How I Prepared for the Deaded Teacher Exams

These tests can really feel overwhelming. Really, really overwhelming. As someone who has now passed all of the exams to become a teacher (Insert clapping emoji here, lol), I wanted to reflect on how I studies for these exams and share some strategies and resources for others who have yet to complete the dreaded exams.


My first suggestion is that you take one subtest/domain/content area at a time. Personally, I knew when I began looking into the CBEST exam and all that it entails, that my brain could not handle testing all three content areas at the same time. So, I decided to break each test down (writing, reading and math), but that was a personal preference... I know plenty of people who tackled all 3 tests and passed them with ease. I decided to do this for the CSET too. I started each test by ordering the books linked below. Each book proved to be extremely useful and helped me along each step. Big hint... ask around in your local community for used/gently used study guides/books because let's face it, once you pass the test you will NEVER want to look at it again. Reviewing and studying for with each content area was my first step. Every time a studied, I reviewed and highlighted like crazy.

CBEST

CSET


I found another great opportunity that TCSJ introduced me to: Teacher Test Prep. Teachers Test Prep (TTP) is an amazing resource that can be utilized for a small fee where you are able to take sample tests to access your areas of strength and growth in the content areas of the CSET. If you decide to purchase, you have six months access to videos, slideshows, advanced diagnostics and full-length practice tests. As a TCSJ student, you can even get a discount for TTP, so call and ask them about that before you sign up.


For the RICA I opted to try an alternate source. I had to take this test during COVID and I had been warned how hard it was so I really wanted to ensure that I only had to take it once. The resource RICA Prep 101 is an online, self-paced course (FYI, if you purchase the VIP membership, upon completion of the course, you can purchase a Professional Development Unit from TCSJ). The instructor goes over each domain of the test and helps with questions at the end of each unit. I took this course and was diligent about my notes and passed the RICA on the first attempt!


If you take anything away from this blog, I hope it's that you need to study. This is not a series of tests that you can just pass on a whim, some might be common sense but some of the content areas are things you have not thought about in many years. Trust me you don't want to have to take these tests more than once.