Is there a 'loophole' to the state teaching exams?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DreamerSeeker, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. DreamerSeeker

    DreamerSeeker Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2019

    I want to be a biology teacher, but to get a teaching license in my state (Pennsylvania), I need to pass the Praxis core exams (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics).

    Here's where the problem lies...I SUCK at math. I mean I am beyond hopeless when it comes to mathematics. Never in my life have I ever passed a math test as a student in school. But I can pass a high school biology exam with no problem at all. But, of course, I can't be a licensed teacher until I pass the Praxis core exams.

    Is there any kind of "loophole" or any way around the Praxis core math where I can get a state teaching license without taking the math exam?
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Apr 19, 2019

    Unless I’m mistaken, there is no loophole. It still has to be taken, but a higher undergrad GPA can compensate for a lower score on the Praxis 5161:

    https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/BecomeAnEducator/Pages/default.aspx

    https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/CertTestingRequirements/Pages/default.aspx

    My suggestion is to hire a good tutor and to get a study guide. The PDE website has some suggestions.

    Also, it should be noted:

    “When the new passing scores go into effect, PDE will not be able to supply qualifying scores based on GPA until the test has been operational for some time. PDE will announce these when they become available.
    • The qualifying scores based on GPA for the Mathematics Content Knowledge test (5161) have been updated. See testing chart for corrected calculations.”
    You need to pass the test; otherwise, certification is out of the question.

    Good luck!
     
  4. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Apr 19, 2019

    No! Get out that mindset and do some math! Imagine you flip that.

    "Here's where the problem lies...I SUCK at reading. I mean I am beyond hopeless when it comes to reading. Never in my life have I ever passed a reading test as a student in school. But I can pass a high school biology exam with no problem at all. But, of course, I can't be a licensed teacher until I pass the Praxis core exams."
     
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  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Apr 19, 2019

    Also, I’ve taken my fair share of biology or biology-related courses (Honors Biology, Biology 2 Honors, AP Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry, etc.) and in every class I’ve had to do mathematics in some form, so I’m not sure how you’re supposed to teach biology without doing mathematics... For example, Punett Square problems involving dihybrid crosses, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, oxygen-disassociation curves, reaction rate problems, Chi-squared distribution problems, etc., and the list goes on and on.

    I mean, here is an AP Biology math review packet: https://www.sps186.org/downloads/basic/439154/AP Biology Math Review1to23.pdf

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but you might want to re-evaluate your chosen career path...
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Guru

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    Apr 19, 2019

    Actually, you would/will need to pass a certain number of credits of math just to earn your undergrad degree. The exception would be testing out of math due to very high math scores on the SAT, ACT, etc. I even find it hard to believe you got, or can get, into college if your math scores and college exams are reflecting "never passed a math test." As a science teacher, I can concur that you really can't weed out math from the STEM courses, nor should you want to. If your post is factual, not hyperbole, then you probably won't have to worry about having to take those basic level tests, because you need a certain proficiency in math to be accepted to college. You may benefit going to community college to "learn how to learn" at the college level. Additionally, if you start having some success in math, you may be able to exceed your expectation of failure and use self study to acquire math credits by passing the CLEP exams.

    For what it's worth, if you have finished your undergrad degree, and you are certain that you can't pass the Praxis core exams, you were cheated out of an education that should be well rounded, including math. I'm sorry that you may not be able to follow your dream to teaching, but maybe you could use that as incentive to learn the math even if you think it is impossible. I, too, favor an excellent tutor. Good luck.
     
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  7. Aces

    Aces Cohort

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    Apr 20, 2019

    So... You want to cheat, basically?

    The maths and the sciences go hand in hand. You can't teach the sciences w without teaching maths too. And not only that in a high school setting depending on the school, you may or may not have a choice in the science subjects you teach. For instance this school year I've taught 9th graders through 12th graders and bio to physics.
     
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  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2019

    This is exactly what I was going to post.
     
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  9. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Apr 20, 2019

    I felt the same way. I have, (which I learned several years after taking this test, adn finishing my regular education) dyscalcia. Diagnosed by my Learning Disabilities teacher while I was getting my Masters in Special Education. I would forget how to do simple problems just a week after doing them successfully. So, knowing I had an issue with math, and before I knew the name of it, I bought a book called "All the math you would ever need" by Steve Slavin (last name spelling might be off). That is how I passed. Math ended up being my second highest sub score on that test. I am now able to teach Special Education math classes (me, a social studies/history teacher now does PD's with the math teachers :D:)

    Give that book or one similar a try, trust me it will work
     
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  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 22, 2019

    Let me recommend this post about a different state's similar test: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/...i-dont-get-scaled-scores.204956/#post-2089294

    Math anxiety feels crushing but can be dealt with. Bookstores and the internet are full of fine self-help resources - but for you, DreamerSeeker, I'd really and truly recommend working with a live person who's good at math and really, really good at helping people who struggle with math. The math department of the nearest community college might have some leads.
     
  11. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Apr 25, 2019

    I was always bad at math in high school, but when I got to college, I was required to take a math course. I took a course that was designed for teachers (elementary) to teach math. It changed my life. The class showed math concepts in a different way than I was taught in school, and for whatever reason something clicked. Possibly look into taking a similar class. Look for a basic math topics course for educators.
     
  12. Baroness

    Baroness Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2019

    Just get some basic math books and study. You definitely need to know some math with science. I'm sure that you will do fine.
     

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