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What Are the Different Types of Praxis™ Questions?

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  • Written By: T. Broderick
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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There are two types of Praxis™ questions: multiple choice and constructed response. Multiple choice questions on the Praxis™ are standard among all tests. Constructed response questions, though, vary among tests. As scoring well on constructed response questions is essential to gain certification in one's teaching area, one must know the requirements of constructed response questions before test day. Besides knowing the different types of Praxis™ questions, subject content knowledge and practical experience are just as, if not more, important to test success.

Praxis™ tests titled "Content Knowledge" after the academic subject are comprised entirely of multiple choice questions. These questions, no matter the test, always offer four possible choices. Unlike some standardized tests, guessing is advantageous on the Praxis™. The difficulty of questions is random throughout the test. Finally, multiple questions are sometimes based on one set of data such as a chart, graph or a political cartoon.

Constructed response Praxis™ questions require test takers to undertake a significant amount of writing in a relatively short amount of time. An important note is that constructed response and multiple choice questions appear together only on Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exams. Otherwise, constructed response Praxis™ questions always have their own separate test. Unlike multiple choice Praxis™ tests, which generally last two hours, most constructed response tests are limited to one hour. This fact makes time management skills important when taking a constructed response test.

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The structure and composition of constructed response questions depend ultimately on the test one is taking. For example, the Praxis™ II mathematics pedagogy test requires test takers to write essays explaining their instruction techniques under a simulated scenario. Pedagogy exams are required in many subject areas. Yet some constructed response tests, such as the one for secondary school English, include an essay requiring test takers to explain the benefits and challenges of teaching a book selected from a provided list. These questions, though still focusing on technique, require the use of content knowledge.

Though understanding the different types of Praxis™ questions allows one to anticipate what he or she will see on a test, this knowledge is only one part of Praxis™ test success. Content knowledge in one's subject and classroom experience are two elements that one must not forget in preparing for a test. Though the latter is not always necessary to pass, practical experience makes one better prepared when answering some constructed response questions.

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