May 14

Preparing for Praxis Exam in 2024

The Praxis exam evaluates individuals aspiring to become educators. It is an essential step in the teacher certification process that ensures that educators are well-prepared for their roles in the classroom.

The exam can be difficult depending on a candidate’s test-taking habits and preparedness. Therefore, adequate planning and preparation are necessary to succeed.

In this article, we will provide all the relevant information necessary for those preparing to take a Praxis exam. 

We’ll cover exam formats, preparation materials, common mistakes to avoid, and practical test prep tips to help you pass the Praxis exam.

Is the Praxis Exam Difficult?

The difficulty of the Praxis exam depends on individual preparedness and the specific test you are taking. 

The Praxis exam consists of several core tests and subject tests designed for prospective educators. Apart from the Braille Proficiency test, all others are computer-delivered.

Your individual strengths and weaknesses determine the difficulty of the exam, your academic background, and the level of expertise you have in the subject matter. 

For example, if you have a strong background in mathematics, you might find the math section of the Praxis Core exam easier than someone who last studied math a while ago.

Given the varying content and skills required for different Praxis exams, it is crucial to prepare in advance. You can prepare by reviewing study materials, taking practice tests, and familiarizing yourself with the format and question types you'll encounter. 

Praxis exams consist of multiple-choice questions, essays, and constructed-response questions. The duration allocated for each test can range from one to four hours, depending on the test. 

Steps to Prepare for Your Praxis Exam

With the high stakes for every aspiring teacher, preparing well for your Praxis exam is crucial for achieving a good score. A strategic preparation plan will improve your chances of success. Let’s go through the steps you need to take to help you prepare.

1. Research the exam you need to take.

Before you begin preparing for your Praxis exam, you should thoroughly research the specific exam you are required to take. Praxis offers a range of exams, each designed for a particular purpose.

The exam offers a variety of tests covering a wide range of subjects and grade levels, from elementary education to high school:

  •     Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Test a candidate's math, reading, and writing proficiency.
  •     Praxis Subject Assessments: There are over 90 of these exams, each testing a single subject area.
  •     Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments: Test for specialized subject area knowledge needed to teach in grades K–12. 

Your choice of exam depends on your career goals and the requirements of the teaching program or state where you plan to work.

2.   Make a study plan.

Creating a well-structured study plan is a critical step in preparing for your Praxis exam. With a study plan, you can maximize the use of your time to cover all the necessary content and practice effectively, reducing the risk of cramming.

A well-organized study plan minimizes stress and anxiety because you'll have a clear roadmap for your preparation. Knowing you have enough time to cover all the material will boost your confidence.

Consistently studying for several weeks or months allows you to make steady progress. It is more effective than last-minute, frantic study sessions.

Here are tips for creating a study plan:

  1.   Assess your availability: Begin by assessing your schedule and determining how many hours per week you can realistically dedicate to studying for your Praxis exam. Be honest with yourself about the time you can commit without overwhelming your daily routine. Consider your work, school, and personal commitments when calculating the number of hours available for studying.
  2.   Create a calendar: Once you've established the number of weekly study hours, add these hours to your calendar. Designate specific times each day or week for study sessions. Consistency is key, so try to stick to your schedule. Use digital calendars, apps, or physical planners to help you stay organized. Set reminders or alarms to ensure you stay on track with your planned study sessions. Remember to allocate time for breaks and leisure activities to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  3.   Be flexible: Your study plan should be adaptable because life can be unpredictable, and unexpected events may disrupt your schedule. Build in some flexibility to accommodate these situations. If you miss a study session, try to make up for it by adjusting your schedule. Be proactive about reorganizing your plan to ensure you cover all necessary content.
  4.   Different study methods: Incorporate a variety of study activities into your plan, such as reading, practice tests, flashcards, and reviewing notes. This keeps your study routine engaging and effective.
  5.   Set goals: Set specific goals for each study session. For instance, you might plan to complete a certain number of practice questions, read a specific chapter, or review a particular topic.
  6.   Assess your progress:  Keep evaluating your progress from time to time and adjust your study plan accordingly. If you find that you're excelling in certain areas but struggling in others, allocate more time to areas that need improvement.

When you create and stick to a well-organized study plan, you'll make the most of your study time, stay on track, and gradually build the skills needed to ace your Praxis exam.

3.  Detect challenging parts.

You need to identify and address the challenging areas of the material as part of effective Praxis exam preparation. 

As you study, take note of topics or concepts that you find particularly challenging or confusing. For example, you may find difficulty in specific content, question types, or problem-solving strategies.

Make notes on these challenging parts in your study materials to help you easily locate them when you need to revisit and review them.

Revisiting challenging parts is essential. You may not fully grasp certain topics on your first attempt, and that's perfectly normal. Allocate additional time to review and understand these areas.

Make it a habit to go back to your highlighted sections regularly and use the following study methods so that  you make progress:

  •     Create study cards or flashcards for the challenging parts of the material. Put key information, formulas, or concepts that you struggle with in the cards and use them as a quick reference for review.
  •     Quiz yourself using these cards or ask friends or study partners to quiz you. Repetition and active recall can enhance your understanding of difficult material.
  •     Experiment with various study techniques to conquer challenging areas. Some people may find that visual aids like diagrams or charts help them understand complex concepts, while others benefit from discussing the material with peers. Try out different approaches, such as teaching the material to someone else or using online resources such as instructional videos.
  •     Work through sample questions related to the topics you find difficult. It will allow you to apply your knowledge and reinforce your understanding.

If you're struggling with specific content, don't hesitate to seek help. Reach out to teachers, professors, or tutors who can provide clarification and guidance. Take advantage of the available resources, such as online forums, study groups, and official study guides, to gain different perspectives on challenging concepts.

Creating a strategy to tackle difficult areas makes the learning process more manageable and effective. Remember that persistence and adaptability are vital in mastering challenging material and performing well on your Praxis exam.

4.  Plan your test day.

Preparing well for your Praxis exam day will help minimize stress and ensure a smooth experience. 

Here are some tips to help you plan for your test day:

  •     Prepare the required documentation the night before: Have all the necessary identification, admission ticket, and any other required documentation ready and organized the night before the exam.
  •     Get enough sleep: Aim for a good night's sleep to help you stay alert and focused during the test. Avoid staying up late to study because it can cause fatigue and reduced performance.
  •     Eat lightly: Have a balanced breakfast or meal, but avoid heavy or greasy foods that may make you feel sluggish or bloated. Opt for a nutritious and easily digestible meal to fuel your brain.
  •     Bring a bottle of water: Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining concentration. Bring a bottle of water to sip on during breaks. Be aware of any specific rules regarding food and drink at the test center.
  •     Arrive early: Plan to arrive at the test center well ahead of the scheduled start time. This gives you some buffer in case of unexpected delays and allows you to settle in without rushing.
  •     Read all questions carefully: When you start the exam, take a moment to read all the instructions and questions carefully. Understanding the format and requirements of each section is crucial for accurate responses.
  •     Respond to the easiest questions first: As you begin answering questions, tackle the easiest ones first to boost your confidence and save time for more challenging items. You can always come back to the harder questions later.

Planning your test day and following these tips will allow you to focus on the exam content and perform to the best of your abilities.

Preparation Material for Praxis Exam

When preparing for the Praxis exam, it's essential to make use of high-quality study materials. 

The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization that administers the Praxis exam, offers preparation resources that can be invaluable to test takers.

ETS provides study guides for a wide variety of Praxis exams, covering different subjects and test types. These study guides are specifically designed to help test takers prepare for the content and format of the exam.

The study guides often include sample questions along with detailed explanations of the solutions. They help you fully understand the reasoning and methods behind finding the correct answer. The best part about ETS's preparation materials is that they are available to test takers for free.

Besides the ETS's study guides and resources, let’s look at other options to help you prepare.

Study Guides

Study guides for the Praxis exam are educational resources that aim to help candidates prepare for the content, format, and requirements of their respective exams. They are designed to align closely with the official exam content and provide structured information to aid in understanding the subject matter.

Benefits of using study guides include:

  •     They comprehensively cover the content areas and topics that will be tested in the Praxis exam.
  •     They are organized to break down complex subject matter into manageable sections, making it easier to plan your study and track your progress.
  •     Many study guides include sample questions and practice tests that closely mimic the format and types of questions on the actual Praxis exam.
  •     They offer detailed explanations of the answers. These explanations help you understand not just the correct answers but also the reasoning and methods behind them.
  •     Some study guides include diagnostic tests or self-assessment tools to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Using study guides, you can build confidence in your knowledge and skills, which is essential for reducing test anxiety and improving your performance on the Praxis exam.

Study guides help you stay focused on the most relevant content areas so that you don't waste time on unnecessary topics.

Practice Tests

Practice tests are designed to simulate the actual exam experience and assess your readiness for the specific exam you are taking. 

They are sets of questions that closely resemble the content, format, and structure of the Praxis exam you are preparing for. They assess your knowledge, skills, and your ability to perform under timed conditions. 

These tests can be found in official Praxis study materials and in commercially available Praxis prep books and online resources.

Practice tests help in:

  •     Familiarization with exam format: They closely replicate the design and structure of the actual Praxis exam which reduces test anxiety and helps you feel more comfortable on exam day.
  •     Assessment of knowledge: Practice tests allow you to gauge your current level of expertise in the subject matter. You can identify areas where you excel and those that require further study.
  •     Time management practice: Taking practice tests under timed conditions helps you develop effective time management skills and helps you complete all sections of the exam within the allotted time.
  •     Identification of weaknesses: When you review the results of practice tests, you can pinpoint your weaknesses and areas where you made errors. You can then use this information for targeted study and improvement.

Practice tests provide an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you've acquired during your study. They offer a realistic assessment of your readiness for the Praxis exam. Your performance on practice tests can serve as a reliable indicator of your potential score on the actual exam.

Practice tests simulate the pressure of an actual exam. Regularly taking them and seeing improvement over time can boost your confidence, reducing test anxiety and increasing your chances of success.

Study Group

A study group is a small group of individuals who gather to study and review the material required for the Praxis exam. These groups can meet in person or online, and members may be fellow students, colleagues, or peers with similar educational goals.

Study groups bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds and knowledge, leading to varied perspectives that enrich the learning experience.

Studying with a group provides emotional support and motivation. Members can encourage each other, share study strategies, and help alleviate the stress of exam preparation.

They offer the opportunity for interactive learning. You can reinforce your understanding of the material through discussions, debates, and question-and-answer sessions.

Explaining concepts to others in the group can reinforce your own understanding. Teaching your peers helps solidify your knowledge and identify areas where you need further clarification.

Being part of a study group adds an element of accountability. Knowing that your peers are depending on your contribution can motivate you to stay on track with your study schedule.

Research suggests that collaborative learning improves retention. Engaging in discussions and teaching others can help you remember and comprehend material more effectively.

Study groups help you prepare for the exam in the following ways:

  •     Study groups allow discussion and exploration of different perspectives on the material, which leads to a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
  •     If you encounter confusing or challenging topics, you can seek clarification from your peers.
  •     Engaging in discussions and debates within the group deepens your understanding of the material. It encourages critical thinking and helps you see the subject matter from various angles.
  •     Study groups can create and share practice tests or quizzes, allowing members to test their knowledge and identify areas that need further study.
  •     Group meetings provide structure and accountability, which help keep you motivated and consistent with your study schedule. 

Praxis Exam Costs

The cost of the Praxis exam can range from $90 to $210. The pricing for the exam depends on the specific test you are taking and whether it falls under the category of core exams or subject matter tests.

Praxis Core Exams cost $90 per test.

A Praxis combined test, which is a combination of two core exams, costs $150.

The Praxis Special Education: Mild to Moderate test, as well as the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) for grades K–6, have a fee of $146.

In addition to the test fees, a registration fee of $35 is applied when you register for the Praxis exam. This fee is separate from the individual test fees.

If you need to make changes to your registration, such as rescheduling or changing your test center, there may be a fee of $40 associated with these registration changes.

Be conversant with the costs and additional fees for the Praxis exam you plan to take. It’ll help you prepare adequately and make payments in time.

Common Mistakes When Preparing for and Taking a Praxis Exam

Preparing for and taking a Praxis exam can be a challenging task, and many test takers may make certain mistakes that can hinder their performance. Recognizing and addressing these common mistakes can help you prepare better for the exam. 

Here is a list of such mistakes to avoid:

  •     Not starting to study early enough: Waiting until the last minute to begin your exam preparation can lead to cramming and a lack of thorough understanding. Starting early allows for effective and comprehensive study.
  •     Not bringing an ID: Forgetting to bring a valid and acceptable identification document to the test center can result in being denied entry to the exam. Always double-check the ID requirements for your specific Praxis exam.
  •     Overthinking answer choices: Spending too much time on a single question, especially if you're unsure of the answer, can result in time management issues. It's important to manage your time wisely and move on when necessary.
  •     Confusing math terms: Misunderstanding or mixing up mathematical terms, concepts, or operations can lead to errors in math-related questions. Be sure to review and clarify mathematical terminology during your study.
  •     Misusing negative signs: Misplacing or misusing negative signs in math problems can result in incorrect answers. Pay close attention to the details when working with negative numbers.
  •     Adjective and adverb errors: Misusing or confusing adjectives and adverbs can impact the accuracy of your responses in language-related questions. Be mindful of the differences between these parts of speech during the exam,

Start Preparing for the Praxis Exam

The Praxis exam's difficulty level can vary based on your individual strengths, academic background, and the exam you choose, making preparation essential.

Planning for the test day and the actual exam adequately is vital to reduce stress and optimize performance.

The Praxis exam is an essential step in your journey to becoming an educator, and a successful performance on this test directly impacts your teaching career. 

Now, it's time to take your first step toward a successful and fulfilling teaching career. Start preparing for the Praxis exam by exploring the materials we’ve discussed.

Build your confidence and embrace success in your Praxis exam.