FTCE Computer Science K-12 Exam Guide

FTCE Computer Science K-12

For prospective teachers looking to earn their teaching license in order to teach computer science in the state of Florida, a pivotal step is passing the FTCE Computer Science K-12 Exam. As the name implies, this FTCE test is required for all teachers looking to teach computer science at any grade level. This exam will assess test takers' knowledge of computer skills and programming, software and hardware, and pedagogical techniques in accordance with Florida State curriculum guidelines. If test takers want to earn their license through this computer science certification test, then they should read on!

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

FTCE Computer Science K-12 Study Guide

The FTCE Computer Science K-12 Exam will contain approximately 100 multiple-choice questions and is entirely online. All of these questions will have only four answers to choose from, and each question will be one of four different types:

  • Direct - where test takers must choose the best answer option to an outright question
  • Sentence Completion - where test takers have to choose the word or phrase that best completes a statement
  • Command - where test takers are given a programming command prompt and must answer a question about it
  • Scenario - where examinees will be given a situation and asked what the best response, action, or diagnosis would be

These multiple-choice questions will span seven "Competencies and Skills", or content areas the FTCE wants computer science teachers to know. Each competency is not weighed equally in that some make up a larger portion of the exam than others, but all are important to know in order to pass. Information about each competency is listed below.

Knowledge of Computational Thinking and Problem-Solving

This competency makes up about 15% of exam questions, making it one of the larger sections of the test. Questions in this competency will focus on the steps involved in working through computer algorithms. To master this section, test takers will need to be able to solve problems using algorithmic problem solving, and they should know the amount and type of data that is needed in order to test solutions to computer problems. They should be familiar with the life cycle of software development, and be able to use this information to answer questions. Examinees should also know how to choose different algorithms to implement depending on context, and how to predict algorithm output based on a particular input.

Knowledge of Data Types and Structures

This second competency will also make up approximately 15% of exam questions. Test takers will need to be able to identify constants and variables in different situations, as well as tell the difference between global and local identifiers. They must also be able to tell different data types apart, such as characters, strings, and integers. When considering object-oriented design, examinees must be able to tell different variable types (ex. local and instance) apart. In addition, for object-oriented programs, test takers should be familiar with different aspects of class declarations and public and private access specifiers, and be able to tell the difference between the latter two concepts. Examinees should be able to identify and convert between different number systems relevant to codes, such as binary and hexadecimal. Finally, they should be able to note different elements of data structures and what they are used for (ex. stacks and arrays).

Knowledge of Programming Logic

This competency makes up about 20% of questions on the FTCE Computer Science Exam, making it tied for the largest section. For this content area, test takers will need to know the basics of debugging and what different error messages (ex. syntax and logic) represent. They will also need to understand aspects of internal and external documentation, and how these concepts are used. Examinees must know about different aspects and uses of object-oriented and procedural languages. Given a particular goal, test takers should be able to choose the most suitable algorithm, conditional iteration, or recursive construct. They must also be able to understand and apply aspects of propositional logic, as well as sequence and sorting algorithms.

Knowledge of Programming Languages

This competency also makes up roughly 20% of the exam. Test takers will need knowledge of multiple programming languages. Questions will assess basic knowledge of the Scratch programming language from the MIT Media Library, and examinees should be able to apply this knowledge to different scenarios. Exam questions will also heavily involve Java. Examinees will have to analyze Java code involving different types of coding statements, parameters, and objects, be able to work with different types of data and manipulations of that data in Java, and be able to apply different programming principles (such as encapsulation and polymorphism) within the language. If test takers are unfamiliar with these languages, it would be a good idea to gain some knowledge and experience with them outside of strictly test preparation materials.

Knowledge of Computer Hardware, Software, and Networking

The fifth competency of the FTCE Computer Science Exam will make up around 10% of exam questions, and focuses on knowing the components that make a functioning computer. Examinees must be able to point out the different pieces of hardware on a computer and their uses, be familiar with different ways to store data and the pros and cons of each, and know the various types of software that exist and what the function of each is. Test takers should be able to use common work-related software (such as work processors and Web developers) and note their different characteristics. Related to networking, examinees must know the basic principles and definitions associated with common terms, and be familiar with the devices used to set up and maintain networks.

Knowledge of the Historical Aspects and Social Issues Related to Computer Technologies

This FTCE Computer Science Exam competency will make up approximately 10% of exam questions, and deals with the human responses and actions surrounding different technologies. Test takers should be able to distinguish between situations where intellectual property is handled appropriately and not appropriately, and be familiar with principles and aspects of security programs that protect data and privacy. They should also be familiar with important achievements surrounding the advancement of computer science, and the people involved with those events. Examinees should be able to discuss the responsible use of the internet by both individuals and groups (including governments), and how these responsibilities may be impacted by aspects of society. Test takers should know the different ways that data security can be breached by software, and how the internet can change societal perspectives. Finally, examinees should know problems with data privacy and availability in an increasingly digital society.

Knowledge of Computer Science Pedagogy

This final competency will make up around 10% of the questions on the exam, and is the only content area to specifically focus on teaching skills. Test takers should be familiar with techniques to manage classrooms in computer science settings, and be able to apply different teaching methods to different lessons and situations. Examinees should have knowledge of a variety of ways to assess learning in computer science classrooms, and be familiar with ways to create an equitable classroom environment for students coming from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences. They should also be able to use technology to instruct their students, such as involving students in lessons with their mobile devices or online platforms. Test takers must be familiar with the steps needed to pursue higher education in computer science fields in order to guide their future students, and be able to design computer science curricula that take into account the constant need for professional development and change.

FTCE Computer Science K-12 Test Registration and Logistics

Now that the content for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam in Computer Science has been laid out, it is time to consider exam logistics. Test takers must register for this exam online via the FTCE website. Two valid forms of identification, one with both a photo and signature, and the other with at least a photo or a signature, must be brought to the testing site on test day. The names on the forms of ID must match the names provided during the FTCE registration. The following sections lay out additional information about exam cost and registration, scoring, and how to begin preparing for the exam.

Test costs

The FTCE Computer Science Certification Test has a registration cost of $150. The FTCE test cost may be paid via a VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit card, or a VISA or MasterCard debit or check card.

Test sites

This FTCE test must be taken at an official testing center that offers access to computer-based tests. FTCE testing locations are available nationwide, and test dates are offered throughout the year. A list of test sites is available on the FTCE website. When registering for the exam, test takers must choose a specific test date and time.

Session Length

Test takers will be given two hours and 30 minutes to complete the FTCE Computer Science Exam. No scheduled breaks will be given. If examinees wish to take an unscheduled break during their exam time to use the restroom, consume food or drink, or take medication, they may do so, but their exam timers will not be paused.

Passing score

In order to pass the FTCE Computer Science K-12 Exam, examinees will need to receive a scaled score of 200 or more. This equates to answering about 72% of test questions correctly. Upon finishing the exam, most testing locations will provide test takers with an unofficial pass/non-pass score. The FTCE official score report will be available no more than four weeks after the FTCE test dates.

FTCE Computer Science K-12 Practice Test

To begin studying for the FTCE Computer Science Certification Exam, it would be a good idea to take an FTCE practice test. By doing this, prospective test takers can learn where they need to most focus their studying. After completing this first practice test, it would then be a good idea to make an FTCE Computer Science study guide covering all of the content knowledge needed to do well on the exam, focusing on problem areas. Future examinees can then create a timeline of their study plan. This study plan should include completing more practice questions, as well as taking additional practice tests. These other practice tests should come preferably at the middle and end of a study plan, in order to evaluate how studying is progressing. Taking multiple FTCE Computer Science practice tests will also get future test takers familiar with question wording and exam formatting.

On the day of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam, test takers should feel confident and prepared, so be sure to make a study timeline and stick to it. Good luck!

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  1. Which of the following is an input device to a computer?

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  2. In object-oriented programming, which of the following terms describes a sequence of instructions to accomplish a certain task?

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  3. How can a computer save files and other resources to use later?

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  4. A floppy disk is an example of which type of storage?

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  5. To find a specific number in a long list of numbers, you keep eliminating half of the values in the list to quicken your search process. This method is known as

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  6. Which of the following security functions filters out unwanted internet intrusions?

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  7. What are Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS part of?

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  8. Which fundamental security feature is used to restrict access to computers?

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  9. Which of the following is NOT an example of an operating system?

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  10. James wants to present the procedure they will follow in the field to his coworkers. James will use all of the following except _____.

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  11. Microsoft PowerPoint is an example of which type of software

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  12. Which of the following is NOT an advantage of video conferencing?

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  13. What is internet browser software?

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  14. Which of the following statements is true about learning disabilities?

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  15. Kyle likes to go to the library by himself to complete his homework. Select what type of learning style Kyle has.

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