secret to passing the RICA?

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

  1. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2019

    Hello everyone!

    I just want to share that after several attempts and scoring 219 twice in a row, I finally passed RICA. I would like to thank everyone here for sharing their experiences, resources, and references. You all motivated me to keep pushing and never give up. To those who are still working on passing the test, you too, will PASS. Sending good vibes to everyone. :)
     
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  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 11, 2019

    Thrilled for you, Shie!
     
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  3. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2019

    hello is your study guide still available? I am in desperate need to pass the Rica:(
     
  4. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    How do I pm you I’ve been trying forever to figure how how to private message. Can you pm me and maybe I can reply?

    Hi I was wondering if your study guide was still available? I am in desperate need to pass the rica :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  5. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2019

    Hello! Congrats on passing the RICA!!! I have taken it several times and still can’t pass :( do you have any suggestions, study guides, anything that could help me?
    Thank you so much
     
  6. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2019

    Hello,

    Among the resources I learned about RICA, the following helped me the most:

    1. Chris Boosalis book "Beating them All"- Specifically the part on case study writing format.
    2. Practice test on https://www.teacherstestprep.com/rica-practice-tests

    If you are like me, I struggled with Domain II-Domain IV. I had to repetitively read these domains/concepts in order to develop a deep understanding of their application in the classroom. Boosalis book and videos discussed these concepts thoroughly.

    If you want a copy of my notes, I can send them via email. I hope these tips/resources will help you to pass RICA.
    Best of luck!
     
  7. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2019

    Hello I am trying to reply back to people but it keeps saying there is an error and my posts are not allowed. Does anyone know why I am getting this?
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 23, 2019

    Blondie1988, you may be triggering a security feature in the system software. For now, try doing what I'm doing here: instead of clicking the "Reply" link that goes with your post, I simply scrolled down to the comment box at the bottom of the page (just past the link for "Go to First Unread") and I'm typing my response there. I've included your name to make it clear to whom I'm responding.

    Recheck the "Reply" function periodically; if you post much, fairly soon you should find that the "Reply" function works for you as it's supposed to.
     
  9. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2019

    TeacherGroupie:
    Thanks so much I hope this works and you are able to see this message!
     
  10. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2019

    Shie
    yes anything helps! :) could you please PM me so I could get a copy of your notes... ( still learning how to pm people) lol ‍♀️
    Thank you so much
     
  11. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2019

    vsimpkins,
    Are your study guides still available?
     
  12. jgzebree89

    jgzebree89 New Member

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    Jul 25, 2019


    Hi, congratulations on passing the test can you share your notes on the RICA please..
     
  13. jgzebree89

    jgzebree89 New Member

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    I have no clue on how to PM. :I
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 26, 2019

    You can't yet: you're too new a member. But if you look through this thread, you're likely to find discussions of test format or subject matter that make you think of questions you have. As long as one isn't sharing actual specific test questions, this is a pretty good place to get answers.
     
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  15. Shie

    Shie Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2019

    Hello,

    Sorry for late response. Looks like I don't have the feature yet on my account to send PM. Therefore, I am sending you this link (https://archive.org/details/VideoWorksheetPDFs) where you can download Boosalis notes (well-organized) which I followed as well during my review. You can use these notes while following his video tutorial (distanceprep) on youtube. Additionally, here is a pdf link (https://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/PRFbooklet.pdf) that discussed Teaching Reading which may be of help understanding word analysis and fluency.
     
  16. Blondie1988

    Blondie1988 Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2019

    Shie,
    Thank you very much!
     
  17. Dave1981

    Dave1981 New Member

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    Aug 11, 2019

    Hi everyone I just got my test results, I scored 205 the first try on RICA. I am not sure if that is good. Honestly the only thing I did was studied hard for a week. ( Read the whole Zarillo book and Watched the Boosalis Videos). I actually think I did not do so bad but I am not sure.

    My results
    Domain 1 +++
    Domain 2 ++
    Domain 3 ++
    Domain 4 ++
    Domain 5 +++
    CS- +++
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2019

    The minimum passing scaled score is 220, so you missed it by 15 points. That’s fairly significant.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2019

    Hi, Dave1981.

    The plus marks in each domain represent the points a test taker has earned, on a scale from + to ++++. Getting +++ in domain 5 (comprehension) and the case study is promising, but there's still room for growth. More troubling are the ++ scores in three of the five domains: there's evidence that ++ correlates to earning 50% or fewer of available points, and domain 2, word analysis, accounts for a remarkably large chunk of the test.

    If you're not clear on what phonemic awareness covers vs. what phonological awareness covers vs. what phonics covers, that would be a very good place to start.
     
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  20. Moonlight55

    Moonlight55 Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2019

    Shie, a hearty congratulations for your passing the test! Also, thank you for sharing the information about the resources.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  21. Moonlight55

    Moonlight55 Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2019

    TeacherGroupie, thank you for the valuable comments you are providing in this forum. I have been trying to pass RICA and I will get my result back in a couple of days without much hope. I have not been able to finish all of the essays both times that I have taken the test. The second time around, I even didn't have enough time to answer all of the multiple choices properly. I just checked some of them as blind-guesses. My strategy is starting from the case study (20% of the points) and go back and fourth to the multiple choices and essays. Since I am not fast enough in this test, I have to sacrifice part of it for another part ultimately. However, I don't know how many of multiple choices have the same value as assignment A or B especially since answering some of the multiple choices correctly even do not contribute to my grade!
     
  22. Moonlight55

    Moonlight55 Rookie

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    I should have done something throughout the last year that the emails from A to Z Teacher Stuff goes into my junk mail. Anybody knows how to fix this issue?
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 16, 2019

    There's usually a way to make your device or your email app understand that emails from a given source or with a given subject are not spam.

    Let me blithely assume that you're working with an email client app on a laptop or desktop. There's a menu bar across the top of the page, yes? The next time an A to Z email lands in your junk mail, try selecting it, then checking the menus to see if one of them will allow you to tag the email as not-spam or not-junk. That should sort out the rest of them.

    (Whether a phone's email app looks and acts the same, I do not know. In any case, my solution is more baroque, but it works for me: my email app allows me to specify rules for handling inbound mail, and years ago I set it up to shunt known non-spam to one of 20 or so mailboxes, depending on what I would need to do with it. To each her own, no?)
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 16, 2019

    As for the constructed responses, Moonlight55, please stop calling them essays. "Essay" implies introduction and conclusion, full sentences with pretty syntax and correct mechanics, and the like. RICA responses are brain dumps laced with reading-teacher technical terms; for the shorter two, if "Yes, because" is an accurate way to start, it's legal.
     
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  25. Moonlight55

    Moonlight55 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2019

    Dear TeacherGroupie,
    Thank you for both of your responses. My email problem was fixed. Also, I will call constructed responses by their own name now. So based on what you say I now assume that the scorers do not mind if my constructed responses were not flawless syntacticly or with respect to spelling and the like. Is that right? How should I deal with those issues? I am so used to grammarly editing my work that I miss it when I take these tests!
     
  26. Moonlight55

    Moonlight55 Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2019

    I got my result tonight. My score was lower than what I got the first time. I anticipated it despite studying many days and nights. I was not well the day of the test . Anyhow, here are my results from both tests:
    Old Test: 194
    Domain 1: ++
    Domain 2: +++
    Domain 3: ++
    Domain 4: +
    Domain 5: +
    Case Study: ++ Needs for improvement in describing instructional strategies and/ or activities.
    In the above case study I wrote way more than 300 words and went above and beyond strategies and activities!
    Recent Test: 189
    Domain 1: ++++
    Domain 2: +++
    Domain 3: +
    Domain 4: +
    Domain 5: +
    Case Study: ++ Needs for improvement in describing instructional strategies and/ or activities.
    I didn't go overboard this time with the case study but my response was more informed obviously since I had studied even more.
    Any suggestion?
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 19, 2019

    To answer your question about spelling and syntax: Bulleting one's answer is fine. Sentence fragments and comma splices probably won't get you in trouble. It's useful to spell the technical terms of reading instruction correctly; for the rest, choose words you can spell reliably over more hifalutin academic language that you can't spell reliably.

    I'll guess that you improved within the ++ band on the case study: good. For whom do you think you're writing?

    You've brought up your score very well in Domain 1, and you're in fairly good shape (though with some room to improve) on Domain 2, word analysis, which gives a great many RICA takers a great deal of grief. But domains 3, 4, and 5 are clearly a challenge for you.

    Domain 3 covers fluency. What do you think fluency in reading means? What does fluency consist of?

    Domain 4 covers vocabulary, academic language, and background knowledge. Take each of those one at a time, and tell me what you think it means and how it contributes to reading.

    Domain 5 is comprehension. How does it relate to the previous domains, and how does it differ?
     
  28. Moonlight55

    Moonlight55 Rookie

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    Thank you for your compliments and information dear TeacherGroupie.

    • In response to your question of for whom I am writing, I now that I am writing to a scorer that is well-educated, at least with respect to teaching reading and literacy. Although this is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of them. :) The first thing is that I really do not like them because they keep failing me and preventing me from being productive for myself and society.

    • Fluency: Fluency in reading means reading a text quickly, accurately, and with good intonation regardless of weather the words on the page are simple or complex. Fluent reading flows smoothly like liquid. So fluency, that is essential for comprehension, is one of the goals at all stages of reading development. Around 3rd. Grade, fluency is the gateway to higher level vocabulary and higher level comprehension. Fluency consists of accuracy, speed (rate) , and intonation (prosody). Accuracy is the ability to read without making mistakes. Speed is related to automaticity meaning that the reader can read a word as a whole at a glance and does not need to chunk it up to be able to read it. Automaticity leads to fluency and gives the reader a chance to put his/her energy to develop comprehension. Prosody is the intonation, rhythm, and emphasis given to words and sentences when reading out loud.

    • Vocabulary means words. From 1st. Through 8th. Grade the student can develop vocabulary through onset-rimes instruction, phonics generalizations, regular and irregular sight words, simple and advanced polysyllabic words, structural analysis, and contextual analysis. Building vocabulary helps automaticity and comprehension.
    • Academic language is the language used in the textbooks and tests. Familiarizing the child with the related academic language (before reading) improves his/her reading.
    • background knowledge is what a student already knows about a subject. It highly affects how well a student will learn new information related to that content (whether through reading or other media).

    • Comprehension means understanding what is being read. Literal comprehension is the ability of the reader to understand the surface meaning of the text. Inferential comprehension means the ability of the reader to interpret what he/she has read using speculation. Evaluative comprehension is the ability of the reader to make judgements about the text that was read. Developing all of the previous domains result in the improvement of comprehension. The point of reading is comprehension.
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To be precise, your audience consists of people well-versed in reading instruction who are looking for evidence that you are sufficiently well-versed in reading instruction to be ready to become their colleague. If my chosen strategy includes a cluster diagram, I won't describe "cluster diagram" the way I would for a parent - a fellow professional doesn't need all that information, right? - but I will certainly specify whether the cluster diagram is being used in a whole-class brainstorming session or as individual seatwork, and I'll include some sample words or concepts from the scenario as I show how THIS cluster diagram in THIS case is supposed to work for the need I've identified in THIS student or group of students.

    Fluent reading is accurate and automatic and respects English prosody, yes. Go with "accuracy", "automaticity", and "prosody" - they're words that really-o truly-o colleagues use, and "automaticity" has the advantage of connoting the speed that results from a well-internalized set of readerly habits. Do be aware that, as with all reading skills, what counts as fluency varies depending on a reader's grade level and skills and on the text. A four-year-old who can read "I do not like green eggs and ham!" well is something of a prodigy when it comes to fluency; a seventh grader who stumbles through that sentence is way behind the curve in terms of fluency, though if the seventh grader has just arrived in California from, say, Morocco (where official languages are Arabic (which uses a very different writing system) and French but not necessarily English), we're likely to view that stumbling performance much more sympathetically.

    For vocabulary, RICA considers words chiefly as wholes, with their meanings; focusing primarily on onsets and rimes, syllables, and phonics properly belongs to domain 2, word analysis - though, yes, structural analysis is helpful in vocabulary acquisition. Again, what counts as "vocabulary" depends on the age and skills of the reader; in addition, for older or more sophisticated readers, subject matter comes into play. Let me recommend thinking about the difference between learning to read a word and learning a word.And are you familiar with Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 in terms of vocabulary?

    Your bullet on academic language exhibits a common shortcoming: no examples. Show me a few examples to clarify that you understand what is and what isn't academic language.

    Your bullet on background knowledge could be read as stating that it is acquired solely through reading or media. It isn't, of course. (If I ran the world, preschools and kindergartens would spend much less time pushing the alphabet and phonics and much more time having kids do science and mess around with manipulatives and explore puzzles, measurement, communities, interpersonal and intrapersonal coping skills, and much more, all with running commentary from the teacher to introduce terminology and model and moderate discourse. How we expect third graders to read to learn science when they have neither the vocabulary nor much hands-on experience is beyond me. But I digress.) Test taker tip: if a chunk of your answer in a domain-specific question doesn't directly relate to that domain, ask yourself whether that chunk really does belong in your answer. If it does, for heaven's sake don't begin with it: begin with matters that relate to the domain.

    Literal comprehension is based on what the text states outright: names and descriptions, places, facts, numbers, sequence of events in a story. Inferential interpretation is not "speculation": that word connotes unsupported guesswork, but inferential interpretation is reaching a conclusion that the text doesn't state outright on the basis of evidence that the text does give: for instance, a story that doesn't overtly call a character "angry" may get the point across by citing a series of actions (yelling, slamming doors) that a reasonable person would interpret as arising from anger. Students have to be taught, or at least guided, into inferential interpretation, and the learning proceeds on various levels over a period of years. The same is true, and perhaps even more true, of evaluative reading: the judgments that a reader learns to make - again, over a period of years or decades - include assessing the reliability of a narrator or a source, determining whether a text's claim is supported by the evidence it gives, and the like.

    The more you practice associating the technical terminology of reading instruction with specific examples in practice, the better equipped you will be to work through a scenario in a multiple-choice or constructed-response question and recognize the specific professional concepts that are in play and how they look (or can be deployed) for students at different stages of becoming readers.
     
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  30. Marianne

    Marianne New Member

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    Sep 23, 2019

    I have now taken the RICA 3x. My recent score was 209. I have been increasing my score each time but I'm slowly starting to lose confidence. What are some suggestions or advice you can provide as I am preparing for my next retake? Also, for the case study, is it better to describe instructional strategies in a paragraph or bulleted list?
    My detailed result: Domain 1 + + +
    Domain 2 + +
    Domain 3 +
    Domain 4 + +
    Domain 5 + + +
    Case Study (Domains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) + +
    Your case study response showed a need for improvement in the following area(s):
    • Describing instructional strategies and/or activities
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, Marianne, and hugs.

    Domain 2, word analysis, accounts for a hefty chunk of RICA multiple choice points and tends to loom large in the case study: if you can pick up more points there, you'll be better positioned to achieve the magic 220 passing scaled score.

    Here's an exercise: in terms of phonological awareness, what do you notice about the word "suggestions"? Use technical terms, please.
     
  32. Marianne

    Marianne New Member

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    Sep 24, 2019

    Dear TeacherGroupie,

    In terms of phonological awareness, it is the word analysis of vocabulary words. The word "suggestions" is a multi syllabic word that can be broken down by affixes. The root word is suggest which means to put forward a consideration and when the suffix -tion is added to demonstrates an action or process.
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 25, 2019

    The type of word analysis you performed in breaking the word "suggestions" up into root plus affix is structural analysis. Your structural analysis wasn't bad, aside from (a) using the more general term affix, which means 'either prefix or suffix', to refer to the suffix -tion and (b) missing the second suffix -s that makes the word plural.

    But phonological awareness is a different subdomain of word analysis that has to do with sound patterns. A kindergartner with phonological awareness, whether or not she can either define a word or spell it, can tell that "suggestions" has three syllables (sug•gest•ions is official in writing and will go over fine with the RICA folk, though what most of us actually say sounds more like sug•jes•chunz), can break the first syllable down into /s/ and /ug/ (what the teacher calls onset and rime), and recognizes that the first syllable rhymes with "hug" and "bug" and "snug". The kindergartner can pronounce the word "suggestions" with stress on the second syllable (like sug•JES•chunz) and has a good enough grasp of prosody - the intonation patterns of English - to do so even when asking a yes-no question ("Are those suggestions?"), in which vocal pitch rises at the end.
     
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  34. Brooke Kelterborn

    Brooke Kelterborn New Member

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    Oct 17, 2019

    Hello all,
    I am new to this for and wanted some suggestions on preparing for the Rica. I have taken 3 times and received a 195 on my most recent attempt. I plan on retaking it in November. I need to pass it by December as I am finishing up my credential program. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 17, 2019

    Welcome to A to Z, Brooke. Let me ask: what diagnostic indicators do you see on your most recent score report? (See Marianne's post above, #550 in this thread.)
     
  36. Brooke Kelterborn

    Brooke Kelterborn New Member

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    Hello Teacher Groupie,
    I received a *** for Domain 1, ** on Domains 2,3,4 and * on Domain 4. I got a ** on the case study and stated I need to improve on describing instructional strategies.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 19, 2019

    My sense of the plus marks is that they correspond to quartiles of raw points earned; if I'm right, then ++++ represents 75% or more of available points earned, +++ to 50% to 75% earned, and so on. You performed adequately on domain 1, which accounts for 10% of multiple choice points plus whatever slice is folded into the case study, and that's to the good. But the other domains are eating your lunch: you're giving away at least half the available points in domains 2, 3, and 4, and 75% or more in domain 5.

    How are you generally as a test taker?
     
  38. Brooke Kelterborn

    Brooke Kelterborn New Member

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    Oct 19, 2019

    When I took the CSETS it took me many times to pass them. I always finish early when I have taken the RICA so far.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 20, 2019

    Hm.

    Explain what structural analysis is. What might it look like for a first grade reader who is on grade level? What might it look like for a seventh grade reader who is on grade level?
     
  40. Brooke Kelterborn

    Brooke Kelterborn New Member

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    Okay. What this be helpful for the written assignments or multiple choice section? Any resources that you recommend?
     

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