Praxis 5306 Study Guide

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Praxis RVE Study Guide

This Praxis Virginia Educators Reading study guide will help a prospective elementary level reading or special education teacher know what to study for the exam. This exam is required for anyone who wants to teach elementary or special education in the state of Virginia and is designed to insure that everyone entering into elementary and special education in the state of Virginia has equal expertise and ability to teach reading. The test is a computer delivered test consisting of two parts. The first part is 100 selected-response questions and the second is 3 constructed-response questions with a time limit for the entire exam of two and a half hours. The following content categories will be addressed in this Praxis RVE study guide:

Praxis RVE Study Guide (5306)
Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching15% (~19 questions)
Oral Language and Oral Communication 15% (~19 questions)
Reading Development 35% (~43 questions)
Writing and Research 15% (~19 questions)
Analysis of Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching 7% (~1 question)
Application of Reading Development Knowledge 7% (~1 question)
Analysis and Application of Writing and Research 7% (~1 question)

The first four content categories consist of only selected-response questions, while the last three content categories are made up of the constructed-response questions.

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Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching

The first area of the Praxis Reading for Virginia Educators exam covers various methods to evaluate students' reading and language abilities as well as how to use these evaluations to plan instruction for a classroom. This includes both formal and informal methods of evaluation as well as various uses of this data in a classroom setting.

An effective test-taker needs to understand how to use a variety of evaluation methods of a student's oral as well as written language skills. This starts with the most basic skills including beginning phonetics and recognition of letters. In order to be successful on the Praxis 5306 exam an individual must also understand how to evaluate a student's progress in reading, vocabulary, and comprehension.

It is necessary to know how to use the evaluations to create classroom instruction that fits a student's educational needs. A classroom setting can be made up of both students who excel at reading, as well as students who have trouble with reading, so it is important to understand how to cater to each type of student. An effective teacher will understand that students' skill level can change as well and to make sure that all students are getting instruction that helps them achieve as much as possible.

Analysis of Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching

At the end of the Praxis 5306 there are three essay questions, starting with this competency. This question will need a written response to a question related to the above competency of assessment and diagnostic teaching. A test-taker must be prepared to write a thorough answer to this question. The answer must be accurate, complete, detailed, and related to the question that was asked. A test-taker is allowed to makes notes to help organize their thoughts on the given topic.

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Oral Language and Oral Communication

Under this content area of the Praxis RVE exam it is important to know about the development of oral communication skills and how to aid students with phonetics to support their learning. This oral content category encompasses both speaking and listening skills as well as understanding oral words.

It is important to know varied instructional approaches in order to be able to help a diverse student group understand the distinctive intention behind assorted oral expressions of language. The Praxis Virginia educators reading exam asks that a test-taker understand methods of promoting not just oral skills, but also promoting the ability to be able to pick up on nonverbal clues as well. One method to achieve this is by having students work together or by having students give presentations to the class. An effective test-taker must also be knowledgeable about ways to teach English to students who do not use English as their primary language and are learning it as a second language. This area also requires an understanding of how to assist students who might struggle to understand the concepts. It is imperative to create a classroom environment that is supportive to all students on their journey to understand oral communication.

This content category of the Praxis Virginia educators reading exam also examines the best methods to aid students with phonetics and linguistic acquisition. This requires a variety of approaches to assist different students in their linguistic learning. One major skill necessary for this exam is being able to help students develop the ability to hear and say various phonetics which should give them the capacity to sound out phonetics in unfamiliar words.

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Reading Development

This competency of the Praxis 5306 exam includes being able to help students learn phonetics as they relate to the written word. It includes knowledge of various methods to teach a beginning student the basics of reading. These skills include vocabulary development and comprehension of the written word.

An effective test-taker should know how to aid students in learning to associate written letters with the sound associated with them. This includes:

  • Promoting memorization of regularly occurring words
  • Teaching children the basics of both the lower case and upper case alphabetic letters
  • Understanding how students might misspell words because they are basing them on phonetics
  • Understanding various strategies to aid students' learning of what consonants and vowels sound like


This flows into the area of the exam where it is necessary to know how to help students put these phonetic sounds together to form words. This includes:

  • Having the ability to aid students to be able to recognize short words they might be unfamiliar with by using phonetics to sound out the word
  • Teaching how to blend consonant sounds and consonant/vowel sounds that commonly occur in the English language
  • Awareness of varied methods to teach these concepts to beginning readers

Word Recognition

Another important competency is the ability to help students understand unfamiliar words based on phonetics and analyzing the word based on what they already know. This includes:

  • Teaching children to take the syllables separately
  • Teaching recognition of common letter arrangement in words
  • Knowing methods to teach children to understand words they do not know yet based on the way they are used in a sentence
  • Teaching children to recognize which definition of a word with multiple meanings is most appropriate given the content of a sentence
  • Understanding how to best guide children to expand their vocabulary, including how to use reference materials such as a dictionary to learn what a words means

Fluency and Comprehension

The Praxis Virginia educators reading exam also covers helping students with their fluency of the written word, as well as their comprehension. This includes:

  • Knowing various ways to instruct students to help them become fluent at reading
  • Awareness that s student's development of reading comprehension skills can be effected by social, cognitive, and physiological factors
  • Understanding there are three types of reading comprehension: understanding what is actually written, what can be interpreted from what is written, and what can be assessed from what is written
  • Promoting personal student reading and encourage family engagement with a student's reading

Fiction and Nonfiction

The Praxis Virginia educators reading exam will test an individual's ability to aid students in their understanding of both fiction and nonfiction. This includes:

  • Being able to choose reading material of a fitting level for students
  • Knowing how to teach students about various story elements in fiction writing
  • Knowing how to teach students about a variety of genres
  • Teaching students how they can make reasonable conclusions from the fiction piece
  • Helping students understand various types of nonfiction such as informative, descriptive, and persuasive documents
  • Teaching students to understand each of these written works
  • Teaching students to identify different parts of the nonfiction piece, such as the main idea, the purpose, and what conclusions should be drawn
  • Understanding how to get students to relate the ideas of the piece with things they are familiar with in their own life or community

Application of Reading Development Knowledge

This is the second constructed-response question at the end of the exam. This question will be based on the above competency of Reading Development, but will demand a thorough, thoughtful response of test-takers knowledge on the subject. The written answer must include references to everything asked in the question as it is written. It is important to check your work when you are done to make sure your point is expressed and a scratch paper is allowed.

Writing and Research

This competency of the Praxis reading for Virginia educators exam is all about helping students know how to write and making sure they understand the rules of writing. It is important to understand that the first stages of both writing and spelling are part of growth and there can sometimes be backsliding on the skills. It is also important to make sure students understand how to effectively use both writing and reading to learn more in their lives.

An effective test-taker needs to know a variety of types of writing and understand effective methods to encourage children to learn about them. It is important to evaluate all students independently throughout this process to keep track of where they are on the spectrum of reading and writing. A prospective educator should also understand the relation between reading and writing and be able to promote that within the classroom. A successful test-taker will know various methods to teach spelling, punctuation, and capitalization and be able to aid students to take these skills and apply them to their writing.

Finally, the Praxis RVE exam focuses on research and knowing ways to help students learn to do their own research. This includes teaching students how to create their own written research conclusions by finding, organizing, and evaluating their own research. This also involves teaching students how to do their own research, including using reference books, using technology, and using other forms of media as reputable sources.

Analysis and Application of Writing and Research

The third and final constructed-response question covers this final section of writing and research. This requires a test-taker to write a well thought out answer to a question related to the competency of writing and research. This essay question will require a test-taker to express the reasoning they used to reach their conclusion as well as any possible examples from their own life. The answer should cover the question completely, but not include superfluous information. Thoughts may be organized on extra paper that will be provided during this section.

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