FTCE Psychologist Study Guide
The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) School Psychologist PK-12 exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills of aspiring school psychologists in the state of Florida. Candidates must pass this exam for certification in the state. The test consists of about 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Test takers should use an FTCE Psychologist study guide to help them prepare for the exam, as these guides detail the content that will be tested. In this case, candidates will be tested on over 10 different competencies that cover topics such as program evaluation, decision-making, child development, interventions, mental health, school safety, laws, ethics, and more. Below, test takers can explore the exam content in our FTCE 036 study guide.
|FTCE Psychologist Study Guide (036)|
|Statistics, Research Methods, and Program Evaluation||10% (~10 questions)|
|Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability||10% (~10 questions)|
|Child and Adolescent Development||10% (~10 questions)|
|Curricula and Evidence-Based Interventions and Instructional Strategies Related to Academic Outcomes||10% (~10 questions)|
|Biological, Social, and Cultural Bases of Learning, Behavior, and Mental Health||10% (~10 questions)|
|Evidence-Based Interventions and Instructional Strategies Related to Socio-Emotional, Mental, and Behavioral Health Outcomes||10% (~10 questions)|
|Best Practices in Student and School Safety||10% (~10 questions)|
|Consultation, Collaboration, and Problem Solving||10% (~10 questions)|
|Ethical, Legal, and Professional Practice of School Psychology||10% (~10 questions)|
|Laws, Rules, Regulations, Court Decisions, and Procedures Related to Public Education||10% (~10 questions)|
Statistics, Research Methods, and Program Evaluation
For this competency, candidates will need to be familiar with statistical concepts and be able to use practices of measurement, such as standards for validity. They also need to understand test construction and principles of research design for program evaluation. Using this knowledge, test takers should be able to analyze research findings and apply results to school psychology settings.
Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability
Test takers need to be familiar with different ways to collect data and be able to choose the best methods and materials to evaluate the needs of students, groups, and schools as a whole. They should also be able to monitor the progress being made towards determined outcomes for these groups. Candidates will also need skills in assessing the needs of specialized groups, such as those in early childhood or those with disabilities. They need to be sensitive to the methods used to assess and meet the needs of diverse student bodies. Based on data from multiple sources, test takers should know how to make informed suggestions that may impact the decision-making process.
Child and Adolescent Development
Test takers must be familiar with a wide range of theories concerning child and adolescent development, including:
- Cognitive development
- Intellectual development
- Personality development
- Language development
- Social-emotional development
- Perceptual development
- Sensorimotor development
Test takers should also know about principles of motivation, learning, and memory. Candidates need an understanding of how child development theories are used in school psychology and should be able to identify developmental patterns of childhood disorders.
Curricula and Evidence-Based Interventions and Instructional Strategies Related to Academic Outcomes
Candidates need to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of curricula, learning environments, and instruction. To do this, they should be familiar with instructional methods for teaching reading, math, and written/oral language and how these abilities develop. In order to combat academic concerns, test takers need to be able to screen students and monitor the student's progress while using prevention or intervention strategies. While using intervention strategies, test takers may need to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies and problem-solve as needed.
Biological, Social, and Cultural Bases of Learning, Behavior, and Mental Health
Candidates should be familiar with a wide range of factors that affect learning, behavior, and mental health, such as:
- Medical factors
- Social factors
Test takers also need to know how factors, such as culture and environment, affect language development. On the biological end, candidates should understand concepts including healthy decision making, self-regulation, and empathy.
Evidence-Based Interventions and Instructional Strategies Related to Socio-Emotional, Mental, and Behavioral Health Outcomes
Test takers need to understand the methods for screening for and implementing social-emotional, mental, and behavioral health preventions and interventions. These strategies need to be evidence-based and candidates should be prepared to problem-solve during the implementation process. Questions in this competency will also evaluate test takers' knowledge of applied behavior analysis and theories of counseling. Candidates need to be familiar with both individual and group counseling techniques. They also need to understand what factors help contribute to the creation of a positive school culture.
Best Practices in Student and School Safety
In a school setting, candidates must be able to identify the signs and symptoms and understand the effects of:
- Traumatic events
- Mental health disorders
Test takers will also need to understand how to work towards the prevention and intervention of various crises. They must be able to assess students for suicide and threats and act accordingly. Candidates also need to address issues related to school climate, such as bullying or truancy.
Consultation, Collaboration, and Problem Solving
Candidates must have skills in working with and consulting with other school professionals and professionals in the community. This includes being able to problem-solve and work with others to solve issues surrounding academic, behavioral, mental, and other student-related concerns. Test takers also need to be prepared to work with parents and build a positive school-home relationship. At the systems level, such as school district or state, candidates need to understand how to participate in consultation and solve problems.
Ethical, Legal, and Professional Practice of School Psychology
Test takers will need to be familiar with the history of the field of school psychology. This includes understanding how public schools are organized and how they operate. Candidates' knowledge of best practices for the field will also be tested in this competency. They must understand the various ethical codes for the field, including those from the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida, and know how to implement ethical decision-making. Topics in social justice issues that are related to education will also be covered.
Laws, Rules, Regulations, Court Decisions, and Procedures Related to Public Education
While related to the above competency, this competency focuses on the specific laws and policies related to school psychology and public education. Test takers must be familiar with federal and state laws related to the field, as well as major court decisions in school psychology.
Candidates will also need to understand the specific characteristics of students with disabilities or exceptionalities. They must know the procedures for making decisions about these students and be able to use assessment data in the decision-making process. Test takers will also need to be familiar with policies outlined in IDEA and ADA and know how to create accommodation plans.
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Bryan McMahon, M.A. is a high school biology and special education teacher in New Jersey with over 14 years of teaching experience. He has hundreds of hours of experience tutoring aspiring teachers to take the CSET/CBEST exam suite. He has successfully passed the science and special education Praxis exams. Bryan completed a B.S. in Education from Seton Hall University and an M.A. in Teaching from Mangrove College.
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Kasey Sindel, Ph.D. has worked in education for over 11 years. She began her career as an Education Specialist, developing life science lessons for grades 6-12. She currently works as a middle school science teacher with a focus on the Earth, plant, and chemical sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University. She also holds a Master's degree in Science Education from Webster University and a Master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
What Other Test Prep Members Are Saying
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