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How Do I Choose the Best Praxis™ Book?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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The Praxis™ exams cover a wide range of disciplines and concentrations. There is a difference between the Praxis I® and the Praxis II® although both are used to evaluate college students who are studying to become teachers. To choose the best Praxis™ book, you must evaluate your needs based on which exam you are taking and your area of study. After that, you should browse several Praxis™ books to find one which includes explanations and examples of the types of questions on the exam, a thorough discussion of the organization of the Praxis™, and several practice exams.

First or second year college students are sometimes required to take the Praxis I®. This test evaluates fundamental skills in mathematics, writing, and reading. In some cases, if a student has made sufficiently high scores on high school examinations such as the SAT reasoning exam or ACT, the requirement to take the Praxis I® is waved.

Senior or fourth year students are typically required to achieve a minimum score on the praxis™ II by the regional accreditation office to obtain their teaching license. Each educational discipline has its own Praxis II® exam. The exams are further organized into levels of education, depending on the age and grade to be taught.

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For instance, many of the creative arts have certifications which span all thirteen years of primary and secondary education. These are usually called "K-12" exams. Art, dance, music, and many foreign languages are often K-12 exams. Fundamental disciplines, like language arts or science, are typically grouped into elementary, middle, or high school levels.

Your undergraduate educational courses will probably have prepared you to understand the content of the Praxis™ exam, but not the format or organization of the test. The Praxis™ exam is not a test you can pass after one or two nights of study. It includes many multiple choice sections to test your knowledge of your subject, including history and theories, and also an essay section. In the essay section, you will be required to write a lesson plan in a limited amount of a time on a topic they have chosen. You will not be given the topic ahead of time, and you will have to rely on your previous years of study to supply the correct answer.

Before choosing a Praxis™ book, check your region's requirements. Some disciplines recommend that students take more than one Praxis II® exam in order to obtain additional certifications. You should also check your region for the minimum scores required to obtain your teaching license. Some regions have higher score standards than others.

After you have determined which Praxis I® or Praxis II® exam you need to take, you are ready to choose your Praxis™ book. To adequately prepare for the exam, you will need a book which explains how the exam is organized, the types of questions to expect, and how the exam will be graded. The Praxis™ book should also include at least two practice exams.

Browse the book carefully. Read through a question in each section to make sure adequate explanation of the question format and answer is given. Check for a section in the book which discusses grading of the essay section. You will need to understand what the essay graders expect to see in order to get a good score. If the Praxis™ book is the correct guide to the exam you are required to take and meets these requirements, it will be a good choice.

For additional exam preparation and help, there are tutorials and practice questions available online. Make sure that the tutorial is based on the most recent form of the Praxis&trade exam, since the tests change periodically. You might also be able to register for a Praxis&trade test preparation course, available either online or through your local educational institution.

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