On Saturday I went to a nearby ETS testing center and took the Pre-Professional Skills Tests (a.k.a. PPST or PRAXIS I). The testing environment was computer-based, and in this it resemble the General GRE, which I took many moons ago as a college senior. The content of the test was much more like the ACT: three sections on Reading, Writing and Mathematics. This exam is essentially the first of many hurdles that my states education department makes all students go through on the path to certification.
Im happy to report that I passed the PPST, or at least the Reading and Math components. (Writing still has to wait a few weeks for my essay to be graded, but Im not worried.) Despite a history of excelling at standardized testing, I was quite nervous for this exam! As usual the best advice is to get lots of rest and use smart test-taking strategies, both of which I more or less managed to do. Technically in passing this exam I have now solidified my *entrance* into the teacher education program at my school.
In a year or so, Ill be looking at the PRAXIS II, which is the content-based exam, sort of like a subject GRE but for teaching certification. This will be a do-or-die you pass or youre out scenario, and Ill be doing it in both Mathematics and Music. Even with the copious time before I must jump that hurdle, Im already anxious. My skills for those tests are either very atrophied or still yet to be acquired! I guess thats the point of going back to school, isnt it?