Beating Them All! Thirty Days to a Magic Score on Any Elementary Literacy Instruction Exam for Teacher Certification

Allyn & Bacon
Chris Nicholas Boosalis  
Total pages
October 2003
Related Titles

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Beating Them All! Thirty Days to a Magic Score on Any Elementary Literacy Instruction Exam for Teacher Certification
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This concise text is designed to help pre-service and practicing teachers in California, Texas, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Oklahoma beat the reading-instruction portions of National Evaluation Systems, Inc. exams for teacher certification.

The text offers universal test preparation that will vastly improve the experiences of thousands of test-takers across the country. The content, constructed-response and multiple-choice strategies, and special time-management models for each test are all research based, and candidates will learn what first-time test takers must know and do for their specific exam to have the best opportunity to pass it on their first attempt.


  • Comprehensive and Powerful Test Preparation. The text covers case studies, constructed response essays, and multiple-choice strategies not found in any other preparation book, along with carefully constructed time-management models that show candidates how to reach the passing scores for their particular reading-instruction test.
  • Valid and Aligned Reading-Instruction Content. The core reading-instruction content assessed on these exams has been identified and validated through separate explorations, making the information from this book easily transferrable to any NES test of elementary reading instruction.
  • Genuine Strategies and Time-Management Methods. All of the case study, constructed-response, multiple-choice, and time-management methods have been field tested with groups of real students facing real exams and subsequently refined to ensure validity and ease in acquisition/application.
  • Sound Study Plans. A 30-day study plan included in the text will guide students from their first day of study to the day of the exam. In addition, the study plan includes a powerful format for learning the state reading-insruction standards, along with the core model of reading instruction. The study plan is flexible and can be adapted to any student's individual schedule or modified to accommodate quarter, trimester, or semester class schedules.
  • Accessibility. The text and its methods, strategies, and content require no special capabilities on the part of the candidate to prepare for these exams beyond the basic ability to apply oneself and study. Simplicity, effectiveness, alignment, and ease in acquisition/application are the strongest points of this text.

Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with “Conclusion.”




1. Magic Scores.

What exam formats are covered?

How are the essays scored?

How are the multiple choice items scored?

What's a magic score?

What's my magic score?

The Overview of the Core Reading-Instruction Model.

2. Magic Content.

A Note About Tests with Written Portions.

A Note About Tests with Multiple Choice Sections.

How was the content developed?

The Core Model of Reading Instruction Explained.

Level One: Assessment Tools.

Level Two: Decoding (Kindergarten through Third Grade)

Level Three: Fluency.

Level Four: Comprehension.

Level Five: Oral and Written Language Development.

Level Six: Classroom and Unit Planning.

3. Magic Essays.

How was the content of chapter three developed?

Effective Written-Response Outlines.

Writing the Case Study.

Writing Lesson Plans for Decoding.

Writing Lesson Plans for Comprehension.

A Procedural Essay for a Cloze Activity.

A Justification for a Running Record.

4. Magic Bubbles.

Diagnostic Test.


Multiple Choice Strategies.

Using Tables to Answer Multiple Choice Questions.

Study Guides.

5. Magic Moments-Time-Management Strategies.

Methods for Written Exams with Multiple Choice Items.

The “One Pass” Method.

What are the benefits of “One Pass?”

The “Two Step” Method.

What are the benefits of the “Two Step” Approach?

Should I “One Pass” or “Two Step?”

The Multiple Choice Strategies.

The “Divide and Conquer” Method.

Benefits and Cautions of “Divide and Conquer.”

The “Seek and Destroy” Method.

Benefits and Cautions of “Seek and Destroy.”

The Time-Management Methods Illustrated.

6. The Magic Plan.


A Four Week Plan.

Test Day.

Appendix A: Content Tables.

Appendix B: Standards Tables.

Appendix C: Data Sets.


Official Site:

Back Cover

Beating them All! is a universal preparation manual that will assist test-takers across the country in beating any elementary reading instruction exam (National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (NES) exam). The strategies and methods presented in this text are research-based and will allow candidates the best opportunity to pass on their first attempt.


  • Universal, Comprehensive Preparation. The areas include case studies, short answers, and multiple-choice questions. It will be an invaluable resource for students who want and need to pass NES exams.
  • Sound Preparation Methods. The preparation methods in this manual have been field tested, refined, and re-tested with groups of real students facing these exams. It includes repeatable attack-plans on time management.
  • Effective Strategies. All of the defined strategies in Beating them All! have been field tested and refined to ensure effectiveness and ease in acquisition/application.
  • Valid Content. The core reading-instruction content that is assessed on the RICA, and the other NES exams, has been identified and validated through separate explorations. Because NES exams share so much of this core content, it is essential for all candidates to know the material in Beating them All! in advance of taking any test.

“The strengths of this text are in the area of analysis of various reading and writing components and test issues, which are seamlessly and brilliantly presented in a cogent and compelling manner. Use of advanced organizers makes a complex and often intimidating discipline approachable and comprehendible.”
Professor Carol Wareing, Merrimack College

Author Bio:

Dr. Chris Nicholas Boosalis received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University in 1998. He is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at California State University, Stanislaus where he teaches reading-instruction methods to elementary and secondary credential candidates.

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