Indiana Core Content Exam

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by laceyk8, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    Dec 4, 2017

    60 minutes for 50 questions is doable. I’ve had several exams like that throughout college and on my teacher certification tests. For example, when I took the CSET Single Subject Subtest III: Calculus and History of Math, I finished with 72 minutes to spare and I was only given 2 hours. Also, when I took the math Praxis 5161 I finished with quite a bit of time to spare, also.

    Yes, some math problems take longer than others, but a plurality or simple majority require very few steps, a single step, or just mental math.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  2. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    Futuremathprof, I remember your cocky replies from a few weeks ago. Obviously you are not in Indiana, so you don't understand. There was zero mental math questions and all questions were multi-step and very complicated. Most were long story problems, and most required advanced skills in trig and calculus (which I possess). Indiana fired ETS 3 years ago because the Praxis had about a 95% pass rate across all subtests, and they were too easy. Now they've hired Pearson, and the result is the other end of the spectrum (as low as 15% pass rates, and this includes those who have taken it twice, five times, twenty times). If I sound bitter, it is because I am bitter that our policymakers in DOE refuse to fix the problem. Is there anyone reading this that is in Indiana or who is going through a similar challenge in your state?
     
  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    Wait, I read several articles that said the DOE did address the issue and the Pearson lowered the cutoff score and revised the test several times. I’m confused. And by the way, Pearson administered most of the exams I took in California.

    20 attempts?! I’d think by then they would have given up. That is way too stressful on the psyche and too costly for an aspiring teacher...
     
  4. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    You are referring to when DOE lowered the cut scores for the Early Childhood certification exams. That was in 2.5 years ago in 2015. They have been "studying" the pass rate crisis and saying "the process is broken" and that "we have a major problem and catastrophe in the making", but don't do anything about it. The only study material is based on the old format and exams which are very easy. I now believe what I didn't want to believe. The whole thing is a scandal and Pearson is making millions in testing and retesting fees......
     
  5. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    Dec 5, 2017

    continuing....Indiana DOE has left 60 or so certification subtests unchanged while they are doing this "analysis"...
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    Dec 6, 2017

    Have you spoken with other teachers in your area who passed it? They might be able to give you tips on how to pass and studying methods they used.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Pearson's state-specific programs bear family resemblances to each other, but they can also differ as widely as siblings can: some programs avoid constructed responses except in basic-skills writing; many programs elect not to disaggregate domains into distinct subtests; and across programs the subtlety and complexity of questions and question types is quite variable. Uniformity would be to Pearson's advantage, so the differences can plausibly be attributed - at least to some extent - to the preferences of the states.

    When complaints about Indiana's tests in general and this test in particular began to surface, I was, I admit, a little skeptical; back when Praxis tests ruled the roost, it was common to hear complaints that the failure rate was 80%, though the truth then was that what was 80% was the passing rate, and it was also common to hear complaints that the content tested was beyond the grade standards (as it should be, frankly) and far beyond the standards listed (across Praxis tests, and as Pearson's predecessor NES brought new tests online, it generally wasn't). I did some research, and I monitored this thread. My conclusion so far? Indiana's elementary-education test, at least, is an outlier, at least.

    futureteacher2018, may I contact you privately to ask some questions?

    futuremathsprof, if one of your more promising students persisted in leaping to conclusions from insufficient facts, I dare say you come alongside the kid to show him what he is doing wrong and how to do it right. I wish I thought that if a student you view as less promising were committing a similar error and clearly distressed, you'd treat her as generously and helpfully - but on the strength of your reactions here to your peers who are in pain, I have to assume that you'd blow her off as thoroughly and as regularly as you keep blowing off the reading-instruction methodology coursework from which (if you are as smart as you'd like us to think you are) you should have extracted fuller value than was taught and which you should be assiduous in seeking opportunities to apply. (So very much of success in math is learning how to read, write, speak, and listen in math-ese.) I'm being blunt because YOU need to hear and heed this before you do further damage to your peer relationships, your reputation, and your students.
     
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  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    TeacherGroupie, wow, just wow. Please don’t claim to know me. You don’t. You talk about jumping to conclusions, but you just did so yourself. With that said, I am very patient with my students and never condescend them or belittle them in ANY way, like you just did. My classroom atmosphere is very inviting and welcoming and inclusive of people from all walks of life.

    It’s funny how you talk about me being crude, but you tend to go on long and verbose tirades against respondents that look like a thesaurus exploded all over the page. If anyone is snooty it’s you. Did I belittle the poster who was stressed over the test? No, I instead provided my experience with Pearson, disagreed with the difficulty of their tests, and asked how he/she was studying for the test.

    Millions of teachers have passed these tests. If they were so impossible then next to know one should be able to pass them. And yet many people still pass these “impossible” tests. A notoriously “difficult” exam doesn’t mean there is necessarily anything wrong with the test. They have been revised multiple times and the cutoffs were lowered. Pearson even made accommodations so you only have to retake the parts that you failed. What else is there for them to do besides do away with the test altogether? That seems to be the answer in this country where tests are concerned: Dumb down the test.

    I have read several articles on this Pearson fiasco and the common spread is that many aspiring teachers are struggling. Yes, the standards were raised, but that is a good thing! Students need the absolute best possible candidates because they need to be taught by the most qualified teachers! All teachers should be able to pass BASIC skills tests in order to teach. It’s okay if you have to retake a test a few times — we all have bad test days, myself included — but 20 attempts is beyond ridiculous and scary. What would you say if I told you it took me 20 times to pass my driving test? Would you feel safe driving with me on the highway? What if I told you it took me 20 times to the pass the bar exam? Would you hire me as a lawyer? What if I said it took me 20 times to pass my medical boards and to secure my medical license? Would you want me operating on you in hospital?

    So why would you entrust students, our most cherished members of society, with someone who can’t demonstrate they know the subject matter themselves? It’s ridiculous. You know it, and I know it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  9. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    Dec 11, 2017

    Futuremathprof, i think the only opportunity for value here is for the rest of your peers (and soon-to-be-peers) to create a lesson plan that will educate you in humility and compassion. As part of this lesson plan, perhaps we can chip in the $425 (plus an additional $150 for test center fees) to buy you registrations with Pearson for all six Indiana exams. Then if you pass them all, you will have earned the right to continue to proclaim your brilliance and you can continue to thump your chest and bob up and down like a lower primate. In the meantime, I am afraid I do not have any use for your self-congratulatory and condescending comments. Yes, to be an effective teacher, the teacher needs to have a mastery of the subject matter. Yes, they need to be proficient at several years/levels above their best student. Yes, they need to have high expectations of their students and of themselves. No, a certified elementary school "generalist" shouldn't need to pass a Calculus-laden exam in order to be an excellent elementary school teacher, but according to Indiana DOE and Pearson, they do.

    Now that I have shared those sentiments, I re-took the math exam last week as that was the first day I could repeat it (30 day waiting period for the retake). I was astonished at the difference in difficulty level between this second version and the first version that I took 30 days ago. It was a night and day difference. If I didn't know better, I would think Pearson gave me the wrong test the first time, but they didn't. This time I was actually able to work nearly every problem in the allotted time, and I passed. I won't receive my numerical score for at least another week, but I expect that I passed by a comfortable margin. What this tells me is that there is a ridiculous swing in difficulty levels from test to test. But why? What causes a person to get a extraordinarily difficult test versus a reasonable one versus an easy one? Bad luck/good luck? Is it an adaptive "tailored" test that adjusts its questions based on your responses? (It's not supposed to be this). My theory is that a lot of it has to do with those 10 'fake questions' that Pearson throws in there that don't count for your score and you have no idea which ones they are that Pearson is using your/my test setting to assess their questions to use in future exams (maybe for aerospace engineering or something). Last week's test actually tested over reasonable topics versus the first test that asked math pedagogy questions that were super vague and calculus questions that were obscure and pretty bizarre.

    Thank you to all of you, especially TeacherGroupie, for your support and ideas. I wish you all (and I'm including you, FutureMathProf in my best wishes) happy holidays and many more fulfilling years as career educators.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 12, 2017

    Thanks for your good wishes, futureteacher2018, and for the further light you've shed on Indiana's test. I'm pleased to think that you'll have come out well with your retake.

    What causes a given test taker to get a given version of a test or subtest is, from all the evidence I've seen, pure randomness. The only teacher test I can think of that might possibly be computer-adaptive rather than simply computer-based is THEA in Texas - which also serves for college admissions, like SAT or ACT. I'll venture a guess that the test version you got might be one that dated from before the realignment of the test.

    I didn't finish explaining a few posts ago that a 20% non-passing rate on elementary-education subject-matter teacher tests is fairly standard and that I could envision a sensibly written test raising the non-passing rate by 10% or so but that a non-passing rate of 75% to 80% is simply odd. (All that these tests should be examining is subject-matter knowledge: pedagogy is a different piece of the puzzle, and most states have at least one test that focuses on methodology.) Am I correct in assuming that in Indiana, like most states, the majority of elementary-education teachers have undergraduate degrees in education? If that's so, then it would suggest either that, when it comes to identifying, recruiting and educating future teachers, all of Indiana's teacher-education programs are significantly more rotten than those of its neighbors, or that the test itself is the anomaly; Occam's razor suggests that the outlier is the test, not the programs.
     
  11. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    TeacherGroupie, Yes, 100% of Indiana teachers have their bachelor's degree and most have earned their masters. In order to sit for the exams, you must be part of a teacher ed program at an approved university. There are some alternative pathways for non-education degreed individuals who want to become a teacher. Those non education majors with masters or bachelors degrees in other areas must complete a minimum of an 18 month teacher certification. I don't know much about the alternate pathways as I am a traditional teacher candidate - i am going through a state university's teacher ed program.
    I am convinced that there is a problem with Pearson's tests, and I am convinced that this is the biggest reason for the teacher shortage crisis in Indiana. The State of Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction gave an interview to the Indy Star last month where she said that because of the teacher shortage, she was considering asking the State to allow school corps to waive the passing test score requirement for new teachers because so few are passing which is causing a major teacher shortage.
    Regarding the pedagogy versus content....There is a main elementary ed pedagogy exam that all teacher candidates must pass. It is quite easy. And then for me because I am a dual El Ed and Spec Ed major, there is another pedagogy-like Special Ed exam - which is priced like another pedagogy exam ($114 and 100 questions), but the passing rates on this are reasonable. It is the four sub-tests that all jacked up. On these tests, about a third of them are pedagogy based and two-thirds are content based. This is kind of interesting that we are being double-assessed on pedagogy by passing the main pedagogy exam plus pedagogy questions in the individual subject area exams. I think my last 4.5 years has been as good preparation that any college environment could be. My peers and I have been visiting elementary school classrooms since our freshmen year and we have had dozens of practicums, and then of course a full semester of student teaching. So I think that my ed program has been pretty realistic and it's prepared me (as best as a college setting can do) to teach in the real world. But, I must say that there was so much terminology on the exams that was completely new to me - I've never heard it before. It might as well have been a foreign language that I don't speak. I've spoken to the State and I've listened to the Pearson representative defend themselves at the monthly DOE meetings, and everyone points the finger at everyone else. The State blames Pearson. Pearson blames the universities, and the universities blame the student.
    I still have a couple of certification exams to go, and I am pretty confident that I will pass them. Now that I've graduated with my dual major of Elem Ed and Spec Ed and once I successfully pass all exams, I have decided that I will move away from Indiana to teach elsewhere. About 42 states have reciprocity with Indiana, meaning once I'm licensed in Indiana, 42 states (i am going from memory so don't quote me on that) will honor my Indiana license in their state without requiring me to take their state exams. Indiana DOE has declared war on new teacher candidates, and I'm not going to fight a war, I'm going to move to a state where they value smart, caring, energetic, passionate teachers.
     
  12. Patrick McMahon

    Patrick McMahon New Member

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    I'm glad to see people are still activity responding to this forum. Just today I took the four subset tests and I passed the reading and math just fine, but I did not pass the social studies or science tests. My biggest gripe with science and social studies is that the study guide I bought from Pearson was no help at all. Much of information on the practice test they provided me was not relevant to the actual exam itself. I am at a loss right now because trying to find study material for the science and social studies subsets is proving quite difficult. Does anyone have any advice on what I should be studying? I am having a hard time finding concrete information to study. Yet who knows, maybe the next time I take the tests the questions will be closer to the practice test I took and have less vague questions. Any advice would be helpful and to anyone taking their subsets good luck.
     
  13. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Cohort

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    Selling the ole' study guides and prep materials. Oh that Pearson.....what a business they've established for themselves.
     
  14. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2017

    PATRICK, I share your very same frustration about this. My only advice is to study the standards on DOE website and find an old praxis prep workbook at the library and check it out. Many of the practice work in those workbooks are quite elementary level since the praxis in Indiana used to be so much easier than Pearson. There is still some worthwhile knowledge refreshers content in those books. The parts that sucks the most is the 30 day waiting period before you can retake it again. Don’t get discouraged. I don’t know anyone who passed them all on the first attempt. Maybe your next round of the sub tests will be way different than the first round. I’ve been dividing the exams up one at a time so I can better prepare. If you have time to do this, that is what I suggest. Spend the next 30 devoted to Math or SS, take the exam, then if you pass, spend the next 30 days focused on the other topic. What state are you in? The SS is the lowest pass rate in Indiana. As low as 15-20%. It is very difficult. I haven’t even tried that one yet. If you are in Indiana, don’t forget that on the Science subtest there are also questions about PE and health and one the science subtest there are questions on fine arts. All subtests are a mix of subject matter questions and pedagogy for that specific subject matter. The good news is that you have the reading and science done. Have you already taken the main Pedagogy exam (005) if in Indiana? Keep your chin up, you can do it!!
     
  15. Patrick McMahon

    Patrick McMahon New Member

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    Thanks that was some pretty good advice! I have not taken the pedagogy test yet, but from what I can tell it is considered much easier than all of the other certification tests. I actually passed the math test and failed the science. I live in Indiana and I find some comfort that other people are also struggling with social studies. I don't graduate for another semester so thankfully I have time to take these tests.
     
  16. futureteacher2018

    futureteacher2018 Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2017

    Patrick, yes most people, including myself, found that the Pedagogy (005) was much easier than the any of the subtests. Pedagogy 005 currently has between an 80%-90% pass rate, depending on the university program you are coming from. It seems to me that DOE has not yet imposed the same difficulty change on this exam as they have on most of the others. Given that, my suggestion would be to go ahead and get that one done before DOE decide to lower the pass rate. It's $114 a test, so you don't want to have to repeat it if you can help it. You are smart to start these early. You are ahead of most of your peers. After you pass all of these, nobody cares if you scored a 220 or a perfect 300 - a pass is a pass. So one strategy is to just go ahead and invest the $45 per subtest and take them all even if you are not feeling well prepared - just to give you a little experience with it versus spending months preparing and then finding yourself in a time crunch. Just keep in mind the 30 day waiting period before you are allowed a retake. Also consider that testing centers have limited availability and some only offer these tests on certain days of the week. Reminder that Indiana DOE task force is supposed to be presenting a recommendation to DOE Board regarding the testing crisis in early January. Stay tuned to your local news for coverage of this. Keep in mind though that any change in the content or pass scores will take 6 months or more to implement. Stay positive!
     
  17. Abaughn

    Abaughn New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018

    I have passed all of my test needed to receive my K-3rd teaching license for Indiana, except the Early Childhood Generalist Subtest 2: Mathematics. I have taken that stinking thing 3 times! My last score that I received was 204. I am currently waiting for my current score. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this test passed? I'm feeling very discouraged! Any help is appreciated!
     
  18. Sohela

    Sohela New Member

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    I just passed it after several attempts and passed it this last time with a really high score surprisingly! What I did was try to remember as many questions as I could and once got in my car and jotted them all down, it did help because once I remembered one question all the others started popping up too and I just researched those and I think that's what helped me the most! Good luck! If anyone has any tips on how to study for early childhood pedagogy please share as there is no practice test for this exam! Thanks
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2018

    Congratulations!!! Excellent advice.
     

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