If you’re studying to become a teacher, you may already be familiar with the Praxis test. The Praxis is a standardized test administered to prospective teachers as part of their certification. There are two parts to the Praxis: Praxis I reviews basic reading, math, and writing skills, and the Praxis II focuses on material specific to the teacher’s concentration. Because licensing rests on Praxis test results, many aspiring teachers can find the process nerve-wracking. Studying and preparing for the test ahead of time can ensure the best results possible. Here are some great tips and useful resources to help you prepare:
1) Budget Your Time
Schedule a test date that will allow you ample time to prepare. Give yourself a week or two, depending on your work or class schedule. Then, break down your study time into manageable chunks each day. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and as long as you stick to your schedule you shouldn’t feel the need to “cram” as the test date approaches.
2) Understand the Test Contents
The Praxis is usually a mix of multiple choice questions and a few essay-style questions. If you’re taking the Praxis II, you can use the free Study Companion to find sample questions and an overview for each test you may be taking. There will be a different type of Praxis II test depending on your subject area and expertise.
3) Use Study Guides
Don’t rely solely on the knowledge you already have to get you through the Praxis. You’d be surprised how quickly some information can leave your memory, so take advantage of every study guide you can find. There are a number of valuable study guides available online to assist you. In addition to these online resources, consider options at your local library. They may have a high school or intro-level college textbook in your subject area that can help.
4) Take a Practice Test
One of the best ways to prepare is by taking a practice test. Practice tests help familiarize you with the Praxis itself before you even arrive on test day. Many test-takers overestimate their preparedness and perform poorly as a result. By taking as many practice tests as you can, you will avoid that pitfall.
5) Know The Scoring Rules
Understanding the structure of the test is just as important as knowing the material. Be familiar with your time allotments, question types, and scoring. The Study Companion can help you understand how each test is scored, so you shouldn’t have any surprises with your results.
6) Get Enough Sleep
Each night between the day you schedule the test and the day you take it, make sure you get enough sleep. Adequate sleep improves memory and concentration so that you’ll be sure to focus during study and retain what you’ve studied. Get at least eight hours of sleep a night, and remember to turn off electronics for quality sleep.
7) Eat Well
Just as you did during standardized testing in grade school, you’ll want to make sure you eat a good meal before you take your test. Replenishing your blood sugar will keep you from feeling unnecessarily tired, anxious, or irritable. You’ll be much better able to focus and perform at your best if you’re well-fed and not thinking about how hungry you are.
Now that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to prepare, the best thing to do is simply relax. You are confident that you will perform well because you have studied and readied yourself. Take a few deep breaths, stay calm, and ace that test!