Physics & Chemistry Fieldtests

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  • #1
Gokul43201
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Just a heads up, for those interested :

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is in the process of developing Physics and Chemistry certification tests. As part of this process, they need statistical data on the difficulty of different questions. They generate this statistics through field tests.

Participants are paid $75 (for chemistry) or $100 (for physics, which is a longer test) for taking a test. You also get an additional $50 if you score in the top 25 percentile. You can sign up for both tests, if you believe you qualify.

By my estimate, the difficulty of the tests is close to the AP level (decide for yourself; there's a syllabus on the website). And it's pretty easy to bag that extra reward (I just did, on both tests). Your scores will remain confidential.

The ABCTE needs more participants and asked me to pass on this message.

For registration and information : http://www.abcte.org/fieldtest [Broken]

If you do sign up for one or both tests (or plan to), please post here and let me know. If you have any questions, ask here or PM me. The tests run till July 1st.

PS : They also have test centers in Tamuning, GUAM, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, and London, UK (among a couple of other places), but none in Canada.
 
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  • #2
Cool i lived in tamuning guam.
I wouldnt expect this to be there though, guam's pretty down on the education side.
 
  • #3
GCT
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Very nice, thanks for the info Gokul, I've registered for both the tests.
 
  • #4
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GCT : You're welcome. I hope you've got a test center nearby.

Zygotic Embryo said:
Cool i lived in tamuning guam.
I wouldnt expect this to be there though, guam's pretty down on the education side.
Tamuning is on the list of test centers, so if you're still nearby and interested, you can take it there.

And if you're doing that, make sure you grab Mk and take him along too ! :biggrin:

People, if you want your (future) kids to have good science teachers (to say nothing of making $275 over 6 fun and leisurely hours), go sign up for that fieldtest.
 
  • #5
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According to what I read,

An undergraduate or graduate degree in physics

I am not eligible. I have no degree yet.
 
  • #6
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cyrusabdollahi said:
I am not eligible. I have no degree yet.
That is only one of five alternatives. You don't have to have an undergrad degree. I don't have an undergrad degree in either physics or chemistry, yet I took both tests. I, however, did meet one of the other requirements.

To be eligible, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

- An undergraduate or graduate degree in physics/chemistry
OR
- Experience teaching as a teacher or professor in physics/chemistry
OR
-Completed at least FIVE college courses in physics/chemistry
OR
-Industry or research lab related experience
(and for the chemistry fieldtest you have the additional option of being a med student)

I know you've taken courses in thermodynamics and electronics (and mechanics ?) That's 2 (or 3) there...
 
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  • #7
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Are those 'physics' classes, they seem like engineering courses.
 
  • #8
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My (physics) dept offers all of those courses. But it may be that your courses were very different. It seems to me that basic courses like electronics and thermodynamics are roughy the same, no matter what department offers them. I, for instance, have taken electronics courses offered by the EE dept and one by my dept. They both taught me essentially the same skills.
 
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Do I still get paid if I fail?
 
  • #10
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There's no such thing as failing. You are not taking a test. You are merely providing statistical data. :biggrin:

You get paid the minimum amounts ($100 for physics, $75 for chemistry) no matter what your score.
 
  • #11
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Just took the chemistry portion of the test, I have to admit, the corporation is somewhat poorly organized as I had some trouble getting started on the test.

The chemistry test was pretty easy, I would admit to it being up to the AP level, although it does not rack up to the ACS standardized tests for undergraduates. I found that a lot of the questions were unnecessarily tedious, the calculator had only the basic functions and at times they expected one to work out the log,ln, exponential functions etc...efficiently, kind of like the GRE math portion. The material went a little bit beyond basic, I would imagine that the average score on this test is less then 50%.
 
  • #12
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Gokul, I was wondering on whether, if I qualify well enough, on if I will actually be "certified," although I'm not quite sure what the nature of the certification is and its benefits etc...The slip that they provided me with upon completion of the test seemed to indicate that as long as I had B.S. degree, that this would be sufficient.
 
  • #13
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GCT said:
Gokul, I was wondering on whether, if I qualify well enough, on if I will actually be "certified," although I'm not quite sure what the nature of the certification is and its benefits etc...The slip that they provided me with upon completion of the test seemed to indicate that as long as I had B.S. degree, that this would be sufficient.
I'm fairly certain that this does not certify you - no matter how well you've done. In fact, as of the next couple of months I'm not sure what you must do if you want to be certified (in Chemistry or Physics) by the ABCTE. But some time after the duration of this survey, they will set up a series of "Passport to Teaching" certification tests. Such tests exist for other areas like Math, English and Biology, but not yet for physics and chemistry (that is the point of the fieldtest). Passing the passport exams is what certifies you. And to enroll in Passport, you need to have a Bachelor's degree.

The ABCTE certification (if you go through the process to get it) does not automatically qualify you to teach in any state. The ABCTE is pretty young (set up after No Child Left Behind), and is currently accepted by only about 5 or 6 states as an alternative to the state certification, as well as several private and charter schools.
 
  • #14
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GCT said:
I would imagine that the average score on this test is less then 50%.
That low ? But most of the test takers are likely to be either undergrads in a chemistry major or grad students or teachers. (Or do you think not ?)

I completely bombed on the biology and earth sciences questions !!
 
  • #15
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Yeah, I talked to Chad, he was probably the one sincere person that I've talked to, the other members of the staff seemed clueless.

I've taken the required ACS standardized exams for Q. Analysis, I. Analysis,Inorganic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. From what I remember, even for Q. Analysis (analytical chemistry), the average was significantly less then 50% in the raw score (correct). Unfortunately, this average becomes lower with the more advanced course ACS exams. As I was taking the Q analysis version, I realized why this was, a lot of them are trick questions. There's the obvious answer, and for those who can extend their analysis on the matter, will arrive at the correct solution. Not very nice, but it was kind of fun. The instrumental analysis version was the worst, even ridiculous.

The slip that they had handed to me after the test was pretty explicit in the possibility of some sort of certification, that is if one has a Bachelor's degree. But what you've said makes sense, the tests aren't fully developed, but I thought that it would be nice to have some sort of extra certification on whatever resume I'm to hand in in the future. I guess I'll talk to Mr. Jones, and ask him to elaborate on this matter further.

Yeah, I basically guessworked on the earth science questions, that was unexpected and kind of strange. As soon as I arrived at the center, some guy who was to take a test for actual certification (I think it was the GMAT) became furious because he had forgetten his green card; it's somewhat understandible since he had to pay $250.00 for the test itself, and now he'll need to pay additional fees. He went a ~30 minute tirade degrading the staff and claiming that he was being discriminated because he was from Iraq. It was all kind of humorous, eventually he started to fuss with some of the other people in the waiting room, basically everyone was getting frustrated with him, and he eventually stormed out.

Anyways thanks for the info.
 
  • #16
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I wasn't sure about his before, but now I am. Barring a technical glitch, you should be able to get your raw score from ABCTE within a couple of days or so of taking the fieldtest.
 
  • #17
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Gokul43201 said:
That low ? But most of the test takers are likely to be either undergrads in a chemistry major or grad students or teachers. (Or do you think not ?)
From the list of qualifications, it sounds like you don't have to teach physics or chemistry to take it, so someone could be a professor of history and meet the qualifications they list, or did I read that wrong? You'd have to get people with a range of qualifications to test the validity, wouldn't you? If the only people taking it were those who have fully mastered the subjects, how do they determine how well the test sorts those with less than perfect scores? Or is it just intended to identify bad questions that even those with mastery of the subject would get wrong because of the way they are written?

Edit: nevermind, I went to the site and see that the criteria are a bit different from what was in an earlier post here. I guess you were summarizing.
 
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  • #18
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Yes, that was misleading. And yes, I was paraphrasing from memory.

Would you mind editing that line to include "in Physics/Chemistry" at the end of it ?
 
  • #19
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Gokul43201 said:
Yes, that was misleading. And yes, I was paraphrasing from memory.

Would you mind editing that line to include "in Physics/Chemistry" at the end of it ?
Got it! Sorry, couldn't fix that sooner...PF got "stuck" again...I wasn't sure my own edit went through earlier.
 
  • #20
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Hey Gokul, I was wondering on how long it took for you to get your check, it's been almost a month now and I've still haven't received the payment.
 
  • #21
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Me neither. I think it said 30-60 days.
 
  • #22
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You still haven't received your payment? 30 to 60 days seems to be an excessive waiting time to get paid.
 
  • #23
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GCT said:
You still haven't received your payment? 30 to 60 days seems to be an excessive waiting time to get paid.
I think the length of time is what they need to generate enough responses that they can assign you an accurate percentile score and determine your payment accordingly. But yeah, it seems like forever!

From the website:
*Please allow up to 60 days for payments to be mailed.
 
  • #24
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Wow, this is embarrassing - I scored higher (percentile) in the Chemistry test than in the Physics test (by 1%)! :redface:

But I sort of expected that after I'd taken them - I got easier Biology and Earth Science questions in the Chem test, and think I may have gotten a few of them right.
 

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