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OAE English Language Arts (020) Exam Overview

teacher standing in her classroom teaching her students.

Planning to teach English in Ohio? You’ll need to pass the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam. But don’t stress—you’re in the right place. The following article will detail the structure of this exam and offer valuable tips and resources to help you ace it.

The OAE English Language Arts exam gauges your ability to instruct students in reading, writing, and other aspects of ELA. Since this exam is an important part of becoming an English teacher, it’s natural to feel some anxiety about passing it. But there are ways to take charge of your testing experience. For instance, getting familiar with the exam structure can boost your confidence. A suite of effective study tools will also set you up for success on the OAE ELA (020) test.

With that in mind, let’s delve into the details of the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam and explore some strategies for preparation. Whether you’re taking the exam for the first time or gearing up for a retake, this article will empower you to tackle the OAE English Language Arts exam with confidence. Let’s get to work!

Overview of the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam

Knowing what to expect can help ease your nerves on test day. Let’s take a broad look at the OAE English Language Arts (020) test to understand what it covers.

The OAE ELA (020) exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You will have 3 hours to complete this test. The test assesses your knowledge in the following content domains:

  1.     Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Reading Various Text Forms
  2.     Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
  3.     English Language Conventions, Composition, Writing Process, and Research
  4.     Modes of Writing
  5.   Oral and Visual Communication

For specific details on topics that may appear on the exam, check out the information provided by the official OAE English Language Arts prep guide. Familiarizing yourself with these content expectations should help you allocate study time. As you begin preparing for the English Language Arts (020) exam, focus on concepts you know will be challenging.

Your study plan might also consider how often each content domain appears on the test. For instance, did you know only 12% of exam questions pertain to Oral and Visual Communication? By contrast, three other domains each account for 23% of the OAE ELA exam. Therefore, if you’re already proficient in Oral and Visual Communication, it would be logical to dedicate more time to the other domains.

Overall, a thoughtful and balanced approach to studying the five content domains listed above will set you up for success on the OAE English Language Arts (020) test.

Time Limit

You will have 3 hours to complete the English Language Arts (020) exam.

Passing Score

The passing score for the OAE ELA (020) exam is a 220.

Number of Questions

The OAE English Language Arts test has 150 multiple-choice questions that cover five different content domains.

Cost

The OAE English Language Arts (020) exam costs $109. Visit the OAE website for more information on fees and payment.

Registration Information

You can register for the OAE English Language Arts exam year round. Start the registration process by creating an account, and then choose a convenient time and place to test.

If you’re willing to use an online proctor, you can even take the OAE English Language Arts (020) test at home. Learn more about OnVue exams and online proctoring.

Scoring Information

Visit the OAE website to find out what day your English Language Arts (020) scores will be posted. (Scroll down to “Score Reporting.”) Scores will be viewable on your account starting at 10 p.m. (ET) on the listed date.

Since results are posted in batches, you may be waiting anywhere from around 12 days to around six weeks to get your scores. This wait time depends on whether you took your test early or late in the exam cycle.

Want to learn more about OAE ELA scores? Explore the details with our OAE English Language Arts (020) scoring guide!

Test Preparation Tips

Given its importance to your career, the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam may feel intimidating. However, the right strategies and mindset will give you the boost you need to succeed. Here are some preparation tips to make the most of your study time:

Take a Proactive Approach

  • Get familiar with the format and content domains of the OAE ELA (020) test as soon as you can. The longer you put off studying, the more anxiety you’ll feel. (Reading this article is a great start!)
  • Avoid procrastination by using a calendar app to schedule study time. When you’ve made a formal appointment to study, it’s harder to skip.
  • Split your study blocks among all five content domains, and consider setting a timer to stay on track. It’s important that you be ready for every topic that appears on this exam.

Review Key Concepts and Skills

  • In the months preceding the ELA (020) test, try to read as much as you can. If you don’t regularly consume literary classics, poetry, or other complex material, this is the time to refamiliarize yourself with their cadences and vocabulary. You don’t want to miss easy exam questions because you struggled to parse an excerpt.
  • Before you begin studying, take some time to refresh your literary vocabulary. If you dive straight into practice tests, you might find yourself discouraged by an onslaught of half-remembered literary devices. Make an extra effort on Greek terms; they’re easy to mix up. Don’t wait until exam day to realize you can’t distinguish a synecdoche from an apostrophe.

Study Sample Questions and Take Practice Tests

  • Attempt sample questions in every content domain. While you may already have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses in ELA, you should test those assumptions against exam materials.
  • Take full-length practice tests on a regular basis to ensure you’re comfortable with the exam’s format and timing. If you’re unable to finish tests within 3 hours, avoid attempting a drastic time cut. Try gradually accelerating your pace instead.
  • Use official OAE English Language Arts exam preparation materials. Studying content that aligns with the real OAE exam will help prevent surprises on test day.

Develop Effective Study Strategies

  • Whenever you miss a practice question, don’t just move on. Read the explanation behind each answer and ensure it makes sense.
  • Break down your study routine into manageable chunks. It’s better to dedicate 20 minutes to studying every night than to burn out after 10 hours of nonstop prep.
  • Use charts, diagrams, and flashcards to organize concepts and terms. Visualizing complex ideas can make them easier to remember.
  • Engage in active learning techniques, such as defining terms in your own words, explaining an idea to someone else, or participating in study groups. These strategies will help ensure you’re truly mastering the material, as opposed to memorizing surface details.

Important Exam Day Instructions

On the day of your OAE English Language Arts exam, read all pre-test instructions carefully. Allow ample time for travel—and verify that you’re headed to the location named in your confirmation email. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes before the time of your exam.

If you’re taking your exam at home, log in to your account and start your test within the acceptable interval (up to 30 minutes before your scheduled time and up to 15 minutes after it).

Check Required Items

Before your exam, double-check that you have all you need. Essential items can include:

  • Valid identification: You must present a current, government-issued ID that bears your photo and signature. Examples of acceptable ID include driver’s licenses and passports.
  • Sensible clothing: If you’ll be at a test site, the OAE website recommends bringing clothes that you can layer. You should also be sure to wear soft-soled shoes to keep the testing space quiet.
  • Equipment and workspace: If you’re testing at home, you will need a desktop or laptop computer. You also need a clean and well lit workspace that is free of prohibited items, other people, and interfering noise.

Read the official instructions to learn more about testing policies and what to bring to the exam site.

If you are taking the exam at home, make sure you’re viewing the tabs that say “Online Proctoring” when you click the link above. Review these instructions thoroughly, and ensure you’ll be able to comply with them. The rules for online proctoring are strict.

Understand Exam Format and Instructions

To prevent confusion on test day, familiarize yourself with the format and basic instructions of the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam well in advance. Key things to remember include:

  • Time limits: Be aware of the time limit and set your pace accordingly. You will have 3 hours to answer all 150 multiple-choice questions.
  • Marking scheme: Make sure you know how to mark selections properly on your screen. Whether you are at a testing center or at home, OAE exams take place exclusively via computer.
  • Special instructions: Pay attention to any special instructions provided by the exam proctors, such as rules around breaks.

Manage Time Effectively

Time management is crucial to finishing the OAE English Language Arts exam within 3 hours. The following tips can help you manage your time effectively.

  • Read and understand the instructions: Take a moment at the beginning of the test to go over all instructions thoroughly. This will help prevent errors and wasted time.
  • Pace yourself: On average, you’ll have a little over a minute for each question. However, try to work faster than that whenever possible, in order to save up time for tough questions or checking your answers.
  • Know when to move on: There is no guessing penalty on the OAE English Language Arts exam, so if you’re stuck on a question, it’s in your best interest to guess. You can always return to the question if you have time.

On exam day, you can use these tips to streamline your test-taking process and maximize your chances of success. Working efficiently, staying calm, and maintaining your focus are all essential to doing well on the English Language Arts (020) test.

Conclusion

The OAE English Language Arts (020) exam is key to becoming a certified ELA teacher in the state of Ohio. To pass this exam, you’ll need to show proficiency in various topics related to teaching students to read, write, and analyze texts.

While the scope of this test is broad, don’t let it intimidate you. If you familiarize yourself with the exam structure, review all content areas, and follow our test prep tips, you can approach the OAE ELA exam with confidence, increasing your chances of success.

More OAE English Language Arts Resources 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam?

The OAE ELA (020) test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover five content domains:

  1. Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and Reading Various Text Forms
  2. Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
  3. English Language Conventions, Composition, Writing Process, and Research
  4. Modes of Writing
  5. Oral and Visual Communication

How long is the OAE ELA exam?

The English Language Arts (020) exam is a timed exam that lasts 3 hours.

What is the passing score for the OAE English Language Arts (020) test?

To pass the ELA (020) exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 220.

Are there study resources available for the English Language Arts (020) exam?

Yes, there are several study resources available for the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam. You can find online English Language Arts (020) study guides, prep courses, and practice tests from various educational websites.

Do I get a break during the OAE English Language Arts (020) exam?

The OAE English Language Arts test does not have scheduled breaks. If you take the exam at a testing site, you are allowed to take restroom breaks whenever you like, but remember that the exam clock will not stop while you are gone. However, if you’re taking the exam at home, unscheduled breaks are not allowed at all.

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