Studying for the RICA Exam
California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) uses the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) to ensure that all teachers in California are capable of teaching reading to students. You may opt to complete a video exam or take a computer-based test. Some of your preparation process may vary based on the test format you have chosen, but all individuals preparing for a RICA exam need to understand the test objectives.
Step 1: Understand the Test and Its Objectives
Whether you plan to send in the video exam or take the computer-based RICA test, it is important to understand what the goals of the RICA test are. This step will help you identify what types of skills and knowledge you'll be assessed on and remove any confusion about what test scorers are looking for when they review a RICA exam.
One way to clarify the test objectives is to review the 22-page pdf document on the CTC website that explains the focus of the RICA test. It is accessible from the pages listing preparation materials for the written and video exams.
Step 2: Learn About Your Specific Test Format
The preparation materials pages for both the written and video exams provide additional resources explaining these exam formats. The preparation materials page for the written exam has a link to a tutorial that explains how computer-based testing works. This will help familiarize you with the computer-based testing process so that you are comfortable with the test format on test day.
The video exam preparation materials page has a link to a 45-page document that explains the video exam format and provides step-by-step instructions for compiling all the required materials. Both of these resources are designed to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the testing process for these test formats.
Step 3: Access Reliable Study Materials
It is important to use study guides that are designed by reputable companies so you can be confident that you have reviewed the right material for your exam. Some options are referenced in this section.
The RICA Exam: Test Prep & Practice Resource
This RICA Exam: Test Prep & Practice course is an example of a reputable study resource that you can use to prepare. It is comprised of over 120 online lessons that cover all the critical skills and knowledge needed to pass the RICA test. You can use your smart phone to work on lessons at your convenience when you aren't at home, or you can work on a computer or tablet from home, school, work or the library. The lessons are self-paced so you can fit them in when it's convenient.
RICA Practice Tests
If you registered for the computer-based RICA test, you can access a practice test on the CTC website. A link to this resource is provided on the preparation materials page for the written exam.
Test Preparation Guide
Pearson also offers a print and e-text resource to help you prepare for the RICA exam. This test-prep book is accessible through the Pearson website.
Step 4: Schedule Study Time
Don't make the mistake of underestimating how much time you need to thoroughly review for the RICA exam or how much time you have available to study. Take out your day planner or calendar and schedule study sessions to review all of the material that's on the RICA exam. This way you won't schedule your RICA exam before you have had time to study all the information that's on the test.
If you're completing the video exam, you should also review your schedule before determining which submission deadline you will choose. You need to make sure you have enough time to complete all of the requirements for the video exam and send it in.
Step 5: Join a Study Group
If you can locate a study group or find a study partner to team up with, this may be a good way of staying focused and remembering to study regularly. Some individuals need external motivation, and studying with others can provide that.