Virginia VCLA Test

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Oldnewteach, May 22, 2007.

  1. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    Anyone from Virginia taken the VCLA (Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment) test recently? I took the test this past weekend (5/19) and was wondering how others may have done.

    I am a career changer taking the tests to start the program and took my PRAXIS II tests for Business and Biology in April. I have not taken some of these courses in quite some time.
     
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  3. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    I actually passed this test! I graduated from college in 1992, so it had been a while since I was expected to know how to read and write grammatically correct without the help of spell-check. This was a great little boost to my poor ego. Now, if I could only get my Praxis II test scores.............
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Congratulations, Oldnewteach!

    Kindly confirm: VCLA is, among other things, a test of what you know about reading instruction, right?
     
  5. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    Thank you very much.

    Starting this year, Virginia changed their requirements a bit and did away with Praxis I and replaced it with the VCLA. From what I can tell, it is a standard test to prove you can read and write. It was a 4 hour test that involved multiple choice questions and actual hand written responses. It included a reading and writing subtest.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, wait: the test I identified is VLA, perhaps.

    Is VCLA a Praxis test, or NES, or something else entirely?
     
  7. Oldnewteach

    Oldnewteach Rookie

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    This is what I got off the website,

    "The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has contracted with National Evaluation Systems (NES®) to create and administer the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment™ (VCLA™), which measures the communication and literacy skills necessary for Virginia educators, and the Virginia Reading Assessment® (VRA®), which measures preparation in the components of effective reading instruction."

    Elementary , Special Ed, and Reading Instructors take the VRA and all other teachers take only the VCLA. I will be teaching high school Business and Biology (hopefully).
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Ah: NES, nibbling away at Praxis's market share...
     
  9. Work'n Progress

    Work'n Progress New Member

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    Jul 23, 2007

    HELP!

    :confused: In the Name Of JESUS HELP!!!!
    Hi, I'm new to the group. I just started teaching with a provisional Getting ready to take the VCLA. Several of the teachers at my school have failed this test by 1,2,3,4 points. From what I have been told it's somewhat of a mind blower. Beside the norm blueprint guide, does anyone have other suggestions on how to study for this test. Oh! I take this test Tuesday Morning at 9:00a.m.

    Thank you

    W'n P.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 23, 2007

    From post #6 above I infer that VCLA is a basic skills test - can you read, can you do math, can you write... Failing by one to four points usually means process issues rather than content issues: that is, it's not that the test taker can't do this stuff, it's that the test taker isn't doing it in a form that makes the scorers happy. Fortunately, that's not that hard to fix: find a good skill-review book (LearningExpress publishes some good ones), work on the skills in it, and while you're working on them, make a point of looking for ways to apply them in your real life. Other approaches are possible, of course, but this one tends to work well.
     
  11. Work'n Progress

    Work'n Progress New Member

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    Valued Information

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate this information.
    I'll post the outcome!

    Work'n Progress:angel:
     
  12. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    I will be going through the Career Switcher program and will be taking this test.

    Can someone advise me how they studied are there study guides we can purchase to help prepare?

    Also how are you doing as you go through the process?

    Thanks.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Come to think of it, though, VCLA doesn't have a math component. Odd.
     
  15. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    Feb 20, 2008

    VCLA isn't exactly a basic skills test - it's a more in depth literacy test. I can think of two very bright people right off the top of my head who failed it by only a point or two and had to postpone their student teaching because of it.

    I didn't prepare other than reading the study guide TeacherGroupie linked to, and I did fine on it, but reading and writing are kind of my thing. If you comfortably passed the Praxis tests, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you grew up in an area where there is a heavy dialect, you may have some trouble - I believe that was the problem with my two friends.

    Good luck.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 20, 2008

    "Basic skills" is a technical term for one set of things that teachers are expected to be able to do: to interpret written work in the English language, to compose passable prose, and (in most states) to handle essential math more or less competently. It's opposed to "subject-matter competence", which has to do with one's knowledge of the content of a discipline or a series of disciplines.

    It's not uncommon for very bright people to crash and burn on a basic-skills test, sometimes through overthinking it and sometimes just through not really following the directions.
     
  17. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    I understand what a basic skills test is. I'm just saying that, from the point of view of someone who has taken the test, it is more a "subject-matter competence" test in the area of language arts than a basic skills test.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    shrugging
     
  19. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    also shrugging...

    We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In many fields, terms that have a common-sense meaning elsewhere come to have technical meanings and restricted uses. Education is one of those fields, and "basic skills test" is one of those terms. VCLA is required of people whose licensure and teaching will not be in English as such (see http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/newvdoe/prof_teacher_assessment.pdf) - and that is what makes it a basic skills test.

    I will cheerfully concede that, if the test guide is an accurate representation, the VCLA tests those skills in unusual breadth and depth.
     
  21. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    :lol: too funny, thanks for the laugh you two! :lol:
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (muttering)

    All right, all right: I'll go back to my cave.
     
  23. ZookeeperVA

    ZookeeperVA Rookie

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    I am taking this test tomorrow so I will be sure to report back on how difficult I found it and what to study:)
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (poking head out cautiously)

    Welcome to A to Z, ZookeeperVA. Are you really a zookeeper, or are you merely already involved in education?

    Best of luck tomorrow. If your basic skills are strong, don't overthink: stick with your first answer unless you can point to the mistake that got you there. And don't overwrite.
     
  25. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    ZookeeperVA...good luck on the VCLA tomorrow.
     
  26. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    zookeeper, good luck on the VCLA!! Personally I thought it was pretty easy-- I took it last month and just received my scores last Friday (passed :D ). It's nice because they email them to you. Anyway, the reading portion is a bit monotonous: passages with five questions following them. The writing portion consists of multiple choice where you find the correction to a sentence (or you pick the choice that says the sentence is correct), a portion where they give you a sentence and you are to rewrite it (correcting the errors they put in), a short answer section (I had to summarize a passage), and a long answer (I had to pick a side of an argument and defend my position).

    Honestly, a pretty easy test. You have up to four hours to take the test, but if you finish early you're permitted to leave-- that was great. I take my time with these tests and used the entire four hours. Are you taking the VRA as well? I thought that one was challenging, but I still passed it (thankfuly).

    Good luck!!
     
  27. ZookeeperVA

    ZookeeperVA Rookie

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    Thanks everyone for the encouraging words and thanks very much for the info about the test. I have heard from others that this test is pretty easy and the fact that I have been in college writing paper after paper should give me the leg up to sail on through. Of course I am still nervous though because you can't just turn around and retake one of these until months later....yikes....that being said I will try not to spaz out and take everyone's great advice.

    By the way, I am a Zookeeper if two kids, a dog the size of a horse, a cat, a fish and a husband count as a Zoo....maybe waste management is a better job description LOL or better still, "GPS item locater specializing in item recovery" because I can't tell you how many times a day someone asks me where something is, which I direct them to "Its in your closet in the back left corner" .....then I hear "Mom, I don't see it"....so then I go to the exact location and of course its there.....I'm sure some of you other Zookeepers can relate LOL
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    For tests like these, essays don't always have to be long, but they should be very organized.

    Breathe, please. I think you'll do fine.
     
  29. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    :lol: don't stay in there too long! :D
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (subdued subterranean whimper)
     
  31. ZookeeperVA

    ZookeeperVA Rookie

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    Well I took the test today and aside from it being really long...it was not that bad and I think I passed:)

    There was a ton of reading and then you had to write a summary and an essay and the font size was super tiny when I typed so I had to look it over carefully for spelling and grammar errors. It was just like others have said and very straightforward with just reading and writing. I did take the full 4 hours because it really does take that long to read everything carefully, write, and then look over everything. I will let you all know if I passed whenever I get my results...thanks for the advice everyone.
     
  32. USCgrad

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    UGH...I took this test yesterday and I STILL have a headache....

    I assume I did fine....the scoring process is confusing....or at least it sounded confusing when I left the room and called my sister to check the website to tell me if the percentage I got on the multiple choice section was a good sign....

    THIS is when I learned that the one persuasive essay was 30%!!

    oh well, time will tell......


    how did those of you who passed do with the multiple choice? can I get unofficial results online?

    TIA~
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  34. USCgrad

    USCgrad Companion

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    thanks....BUT...funny thing....my test date is not listed?????


    maybe that means I will automatically pass!!
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Not much. It means that unofficial results will be available (I hadn't been sure, this not being California). Chances are you'll be notified by email and you'll need to sign in using your test-taker ID.
     
  36. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Any updates on this test?

    How to study?

    This is the next test I need to take and I may take it over the summer.

    Thanks.
     
  37. USCgrad

    USCgrad Companion

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    I just used the online study guide available on their website.....I did fine....have you taken the VRA yet....I am waiting on my scores for that now....

    I passed the VCLA and the PRAXIS 0014....but the VRA was KILLER!
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The reading, writing, and language sections of a good SAT prep book might help, wannabeteacher.
     
  39. kori0

    kori0 New Member

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    What was the topic for Essay ?

     
  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Um.

    In the first place, the topic's highly unlikely to be the same from one test date to the next, unless VCLA is very unusual.

    In the second place, the WARNING at the top of every page of the Examinations for Teachers forum prohibits posting actual specific test questions. The prohibition is for the protection of A to Z - and of A to Z's users, who presumably prefer not to have their scores invalidated.
     
  41. lizzie73

    lizzie73 New Member

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    vcla percentage scores

    I just took the VCLA today and it was computer based. I got an unofficial score for both the reading and writing subtest. Does anyone know how to convert the percentages to the number score? I just want to know if my lousy writing subtest percentage will make the cut or if I need to just start studying again. I got 88% of the reading multi-choice questions and 74% of the writing...but the writing doesn't take into account the short answer or composition writing. Has anyone else done a computer based with that low of a writing score and been okay? I am too nervous to last the 10 days.

    Thanks.
     

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