How to Prepare for the Praxis

Misty Hance
Misty Hance
Vice Principal, Elementary School, Tennessee

As you near the completion of your course work for your educational degree, you will most likely be required to take the Praxis test in order to receive your certification or license. According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Praxis website, this assessment is designed to measure both academic and subject-specific knowledge necessary to work effectively in the field of education. While each state may differ slightly in certification needs and scores, almost every state requires new educators to pass the Praxis in order to receive their certification. Assessments are offered in specific content areas such as, but not limited to:

  • Elementary Education
  • Middle School Mathematics
  • General Science
  • Social Studies
  • Educational Leadership
  • Special Education

The assessments are computer-based and can be taken at testing centers across the nation.

What is the Importance of this Assessment?

Because the demands of teaching are high, competent teachers are essential. The Praxis assesses basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Each content specific exam asks more content-based questions to determine the knowledge and application ability of the applicant. Most states require a passing score in order receive professional licenses and for additional certifications.

How to Study for the Praxis

It is important to understand what your specific Praxis will cover so that you can develop a plan for preparing for the assessment. The ETS Praxis website offers test specifications, a written study plan, and free study guides for the majority of the tested subjects. After completing your university’s course work, you may feel competent in your knowledge of your specific educational field. However, this assessment is comprehensive, and test-taking can be mentally demanding. For these reasons, it is best to take the time to study. The website offers free study guides which will prepare you for how the types of questions that will be asked, and will provide the type of answers that are being sought. In addition, once you develop a study plan, you can organize your time and determine the best testing date based on their recommendations.

After you develop your plan and begin to review the study guides, you may feel that you need more specific help. The ETS Praxis website offers live webinars which provide strategies and tips in passing the exam. The website also offers other links to ETS approved practice sites for specific needs.

Practice Tests – Are They Worth Taking?

Practice tests are an important step in test preparation. These full-length exams can prepare you for the format of the test, as well as working within the time limits to complete the exam. The ETS Praxis website even has interactive practice tests which provide additional tips and directions for test taking success. Following the exam, you will be provided with the correct answers so you know exactly what you missed and the expectations for the answers.

Most likely, you only want to pay for and take this exam once. Develop a plan, practice, and be prepared so that you have a successful outcome.

More information on the ETS Praxis.

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