Praxis II Test Breakdown
A high standard of education can be maintained only if the teachers employed by educational institutions are well qualified and are capable of delivering quality tutoring. Therefore, there is a need for the US states to follow a procedure for identifying adults who are capable of excelling as teachers. This will allow the states to maintain a high standard of education being imparted in the schools throughout the state. Praxis II scores are required for the teaching licensure and certification process in most US states.
Skills Tested by Praxis II
Each Praxis II test is designed to evaluate subject specific knowledge for a particular subject. This subject will depend upon your subject area of specialization and also to a certain extent, on the requirements of the state or the testing agency. In other words, it will be the subject that you will be teaching once you qualify the Praxis II for it. Apart from subject specific knowledge, this test also evaluates you for your pedagogical skills and the basic knowledge that is expected of an adult in the teaching profession.
The Importance of Understanding the Praxis Test Format
A teaching licensure for a particular subject makes you better qualified than your competitors for the same teaching job. This is because a teaching licensure certifies that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and that you meet the basic requirements that are necessary for teaching. Passing the Praxis II tests will not only help you earn your teaching licensure, but you will also benefit personally as you will be able to settle in your career at a young age.
It is one thing to hope for passing the Praxis II tests at the earliest and it is entirely another thing to be well prepared to take the tests. Simply hoping for the best does not ensure success. You will have to put in effort for preparing for the tests if you wish to earn your teaching licensure. Preparing for the tests begins with spending time on understanding the format of the test that you have to take. Here are some aspects of the test’s format that you should be thorough with in order to be able to pass the Praxis II tests.
- Familiarization with the test content: You need to be aware of the test content on which the questions asked will be based. This is the only way you can select study materials that cover the subject areas being tested.
- Awareness of the types of questions that will be asked: You cannot prepare for a test if you are not aware of the types of questions that you will be expected to answer. You will be able to practice ways and means to answer the questions correctly only after you have thoroughly understood the method in which your skills will be assessed.
- Time management: The Praxis II are timed tests. In other words, you have to answer all the questions within a given time period. It can be very disheartening if you know the answers to the questions being asked, but you do not have the time to answer them. Therefore, you need to be aware of the time you have at hand for answering the questions presented.
- Scoring: The most important aspect of any test is awareness of the scoring procedure. With this knowledge you will be able to:
- Understand the scoring system; e.g. whether marks will be deducted for incorrect answers or not.
- Familiarize yourself with the passing standards and you will be able to set an aim for yourself as you will be clear about the scores that you have to achieve to pass the tests.
- Understand the waivers, if any; e.g. some states will accept your scores in the state-conducted licensing examinations in lieu of Praxis II scores.
Information about the Praxis II Test Format
It is apparent that you will be committing a grave mistake if you start preparing for the Praxis II tests without first understanding each of the aspects related to the tests that have just been discussed. However, the important question that now arises is “where to find information about the Praxis II test format?” Remember that you may have to take a specific set of Praxis II tests depending upon the state or the licensing authority which is the recipient of your test scores. This is because the requirements for the test will vary from state to state. Therefore, you will have to first identify the particular set of tests that you have to take and then you should spend some time in understanding the test format for the tests.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) owns the Praxis II tests and the official website of ETS, www.ets.org contains various links and documents for a detailed description of each test. You can also click on the link for the ‘State Testing Requirements’ from this website and take a note of the tests that you will have to take for qualifying for the teaching licensure for that particular state.
- Test at a Glance (TAAG): A TAAG document is available for each Praxis II test. This document contains a detailed description of the test along with sample questions. The sample questions are accompanied by the answers to the questions and explanations to the correct answers. The TAAG document for a particular test will also contain information about the listening or speaking sections, if any, in the test. This document also contains a scoring guide for explanation of the method in which your responses to the constructed-response questions will be evaluated. You can download this document, for the tests that you have to take, free of cost from the official website.
- The Praxis Series Information Booklet: This document is also available free of cost from www.ets.org. It contains detailed information about registering for each of the tests and the test day procedures.
- Understanding your Praxis Scores: This document can also be downloaded free of cost from the official website. This contains a detailed description of the aspects related to scoring of the tests. You can go through the probable score ranges for the test that you have to take. You will also be able to find out the average score ranges for the test that you are scheduled to take.
Some Aspects about Praxis II Scoring
The types of questions asked in any of the Praxis II tests will either be multiple-choice questions or constructed-response questions. The types of questions that will be asked and the total number of questions are different for each test. Here are some aspects related to scoring of the Praxis II tests.
- No marks are deducted for incorrect answers.
- Raw scores are calculated on the basis of the following:
- 1 raw point for each correct answer to the multiple-choice questions
- Weighted average or sum of the ratings given by more than one scorer to your response to a constructed-response question.
- Raw scores are converted to scaled scores for accommodating the differences in difficulty levels of the questions asked in different administrations of the same Praxis II test.
- ETS does not specify any passing scores for any of the Praxis II tests. You will have to check the “State Testing Requirements’ for the test that you are taking to identify the scores you will have to achieve in order to pass the test.
- Whether or not you have passed the tests taken by you will be indicated in your score report depending upon the passing standards of the recipients designated by you.
- You will receive the ROE (Recognition of Excellence) award if your scores lie in the range of scores achieved by the top 15 percent of test-takers in the past. However, this award is not applicable for all the Praxis II tests.
Get Your Teaching Licensure and Certification!
The path that leads to becoming a successful teacher has a crucial obstacle: obtaining a teaching licensure. If you are keen on pursuing a career in education, then ensure that you leave no stone unturned in your preparation for taking the Praxis II tests. Passing these tests will help you immensely in getting established in your teaching career without any tricky obstacles!