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FTCE General Knowledge - How To Prepare (And Pass)

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Is prepping for the FTCE General Knowledge exam making you nervous? Not knowing how hard the GK exam is, or whether or not you’ll pass, can be worrisome. That’s why at 240 Tutoring we’re here to help prepare you so you can feel confident taking your exam.

In this article, we’ll answer questions you may have about General Knowledge exam prep and give you plenty of resources (including free ones!) that will help you pass your exam.

So, let’s get started!

What is a Passing Score on the FTCE General Knowledge (082)?

The FTCE General Knowledge exam includes four different subtests: English Language Skills, Reading, Mathematics, and an essay subtest. To pass the GK exam, you’ll need a scaled score of at least 200 on each of the three multiple-choice subtests (English Language Skills, Reading, and Mathematics) and at least 8 out of 12 points on the essay subtest. For more information about how your exam will be scored, check out our article on FTCE scores.

How Do You Pass the FTCE General Knowledge (082)?

All multiple-choice FTCE exams are graded by a scaled scoring system as opposed to percentage scores. To reach a scaled score of 200, you’ll need to answer approximately 70% of questions correctly on the English Language Skills subtest, 75% correctly on the Reading subtest, and 72% correctly on the Mathematics subtests. These percentages may be slightly different for different test forms, but they give you a general idea of what you need to work towards.

To pass the essay subtest, you need to score at least 8 out of 12 points. Your essay will be scored by two trained and qualified raters, and their ratings will be combined for your final score.

How Hard is the FTCE General Knowledge (082)?

The phrase “general knowledge” might make you think that this should be a relatively easy exam. However, the passing rate in 2020 for first-time attempts was only 62 percent!

In addition to being a difficult exam, the General Knowledge exam covers a lot of material and will take about four hours to complete if you take all four subtests at the same time. The table below shows the breakdown of questions and the time limit for each subtest.

FTCE GK Questions and Time Limit

The FTCE General Knowledge exam is challenging, but at 240 Tutoring we have all of the resources you need to pass your exam.

What are the Best Resources to use to Pass the FTCE General Knowledge (082)?

The FTCE General Knowledge is a well-known exam, so there are several resources available to help you prepare. Multiple resources can be great, but sometimes it’s hard to know which resources are the best and most reliable. Let’s clear up some of that confusion.

The FTCE General Knowledge Exam Overview from 240 Tutoring is a great place to start. This resource is completely free and gives an overview of the exam structure, answers questions you may have about the exam, and gives easy-to-understand summaries of several concepts that will be on the exam.

While you’re checking out the exam overview page, be sure to try the free practice tests that are available. These will give you an idea of what to expect on the General Knowledge exam, and you’ll also get a free score report showing what areas you need to work on.

If you need more in-depth study material, try our FTCE General Knowledge study guide. All of our study guides are aligned with the exam content and have been written by current and former educators. The General Knowledge guide includes over 200 pages of study material and over 500 practice questions, giving you access to all of the information you need for this exam.

In addition to 240 Tutoring’s resources, the FTCE website offers multiple resources to help prepare you for your GK exam, including sample questions. It also shows you what competencies are covered on the exam.

Using your materials from your college prep courses is also great for supporting the content on the General Knowledge exam. Be sure to use other resources along with this, such as our study guide or the FTCE competencies and skills blueprint, to make sure you are focusing on the right content.

Still not sure what resources to use? Dr. Kristy Mulkey from 240 Tutoring can offer additional guidance on choosing the best resource for your situation.

How Do You Study for the General Knowledge Exam?

No matter what exam you are studying for, it’s always great to start by taking a diagnostic test. This will tell you which topics you need to focus on the most when studying. At 240 Tutoring, we have free diagnostic tests and score reports for each multiple-choice General Knowledge subtest.

After using a diagnostic test to identify your strengths and weaknesses, use this information to create a study plan and schedule. Set aside specific dates to work on different exam competencies.

Next, use our General Knowledge study guide to prepare for your exam. Look for “test alerts” throughout the guide – these are specific tips that will help you out on your testing day. Our study guide also includes information about how to approach the General Knowledge essay subtest, including practice prompts, sample responses, and the option to have a practice essay professionally graded! We also have tips that can apply to any essay test in our article on constructed response questions.

As you approach your exam date, be sure to take another practice test to make sure you are ready!

When Should You Start Studying for the FTCE General Knowledge (082)?

The General Knowledge exam covers a lot of content, so you want to make sure you give yourself adequate time to study. Most test-takers find that they need to study for at least several weeks leading up to their exam.

Start with a diagnostic test to see where your weaknesses lie. Once you have figured out your weaknesses, you can begin to set aside time each day to study.

Remember to give yourself enough extra time to review and take another practice test before your exam date.

If you are in a tough spot and have a lot of studying to do in a short period of time, Dr. Mulkey’s tips can help you make the best of the time you do have!

What If You Fail the FTCE General Knowledge?

No one wants to think about the possibility of failing your teacher certification exam, but it can be helpful to know what to expect if you don’t pass.

The good news is that if you do fail an FTCE exam, you can retake it! If you fail one or more of the General Knowledge subtests and pass others, you’ll only need to retake the subtests you did not pass. To retake a General Knowledge subtest, you’ll need to wait at least 31 days from when you last took the exam. You’ll also need to register and pay to take the test again.

While it’s reassuring to know that you can retake your exam, no one wants to have to pay for the exam again or wait an additional 31 ways for your certification. Make sure you are prepared and confident on your first exam attempt by using our comprehensive study guides.

How Do You Interpret Your FTCE General Knowledge Score Report?

You will get your official score report within four weeks of your testing date. FTCE scores are typically released on Monday evenings. Your FTCE General Knowledge score report will indicate “pass” or “not pass” for each of the four subtests. If your report states “pass” for each subtest, congratulations – you passed the FTCE General Knowledge exam! If one or more subtests indicates “not pass,” you will also see a numeric score that shows how you performed on that particular subtest. (You won’t see a numeric score for the subtests that you did pass.) These scores can be helpful as you study for future exam attempts, as you’ll want to focus most of your studying on the subtest with the lowest score.

Still feeling uncertain about the General Knowledge exam? Find answers to additional questions here. Ready to start studying? Head over to our FTCE study guide page and become a 240 Tutoring subscriber. Your General Knowledge exam may feel overwhelming right now, but soon you’ll be on your way to passing your certification exam!

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About the author: Ashley Macken

Ashley is a first-grade teacher who is ending her 10-year teaching career to focus on small group tutoring and being a stay-at-home mom. She feels she has a wealth of knowledge of the education world to share with others. One thing you wouldn’t expect about Ashley is that she owns a working 1926 Model T.