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How to Study for the Praxis I and Praxis II

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You want to be a public-school teacher, but as part of the state licensing and certification process, you must pass the Praxis I and Praxis II tests. How do you prepare for them? Thanks to the Internet, study materials abound. But don’t be lulled into complacency, these tests are not easy. You should practice the Praxis. The first, Praxis I, gauges basic academic skills. Praxis II tests general and subject-specific knowledge and teaching skills.

Practice the Praxis

Create a study strategy. The Praxis series, developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS), help licensing boards assess test takers interested in becoming certified or licensed teachers. Allow yourself enough time for a thorough search of Praxis study guide sites and thorough preparation from these materials (see Resources).

The Praxis I test consists of reading, mathematics and writing. Since you can schedule which parts of the exam you wish to take, the format varies among test takers. Praxis II subject assessments measure your knowledge of the subjects you'll teach, as well as general and subject-specific educational skills and knowledge. The "Principles of Learning and Teaching" teaching assessments are included in this group.

Take the time to review articles written about the Praxis I and Praxis II exams and the pitfalls that some students fall into. Sites such as TestExamHelp.com can offer helpful articles in this regard. Follow the steps reviewed here to avoid mistakes.

Read and review specific test information offered by Praxis I and Praxis II online study sites. Don’t rely on just one site; try a few. Take the practice tests offered and review any sample questions that might be offered apart from the practice exams. You can complete sample tests online and get instant feedback on how well you did. Answer rationales are provided in addition to the correct answers.

Take the practice tests as many times as needed to feel comfortable with the exam. Make sure you know the material.

Exercise or do whatever other activity helps you relieve stress, then get a good night’s sleep the night before you take your exam.

Tip

• Target your areas of greatest weakness. You must have a passing score on each exam section. Passing with a 90th percentile on math will not help you with the written part of Praxis I or Praxis II.Focus on your areas of greatest weakness. You must have a passing score on each exam section. Passing with a 90th percentile on math won't help you with the written part of Praxis I or Praxis II.

Review for each section of the Praxis I and Praxis II separately.

Warning

• Don’t try to cram the night before; you should have done your studying by then. Arrive at Praxis site early to find a parking spot and then the place where you will take the exam.

• Don't take all three Praxis I sections at the same time if you are focusing on one content area.

About the Author

Chuck Wanager is a writer/editor with more than 30 years experience. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Wanager has also written free-lance articles published in Audubon, Atlanta, Editor & Publisher and others. A published poet, he is working on his second novel.

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