FTCE Test Taking Tips

To earn a professional teacher certification in Florida, candidates must first demonstrate mastery through successful test scores in areas of general knowledge, subject specificity, and professional education. Candidates wishing to hold an administrative position, such as school principal, must also pass the three-part FELE. That’s a lot of tests for potential or current educators, and the process can be stressful.

The good news is that candidates have already repeatedly demonstrated their abilities to take tests and their knowledge mastery. Before taking a certification examination, potential teachers most likely took a college entrance exam (such as an SAT or ACT test) and have already earned at least a bachelor’s degree, which required numerous exams and proficiency demonstrations along the way. So, relax! This is just another step on the path to becoming a Florida certified teacher or educational instructional leader.

To be as prepared as possible, consider the following tips for successful test taking.

Before Test Day

  • Familiarize yourself with the test location ahead of time. If possible, drive to the site before the test day to gauge traffic and any parking concerns.
  • If your schedule allows, enter the building to find the examination room prior to the test date.
  • If you will be arriving from out of town, secure your accommodations in advance and be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to arrive and unwind.
  • Eat a healthy dinner and plan to go to bed early so you can get plenty of rest. Avoid alcohol.

On the Day of the Test

  • Eat a healthy breakfast so you don’t become distracted from hunger or need an energy pick-me-up during the test.
  • Dress comfortably. Consider wearing socks and loose, comfortable shoes, and bring a jacket in case the room is cool.
  • Arrive early so you don’t feel rushed and you have time to calm yourself down after arriving, parking, and entering the building.

What to Bring

  • Proof of registration (admission ticket)
  • Driver’s license or similar picture identification
  • A watch/timepiece so you can keep track of time requirements and pace yourself properly
  • Money for lunch (bring change for vending machines)
  • Sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers, and a blue- or black-ink ballpoint pen if taking an essay
  • (NOTE: Supplies may be provided for test taking in the exam room, but candidates should bring their own appropriate pencils and pens in the event that materials are not available.)

What NOT to Bring

  • Your cell phone should be left at home or in your car and not brought into the exam room.
  • Any self-protection devices, bulky bags, or study aids should be left at home or in your car.
  • If you are not sure about what is allowed and what is not, contact the number provided to you when you register for an exam to get additional questions answered.

Test-Taking Strategies

  • Carefully read instructions about the examination protocol and make sure you clearly understand what to do and how the answers should be marked. Make sure your answers are marked clearly, as instructions indicate on the answer sheet. If you need to change an answer, make sure the previous answer choice is erased thoroughly.
  • Carefully read each question and then every response in its entirety before making your answer selection. Make sure you remain calm, focused, and attentive to detail so that a small fact or point doesn’t get overlooked.
  • Realize that questions may not always be as they seem, and an initial first response may or may not always be the correct answer.
  • Consider reading the entire test and marking only the answers you feel confident in and then returning to the other questions and carefully reviewing them again to determine the answer.
  • Check on occasion that you are coding your answers correctly, especially if you are answering out of order. Double-check that your answer choice corresponds to the correct question on the answer sheet.
  • Keep pace of how much time you have. While you want to make sure you have ample time to complete all the questions, it is ill advised to rush through and turn in your exam when excessive time still remains. If you finish early, leisurely look over your answers again and double-check your work.
  • Never leave a FTCE test question blank. Even if you don’t know the answer, chances are good you can at least eliminate one or two options, making the chance of selecting the right answer greater.
  • Before turning in your examination, make sure no excessive or stray marks appear on the answer sheet that could inadvertently affect the grading.
    Allow enough time to be able to review your completed exam before turning it in.