secret to passing the RICA?

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

  1. Enlighten1@x

    Enlighten1@x New Member

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    Thank you!

    Thank you TeacherGroupie! You made me feel so much better. I don't want to feel stressed out for 3 weeks about something I cannot change. :dizzy:
     
  2. italia87

    italia87 New Member

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    I just received my RICA results and I really need to pass the RICA so I apply for jobs. I used the Rosso study guide and the Cliff notes. Unlike some of my peers, I do not have as much experience with teaching literacy. I did well with Domain 1 and 5. Domains 2-4 were 2 stars and my case study was rated as two stars. Which study guides can you recommend?
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    italia87, in addition to the two stars on the case study you should also see diagnostics that indicate a need for improvement in identifying, describing, or explaining instructional strategies. Which ones do you see? (I'd bet on "describing".)
     
  4. Hedi

    Hedi New Member

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    Hi all, I have two situations that need urgent answer. Hopefully someone in this forum would know the answer.
    So embarrassing:eek: but , I completed the credential courses over 2 years ago and I haven't taken the RICA at all because of personal issue.
    So, is it too late for me to take the RICA?
    Also I believe my CSET expired a few months right after I completed the credential courses. Do you think I have to retake the CSET again too even though I haven't earned my teaching credential certificate yet because of the incomplete RICA test?
    Thanks
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It shouldn't be too late to take RICA, no. The five-year period within with RICA and CSET-MS must be passed is counted backwards from the date on which you apply for the credential.

    Did you take CSET-MS more than five years ago? If so, yes, you'll need to retake. You took it before the test was switched from paper-based to computer-based. Some people find constructed responses easier on the keyboard; perhaps you'll be one of them.
     
  6. Hedi

    Hedi New Member

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    Thanks TeacherGroupie for the quick response. Just to make sure, are you saying
    I only have 5 years to take and pass the RICA and it starts when I first apply for the credential school program and not after I graduate from credential school? So for example, If I applied to the credential program in 2012, I only have up till 2017 to take the RICA and pass it? It doesn't start from 2014 (completion of the credential program assuming it takes 2 years to complete the program) till 2019?
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    No, that's not quite what I'm saying. The five-year limit runs BACKWARD in time: that is, if you were to plan to apply for the preliminary credential on July 15, 2014, and you had passed CSET-MS Subtest II on or before July 14, 2009, you'd need to retake Subtest II. The same goes for the other two subtests, and for RICA, though not for CBEST because CBEST scores are good for life.

    It's possible that there's a maximum time between finishing the credential coursework and applying for the credential, but I must say I've never heard of one.
     
  8. Hedi

    Hedi New Member

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    Okay is that what you meant. Yes I already knew that info for the CSET. Thanks for your help. Now I'll have to backtrack to see some of the good recommendations to sources to help study for the RICA.
     
  9. dontcallmethat

    dontcallmethat New Member

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    Getting ready to take the RICA in 2 weeks and feeling totally overwhelmed :( If the infamous study guide is still available, I'd love a copy!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, don'tcallmethat. What parts of RICA have you most concerned?
     
  11. dontcallmethat

    dontcallmethat New Member

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    The case study. It is totally freaking me out. I've taken a few practice tests and the multiple choice questions are not a problem. The essays are a little worrisome, but the case study is overwhelming. It's like I forget everything I know and can't think of anything and all the buzzwords and terminology is gone. :confused:
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs. Think of it as a conversation that you're having with a colleague who knows reading instruction and wishes you well and is doublechecking with you to see what you're doing for this kid and why.
     
  13. limitedknowledg

    limitedknowledg New Member

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    RICA Study Guide

    pgioletti@csustan.eduI'm getting ready to take the RICA in the next couple months, would it be possible receive your study guide? Thanks so much![/QUOTE]
     
  14. SodaJerk841

    SodaJerk841 New Member

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    Excellent - May I have your e-mail/contact information?

    Alright, it sounds like you have the right study materials. I need the right study materials. May I please get your contact information/email dimples8484?

     
  15. SodaJerk841

    SodaJerk841 New Member

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    Alright, yes may I please have the study materials that have worked for you? I want to pass the RICA and have watched Boosalis, I tried to take it as a head start since I'm just starting the MS Credential program. I would really appreciate it if you could share your notes with me. What is your e-mail?!
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    SodaJerk841, welcome to A to Z.

    Kudos to you for wanting to get a head start on things - but PLEASE wait to attempt RICA until you have taken your credential program's coursework in reading instruction methodology. You might even find, as many people have, that RICA will make still more sense after you've done your student teaching and seen reading instruction in practice.
     
  17. SodaJerk841

    SodaJerk841 New Member

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    TeacherGroupie, is there anyway I can pass the RICA without my credential program's coursework in literacy methodology? What in my literacy methods class will I be taught that I cannot learn about outside of the class, or can be used as a resource to take and pass this test?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 26, 2014

    Sorry I missed your post earlier, SodaJerk841.

    It's certainly POSSIBLE to pass RICA without the literacy instruction methodology coursework - but the coursework is required for a multiple subject credential anyway, and it does cover ground that you need to cover to pass the test, so you may as well allow that time (and money!) to serve both purposes at once.

    The content is not entirely unique to the literacy instruction coursework, but it's not commonly taught elsewhere. Coursework in linguistics helps make some sense of phonemic and phonological awareness, word analysis and certain aspects of fluency, though one can count on having to relearn different terminology that doesn't always make sense, like "structural analysis" for 'breaking words down into morphemes', and I suspect most intro-to-language texts and courses still harbor the belief that written language is merely a pale simulacrum of spoken language. Coursework in English to speakers of other languages puts one ahead on second language literacy acquisition but doesn't do so much for first language literacy acquisition - concepts about print are fundamental in ways that can make it hard for an adult fluent reader to be conscious of them - and the multiple meanings and ramifications of "fluency" can be problematic. A major in English literature or language gives good background in genre and text structures (which literacy coursework doesn't always handle well) and analytical tools, but does little to nothing for the tools to impart and assess vocabulary and comprehension.

    If you're determined to tackle RICA without the coursework, let's talk privately.
     
  19. BJudah

    BJudah New Member

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    Dimples8484, I am attempting my fourth try at the RICA in December. Would you be able to send me your notes? I am watching Boosalis and reading his book! Here's to hoping fourth time is a charm! Thank you!
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, BJudah. Which domains or tasks are giving you grief, and how?
     
  21. elishba

    elishba New Member

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    Please Help in Passing the RICA

    Hello,
    I read the valuable information you gave SodaJerk841. Could you please also help me. I have failed the RICA exam 5 times. The last time I only failed it by 1 point and I was so bummed. I just began looking at the Chris Boosalis videos as you recommended. Can I also please have a copy of your notes or let me know how much you are selling them for or direct me in what you did, etc. PLEASE! I just got my masters in special education, with mild/moderate disabilities (High Honors) but cannot pass the RICA Uhg!! I am so frustrated. I have already paid over $1, 500 in crash courses, online courses, live courses, books, etc. I am so bummed. The credential dept at my university is only waiting for me to pass my RICA exam. I hope to hear from you.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    elishba, hugs. What are you seeing on your score report? How many plus marks are you getting in each domain? What kind of feedback are you getting on your case study?
     
  23. SDCteacherLnHS

    SDCteacherLnHS New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I need help! I have already failed the RICA twice and I'm taking it again this weekend. I don't feel like I'm prepared enough but I have to pass it otherwise I will no longer have a job. I saw that someone had a study guide that was helping other teachers. Could I please get a copy of that study guide? Thank you!
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    What are you seeing on your previous score reports? In which domains are you coming up short, and what diagnostic comments are you seeing on your case study?

    Whereabouts are you located, SDCteacherLnHS?
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, and please click on the User CP tab at the top left of this page, then select "Edit Options" to enable you to receive private messages.
     
  26. SDCteacherLnHS

    SDCteacherLnHS New Member

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    I believe it says that my private messages is already enabled.

    I have moved since taking the RICA and don't know where my results are. The first time I took it I was only 2 points away from passing and the last time I was 20 points away :(
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If you got your results by email and didn't delete the email, the pdf might still be on your computer...

    Most people taking RICA need to beef up on the Word Analysis domain and its concepts - phonemic awareness is not the same thing as phonological awareness, and a diphthong is not the same thing as a digraph; they need this partly because the concepts are foundational and partly because Word Analysis accounts for 1/3 of multiple choice points. They need to understand how vocabulary and academic language aren't the same. They also need to know that none of the written tasks is an essay in the CBEST sense of the term.
     
  28. SDCteacherLnHS

    SDCteacherLnHS New Member

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    I found the results from the first time I took it but couldn't find the second results. The second time I did a lot worse.

    1: Planning, Organizing, & Managing Reading Instr. Based on Ongoing Assessment 2
    2: Word Analysis 3
    3: Fluency 2
    4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge 2
    5: Comprehension 3
    Case Study (Domains 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 2
    Domain
    Performance
    Index

    Case Study Performance Index
    Your case study response showed a need for improvement in the following area(s):
    * Describing instructional strategies and/or activities
    * Explaining how the strategies and/or activities promote reading proficiency
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Okay, so one needs to be quick about this... Give me RICA-ish answers to the following:

    a. What is fluency?

    b. What is academic language?

    c. How does "describing instructional strategies and/or activities" differ from "explaining how the strategies and/or activities promote reading proficiency"?
     
  30. jonaevans

    jonaevans New Member

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    I want to know if you have your study guide and were still willing to help out new and struggling teachers. I have failed 3 or 4 times. Please help.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hi, jonaevans. How close are you coming to passing?

    Let me ask you the questions I asked in my posts #188 and #189. Your answers for #188 will come from your previous score report(s); if you don't have a copy of the most recent one but fewer than 45 days have passed since it was issued, please go download it from the ctcexams.nesinc.com Web site.
     
  32. natalie

    natalie New Member

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    Vsimpkins, I'll be taking the RICA in 2 weeks and I've studied quite a bit but still feel unsure. Could I get your study guide as well?
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to A to Z, natalie. Will this be your first time with RICA?
     
  34. Flippygflizo

    Flippygflizo New Member

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    Failed the RICA twice and I have lost all my confidence

    Hi,

    I am new to a to z, but I am feeling what everyone else who has failed the RICA is feeling...utter disappointment :mad:and lack of confidence. I failed the RICA twice and my next test is on June 6, 2015.

    I am a special education (mild/mod) teacher finishing up my credential and I feel confident in my teaching abilities with reading. However, the test was brutal and I scored a 205 the first time and then a 187 my second time. For my second attempt, the areas that I only got + were in domain 1 and 2. Also my case study was a 1+.

    The area that I need to improve is describing instructional strategies/and or activities and explaining how the strategies and/or activities promote reading proficiency.

    I felt pretty shocked at the score since I deal so much with reading fluency and teaching students basic phonics skills. What can I do to help prep myself better? I am going to study like a mad-dog, but I am desperate for better advice. What should I focus on with domain 1 and 2? Also, is there a right or wrong way to write the case-study? I did really bad the second time when I felt so confident. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!!!

    -G
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Domain 2, Word Analysis, is huge in RICA.

    Tell me what word analysis consists of for a beginning reader. Cover all the bases and use the technical terminology that you'd use with your favorite prof or supervisor.
     
  36. Rg-chrono

    Rg-chrono Rookie

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    Well...guess I became another victim of this horrible exam known as the RICA. I swear! I studied for 2 months before taking it ( used teacher prep site (which is offered for free for USC MAT students) used two guides to study for it: ready for the revised RICA by zarrillo and Case studies in preperation for the CA Reading competency test by Rossi. AND NOTHING! I got 201... -_- The worse part is! I interviewed for a job, special ed, and the guy told me that I needed to past this exam in order to start the application process. NOW! I do not know what's next and what's going to happen...I wonder why do teachers have to go through all of this?? especially since the F'ing test cost $179 a pop, and there's not even a discount of some kind due to taking it again. Anyways! my score was 201

    Domain
    Domain Performance Index
    Test Results Written Examination
    1: Planning, Organizing, & Managing Reading Instr. Based on Ongoing Assessment.++2:
    WordAnalysis +
    3:Fluency+++
    4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge++
    5:Comprehension++
    Case Study Performance Index
    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


    The problem I have is that..I wrote the case study the way that I was told to write it in both the guide and youtube videos. I even described clearly the strategies used and activities..I do not know what the person was reading and why they graded me so negative?? when I did and followed the description 100%...what on earth are these people reading?? because I made sure to answer the question clearly. The case study even had 600 words , and the other essays also were clearly written. I feel like the people who are grading it know that we can not attack them back and refute their opinion on our replies. BUT! I know that I did followed what the 5 essays wanted us to point out to the "D". What else can be done??

    The interesting thing is that..I got good grades on the 2nd and 4th domain on both the practice test for the RICA site and the Teacher Prep course....I do not know what else to do?? when I over studied for it and felt confident about what I know...this is really stupid..in my opinion..and those A-hole are protected by a secret room. I am sorry, but I am **** off..because I know this stuff and I know that I wrote the case study correctly and clearly.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, Rg-chrono. But I've never heard of anyone passing RICA with + in Word Analysis (which accounts for 1/3 of available multiple-choice points) and ++ each in Vocabulary etc. and Comprehension, even with a strong score on the case study.

    Constructed responses on RICA are scored by two different people, and if the scores differ by more than one point, a third scorer is brought in as tie-breaker. As for the diagnostics, I'm fairly certain that they are assigned by someone else. My point is that more than one person agreed that your case study had problems.

    How were you told to write?
     
  38. Rg-chrono

    Rg-chrono Rookie

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    "
    Constructed responses on RICA are scored by two different people, and if the scores differ by more than one point"

    I have a hard time believing that, being that I clearly stated the activity and strategies...This is bad, because there is no way for me to proof it, since LAUSD and CTC keep the test and do not share it. It is basically my word vs theirs. I honestly do feel that I answered the case study and essays completely and 100% correct. I basically see it as them just pretty much knowing that they are protected and being lazy to read, as in giving the same reply to most test takers

    " * Describing instructional strategies and/or activities"

    Look at all of the people on here who have not passed it...A lot of times they have the same feedback. There is something there, and I feel that these test graders are lazy and just end up giving the same feedback to a number of test takers. No way to proof that, it is my word against theirs. BUT! I feel that I did answered the case study and essays correctly and I did 100% described the strategies and activity used, and even why these activities worked for the student/s.

    Anyways! the multiple choice questions were horrible and confusing. Talk about giving multiple sounding correct answers into one problem. They are trying to test is, YES! but that does not mean that they should confuse us and force us to select "the best" answer in their opinion. That is pretty much just making it a guessing game and not really testing our knowledge. I still will do the test again, and I am pretty sure I will pass it the 2nd time. I just notice and call BS on the way they administered and created this test. It is pretty much a guessing game and leaving it up to the person who grades the essays, and if they felt like honestly grading it and not being lazy.

    The way I answered the case studies were by using the methods used on the Case studies in preperation for the CA Reading competency test by Rossi. In addition, using these following youtube videos guides, which were fantastic! and really broke the cas study down perfectly. I basically separated the case study into different paragraphs/sections and kept it simple and need.

    you can find the youtube videos by typing: 18 louise case study and "Writing the Case Study for RICA - by buffalothief"
    These videos were clear and pretty much, I believe, did helped me a lot. But! like I said, it depends on the kind of grader who ends up grading one's case study answer. I really feel that they are graded by 1 person, not 2, it is just politically correct and hidden answer to cover up their horrible grading system.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Scoring procedures could change, I suppose, so I went and checked the RICA Test Results Explanation document at www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/PDF/RICA-W_ScoreReportExp.pdf. At the bottom of the first page is this: "Responses to the constructed-response assignments are scored independently by at least two qualified and well-oriented California educators using standardized procedures." That accords fairly well with what I said earlier about the scoring. As to the diagnostics being assigned by someone else, I have less proof, but that interpretation makes better sense of some patterns I've seen in scoring vs. diagnostics than anything else I've been able to come up with.

    The RICA Score Report Explanation also notes that exactly three diagnostics - three areas of shortcoming - are available to be assigned to the case study:

    • Identifying the student's reading strengths and/or needs
    • Describing instructional strategies and/or activities
    • Explaining how the strategies and/or activities promote reading proficiency​

    I do agree that the RICA score report could stand to be made more informative. It is what it is, however, and with experience and a certain amount of twisty-mindedness one can tease a fair bit of direction out of the information that it does dispense. I'm attempting to put some experience and twisty-mindedness at your service, but if your goal here is more to vent than to fix what went wrong, I'll quietly slink back into my TeacherGroupie lair and not bother you further.
     
  40. Rg-chrono

    Rg-chrono Rookie

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    of course, they are willing to state that, but we don't really know if that is a fact now..do we?? This bothers me if it is not true if they are using two people to grade these exams. I began to really feel at odds with their grading system, due to my own experience with their weird grading style. When I was taking the CBEST, back in 2013. It took me 3 separate tries to pass the CBEST, CSET took two tries, the CBEST was weird. Because they do follow the so called grading pattern, which you pointed out, for the writing as well. The interesting thing is that the 3rd time I took the CBEST, I got the same essay question that I got the 2nd time!! Ok, so they were the same question and I answered them in the same manner, since I remember the question and pretty much knew how to answered it correctly. Alright, the second time I saw the question I got a 35 on the essay portion of the CBEST....THEN! the 3rd time I answered it again I got a 25....why the difference in grades?? When the question was the same...?? I even laughed inside when I realized that the question was the same.... if "2 people are grading it" why were those 2 grades, for the same question, so far apart?? of course! the highest grade of 35 was accepted, but I felt that the grading was not correct and not the same. That gave me the feeling that CTC does not have a solid correct repeated grading system. It is by random and based on who grades one's exam. That issue has to be fix in some way.


    Oh no, I appreciate your help. This whole confusing grading system that CTC seems to have...it just bothers me and hits the wrong nerve inside of me. I will pass the RICA... but CTC grading system is not clear and it does horrible suck. Especially when the test requires a 45 days waiting period...and when it pretty much costs the person a job opportunity. :( and another $171 for their greedy hands.

    Yes, and I am saying, with 100% certainty, that I did these 3 things on the 5 essay questions... I did....but again! I have no proof...cause they pretty much kept the exam. It is pretty much my word against theirs, and they win due to them having the power to dictate pass or no passing score. I did answered what they wanted of me, clearly and precise. I am sure of it.
     

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