5 Praxis Test Prep Tips
The Praxis is a series of standardized tests given to prospective teachers in many states as part of the teacher certification process. It is broken down into two main parts: Praxis I and Praxis II. The Praxis I (also called the Pre-Professional Skills Test) tests the basic professional skills of reading, writing and mathematics, while Praxis II tests more specific skills and knowledge related to each teacher’s subject area. Both tests contain a mix of multiple-choice and open-response questions, with sections lasting 60 --- 75 minutes.
Studying such a broad range of topics and enduring such a long testing process can be challenging, but if you’re well prepared, you should have no problem. Here are five tips for doing well on the Praxis tests:
Prioritizing is important while studying. The Praxis exam will test you on multiple subjects, and you should concentrate your studying efforts on mastering the sections you are weakest at. If you are better with reading comprehension and writing, focus your studying efforts on the mathematics section. By honing in on your weaknesses and preparing appropriately, you will be better able to handle the test as a whole. This does not mean you shouldn’t study for the sections you are naturally better at, of course. But you must pass each section of the exam, so acing one and flunking another in hopes of the scores balancing out is not an option. Honestly assess out what you need to study and start practicing with specialized resources for Praxis Math, Praxis Reading or Praxis Writing.
2. Manage Your Time
This sounds obvious, but all too often students will pick a date and assume that studying for a random allotment of time each day leading up to it will be sufficient. This should not be the case. Gather all of your study materials and set aside specific blocks of time to study. Make a schedule that you can stick to, and make sure to allow yourself sufficient time to cover each section of the test. Only once you’ve scheduled enough time to study, should you select your test date. This strategy will ensure that you are scheduling the test according to your studying progress and not the other way around, which may lead to stressful cramming or, even worse, a lack of proper preparation.
3. Take Advantage of Test Preparation Materials
Even if you don’t have the time as a full-time student to take a complete prep course, you should still take advantage of all of the test preparation resources made available to you, especially practice tests. There is no better way to get a feel for a standardized test than to take it as many times as possible before the actual test day. Visit Test Prep Review for practice test materials. If you’re looking for some more ways to prepare for the Praxis exam, you can try out ETS’s webinar series or sample the wide range of Praxis exam books out there.
4. Spread Out the Sections
Unlike many standardized tests, students are able to take the different sections of the Praxis exam separately. If you’re able to do do this without missing any deadlines or putting too much more strain on yourself, consider taking the sections on different days. By doing this, you will be able to focus all of your studying and test-taking efforts on one topic at a time. Naturally, being able to concentrate on one section will help you excel at it before moving on to the next subject and test question type.
5. Know the Test Specifications and Scoring
Simply knowing the topics covered on the Praxis is not enough to ace the exam. You should be familiar with the details of each section, including time allotted, question type, scoring and more. Knowing the structure of the test will help you develop a strategy for tackling each section. All of these aspects will not only help you prepare for the Praxis exam, but make you feel confident that, once you’ve completed the test, you worked to its specifications and can rest assured there will be no surprises regarding your results. For details on how the Praxis exam is scored and how it breaks down, visit TAAG (Test at a Glance).
There are a multitude of online resources where you can find help with the Praxis exams, including the Praxis page of the ETS website. This page offers free preparation materials for the math, reading and writing sections of the Praxis I, as well as the many different subject areas cover by Praxis II exams. They also allow you to register for ETS’s webinar series.