No matter in what state you plan to teach elementary school, you are required to take a teacher licensing exam – and pass it – to obtain certification. Many times, the anxiety for this knowledge-based test surpasses that of most of the college courses you take in your education course of study.
It is, therefore, even more disturbing to realize that over half of prospective teachers fail the teacher certification exam the first time, regardless of which test they take. Whether it is a case of extreme nerves, lack of exam preparation, inadequate knowledge retention or if required teacher-prep courses do not align with the material being tested, the fact remains that if a potential teacher wants to teach, they must pass the exam.
What can examinees do to prevent failure? Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are strategies that can help ensure success.
- Start planning for the exam EARLY in your senior year or even late in your junior year of college. Know which test you are taking for your state, when it is offered, the cost, what happens if you do not pass, etc.
- Obtain a study guide for the test or tests you will take and read them. Complete as many practice tests as possible to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that are asked, as well as the subject matter that is evaluated.
- If you perform poorly on the practice exams, try to determine why. Insufficient knowledge or misunderstanding the subject matter can be remedied by taking additional college courses (since you are preparing ahead, this is doable) or taking an online class in addition to your regular education courses.
There is no shame in failing your teacher licensing exam. However, lack of preparation should never be the reason. In most cases, if you follow these guidelines, you should not only pass your test, but do well. Good luck!