How to Study for the VCLA Test

Studying for the VCLA Subtests

Aspiring teachers in Virginia can utilize a variety of study resources and strategies to prepare for the VCLA subtests. Before getting started on study prep though, it's important to know how the test is formatted so you'll know how to prepare for the exam:

VCLA Subtests Question Format
Reading Multiple-Choice
Writing Multiple-Choice
Constructed-Response

Study courses, practice tests and test documents are all valuable resources that can be used to study effectively for the types of questions found on the VCLA subtests. You can also employ test-taking strategies like participating in a study group or taking practice tests to succeed on this test.

Study Resources

Prep Courses

The Virginia Communication & Literacy Assessment: Practice & Study Guide has 84 lessons that cover information for both VCLA subtests. In addition to this resource, the VCLA - Writing: Practice & Study Guide has 81 lessons to help individuals prepare specifically for the writing test. 45 lessons are available through the VCLA - Reading: Practice & Study Guide study course.

These lessons are all self-paced. Individuals can access the lessons anywhere they have an internet connection and a device such as a tablet or smart phone. This allows people to fit in study time at their convenience.

Practice Tests

The VCLA website offers practice tests for both the reading and writing subtests. Individuals can opt to use free practice tests that they can score themselves against an answer key. They may also choose to pay for an interactive test option. These tests use a similar system to the computer-based test system used at testing sites, which helps test-takers familiarize themselves with computer-based testing. It is also scored for test-takers so they will get a breakdown of their performance for each testing objective area.

Test Documents

The 'prepare' page on the VCLA website has links to several documents that can help individuals study effectively. A study guide provides tips for individuals who are reviewing material for the VCLA subtests, as well as sample test questions. The practice tests document explains how to use the practice tests. There is also a link to a test blueprint, which outlines the test objectives for both subtests and the types of things that will be covered in each identified objective.

Study Strategies

Join a Study Group

When you have to meet regularly with others and review material as a group, you may be more motivated to study so that you're prepared for those group sessions. Participating in a study group also means that you have other people who can keep you accountable for maintaining your study time and can prompt you to focus on areas of the test that you may be avoiding or putting off studying for.

Use Practice Tests To Identify Weaknesses

Taking a practice test can help you determine if there are test objectives you are not doing well on or if there are test concepts you need a refresher on. This can help you prioritize studying for those parts of the test.

Schedule Study Time

It is important to pencil in the time you need to devote to studying and to make sure you have enough study time available to properly review all the material for your test before you schedule your exam.

Familiarize Yourself With Test Policies

The documents available through the VCLA website provide a lot of information about the VCLA subtests. It's important to note that when the test is scored the system only considers correct multiple-choice questions. Since there are no deductions for wrong answers, it's a good idea to take your best guess if you don't know an answer so that you have a chance of getting the question right.

Simulate The Test Experience When Taking Practice Tests

Set time limits and try to follow the test procedures as closely as possible so that you have a good idea of how well you would actually do on the test if you were taking it.

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