Test Strategies for the TExES PPR Exam Adapted from Antonio J. Castro, M.Ed.
Overview of the PPR • The PPR test of the TExES will consist of approximately 90 questions. • 80 questions will be scored and be distributed about evenly across the 13 competencies. • The test is designed to take less that 2.5 hours; however, it may be possible for you to use the entire 5 hour testing period, if needed.
Questions on the PPR • Single question items • Cluster question items (using involving two or three questions connected to the same scenario) • Teacher Decision Sets (a series of questions following a scenario through various stages)
Before the Strategies • Before the strategies, you must know the content material. • The information on the PPR comes from the 13 competencies. • You should know the information related to these competencies and the competencies themselves. • Take 5-10 minutes to review this checklist.
What Nath & Cohen Say • Don’t skip questions. • Mark on the test. • Visualize the scenario. • Make sure the answer choice matches the question. • Determine which competency is being tested. • Know the competencies and key terms.
Questions to ask yourself… • If a question has keys words like collaboration and educational goals, are they being used properly? • What answer choices don’t address the question?
What Other Experts Say The steps to approaching a questions include: 1. identify the scenario Age range of students (if applicable) Goal of scenario 2. use process of elimination (POE) 3. make a final decision
What to Eliminate • Choices that answer the wrong question (focus on goals of scenario) • Choices that contradict accepted educational theories and practices or contradict Texas state law. • Choices that make things easy for the teacher. • Choices that use extreme language (everyone, all of the time). • Choices that will upset parents/caregivers, other teachers, or school administrators.
Questions to ask yourself… • First, identify the scenario • What is the age range? • What is the goal? • Then, use POE to narrow down the choices • Make a final decision.
Questions to ask yourself… • First, identify the scenario • No age range (must apply to all age ranges) • Goal: attempting to encourage parental involvement • Second, POE • Get rid of C, D. Why? • Third, make a final decision.
Look for Key Words • One very successful strategies is to define each competency and make a list of essential key words or concepts. • When addressing a question, if you can identify the competency, the key words will clue you into the answer.
Example of Key Words for Competency 1 • Lifelong learning • Positive environment • Developmentally appropriate • Self-esteem • Scaffolding • Moral development • (For more key words, see the Nath & Cohen text, between of each chapter)
“Red Pepper” Words (Kaplan) These are words that usually indicate a wrong answer (not best teacher practice): • List • Handout • All students • Predetermined • Precisely • Worksheets • Lecture • confront
“Green Pepper” Words (Kaplan) These are words that could indicate a correct answer (appropriate terminology): • Most likely • Most appropriate • Except • First step • Primary purpose • Higher-order thinking • Model • Foster
Questions to ask yourself… • What competency does this question address? (You may look it up in your text to find it.) • Are there any key words that indicate a possible good or bad answer?
The Hit or Miss Stage • What happens if you are able to narrow down the answer choices to two choices, but can’t determine which is the correct answer? See if you can narrow the answer choice down to two answers. • Despite what we might feel is practical, the correct answer to a question is not what we chose. • Why? Probably because the answer does not directly address the competency.
Most significant rule: Know the competencies!!! Take time to create competency flashcards.