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English Language Arts and Reading / Social Studies 4-8
Study & Test Strategies

Strategy 1

Submitted by Shirelle

Study Strategy

I used a Pass the TExES book for ELAR and Social Studies, and I also used 240 tutoring. I feel that the Pass the TExES books were every useful. The books gave be the knowledge to apply to the questions on the test. The 240 tutoring helped me by practicing answering the type of questions that would be used on the test. I also used the study manuals on the ETS website for the test. I studied everyday for three and half weeks.

Testing Strategy

The test was what I expected, it was not super hard or super easy. The ELAR part, for me, was easier than the Social Studies. With the ELAR section, you could reason out by talking through why three of the choices were incorrect. With the Social Studies, it is either you know or you don't. I would recommend the Pass the TExES book for the Social Studies. It took a week for my scores to come back, and I made a 251.

Strategy 2

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I did my observations during my study time for the test. I wanted to make sure that I understood why teachers taught a certain way; it made much more sense to me. Fortunately, the classes that I observed were actually learning the material on the test that I needed clarification on. I also studied for three weeks straight, up until the night before. I stopped so I would not cram on the test. I asked teachers to explain why the answers were correct, in their perspective, which also helped with my study method.

Testing Strategy

When I got to the test I took a breath and hid the timer on the test immediately. The timer can be very intimidating. I went through the test and completed the questions that I was for sure about. Afterwards, I went back through the test and completed the ones I was unsure about. I would recommend explaining to yourself why you eliminating a certain answer choice; it helps! The test was easier than I imagined. It took a week and a half to receive my scores, and I passed on the first time.

Strategy 3

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the TExES Manual to see which material I needed to study. I purchased a study book from passthetexes.com and I feel so-so about them. They contained all the vocabulary about the test, but didn't really give enough examples on how to apply the information. If you study enough, you can use the best of your knowledge to make an educated guess. I studied an hour each night during the weeknights and about 5 hours over the weekend for 2 weeks.

Testing Strategy

I did not believe that I passed the test. I felt confident about the Social Studies part, but I have a Masters degree in International Studies. I struggled on the ELA part as you have to be able to apply the information. The questions are designed to really test your cognitive thinking. The test took a week and a half to get my results. There is a release date for this test, because it is not given on a regular basis. I ended up passing with a 259.

Strategy 4

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used the pamphlet that was on the TEA Website and the REA TExES Study guide, which includes sample exams. The sample exams really helped me because I could check my answers. They also include reasons why the answers were wrong, so that I could adjust my learning.

Testing Strategy

The test took me 2 hours to complete, including the time to go back over my answers. It was helpful to remember that the answers they were seeking were somewhat common sense and could be easily reasoned out in most cases. I passed it on my first try with a 269!

Strategy 5

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I used CertifyTeacher, which wasn't too expensive, but was very helpful. The program analyzes which domains you need to study more based on your answers to questions and takes you through study modules for those domains. My degree is not education, or reading related, so I was unfamiliar with most of the terminology and theory related to teaching reading. This was where I gained the majority of my new knowledge.

Testing Strategy

Relax, and choose the answer that seems to apply the most specific applicable theory, versus what you have seen other teachers do! Make sure you brush up on ELL strategies too. My test had quite a bit of those questions. Also, if you're like me, you may leave convinced you failed. Scores were delayed, but when they finally posted I scored a 275. Relax, don't second guess yourself, and wait as patiently as possible. Best of luck!

Strategy 6

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I would highly encourage you to invest in PasstheTexes.com. I only had a month to prepare and I knew the Social Studies part was my weakness. I feel like this company did an amazing job preparing me for this as well as the English Language Arts part. I'm happy to say that I passed my test on the first try.

Testing Strategy

Make sure you review all the practice tests on the TeXes website. I took the English Language Arts 4-8, Social Studies 4-8, and English Language Arts/Social Studies 113 practice tests. Each time I took a practice test, I made sure I reviewed anything that I needed clarification on. I also reviewed the reasoning for why certain answers were the best choice. I made sure that I had a good understanding of vocabulary in my study resources and in the competencies. Having a pretty good idea of vocabulary terms really helped in understanding my questions and choosing the best answers. However, please be aware that this test is solely about application for both areas.

Strategy 7

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I had just taken the 4-8 generalist about a month before this test, so I felt pretty confident about the content before I even began studying. (I WAY overstudied for the generalist.) I purchased the TEXeS flashcard system, which I don't recommend. The information is way too detailed and focused more on knowledge rather than application. What I found most helpful were the test booklets from the state. I downloaded the for this specific test as well as the ones for each individual subject. The practice questions were pretty reflective of what was on the actual test.

Testing Strategy

The test itself is mostly focused on application. There are lots of reading passages in both the ELA and SS sections. Take your time and make sure you read carefully. Overall I didn't find it too hard. There were a couple history questions that I didn't really know the answers to, but I don't know what I would have studied to have known the answers. Don't get caught up in worrying if you don't know everything! Just answer to the best you can and move on. The hardest part was waiting for the scores, which took almost a week to post. But I was happy to pass on the first try!

Strategy 8

Submitted by Texas Teachers

Study Strategy

I printed the manual given on the TExES website and took the practice test first reading the over view of the test. After scoring it I looked at the explanations for the missed questions, then I read the domain for the questions missed. I studied the domains for about a week. The night before the test I purchased a full-length practice exam which was the least helpful. I don't suggest doing that. Don't waste your money. Very few people take this exam if they've already passed the generalist 4-8 as I did. I wanted the additional content area to have a better chance teaching the specific content area. Learning the domains and the competencies is really the best way to study. The areas unfamiliar, brush up on them with the training modules for EC-6, everything dealing with language on the intern portal.

Testing Strategy

After taking the test I was not confident I passed. I was really being to hard on myself. I did great! There are no tricks on the test especially the social studies questions. If you love social studies, government you should do just fine. Texas history was hardest part for me but it was not to many of those question. A good thing to do is mark the questions you're not sure about because some questions are repetitive and some of them give you answer within another question. Another important thing, the test included situations involving ELL students, it won't hurt to look the ESL practice manual.

Strategy 9

Study Strategy

I printed the manual given on the TExES website and took the practice test first reading the over view of the test. After scoring it I looked at the explanations for the missed questions, then I read the domain for the questions missed. I studied the domains for about a week. The night before the test I purchased a full-length practice exam which was the least helpful. I don't suggest doing that. Don't waste your money. Very few people take this exam if they've already passed the generalist 4-8 as I did. I wanted the additional content area to have a better chance teaching the specific content area. Learning the domains and the competencies is really the best way to study. The areas unfamiliar, brush up on them with the training modules for EC-6, everything dealing with language on the intern portal.

Testing Strategy

After taking the test I was not confident I passed. I was really being to hard on myself. I did great! There are no tricks on the test especially the social studies questions. If you love social studies, government you should do just fine. Texas history was hardest part for me but it was not to many of those question. A good thing to do is mark the questions you're not sure about because some questions are repetitive and some of them give you answer within another question. Another important thing, the test included situations involving ELL students, it won't hurt to look the ESL practice manual.

Strategy 10

Study Strategy

I had just taken the 4-8 generalist about a month before this test, so I felt pretty confident about the content before I even began studying. (I WAY overstudied for the generalist.) I purchased the TEXeS flashcard system, which I don't recommend. The information is way too detailed and focused more on knowledge rather than application. What I found most helpful were the test booklets from the state. I downloaded the for this specific test as well as the ones for each individual subject. The practice questions were pretty reflective of what was on the actual test.

Testing Strategy

The test itself is mostly focused on application. There are lots of reading passages in both the ELA and SS sections. Take your time and make sure you read carefully. Overall I didn't find it too hard. There were a couple history questions that I didn't really know the answers to, but I don't know what I would have studied to have known the answers. Don't get caught up in worrying if you don't know everything! Just answer to the best you can and move on. The hardest part was waiting for the scores, which took almost a week to post. But I was happy to pass on the first try!

Strategy 11

Study Strategy

I would highly encourage you to invest in PasstheTexes.com. I only had a month to prepare and I knew the Social Studies part was my weakness. I feel like this company did an amazing job preparing me for this as well as the English Language Arts part. I'm happy to say that I passed my test on the first try.

Testing Strategy

Make sure you review all the practice tests on the TeXes website. I took the English Language Arts 4-8, Social Studies 4-8, and English Language Arts/Social Studies 113 practice tests. Each time I took a practice test, I made sure I reviewed anything that I needed clarification on. I also reviewed the reasoning for why certain answers were the best choice. I made sure that I had a good understanding of vocabulary in my study resources and in the competencies. Having a pretty good idea of vocabulary terms really helped in understanding my questions and choosing the best answers. However, please be aware that this test is solely about application for both areas.

Strategy 12

Study Strategy

I used CertifyTeacher, which wasn't too expensive, but was very helpful. The program analyzes which domains you need to study more based on your answers to questions and takes you through study modules for those domains. My degree is not education, or reading related, so I was unfamiliar with most of the terminology and theory related to teaching reading. This was where I gained the majority of my new knowledge.

Testing Strategy

Relax, and choose the answer that seems to apply the most specific applicable theory, versus what you have seen other teachers do! Make sure you brush up on ELL strategies too. My test had quite a bit of those questions. Also, if you're like me, you may leave convinced you failed. Scores were delayed, but when they finally posted I scored a 275. Relax, don't second guess yourself, and wait as patiently as possible. Best of luck!

Strategy 13

Study Strategy

I used the pamphlet that was on the TEA Website and the REA TExES Study guide, which includes sample exams. The sample exams really helped me because I could check my answers. They also include reasons why the answers were wrong, so that I could adjust my learning.

Testing Strategy

The test took me 2 hours to complete, including the time to go back over my answers. It was helpful to remember that the answers they were seeking were somewhat common sense and could be easily reasoned out in most cases. I passed it on my first try with a 269!

Strategy 14

Study Strategy

I used the TExES Manual to see which material I needed to study. I purchased a study book from passthetexes.com and I feel so-so about them. They contained all the vocabulary about the test, but didn't really give enough examples on how to apply the information. If you study enough, you can use the best of your knowledge to make an educated guess. I studied an hour each night during the weeknights and about 5 hours over the weekend for 2 weeks.

Testing Strategy

I did not believe that I passed the test. I felt confident about the Social Studies part, but I have a Masters degree in International Studies. I struggled on the ELA part as you have to be able to apply the information. The questions are designed to really test your cognitive thinking. The test took a week and a half to get my results. There is a release date for this test, because it is not given on a regular basis. I ended up passing with a 259.

Strategy 15

Study Strategy

I did my observations during my study time for the test. I wanted to make sure that I understood why teachers taught a certain way; it made much more sense to me. Fortunately, the classes that I observed were actually learning the material on the test that I needed clarification on. I also studied for three weeks straight, up until the night before. I stopped so I would not cram on the test. I asked teachers to explain why the answers were correct, in their perspective, which also helped with my study method.

Testing Strategy

When I got to the test I took a breath and hid the timer on the test immediately. The timer can be very intimidating. I went through the test and completed the questions that I was for sure about. Afterwards, I went back through the test and completed the ones I was unsure about. I would recommend explaining to yourself why you eliminating a certain answer choice; it helps! The test was easier than I imagined. It took a week and a half to receive my scores, and I passed on the first time.

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