Section 2: Suggested Preparation Techniques
The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Exams
This section of the preparation manual provides information to help you prepare to take the AAFCS exams.
The examinations are objective tests composed of four-option selected-response questions, each of which has only one correct response. Your score is based upon the number of items answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing. Each examination is composed of 100 items. The specific content being assessed by the 100 items on each examination follows the exam specifications outlined in the next section of this preparation manual. In addition to each item being associated with a Domain or Area of Study, the items are also designed to assess appropriate cognitive levels necessary for competent practice. Specifically, some items assess at the lower level, or "knowledge/recall"; some at the middle levels, or "comprehension and application"; and some at higher order levels, or "analysis, synthesis, and evaluation." More information regarding cognitive levels are defined in Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
Studying for the Examination
The examination measures two things: your knowledge of the subject matter and your ability to take an examination. The first depends on your preparation and experience in your chosen field of family and consumer sciences. You can improve in this area through study. The second area depends on self-confidence and your experience with selected-response questions. It also depends upon your ability to recognize related information or solutions to problem situations.
Your preparation should include a self-study reading program, as well as other refresher activities including attending professional meetings and workshops, listening to recordings of presentations made at professional meetings, and taking academic or noncredit courses. This preparation manual is an excellent resource providing a reference list of study materials.
If you have recently graduated or are still completing your baccalaureate degree, review your course outlines, notes, and other materials that relate to the content of the examination. Read for the broad perspective, then go back and identify logical divisions into categories or units, noting both the trends and the relationships between ideas and between units, and listing major points, ideas, and conclusions.
Tips for Taking an Examination
- Try to avoid situations that would trigger emotions such as worry, anger, depression, and lack of confidence right before the exam day. These emotions interfere with memory and are sometimes called "memory thieves."
- Arrive at the examination well-rested.
- Over-study to build self-confidence and to remind yourself just how much you know, but don't study so much that you feel overwhelmed.
- Follow directions! If you read them too quickly, you may miss something important.
- Read each item very carefully. Don't jump to conclusions based upon a quick skimming of the wording.
- See if you can answer the item before looking at the four-response options.
- Never think you have immediately spotted the correct response.
- Answer each item—guess if necessary. Your score is based upon the number of items you respond to correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.
- If you are not sure of an answer, look for clues in the item and even in the choices. If you are able to eliminate some options, your chances of being correct if guessing are improved.
- Use your time wisely. Don't waste time worrying about those you cannot answer with certainty. Guess intelligently, select an answer, and if you have time at the end, return for a second look. By then, you may have remembered something, or had a memory "jogger."
- Review information on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website about the exam day experience. It is important that you understand details about admission procedures, required identification, test center rules, computer-administered testing, etc. Being familiar with these details will reduce your anxiety.
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