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PRAXIS Exam CramPRAXIS Exam CramIntroduction
This introduction provides you with some general information about the layout of this book and what you can expect to find in an Exam Cram. This is followed by a brief overview of the chapter content and basic test information such as question format, number of questions, and passing score, as well as recommendations for preparing for and taking the exam.About This Book
The chapters in this book have been structured around the exam objectives developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS). This ensures you are familiar with the content that you'll encounter on the PRAXIS Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exams.
I recommend that you work through the book from start to finish for your initial reading. After you've read the book, you can brush up on a certain area by using the Index or the Table of Contents to go straight to the topics and questions you want to re-examine. I've tried to use the headings and subheadings to provide outline information about each given topic. After you've completed the PRAXIS I exam, I think you'll also find this book useful as a study resource for the PRAXIS II exam.Who This Book Is For
This book has been written as a study resource for the PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II exams. It is intended for those individuals who are currently completing or have already completed their college training and are now preparing to take the PRAXIS I and/or PRAXIS II exams. The book assumes that the reader has some background knowledge in high-school level math, reading, and writing.Chapter Formats
Each chapterof Exam Cram follows a regular structure, along with graphical cues about especially important or useful material. The structure of a typical chapter is as follows:
Opening hotlistsEach chapter begins with lists of the terms you'll need to understand and the concepts you'll need to master before you can be fully conversant with the chapter's subject matter. I follow the hotlists with a few introductory paragraphs, setting the stage for the rest of the chapter.
Topical coverageAfter the opening hotlists, each chapter covers the topics related to the chapter's subject.
Exam AlertsThroughout the topical coverage section, I highlight material most likely to appear on the exam by using a special Exam Alert element that looks like this:
Caution - An Exam Alert stresses concepts, terms, or any other bit of information that will most likely appear in one or more exam questions. For that reason, I think any information that's offset in Exam Alert format is worthy of unusual attentiveness on your part.
Even if material isn't flagged as an Exam Alert, all the content in this book is associated in some way with test-related material. What appears in the chapter content is critical knowledge.
NotesThis book is an overall examination of the different content areas on the exam. As such, I'll dip into many different aspects of reading, writing, and mathematics. Where a body of knowledge is deeper than the scope of the book, I use notes to indicate areas of concern or specialty training.
Note - Cramming for an exam will get you through a test, but it won't make you a competent professional. Although you can memorize just the facts you need in order to pass an exam, your daily work in the field will rapidly put you in water over your head if you don't know the underlying principles in a specific content area.
TipsI provide tips that will help you to build a better foundation of knowledge or to focus your attention on an important concept that will reappear later in the book. Tips are helpful ways to remind you of the context surrounding a particular area of a topic under discussion.
Tip - You should also read the section in the beginning of the book titled "Self-Assessment." The information contained in this section will help you to determine your readiness to challenge the PRAXIS I exam.
Exam Prep QuestionsThis section presents a short list of test questions related to the specific chapter topic. Each question is followed by an explanation of both correct and incorrect answers. The practice questions highlight the areas I found to be most important on the exam.
"Need to Know More?" SectionEach chapter ends with a listing of additional resources offering more details about the chapter topics.
The bulk of the book follows this chapter structure, but there are a few other elements that should be pointed out:
Practice ExamsThe practice exams, which appear in Chapters 8, 10, and 12 (with answer keys in Chapters 9, 11, and 13), are very close approximations of the types of questions you are likely to see on the PRAXIS I exam.
KeysThese provide the answers to the practice exams, com- plete with explanations of both the correct responses and the incorrect responses.
GlossaryThis is an extensive glossary of important terms used in this book.
The Cram SheetThis appears as a tear-away sheet inside the front cover of this Exam Cram book. It is a valuable tool that represents a collection of the most difficult-to-remember facts and numbers I think you should memorize before taking the test. Remember, you can dump this information out of your head onto a piece of paper as soon as you enter the testing room. These are usually facts that I've found require brute-force memorization.
You might want to look at the Cram Sheet in your car or just before you walk in to take your exam. The Cram Sheet is divided into sections, so you can review the appropriate parts just before each test.
The PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) is designed to measure your knowledge and understanding in three different content areas: reading, writing, and mathematics. You must pass the PRAXIS I exam to demonstrate basic competency in these three content areas. The exam is also broken into different sections based on these content areas. The three content areas are outlined in the following list:
ReadingThis portion of the PRAXIS I exam will test your ability to understand and evaluate written passages. The questions will vary in difficulty with some including passages with 200 words and others with only a few sentences.
WritingThe questions covering this content area are designed to test your basic knowledge of grammar and sentence structure. The writing portion of the exam is broken down into two sections: multiple-choice questions and an essay question.
MathThe mathematics section of the PRAXIS I will measure your knowledge of basic math skills and concepts. Along with focusing on basic math skills, the questions will also test your ability to reason and problem-solve.
The PRAXIS I exam is available in two different formats: a paper-based exam or a computer-based exam. Both exam formats cover the same content areas and include the same types of questions. The main difference between the two exam formats is the number of questions and the time allocated to answer the given number of questions. Table I.1 outlines the number of questions that will appear on the two different exams.Table I.1 Written and Computer Exam Questions
40 questions/60 minutes
46 questions/75 minutes
45 questions/60 minutes
51 questions/45 minutes
1 essay/30 minutes
1 essay/30 minutes
40 questions/60 minutes
46 questions/75 minutes
Registering for the Exam
As you already know, there are two different versions of the PRAXIS I exam. When you determine which exam format you prefer, you can register for the exam.Registering for the PRAXIS Written Exam
The PRAXIS I exam can be taken at specific times throughout the year. You can view the current dates when the exam is being offered at the following URL: http://www.ets.org/praxis/prxdates.html.
After you've decided on a date to take the exam, your next step will be to register for the exam or one of its components. Remember that you do not need to take all the components of the PRAXIS I exam at the same time. You can register for just a specific component if that's what you prefer. You can register for the exam in three different ways. You can do so by phone at the following numbers:
Within the U.S., U.S. Territories, and Canada call 1-800-772-9476.
For all other locations, call 1-609-771-7395.
You can register for the exam online at the following URL: http://www.ets.org/register.html. If you choose, you can also register for the exam by mail. You must obtain a printed copy of the Registration Bulletin and return it to the address on the preaddressed envelope that is included with the registration information.Registering for the PRAXIS Computer-Based Test
The process for registering for the PRAXIS I computer-based test is slightly different. You can register for the computerized version by calling a testing center near you or by calling Candidate Services at Prometric at 1-800-853-6773.How to Prepare for the Exam
Preparing for most exams requires that you obtain and study materials designed to provide comprehensive information about the specific exam for which you are preparing. The following list of materials can help you study and prepare:
The Educational Learning Services Web site (http://www.ets.org)This site provides comprehensive information about the PRAXIS I exam, including what you should know for each exam and specific exam details such as the number of questions and time alotted.
http://www.examcram2.comYou can find exam-preparation advice, practice tests, questions of the day, and discussion groups on the Exam Cram e-learning and certification destination Web site, at http://www.examcram2.com.
Preparation programsMany organizations offer preparation programs. These would entail more formal instructor-led training.
Other publicationsThere's no shortage of materials available covering the content on the PRAXIS I exam. The "Need to Know More?" resource sections at the end of each chapter in this book give you an idea of where I think you should look for further discussion.
This set of required and recommended materials represents an unparalleled collection of sources and resources for the PRAXIS I exam. I hope you'll find that this book belongs in this company.What This Book Will Not Do
This book will not teach you everything you need to know about mathematics or the English language, or even about a given topic. This book will review what you need to know before you take the test, with the fundamental purpose dedicated to reviewing the information covered on the PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II exams.
This book uses a variety of teaching and memorization techniques that will help you analyze exam-related topics and provide you with ways to input, index, and retrieve everything you'll need to know to pass the test.What This Book Is Designed to Do
This book will discuss the areas of knowledge upon which you will be tested. In other words, you may want to read the book one time just to get an insight into how comprehensive your knowledge of the various topics is. Then, as you find weak areas in your content knowledge, you will need to seek out more information on those topics from college textbooks, friends, teachers, or any other source that you deem trustworthy. The book is also designed to be read shortly before you go for the actual test and to give you a distillation of the important information as a last-minute "brush-up." I think you can use this book to get a sense of the underlying context of any topic in the chapters or to skim-read for Exam Alerts, bulleted points, summaries, and topic headings as part of this brush-up.Study Tips
It's every candidate's goal to succeed on any exam the first time around. Of course, being well prepared and ensuring you're familiar with all the objectives for each of the domains increases your chances of success. However, don't be discouraged if you don't succeed the first time. Sometimes, just being in an exam situation is enough to throw off your train of thought. If you don't pass the first time, think positively, as you'll know exactly what to expect the second time around.
Good study habits get you one step closer to achieving success on any exam. I suggest that as you begin studying for the PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II exams, you take a close look at the objectives for each of the content areas. These objectives provide an excellent starting point for determining what topics you need to study. You can obtain the objectives for each content area from the Educational Testing Services website at http://www.ets.org.
A number of resources are available that you can use to prepare for the PRAXIS exams. As already mentioned, preparation programs provide one method. Although it can cost several hundred dollars, instructor-led training is a valuable exam preparation tool. Alternatives to classroom instructor-led training are computer-based training and web-based training. The nice things about computer-based and web-based training are the affordability and flexibility they offer.
Several publishers offer PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II study guides. Some of the guides are geared toward a higher level of knowledge, teaching you everything you need to know. Others provide you with the information you absolutely need to know to pass the exam. I recommend that if you're studying for the exam on your own, you begin with a complete study guide and work through it from start to finish, and then finish with a book that points out the "need-to-know" information for the exam. Que's Exam Cram 2 does an excellent job of distilling all the information that you must know for exam success.
Practice exams are a wonderful way to test your knowledge after you've studied all the required material. A lot of study guides include practice exams designed to mimic the questions you're likely to encounter on the actual exams. There are also an abundance of Web sites that offer PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II practice exams, some of which are free and others that must be purchased. The one tip I have when using sites that offer free practice questions is to be wary of the answers. I have often encountered questions where the stated correct answer is actually incorrect.
In any case, when you are taking the practice exams, pay close attention to the answers as well. For any questions you answer incorrectly, use the explanations to understand where you went wrong and why the correct answer is indeed correct. Be sure to review study materials pertaining to the questions you answered incorrectly before taking the real exams.Test-Taking Tips
Obviously, the most important tip is to make sure you are fully prepared for the exam by using some of the study tips outlined in the preceding section. Aside from that, there are a few other tips and tricks you can use to increase your chances of performing well on the exams.
Before you begin the exam, make sure you know how much time you have to complete all the questions. You can then average how much time you can spend on each question. Of course, you may need to spend more time on some questions than others. It's generally a good idea to do a quick clock check every few questions to ensure you aren't running behind. A general rule of thumb is to plan to spend approximately one minute on each question.
The majority of test questions are multiple choice in format, so you will be presented with a minimum of four answers from which to choose. You can usually eliminate one or more of the answers immediately as being incorrect. From there, you can use your knowledge about the topic to begin eliminating the remaining answers. If you are unsure of the correct answer, try reading the question over.
Don't be surprised if you encounter an exam question for which you cannot determine the correct answer. It often happens to those of us who have fully prepared for an exam and have thoroughly studied all the necessary topics. In such cases, do not leave the question unanswered. Why? An unanswered question becomes a wrong answer. Therefore, when all else fails, a guess at least gives you a chance of answering it correctly.
In some cases, you might be able to narrow the correct answer down to two choices. Then, carefully reread the question. Sometimes one word can throw you off.
Some of the best advice ever given in such situations is to always go with your first instinct. When in doubt, always go with the answer that first jumped out at you as being correct.
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