Get Started on the Big 3 of Test Prep:
Know the Test, Know Yourself, Know Your Resources
Looking for how to study for the EAS? How to prep for your Content Specialty exam?
You’ve come to the right place – My goal is to offer advice about test prep that leads to calm endeavor. I’ll show you how to make good use of the free materials supplied by NYS, I offer free materials of my own, and I’m available to work with you individually.
Be sure to look at my workshop video on how to prepare for the EAS exam – Scroll down for Video
A Watson Guide _ EAS and CST Introduction
Send me a request to receive a free copy of my “Guide to Calm and Effective Preparation for NYS Exams for Teacher Certification”
This guide is based on my years of experience in working with students who are studying for their NYS teacher certification exams. My hope is that this guide will help you make the best use of the NYSTCE guides and other resources.
Questions? Suggestions? Get in touch!
Prep for the NYSTCE as Prep For Teaching Your Own Students How to Study for an Exam
For decades, the standard approach to standardized tests was to have students take “practice tests” over and over. As anyone who has prepared for an exam in this way can probably report, even when this helps get a passing test score, it doesn’t result in learning that sticks.
So, are the tests useless? Nope – not when you look at them for what they are: a snapshot of an ability to perform particular skills under particular conditions. The skills are often based in reading and writing, and the conditions include formats and timed performance.
As a teacher, you can work to –
build your students’ skill in reading and writing,
incorporate timed writing into your class work, and
resist the pressure to drench your students in taking practice exams over and over.
Here’s an admittedly weird comparison. Say you want to improve your performance at miniature golf courses (we call them putt-putt courses around here.) You might get somewhat better by doing the course over and over. (That could be time consuming and eventually boring.) I think you’d do better to work on your putting skills, then work occasionally practicing on the putt-putt course.
A benefit of focusing your work on your putting skills rather then just playing the same course over and over is that you build transferable skills. If your putting is better, you can play more places with success – the time you spent is time that will pay you back beyond the one miniature golf course.
For tests like the NYS English Language Arts exam given to students in New York State’s public schools, training in overall reading and writing instruction – including timed writing and experience shifting between genre – will provide wider and longer term benefits than taking practice tests over and over. Familiarity with format: yes. Overexposure to practice exams: heck no!