Sorry it’s been a LOOOOOONG while since I posted anything… well… time to unleash the tips from our August crop, ya?
Charity Choplin English of Houston, TX
“My study marathon began in May of this year. At first, I spent maybe a few hours per week just familiarizing myself with my materials and getting organized. Then I spent maybe 10 hours per week focusing on the exam. I read the PassTheBigABA Exam manual from cover to cover, alongside the Cooper book and BDS modules. I found it helpful to go back and forth and read what each author said about a given topic. That was helpful when seeking clarification on a term with which I struggled. I didn’t use SAFMEDS or study groups, though I’m sure that’s helpful for many people. The thing that helped me most was marking off sections of completion with a highlighter. My studying behaviors were highly reinforced by seeing sections highlighted from my list. I would also suggest that doing the BDS modules was the best preparation for me. I feel that the modules were more requiring than the exam which was perfect because I knew more than I even needed to take the test.
“The evening before the exam, I left my family to fend for themselves for dinner and I ordered Chinese and checked into a nice hotel nearby. I watched TV, ate fortune cookies, and casually perused my manual. I didn’t allow myself to feel any pressure to shove anything else into my brain. I accepted that I knew some things, and other things I probably didn’t. The next morning, I took it slow – ordered breakfast in, looked over a handful of definitions, and then drove the 45 minutes to the exam. During the exam, I found it helpful to pause often, look up or away from the questions, and just breathe deeply. I also found that a break was necessary, so I made myself leave the room, have a snack, and clear my head. Most importantly, I recommend that people study all throughout grad school for this exam. It shouldn’t be a sprint.
“I am a 2014 graduate of University of Houston-Clear Lake. I currently work as a supervisor in a clinical classroom that serves children ages 8 through 12. My professional challenge is all about bridging the gap from strict DTT typically used with early learners to more independent learning and school-readiness skills. I love learning more about my profession each day and hope to continue to build my clinical skills in this position for quite a while.”
Thanks, Charity! It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Take your time, be prepared… and tell your family to order Chinese food!
Congrats, my friend!