How to Prepare for FTCE
Advantages and Disadvantages of Popular FTCE Prep Methods
Test preparation refers to the process of gearing up for the FTCE examination, with the aim of excelling in this examination. As the passing scores are high, performing better-than-average is not only a desired criterion, but a mandatory one for this test. In essence, one has to score very well in this examination, and should not attempt it with the intention of attaining average scores in it.
Now, since we realize that good performance is a mandatory criterion for passing the Florida Teacher Certification Examination, it should be understood that good performance is an outcome of sound preparation.
Popular Ways of Preparing for the Examination
There are many ways of preparing, but the ultimate outcome of any method should be:
- Obtaining clarity of the test concepts.
- Developing expertise in answering questions, with the most appropriate answer options available, for each of them.
- Answering all the given questions in the time duration specified for them.
Keeping these goals in mind, let us discuss some of the popular methods of preparation, with emphasis on their advantages and disadvantages:
Taking Preparation Guidance from the Official Test Information Guides (http://www.fl.nesinc.com/FL_TIGS.asp) - Officially, the authorities, have provided Test Information Guides, individually, on all the testing areas. Each of these information guides is an exhaustive resource on a specific content area. These information guides elaborate on all the information that is required by a candidate, in his/her preparation, in a step-by-step manner.Preparation Method Advantages:
- These information guides are the most authentic resources, as these are written by the FTCE creators themselves.
- These guides have detailed out all information required for preparing for the FTCE (test development, general information about the test, test-taking strategies, test structure and content, test format, sample tests, bibliography, and further reading resources) in a very organized, engaging, easily-understandable and easily-implementable manner.
- Each information guide is a consolidated resource of preparation information. One does not have to refer to any other resource beyond it, if one strictly follows all the instructions given in it.
These Information Guides are not complete preparatory resources for testing areas. These guides merely provide guidance, but one has to refer to the study resources mentioned in these guides, to gain a command over the content areas. One cannot expect to perform well in the examination by solely practicing the few sample questions given in these information guides.
Joining Tutoring Classes- Joining classes, in the face-to-face or online mode, is another popular way of preparing for the FTCE.Preparation Method Advantage:
The advantage of following this method is that one gets the benefit of being taught the subjects by experts. However, one should be lucky enough to obtain the services of good tutors and the coaching classes, as good preparatory faculty and classes will take the responsibility of assessing a candidate's academic abilities. They will take measures to ensure that these students are streamlined towards the test standards, and are tuned towards the required level of performance, for obtaining good scores.Preparation Method Disadvantage:
There is no disadvantage of attending a preparation class, provided one gets to study under a good coach. However, students who take these coaching classes tend to become completely dependent on their coaches for their preparation, and do not put any own efforts for preparing for this examination. Eventually, their power of independent thinking stops, and they fail in situations that test their skills in areas that they were not tutored on. This can be highly disadvantageous in an examination where innovative thinking is one of the most important criteria for passing this examination.
Using Study Guides- The guides are meant for those individuals who are used to the self-study mode of preparation. Maximum benefit can be obtained from these books by persons who can plan their preparation, using these books, in a systematic and goal-oriented method.Preparation Method Advantage:
Unlike, the tutoring classes which have fixed timings for sessions, preparation using books can be done at one's own convenient time and at one's own convenient place, with the flexibility of frequent changes in these parameters.Preparation Method Disadvantages:
- Using study guides as preparatory materials is not suitable for persons who need constant external motivation to study for this examination.
- Using guides is not suitable for persons who have difficulty in understanding the content areas without tutoring aids.
- This method is not suitable for persons who do not have adequate knowledge of selecting good preparatory books
- The advantages of group preparation and tutored study are absent in this preparation mode.
General Guidelines for the Test Preparation
The exam date should be scheduled with adequate time in hand for preparation.
Daily and consistent practice in all the content areas is required, without ignoring the content areas in which one is strong, and devoting extra time to those areas in which one is not very strong.
There is no short route to success, and the foremost and safest criterion of foolproof preparation, is to gain in-depth knowledge of all the content areas one would be taking a test in.
There is no single method of studying for the FTCE. Usually, an individualized combination of the different methods works well. Ideally, one should start with the official test information guide, practice questions from guidebooks, and get tutored on difficult subjects.
Adequate timed test rehearsals should be taken by the candidates, in order to take the test effortlessly and with full confidence.
The test questions are not tough, but the high passing scores make this examination difficult to qualify in. Hence, one should perform one's preparation, by bearing in mind that the essential ingredients of high scores achievement, in this examination are, exhaustive content area knowledge and practiced application of this knowledge.
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