Step 1: Prepare To Study
The Praxis I, now known as the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, is used by many states as part of the testing process to certify teachers. It is made up of 3 tests that assess an individual's skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
By employing some specific study strategies, gathering information about the tests, and accessing available study materials, it's possible to prepare effectively for these tests.
Determine Passing Scores for the Tests
The requirements to pass the Praxis Core vary by state. Pennsylvania, Washington and South Carolina accept scores of 142 on the mathematics test while all other states that use this test require a score of 150 to pass.
Every state that uses the Praxis Core reading test expects individuals to earn a 156 to pass. The standard passing score for the writing test is 162, although South Carolina and Washington accept scores of 158.
Schedule Study Time
It's important to be realistic about your schedule and available study time. You should allow more time to study for each exam than you think you need so that you can ensure that you are sufficiently prepared.
Step 2: Familiarize Yourself With Test Content and Test-Taking Strategies
Familiarizing yourself with the test content will increase your chances of success when you take the Praxis tests. It is also important to understand appropriate test-taking strategies that apply to the Praxis.
Understand Test Content
Look for Praxis study guides that are available online. These study guides cover the relevant content and provide applicants with sample questions that will help familiarize them with the question format.
The PDF resources listed below also contain sample questions that will help you understand both the format of the Praxis exams and the types of content covered.
- Mathematics PDF (www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5732.pdf)
- Reading PDF (www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5712.pdf)
- Writing PDF (www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5722.pdf)
The PDF test resources reference several common phrases that can confuse applicants when they're taking the test. Using these resources can help you avoid confusion when taking the Praxis tests.
Develop Test-Taking Strategies
You may want to consider how much time you will have to take the Praxis tests if you take them together or if you take them separately. You should also be aware of the repercussions for guessing answers.
One factor to consider when preparing for the Praxis tests is how much time you will need. Each test can be taken separately, on different days, or you can opt to take all 3 tests at the same time. When the tests are taken 1 at a time you receive 2 hours per test. If you opt to take all 3 at the same time you will receive 5 hours in total to complete all 3 exams. This means that if you take the tests separately you will have a full extra hour of time for taking the tests.
Every question answered correctly is applied to the individual's test score. Questions that are answered incorrectly do not count and there is no penalty for incorrect answers. Since there is no penalty for a wrong answer it is better to guess than to leave a question unanswered.
Step 3: Study
Work With Your Study Team
Attend study sessions with your study partner or study group. Some individuals study best on their own while others need a group or partner to keep them focused. Be honest with yourself about what type of study format works best for you. If you need to work with a partner or group you will want to make sure you can schedule enough time with your study team prior to taking your Praxis exams.
Use Practice Tests and Study Guides
Study guide materials and practice tests, such as the ones linked to here, can be used to help you ensure you cover the right material and thoroughly prepare for your Praxis tests.
- Praxis Study Guides
- Praxis Core Academic Skills For Educators - Reading: Study Guide & Practice
- Praxis Core Academic Skills For Educators - Writing: Study Guide & Practice
- Praxis Core Academic Skills For Educators - Mathematics: Study Guide & Practice
Step 4: Be Prepared On Exam Day
Reviewing information that's on the test is only one part of test preparation. There are also several practical factors that can have an impact on your success when taking Praxis exams.
Know Where You're Going
Applicants are expected to arrive half an hour before their test starts. You can check for changes to test locations before you go by logging in to your online Praxis account. It's a good idea to know where you expect to take the test and how long it takes to get there before the day you're scheduled for your exam. This will help you ensure that you leave enough transit time to get to your test.
Know What You Need For The Test
On test day, you'll need to have appropriate identification with you, as well as a copy of your admission ticket. The PDFs that outline the test content for the mathematics, reading and writing tests contain information about what to take with you and what to leave at home. For example, personal items like phones, watches and jewelry, are not allowed. Some medical devices may be permitted.
Know What You Qualify For
Some individuals have legitimate needs that make them eligible for changes to the testing conditions. The PDF guides for each of the 3 Praxis Core tests explain conditions that qualify applicants for accommodations and how to apply for test presentation or testing condition adjustments.