Preparing to Take a Praxis® Test Webinar

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Narrator

On-screen: [Preparing to Take a Praxis® Test. ETS®. The PRAXIS Series®]

Narrator - Hello. Welcome to the "Preparing to Take a Praxis® Test" webinar. This webinar is designed to assist test takers like you with how to best prepare for a Praxis Test.

We will cover topics such as what Praxis Tests are, why it is important to prepare for them, how to use the Praxis website to gather information, how to find out what the tests cover, how to develop a study plan, and how to reduce test anxiety. We'll also provide test-taking tips and strategies.

Let's start with "What are the Praxis Tests" and how the Praxis tests are used.

The Praxis Series® assessments comprise the Praxis Core and Praxis subject tests. The Praxis Core tests assess a candidate's general academic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. The Praxis subject tests measure a candidate's subject-specific content knowledge, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills, to determine whether the candidate is ready to begin teaching. There are approximately 90 Praxis test titles available.

Praxis tests are computer delivered and offered in monthly testing windows, with the exception of a few titles that are offered continuously. Check the Praxis website to determine when your Praxis test is offered.
The Praxis tests are used by many educator preparation programs as an admission requirement and also by state agencies as a requirement for teacher licensure and certification. The passing score is established by the state licensing agency, the teacher education program, or by a national or professional organization that may use the test.

Test Preparation

Preparation is the key to success. When Praxis test takers were surveyed to see if they received the score they expected, 28 percent admitted they received a lower score than they expected and that they overestimated their preparedness. So we recommend that you do your best to prepare for your test.

You can get ready for the Praxis tests by allowing plenty of preparation time, developing a study plan to guide your efforts and reviewing the practice materials for each test. Here are four easy steps to help you do that:

  1. Learn What the Test Covers
  2. Assess How Well You Know the Content
  3. Collect Materials to Prepare
  4. Prepare and Practice

Learn What the Test Covers

Let's begin with "Learn what the test covers."

The Praxis website is the best place to start gathering information. The site provides you with all the information you need, from state test requirements to how you will receive your score. There is even a Prepare for a Test section at www.ets.org/praxis/prepare, containing all the official resources to help you, including free and fee-based products for the test you are taking. You can search for your test prep materials either by test name or by test code.

On-Screen: [Screenshot of www.ets.org/praxis/prepare website.]

Once you select your test, you will see all the available resources to help you prepare. The first listing will be the Study Companion, which is a resource specific to your test title. Study Companions contain study materials designed to help you best prepare and include a "Learn About Your Test" section that outlines the test's blueprint.

The "Learn About Your Test" section, hosted in the Study Companion, provides key information on timing; test structure and format; whether the test questions are selected response, constructed response, or a combination of both; the number and percentage of questions for each content category; and whether or not a calculator is permitted.

The "Learn About Your Test" section provides information regarding categories of topics along with subtopics with details of what will be covered. Pay close attention to the topics for each category, using them as a guide to help you focus. Identify key concepts relevant to each subtopic. Think about the content knowledge you would need to draw upon in order to answer questions on each topic. Study Companions also include sample questions with answers and explanations. It is important to note that these illustrate the kinds of questions included in the test but are not representative of the entire scope of the test in either content or difficulty. Don't rely on the sample questions and answers as a complete practice test but do read carefully through the explanations and analyze why a given answer is the best one. Remember that each Study Companion is specific to a test title with a specific numeric test code, so be sure to use the correct one.

Assess How Well You Know the Content

Once you have learned what the test covers, it's time to "assess how well you know the content."

The Study Plan template (available online at www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/study/) is a great tool to help you keep track of your preparation process. Use the Study Plan to define the content areas that your test will cover by transferring the topic and subtopics listed in the "Learn About Your Test" section in the Study Companion to the Study Plan worksheet. Take note of topics or concepts with which you are not familiar and mark those areas for review. Rate yourself to determine your strengths and weaknesses in each content area to see what areas you know and what areas you need more study. After you have rated yourself, identify what resources you have available or need to find in order to review the content, then create and commit to a schedule that provides for regular study periods.

It's important to take time to prepare so you can avoid cramming for your test. This planning template shows you how to establish the right schedule and can help you stick to it.

Collect Materials to Prepare

Now that you know what the test covers and what areas you need to review, it's time to start collecting materials to help you refresh your content knowledge. ETS offers low-cost test preparation materials such as interactive practice tests. Interactive practice tests are online full-length tests that include explanations for correct answers to help you practice with sample test questions. Be sure to visit the ETS Store at www.ets.org/praxis/store to find test preparation materials available for your test.

On-Screen: [Sample Video of Test Prep Material]

Narrator - ETS also offers free test prep resources such as online videos and webinars with additional suggestions for how to prepare. We offer a test center video tour that shows you what to expect when you take a computer-delivered test, and a computer-delivered test demonstration so you can try out the different functions of the software used to administer these tests. For tests with an onscreen calculator, tutorials are available to familiarize you with its use. Be sure to review all of these videos and demonstrations on the Prepare for a Test section to get you ready for test day.

Remember to reference your college course work materials and check to see what resources are available at your library, such as school textbooks, K–12 student learning materials, and teacher's editions are good study aides and free resources to help you prepare.

Prepare and Practice

Now that you know what the test covers, what areas you need to review and what resources are available, you are ready to begin preparing and practicing. Check the Study Plan template that you put in place and start making your study schedule. Set aside some time each day or week and commit yourself to using that time for study and review. Focus first on those areas that need the most attention — the areas you most need to brush up on — then use the resources you identified to refresh your knowledge. If you are retaking a test, review your score report to get insight into areas where you most need to strengthen your knowledge. Don't limit your study solely to any one area. Use a comprehensive approach and familiarize yourself with as much material as you can based on the content categories. Then, try to hone in on the areas where you know you need the most review. It may also help to consider collaborative study efforts, such as having a friend quiz you on particular categories, or talking with teachers or other content experts who may be able to share insights on key ideas and concepts.

Review the sample questions provided in the Study Companion; test yourself and get an understanding of the explanations for the correct answers. You can also use the sample questions to judge how much time you are spending on each question and figure out how to adjust your pacing so that you don't run out of time on your test. The Study Companions also include study topics. Reviewing these topics will help you refresh your knowledge of fundamental concepts and relate them to the material covered on the test.

For selected-response questions, you only need to choose the correct answer or answers; you don't need to prove it or show how you reached the answer. Save valuable time by scanning answer choices before you read the question. This can help you use the process of elimination to narrow down answers and prevent you from taking too much time on any one question. And remember not to leave any questions unanswered — you will not be penalized for wrong answers, so you should guess even if you are unsure of the correct answer. Only correct answers count toward your score.

For constructed-response questions, responses should be organized and logical and should provide key ideas with clarifying statements. It's important to plan before you write and to practice writing responses to assess your ability to explain the material accurately, completely and clearly. Sample constructed-response questions with responses are provided in the Study Companions; use them to sharpen your skills and to time yourself. Remember to fully respond to the prompt and state your position clearly.

Confidence for Test Day

ETS has provided you with strategies and tips to help you get ready and be confident on test day. So be sure to go into the test center prepared. Take a look at all the sections of the Praxis website at www.ets.org/praxis, especially the Prepare for Test section, and get familiar with all of the resources available to you. Remember, the key to success is preparation.

On-Screen: [ETS® PRAXIS®. Copyright© 2014 Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo and PRAXIS are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). MEASURING THE POWER OF LEARNING is a trademark of ETS.]