Virginia VCLA Test

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Oldnewteach, May 22, 2007.

  1. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    May 22, 2007

    Anyone from Virginia taken the VCLA (Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment) test recently? I took the test this past weekend (5/19) and was wondering how others may have done.

    I am a career changer taking the tests to start the program and took my PRAXIS II tests for Business and Biology in April. I have not taken some of these courses in quite some time.
     
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  3. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    May 30, 2007

    I actually passed this test! I graduated from college in 1992, so it had been a while since I was expected to know how to read and write grammatically correct without the help of spell-check. This was a great little boost to my poor ego. Now, if I could only get my Praxis II test scores.............
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 30, 2007

    Congratulations, Oldnewteach!

    Kindly confirm: VCLA is, among other things, a test of what you know about reading instruction, right?
     
  5. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    May 30, 2007

    Thank you very much.

    Starting this year, Virginia changed their requirements a bit and did away with Praxis I and replaced it with the VCLA. From what I can tell, it is a standard test to prove you can read and write. It was a 4 hour test that involved multiple choice questions and actual hand written responses. It included a reading and writing subtest.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 30, 2007

    Oh, wait: the test I identified is VLA, perhaps.

    Is VCLA a Praxis test, or NES, or something else entirely?
     
  7. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    May 30, 2007

    This is what I got off the website,

    "The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has contracted with National Evaluation Systems (NES®) to create and administer the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment™ (VCLA™), which measures the communication and literacy skills necessary for Virginia educators, and the Virginia Reading Assessment® (VRA®), which measures preparation in the components of effective reading instruction."

    Elementary , Special Ed, and Reading Instructors take the VRA and all other teachers take only the VCLA. I will be teaching high school Business and Biology (hopefully).
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 30, 2007

    Ah: NES, nibbling away at Praxis's market share...
     
  9. Work'n Progress

    Work'n Progress New Member

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    Jul 23, 2007

    HELP!

    :confused: In the Name Of JESUS HELP!!!!
    Hi, I'm new to the group. I just started teaching with a provisional Getting ready to take the VCLA. Several of the teachers at my school have failed this test by 1,2,3,4 points. From what I have been told it's somewhat of a mind blower. Beside the norm blueprint guide, does anyone have other suggestions on how to study for this test. Oh! I take this test Tuesday Morning at 9:00a.m.

    Thank you

    W'n P.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 23, 2007

    From post #6 above I infer that VCLA is a basic skills test - can you read, can you do math, can you write... Failing by one to four points usually means process issues rather than content issues: that is, it's not that the test taker can't do this stuff, it's that the test taker isn't doing it in a form that makes the scorers happy. Fortunately, that's not that hard to fix: find a good skill-review book (LearningExpress publishes some good ones), work on the skills in it, and while you're working on them, make a point of looking for ways to apply them in your real life. Other approaches are possible, of course, but this one tends to work well.
     
  11. Work'n Progress

    Work'n Progress New Member

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    Jul 23, 2007

    Valued Information

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate this information.
    I'll post the outcome!

    Work'n Progress:angel:
     
  12. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    I will be going through the Career Switcher program and will be taking this test.

    Can someone advise me how they studied are there study guides we can purchase to help prepare?

    Also how are you doing as you go through the process?

    Thanks.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 29, 2007

  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Come to think of it, though, VCLA doesn't have a math component. Odd.
     
  15. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    Feb 20, 2008

    VCLA isn't exactly a basic skills test - it's a more in depth literacy test. I can think of two very bright people right off the top of my head who failed it by only a point or two and had to postpone their student teaching because of it.

    I didn't prepare other than reading the study guide TeacherGroupie linked to, and I did fine on it, but reading and writing are kind of my thing. If you comfortably passed the Praxis tests, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you grew up in an area where there is a heavy dialect, you may have some trouble - I believe that was the problem with my two friends.

    Good luck.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 20, 2008

    "Basic skills" is a technical term for one set of things that teachers are expected to be able to do: to interpret written work in the English language, to compose passable prose, and (in most states) to handle essential math more or less competently. It's opposed to "subject-matter competence", which has to do with one's knowledge of the content of a discipline or a series of disciplines.

    It's not uncommon for very bright people to crash and burn on a basic-skills test, sometimes through overthinking it and sometimes just through not really following the directions.
     
  17. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    Feb 21, 2008

    I understand what a basic skills test is. I'm just saying that, from the point of view of someone who has taken the test, it is more a "subject-matter competence" test in the area of language arts than a basic skills test.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2008

    shrugging
     
  19. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    also shrugging...

    We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2008

    In many fields, terms that have a common-sense meaning elsewhere come to have technical meanings and restricted uses. Education is one of those fields, and "basic skills test" is one of those terms. VCLA is required of people whose licensure and teaching will not be in English as such (see http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/newvdoe/prof_teacher_assessment.pdf) - and that is what makes it a basic skills test.

    I will cheerfully concede that, if the test guide is an accurate representation, the VCLA tests those skills in unusual breadth and depth.
     
  21. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Feb 21, 2008

    :lol: too funny, thanks for the laugh you two! :lol:
     

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