Getting ready for the Praxis exam requires aspiring teachers to prepare extensively. Pick up some helpful study tips to help you get ready and ace this test.
What is the Praxis?
If you're looking to become a teacher, chances are that you'll have to take a Praxis test. Administered by the Educational Testing Service, the Praxis is actually a collection of assessments that cover a wide range of subjects.
Though it may seem like passing this exam is an insurmountable task, the Praxis is much less daunting when you're fully prepared. The tips in the article below will help you get ready for this test.
Before you begin studying, it's essential that you know which test you'll be taking. There are three different kinds of Praxis tests, which are as follows:
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core): These assessments gauge a candidate's skills in terms of writing, reading, and mathematics. They are intended to be taken prior to entering teacher preparation program and are designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of a candidate's skills and knowledge.
- Praxis Subject Assessments: These exams concentrate on a single subject. There are over 90 of these exams, with topics ranging from world languages to agriculture.
- Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments (CKT): Similar to the subject assessments, CKTs test a candidate's knowledge on a specific subject, with the difference being a focus on specialized content that will be used for instructors teaching grades K-12.
The test (or tests) that you need to take are dependent on the state in which you live or wish to teach. The ETS website lists requirements by state, so checking requirements is easy. Simply visit the page, select the state in which you wish to teach, and determine your requirements.
Now that you know which test you'll be taking, it's time to get ready.
Start at the Source
ETS, the makers of the assessment, offers help for students getting ready for the Praxis.
Students can use the company's study guides, which are available for all subjects and test types. Guides include a review of essential topics as well as a collection of sample questions. Also provided is a complex explanation to the solutions of these sample questions, meaning you will fully understand exactly how to find a solution.
These study guides contain plenty of useful information and since they are produced by the same company that makes the test, you're guaranteed to be studying relevant information. Even better, they are available free of charge!
Other Avenues of Study
There are several other study guides available on the open market, sold by companies such as Teachers Test Prep.
Much like the ones offered by ETS, these guides focus on specific Praxis tests and are often designed using the test's Content Specifications to ensure that students receive the most relevant training.
Consult Your Program
The Praxis is not the only requirement for becoming a teacher. You'll also need to complete a degree program, and you can use your school as a resource.
Education programs often have Praxis preparation built into their curricula, and many schools publish study guides for the exam. These helpful guides are often written by teachers who have taken the test themselves and contain valuable information on essay composition and how to organize your study schedule.
Take a Practice Test
One of the best ways to get ready for the Praxis is to make sure you understand the format, and that's where a practice test comes in handy. By taking a practice test, you can confirm that your study methods have worked.
Practice tests are a good means of gauging how ready you are. Though you might not ace it, you should at least be comfortable discussing most of the topics. If you're blindsided by certain questions and feel clueless about portions of the exam, at least you know that your study strategy needs work.
Practice tests can also help with nerves. When it comes time to take the 'real' Praxis, you'll already be comfortable with the format, and it will be easier to relax.
Other Study Tips
Of course, there are a number of tried and true study methods that are always useful, whether you're taking the Praxis or the SAT. General study techniques that will certainly assist you with the Praxis include:
- Get support: Study with other students who are taking the test. Working with others keeps you motivated and provides you with an on-site support staff that can help you with any issues you may encounter.
- Go it alone: On the other side of the coin, working solo can also help you focus and work at your pace. Try to mix up your study sessions and alternate between working alone and with your friends.
- Organize your time (on the test AND beforehand) : As you prepare, be sure to give each subject equal treatment. Learning proper time management will also be a great benefit when you get to the test itself.
- Take it easy (but not too easy) : While the Praxis requires intensive preparation, be careful that you don't burn yourself out. Take frequent breaks and be sure to get enough rest.
- Exercise: No, seriously! Studies show that exercise boosts memory and brainpower and can help you remember things. It's also a great way to blow off some steam.
The Praxis is an arduous and notoriously difficult exam, but with proper preparation and an organized study plan, you're sure to do well. Good luck!