June 26, 2006

Certification tests

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:21 pm by mrsmauck

Well I’ve now taken my first teacher certification tests. The Oklahoma General Education Test was quite easy, even the math. It’s almost like it’s just testing to be sure you have a college education: a big reading section, a big (simple) math section, a smaller science section, and a sliver of history, government, and fine arts. The essay question was actually about a journalism situation, coincidentally: should the press report on the private lives of public officials? Of course, the answer is yes, if their private lives are newsworthy, and no if it constitutes invasion of privacy or their actions are not newsworthy. I’d studied the four forms of invasion of privacy, so I figured, why not use it? and structured my response around those four points.

In the afternoon, I took the Journalism Oklahoma Subject Area Test. It was actually a really interesting test: almost all hypothetical situations in the journalism classroom, in which the answers could all be right, but only one was the best. However, of all the journalism history and law I studied, probably only one or two questions were on there representing things I’d actually studied. I mostly drew on my experience working at a newspaper, my journalism classes at OU, and even the book All the President’s Men. My essay was a response to a student’s article for the school newspaper. Good grief, that article had some serious problems. But of course, I would tell the student the positive aspects of the article first, and then lay into the errors and omissions.

I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoys taking tests: I get an excited adrenaline rush the night before and when the test is placed before me. I enjoy brainteasers and learning challenges I suppose.

We’ll see in a month how well my adrenaline served me!



  1. Tim Fredrick's ELA Teaching Blog said,

    Most tests – including teacher certification tests – aren’t about the subject matter, but rather how to take tests well. I just took my last certification exam in order to get my permanent certification. It was a content specialty test in English. What was weird was that there was stuff on the test that I would never have the opportunity to teach my students!

  2. Ms. H said,

    Congrats!! It sounds like it went well! You’ll have to keep us posted, ok?

  3. Kim said,

    Thanks for the reassurance, Tim and ms.h! I’ll be taking my English subject area test this fall, and I was actually under the impression that there was a lot of knowledge-based questions on it: authors, literary genres, the classics, etc.

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