Monday, November 22, 2004

Who is Horatio Alger?

Early Saturday morning, we all went back to school with the sun rising and our number two pencils ready. Many hours later, the Praxis II was done for many of us in the U of MN English teaching cohort!

Who is Horatio Alger? He is the man that will keep me from getting a perfect score. :)

Some of the questions on the Praxis are fun in that they test your general knowledge of English literature, but if you don't know a certain figure, you just don't know it. It kind of reminded me of high school academic team. Many questions included a passage and having us identify certain devices or look at examples of student work and what kinds of errors are made (misplaced modifier, etc.). The questions were such that--if you knew it, you knew it, and if you didn't. I don't know if I could have studied for Horatio Alger or how to look up books in the library (they had something called The Reading Guide (?) that was a little confusing).

Anyway, it's over now, and I only need a 145 out of 200 points to pass in Minnesota, which seems ridiculous, since the rumor has it that Mississippi requires a 170. This could be wrong, however and mere cohort speculation. I can say with complete confidence that I passed, though I could be wrong and that will be embarrassing. I felt pretty good once it was done.

(All I can say is thank goodness they don't have a spelling portion of this test. I would fail miserably!)

The first Praxis was amusing--this we had to take before beginning the program. It has a math, reading, and writing component, and I took them one on each day for three days in August in La Crosse. Some can take all three in one day, but I think I liked it that way, especially since I had nothing better to do with my day. I studied furiously for the math portion and wound up with a higher score in the math (by one point) then my other areas; I almost had a perfect score, which was strange. Most of it was high school knowledge, so I guess I'm still up to par.

We still have one more Praxis exam left, and this is the pedagogy and rumored to be the most difficult, which makes sense given that this is the area that we have studied the least (in our lifetimes).

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