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Praxis II Test Preparation
Praxis II tests are used by most US states for determining your competence for earning a teaching licensure. Therefore, it is important to pass the Praxis II tests or else you will remain uncertified and this could affect your career adversely as you will not be licensed to teach in public schools.
Why should One Spend Time in Preparing for Praxis II?
Praxis II tests assess your subject specific knowledge depending upon the subject that you are testing for. Passing the Praxis II test for a particular subject will make you certified for teaching that subject in public schools across the state that grants you the teaching licensure. The following reasons make it apparent that one cannot hope to do well in the Praxis II tests without adequate preparation:
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- Test content: The reason for the formulation of Praxis II tests makes it aptly clear that the test content for the Praxis II tests will be of the level that is commensurate with the knowledge that a teacher teaching that subject should possess. This implies that you will have to put in sustained effort for preparing for Praxis II tests by reviewing the subject content.
- Test format: Not only should you be aware of the fundamentals of the subject you are testing for, but you should also be aware of the types of questions that will be asked in the tests. Without awareness of these aspects related to the Praxis II test format, you might not be able to do as well in the Praxis II tests as what is required for passing the tests. So you will have to spend time in preparing for the Praxis II tests by understanding the test format of the test that you are scheduled to take.
- Confidence: It is a well known fact that you need to be confident in order to achieve success in any endeavor. You will be confident of yourself only if you are well prepared to take on the upcoming task. Similarly, you need to be confident of your knowledge of the subject area for which you are taking the Praxis II test. This confidence will make you relaxed and composed on the day of the test and you will avoid making those mistakes that you would have made while taking the test in a nervous and unsure state of mind. This level of confidence in yourself can come only if you have spent adequate time in preparing for the Praxis II tests.
- Practice: Practice is the key to success in any exam. It is of utmost importance that you practice solving the types of questions that will be asked in the Praxis II tests. Having a thorough knowledge of the test content does not necessarily mean that you will be able to do well in the test. You will be confused if you have not had enough practice in problem solving that is specific to the Praxis II test format. At the same time, you will not be able to complete the test on time if you have not been able to practice your time management skills in such a way that you are able to solve all the given questions in the time frame provided for completing the test. As Praxis II tests are timed, there is an urgent requirement for preparing for the tests in such a way that you are able to answer all the questions within the stipulated time frame without hurrying through the questions and making mistakes that could have been easily avoided.
How should the Praxis II Preparation Schedule be Planned?
After reading through the reasons for preparing for the Praxis II tests, it is evident that one would be interested in knowing the best possible method for working out an effective Praxis II prep plan. Go through the following sequence to understand the method for preparing for the Praxis II tests with a successful and helpful prep plan.
1. Visit the official website: The first step in your Praxis II prep plan is to visit the official website, www.ets.org. The testing requirements for Praxis II will vary from state to state. Although the test format and the test regulations will remain the same for all the states, the passing standards and the set of Praxis II tests for earning the teaching licensure and certification is state-dependent. Therefore, visit the link for state testing requirements from the official website and check out the requirements of the recipients of your Praxis II scores. This will help you in identifying the set of Praxis II tests that you need to take and also the scores that you need to achieve for passing the tests.
2. Work out the time at hand: The Praxis II tests are paper based and are conducted on specific dates throughout the year. Keep in mind that your score reports will be available after about 4 weeks from the test date. Register for the test well in advance and work out the time you will have in hand for preparing for the tests that you have to take. Once you have an estimate of the maximum time available with you for test preparation, you must work out your study schedule keeping the following aspects of Praxis II study in mind:
- Your weak subject areas with respect to the test content: You will have to set aside more time for reviewing the subject areas in which you need improvement. Take practice tests and gauge your skill levels and compare them with those required for passing the Praxis II tests before allocating time for preparing for the tests. Do not make the mistake of completely ignoring the subject areas in which you have done well in the practice tests. Do not leave any subject area untouched.
- The total number of tests that you are taking. You will need to set aside time for each of the Praxis II tests that you are taking. Some of the tests may require more study time as compared to the others depending upon your familiarity with the subject content.
- The number of tests you are taking on a single day. You can take more than one Praxis test on the same test date, subject to the condition that your combination of Praxis tests meets the test schedule for the paper-based tests. Do not register for more than one test on the same day if you are not confident of preparing well for all the tests simultaneously. You can take the Praxis tests on separate dates so that you have time for preparing for them individually, if you feel that you will not be able to prepare for all of them at the same time.
3. Collect the study materials: Your prep plan is incomplete without a good collection of prep materials. Your academic books will serve the purpose of helping you review the basic subject matter, but you will need study books to help you in preparing for Praxis II as per its specific test format and test content. A number of study books for Praxis II are easily available in the market. You can also attend workshops and classes for Praxis II prep. The official website offers numerous prep materials in the form of study guides, information about the test, information on ways and means to reduce test anxiety, study tips and information about the workshops being conducted for Praxis II prep. You can check the official website for downloading the prep materials available for the specific test that you are taking.
4. Study: Use the time at hand judiciously for test prep. In the initial days of preparation, set aside time for reviewing the basic concepts of the subject matter. As the test date draws closer, spend more time on problem solving and on solving full length practice tests. Take timed full length practice tests. This will help you to tune your time management skills in such a way that you are prepared to adhere to the time limits for each test.
A Common Misconception!
It is a common misconception that only those people who are intelligent will be able to do well in tests like Praxis II. On the contrary, the truth is that people who are hard working and meticulous students are the ones who will actually succeed in Praxis II. There is no doubt about the fact that hard work and a well planned prep schedule is the most effective method for scoring high in Praxis II!
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