Is teaching your chosen career path? If so, you will probably be taking the Praxis I and Praxis II. Used in over 40 states, the Praxis I and II are designed to measure basic skills as well as content specific knowledge.
The Praxis I, also known as the Pre-Professional Skills Test, is required by many colleges and universities for admission into teacher education programs. Composed of three tests, measuring basic skills in reading, math and writing, it is offered both as a computer-based and a paper-based test. The main purpose of the Praxis I is to determine if you possess the academic skills for success in a teacher licensure program. All three tests consist of multiple choice questions. The writing test also includes an essay. Guidelines for passing scores are set by individual states.
The Praxis II is taken before full teacher licensing. The individual tests vary in length (1, 2, or 4 hours) and up to three tests may be taken on one test date. With over 120 different content area tests, ranging from agriculture to world history, it is important to check with your state licensing agency to ensure that you take the necessary tests for certification. Passing scores in content areas vary and individual states set score requirements for new teacher licensing.
These tests have a major impact on your teaching career so it is important to prepare wisely. Start your preparation early and develop a plan for success. Choose the testing format, paper-based or computer-based, that is best for you. Familiarize yourself with the format of the test and the types of questions that are asked. Answer every question on the test because there is no penalty for guessing. Work on general test taking strategies and review content specific to the test you will be taking. Take advantage of the free resources offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Your university may offer free courses or student study groups for test preparation. If you work better with a more structured approach consider purchasing a self directed study guide or enrolling in a course offered online or through a local university.
Plan test dates for your success. These tests are offered approximately eight times per year so plan to spread out the tests you need to take. Praxis I tests are all be taken on the same date, typically before or at the beginning of you teacher education program. Praxis II tests must be completed for full teacher licensing and can be taken on multiple test dates. Consider separate test dates for more challenging content areas. Your teaching career, and your impact on future generations of students, is in your hands.
Practice Prep Info specializes in preparation for the Praxis exams. They have study guides and flash cards available along with a wealth of tips on their website.
Test Prep Review offers free online practice tests and has broken down testing your readiness into a series of self-assessment modules. You can then easily see weak areas in your preparation and focus the time and practice to gain competency there.