Need help....FTCE K-6 Exam

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by Stefanie05, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2005

    Hi, I am new to this forum. I was wondering if anyone has used a certain resource to help them pass the Elementary K-6 Exam? I have taken it 3 times already and can't pass it! I have purchased the XAM K-6 study guide and that seems to be of little help. I have also viewed the FL Dept. of Ed. study guide for this exam. Additionally, I have researched some of the questions that I could remember that gave me a hard time. I am in a position where I have finished my Bachelors Degree requirements and have passed all other necessary tests, this exam is the only thing holding me back from getting a teaching position for the next school year. I feel like I have done everything I can to prepare. Pleaseeee....reply if you have any additional information or materials that may be of help to me. Thank you! :)
     
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  3. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    GO back and think about the areas you didnt do well on. If i remember right its not methods the test is about its facts. Which makes it both easier and harder. Ask some of your professors you had (if you went to school there) to help you with preperation. Alternativly, go to a nearby university's library and lok for some of the more recent textbooks for areas you are having a problem with or see if your local university has study sessions for it. Don't feel bad there are a ton of elementary ed majors in college who have had problems with the new test. And I know many of them will be very good teachers.
     
  4. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Thanks!

    Thank you for the advice. This test is not based on methods, you are right. It is primarily all facts. I took the old FTCE 1-6 exam and passed that test. Because I didn't graduate before the new test came out my score became invalid. The old test was based mostly on methods, and theorists. I am not in school anymore, but I could still visit the library to see what materials they have. Thanks again! :)
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Try using Google or Answers.com or one of the other search engines to look up key terminology on the Internet. There are bound to be at least some class syllabi out there that could be useful, and chances are there'll be more informative Web sites as well.
     
  6. alikri

    alikri Rookie

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    hi, new here also! i am taking the k-6 in july (1st time) and am in the process of trying to find study guides as well - not having any luck really. so far, i've downloaded the requirements from UCF and the $5 sample test - things that threw me on the sample test were questions about assessments and teaching strategy, and some of the music and art stuff. so i'm concentrating on beefing up with exactly what is listed on the requirements (gonna try to memorize and learn about alot of the teacher verbiage that's so foreign to me - i'd never heard of cloze procedure, miscues, running records or even rubrics before i took that sample test [​IMG]

    gonna rememorize all of the geometry formulas i've forgotten from lack of use and also the basic science stuff again. also basic US gov't (branches, constitution, electoral college, checks and balances etc)

    right now, ironically enough, i'm really worried about the music, art and PE questions since i never concentrated on learning much about any of those topics in college, much less how to teach them ;)

    a suggestion someone gave me on another board was to get the "what your _____ grader needs to know" from the library and go through them.....i already had the 3rd grader one ordered (cuz my son is entering 3rd grade in august) and just ordered the 5th grade one as well. hopefully that will cover the bases.

    good luck to us both!
     
  7. alikri

    alikri Rookie

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    also, another tip if you are using the competencies (i erroneously called it the requirements in my prior post) as a study guide.....i found myself searching for the numbered items on google to no avail....i finally realized that i get much better results finding info about the numbered items by googling the headers ;)

    e.g. - don't search for "strategies for developing phonological awareness" or "strategies for developing concepts of print", instead google for "emergent literacy" or "emergent literacy teaching strategies"

    hope this helps someone, and hope it helps me too!
     
  8. alikri

    alikri Rookie

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    well, maybe not

    i guess just searching by headers (from the list of competencies for the K-6 FTCe exam) isn't always the best idea. :eek: :eek: it's more or less a combination of using headers AND the specific terms in the numbered items.

    i am only talking about the language arts section, as there are alot of things in this section that i was initially quite unfamiliar with. (not basic english of course, but teaching strategy terminology)

    fwiw, i am bookmarking longer web articles that i find pertinent to each header and naming them appropriately (ie concepts of print, strategies to teach concepts of print, reading stages etc etc) to print later and keep for my own reference. i am also compiling a 'study sheet' in Word where i copy/paste pertinent information and make it easy for me to read and understand - a "quick study" based soley on the competencies.

    another cool feature i found in google (although, it doesn't always work) is to type "define:concepts of print" (without quotes) in the search field....it narrows things down quite a bit.
     
  9. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Really the new K-6 focuses a lot on fact like who was the 16th president. YOU should also look at area such as that not just the methods.
     
  10. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Irissa, you are right. Some friends of mine who had a hard time passing it suggested watching "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" or "Jeopardy". I think I stand a better chance researching facts than following the worthless study guides! Also, most of the geometry formulas are provided on the test, but it wouldn't hurt to brush up on them anyway. By the way, I just received my actual test score yesterday and I failed the test by 5 points. That is so frustrating! Anyway, thanks for everyones advice. :)
     
  11. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Eww that is horrid Stefanie. But on the positive side it means your not too far off and stand a much better chance this time.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Five points! I'm very sorry. If you're not already doing so, you might try prowling the CSET - Multiple Subjects subforums: there are some lively discussions there of concepts that you might find helpful.
     
  13. alikri

    alikri Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2005

    i just took the test


    whomever started this "it's all about the facts, not the method" is not quite right...methinks they might be someone trying to sell a study guide or something. :confused:

    yes, there were fact-based questions in math, science, SS, art/PE etc, and those are easy enough to study for using "what your ____ grader needs to know" which you can borrow from any library. FOR FREE.

    the hardest part of the test, by far, was the language arts section. it wasn't language arts in the sense of how well you can use/know the english language. it was how well you know how to teach children to read and write (literacy) and recognize when they're deficient in certain areas and how to help them improve.

    WAY heavy on the strategies of teaching, terminology of emergent literacy, etc.

    i have to wonder how many "study guide book" sellers are out on the forums like this trying to drum up bidness by passing on misinformation about tests and causing stressed studiers to wimp out and buy useless, expensive study guides.

    i took the test, today, and i'm telling you to download the FDOE's sample test and study guide and use it to fill in your knowledge as best you can. (it's $5 or you can actually find it for free by googling some of the answers in succession as search terms)

    as for the very difficult language arts part, i don't have a suggestion for a study guide unless you can get your hands on some education majors' emergent literacy textbook at a university library which includes CLASSROOM EXAMPLES of what to teach and how.
     
  14. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2005



    Although I am NOT the person who started the "facts" discussion I do have a reply to your statement. I have taken the test myself several times. I am not happy about this! However, the few times I have had to take the test I have noticed that the MAJORITY of the questions on the exam WERE based on facts, so therefore, I do agree with Irissa. Yes, the language/literacy questions were difficult, however, for the most part, that is information that you should have learned in your education classes(I am an ed. major). They are easier to study if you look at previous textbooks from your classes or notes that you may have kept. I don't believe that the person who started that discussion was trying to sell a study guide at all, I just think that she was expressing her own experience/opinion. I HAVE purchased the FDOE study guide and found it to be of little help. I also have the XAM K-6 study guide as well which obviously doesn't seem to be helping much either. I am close to passing this exam but I wouldn't credit any of the study guides I have purchased. I have several friends who are having an equally difficult time trying to pass this exam, so I know it's not just myself who is having trouble. They also share the same opinion about the exam as myself. I guess it's really not worth joining these forums, especially when you don't feel comfortable to share personal experiences/opinions because someone feels compelled to criticize you. I thought that was the point with these forums, to get advice/opinions from others!?
     
  15. alikri

    alikri Rookie

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    perhaps you misread my post. (or maybe you are just a naturally defensive person :) ) i wasn't criticizing anyone. i WAS making it known that the first and most difficult part of the test, the language arts section, is filled with concepts of teaching strategies and terminology. unfortunately, i have seen where people trying to sell things infiltrate forums to drum up business. it's common practice on the internet. whether anyone is doing that here is anyone's guess, but it's worth considering imho. i certainly didn't accuse anyone here of doing it, i just threw the idea out there.

    unlike you, i am NOT an education major, as are many of the people searching for ways to study for this exam. in fact, many of us have been out of school for quite a few years.

    most definitely, the majority of the test, outside of the LA section, is indeed fact based. it's also filled with rather 'tricky' question/answer set ups, as you well know if you have failed several times.

    imho, it's not being ignorant of the subject matter that is causing people to fail, it's the way the test is set up.

    several of the people taking the test that i spoke to were Ed majors trying to pass in order to graduate, and quite a few were already teachers! a couple were already certified and had experience in other states! all agreed that the LA section was very difficult.

    my point was that the LA section is not fact-based in the same sense of the rest of the test. in most of the ones i did not understand, you are presented with various classroom examples of how to teach something (all phrased in education terminology (most of which is rather pretentious and overly wordy if you ask me) and then asked for the best solution.

    hence, my saying that unless you were an education major or had access to a text book (re-read my post, you'll see where i point this out) you were in for a rough time. there's no way to study for that sort of thing without emergent literacy/teaching literacy text books, imho. so indeed, i was trying to give advice. ;)

    hope we passed!
     
  16. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Call me defensive or what you want. Apparently I did misread your post. I completely agree that the most difficult section is the language arts/literacy and yes, the test is tricky (hence, probably why I haven't passed yet). Even, if you are an education major I personally feel you are in for a rough time. Thanks for the advice. :)
     
  17. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2005

    just a suggestion...if you cant seem to pass the K-6 exam take the primary prek-grade 3 exam. It's pretty easy..focuses on philosophies and such. At least you could teach up to third grade while your studying for the k-6 exam.
     
  18. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    by the way...i passed the prek-3 test and i'm going to take the k-6 exam this fall. You guys are making me nervous...:(. I'm not an ED major (I'm child development) so now i'm really feeling a lack of confidence. :( at least i know i'm in for a bumpy ride....wish me luck!
     
  19. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    I won't be needing to discuss this anymore.........I passed the K-6 exam today and I got a job teaching Kindergarten! My advice, if you have to take it more than once, try to remember as many questions as you can and make sure you study them often! :) :) :)
     
  20. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Florida teachers

    Okay, I understand that in all states you need a BA to teach, but in FL do you not have to take a certification route in order to teach? Do you just decide to teach and take a test and then you can teach? I'm confused.

    In most states, especially in NJ, if you already have a BA, you would get cert. via alternate route, i.e. find someone to hire you (good luck) to teach and you go to school at night, at the end of one year, you would take your Praxis II and receive a certificiation

    OR

    if you have a BA, you can go back to college into a teaching cert program, usually takes about 18 months (30 credits) and then take Praxis, etc.


    The reason why I'm asking is because had I not spent the last few years getting my degree in Elem. Ed, I don't think I would ever pass a test. Congrats. to those of you who have already passed and are teaching :) If anyone is having trouble, I think someone mentioned reading, there are books available at Scholastic.com to help you understand how to teach reading/language arts.
     
  21. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Actually that does make me think you are critisizing. Show me where in any of my posts I told her to go buy a specific study guide. I also suggested she go to the university LIBRARY and look for books. HMMM I must be selling something I just dont know what! Also i didn't say there were no methods just that that wasn't the entire focus anymore.

    What I was for 6 years is a college of education Advisor which means I spent day in day out meeting with students and talking about certification classes and exams. My students have told me there were a lot of facts on the test. Since I know Stef was an ed major I figured she had the ed stuff down. That was never what my students had problems with.

    I also saw students who were not ed majors who were trying to pass my advice to them is different. THEY need to find ways to study the methods.


    Congrats to Stef for passing :)

    And in FL you can:
    1. Have a degree in Ed AND pass a test
    2. Have a degree in anything AND pass a cert test (in or not in your area)


    The test is everything in FL there ARE other requirements needed but the test is what most people have problems with.
     
  22. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2005

    Hope this clears confusion...teacherece

    Here is the information in regards to your question about what requirements FL teachers need to have. In order to actually teach in FL you need to have completed your Bachelor's Degree in Education. Pass all 4 sections of the General Knowledge Exam, which test on Reading, English Skills, Essay, and Math. You must also pass the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) which consists of the Professional Education Test and a Subject Area Exam (this is a test which will focus on whichever subject you majored in i.e., Elem. Ed, Early Childhood, Physical Ed., etc...). In addition to the above, you also had to have completed a required amount of ESOL courses within your coursework and complete an ESOL binder that must be checked and signed off by the ESOL Dept. of your college (there may be different requirements in regards to the ESOL but this is what my university required). You must also pass all of your required internships, again my university has 3 of them levels 1-3. These are all of the requirements for most Education majors in FL.

    In regards to your statement about deciding to teach after earning a different degree other than education. Well, FL has something called Alternative Certification. In short, this means you can earn a Bachelor's Degree or higher in something out-of-field, meaning not education. If you decide that you would like to become a teacher you would be considered out-of-field and I think the state gives you a certain amount of time to get all of the above certification requirements completed. I don't think it is very long though, I believe you only have a year to complete them but don't hold me to it. Some courses that you may have had would count towards certain subject areas, i.e., science, etc... My mother has her Bachelor's in Social Science and is interested in becoming a science teacher. She has the required courses to do so but still needs to pass the other requirements (the exam/certification). So, you CAN teach without actually having earned a Bachelor's in Education but there is a lot to it.

    It is not easy to become a teacher in FL and most teachers I have spoken with told me if they had to take the FTCE right now, they would probably fail. It's not because they are incompetent but the test is completely ridiculous! I am glad I finally passed but I feel for those who have not. I hope this helped clear up your confusion. :)
     
  23. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Thank you Irissa for the Congrats on passing the FTCE!!! :) :)
     
  24. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Stephanie:
    Thanks for the info. Although I don't live in FL, I was curious. It sounds alot tougher than NJ. Like I said before, I can't imagine, even as an El.Ed major, having to pass all those tests. We have a Praxis I and II here. The Praxis I is kinda like high school skills test in Math, Reading and Writing. You have to pass this in order to get into a program. The Praxis II is content area knowledge and case studies, etc.

    Like I said before, good luck to all of us who are working towards becoming a teacher.
     
  25. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Oh....congrats Stephanie.....
     
  26. Stefanie05

    Stefanie05 Rookie

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    Thanks for the Congrats teacherece!!! :) :)
     
  27. Monique5117

    Monique5117 New Member

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    HI Stefanie05

    I took the Ftce k-6 for the first time last month and just found out that I did not pass. I you passed after several tires please tell me what you did. I was about to buy the Xam book but I will hold off until I read our suggestion.
     
  28. bjboothman

    bjboothman Rookie

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    Monique - I took and passed the K-6 a few weeks ago. I took it by computer so I knew immediately that I'd passed. I think you are at an advantage next time now that you have some ideas of what is on the test. All I did was print the competencies from the website and google any terms I was unfamiliar with - especially in the area of language arts - those miscues are not "common knowledge" and are very specific to the test. Also, I googled info on triangles as described in the competencies. That helped me prepare. As you know, they give you the formulas for pi, etc. If you are not familiar with how to calculate area, radius, diameter, circumference and the pythagorean theorum, have a friend review it with you. My husband (who I lovingly call "mr math" spent about an hour prepping me - it's just been too long since I've used that stuff). I think that having a pretty good awareness of what is shown in the competencies will give you a passing grade. I'm sure I missed many questions and still passed - you just cannot "know it all". Best of luck to you!
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Teacher tests generally AREN'T about 'knowing it all', in fact: if there's a teacher test out there that you DO have to "ace" to pass, I'd be very surprised.
     
  30. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    I recently found out that I am eligible for a temp. cert. in middle grades English, but I have to take the K-6 SAE to be eligible for the temp. cert. in K-6. I'm taking the K-6 SAE on Saturday on the computer and I'm a little nervous about the math. I worked through the problems in the study guide I downloaded and there are two that I just can't figure out how they came up with the answers! I assume that if I am weak in one area, I can make up for it by being strong in one of the other areas. Do you guys know if you get to use scratch paper at the computer testing center?
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To the best of my knowledge, questions in study guides are fair game to discuss publicly. Ask here, and chances are pretty good someone can help.
     
  32. bjboothman

    bjboothman Rookie

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    frodolass - I passed the K6 about a month ago. I have the practice questions. I'd be glad to help you if you tell me which ones you are having difficulty understanding. email me at joy81499@hotmail.com or post it here.

    Meanwhile, I found on the FLA testing website that for Elementary Ed K-6 you only need to get 64% of the questions correct. So you can miss quite a few and still pass. When you complete the test, the computer screen will flash "pass" or "fail". When the printed reports arrive at your home they will say pass if you passed or give you a numerical score if you failed. I'm sure you will do fine.

    Let me know if I can help with the math problems.

    Yes, you can have scratch paper but not a calculator. And you will need the scratch paper, believe me.
     
  33. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for all the help. One good thing...at least I don't have to take the GK exam. I passed all portions of the CLAST in 2000. Well, back to studying :)
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    frodolass, it's not unheard of for test prep books to have typos. If you can't figure out where the answer came from, it's not necessarily your fault. Ask here, and maybe we can help you find your error - or the book's.
     
  35. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    These are the questions from the study guide. I hope I don't get into trouble, but they are study guide questions, not test questions:

    Q. Suppose that two solid colored marbles and two striped marbles are placed in a box. All of the marbles are the same size. If one marble is randomly drawn from the box and replaced and than a second marble is randomly drawn, what is the probability that the marble drawn both times will be striped?

    A. 1/4

    Q. A company wishes to provide ID cards for its employees. Each identification number will begin with a letter of the alphabet followed by two digits. How many different ID numbers can be made?

    A. 2600

    For the last question, I figured that they must be counting "00" as the first two digits. A00, A01.....

    Tomorrow is the day and I'm so nervous...yikes!
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Marbles:
    The odds on the first draw are 2/4, or 1/2, since there are four marbles and two are striped. The odds on the second draw, TAKEN AS AN INDEPENDENT EVENT, are also 2/4 or 1/2, since the marble originally taken is replaced before the second draw. The key here is that the question asks about the odds that the marble drawn on BOTH draws will be striped: in other words, the question explicitly links the two events. That being the case, we multiply the odds: 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4.

    A somewhat different case involves coin flips: the odds of getting heads on a given coin flip are 1/2, of course (unless the coin is a Canadian quarter, and let's not go there). If the question asks what the odds are of getting heads twice in a row, or the odds that two consecutive flips gave us heads, then the answer is 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4. But if the question says we just got heads and asks about the odds that the next flip will be heads, it is asking ONLY about the second flip, and the odds are what they always are for a single coin flipped once: 1/2.

    ID card
    This is a classic combinations problem. If the ID number begins with a letter of the alphabet, and all the letters of the alphabet are in play, then there are 26 possibilities. In the second and third slots, there are 10 digits in play, and it doesn't matter whether we count from 0 to 9 or from 9 to 0, there are STILL ten digits. Multiply together the possibilities for each slot, and we get 26 x 10 x 10 = 2600.

    Hope this helps, cookie.
     
  37. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    TeacherGroupie...awesome! You're right...the wording of the questions is so important. In the first question, I initially overlooked the words "both times" and in the second question, I assumed they were looking for two-digit numbers...but it actually says "two digits." Thanks so much!
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If my explanation made the sort of sense to you that it seems to have, including the smite on the forehead, I'd have to say that your, um, ODDS of passing the part of your test that's on math are quite good.

    Please don't make yourself crazy by studying late tonight, unless cramming is always what works for you before a test (and perhaps not even if it is). Go do something relaxing with someone who knows what you're going to do tomorrow and knows how to help you feel capable and competent, okay?
     
  39. bjboothman

    bjboothman Rookie

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    I have my fingers crossed for frodolass this morning. I so hope she checks in today with a big smiley grin! I know she will do well.
     
  40. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Mar 18, 2006

    I PASSED! What's funny is that the MATH was the EASIEST part of the exam. I'm sure that's because of the excellent help you all offered. The language arts section was challenging, but the most difficult part of the exam for me was the Social Studies. I finished the whole exam in about 2 hours...I only took a 10 minute break. I was afraid I'd have to sit there for the whole five hours or whatever it is supposed to be. Thank you, thank you for your wonderful help!
     
  41. bjboothman

    bjboothman Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2006

    I told you that you'd have much more time than needed. I didn't think the math was the hardest either. It would be between the science and social studies for me --- just a lot of questions that if you didn't know - you just could not make a reasonable guess. Congrats - I'm so happy for you. Now we have to get jobs!!!
     

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