Welcome to the FTCE General Knowledge Practice Test and Prep Guide! We’ve created this free resource to prepare you specifically for the 082 exam. We’ll go over the key concepts you’ll need to know to pass your test.
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FTCE General Knowledge (082) Videos
FTCE General Knowledge Test Information
The FTCE General Knowledge is a required exam for anyone seeking teacher certification in any grade in Florida. It is a test of basic skills. The test ensures that teachers at all levels possess the necessary competencies and skills to effectively teach.
The General Knowledge exam consists of four subtests:
|Subtests||Approximate # of Questions||Time Alotted|
|Essay||1 Essay||50 Minutes|
|English Language Skills||40 Multiple-Choice||40 Minutes|
|Reading||40 Multiple-Choice||55 Minutes|
|Mathematics||45 Multiple-Choice||100 Minutes|
You can register to take all or any combination of the four subtests in one session. Each subtest is timed separately. If you take all 4 subtests in a single session, you will receive a 15-minute break. For the Mathematics subtest, a reference sheet and an on-screen four-function calculator is provided. You may not bring your own calculator.
Cost: $130 (all four subtests) or $32.50 (one subtest), $65 (two subtests), $97.50 (three subtests)
Time Limit: About 4 hours
Scoring: The score range for the FTCE 082 is 100-300. A passing score is 200 on each subtest. A passing score for the Essay Subtest is at least 8 out of 12 points.
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FTCE General Knowledge Essay Subtest
You will have 50 minutes to complete 1 essay question. You must prepare, write, and edit your essay within the given 50 minutes. A whiteboard will be given to you so you can plan your essay.
The Essay subtest starts with the prompt, which is the question or statement you’re responding to. Understanding what the prompt is asking you to do is essential. Your prompt will fall into one of two categories:
- A claims-based prompt which is one that asks you to discuss strategies, evaluate something, or decide what should be done. You will need to take a side on this type of prompt. Example:
“Provide an analysis of the aspects educators should consider when making the student cell phone policy.”
- An advantages and disadvantages prompt asks you to discuss the pros and cons, or benefits and challenges, of a given situation. In this case, you do NOT pick a side, but discuss both sides of the issue. Example:
- “Discuss the pros and cons of allowing students to have cellphones in class.”
No matter which style of prompt you get, it will usually be related to an educational topic. What graders will be looking for in your essay can be summed up in 4 categories:
- Grammar and Proper Conventions
Your essay will need to have a strong thesis statement. A thesis statement is a sentence you’ll write in your first paragraph that sets up the focus of your essay. It should directly answer the prompt and set up the rationales or reasons behind your answer.
Let’s look at an example of one of the claim-based prompts mentioned above and a corresponding thesis statement.
“Provide an analysis of the aspects educators should consider when making the student cell phone policy.”
This is an example of a strong thesis. It answers the question, clearly stating three specific aspects. These chosen aspects will become the main points of the essay.
Once you’ve identified your main points, you’ll need to think of a couple of supporting details or examples to expand upon each one.
Above is a visual for how to outline your essay. The plan is the same for both kinds of prompts – the only difference is for an advantages and disadvantages prompt, you’ll have two main points – the big advantages and the big disadvantages. For claims-based prompts, your main points will be your reasons, strategies, or whatever the prompt asked you to identify. There are usually 2 or 3 main points. You probably shouldn’t include more than 4.
You’ll want to make sure each one of your main points is the focus of each body paragraph. You will set up your argument and thesis statement in the opening paragraph, focus on each reason (the supporting details) in the body paragraphs and then summarize your ideas and restate your thesis in the closing paragraph.
Let’s take a look back to the categories you’ll be graded on.
- Grammar and Proper Conventions
If you clearly answer the prompt in your thesis and keep that as the basis for your essay, you’ve got focus. If you plan some supporting details and examples to back up each of your main points, you’ve got support. If you follow the outline above, you’ve got organization.
All that’s left is grammar and conventions. As a teacher, you’ll just need to show that you can write clearly and correctly. There are a lot of rules to remember.
One important rule is appropriate comma usage. This is where a lot of people lose points. Take some time to review the rules for commas. For example, you should use a comma before a coordinating conjunction like “and” or “but” ONLY when the two clauses could stand alone. Do not use a comma if one of the clauses can’t stand alone as its own sentence.
Let’s look at a practice essay prompt.
- “Studies say that children can concentrate on one task for two to five minutes for each year of age, and in recent years, that number has been decreasing. Discuss techniques that educators can use to adapt to students’ shorter attention spans.”
You will want to create an outline to use for this claims-based prompt.
Let’s look at a sample response essay using the above outline.
Student attention is an ever-present concern in today’s classrooms. In recent years student attention spans have been decreasing, and educators have had to adapt their instruction accordingly. Some techniques that educators can use to adapt to decreasing attention spans include building breaks into learning and designing lessons that incorporate student interests.
The first way to accommodate decreasing attention spans is to build breaks into learning. Regular breaks throughout the school day, from short breaks in the classroom, to longer breaks for lunch and recess, are extremely important for overall productivity. Breaks give students the opportunity to do things like moving around the room, stretching, drawing or singing a song. Students will feel refreshed and will be better able to refocus when learning time resumes. It’s important to shake things up occasionally. When teachers tell a joke or story, show a picture, or explain the topic using a different medium, it can interrupt the usual expected pattern of the lesson, grabbing students’ attention. Effectively incorporating breaks will improve student focus and attention.
Another way for educators to adapt to shorter student attention spans is by designing more engaging lessons. One way to accomplish this is by incorporating student interests into lessons. Research shows that students are more motivated to learn when concepts are connected to their lives. Educators should take time to find out what the students care about and like to do. They can learn more about students by asking them to complete surveys, write personal essays, or by scheduling time slots to speak with each student. Then, educators can adjust their lessons to bring student interests into the examples, discussions, and projects. In addition, educators should let students choose their topics when possible and always relate concepts to experiences that they can understand. For example, students can be asked to write a biography of their favorite athlete or to create an imaginary country using Minecraft. Keeping topics interesting and contextual to real-life experiences is a proven way to increase student motivation, and thus hold their attention.
Providing breaks and designing engaging learning experiences are effective ways for educators to ensure that students are paying attention and absorbing the information that is being given to them. Breaks, even short ones, are necessary to help students recharge. Lessons designed around student interests and meaningful real-world connections help to motivate students and prevent boredom. By incorporating these simple techniques, educators can combat short attention spans and have a significant impact on the student learning experience.
In the above sample response, the paragraphs are organized, stay focused on points from the thesis, use supporting details and examples, and do not contain any grammatical or punctuation errors.
The FTCE GK Essay Study Guide includes more practice prompts and model responses for you to review.
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FTCE General Knowledge Reading Subtest
You will have 55 minutes to complete 40 multiple-choice questions, which are all based on reading passages. Each test form will contain about five passages. The passages on the exam will be both expository, which is meant to explain, and narrative, which tells a story.
Competency 1 has 8 skills that go along with it, and they all cover working with key ideas and details from the reading passages you’ll see. You will need to be able to:
- Identify textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from text
- Identify explicit meaning and details within text.
- Determine inferences and conclusions based on textual evidence.
- Discriminate among inferences, conclusions, and assumptions based on textual evidence.
- Determine and analyze the development of central ideas or themes from one or more texts.
- Summarize one or more texts using key supporting ideas and details.
- Determine how and why specific individuals, events, and ideas develop based on textual evidence.
- Determine the cause and effect relationship(s) among individuals, events, and ideas based on textual evidence.
Textual evidence comes up in 5 out of the 8 skills, which means you will want to make sure you are knowledgeable when it comes to the term textual evidence. Textual evidence means the part of the passage that led you to choosing your answer. Your choice should be based on the passage, not your own experience or background knowledge about the topic.
Let’s discuss working with the main idea or primary purpose of a passage. You may also hear this term referred to as the central idea, primary reason, central message, or main purpose.
The main idea is the point of the text. A good tip to help you identify the main idea is to read the bookends, the first and last sentences of the paragraph. These sentences will give you main idea clues to help identify the main idea. If the passage has multiple paragraphs read the bookends of the first and last paragraphs of the text to help you identify the main idea.
The primary purpose is the why. You will need to ask yourself, “why did the author write this text?” Is the author trying to persuade you, inform you or entertain you? These are all good questions to help you infer why the author wrote the text.
Expanding upon the main idea and purpose includes:
- identifying supporting ideas
- picking the best summary
- picking the best title
A cause and effect relationship describes or discusses an event or action that is caused by another event or action. This structure often uses words and phrases such as because, since, as a result, due to, consequently, and therefore. It is important to know, one cause (or event) can have several effects. For example, crashing your car can cause broken bones, increased insurance premiums, and angry parents. This one event had three (negative) effects. You can expect to see cause and effect questions on the test.
Competency 2, Craft and Structure, tests your knowledge on how well you can identify and explain an author’s word choice, organization, point of view, and purpose. Craft and Structure questions make up about 25% of the Reading subtest.
You will need to know how to:
- interpret the meaning of words and phrases in the text
- figurative language, connotative language, technical meanings
- analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone
- analyze how the author uses organization and text structure(s) to convey meaning
- contrast the point of view of two or more authors on the same topic by analyzing their claims, reasoning, and evidence
- analyze how point of view and purpose shape the content and style of text
Determining the meaning of words using contextual, syntactic, and semantic clues. This is more than just knowing what words mean. You’ll need to determine what they mean by how they’re used in the passage.
Let’s look at some examples:
- The teacher told us to line up in alphabetical order. Since “Smith” supersedes “Wilson,” Suzy was in front of me in line.
In this sentence, a reader could use their understanding of alphabetical order and the context clue “in front of me” to infer the meaning of “supersede” as coming before.
For this one, the placement of the word, or where it falls within the syntax of the sentence, will be key.
- My ornery big brother yelled at me when I walked in front of the tv while he was playing video games.
In this sentence, a reader who recognizes that the word ornery is an adjective used to describe the author’s big brother could then use the context clue yelled at me to infer that ornery means something negative.
You will also need to be able to figure out how an author views something and why an author wrote the passage. On the test, you may be asked to compare the point of view of two or more authors on the same topic. Know these purposes for writing:
- to persuade
- to inform
- to entertain
- to compare
- to express
Competency 3, tests your ability to evaluate, synthesize, and analyze information from texts.
Integration of Information and Ideas questions make up about 35% of the Reading subtest. There are really only three things you need to know how to do for this part of the test. You need to know how to:
- Evaluate a statement
- Synthesize information
- Compare two statements
Claims are points made in the text. One way you’ll be asked to evaluate them is by determining whether they are fact or opinion. Facts are often presented as statistics, data, numbers, or general knowledge. Facts can be proven.
When recognizing opinions, look for phrases like, “I believe” or “I think.” You will also want to look for qualifying words which could include very, usually, always, or never.
You will also need to be ready to compare two statements from a passage. On the test, you will be asked to read two sentences from a passage and determine if the second sentence contradicts, explains, restates, clarifies, describes, or relates to the first sentence.
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FTCE General Knowledge English Language Skills Subtest
You will have 40 minutes to complete 40 multiple-choice questions. The English Language Skills subtest has three competencies. Each competency has specific skills that go with each competency. The competencies for Subtest 2 include:
- Competency 1: Language Structure
- Competency 2: Vocabulary Application
- Competency 3: Standard English Conventions
Let’s start with Competency 1, Language Structure, which is all about how sentences come together to create meaning.
For language structure you’ll want to know:
- correct placement of modifiers
- parallelism, including parallel expressions for parallel ideas
- a variety of effective structures
recognizing fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, syntax errors
- how to determine patterns of organization in a written passage
modes of rhetoric
Let’s look more closely at modifiers. A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that adds emphasis, explanation, or detail to a sentence. These words are usually adjectives (describe nouns) or adverbs (describe verbs).
Let’s look at an example of modifiers at work.
- The teachers aced their certification tests.
This is a basic sentence. Now let’s add some modifiers to it.
- The amazing teachers, prepared because they studied with 240, joyfully aced their certification tests while taking steps forward to their meaningful careers.
The modifiers add detail to the sentence and allow the reader to paint a better picture in their mind of the subject of the sentence.
Modifiers can be misplaced or dangling. A misplaced modifier is in the wrong place of a sentence. A dangling modifier is not clearly related to the word or phrase that it is modifying. Misplaced or dangling modifiers can be easy to miss. Make sure to check that the modifier is closest to the noun or phrase it’s modifying.
You will need to be familiar with modes of rhetoric. The most common modes are:
- Narrative – which tells a story involving characters, a setting, and a plot.
- Descriptive – uses sensory details to paint a picture in their readers mind.
- Expositive – has a purpose of informing or explaining something to its reader. It contains facts, not opinions.
- Argumentative – the author takes a side of an argument and expresses their opinions to the reader. The author is trying to persuade the reader.
Competency 2, Vocabulary Application, tests your knowledge about words. These questions make up about 25% of the English Language Skills subtest. There are three big concepts you need to know to get these questions correct:
- Determine Meaning of Words
- Determine and Select Correct Usage of Words and Phrases
- Determine Diction and Tone Appropriate to a Given Audience
Commonly misused words are words that people have a hard time deciphering between. Take a look at this list:
For each of the bullets above, make sure to know when the correct time to use each word is. You will more than likely see at least one of them on the test.
When determining diction and tone appropriate to a given audience, you will be given a scenario in which there is some form of communication, most likely a writing piece or a speech, that needs an opening line. You will first need to understand what diction and tone mean. Diction refers to word choice, and tone is the feeling or mood that those choice words create. Diction and tone are two very important considerations when choosing an opening line to fill a specific purpose for a specific audience.
Let’s look at an example.
- A person is writing a thank you email to send after an interview. Which of the following is the best opening line for the email?
The diction and tone for this example should be simple, formal, and direct.
- “Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the open teaching position at your highly regarded campus.”
Competency 3, has 12 skills linked to it and they all cover grammar and mechanics of the English language. Standard English Conventions questions make up about 50% of the English Language Skills subtest, so this competency is very important.
The standard English conventions that you will need to know for your exam include:
- standard verb forms and verb tenses
- inappropriate shifts in verb tense
- subject-verb agreement
- agreement between pronouns and antecedents
- inappropriate pronoun shifts
- clear pronoun references
- pronoun case forms
- (subjective, objective, possessive)
- appropriate comparative and superlative degree forms
- correct use of adjectives and adverbs
- standard spelling conventions
- standard punctuation
- standard capitalization
When looking at this list, pronouns come up four times. So, let’s take a closer look at pronouns.
Pronouns are words that can take the place of nouns, especially when the nouns are clearly known by the audience.
- A family is going on a vacation this summer. A family is going to the Grand Canyon. The vacation is going to be so much fun for the family!
Now, let’s replace the underlined nouns with pronouns.
- A family is going on a vacation this summer. They are going to the Grand Canyon. It is going to be so much fun for them!
On your exam, you’ll have to also identify and correct errors in pronoun usage. It’s important to know when to use the possessive pronoun their. We should use it when something belongs to a group. Let’s look at an example sentence.
- My teammates always bring his or her best effort to the game.
In this sentence his or her needs to be replaced with their since the effort belongs to the group of teammates.
- My teammates always bring their best effort to the game.
Subject-Verb Agreement is another important skill in Competency 3. In sentences, subjects and verbs must agree in number. This means that if a subject is singular, its verb also needs to be singular. If the subject is plural, then its verb must also be plural. Let’s look at a sentence with incorrect subject-verb agreement:
- Emily are at the pool.
The subject, Emily, is singular. Emily is one girl. The verb, are, is plural. Let’s fix this sentence:
- Emily is at the pool.
Now, the subject and verb are both in singular form. They agree. The trick to making sure your subjects and verbs agree is knowing the singular and plural forms of subjects and verbs.
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FTCE General Knowledge Mathematics Subtest
The General Knowledge Math subtest consists of four competencies:
- Competency 1: Knowledge of number sense, concepts, and operations
- Competency 2: Knowledge of geometry and measurement
- Competency 3: Knowledge of algebraic thinking and the coordinate plane
- Competency 4: Knowledge of probability, statistics, and data interpretation
There are approximately 40 multiple-choice questions on this subtest and each competency has skills that go along with it.
Competency 1, tests your ability to order numbers and correctly solve real-world problems using the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Number Sense questions make up about 17% of the Mathematics subtest. There are three big concepts you definitely have to know to get these questions correct:
- Order of Operations
- Value of Real Numbers
- Word Problems
The Order of Operations will come up a lot in this section. You’re going to need to know what order to do specific operations in so that you can solve the problem to get the correct answer. To solve problems in the correct order you will want to use PEMDAS.
The order of operations, or PEMDAS, P-E-MD-AS, is simply the process you follow to simplify and work an equation.
Let me give you an example. If you have an equation like this:
- 2(x – 3) + 3(x + 4)2
You have to work the problem according to a specific order, the order of operations. In this particular example, you would first solve for the parentheses, then you would solve for the exponents. Then going left to right, you do either multiplication or division then you would add or subtract in the same order (from left to right).
So that’s why we group the M and the D and the A and the S together. Now, this is incredibly important because, on the test, you will be required to simplify an equation. So, you have to know the order of operations to get that question correct.
You will also need to know the value of real numbers. A real number is, really, any number you can think of. It includes whole numbers, rational numbers (fractions and decimals), and irrational numbers (π, √2, etc.). Real numbers can be negative or positive.
The test will have you place different forms of numbers from greatest to least or least to greatest on a number line. In a given data set, you might have two fractions, a decimal, pi, a negative integer, and a regular integer. You then must organize all of these from least to greatest (or greatest to least). So, make sure you know how to translate decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals, so you can compare the two to figure out which one is greater or less than the others.
Competency 2, Geometry and Measurement, is going to take up about 21% of your exam. This section tests your ability to identify and classify shapes and solve measurement problems. There are three big concepts you definitely have to know to get these questions correct:
- Two- and Three-Dimensional Shapes
- Ratio and Proportion
- Measurement Units and Quantities
Out of all of the skills on the Mathematics subtest you’re most likely to see questions on shapes, specifically, area and perimeter.
Perimeter is the whole distance around the outside of a figure. It is a one-dimensional measurement so it is measured in units that include inches (in), feet (ft), miles (mi), or centimeters (cm).
Area is the amount of surface inside a figure. It is a two-dimensional measurement so it is measured in square units that include inches (in²), square miles (mi²), square centimeters (cm²), or square kilometers (km²).
So if you’re given a shape and its outside measurements, you may be asked to solve for the area or perimeter.When you are given a shape like the one below you will want to split the shape into a triangle and a rectangle to find the area.
Once you have split the shape into a triangle and a rectangle, you can use known formulas for finding the area of a triangle and a rectangle. The area of a rectangle is length times width. The area of a triangle is ½ times base times height. So, let’s use those formulas to find the area.
l x w = a
6 x 4 = 24 cm²
½bh = a
½ 6 x 2 = 6 cm²
Now, add the area of both shapes together to find the total area of the original shape.
24 + 6 = 30 cm²
On the test, you will also be asked to solve ratio and proportion problems by looking at scaled drawings. Let’s talk about what these three words mean.
A ratio simply compares numbers. A ratio can be written in three different ways:
3 to 1
A proportion means that two ratios are equal. For example, 1/4 = 2/8. These ratios are equal because if we reduce 2/8, we arrive at 1/4.
A scaled drawing is a drawing that represents a really large object (too large to be drawn in its actual dimensions).
Competency 3, Algebraic Thinking and the Coordinate Plane, tests your ability to solve algebra problems. These questions make up about 29% of the Mathematics subtest. There are some big concepts you definitely have to know to get these questions correct:
- Solving for x
- Slope-intercept form
- Creating an equation from a data set
You’ll need to be able to move terms within an equation from one side of the equal or inequality sign to the other to solve for the value of a variable. You may even need to solve for multiple variables within a set of equations.
For example, here’s a system of equations where we need to solve for both x and y.
- 2x + 3y = 20
-2x + y = 4
First, stack the equations and add them vertically to eliminate one variable. Then, solve for the remaining variable, y. Finally, take that value and plug it in to find x.
You will want to be familiar with line relationships for your exam. Line relationships include knowing when lines are parallel or perpendicular. You can tell if lines are parallel or perpendicular by looking at their equation in point-slope form, which is y = mx + b.. M is the value for slope.
Parallel lines never intersect. Parallel lines have the same slope. Since both of the lines below have a slope of 2, they’re parallel.
Perpendicular lines intersect at a 90 degree angle. They have slopes that are the opposite reciprocals of each other. Looking at the lines below, one line has a slope of ⅔ and one has a slope of negative 3/2, so they’re perpendicular.
Lines can also be neither parallel nor perpendicular, which means they intersect at an angle that is not 90 degrees.
You will also need to know how to create an equation from a data set. The test will give you a data set that looks something like this:
You’ll be asked to create a corresponding equation that matches the data set. For this data set, the corresponding equation would be:
y = 1 – 2x
Now, if you look at the data set, anytime you plug the x value in, you get the corresponding y value if you solve for the equation. And while this kind of question can seem difficult, it’s one of the easier questions to answer if you just work backward. All you need to do is look at the answer choices, plug in the data set values into each equation, and see if they match.
Competency 4, Probability and Data, is worth the largest portion of the Mathematics subtest. This section tests your ability to determine the likelihood of events occurring and analyze and interpret sets of data. There are three big concepts you definitely have to know to get these questions correct:
- Measures of Central Tendency
- Organizing and Displaying Data
Central tendency is simply four concepts: mean, median, mode, and range.
Mean is the fancy word for average. To find the mean, or average, of a set of numbers, there is a really simple set of steps to follow:
- Add all of the numbers together
- Divide the sum of those numbers by the number of data values in the set.
The median is the middle value in a set of numbers. To find the median of a set of numbers, follow these steps:
- Order the numbers from least to greatest.
- Find the number in the middle.
If you have a data set with an odd amount of numbers, finding the middle value is super easy; however, if you have a data set with an even amount of numbers, there will be two values in the middle. In this case, find the mean, or average, of those two numbers. That average is the median.
In a data set, the mode is the number or numbers that appear the most. Unlike the mean and median, the mode can have more than one answer.
The range is the difference between the highest data value and the lowest data value.
Make sure you know what the central tendency measurements are and how to find them for a data set. And when you practice, work on a data set of about 8 to 12 double-digit numbers.
Probability is defined as the likelihood of an event occurring. Probability is the number of successful outcomes possible to the total number of outcomes possible.
Let’s look at an example:
- If a six-sided die is rolled, what is the probability of landing on any one of the sides? The answer, of course, is one in six.
People often use the words “odds” and “probability” interchangeably, but they are not the same.
Probability = the number of successful outcomes possible: total number of outcomes possible.
Odds = number of successful outcomes possible: number of unsuccessful outcomes
It’s important to know the difference between the two terms.