Mid adult African American teacher smiles in high school library. He is leaning on a bookshelf. He is wearing a white button-down shirt a light blue patterned tie.

Teacher certification exams can be challenging and intimidating. With a few strategies, you can feel confident about your certification test. Passage Preparation™ provides you with in-depth content and practice opportunities for your tests. We also share test-taking tips and strategies to help you feel confident on test day. In this post we share some important tips for preparing for your exam. These are sure to increase your confidence on test day!

Prepare Your Body to Increase Confidence For Your Test

One of the most important, but often overlooked, strategies for feeling confident on the day of an exam is to fuel your body. What does this mean?

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Try to get to bed, without screens or other distractions, at a reasonable time the night before your test. Avoid screens or exercise immediately before bedtime, as these activities may hinder sleep. Try background noise; a noise machine may provide a comforting sound to help you fall asleep. A good night’s rest is crucial to being alert and able to recall your knowledge on test day!

Eat Something Nutritious

Certification tests are long. Some can take up to five hours! Make sure your body is fueled with proper nutrition so that you can process the questions you are presented with and the answers you need to provide. Test-day jitters may decrease your appetite or cause you to crave sugary or salty snacks. Remember that the food you eat will need to provide both short-term (carbohydrates) and long-term (protein and healthy fats) energy to last you throughout this important exam. Often, testing centers allow you to bring snacks to eat during breaks. Check your testing program and center’s policies to find out whether you are allowed to bring any food items. It may not be obvious, but what you put into your body really does impact what you produce on test day!

Location, Location, Location

You have prepared for an important certification test, one that impacts your ability to become certified as a teacher. You’ve studied. Practiced. Paid the test registration fee. You pull into the parking lot of the test center. But there are no other cars there. The parking lot is empty. The door is locked. This is the wrong location! You are now left with minutes to spare while finding the correct testing center. Don’t let this happen to you!

Always be sure to scout out your testing center’s location before the day of your test. There is nothing worse than arriving to an important exam appointment frazzled and stressed. Be sure you know where you’re going ahead of time.

Some exams are offered at home, so make sure your technology works. This includes your camera and microphone if your test requires recordings or online proctoring. When you identify your exam location and technology requirements ahead of time, you eliminate any potential for confusion and enhance your confidence on the day of your test.

Understand the Assignment

Most importantly, understand just what is assessed on your teacher certification test. For example, what are the question types? How long do you have to complete the test? Are tools such as on-screen calculators available?

Passage Preparation™ courses not only break down the content assessed on your certification test, but also provide multiple opportunities to practice responding to test items like those on your certification exam. We highlight the item types on each test and directions for each type, such as multiple choice or constructed response items.

Each Passage Preparation™ course dives deep into the content and standards you need to master in order to be successful on your test. The image below is an example of how we break down and align the content across our course modules.

Additionally, our courses outline strategies for success on constructed response items if your test includes them. Here we provide an explanation of a constructed response item rubric and how to achieve the target score of 4.

Rubric example for OAE

Practice! Preparation Builds Confidence

It is so important to practice responding to items that reflect those on your teacher certification test. Each Passage Preparation™ course includes a diagnostic assessment that helps you develop a study plan. After completing your plan of study and each of the content modules, you take a Practice Assessment. However, our practice tests aren’t like others’. You can take our practice assessments as many times as necessary to feel confident on test day. Our practice assessment item banks include hundreds of items, so you aren’t just memorizing the questions you see in our practice tests. You actually have the chance to apply your knowledge to multiple items and increase your confidence for your test.

Once you complete your Practice Assessment, you receive a report that shows your performance on items related to each standard which you can use for Continuing Professional Education credits or evidence of your readiness for your exam, if necessary.

Remember Your Why

Finally, remember why you are preparing for this important certification test. You are passionate about positively impacting children’s education and development. You are passionate about your subject area. You want to or perhaps already have entered the classroom to bring these two motivations together. But there’s still one more step: your exam.

You Can Do It! And We Can Help.

Passage Preparation™ offers courses to help you prepare for your teacher certification tests. Our courses are designed by educators for educators. Through our helpful advice, in-depth content, and opportunities to practice applying your knowledge, we help build your confidence for test day.

Passage Preparation™ Courses Help You Build Confidence


Foundations of Reading™

National Evaluation Series™

Ohio Assessments for Educators


And More!

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About the Author: Nathan Estel

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Nathan has over 20 years of experience in the educator preparation and certification space. In that time, Nathan has worked in a state education agency, leading the state’s efforts to recruit, prepare, license, and retain professional and support staff and on the national level for large companies providing assessment solutions for the education field.

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