Have you heard of the Praxis exams? How much do you know about them?
The Praxis exams are for teachers in training who want to get state teaching certification. To prepare you for the important test, you can take Praxis practice tests. The tests consist of more than 100 different exams. Below is a simple breakdown.
General Categories of Praxis Tests
While there are many categories of the tests, there are three general categories. The first is the Praxis core which consists of three tests. These are the Praxis Core Math Test, Reading Test, and Writing Test. These tests evaluate your knowledge on general topics in math and language. You have to take all the three core tests together.
Secondly, there are the Praxis II or the Praxis Subject Assessments. These tests allow you to be licensed in specific content areas.
For example, you can take tests in Chinese, Braille, Biology, elementary education, and other particular subjects. The Praxis II tests also include exams in non-teaching subjects such as guidance and counselling.
This general category consists of a series of tests known as the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) as well. PLT tests knowledge in teaching methods and learning theory according to the age group you will be teaching. There are different tests for childhood education going all the way up.
Thirdly, there are other exams that are not part of the Praxis II series. One of these is the Praxis ParaPro test for paraprofessionals, who are teacher’s aides and classroom assistants.
Just like the Praxis core and PLT, these tests cover general academic content and will include questions in algebra and grammar.
The questions are, however, much simpler and more straightforward than those in the above two general categories.
Types of Questions on a Praxis Test
You can expect two types of questions on your test. One is the multiple-choice or multiple entry questions.
The evaluator marks these questions either right or wrong.
The second type is the constructed response questions where you provide answers in the form of essays or short answers. In this case, you will be graded based on the quality of your answers and not whether they are right or wrong.
You will receive immediate results for your selected responses because the computer can score them automatically. For constructed responses, you will wait until you receive your Praxis results as human scorers have to evaluate them carefully before assigning scores.
Test grading is on a scale of 100-200 for all tests except the ParaPro assessments which evaluators scale with a grade of 420-480. There is no universal benchmark for passing or failing the tests as the state sets all benchmarks.
Your pass or fail will depend on the state you are in.
What Happens When You Fail a Praxis Test?
The good news is that failing a Praxis test is a minor setback and you can schedule a retake. You can retake a test every 21 days, excluding the date of the last test. The bad news is that it will delay your job hunt.
You, therefore, need to be more prepared for the tests to ensure you do not fail. An excellent way to do this is to take practice tests before you sit the actual test. Practice tests help you get an idea of what to expect and to take note of your strengths and weaknesses.
If you feel that you were not well-graded, you can ask for a score review service, but the service is limited. You can only get a review for the constructed answer questions and not short review questions. The review costs about $65.
If the scorers find errors in the score, they can modify it. Score reviews may put you at a disadvantage if the scorer decides to lower the score instead of increasing it. They may also retain your original grades if they find that they were right. The process takes three to four weeks.
All in all, Praxis tests are crucial as they are the benchmark against which academic institutions measure your proficiency as a teacher. Passing a Praxis test can make you stand out as a highly qualified teacher.