How to Pass the Assessment of Professional Teaching Test

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The Assessment of Professional Teaching or APT test is required to obtain an educator license in the state of Illinois. The test measures an individual's understanding of the principles of effective teaching and is administered by Pearson Educational Services. It is available in three different grade levels as well as a specialized special education version. Teaching candidates can increase their likelihood of passing this required assessment by familiarizing themselves with the test parts as well as the general topics that will appear on the examination.

  • Familiarize yourself with the test format. All Assessment of Professional Teaching tests consist of 120 multiple choice questions and two essay-style extended response sections. Be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge both through the answering of multiple choice questions and through the composition of an essay.

  • Know what constitutes a passing score. The Assessment of Professional Teaching is scored on a scale that ranges from 100 to 300. A minimum score of 240 is required to pass the test. You must also achieve a minimum score in each of four areas of the test--reading comprehension, mathematics, language arts and writing; if you score below the minimum score in any one of these areas, a total score of 240 overall will still not pass the APT.

  • Review the test objectives. The test objectives can be found in the Assessment of Professional Teaching Study Guide. See the Resource section of this article for a link to this guide. The list of objectives shows test candidates what specific information they are responsible for knowing.

  • Highlight any terms within the objectives with which you are not familiar. Reference your teaching texts to find the meaning of unknown terms. You will likely be able to find many of these terms in texts that you have used throughout the completion of your teacher education program.

  • Make a list of the definitions of unfamiliar vocabulary. Create study notes by copying each highlighted term onto a sheet of notebook paper and then writing a definition next to each term.

  • Create notecards from your list. Copy the terms and accompanying definitions onto notecards. This practice increases the likelihood that you will remember the information as you have copied the information once again. It also creates a study system that you can use to prepare for the test.

  • Study your notecards. In the days leading up to the assessment, quiz yourself with your notecards. You can also seek help and ask friends or family members to quiz you on the terms.

  • Take the pre-assessment several days before the test. A pre-assessment is available in the study guide.

  • Score your pre-assessment. Grade the pre-assessment using the answers that are also provided in the study guide.

  • Study carefully any questions that you missed on the pre-assessment to ensure that you won’t miss similar questions on the actual test.

  • Follow standard test day procedures. As with any assessment, you will be more successful in your test taking attempt if you ensure that you get adequate sleep the night before the test and eat a filling breakfast on test day.

  • Answer every question. There is no guessing penalty on the Assessment of Professional Teaching. Be certain to answer every question as failure to put an answer will result in missing the question 100 percent of the time.

  • Budget your time. Pay attention to the time remaining as you take the test and ensure that you leave adequate time for the answering of the extended response questions.

References

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