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How To Pass The FTCE General Knowledge Exam

Scared of failing the FTCE General Knowledge Exam and wasting hundreds of dollars to retake it, only to fail again?

Florida teachers call the Florida Teacher Certification Exam “frustrating” and say “It defeats you.”

Don’t let their experience be YOUR experience!

Whether you’re taking the FTCE General Knowledge Exam for the first time or the fifth time, make THIS the time you pass!

To pass the Florida Teacher Certification General Knowledge Exam, follow these 5 steps.

Step #1: Don’t Delay! Begin Preparing For The GKE Today!

Good teachers fail the FTCE General Knowledge Exam only to retake it and fail again and again.

Admit that The FTCE General Knowledge Exam is high stakes. Admit that it is difficult. But DON’T let your fear of failure stop you from taking the steps that will help you to pass the FTCE GKE!

Your first step is easy: go to the fl.nesinc site to skim the information available about the FTCE GKE.

The FTCE General Knowledge Test (082) is really 4 subtests, which cost $130 your first time:

  1. The Essay Subtest (825) allows 50 minutes for you to write 1 essay.
  1. The English Language Skills (ELS) Subtest (826) allows 40 minutes to answer 40 multiple choice questions.
  1. The Reading Subtest (827) allows 55 minutes to answer 40 multiple choice questions.
  1. The Mathematics Subtest (828) allows 1 hour & 40 minutes to answer 45 multiple choice questions.

You may already be frustrated, wondering where to begin your preparation. Don’t give up!

Here comes the secret to passing the FTCE GKE: you must dig deeply into the details of each of the 4 subtests to understand all 4 General Knowledge Exam subtests!

Step #2: Understand YOUR FTCE GKE Weak Areas

Just because you have read through the Competencies tested by the FTCE General Knowledge Exam doesn’t mean you understand the GKE!

You MUST know your weak areas to pass the FTCE GKE.

Which areas of the General Knowledge Exam do YOU need to review?

The best way to begin is to know the details of each subtest and use those details to prepare for the GKE.

Here’s how:

  1. Print out the 6 pages of “Competencies and Skills and Blueprint.”
  1. Get a highlighter.
  1. As you carefully read each “Skill” that’s tested, highlight the skills that are your weakest.

Look at your list. Then ask yourself this question:

Have you ever been surprised by a low grade on an exam because you studied hours and thought you knew all the material?

If that describes you, take the free practice tests offered on the fl.nesinc site.

How well did you do on the skills you thought you knew?

The IES (Institute of Education Sciences) finds that “without training, most learners cannot accurately judge what they do and don’t know, and typically overestimate how well they have mastered material when they are finished studying.”

Use the practice test and your list to find those weak areas.

Next, look at the pie charts on your General Knowledge Exam Blueprint. Each of the Competencies lists an “Approximate Percentage of Subtest Questions.”

The actual number of questions for each Competency varies from 7-20. You can’t afford to ignore ANY of the Competencies, but it makes sense to focus on those with the highest number of questions on the Subtests.

How should you focus your study time? Choose FTCE General Knowledge Exam study guides, practice tests, flashcards or other test-prep materials based on YOUR needs!

Step #3: Choose FTCE GKE Test-Prep Materials Made For YOU!

You know the blueprint. You know your weak areas. Now read what research says about preparing for high-stakes tests like the Florida Teachers Certification Exam General Knowledge Exam.

Not all FTCE GKE test prep tools are equal.

The BEST Test-Prep Materials

  • are CURRENT, not just in copyright date
  • match the FTCE GKE blueprint for each Competency
  • give clear explanations for both correct AND incorrect answers for every question
  • explain GKE test phrases and key words used in questions and answers
  • include a section on test-taking that is more than just a list of tips
  • tell how to pace yourself on timed tests
  • give more than one chance to take a practice test
  • offer sample essay questions with examples of essays that score 1-6 on the FCTE GKE rubric

Certification candidates who’ve reviewed study materials focus on 2 things to look for:

  1. Lots of examples, especially in the math section
  1. Clear explanations for the answers

Use the research and your FTCE General Knowledge Exam Competency insight to choose study guides, practice tests or other study materials that suit YOUR needs.

Step #4: Use FTCE GKE Test-Prep Materials Wisely!

Once you have your General Knowledge Exam study materials, use research to get the most out of them!

A recent meta-analysis of 118 articles that researched practice testing. Use their results so YOU can pass the FCTE GKE:

  • Use many short practice sessions (Bucknell Teaching & Learning Practice says 20-40 minutes)
  • Take time between the sessions (5-10 minutes)
  • NO cell phones or other distractions
  • read ALL of the explanations for both correct and incorrect answers
  • learn the words, phrases or types of questions that confuse you or take much more time
  • mark the questions that take more time than others and look for that pattern (is it the Competency you don’t understand or is the same type of question confusing you every time)

Remember that test-taking is a skill! Like many teacher candidates have already found out, you may know the material, but if you don’t know how to take the FCTE GKE, you may not pass!

Step #5: Plan To Pass The FTCE GKE!

Practice tests, study guides, flashcards or online videos can help you to pass the General Knowledge Exam if you follow Step 4.

But there is one more thing YOU need to know to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Exam’s GKE.

You need to know what passing means. A passing score is what you need. So what is that magic number? Each is listed below, along with the Competencies that have the highest percentage of questions.

  1. Essay: 8 out of 12 points. The two scorers’ six-point rubric scores must add up to 8!
  1. The English Language Skills (ELS) Subtest requires 70% or 28/40 correct answers. Conventions questions are half of the test! Study the rules and take the practice tests!
  1. The Reading Subtest requires 75% or 32/40 correct answers. Each Competency is nearly even, with 10 to 14 questions.
  1. The Mathematics Subtest requires 72% or 33/45 correct answers. Over 60% of the test is based on “algebraic thinking and the coordinate plane” and “probability, statistics, and data interpretation.” Make sure your study materials cover these Competencies!

Give yourself the gift of time to follow these 5 Steps and YOU can pass the FTCE General Knowledge Exam!

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