GACE Early Childhood Special Education General Curriculum

The Early Childhood Special Education General Curriculum assessment, offered as part of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators, is divided into two tests.

The first test consists of 85 selected-response questions. The content areas covered by the first test are English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Some of the topics covered by the English language arts subarea are: reading for literature and reading for information, the writing process and uses of tools and resource materials, and English-language grammar and vocabulary development. Some of the topics covered by the mathematics subarea are: numbers, operations, relations, representations, problem solving, measurement, geometry, and data representation. Some of the topics covered by the science subarea are: basic science concepts, characteristics of science, the nature of the scientific process, health and physical education, dance, music, visual arts, and theater arts. Some of the topics covered by the social studies subarea are: information processing, history, geography, government, civics, and economics concepts and processes.


The second test consists of 85 selected-response questions. The content areas covered by the second test are: the development and characteristics of learners; planning the learning environment and social interactions; instruction; evaluation and assessment; and foundations and professional responsibilities. Some of the topics covered by the development and characteristics of learners subarea are: human development and behavior; theoretical approaches (behavioral, cognitive, constructivist, and ecological) to student learning and motivation; the impact of disabilities on individuals, families, and society across the life span; and how family systems and the role of families support the development of an individual with a disability. Some of the topics covered by the planning the learning environment and social interactions subarea are: the functions or purposes of effective lesson plans; learning objectives that are measurable and appropriate; how to organize the learning environment; and behavior management strategies for promoting developmentally appropriate behaviors across settings. Some of the topics covered by the instruction subarea are: grouping formats to promote individual learning success; how to select, develop, and evaluate developmentally and functionally appropriate materials, equipment, and environments; transitions and transition planning; and using technology to support instruction. Some of the topics covered by the evaluation and assessment subarea are: the definitions and uses of various assessments; alignment of assessments with curriculum, content standards, and local, state, and federal regulations; and interpreting assessment results. Some of the topics covered by the foundations and professional responsibilities subarea are: federal terminology and definitions; the components of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP); major legislation that impacts the field of early childhood special education; and the roles and responsibilities of the special education teacher.

The examination must be completed within four hours. Scores are based on the number of selected-response questions answered correctly and the scores assigned by judges to the constructed responses. Test-takers will also receive performance indices indicating their success in each subarea of the examination. Scores will be available approximately a month after the date of the examination; unofficial results are posted on the internet, and an official score report is mailed to the test-taker, the Professional Standards Commission, and the institution specified by the test-taker during registration.

GACE Early Childhood Special Education General Curriculum Practice Questions

1. Which of the following terms is used to describe educational interventions that require child participation and imitate everyday behaviors?

A: non-aggressive
B: naturalistic
C: artificial
D: mechanistic

2. In the following sentence, identify the underlined section that contains a grammatical error: “As long as you’re going to leave”, he said, “you may as well take the wheelbarrow.”

A: “As
B: you’re
C: leave”,
D: wheelbarrow.”

3. Which of the following sentences contains a spelling error that would be detected by a typical word-processing program?

A: You’re going to have a problem learning this knew material.
B: After the reign, John went back outside.
C: That isn’t such a bad idea.
D: Look out for the grizzly bare!

4. Which of the following is an example of purely formative assessment?

A: class discussion
B: final exam
C: written report
D: parent-teacher conference
5. What is the mode of the data set {4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 9}?

A: 4
B: 5
C: 6
D: 7

Answer Key

1. B. Naturalistic interventions are commonly used to gauge the ability levels of small children.
2. C. The comma should be inside the end quotation mark.
3. C. The other sentences contain improper usages that would not be detected by a spell-check program.
4. A. An assessment is considered formative when it is used to determine the current knowledge and skills of students and to indicate appropriate instruction for the future.
5. B. The mode in a set of data is the value that appears most often.