I can't pass the VRA ( virginia reading assessment) HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by teacher girl, May 2, 2010.

  1. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    May 2, 2010

    hi,

    I am trying to become a special education teacher/ elementary school teacher. I passed the VCLA the first time I took it. but I have taken the VRA 4 times and failed it- is that normal? I feel very dumb, however, I was wondering if the test was difficult to other people, if not how did you study for the test? How many times did you fail it? what study material did you use?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 2, 2010

    In your other post, you ask about what section of the Praxis is most easy to pass and now you are having difficulty passing this test. What is your educational background? Did your teacher prep program not prepare you well for these tests? You may want to get some study materials and 'brush up' before re-taking the test. I'm not sure about the VRA, but on some other assessments, they average the scores if you take a test many times so it's difficult to overcome multiple failures.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I doubt VRA averages over multiple attempts. But threads on other states' reading-instruction tests, notably California's RICA, may be helpful.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 2, 2010

    OK, found this:
    An individual may retake any VCLA subtest or VRA test as many times as necessary until a passing score or passing status is achieved. The highest score earned on a VCLA subtest will be used to determine the total test score, regardless of when earned.

    There are test blueprints, study guides and sample tests available at:

    http://www.va.nesinc.com/index.asp
     
  6. TYPHANI

    TYPHANI New Member

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    Jun 25, 2010

    Sorry to hear about your testing results. If it makes you feel any better, I have taken it 3 times as well. I will be taking it again next month. I have been studying the flashcards for the past couple of days, so I hope that this will help. I didnt study the 1st time I took the test and received a higher score than I did with studying the last 2 times. Good Luck to you and believe me there are many more who are in our position. Blessings!!!!!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2010

    Make sure you have the technical terminology in reading down cold. Try Googling "reading glossary": that should bring up some useful Web sites.
     
  8. VA_Tchr

    VA_Tchr New Member

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    I found a couple resources. I can't post links b/c I'm new but if you google the following key words, you might be able to find them.

    "Vocabulary quiz, Virginia reading assessment". You'll get some links to practice quizzes, some by Quia, which I use in my classroom to practice for SOLs. Helpful for brushing up on terminology.

    I have also heard some horror stories about the VRA. I just took my VCLA today and though I didn't do as well as I thought I should have, I still passed (unofficially). I have a couple years of teaching experience under my belt and think that this might help me out a bit on the VRA test when I take it, but I'm a REALLY bad test taker. It really is what the test-makers want you to put, and not what you necessarily think. I over analyze and use "if" too much when I try to eliminate the last wrong answer.

    I wish you all luck on your next attempts. Please put any other tips you can on this page! After reading your thoughts, I really have no idea what I'm getting myself into with this test *sobs*.
     
  9. 2bteachn

    2bteachn Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2010

    Va Tchr, like u had teaching experience by me when I took the VRA and I still did not pass it. I have taken the VRA about 5 time and will be taken it agian this month and by the grace of God I will be taking it for the last time.

    For Teacher girl and Typhani there is a VRA study guide out that you can get a Barns and Noble for about 60$. Howere it might be better to go online and order it because I think there are two different books. I hope this helps and Teacher girl no you are not dumb, this test is just that hard. God Bless
     
  10. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I take it this weekend for the first time. You guys are scaring me. I have not studied at all.
     
  11. 2bteachn

    2bteachn Rookie

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    What ever you do, do not go in there scared.
     
  12. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I won't!
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Study up on the vocabulary of teaching reading, people...
     
  14. VABeach

    VABeach New Member

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    I'm taking it this weekend as well, VANewbie, so I feel your terror. :p I flew through the other exams, but this is my last one and the only one I'm actually nervous about.

    I've never taken any education courses, so this is all a bit new to me, but I've just been studying straight out of "teaching children to read" books from the library and studying the vocabulary like mad. I'll cross my fingers for both of us!
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  16. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I just looked at the sample test for this. It looks exactly like the EOG kids take here, just with more difficult passages. Exact same question stems.
     
  17. VABeach

    VABeach New Member

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    Are you sure you weren't looking at the VCLA? The VRA doesn't have passages... just multiple choice questions about things like the definition of phonological awareness and the use of decodable texts in the classroom and then a few essay questions. I'm not sure I can buy that kids are being tested on how to teach other kids how to read. :)
     
  18. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Yes, I was looking at the wrong one then.
     
  19. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Good luck to those of you taking the VRA! I (thankfully) passed on the first try, but it was a tough exam! The multiple choice saved me since I bombed most of the essay questions-- in my own defense, I hadn't seen that material in 2 years. (I was relocating to another state after 1.5 years of an unsuccessful job search.)

    Definitely brush up on strategies for teaching reading to students and on all of the vocabulary!!
     
  20. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    Aug 6, 2010

    I read on the VRA website that they use the passing score, the last time you take it.

    I purchased a study guide for 39.95. Search VRA study guides, and see what you come up with. I think it was published by mometrix media. I passed the first time, although I've been teaching for nine years and have experience in the classroom. Best of luck to you!
     
  21. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    I thought that on many questions, there were more than one answer that could be right. So, I had to choose and decide. Brush up on your test taking skills in general, too, as well as the reading strategies and knowledge you've obtained. I reviewed the practice questions on the VRA website and especially the essay section answers. Practice those. I am usually a very good writer under pressure, so that may be why I passed. I just took a peek at my unofficial score and need to see more details when it comes in the mail but was very happy to have passed the first time. Hope this helps!
     
  22. TeachingLady

    TeachingLady Rookie

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    Hi everyone,

    I passed the VCLA & Praxis II the first try. I took the VRA again I just received my results today. (I was probably right there with you VANewbie.) I was disappointed because I missed passing by only "3" points. I don't know what feels worse = Missing it by 20 points the last time or being soooo close this time around. *sigh*

    Most say that you should take it while your momentum is up,but sheesh! I'm determined that this test will not beat me, so I guess I'll be forking over another $105 to take it again.
     
  23. jadepnai

    jadepnai Rookie

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    keep trying!

    Keep trying!!! You will pass it! Sucks that you have to retake it and you only missed 3 points.My friend is still trying to pass her VCLA and VRA.

     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, Writer02! Good writing skills do indeed serve well on a test like this. Even better is awareness of good writing skills - that's a somewhat different matter, and I'd bet you've got it.

    TeachingLady, best wishes for your next try.

    Where two answers look plausible, there's nearly always something in how the question stem and the possible answers interact that can help distinguish between them. The answer that's pretty good for teaching first graders how to read, for example, can be less promising for fourth graders and all but useless for eighth graders - unless, of course, the question stem offers evidence that the fourth grader or eighth grader has deficits in decoding or fluency.
     
  25. TeachingLady

    TeachingLady Rookie

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    Not giving up

    Thanks for all the well wishes. Someone asked me if I was going to have them to rescore it & I informed them that I might as just retake it for $105 than pay them $50 for a rescore. :eek:hmy:

    Does anyone on here know of any classes available that might help boost my score?:help:
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I don't know of classes in Virginia, no, I'm afraid.
     
  27. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    One tip that helped me was to read the question and ask myself what the answer is before looking at the multiple choice selections. Especially when confused at the answers, this helped me use my own brain first and then choose the one that fit best with what I thought it should be. Also, look for clues in the question when you are undecided about an answer. I may have it narrowed down to two answers and can't decide, so I read the question again to get a clue. I would look for what the focus of the question is really all about, and it sometimes helped me decide the best answer. It is definitely a challenging exam, and it kind of tests your thinking as well as your knowledge. If I felt I was taking too long an a question and still couldn't decide, I guessed and moved on. I marked it in my booklet in case I had time to go back over them. I didn't have time to go back over any, but I felt confident when I left the room that I did my best.

    It is a timed test, four hours long. I stayed almost the entire time; I think I had about 2-3 minutes left when I turned mine in. Give more than enough info. on the essay questions. Make sure you answer all of the questions asked in the prompt. I made a brief outline/notes for each question asked before I began writing. I used the outline/notes to keep me on track and make sure I answered thoroughly. You have to show a thorough understanding on the essays to get full credit. Good luck to all who are taking the test. I am glad I purchased the mometrix media study guide because it gave me some valuable information about the test before going in. I have less anxiety when I know what I'm getting into. Keep trying!
     
  28. 2bteachn

    2bteachn Rookie

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    Like Teachinglady and VaNewbie, I just got my scores back from this last test that just given and agian I have to take the test over. I do not know what I am doing wrong because this would be my 7th time taking it and what make it worse, the last time I took it I was 15 points from passing, this time I want backwards I droped 12 points. I stay the whole four hours of the test and I have the VRA books to study by but they are not helping. So agian I just donot know what I am doing wrong and I will forking over another 105$ myself.
     
  29. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    I'm sorry, 2bteachn. That is very frustrating. :dizzy: I hope it goes better so you can be finished with it soon.
     
  30. TeachingLady

    TeachingLady Rookie

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    Hi folks,

    After taking a breather from the VRA guess what? After June 30, 2011 the state of Virginia will no longer be using the VRA as a requirement. The new test will be The PRAXIS RVE (5306) - Reading for Virginia Educators. It will be interesting to see this goes. I've already called the DOE and ETS asking for study guides. There's no info available at this time. If any of you hear anything, please email me here! Thanks!

    The end of the school year is almost upon us! Yikes!
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The doc I just posted doesn't contain practice questions, but it does have the list of topics covered and a discussion of the scoring rubrics. I can surmise, given the title and the test number, that this test will be aligned to Virginia's standards in reading - so the state content standards are likely to be a very useful resource - and that it's computer-based.
     

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