The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams measure academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Reading, writing, and mathematics are essential skills for all candidates preparing to be teachers for all grade levels and content areas. These tests are designed to provide an assessment that measures skills and content knowledge of candidates entering the teaching profession.
Who takes the tests?
Colleges and universities may use the Praxis core exams to evaluate individuals for entry into teacher education programs. The assessments are generally taken early in college. Some states in the United States require Praxis Core scores as part of the teacher licensing process.
How are the Praxis core test given?
The tests are delivered by computer. There is an international network of test centers that offer the exams continuously. The tests can be booked by following this link.
Overview of the Praxis Core Reading test
The exam is 85 minutes in the form of 56 passage-based questions covering:
- Key ideas and details
- Craft, structure, and language skills
- Integration of knowledge and ideas
The exam measures academic skills in reading needed for teaching. In particular, there is an emphasis on skills that are critical to learning and achievement in teacher preparation programs. The exam tests the candidate’s ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate texts of different kinds.
What does the test contain?
Multiple-choice questions based on passages. These questions vary in complexity and difficulty. The reading material on the test is drawn from a variety of subjects and real situations.
Each passage has questions that relate to reading skills. All of the questions can be answered using the information in the passage.
There are four types of material:
- Paired passages totaling about 200 words followed by four to seven questions
- Long passages with about 200 words and four to seven questions
- Short passages of about 100 words with two or three questions
- You will be given a brief statement and then a question.
Passages are drawn from newspapers, magazines, journals, books, and graphics (for example, charts and diagrams)
Questions vary in difficulty and test the following skills:
- Main idea
- Supporting ideas
- Purpose of the sentence
- Authors attitude
- Relationship of ideas
- Evaluation of evidence
- Meaning of words
- Recognize similar situations
- Draw conclusions
The Praxis writing exam
The exam is 100 minutes with three sections. The first section is multiple choice, which is 40 minutes. The second section is an Argumentative essay, which is 40 minutes. The third section is an Explanatory essay, which is 40 minutes. The Core Academic Skills for Educators exam in Writing measures writing skills needed for a successful career in education. All the skills have been identified as needed for college and career readiness.
What is in the Writing exam?
There is four parts to the multichoice section.
- Error identification – these questions ask you to recognize errors in mechanics, in structural and grammatical relationships, and in idiomatic expressions or word choice. You will be asked to identify sentences that are free of errors.
- Sentence correction – You will be asked to select the best way to restate a certain phrase or sentence. In some cases, the phrase or sentence is correct as stated.
- Revision in context – These questions ask you to recognize how a passage can be strengthened through editing and revision. As you work through a short passage, you will consider development, organization, word choice, style, and the conventions of standard written English. In some cases, the indicated portion of a passage will be most effective as it is already expressed.
- Research skills – These questions ask you to recognize effective research strategies, the different elements of a citation, information relevant to a research task, and assess the credibility of sources.
The Essay section
The Praxis core writing test contains two essay task which asses your ability to write effectively within a time limit.
The argumentative essay section is 30 minutes. This task will prompt you to discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with a commonly held opinion.
The Source-based essay section is 30 minutes. This essay will prompt you to extract information from two provided sources to identify significant concerns related to an issue.
Tips for passing the Praxis reading and writing exams
- Allow your self enough time to prepare. Avoid last-minute study, because it is best to enter the exam fully prepared and with a clear head.
- Take care of the travel to the exam. Allow plenty of time to get to the exam to avoid potential lousy traffic.
- Get proper rest before the exam; do not stay up late studying.
- Dress in comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather
- Have a good meal beforehand, because you do not want to be distracted by hunger during the exam.
- Bring a photo ID to the exam.
- Try to avoid people or situations that create stress before the exam.
- Manage your time by tackling the easy questions first. Then select priorities the remaining questions from easiest first to most difficult. you do not get penalized for not answering a question
- Check your answers. If you have time left at the end of the exam, look over each question.
- Relax, and do your best, it is possible to miss a few questions and still pass the exam. What matters most is the minimum passing score.