Failed RICA 3 times... what now?

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by akcx4, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. patient1

    patient1 New Member

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Failed RICA...Lost My Classroom:(

    I'm new to this site...I was reading about the RICA comments. I was relieved to find that I am not alone in the struggle to pass that darn exam:mad!

    For the last 5 years I worked with high school students as a sped paraeducator, long term sub, then a sped intern. Now I'm back to subbing because I cannot pass the RICA!! It is really embarrassing, but I have failed 5 times and I'm really not confident that I passed the April exam. I NEED to pass before August because there are 20 sped teachers retiring in my district!! I have spent lots of $$$ on workshops, prep materials, gas (test site is 60 miles away), test fees, etc. Not counting the $$ for the reading methods classes that were no help. Plus, I took those classes about 2.5 years ago.
     
  2. RSMY

    RSMY Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Hi Patient1

    I feel your pain and saddnes in trying to pass the RICA. I spent alot of money But then I read "Beating Them All" by Chris Boosalis. That's the only book I used and it helped me. In addition, I worked with the author. If you have the money ($200), he will tutor you for the test. Chris is a very nice guy, patient, he will work with you, and he knows his stuff. Contact him its worth it. its done all on line once a week.............the way he tutors just makes sence.............good luck!
     
  3. eternalsunshine

    eternalsunshine Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2010

    RICA prep books

    Hi Everyone!

    I want to buy some RICA test prep books and usually buy used books. But I've heard that RICA has gone through some changes recently so i figure buying old books won't do me much good. Does anyone know how far back I can go in terms of publication date for the book to still be relevant?

    Also, I haven't been able to find many authors (cliffs, zarillo, Marilyn Dye.) Do you have any recommendations? Any suggestions would be very appreciated!!
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The test format changed for the 2009-10 testing year. I think Zarrillo's book is out in a new edition. Some people also like Rossi & Schiffer's Case Studies book; I don't now recall whether the current version reflects the change in the test.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Chris Boosalis was my Reading/Language Arts Methods instructor at Cal State Stanislaus. He's an awesome professor and each of us who were enrolled in his methods course passed the RICA without a hitch! I'd definitely spend the money for the tutoring! Luckily, he lives here in the Central Valley and I was fortunate enough to take his course. If you can't afford the tutoring, buy the book!
     
  6. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    When I have to memorize something, I've found that I have to make flashcards. The flashcards I made before the RICA were the wordiest flashcards I've ever made, but they worked! I used the Zarrillo book and made a flashcard for every new term (dipthong, phonemic awareness) and for every method for teaching and assessing reading (CLOZE test, etc).

    So my advice is to think about how you have learned other difficult material and do the same thing for the RICA. Good luck!
     
  7. j&jsmommy

    j&jsmommy New Member

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    May 3, 2010

    April RICA

    I just received my unofficial RICA score (via email) and by some miracle...I passed! I am soooooo excited! I was convinced that I had failed and would have to retake the exam next month!

    Has anyone else received the email?
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, j&jsmommy!
     
  9. patient1

    patient1 New Member

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    I passed the RICA!!! How embarrassing, but 6th time was a charm for me!! I almost had a heart attack when I saw all those plus signs:)

    I added all the testing fees, prep workshops, materials, gas, and food for a total of $1220!
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Congrats J&JsMommy & Patient1!!!
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations on passing, patient1!
     
  12. certaintea

    certaintea New Member

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    Congratulations! I passed too! I am now completely done!
     
  13. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Congratulations on passing! I'll be taking the RICA in the summer.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, certaintea!
     
  15. certaintea

    certaintea New Member

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    May 6, 2010

    Good luck to you Sunshine!
     
  16. Fabreezy

    Fabreezy Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2010

    I have too taken the Rica and have not passed. My first time taking it was in April and I just have taken it again this month in June. When taking the test I always seem that the 4 hours are not enough time for all of the writing. I miss the test by 10 points scoring a 210...I'm hoping to gain those extra 10 points. I have completed my credential program...and this test is all i have left. Do you need 3 pluses in every domain to pass? I don't like how they don't show your score of your other essay questions besides the case study. I feel all of your pain and concerns.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Fabreezy, hugs to you.

    You don't need three pluses in every domain to pass, no: you pass or don't pass the whole of the test, not the individual components, so a strong performance in one domain can help compensate for a weaker performance in another.

    If you're running out of time on the writing, it's possible that you're overwriting some of the constructed response questions: two of the five written exercises are supposed to be even-shorter-than-CSET short answers.

    How did you fare on CSET-MS Subtest I?
     
  18. Fabreezy

    Fabreezy Rookie

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    to teachergroupie
    I don't know my actual score on CSET subtest 1 but I passed the first try.
    Thank you for your response...I'll keep you posted on the results
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Ah: then you've tested on some of this material before.

    Have you had a reading instruction methodology class?
     
  20. Fabreezy

    Fabreezy Rookie

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    Yes...but that was a couple of years ago and I took the Rica prep class at my school too before the April test...so just hopefully a second time around is a charm
     
  21. Fabreezy

    Fabreezy Rookie

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    Ok I got my results today and didn't pass again...I bought the new Zarillo and the case studies book...what other teaching strategies are there??? This will be my 3rd time taking the test in August.
     
  22. RSMY

    RSMY Rookie

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    Try Chris Boosalis, book or on line tutoring...He is great....!
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'm guessing you got your unofficial results with just the score. When you get your official results, with the breakdown by question type, let us know and let's talk.
     
  24. Fabreezy

    Fabreezy Rookie

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    Thanks...I don't know if I'm not answering the case studies correctly or what...but I'll definitely will let you know the domains...
     
  25. Fabreezy

    Fabreezy Rookie

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    So TeacherGroupie I received my official score
    Domain 1 ++
    Domain 2 ++
    Domain 3 ++
    Domain 4 +++
    Domain 5 ++
    Case Study ++ I need improvement with describing instructional strategies and or activities
    Any suggestions or help....I read the total book of zarillo....
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The domains in question are these:

    Domain 1: Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment
    Domain 2: Word Analysis (which includes phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics and sight words, and syllabic and structural analysis)
    Domain 3: Fluency (its role and how to promote it)
    Domain 4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge
    Domain 5: Comprehension (the three types of reading comprehension, facilitating comprehension, dealing with both literary and non-literary texts)

    You're in good shape in domain 4, so you need to shore up your knowledge (and your ability to manage the terminology, I suspect) in the other four domains. Zarrillo's a fine resource, but its goal is not primarily to teach the material but to review it.

    I'm not now recalling whether you have had reading instruction methodology coursework. If you have, go back to your notes and your textbooks - the textbooks probably contain glossaries (or, if your coursework was recent, you may find online supplementary resources for them that will include glossaries and, if you're really lucky, videos that show reading instruction). Make sure you know AND CAN USE PROPERLY every term in the glossary.

    Two other invaluable resources:

    - The state Content Standards and Frameworks documents for English/language arts, on the Web site of the California Department of Education. If memory serves, the Frameworks doc has a glossary. http://www.cde.ca.gov, click on the Curriculum and Instruction link and look for Frameworks or Standards, I forget which offhand - but they're not that hard to find.

    - The glossary at http://www.sedl.org/reading/framework/glossary.html, and for that matter the rest of the SEDL Web site on reading, which is outstanding

    You have a good deal of work ahead of you, I'm afraid.
     
  27. lula

    lula Rookie

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    You can pass the RICA

    I know the test is hard and I failed 3 times but finally passed! If I can do it then you can do it too :) Don't let people tell you otherwise! Thanks for everyone's support on this website especially teachergroupie. What helped me was realizing that although I covered the Zarillo book I only covered half before all the tests. This time I memorized the book from front to back and tested myself on various different reading strategies. Now I'm just need some help looking for a job which I'll put on a different forum
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, lula, if I haven't already congratulated you!
     
  29. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I apologize if this has already been mentioned... When I took the RICA way back then I used my university reading methodology books to study. They were perfect! I read all of those books cover to cover. I had no problem passing the test and in fact finished up quite early. I still have the books at my parents house. If anyone is interested, I can find them and post the names of those books here.
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That would be a good deed indeed, Peachy.
     
  31. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    I'm not due to take that for a while, but if it's any consolation, one of the other student teachers in the classroom with me told me they had taken it recently and had found out they hadn't passed. It sounds like this is a tough test!
     
  32. Beccalove06

    Beccalove06 New Member

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I Have now failed 4 times

    I am so bummed, I have now failed the RICA 4 times!!!! The very first time I did really bad but it was due to poor time management. The second time I failed by 18 point, the 3 time I failed by 8 points without even finishing one of the short essays. This made me feel like I knew what I was talking about but continued to not be able to write out my essays fast enough. I took a 6 month break after this then studied and took the test again. This time it is computer based. I was very excited because I can type way fast then I can write. I took the test for the 4th time and had a whole hour left over at the end, so I went back and expanded on my essays and changed some of my words. I fail the test AGAIN by 12 points. I took a class, studied with friends and have two study books and I do not know what else to do.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In which of the five domains (planning and managing instruction, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary/academic language/background knowledge, comprehension) are you generally getting two or fewer plus marks? What about the case studies?
     
  34. Morozova

    Morozova Rookie

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    Failed RICA

    I tried to pass RICA three times already, last time I got 219 points out of 220. Just one point more!
    Domain I +++
    Domain II +++
    Domain III ++
    Domain IV ++
    Domain V +++
    Case study ++

    Any suggestions on how to improve Case study? I was sure I included everything, but unfortunately it was not enough......
    * Describing instructional strategies and/or activities
    * Explaining how the strategies and/or activities promote reading proficiency
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's grand that you got +++ in planning, organizing, and managing reading instruction (domain I, for those from other states), word analysis (domain II) and comprehension (domain V), and that, on the case study, the scorers were happy with what you identified as appropriate instructional strategies for the scenario you were given

    Results are less good in fluency (domain III) and in vocabulary, academic language, and background knowledge (domain IV), and the people who assign the diagnostics on the case study were less than thrilled with how you showed those strategies in action (describing) and how you argued for their appropriateness (explaining).

    So what's fluency, hmm?
     
  36. Morozova

    Morozova Rookie

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    RICA

    Could you suggest of how to improve results for domains 3 and 4?
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Domain III is fluency, and that was my goal in asking you what fluency is.
     
  38. Morozova

    Morozova Rookie

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    fluency is the ability to read smoothly and quickly and be able to comprehend. (rate, accuracy, prosody)
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    But what does that mean? What's accuracy? What's prosody? Why do we care about rate?
     
  40. Morozova

    Morozova Rookie

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    Accuracy - how accurate and fast student read, is able to finish reading to the end before he forgets the beginning.
    Prosody - pronunciation and making stops when comma, etc.
     

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