RICA Test Day Preparation


Test Day Prep for the RICA Exam

California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA) exam is offered in both written and video formats. While the written test is a traditional exam that involves multiple-choice and constructed response questions, the video test involves filming yourself while instructing a class. If you opt to take the video exam, you are also required to provide certain documents with your video. What you'll need to do to get ready for test day differs depending on your chosen test format.

Studying for the RICA Test

Our RICA Exam: Test Prep & Practice course is designed to help you review all of the material that could be covered on the RICA written exam, as well as pertinent teaching strategies and methods that can help you with your video. You can work through the brief and engaging video lessons and take short quizzes and practice tests to make sure you're up to speed.

Preparing for the Written RICA Exam

While many people think of studying as the main way to prepare for an exam, there are several practical things you will want to plan for prior to test day to be prepared for the RICA test.

Locate Your Test Site

After you register for your exam, you will receive an email from Pearson VUE containing test site location information. It's a good idea to find your test site and travel there during the same time of day you will need to leave on test day to determine if there are factors that may require extra transit time, such as road closures. You can also find out where to park.

Know What You Can and Cannot Bring

There are many items that are not allowed in the testing center. Examples include:

Pens Pencils Weapons
Cell Phones Recording Devices Bags
Printed Materials Packages Hats
Food Drink Gum

A complete list of prohibited items is available from the CTC website.

Apply for Accommodations if Needed

If there is a personal or medical device that you need that does not appear on Pearson's list of approved items, or if you have a diagnosis that may qualify you for adjustments to the test format or testing process, you can apply for an accommodation by submitting an application form and the documentation required. You will need to do this before you schedule your exam. Make sure to leave plenty of time for your application to be reviewed. Once you receive approval, follow the instructions you receive for scheduling your exam with your accommodations.

Arrive Early

You should be at your test location at least 15 minutes before the start of their exam. It is important to be on time so that you do not forfeit your registration.

Bring ID

Make sure you have the appropriate ID with you on test day so that you can admitted to the test site. You must have government-issued ID that has your picture and signature on it, and it must match the information you provided when you registered for your exam. Examples of accepted ID include passports and driver's licenses.

Dress Appropriately

Wearing layers can ensure you're not too warm or cold while taking the test. Test-takers are also asked to wear shoes with soft soles so that they are not disruptive when moving around the testing center.

Preparing for the RICA Video Exam

Registering for the Exam

If you choose to take the RICA exam in video format, you'll first need to request a registration form, which will be sent out by mail within 5-7 business days. You'll then need to return the completed form and registration fee. After you submit the registration form, a materials packet and instructions for the video submission will be mailed to you.

Video Exam Accommodations

It may be possible for to qualify for adjustments to the video test based on certain conditions. To apply for an accommodation, you must submit an application form with the required documentation. You should submit the accommodations application as soon as possible.

Ensuring Timely Submission

You must ensure that your submission is received by the submission deadline date. Some strategies for ensuring that your test arrives on time include:

  • Plan to have your required video exam materials completed at least one week prior to the date by which you need to mail your submission.
  • Review your submission guidelines carefully to ensure you send a complete submission, and ensure all of your materials are legible. Any issues with your submission could result in it being returned for correction, which could cause you to miss the submission window.
  • Check your submission deadline on the calendar to determine if there are any holidays near that date that may affect mail delivery. Add an extra 1-2 extra business days if a holiday falls within the mailing period.
  • If you are close to the deadline, consider paying an additional fee for expedited mailing.

California offers educators and prospective educators two RICA assessment options. Read on for study and preparation tips to help you pass whichever RICA assessment you plan to take.

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