In the state of Ohio, and as part of your undergraduate career in education, you must take the Ohio Assessment for Educators in order to obtain your degree and ultimately your teaching license. Some other states have things like PRAXIS, or their own state licensure exam, but in Ohio, this dreadful test is known as the OAE. There are other hoops educators must jump through and conquer along the way such as edTPA, and later on RESA, but normally the OAE is first.
The Mathematics OAE is for those who wish to teach high school mathematics, grades seven to twelve. You get about four hours to take the exam, a minimal calculator that is on the computer, and a dry erase sheet to do your work on. The test is made up of about 150 multiple choice questions, with topics ranging from basic algebra to high-level calculus and further, while you need to get a score of 220 to pass. Again, why stress, right?
I registered for my OAE a couple weeks ago and have been stressing about it ever since, scared that I will not pass. Of course, if I do not pass on my first go around, then I can study harder then retake it again, but that is a lot of money to be spending on a test, so how about we just try to pass the first time. As of now, there are 15 days until the date of my exam, where I will report before 8 a.m. to spend four hours doing mathematics and staring at a computer screen. Here is one thought, for each day until then:
1. "What if I fail?"
OK... what if I do fail? Well, in that case, it is not that deep, and I will just have to study harder and take it again.
2. "How many of these questions will actually be on the real exam?"
Going through this practice test is both helpful and stress-inducing, but all of the questions can't be about geometry... right?
3. "Wait, how do you do this again?"
Looking at some of these questions honestly takes me a minute to recall the process, I feel like I have been doing upper level math for so long that I need to dig deeper to remember the steps. Oops. No worries though, I have 1 minute and 36 seconds per question essentially.
4. "What if I am late, that would suck"
I am essentially late to everything, besides work. That is NOT an option here thought because if I am not there when they begin, then too bad so sad, I gotta reschedule AND pay for another test. No thank you, I will just set 15 alarms.
5. "How extensive is that formulas sheet?"
I'm not saying I need to know the equation of a line, but like... y=mx+b nice and give it to me anyways.
6. "Being a server for the rest of my life also sounds like a pretty steady career choice..."
Obviously I want to be a teacher, but hey, it is good to have a backup plan... right?
7. "Wow I forgot how fun Algebra was!"Giphy
Obviously there is way more to algebra than just 'solving for X,' but hey, this stuff is fun in the mean time.
8. "I should keep a running tally for each time I engage in an SMP while taking this test."
SMPs are the Standards for Mathematical Practice. They are incredible and involve the way we do math and maybe I will notice a few... or maybe I won't. Stay tuned.
9. "What if I get hungry during the test?"Giphy
Four hours is a long time to be sitting in one spot, what if I get hungry? I am not the type of person to eat as soon as I wake up, and if I am setting 15 alarms to be up by seven a.m., then I should consider packing snacks, right? After all, coffee is only a good meal supplement for so long.
10. "Am broke boi cannot afford it....aGAIN"
Listen, this test is 'spensive, so like: MUST PASS ON FIRST TRY.
11. "Could these word problems be any more of a stretch?"Giphy
If the same product is offered at two local shops and an online retailer... modern-day Noah is saying to buy it online because I don't have to go anywhere to get it!
12. "At least I will never forget the equation for absolute value, or summing integers."
Seriously, they are tattooed on my body, so if those are on the exam, boom. Aced it.
13. "I'm seriously missing class for this."
WHAT IF MY PEERS ARE LEARNING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT'S ONE THE TEST?!?!?!?!? I AM ALREADY HERE. TOO LATE.
14. "This is science... what is this doing here?"Giphy
I admit that there is math in science, but c'mon quit making my life hard.
15. "Ah yes, the Pythagorean Theorem."Giphy
(a really important test)^2 + (b nice to me please)^2 = (c ya passed)^2
Listen, I know I tried to make light of this situation, but in all reality, I am super stressed about it. If you excuse me, I have some studying to do. Keep me in your thoughts, and best of luck to any other Education majors taking their OAE in the near future.