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Praxis Writing Core Test Tips

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Getting ready to take the Praxis writing test does not have to be stressful. This lesson helps you prepare by giving you an overview of what to expect and offering tips for you to do your best on the test.

Taking the Praxis Writing Test

As you get ready to complete your teaching certification, you have to jump through many hoops, such as taking exams. One exam that many pre-service teachers have to take is the Praxis exam on core academic skills for educators. The writing subtest is the section of the Praxis core test that looks at your writing skills, including awareness of different kinds of text, grammar and usage, and ability to write an essay based on a prompt.

Many people feel anxious when preparing for a writing test. The best thing you can do to calm yourself is know what to expect on exam day. This lesson will help you feel ready for the test by offering a test overview, explaining what you can do to prepare, and reminding you of test-taking strategies for success.

What to Expect

The Praxis writing test is 100 minutes long and is divided into two sections. The first section is a 40-minute selected response section. The second section presents two separate 30-minute essay questions. The selected response questions assess your knowledge of language usage, ability to correct errors in sentences, understanding of revision in the context of different types of writing, and research skills that pertain to written language. The essay questions look at your organizational skills, ability to communicate an argument and back it up with evidence, and time management. Usually, you will have one argumentative essay and one informative or explanatory essay to write. You will not be expected to have any specialized knowledge when it comes to writing these essays.

How to Prepare

As you prepare for the Praxis test, the number one thing to remember is that you already know much of what you need to know to do your best on the exam. If you do plenty of reading, listening and speaking, then chances are your grammar and usage skills are reasonably strong. As you approach the day of the test, make sure you are doing plenty of reading of different genres of books and articles. Reading a basic grammar manual to bone up on parts of speech, sentence structure and grammar rules in general can go a long way. To prepare for the essay, practice writing essays in a defined period of time using particular prompts. Have a friend or colleague read and comment on your essay and help you with revision and editing.

Test-Taking Strategies

Following are some test-taking strategies for each test section and some general tips to keep in mind.

Selected Response Questions

When you take the selected response section of the test, remember the following strategies:

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