PTK Exam- My Story

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Sherri M
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Joined: 2011-09-06

Hey folks! Just wanted to share my story….

When I stared the ABCTE program, I gave myself two months to study for the PTK exam. Reading the blogs I was completely freaked out. I kept hearing: “This test is impossible”, “The practice tests look NOTHING like the actual test”, and “ABCTE wants you to fail so they can get more money from you”. I took the PTK exam on Nov 7, 2011, which was a Monday. To my surprise the questions on the exam were exactly like the ones on all the practice tests and after the test when I got my MC scores I was very shocked when I passed the “impossible” MC portion on my first try. The funny part is that I tried to cancel the test on the Friday before the test because I just knew from reading the blogs that I was going to fail. After I got home I started to read the blogs again (bad idea) and worry about the writing component. I just got the score report today and I made a 5! It turns out that passing the test is possible, even on the first try.

Here is some advice: use the practice tests and watch the videos on the MC section and ESPECIALLY the video on the writing component.

GOOD LUCK! :)

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meganderson
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Joined: 2012-02-13

Hi narnold,
I started studying in early May and took my PTK test in late June. I studied an hour or two each day, but by mid-June felt like I was spinning my wheels. I was ready for the test then and just wanted to get it over with.

On my practice quizzes, I scored anywhere from 60 to 90% correct, but passed the MC portion easily. I scored about a 370 - I think 270 is the passing score.

I allowed myself a few weeks to prepare for the writing component, but I really didn't need more than a week. If you're a strong writer, you won't need to do much for the essay other than watch the video and practice outlining each prompt quickly.

My essay was very formulaic (in other words, a tad boring and predictable), but I scored a 6. I was careful not to commit errors in spelling or punctuation and to follow the instructions to the letter.

Ignore the comments about how HARD this is, and how it's just a money-making scheme. I disagree. Prepare well, and you'll be just fine.

narnold
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Joined: 2012-07-12

Thank you so much for your response Meg! I too have begun to feel like I'm spinning my wheels and losing focus, and since I really want to have this exam out of the way in time for the holidays I just scheduled two days ago for this Friday....Which is a little scary because I haven't even taken the first practice exam OR practiced any writing!

However, I've been taking the quizzes over and over, and since I don't work I basically have all day and night to study for the next four days -- so I'm planning to just cram all the rest of it in during the next few days and study non-stop!

One thing I feel like I should have caught on to way earlier in the process is that the exam questions will be much easier to answer correctly if I'm extremely familiar with the PTK content standards, which almost every question seems to be based off of (at least in the practice quizzes). I wasn't focusing on them earlier b/c of forum posts I'd read that said it was unnecessary and to just focus on the quiz and exam answers -- but I'm thinking it will significantly help me to understand WHY each answer is right or wrong if I can relate the questions back to a standard.

The reason I'm mentioning this is because I only have such a short time left to study. My new plan for the next four days is to begin by becoming more familiar with the standards, take the first practice exam and review my answers, watch the "Written Essay" webinar and practice a writing prompt, and then basically do that all over again with the second practice exam and more quizzes and another writing prompt. However, memorizing the basic concepts of the standards will be pretty time consuming and I don't want to waste even one second....Do you have any thoughts on this idea, and/or was this something that contributed to your success at passing the MC part of the exam?

Thanks again for your response and encouragement. I absolutely believe this exam can be passed on the first try (and frequently is!) if you study the right information in the right way, and pay attention to what and how ABCTE tells you to study -- but it's still nice to hear it from someone who made it happen! Congrats on doing so well, and I'm sure you're going to nail the content area exam as well (if you haven't already).

narnold
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Thank you for the insight into what was the most useful study preparation in terms of both the multiple choice and written portion of the exam, and congratulations on passing both! Your story jumped out at me particularly because I noticed that you said you managed to do this in about two months - I am attempting to condense the already abbreviated 90-Day Crash Course Study Calender into about half of that, doing it in much less time than what ABCTE says is typically necessary.
While the calendar explains in detail exactly what to read, study, or write each day, some of it seems like a bit of an unnecessary waste of time (like completing the each full page in the Standards Workbook for every single standard), and I've been wondering if there are certain methods of preparation that are more useful than others - so thank you for discussing what was the most helpful for you.
I'm curious how much time you spent studying each day/ how many days per week. I've kind of ended up procrastinating too long and now I am of course overwhelmed with having to cram it all in in this short amount of time (because I need to have my scores back so I can start teaching in January). I was planning to do it in about 3 months anyway, but now my window is even shorter. It would be super helpful in terms of knowing more of what to expect - and lessening my anxiety - if I knew how much time someone else put in daily/weekly to manage a passing score in a shorter amount of time. I'm a quick learner, good test taker, and typically am able study effectively for the most part.
It sounds like you have a pretty good sense of what really worked and what didn't. Do you have any additional advice for how to best concentrate my time? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

GSSgirl04
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Thanks for all the advice. I just started studying. I am scheduled to take my test June 7, 2012.

Fred
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Joined: 2010-09-17

Yes the multiple choice portion study will get a person prepared I remain in shock though reading the horror studies as i myself can not get a reply or as of yet a score from my essay portion. I received word it did not pass but after two months have not received a grade or a reveiw/rubric why the work did not qualify. Having helped students prepare for essay prep for three years now I still maintain this might be a money making scheme.

tatorlady
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Joined: 2011-04-26

I too have used all of the study methods and devoted ALOT of time studying. Have taken the test twice just missed passing the mc both times and passing the essay on the 1st time waiting for score on second time. I found that the 2nd test had alot of terms I have never seen in any of the practice test or standards. I am at a loss and would love any advice to help me pass the mc in a few months when I attempt my last and final chance. I have tried to remain positive about this certification but and beginning to wonder.

smcgurk
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I spent a lot of time studying the explanations for all of the practice exam answers. I would take notes on each one and study those over and over again. I think it's just as important to know why the wrong answers are wrong as to know why the correct answers are correct. I just went over the practice exams again and again and again. I also used the recommended strategy for taking the multiple choice exams given in the online video. They recommend anticipating the answer and then looking for it in the answer choices. They also recommend a method for marking your dry erase board so you can eliminate the ones you know aren't correct and easily go back and review. I think that method helped me stay focused and organized while taking the test. Good luck!

smcgurk
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Congrats! I couldn't agree with you more. I also was a little skeptical after reading some of the posts. However, I did exactly what ABCTE recommends, went over the practice tests again and again and again and practiced lots of writing samples using the recommendations of the writing component video. I recommend studying the explanations for the answers very carefully. It's almost more important to know why the incorrect answers are wrong as it is to know why the answer is correct. I took my test on November 12 and passed both parts of the test on the first try, with a 6 on the essay! There was not any material on the test that I had not seen before, as others have said. I used the 90 day study plan, found on your account page, and completed the plan in about 10 weeks. It was a great guideline to follow to make sure I had covered everything. Don't be discouraged by what others are saying. If you take this seriously and put in the time, you will do just fine. Good luck!

narnold
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User offline. Last seen 1 year 1 week ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-07-12

Thank you for the insight into what was the most useful study preparation in terms of both the multiple choice and written portion of the exam, and congratulations on passing both! Your story jumped out at me particularly because I noticed that you said you managed to do this in about two months - I am attempting to condense the already abbreviated 90-Day Crash Course Study Calender into about half of that, doing it in much less time than what ABCTE says is typically necessary.
While the calendar explains in detail exactly what to read, study, or write each day, some of it seems like a bit of an unnecessary waste of time (like completing the each full page in the Standards Workbook for every single standard), and I've been wondering if there are certain methods of preparation that are more useful than others - so thank you for discussing what was the most helpful for you.
I'm also VERY curious how much time you spent studying each day/ how many days per week. I've kind of ended up procrastinating too long and now I am of course overwhelmed with having to cram it all in in this short amount of time (because I need to have my scores back so I can start teaching in January). I was planning to do it in about 3 months anyway, but now my window is even shorter. It would be super helpful in terms of knowing more of what to expect - and lessening my anxiety - if I knew how much time someone else put in daily/weekly to manage a passing score in a shorter amount of time. I'm a quick learner, good test taker, and typically am able study effectively for the most part. Oh, and I'm currently not working (but do have a kindergartner that gets out of school WAY too early!), so technically I can create as much study time as I need....I'm just worried that I haven't been carving out enough of it thus far and I'm just getting started!
It sounds like you have a pretty good sense of what really worked and what didn't. Do you have any additional advice for how to best concentrate my time? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

debmawson
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Joined: 2011-10-10

Thanks for the positive report and congratulations. Reading some of the blogs has scared me a lot and made me doubt if I can pass. I feel better now. Thanks again.

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