Read an Excerpt
ABOUT THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE If you’re looking to secure certification as an English teacher at any level, you’ll find that many states require one or another of the Praxis II English Language, Literature, and Composition Assessments (Test Codes 0041, 0042, 0043, and 0049). Think of this book as your toolkit to pass the test(s). It will help take the mystery and anxiety out of the testing process by equipping you not only with the nuts and bolts, but also, ultimately, with the confidence to succeed alongside your peers across the United States.
We at REA have put a lot of thinking into this, and the result is a book that pulls together all the critical information you need to know to pass the Praxis II English Language, Literature, and Composition tests. Let us help you fill in the blanks—literally and figuratively! We will provide you with the touchstones that will allow you to do your very best come test day and beyond.
In this guide, REA offers our customarily in-depth, up-to-date, objective coverage, with test-specific modules devoted to targeted review, and realistic practice exams complete with the kind of detail that makes a difference when you’re coming down the homestretch in your preparation. The first practice tests for the Praxis II 0041, 0042, 0043, and 0049 exams are included in two formats: in printed form in this book and on the enclosed TestWare on CD-ROM. We strongly recommend that you begin your preparation with the TestWare tests, which provide timed conditions and instantaneous, accurate scoring. In this book, we include a competency-categorized progress chart to enable you to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
ABOUT THE PRAXIS SERIES
Praxis is Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) shorthand for Professional Assessments
for Beginning Teachers. The Praxis Series is a group of teacher licensing tests that ETS
developed in concert with states across the nation. There are three categories of tests
in the series: Praxis I, Praxis II, and Praxis III. Praxis I includes the paper-based Pre-
Professional Skills Tests (PPST) and the Praxis I Computer-Based Tests (CBT). Both
versions cover essentially the same subject matter. These exams measure basic reading,
mathematics, and writing skills and are often a requirement for admission to a teacher
Praxis II embraces Subject Assessment/Specialty Area Tests, of which the Praxis II
English Assessments (0041, 0042, 0043, and 0049) are a part. The Praxis II examinations
cover the subject matter that students typically study in teacher education courses such
as language acquisition, school curriculum, methods of teaching, and other professional
development courses. In most teacher-training programs, students take these tests after
having completed their classroom training, the course work, and practicum.
Praxis III is different from the multiple-choice and essay tests typically used for assessment purposes.
With this assessment, ETS-trained observers evaluate an instructor’s performance in the classroom, using nationally validated criteria. The observers may videotape the lesson, and other teaching experts may critique the resulting tapes.
The Praxis II English Assessments (0041, 0042, 0043, and 0049) cover the content areas of reading and language arts, literature, and composition and rhetoric. This study guide will deal with each of these broader content areas and with the subareas such as are found in English.
Who Takes the Test?
Most people who take the Praxis II English Assessments (0041, 0042, 0043, and/ or 0049) are seeking initial licensure. Twenty-eight states require both the English Literature Content Knowledge (0041) and the Middle School English Language Arts (0049) tests to teach middle school English. Seven states require both the Secondary School Language Arts (0041) and the English Language Literature and Composition: Essays (0042) exams; two states—Utah and Arizona—require three of the exams, although Utah notes that in some circumstances all four may be required and to check with the licensing authority. Six states require both the Secondary School Language Arts (0041) and the English Language Literature and Composition: Pedagogy (0043) tests to teach English and additionally require the Middle School English Language Arts (0049) test to teach middle school English. We concluded that there is a significant reason to include the 0041 and 0049 exams in the same book. And our decision to include the 0042 and 0043 exams is supported by the fact that 14 states require the 0041, the 0049, and either the 0042 or the 0043.
You should check with your state’s education agency to determine which Praxis examination(s) you should take; the ETS Praxis website (www.ets.org/praxis/) and registration bulletin may also help you determine the test(s) you need to take for certification. You should also consult your education program for its own test requirements. Remember that colleges and universities often require Praxis examinations for entry into programs, for graduation, and for the completion of a teacher certification program. These requirements may differ from the baseline requirements the state has for teacher certification. You will need to meet both sets of requirements.
When Should I Take the Test?
The Praxis II English Assessments (0041, 0042, 0043, and 0049) are tests for those who have completed or almost completed their teacher education programs. As we mentioned in the previous section, each state establishes its own requirements for certification; some states specify the passing of other tests. Some states may require the test for initial certification; other states may require the test for beginning teachers during their first months on the job. Generally, each college and university establishes its own requirements for program admission and for graduation. Some colleges and universities require certain tests for graduation and/or for completion of a teacher education program. Check with your college and the state teacher certification agency for details.
When and Where Can I Take the Test?
ETS offers the Praxis English Assessments seven times a year at a number of locations across the nation. The usual testing day is Saturday, but examinees may request an administration on an alternate day if a conflict—such as a religious obligation—exists.
How Do I Get More Information on the ETS Praxis Exams?
To receive information on upcoming administrations of any of the Praxis II English Assessments or any other test, consult the ETS registration bulletin or website, or contact ETS at:
Educational Testing Service
Teaching and Learning Division
P.O. Box 6051
Princeton, NJ 08541-6051
Phone: (609) 771-7395
Special accommodations are available for candidates who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled, or specific learning disabled. For questions concerning disability services, contact:
ETS Disability Services: (609) 771-7780
TTY only: (609) 771-7714
Provisions are also available for examinees whose primary language is not English. The ETS registration bulletin and website include directions for those requesting such accommodations. You can also consult ETS with regard to available test sites; reporting test scores; requesting changes in tests, centers, and dates of test; purchasing additional score reports; retaking tests; and other basic facts.
Is There a Registration Fee?
To take a Praxis examination, you must pay a registration fee, which is payable by check, money order, or with American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit cards. In certain cases, ETS offers fee waivers. The registration bulletin and website give qualifications for receiving this benefit and describe the application process. Cash is not accepted for payment.
Can I Retake the Test?
Some states, institutions, and associations limit the number of times you can retest. Contact your state or licensing authority to confirm their retest policies.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK AND TESTWARE
What Do I Study First?
Read over REA’s subject reviews and suggestions for test taking. On CD-ROM, take Practice Test 1 for the specific Praxis II Assessment which you will be taking. This will help you determine your areas of weakness, so you know how to focus your studies. After further study, make sure to take Practice Test 2 in this book so that you will be familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking the actual test.
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying; the earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to study because it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material.
STUDYING FOR THE TESTS
It is critical to your success that you study effectively. Throughout this guide, you will find Praxis Pointers that will give you tips for successful test taking. The following are a few tips to help get you going:
• Choose a time and place for studying that works best for you. Some people set aside a certain number of hours every morning to study; others may choose to study at night before retiring. Only you know what is most effective for you.
• Use your time wisely and be consistent. Work out a study routine and stick to it; don’t let your personal schedule interfere. Remember, seven weeks of studying is a modest investment to put you on your chosen path.
• Don’t cram the night before the test. You may have heard many amazing tales about effective cramming, but don’t kid yourself: most of them are false, and the rest are about exceptional people who, by definition, aren’t like most of us.
• When you take the practice tests, try to make your testing conditions as much like the actual test as possible. Turn off your television, radio, and telephone. Sit down at a quiet table free from distraction.
• As you complete the practice test, score your test and thoroughly review the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly.
• Take notes on material you will want to go over again or research further.
• Keep track of your scores. By doing so, you will be able to gauge your progress and discover your strengths and weaknesses. You should carefully study the material relevant to your areas of difficulty. This will build your test-taking skills and your confidence!