitions from calculus and anything else I felt I needed to memorize. I definitely suggest practicing with the online calculator you'll be using on the test. It's fairly intuitive, but you'll be wasting time on test day if you don't know how to use it.

Testing Strategy

I found this test to be very difficult and exhausting. I used every minute of the 5 hours given. Most of the questions on this test were "theoretical" in nature so just knowing how to solve problems and plug in formulas is not enough. I spent a lot of my time double checking answers and eliminating the other possibilities. I ended up scoring a 267. Know the material as well as you possibly can. Be sure to get lots of sleep and eat a big meal before taking it so you don't hit a wall halfway through. Good luck!!!

Strategy 7

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I have been away from math for many years. I was an economics/statistics major in college many years ago. I worked in finance and have a lot of programming/modelling experience. I took Calc 2&3 and Linear Algebra at a local college a couple of years ago, and also read a discrete math text book at around the same time. So the test covered subject areas that I had studied in the past. I was VERY rusty so I spent a few hours a day for a few weeks to review those subjects. I used Paul's Online Notes, a college professor's teaching notes for algebra, calculus, and linear algebra which are available online for free. I read the Kindle version of Cliff Notes Geometry. I purchased the Kindle version of Mometrix flash cards for 135 to give me a guide to what was actually covered on the tests. Then I did 10 online tests from the company Exam Edge. You should also review first semester statistics. Taking practice tests is very important. I would not rely on only what is provided in the TEXES 235 guide.

Testing Strategy

I took the 235 Test mid-September 2014. The exam provides an online calculator. I recommend you use the calculator during your preparation. ETS provides the exact calculator for practice which can be downloaded from the ETS site. The test is 5 hours long and mostly multiple choice. The majority of the questions were straight forward. Some very easy, IMO, and some were tricky. When answering questions, multiple choice answers are on the screen, so use process elimination or substitution to answer questions that are difficult. I double checked some of my answers by using multiple methods (e.g., algebra followed by graphing calculator). I passed with a 262. I'd say the test was moderately difficult except for the fact I scored lower than I thought I had on test day. If you study as I have, you should not be surprised by many questions, if any.

Strategy 8

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the Certify Teacher online prep program ($55) for the Math 135 exam. I passed on the first try, and I felt the preparation was adequate, though after a while, you start seeing the same questions over and over again in the preparation program.

Testing Strategy

No calculator allowed! You must use an online calculator that is a little clunky, but it is ok.

Strategy 9

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

Almost all Math teachers I know recommended the XAMonline study guide for this test. (I recommend it, too!) I ordered it on Amazon and it was delivered within 2 days. I immediately started working through the guide. I went through every page, wrote out formulas, worked through every example, and even wrote out definitions. I got through the content in the book in about four days, then moved on to the practice tests located in the back. I feel that the Interactive Practice Test on the ETS webpage was more helpful though. I also took other people's advice on here and went through Paul's Online Math Notes, as well as Khan Academy. These are great tools for refreshing old content. I also made my own flashcards that I reviewed the remaining days up until the test. I probably studied and reviewed for a total of 60 or more hours.

Testing Strategy

I thought that people who used the full five hours were exaggerating. Boy was I wrong! I used all but five minutes of my test taking time. I didn't even have time to take a break for water or a snack. Make sure you eat a good breakfast or meal beforehand! The test content was about what I expected, if not easier, but as time goes on and your mind gets exhausted, its harder to make sense of the questions. I felt like the test was primarily algebra, geometry, and statistics. I don't recall much trig/calculus. I left the test center not having any clue as to how I did overall. I made a 257 on my first attempt!

Strategy 10

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the TExES Mathematics 7-12 235 book by Sharon Wynne, M.S. I didn't really read it because it contained some mistakes, but the 3 practice tests in there were useful; too easy but it helped with knowing the content. I used Study.com; they have a 5 day free period. It was helpful with really understanding certain concepts. It was useful for Probability and Statistics, Processes and Perspectives, and finally Learning/Instruction/ and Assessment. It also has a good section on how to use the calculator. I used T-cert TExES certification exam review for teachers; this cost $30, but i wouldn't recommend it. I used YouTube and quickly found that was a waste of my time. I used Khan Academy and it was helpful for looking deeper at solving certain things. When i was growing up i guess they somehow forgot to teach me about "mod," Khan explained this nicely and even had a game for it. Kh an also taught Probability and Statistics well. I used 240Tutoring to build confidence; they have an amazing practice test on there and it was nice for Number concepts and Patterns and Algebra. Finally, I can't stress this enough, the test was closely related to the free ETS practice test they provide on their website. The actual test was a little tougher and lengthy with the wording. I honestly think I over-studied for this, but I had to after reading all the shared stories on this post concerning the test. The suggestions were right though, it was a tough test mainly due to the length and wordiness.

Testing Strategy

I passed with a 250. A good strategy I used, since the test was 5 hours long and 100 questions, was to use 2 hours or less for the first 50 questions and another 2 hours or less for the other 50 questions. I skipped/marked for review the ones that seemed more time consuming and answered as much as I knew, but make sure to read the questions thoroughly b efore skipping. Then the remaining hour was used for review. I marked about 40 questions for review since ) was 50/50 on them, wanted to double check, or i knew would require a little more time to solve. I didn't revisit the ones I didn't have marked because that would allow room for doubt; it's not good to second guess ones self. I didn't get up once to go use the restroom; make sure you take care of that business before the test. Every minute/second was important in my case. I would say 2 weeks of dedicated time is good enough study/review time to pass this test. Good luck to future test takers; it's really not too bad if you put in the effort. Also finally, make sure you download the calculator from the ETS website so you can practice with it prior to the exam.

Strategy 11

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I studied everyday for 3 weeks leading up to the test. I mainly used 240tutoring.com as my study guide. Paul's Math notes and Khan Academy were helpful to refresh concepts. I also purchased Mometrix flash cards, but found them too wordy so I didn't utilize those much. 240tutoring was great for testing your application knowledge, however the ETS interactive practice test and sample questions in the preparation manual were most useful for test-like prep.

Testing Strategy

The test was extremely difficult. I got through all 100 questions in about 3.5 hours. At that time, I took a 10 minute break for almonds and water. Went back and looked over all the questions I marked. The wording is very tricky. Study hard and read the questions thoroughly. I got a 261 on my first attempt.

Strategy 12

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used Certify Teachers online study materials, which was very helpful. I also used an online Math tutor through Preply. I recommend Preply to all using this as a guide; the tutor really helped.

Testing Strategy

It was a very difficult exam. If you study thoroughly, you will do great. I got 288!

Strategy 13

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

The best resources for this exam are Paul's Math Notes and the practice tests from Exam Edge. I also used the Mometrix study guide and flash cards.

Testing Strategy

The test is long; questions are sometimes tricky and can throw you off. Double check your work, if you have the time. As mentioned by a few, make it a habit to use the ETS free graphing calculator and use graphs whenever possible to answer and verify answers. I got a 271 on my first attempt.

Strategy 14

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I looked at the preparation material from TExES, took the interactive practice test they provide (which is modeled very closely to the test), used Purple Math and Khan Academy; all of those things are FREE! The practice tests helped me realize what I needed to review; for example, I had never been taught matrices and needed to work bottom up from that topic. Make sure when you think about the topics that are asked on the practice test that you look up all the different aspects of that topic. I studied a few hours everyday for a week. I also watched the tutorials on the graphing calculator provided to make sure I knew how to use it: switch between radian/degrees, analyzing graphs and discontinuities for limits, etc.

Testing Strategy

There was more Statistics and Calculus than I anticipated. This was my first try and I missed 5 out of 80 and got a 285. It took me 4 hours. Probably the most important strategy I used on test day was coffee, 2 cups and a soda for break time.

Strategy 15

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I was a little worried about taking this exam because of the mixed comments about the difficulty level. I will say this, this exam does require lots of studying. I've been out of college for a few years and the last Math class I took was Calculus five years ago, so I was a little rusty. I had three weeks to study before my examination day. I studied 4-6 hours a day almost everyday. I purchased study material from CertifyTeacher.com and did that for a few days, but realized I was going to need something more extensive. 240tutoring.com was perfect for studying for this exam. They provided, not only extensive overviews for each subject that was covered, but they also provided excellent sample problems for me to answer. I think a combination of CertifyTeacher.com and 240tutoring.com helped me prepare well for this exam. Also, practice with the online calculator that ETS provides.

Testing Strategy

This test was difficult, but I passed with a 250 on my first attempt. It took me 4 hours to complete this exam. It did emphasize more on Calculus, but I felt that there was a fair amount of problems covering the other subjects. I worked backwards on a lot of the problems, and I think that helped me with passing.

Strategy 16

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I got all of my study resources from the public library, or free online. I started with the XAMonline book, which was the best for making sure I covered every little concept and the worst for re-learning something I had forgotten. For re-learning concepts, I used Khan Academy. I used The Best Teacher's Test Preparation For The TExES Math 135 book, which was helpful for seeing more practice questions in a slightly different format than XAM. It also helped when I just needed a quick summary that was more plain language than XAM, but less in-depth than Khan Academy. The best thing about this book was that it had a "quiz" at the end of each section, so you could do a group of just what you were practicing. Towards the end, I looked at the Secrets Study Guide (but only the Part I because that's all my library had). Part I was mostly useless to me at that point, because it only had VERY brief summaries of the concepts, though they were in plain language. However, it was the only study guide I used that covered a particular rule of statistics that ended up being on both the official practice and the actual exam.

Testing Strategy

My practice tests from the study guides were all around 85-87%. When I took the official practice test, I finished the 80 questions in about 3.5 hours and scored 87%. When I took the actual test, I finished the first 80 questions in about the same amount of time, finished all 100 questions in 4.5 hours, and spent 15 minutes reviewing questions I had marked for review. I got 87/90 of the scored questions correct (96%) for a scaled score of 288. Just a warning: The process of checking in and waiting for someone to take my fingerprints took almost 45 minutes, which definitely made the test longer in terms of getting tired and hungry. I did take one 10 minute break to have a snack and some water, but I was still exhausted and having trouble concentrating by the end. The main difference between the study guide practice questions and the actual exam was that the study guides mostly asked me to do computations, while the exam focused more on me having to reason through problems. There were also a few questions where I had to type in an answer, and that the exam was significantly longer (100 vs. 80 questions). My biggest tip: when you first read a problem, ask yourself, will graphing this make it easier to answer? The answer is frequently YES! Be sure to play around with the calculator before test day. It has lots of functions that allowed me to answer questions in seconds instead of the minutes it would have taken me to figure things out by hand.

Strategy 17

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the TExES Mathematics book by Sharon A Wynne; it was about $20 at Half Price Books. Bbe aware that the book is full of calculating errors, however it is good at outlining the different Domains and Competencies. The three practice exams included in the book were very helpful. I briefly looked over the contents of the book and studied them using videos online, especially Khan Academy.

Testing Strategy

What made this exam seem difficult was just the fact that it was 100 questions and 5 hours long. The first half seemed straight forward but the second half was when fatigue started to set in for me and the exam seemed to get more challenging. I recommend taking a quick 5 minute break during the exam to refocus. Be sure to study statistics and probability thoroughly (I used Khan Academy videos, which are very good) because there were quite a few of those questions on the test. I studied 3 hours a day for 2 weeks and passed with a 270 on my first try.

Strategy 18

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I purchased and completed five practice exams in examedge.com. The difficulty and variety of the questions are very good. I used Purplemath.com and Paul's Online Math Notes for online materials. Both are excellent and far better than Khan Academy. Purple Math's section on Distance-Rate-Time and "Work" problems is outstanding. With regard to purchasing books, I completed every problem in the book, "1000 Problems to Master Algebra." It is excellent and will get you in great shape on exponents, logarithms, matrices, determinants, factoring, etc. I used Schaum's Outlines for Precalculus and Geometry and I used the Humongous books on Statistics, Calculus, and Trigonometry. All were excellent.

Testing Strategy

I was well prepared and scored 282. It was my first attempt. I think that the exam is very-well designed. It tests whether you have a thorough understanding of fundamentals. It does not test esoterica. I am an engineer and although I knew much of the material at one time, I was rusty. I downloaded the Anki flashcard set and made nearly 800 flashcards for everything imaginable. It was very helpful. Perhaps the most helpful thing I did to prepare was a take a practice exam as administered by Region 10 under actual exam conditions. I only scored 80% on the practice exam, and it made it very clear to me what further studying I needed to do. Make sure that you know how to use the calculator, it has awesome features. Finally, concentrate on the basics.

Strategy 19

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I studied for about 6-9 hours per day for about 5 days leading up to the exam. I also went through every problem that I purchased on the Certifyteacher.com website. Most importantly I used the videos from khanacademy.org to help me with the lessons that I needed to freshen up on.

Testing Strategy

The test was harder than I expected. I took about 4 hours and 45 minutes total to complete the whole thing. I answered as many questions as I could. If a question took too much time, I just marked it and moved on. The test included graphing calculus questions, probability and statistics as well as geometry and trigonometry.

Strategy 20

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I studied the entire REA #135 Mathematics 8-12 book that I purchased at a half-price book store. Although not the 235, I felt it was sufficient. I completed all problems including the examples, quizzes and two practice tests. I used Kahn's Academy and "Paul's Online Math Notes" for further review of subjects. I highly recommend these sites! I also read every competency from the ETS registration bulletin; I reviewed all of the terms and if any topics were not covered in my study book, I used the sites listed above to review them. I studied 4-6 hours daily for five weeks including weekends. I made flashcards of any formula, axiom, or note I felt important. I also kept a spiral notebook and took notes while I studied as if I were in a class. I reviewed these notes and flashcards daily. I kept them with me everywhere and reviewed them anytime I could. I wouldn't change anything about this study process. I felt very prepared and knew there was nothing else I could have done to prepare.

Testing Strategy

The difficulty level of the test was as expected, beyond difficult. It is an exhausting test. I took the afternoon session and used the entire 5 hours. I did not take a break in fear I would run out of time. You must pace yourself. My goal was 20 questions per hour. I went through the entire test answering those I knew within a reasonable amount of time. I had one hour left to review approximately 20 problems that I had skipped. I left no problem unanswered. My advise is to study well; give yourself enough time from the day you register to the day you take the test; there is no way around it. Some questions are well written; some can be answered quickly while others require real-life applications. I only used the formula sheet once as it was not needed. The online calculator is easy to use; I highly recommend you practice with it before the test. Use the graphing feature to answer many of the questions. Know geometric series, formulas, limits, algebra applications, and a bit of basic calculus. Know how to apply derivatives. I passed on my first try with a 257. I am very proud of my score. Study hard and you will do great!

First names only please. This will be displayed publicly.

Back to Top
X

Texas Teachers Exempt Countries

Texas Teachers currently recognizes these SBEC-approved countries:
  • American Samoa
  • Angulia
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Austrailia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grand Cayman
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidata/ Tobago
  • Turks and Calcos
  • United Kingdom
  • US Pacific Trust