Praxis Testing: What To Expect And What You Should Do
If you’re embarking on a career as a teacher, then you will encounter the Praxis Series tests. Praxis testing is standard procedure for the majority of the states in the U.S. and many colleges, universities and licensing agencies for teaching professionals also require these tests. Basically, Praxis testing evaluates a beginning teacher’s basic skills, pedagogic skills and knowledge in content-specific areas. Here are some things you might want to know about Praxis testing:
Praxis testing involves three major categories: Praxis I (Academic Skills Assessment Tests), Praxis II (Subject Assessment Tests) and Praxis III (Classroom Performance Assessment Tests). Each of these areas correspond to a level in a teacher’s development and is designed to evaluate in what areas a beginning teacher has strengths and weaknesses.
For Praxis I, testing involves multiple-choice questions and essay questions that will test your basic teaching knowledge and skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Praxis II testing involves subject assessment to measure your knowledge and skills in teaching subjects specific to K-12. Like Praxis I, Praxis II testing involves multiple-choice and essay questions. Testing may either be paper-based or computer-based.
Praxis III testing involves classroom practice to measure a teacher’s knowledge and skills within a classroom setting. Testing involves essay, listening and oral response tasks, prepared documentation reviews, class practice observations and interview. Praxis III testing is often required by professional licensing agencies to make teacher licensing decisions.
Praxis testing will measure your ability as a teacher but it will not measure your individual skills regarding teaching disposition or your potential for teaching success.
Preparing for Praxis testing
Since passing a Praxis test means taking one step further in your teaching career, it’s important that you take the tests seriously. As such, preparation is key to taking the Praxis tests successfully.
Begin with finding the right information on Praxis testing by knowing which Praxis test category you should get. Go to your local Department of Education office or visit their website to learn more. You will also find information on how and when to register and where to find testing centers. Find out about the testing schedules to make sure you meet the deadline and get a reserved seat.
Once you have this information, prepare for the testing itself. Review your student notes, especially those that deal with educational and psychological methodologies and techniques. If you can, join a study group or find resources for practice testing online. Focus on the areas where you need the most improvement. Since you will be taking each section of Praxis tests separately, you might want to focus your review instead of studying just a general outline.
It will help a great deal if you are familiar with how the testing will look and feel like, so get a hold of materials such as testing booklets and answer sheets that can approximate the actual testing materials. This helps save you time when you’re taking the actual test.
You can also find resources online that provide sample question types (not the actual test questions themselves) to familiarize yourself with how questions are phrased and constructed. Getting study guides to help you with your preparation may also be beneficial.
Praxis testing is necessary in order to help prepare and evaluate beginning teachers for their tasks as educators. Once you’ve passed, the hours of study and work you’ve put into will be worth it so make sure to get the right information, use the right resources and be prepared.