Different Methods Of Preparing For The AEPA

Activities as trivial as playing a game of chess require planning and preparation like getting the chessboard and working out your strategy to win the game. If the activity to be carried out is as significant as taking an exam, it is obvious that the level of preparation required will be manifold. It is unthinkable to approach an exam with inadequate preparation, especially if the exam to be taken is the deciding factor that will determine the course of action that your future will take. Taking the AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments) is mandatory for becoming a certified educator in the state of Arizona. Hence, it goes without saying that you cannot underrate the level of preparation required to take the AEPA.

The Significance of Preparing for the AEPA

AEPA consists of a series of tests. You will have to take a certain test or a set of tests to meet the requirements for

  • Earning a teaching certificate
  • Earning a school administrator (Superintendent, Principal, or Supervisor) certificate
  • Being certified for teaching a specific academic subject
  • Joining an Arizona educator preparation program

Passing the appropriate tests is a crucial eligibility criteria for any of the above mentioned options that you may wish to undertake for a career in education. Failing in the tests would lead to the following situations:

  • You will not be able to earn the certification you have applied for, thereby affecting the progress you could have made in your career as an educator in the state of Arizona.
  • You will waste unnecessary time in preparing for the retests.
  • You will not have the necessary knowledge and skills that are necessary for excelling as an educator. While preparing for these examinations and eventually passing the tests, you would have gained the necessary skills and knowledge that are essential for imparting quality education to school children.

Therefore, it is important that you prepare well for the tests and pass them at the earliest available opportunity. Passing the tests will not only make you eligible for grant of certification, but you will also be better prepared to excel in your career as you will have the necessary knowledge and skills as required by the state of Arizona for becoming an efficient and effective educator.

The Best Method of Preparing for the AEPA

The definition of the best method of preparing for the AEPA will vary from person to person. You will have to choose a suitable method of preparing for the tests depending upon the following factors:

1. Your knowledge of the test content

    • Go to the official website of AEPA (www.aepa.nesinc.com) and go through the test objectives of the test or tests that you are scheduled to take. The test objectives will help you in identifying the test content and the skills that will be assessed by each of the tests that you have to take. Understand the test content carefully and analyze your familiarity with the test content. Gauge your skill levels and compare them with those required for passing the tests. This self-assessment can be carried out by taking a practice test and by solving sample questions. You will find practice tests and sample questions for each test on the official website and also in study guides, which are easily available in most bookstores and also on the internet. You can choose either of the following preparation methods depending upon your proficiency with the test content:
    • Study on your own: If you feel that your skills and knowledge level is adequate for passing these tests, then you can prepare for the tests by studying on your own without any external assistance like preparatory courses.
  • Attend a prep course: You will require the assistance of a preparatory course if you find that you are lacking in the skills and knowledge that are required for passing the AEPA tests. Search the internet and enquire locally to find out the courses being conducted in your locality. Take the assistance of an online course if there are no regular classes in your neighborhood. If circumstances force you to travel widely for attending a course, then ensure that the course is completed well before the test date. You cannot afford to waste crucial time immediately before the test date in traveling. Also, you will need to keep the last few days before the test date free for revision and assimilation of whatever you have learnt in the course. This implies that if you do need to attend a course, then this decision needs to be taken well in advance and not at the last moment.

2. Your study methodThe method in which you are most comfortable studying plays a very important role in choosing the means that will be the most effective for your preparation.

    • Studying alone: If you are one of those people who are comfortable studying alone or who need individual attention while being taught, then joining a course may not be a good option for you. There will be several students in a course and the tutor may not be able to give personalized attention to each student. Therefore, if you need external assistance in preparing for the tests, look for small group tutoring or courses that offer personalized training or guidance for taking the examination.
  • Studying in a group: If you are able to learn the most by interacting with others, then attending a course would be a good option for you. If you do not require the assistance of a  course, then you can form a group with others who are taking the same tests. Studying in a group will benefit you as you will be able to interact with the others who are studying the same content and you will learn from each other’s expertise on the subject and knowledge of the test content.

3. Your locationYour place of residence may not play a very crucial role in helping you prepare for the examination, but you may have to consider it to quite an extent while choosing your preparation method. If you do not live close to a town or city where you can get good assistance, then you will at least need an internet connection, because it is a good source of quality study materials. The official website will be able to provide you with information about the test content and the conduct of test. You can enroll for online courses and you can even download or buy study guides from the internet. If you are staying in a well developed area, then you can utilize any of the available methods for studying for the tests depending upon your personal preferences and requirements.

No Shortcuts!There is no shortcut to success! There is no method that is the shortest and the easiest to prepare for the examinations. Irrespective of the method you choose for preparing for the test, you will have to follow a schedule that runs through the following:

  • Working out a plan that starts well in time
  • Understanding the test content and the skills being evaluated
  • Thorough review of the test content with adequate emphasis on your weaknesses
  • Practice in solving problems specific to the test format
  • Understanding the mistakes that you commit while solving sample problems and devising ways and means of avoiding the same mistakes when you take the final test

Lack of any one of the aspects mentioned above may adversely affects your performance in the examination. Therefore, do not resort to any form of shortcut for success in the AEPA; rather utilize a detailed and lengthy preparation plan that covers all aspects of preparing for the AEPA and you are bound to be successful in passing the AEPA tests!