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Teacher licensure assessments are challenging and rigorous, so it’s no surprise that sometimes candidates do not pass on the first attempt. It’s natural to be disappointed if you need to retake a licensure test, but with some important information you can be successful on your retake. Passage Preparation can help you prepare to retake your certification exam and be succesful!

A candidate studying for the hardest teaching certification test around

The first step is to understand the feedback you received from the testing company. Most testing companies will provide a score report which will include your score and whether or not you achieved the required cut score, or passing score, for your state. You may have selected to have your scores reported to multiple licensing agencies or states, so the score report will show whether you reached the required cut score for each of these. The score report will also show the range of possible scores and the range of scores in the middle 50% of scores attained by anyone who has taken that test. You will also see the highest score you attained on the test if you have taken the test more than once. 

Your score report will also provide some important information about the content categories included on your test and how you scored for each category. Specifically, it will show you the number of items you answered correctly within each category. You can use this information to identify how many items from each content category were included on the test, which tells you which content categories are most heavily addressed on that exam. More importantly, this will help you identify the content categories you should study most to prepare for your retake. For example, if you answered 30 out of 32 items focused on reading comprehension correctly, but only 15 of 40 questions about phonics and phonemic awareness correctly, you should focus most of your study time on phonics and phonemic awareness to boost your knowledge of this topic and be prepared for your retake.

Passage Preparation courses are aligned specifically to the content categories and standards covered on each licensure test. We study the standards and substandards (also called domains, descriptive statements, or competencies, depending on the test) and develop in-depth content that explains exactly what you need to know about each standard. We analyze the percentage of the test devoted to each content category and develop content and practice items that reflect those percentages so that you can study and practice in a way that reflects the actual requirements of the test. Our courses include Key Takeaways that summarize the main points of many content standards on your test, and that help you recall the main points of the content. We also include practice quizzes and a practice assessment which you can take as many times as necessary, and which include items that are structured like the items you will encounter on your licensure assessment. This helps you practice responding to items that you will see on the actual test and will help you gain confidence in your ability to correctly respond to different types of items, such as multiple choice and constructed response questions. 

In addition to the study content and practice items you’ll find in our courses, we provide a roadmap for your study through our diagnostic assessment and study plan features. After you read over our test-taking tips, you are prompted to take the diagnostic assessment which includes approximately 40 items aligned to the content of your licensure test. You then receive feedback showing your mastery of each content category, or domain. This allows you to then develop a study plan; you are prompted to analyze your diagnostic test results to identify the areas you should prioritize while you study and work your way through your Passage course. For example, if you answered 10/10 items related to Algebra correctly but only 2/10 items related to Calculus correctly, you should prioritize your study time for in-depth review of Calculus-related content and perhaps review the Algebra-related content to refresh your memory for test day. Since you are able to move through our courses at your own pace and in your own order, you can study each content module in the order that makes sense for you based on your score report and your Passage diagnostic test report. 

Preparing to retake a licensure test is a challenging task, but Passage has done the work of demystifying your licensure test! Our rich, in-depth content, combined with our engaging practice activities and study plan features allow you to study effectively and master not only the content but the structure of your test. We are here to provide you safe passage to success on your licensure exam and have done the work to prepare you for your retake!

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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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