PREPARING FOR THE TEST
The purpose of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators® (GACE®) is to assess the knowledge and skills of prospective Georgia public school educators. The GACE program helps the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) meet its goal of ensuring that candidates have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job of an educator in Georgia public schools. The GACE are aligned with state and national standards for educator preparation and with state standards for the P–12 student curriculum (Georgia Performance Standards).
This preparation guide provides information to help you prepare to take the GACE as follows:
- This section includes information about available resources and their use in understanding the design and content of the assessment, and strategies for success on the day of the test.
- The following sections contain sample test questions and additional test materials to assist you in your preparation.
Understanding the Design and Content of the Test
The content knowledge assessed by the GACE is described in the test design and framework for each assessment. You may view, print, or download the test design and framework for any GACE assessment by selecting "Prepare / Test Designs and Frameworks" on the GACE Web site at www.gace.nesinc.com. This section describes how to use the test design and framework to understand both the design and content of each GACE assessment.
Read the test design to familiarize yourself with the structure of the assessment. The test design outlines the following assessment components:
- the content areas covered on each test within the assessment
- the approximate number of questions in each content area
- the types of questions (selected-response questions and constructed-response assignments) contained on each test
- the percentage of your total test score derived from each test section for tests that contain both a selected-response and a constructed-response section
The following example illustrates the information provided by the test design.
Read the test framework to understand the content covered by the assessment and to determine your preparedness to test. The test framework for each assessment is organized into subareas, objectives, and descriptive statements as follows:
- Subareas define the major content domains of the test. Subareas typically consist of several objectives. The number of objectives may vary, depending on the breadth of content contained in the subarea.
- Objectives define the knowledge and skills that Georgia educators and teacher educators have determined to be important for educators to possess. Each objective is expanded upon by descriptive statements.
- Descriptive statements provide examples of the range, type, and level of content that may appear on the test for questions measuring the objective.
Test questions are designed to measure specific test objectives. The number of objectives within a subarea generally determines the number of selected-response test questions that will address that subarea's content on the test. Subareas that consist of more objectives will receive more emphasis on the test than subareas that consist of fewer objectives.
The following example from the Early Childhood Education test framework illustrates the relationship of a selected-response test question to the subarea, objective, and descriptive statement in the framework to which it corresponds. This same direct relationship between selected-response test questions and their corresponding objectives applies to all GACE assessments.
Strategies for Success on the Day of the Test
Review the following strategies to help you do your best when taking the GACE.
|Follow directions||Listen to and follow all test directions. This includes the oral directions given by the test administrators and any written directions.|
|Pace your work||The test schedule is designed to allow sufficient time for you to complete your test. Before taking the test, you may wish to calculate the approximate amount of time you can spend on each selected-response test question and any constructed-response assignments so as to complete the test comfortably within the test session. Be sure to leave time to check your answers. If you are unable to answer a question within the amount of time you have budgeted for it, you may wish to flag the item and go back to it later.|
|Read carefully||Do not try to save time by skimming directions or by reading the test questions quickly. You may miss important information and instructions.|
|Determine the "best answer"||Your response to each selected-response question should be the best answer of the alternatives provided. Read and evaluate all four answer choices before deciding which one is best.|
|Guess wisely||Your results on the selected-response section of the test will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly. You will not be penalized for guessing. If you are unsure about a question, use your knowledge of the content area to eliminate as many of the alternatives as you can. Then select among the remaining choices.|
|Designate your answers carefully||Your responses to the selected-response
questions will be scored electronically. It is very important for you to designate your
answers carefully. If you skip questions,
be sure to go back later to answer them.
You may wish to use remaining time at the end of the test session to check the accuracy of your work.
|Respond to the constructed-response assignment(s) fully
|If the test you are taking contains a constructed-response assignment, be sure to read and respond to each part of the assignment. It is important for scorers to be able to understand your response. Also, make sure that you have recorded your response to the constructed-response assignment as instructed.|
In addition to the preparation materials describing the test design and content, the GACE program offers the following worksheets to assist candidates in evaluating their preparedness to test:
- Assessment Preparation Worksheet—Assists candidates in reviewing their certification testing requirements, tracking their test preparation, and evaluating their preparedness to test.
- Mapping the Test Framework to Courses Taken—Enables candidates to assess whether they have had instruction in the knowledge and skills tested by the GACE assessments in their college course work to date.
- Analyzing Test Results for Candidates Retaking a Test—Helps candidates analyze their test results to identify areas of weakness in their performance to better focus their studies when preparing to retake a GACE test.
Evaluation Systems, Pearson, P.O. Box 226, Amherst, MA 01004