The PPR is one of the most important exams that you must pass in order to teach in the state of Texas.
Having the proper training that will prepare you for what to expect and the necessary knowledge to succeed is key to passing this essential test.
TExES PPR, or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities, “is designed to assess whether a test taker has the requisite knowledge and skills that an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools must possess,” according to the Texas Education Agency.
To obtain your standard certification, you must pass the PPR.
The PPR isn’t just any exam, however. To pass it, there is a lot you need to know heading into it that goes beyond the content itself.
Take Note Of Why People Do Not Pass The PPR
While pursuing any goal, it’s inevitable that some mistakes and failures will occur. However, understanding what some of the biggest barriers are to achieving success on the PPR can be helpful when pursuing this goal.
As Warren Buffett says, “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”
Choosing the right alternative teacher certification program that prepares its interns for the PPR is an important step when working to avoid common mistakes on the PPR. That’s because the best certification programs will include a component in their curriculum that is specifically designated to help prepare you for the PPR.
When it comes to the test itself, there are several common mistakes test takers make that can be avoided. These include:
Incorrectly reading the questions or rushing through the questions
Leaving a question blank, which is automatically marked incorrect
Not following the instructions, such as a question that states “Choose ALL the correct answers.”
Not taking into consideration the grade level that questions are referencing (you will not respond the same to a question that references an elementary student versus a high school student)
Placing an extra emphasis on some of the most commonly missed topics during your preparation can also be helpful. This is another reason why choosing an alternative teacher certification program that works to prepare you for the PPR can come in handy.
At ECAP, we have been able to research and isolate some of the topics most often missed by our interns so that we can help others who are in the process of preparing for the test. The topics most often missed by our interns are:
Developmental Stages and Characteristics (Competency 1)
Knowledge of English Language Learners (Competency 2)
Differentiating Instruction (Competency 2)
Designing Instruction (Competency 3)
The IEP Process (Competency 13)
It is also important to keep in mind that some questions require common sense answers. While many questions focus on topics you learned during your coursework, the PPR exam also wants to make sure you have the common sense required to become a teacher and to be able to handle everyday issues that do not have a standard answer.
Familiarize Yourself With Exam Questions
Although as much as we would like to see the exact questions on the test, that isn’t possible until it’s time to take it.
However, you can familiarize yourself with the different types of exam questions. This will help prepare you for how questions will be formatted so it will be easier to understand what is required of you.
The PPR includes selected response (or multiple choice) and constructed response (or essay) questions. Within the selected response questions, there are single questions and clustered questions.
Single questions offer a direct question or an incomplete statement. They may be in relation to a passage you must read, a movie clip you must watch or a table you must navigate.
Clustered questions comprise a stimulus and two or more questions that relate to that stimulus. These types of questions also may relate to a passage you must read, a movie clip you must watch or a table you must navigate.
The Texas Educator Certification Examination Program offers examples of each on its website.
For example, this question tests the test taker’s knowledge of Competency 6, which focuses on strategies for creating an environment that is productive and manages student behavior. This is an example of a single question style.
The children in a kindergarten classroom often become so engaged in their activities that the teacher has trouble getting them to stop what they are doing and begin transitioning to another activity. The teacher can best address this problem by using which of the following approaches?
Organize each activity in ways that prompt children to begin at a high level of energy and then shift gradually to lower energy levels
Establish a routine in which the teacher begins each day by discussing with the class the planned schedule of activities for that day
Assign individual children, on a rotating basis, to help the teacher monitor and direct transitions from one activity to the next
Establish an agreed-upon signal, such as clapping or ringing a bell, that alerts children that it is time to pay attention
When reading over this question, it is important to review the question critically. This question addresses the teacher of young children, who often become distracted or engrossed by what they are doing.
An effective way a teacher can overcome this is by creating new habits to a stimulus that the children will recognize. Therefore, the best answer is:
D: Establish an agreed-upon signal, such as clapping or ringing a bell, that alerts children that it is time to pay attention
No matter which style of question you are answering, it is important to read each question carefully and critically. Eliminate any answers initially that are obviously wrong, and then focus on the purpose of the question.
Get Help Preparing For The PPR
To help our interns have a successful experience when taking the PPR, ECAP incorporates training into our curriculum. This is an important aspect of any alternative teacher certification program that should not be overlooked when choosing the right program for you.
The PPR is one of the most important requirements as you pursue your teaching career. That is why we want to help you pass the test so that you can get started.
To help individuals maximize their preparation for this critical test, we are also offering in-person PPR review training courses. If you are already enrolled with ECAP, this review training is part of your curriculum and you will be notified of your specific training dates. No registration or payment is required.
If you are not enrolled with ECAP, good news! You can still sign up for this course.
Each full-day session includes:
A brief review of the study materials and an extended workshop in best practices and techniques for the PPR exam questions, including:
How to approach unfamiliar question formats
Suggested approaches for common question formats
What kind of study materials you need
How to develop the best study plan
The best study materials to use
Other tips for success
A full length practice exam and on-site grading
Preparing for your PPR can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Having an alternative teacher certification program by your side as you learn the ins and outs of the test and the ways to prepare is key to setting yourself up for the best possible outcome.
More information about upcoming training dates, course fees and location can be found on our site.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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7166 Baker Blvd., Suite B · Richland Hills, Texas 76118 Phone 817-284-7731 | Fax 817-284-3396