Praxis Geography Study Guide
The Praxis Geography exam is designed to evaluate future educators' knowledge and skills in the secondary geography curriculum that supports national, state, and local guidelines. Candidates will be tested on knowledge-related geography content categories, including:
- Understanding basic geography principles
- Inquiry-based content learning
- Content presentation skills
- Geography subject-matter relationships
The exam is computer-based with a total of two hours allotted for answering one hundred and twenty selected-response questions. The exam contains five content categories of assessment, each covering various categories as outlined in this Praxis Geography study guide. Below is a table representing the individual content category percentages and the number of questions in each content area.
|Praxis Geography Study Guide (5921)|
|Geography Literacy and Tools||20% (〜24 questions)|
|Physical Geography||20% (〜24 questions)|
|Human Geography||25% (〜30 questions)|
|Regional Geography||15% (〜18 questions)|
|Environment and Society||20% (〜24 questions)|
Geography Literacy and Tools
Future geography teachers should have a comprehensive understanding of the field of geography and the various tools used in the field of study. Candidates must demonstrate expertise in identifying different tools and models in studying geography, which includes knowledge of:
- Physical maps and applications
- Geographical layouts (distance, direction, and scale)
- Mental maps and their purpose
- Absolute versus relative location characteristics
- Spatial and demographic patterns and models
- Geographical regions
Additionally, applicants should have a comprehensive understanding of how the formation of collective powers and the transfer of powers affect global population growth and economic development. They should understand the effects both processes have globally on natural and human environments. Candidates will need to identify some of the impacts due to significant changes in population change and global influences. Future educators will need to identify the significant roles geographical devices have in understanding the historical framework of geography. They should also know how to apply data for a more informed understanding of determining solutions and recognizing relationships.
This category provides candidates with content on the study of Earth processes, the climate system, and how changes in both affect people and the natural environment. The following objectives provide information on the knowledge and skills required to complete this competency area, including recognizing:
- Weather patterns
- Climate influences
- Weather and climate terminology
- Climate graphs
Candidates should know the differences between biomes and ecosystems. They will need to identify the characteristics of both and recognize the types of systems in relation to geographical locations. Future educators will also need to differentiate between Earth's four spheres and recognize their fundamental systems and characteristics. Candidates should know the internal and external forces of Earth's processes. They will need to identify inner Earth processes that impact the formation and deformation of Earth's outer surfaces, such as earthquakes, volcanic formation, and other Earth activity. Future educators should be able to distinguish between Earth's various landform structures and ecological regions. Additionally, candidates are expected to identify and understand water cycle terminology and its various processes.
Studying relationships between human interactions and Earth processes encourages students to reflect on connections and patterns that adversely affect environments and populations. When completing this exam competency, future educators should meet the following objectives, which support U.S. national requirements of geography curriculum program policies, including examining:
- Organization and location of populations and objects
- Population variables
- Population models
- Migration patterns
- High and low population areas
Future educators will recognize factors related to agricultural development and expansion. They will need to differentiate between several types of agriculture. They should also understand the effects of agricultural progress, such as technology and industry, on environments and populations. Candidates should have a comprehensive understanding of land boundaries and territory terminology and demonstrate knowledge of the locations and differences between them. Future educators will also need to understand how social processes, such as trade, and globalization influence societies, cultures, and economies. Additionally, candidates should be able to recognize the negative impact of global territory and natural resource patterns and challenges.
Regional geography studies countries that share many characteristics and that also have some significant differences in culture, religion, or politics. Future educators will need to recognize the criteria needed to characterize different regions and should be able to identify language distribution, religion, and terrain as factors in determining regions. Applicants will also be asked to recognize key global regions by identifying them on a map. They will also be asked to recognize parts of the United States based on regional titles, such as the Southwest. Candidates should also have an understanding of how individual experiences and culture inform their worldview on global places, societies, and cultures. Future educators should also be familiar with how United States regions are divided according to either pre-conceived concepts or well-established regional beliefs. Candidates may be asked to identify United States regions based on that region's society's religious practices and beliefs, historical background, or unique cultural or societal traits.
Environment and Society
The final content category covers the study of human behavior and its relationship with the physical environment. This Praxis geography study guide lists the main skills that are tested in this content category, which include recognizing:
- Human environmental changes
- People and environment relationships
- Limiting environmental factors on populations
- Human environment intervention solutions
- Physical factors affecting populations
- Natural hazards in populated areas
Future educators should be able to recognize the impact of tectonic plate movements on populations. They will need to identify natural disasters and hazards based on their proximity to geological forces below Earth's surface. Candidates should be familiar with the long-term effects of industrial processes as it is linked to environmental damage, including air and water. They will also be asked to identify the negative consequences of various toxic chemicals on environmental conditions. Future educators will need to understand the causes and outcomes of groundwater contamination and the adverse effects of water shortages. Additionally, applicants should demonstrate knowledge of the differences between climate change and global warming, and understand both sides of the argument for each, including climate impacts on populations and ecosystem communities.
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