secret to passing the RICA?

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by littlemama, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Ryanthelion

    Ryanthelion Rookie

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    I have been doing some research on Pearson. What I have found is deeply disturbing. I have been researching how Pearson scores and in particular how they score writing samples.

    1. They make employees sign non disclosure agreements... Scorers too

    2. As far as I can tell they keep the scoring parameters fuzzy... They use terms like validity and accuracy... But I doubt they truly have any meaning in Pearson grading criteria...

    3. In my opinion if they keep grading or scoring criteria fuzzy it's easier to manipulate passes and fails to meet qouta's... For example I went on to a web page that advertised "work from home" jobs. It had a forum of scorers who work or were trying to get work for Pearson. Mostly stay at home moms. Two seasoned teachers said they were completely confused about how to score and that they could not understand what Pearson's scoring criteria was. Many loyal employees will claim Pearson has a filter test for people who posses special talent in scoring. In other words they believe Pearson is so incredible that only those most talented will pass the special filter test and will be accepted into Pearson's inner exclusive scoring circle. In my opinion it's just a way of bolstering employees belief in Pearsons "special" scoring system. those who will never question Pearson's systems.

    4. Pearson has a contract New York dpt of Ed. They can only profit from students who pay for tests. Meaning the more students who fail the more profit they make.
     
  2. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Pearson is a reputable company and they have been the industry standard for decades. They have non-disclosure agreements to protect their intellectual property, assets, and themselves legally. I suspect they don’t want anyone gaming the system or having an unfair advantage by knowing how they grade or what to expect grading wise. If you download their practice tests and/or do the things TeacherGroupie suggests (and others), then you should pass.

    You are going to have to understand that teacher certification tests aren’t going away and they are not controversial. They are necessary for determining subject-matter competency. They don’t assess the kind of teacher you will be, but they DO measure your knowledge about your subject. Testing agencies and credentialing departments just can’t take applicants at their word that they know what they say they know, just like medical boards and engineering firms and state bars can’t. Even though MD’s pass medical school, for instance, they still have to take their medical boards and pass before they can practice medicine. Just like you have to pass the RICA even though you have XYZ degree.

    You still have to take a test that proves what you supposedly know. There is nothing controversial about it and just because passing rates are somewhat low that doesn’t mean that the test is therefore a poor metric or the company is trying to swindle potential teachers out of their money.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  3. Ryanthelion

    Ryanthelion Rookie

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    Todd Farley was a Pearson scorer from 1994 to 2000. I suggest reading about him.. He has incredible insight into Pearsons scoring especially how they score writing samples.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing publishes annual reports on the rates at which people pass its required tests, most of which have been Pearson since at least 2003. For the tests most complained about, significantly more people pass than don't pass.
     
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  5. Ernesto

    Ernesto New Member

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    Jan 31, 2019

    Hi Everyone,
    So I will be taking the RICA again for the third time, the first one was written and I didn't pass it by 16 points, then I tried the video and they said I met the requirements for video 1 but didn't pass it; but that the last two videos were not viewable, due to the actual video, or audio along with either the lesson plan wasn't readable. :(. So I have been using the Boosalis videos to study along with the Zarillo. I was just practicing doing the essay questions, but it seems that I am stuck on being able to teach an onset/rime lesson. I personally think I know how to teach it, but I want to make sure that I write it out in the RICA expectations. The need is that the kiddo needs to learn how to blend onset/rime using the word family (rime) -at, with known consonants (c,t,s,m). Can someone help me with the step by step of what RICA expects please.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 1, 2019

    First, don't think of these responses as essays. For the short responses, begin with your direct answer to the question. Then support your answer with examples - drawn from artifacts or the question stem if present - and/or principles of the domain of reading instruction you're dealing with (for instance, given the scenario you've outlined, terms that relate most specifically to domains 1, 4 and 5 aren't necessary). Bullet lists are fine. For the case study, the way the question is phrased will usually suggest a structure for your answer: make sure you answer the parts in the sequence in which the question presents them, and use paragraphing to make it clear what you're answering when.

    Second, know your terminology and use it as though you were quickly discussing the issue with colleagues who expect you to use the vocabulary of a fellow reading professional. I may be stating the obvious, but let me note that "word family" and "rime" aren't exactly the same thing. "Rime" is a technical term in phonological awareness: the student HEARS /p/ /at/ and /s/ /at/ and can SAY the words "pat" and "sat". "Word family" is a technical term in phonics: the student SEES <p>, <at> and <s> and can assemble either onset letter with the spelled rime, if slowly at first, and recognize the words "pat" and "sat" them, if slowly at first, as "pat" and "sat". This makes a difference to the instructional strategy you choose - or, more accurately, I can think of a couple of instructional strategies that could be adapted to either scenario, but it would then be up to me to DESCRIBE how the instructional strategy is deployed in either case, and they better not be absolutely identical.
     
  7. JB1991

    JB1991 New Member

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    Mar 21, 2019

    Hello all first time on this site. I got my RICA results yesterday and scored a 215 out of 220. I feel discouraged but I feel as if I can tighten up my case study I can pass. My scores:

    1: Planning, Organizing, & Managing Reading Instr. Based on Ongoing Assessment - +++
    2: Word Analysis - ++
    3: Fluency - ++
    4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge - +++
    5: Comprehension - ++

    And my Case Study score was - ++ with the feedback: Describing instructional strategies and/or activities

    Please any suggestions on how to have the appropriate jargon on the test I'm going to be watching the videos I've seen posted on this thread to help also I have been trying to PM people on this thread for clarification on what they posted but I do not see that option. Anyway any help appreciated and thank you for your time.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 23, 2019

    Welcome to A to Z, JB1991, and hugs. You can't post PMs because you haven't established a posting history: that's how the site owner has the software set up.

    Your results show ++ in word analysis. That's a problem, since that domain accounts for more points than any other single domain; bringing that up to +++ could well give you enough points to pass. What do you think word analysis consists of?
     
  9. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    Apr 4, 2019

    Hello guys!
    I have been reading your posts on RICA and I must say I share the same experience with this test most of you. I just received my result today and I was devastated that I only missed the passing score by 1 point. I have taken the test 4 times and I am just sad about my result. I have taken prep class (teacher's prep), read Zarillo and Cliff Notes, watched and read Boosalis videos and books. I guess I have not thoroughly read Boosalis book coz I have read positive feedback on his books. Anyway, I am going to attend prep class again and will reread all the books I have but if you have any more suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, Shie, and hugs. I'll ask you what I always ask: What by way of performance indicators are you seeing on your score report?
     
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  11. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    My latest test result showed the following:
    Doman I ......++++
    Doman II ..... ++
    Domain III.... ++
    Domain IV ... ++
    Domain V .... +++
    Case study ... ++
    *Describing instructional strategies and/activities

    I can see that the reason I did not pass was due to my poor score in Domain II. On my previous tests, I had +++ on that Domain but this time I only got ++.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 17, 2019

    The ++ in Domain II, word analysis, certainly does you no favors, Shie. But these results also show ++ in domains III and IV and in the case study.

    I suspect your grasp of the technical terminology of reading instruction is a bit weak. Whatever resources and strategies you're using, try using the terminology that you're studying to practice building sentences and paragraphs.
     
  13. coolteacher

    coolteacher Rookie

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    *(Copying and pasting my reply on all posts related to RICA so I can get some kind of help!)*

    My score of 218:
    D1: ++
    D2: +++
    D3: ++
    D4: +++
    D5: +++
    Case: ++

    My friend who passed:
    D1: ++
    D2: ++
    D3: +++
    D4: ++
    D5: +++
    Case: ++

    Makes NO sense. I got higher scores on Domains 2, 4 and 5 worth 33, 20, and 23%! I understand if I failed but the scoring doesn't reflect how it's possible that I failed so I'm beyond frustrated! They literally just want money and I’m convinced at this point they fail us on purpose to make us pay again. I’m literally hardly making it by on this low salary and now I have to come up with another $171. I love my job but I regret choosing to be a teacher. All this crap isn’t worth it.
    I bought the book. I took classes. I studied for days and did practice exams!
    I'm considering getting it verified but a lot of people said it's not worth it. I'm not sure but I do know I'm running out of money and patience.
    If anyone has any info on why my score didn't pass, please help me understand! Thanks.
     
  14. Mayra Cisneros

    Mayra Cisneros New Member

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    Apr 25, 2019

    Hello All,
    I have taken the RICA 6 times and yes I have scored higher than others that have passed and I haven't. I just feel they just want us to FAIL to keep paying. I am taking again on Saturday and I am working on the Video too. I just feel there has to be a secret to pass.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, Mayra. Are you generally seeing the same diagnostics each time?
     
  16. Ryanthelion

    Ryanthelion Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2019

    Yes. This is a total scam. To get as many people as possible to take the test... Almost 50% of males fail this test the first time... We have no idea what the real passing rates are without access to Pearson's raw data. No one not even the state of California is Pearson's graders... It's the "fox watching the hen house"
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    False. We do have the data. It’s right here and it took me 30 seconds to do a quick Google search (please refer to pages 29 and 30 of the following document):

    https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default...ssing-rate-fy-2012-13-to-2016-17.pdf?sfvrsn=0

    54.8% of males pass the RICA on their first try and 69.5% of females pass it on their first try. But the gender breakdown doesn’t matter. What matters is the first-time pass rate and the cumulative pass rate for each academic cohort.

    On page 29 (and continued on page 30) the CTC states (from years 2012-2017 basically):

    “The first-time passing rate for the RICA is relatively consistent, from 64.7% in 2015-2016 to 70.4% in 2012-2013. The cumulative pass rates remained above 90% through 2015-2016. The 2016-2017 cohort who took the RICA had a cumulative passing rate of 80.3%.”

    As you can see, based on the metadata, the majority of test-takers pass the RICA on their first try (64.7% to 70.4%) and those who take it in subsequent tries in the same academic year (cohort) pass (~90+% pass, on average).
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  18. Ryanthelion

    Ryanthelion Rookie

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    That's raw data from Pearson! They can give the state any data set they want, because there is no government oversight. Zero! Pearson is the fox guarding the hen house. The state would have to place people in the rooms with the graders while they are grading to do proper oversight. They would also have to have a chain of custody to make the data absolutely secure which they don't have because there is no state auditors enforcing such strict standards. Please look into Todd Farley. He use to work for Pearson as a grader.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah, conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory. I’m going to trust the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing over you, the lay person.

    Good grief, this is ridiculous and demonstrably false. Every time a prospective or current teacher registers for a teacher certification test like the CBEST, CSET, or RICA in the state of CA, they have to do so through their CTC account. The results of ALL tests taken are linked with said account. That means that the CTC has direct access to everyone who passes and fails! Are you kidding me?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    And you are envoking a logical fallacy by quoting this person again and again. Please just stop. Spouting your conspiracy theories is not going to help you pass the RICA like the majority of test-takers who pass on their first try.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Every time test scores are released, a voluminous database with the results for each test taker by name goes to CTC, and smaller databases (again, by name) go to each of the other parties to whom results are reported. It wouldn't be hard for CTC and/or the universities to double-check the passing rates; in fact, Pearson or its predecessor NES has been providing teacher testing to California at least since the 1980s (CBEST, SSAT), and it would be shocking if no one had thought to check the numbers in all those years.

    The single most effective way to lower passing rates on test X that I've seen is to trumpet as gospel that test X is gamed, biased, and impossible to pass. Such an announcement is especially damaging to those whose confidence is already low thanks to the test scores and even teachers from whom they learned so often that they are terrible in (choose a subject area) and bad at test taking. Let me add that I have the utmost respect for teacher candidates for whom test preparation requires facing down their personal demons.
     
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  22. Sam17346

    Sam17346 New Member

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    Hi Everyone! I just took the RICA on May 3rd, 2019 and found out that I passed on the first try today! I tried to type out what I did, but it would not allow me to post it?
     
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  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, Sam17346, and welcome to A to Z!

    One reason that a a very new member's post may not post is that it contains a link (and sometimes the forum software construes a reply-to as a link). May I ask you to bear that possibility in mind and to try again without the link?
     
  24. bmmol

    bmmol Rookie

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    Hi! I am on my 4th attempt at RICA and have studied SO much for this test. So far I have read the Zarillo book, Chris Boosalis' Beating them all book, done the TeachersTestPrep online, watched Boosalis' videos and studied from Quizlet. No idea what I'm not doing right... I feel that I am struggling most with comprehension and vocab. I retake it on the 30th and am wondering if anyone does online private tutoring or can offer me a good study guide to use. I feel like I know the info, but for some reason when it comes time to the test I'm struggling and I reallllly (like everyone else) need to pass to start my dream career. THANK YOU!
     
  25. bmmol

    bmmol Rookie

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    Congratulations!!! Are you able to email the way that you found success please? Thanks!
     
  26. bmmol

    bmmol Rookie

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    @vsimpkins
    Would I be able to get your study guide as well please?
     
  27. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    May 30, 2019

    Cried a river today. I just got my score and it is 219. Prior to this, my score is also 219. I am so devastated.

    Breakdown of my score:
    Domain I ****
    Domain II **
    Domain III **
    Domain IV **
    Domain V ***

    Case Study ***

    I can see that I have to work on my Domain II and Domain III scores. Is there a reference book that I can use to master these two domains? I have used the Boosalis book for review.

    Thanks.
     
  28. bmmol

    bmmol Rookie

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    Shie, I'm so sorry to hear this!! :( Have you looked into a score verification for either of these? I'm not totally sure how effective that is, but it might be something to consider! I used the Chris Boosalis book and his YouTube videos and filled out the worksheets while I watched the videos. Have you looked into those? I also used the Ready for Rica by James Zarrillo book. I'm getting ready to take my RICA again this morning... Eek!
     
  29. bmmol

    bmmol Rookie

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    Also, Shie, keep your head up! 219 two times in a row is so difficult to obtain! You are so close! You can do this!!!!!!! *hugs*
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, dear. Hugs, Shie. Your case study diagnostics improved, and more than slightly: hang onto that thought, please.

    Domain 2 is word analysis. Can you give me a list of what areas you think are included under word analysis?
     
  31. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    V
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  32. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    Hello Bmmol,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I did try to appeal and I am still waiting for the response. Apparently,it takes 60 days before they can send me back their result. I will again send an appeal for this last result and will sign up again for the test. I wont give up until I passed RICA.
     
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  33. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    Hello,
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Word Analysis includes concepts about print(CAP),phonemic awareness-(decoding,segmenting), phonological awareness, syllabication,morphemes.
    The main goal in this domain is to automatically decode words for fluency.
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Phonemic awareness doesn't really include decoding: decoding brings in the alphabet, and the alphabet is not invited to the phonemic-awareness party, so to speak. (This is a common gotcha question in reading-instruction tests.) Phonemic awareness is quite literally the state of being aware of phonemes: consciously recognizing phonemes, the idealized sounds that speakers of a language recognize as distinguishing one SPOKEN word from another; for most native Californians, the words "wail" and "whale" have exactly the same phonemes: /w/, long A, /l/, but for no speaker of any variety of English do "wail" and "hail" have exactly the same phonemes. You'll want to know the phonemic-awareness skills in order of sophistication, starting with identifying, isolating, segmenting, and blending... and it's all oral-aural).

    Question 1: What are the phonemes in the word "shoving"? (You don't need to know the phonetic transcription.)

    Decoding comes to the party in phonics, which is where letter identification (a CAP concept) meets phonemic awareness. Knowing that the grapheme <h> is the letter whose name we pronounce "aitch" is a CAP skill. Knowing that <h> spells the phoneme /h/ in "hip" is a phonics skill. Recognizing that the graphemes <t> and <h> can be combined to write a phoneme that is neither /t/ nor /h/ is also a phonics skill.

    Question 2: What do you think phonological awareness covers? How can the word "shoving" be broken down in terms of phonological awareness?

    Question 3: What do you think fluency is? What does it consist of? (Those are not quite the same question.)
     
  35. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    On top of my head, my answers to your questions are the following:

    1. Phonemes in the word "Shoving" are
    /sh/ /ó/ /v/ /ing/?
    2.phonological awareness covers concepts about phonemes(sounds recognition). "Shoving" can be broken down using elkonin boxes with color coding assigned to each phoneme. After sounding out each phoneme teacher can blend them together and say the word out loud. Continous practice with multiple exposure can help students master this phonemes.

    3. Fluency is mastery of phonemic awareness. Its main goal is automaticity in recognizing words. It has 3 components: accuracy, rate,and prosody.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    1. Up through /v/, you were doing pretty well. The phonemes in the second syllable of "shoving" are short I and the phoneme that we spell <ng>. (And "sing" contrasts with "sin" and "Sim".) So the whole thing, as teachers render it, is /sh/ /o/ /v/ /i/ /ng/.

    2. Your response here tells me you're unclear on phonological awareness and that you struggle when it comes to answering the question that you've been asked, rather than what you read into the question. Both issues are pretty common.

    - What covers concepts about phonemes - phonemes considered one by one, as we just did with "shoving" - is still and always phonemic awareness. (TeacherGroupie tip: If two similar-looking technical terms exist, don't assume that they mean exactly the same thing; if they did, there would be no call for both of them.)
    - Phonological awareness includes phonemic awareness but also looks at sounds more than one at a time. Breaking words down into syllables? That's phonological awareness. Breaking a syllable down into onset and rime? That's phonological awareness. Considering whether to pronounce "project" as PROJ-ect or pro-JECT? That's phonological awareness (drawing on knowledge of parts of speech). Looking at how "That's good!" and "That's good?" differ in intonation? That (and a whole lot more) is also phonological awareness.
    - My second question under point 2 was "How can the word "shoving" be broken down in terms of phonological awareness?" In context, that wasn't a request for an activity that would build students' phonological awareness, it's a request for you to show YOUR awareness of phonological awareness (boy, is that meta...) by analyzing a particular word in various ways.​

    So try again with the word "shoving", please. Feel free to look back at my comments.

    3. Where "fluency" refers to abilities with phonemes, it will be called something like "phoneme fluency"; where the word "fluency" isn't modified in that way, it means reading fluency, and we assess it by looking for oral reading fluency. Fluency is quite literally reading that flows: it's the ability to encounter a string of letters and spaces that make up a text and (a) correctly map the letters onto phonemes (that is, decode accurately), (b) do so at something like a conversational pace (chunk by chunk or word by word) rather than haltingly letter by letter (there's your rate), and (c) recognize phrases and clauses and sentences and, when reading aloud, allow one's intonation to reflect that recognition (and there's your prosody).

    Is the word "shoving" phonically regular?
     
  37. deysi meza

    deysi meza Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2019

    Hi Everyone,
    My RICA scores, three times in a row, 218.
    So I decided to do RICA Videos. I'll be getting my scores July 5th.
    Has anybody done the Videos?
     
  38. MRCinCali

    MRCinCali New Member

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    Hello, I just wanted to post what I did to pass the RICA on my first attempt. I remember reading through these forums and talking to dozens of colleagues and classmates. Luckily I came across the distance prep videos on YouTube by Dr. Chris Nicholas Boosalis.
    I watched his videos twice. The first time I watched them just to take in all the information without worrying about what I needed to remember. The second time I watched them throughout the span of 3-4 days taking breaks in between and this time trying hard to fully understand the videos.
    I was nervous but tried not to stress about the exam. I took it and wasn't too sure how I did after ending my testing session. I know that I didn't finish my case study but felt fairly confident on my multiple choice questions. I would recommend that you really take time to focus on the structure that he explains for the case study and short responses. The content of your writing will depend on the case study which you will not be able to study for all possible scenarios but the outline that he explains really helped me come up with the information needed.
    Good luck :D
     
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  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, MRCinCali, and welcome to A to Z!
     
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  40. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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