Test Strategies for the PPR, TExES

Test Strategies for TExES Exams
Sharon Duncan, BA.Ed
Antonio J. Castro, M.Ed.
Work smarter, not harder!
Overview of the PPR
 The PPR test of the TExES will compromise approximately
90 questions, including 10 field test questions.
 80 questions will be scored and be distributed about evenly
across the 13 competencies.
 You must make at least 240 points to pass.
 The test is designed to take less that 2.5 hours; however, you
may use the entire 5 hour testing period.
Content exams cover PPR
 Content tests cover a certain amount of content, but also
request that pedagogy – the HOW of teaching – is included.
Therefore, studying PPR questions helps you to see the
connection between teaching content and managing students.
 You must make at least 240 points to pass.
 Exams are designed to take less that 2.5 hours; however, you
may use the entire 5 hour testing period.
Questions on the Content and PPR
 Single question items
 Cluster question items (using involving two or three
questions connected to the same scenario)
 Teacher Decision Sets (a series of questions following a
scenario through various stages)
Before Studying the Strategies
Before the strategies, you must know the content material. The information on the PPR
come from the 13 competencies.You should know the information related to these
competencies and the competencies themselves. Take 5-10 minutes to review
Domain 1: Designing instruction and assessment to promote student
learning.You must know student development, diversity, curriculum
and state standards, learning processes.
Domain 2: Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom
Environment.You must know how to establish a positive,
learning classroom environment where students feel safe
and can learn without interference from other students; use of
procedures and safety rules that manage learning time.
Domain 3: Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and
Assessment. You must know how to communicate effectively with
students, provide instruction that actively engages students, incorporate
the effective use of technology to plan, organize, deliver, and evaluate
instruction, and monitor student performance and achievement,
providing students with timely and quality feedback.
Domain 4: Fulfilling professional Roles and Responsibilities.
You must know the importance of family involvement and how
to interact with parents and guardians; how to enhance
professional knowledge and interact with staff and faculty;
and you must adhere to legal and ethical requirements for
educations and know the structure of education in Texas.
What Nath & Cohen Say
 Don’t skip questions.
 Mark on the test.
 Visualize the scenario.
 Make sure the answer choice matches the question.
 Determine which competency is being tested.
 Know the competencies and key terms.
Sample Question 1
 Ms. Morrison realizes that assessment is a vital part of the teaching-
learning cycle. She sets up her lessons so that student peers assess
performance tasks, and she uses informal observations and discussions to
assess students’ work on performance tasks. What other assessment tool
would be effective to ensure she is adequately assessing diversity in her
A. She administers at least five quizzes and four essay type exams per
subject every grading period.
B. She gives two spelling tests each week.
C. She places students in cooperative groups in order to complete several
performance tasks related to the stated objectives of the lessons.
D. She sends a note home when her students do not seem to understand.
(TExES PPR by REA, 4-8 PPR questions)
Sample Question 1 discussion
The steps to approaching a questions include:
1. identify the scenario
Age range of students (if applicable)
Goal of scenario
2. use process of elimination (POE)
3. make a final decision, considering:
 Note keys words like assessment and diversity. Are they
being used properly?
 What answer choices don’t address the question?
 Which answers do not solve the problem?
 Is there a magic number of assessments each grading period?
Correct answer: C
Performing tasks give students the opportunity to do hands-on
activities that allow them to work together. Placing students
in cooperative groups encourages tolerance and
understanding between students.
A is wrong since traditional tests and quizzes do little to enable
teachers to demonstrate the significance of student diversity
for assessment.
B is wrong since spelling tests do not address diversity.
D is wrong for the same reason.
What to Eliminate
 Choices that answer the wrong question (focus on goals
of scenario)
 Choices that contradict accepted educational theories
and practices or Texas state law.
 Choices that make things easy for the teacher.
 Choices that use extreme language.
 Choices that upset parents/caregivers, other teachers, or
school administrators.
Sample Question #2 Answers
A. He wants them to know that he can overrule them at any
B. He believes that this action will reduce his problems with
C. He knows that involving students in developing rules and
procedures is an effective method of managing students
D. He feels that the students will respect him more.
 Which answers can be eliminated and why?
Sample Question #2
 Mr. Silva teaches sixth-grade language arts. At the beginning of
every school year, he spends the first five days of schools setting up
rules and procedures. Before school begins, Mr. Silva prepares a
list of rules and procedures he wants the students to learn and
follow. The first day of class he passes out the list and gives
students time to read it. He goes over each rule and procedure
with the students and asks for their comments about the fairness
of each. May students do comment, and when Mr. Silva feels the
comments are justified, he changes or modifies the rule or
procedure. When he and the students are satisfied, he begins
practicing the procedures with the students. When the students
demonstrate knowledge of the classroom procedures, Mr. Silva
begins to teach course content. Why does Mr. Silva involve the
students in the creation of classroom rules and procedures?
(TExES PPR by REA, 4-8 PPR questions)
Sample Question #2 steps
 First, identify the scenario
 What is the age range?
 What is the goal?
 Then, use POE to narrow down the choices
 Make a final decision.
Sample Question 3 Answers
A. modify her class discussion questions so that they are not as
difficult for girls to answer.
B. ask the boys to stop responding to discussion questions in
class, so that the girls have a chance to respond.
C. have students write down their responses, taking up the
written responses to check for accuracy.
D. call on students for responses in class, making sure she calls
on girls as often as boys.
Which answers are not “perfect world” answers and why? What
is the question?
Sample Question 3 question
 Ms. Almond notices that the boys in her class always seem to call
out the answers to the questions. Although girls make up almost
half of the class, they rarely seem to answer questions introduced
in class discussions.
 What is the answer? D – call on students
 This technique has the teacher in charge, facilitating, with the
procedures set that students do not call out answers but call on
students in a way that gives equal time for responses, giving all
students the opportunity to answer. Hopefully, she will use higherlevel, critical thinking questions that make students think!
(TExES PPR by REA, 8-12 PPR questions)
Look for Key Words
 One very successful strategy is to define each competency
and make a list of essential key words or concepts.
 When addressing a question, if you can identify the
competency, the key words will clue you into the answer.
 If you cannot identify the competency, identify the major
area and determine the best practice for managing students
and learning time.
Example of Key Words for Competencies
Lifelong learning
Positive environment
Developmentally appropriate
Moral development
Zone of proximal development
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Plagiarism and fair use
Scope and Sequence
Operant Conditioning
site-based management
(For more key words, see the Nath & Cohen texts, at the beginning of each
“Red Pepper” Words (Kaplan)
 These are words that usually indicate a wrong answer:
 List
 Handout
 All students
 Predetermined
 Precisely
 Worksheets
 Lecture
 confront
“Green Pepper” Words (Kaplan)
 These are words that could indicate a correct answer
 Most likely
 Most appropriate
 Except
 First step
 Primary purpose
 Higher-order thinking
 Model
 Foster
Sample Question #4
Ms. Morrison is a first year teacher who has accepted a position as a
first grade math teacher. In college, her love was math and science, so
she is eager to begin working with students so that in addition to
teaching reading skills, she can teach them to enjoy mathematics and
relate math to science. Of the many tasks that she must perform,
which is likely to have the most significant impact on her students’
A. Having a wide variety of teaching material ready and available.
B. Making the room look inviting by creating bulletin boards
depicting students of many nations.
C. Personally contacting the parents or guardians of each student.
D. Coordinating her math activities with reading activities.
(TExES PPR by REA, EC-4 PPR questions)
Sample Question #4 Answer and
 The correct answer is C because making a personal contact
with each child’s parent or guardian is the most crucial task
that a teacher can perform in order to assure the success of
 Meanwhile, having a variety of teaching materials (A) is
important but not the most important factor for student
success. Using bulletin boards and representing students
from many nations (B) is also important for making students
feel at home but is less important than C. Coordinating math
and reading activities is useful (D) but does not ensure
student success like teacher-parent contact.
Most significant rule:
Know what the question is asking and how
the perfect teacher will ensure success for
all students!!!
As you work through the EDTC 3000 textbooks,
taking a personal quiz at the end of each chapter and
studying why answers are best and wrong is
imperative. We will discuss your questions and
relevance to age group and characteristics sometime
during each class period, so have questions ready.