Praxis Social Studies Content Knowledge (5081): Book + Online

Praxis Social Studies Content Knowledge (5081): Book + Online

Paperback(Third Edition, Revised)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738612065
Publisher: Research & Education Association
Publication date: 05/21/2016
Series: PRAXIS Teacher Certification Test Prep
Edition description: Third Edition, Revised
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 193,113
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jeanne M. Bowlan teaches social studies at the Upper Academy in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Ms. Bowlan earned her B.A. from Wells College and her M.A. in History from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. In her high school teaching career, Ms. Bowlan has taught Advanced Placement European History, United States History, Sociology, and Anthropology. Ms. Bowlan has also taught college courses in European History, Women’s Studies, and Writing.

Read an Excerpt


Congratulations! By taking the Praxis Social Studies Content Knowledge test, you are on your way to a rewarding teaching career. Our book and the online tools that come with it will help prepare you to pass your state’s required Praxis Social Studies test, bringing you one step closer to becoming a licensed secondary social studies teacher.

Our Praxis Social Studies test prep package includes:

• Complete overview of the Praxis Social Studies test

• Comprehensive review of all competencies

• Two full-length practice tests with powerful diagnostic tools to help pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and focus your study

• Detailed answer explanations that not only identify the correct answers, but also explain why the other answer choices are incorrect

There are many different ways to prepare for the Praxis Social Studies test. What’s best for you depends on how much time you have to study and how comfortable you are with the subject matter. Our book and online practice tests give you the tools you need to customize your prep and make the most of your study time.


About the Review

The review chapters in this book are designed to help you sharpen your command of the knowledge and skills you need to succeed on the Praxis Social Studies test. Whether you’re a recent graduate of a traditional teacher education program or you’ve pursued an alternate route program, our review will help reinforce what you’ve learned.

Keep in mind that your schooling has taught you most of what you need to know to pass the Praxis Social Studies exam. The education classes you took provided the background to make important decisions about situations you will face as a teacher. This review is designed to help you relate the information you have acquired to the specific content tested on the exam. While it is impossible to include everything that might appear on the actual Praxis Social Studies exam, we have included a wide range of material to help you with your preparation. Studying your class notes, textbooks, and other sources together with this review will give you an excellent foundation for passing the exam.

About the REA Study Center

At the online REA Study Center (, you will get feedback right from the start on what you know and what you don’t know to help make the most of your study time. At the REA Study Center you’ll find:

•2 Full-Length Practice Tests—These practice tests simulate the computer-based format of the actual Praxis Social Studies test and give you the most complete picture of your strengths and weaknesses.

• Automatic Scoring—Find out how you did on your test, instantly.

• Diagnostic Score Reports—Get a specific score tied to each competency, so you can focus on the areas that challenge you the most.

• On-screen Detailed Answer Explanations—Learn why the correct response option is right, and why the other response options are incorrect.

• Timed Testing—Learn to manage your time as you practice, so you’ll feel confident on test day.

If you are studying for the Praxis Social Studies test and don’t have Internet access, take the printed tests in this book. These printed tests are the same as the online practice tests offered at the REA Study Center, but without the added benefits of timed testing conditions and diagnostic score reports. When taking a printed test, you are encouraged to simulate the test environment as closely as possible.


Who Takes the Test and Why?

Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers the Praxis tests. They are designed to evaluate the preparedness of an individual to teach subject-specific courses and are part of the teaching certification and licensure programs in many U.S. states and territories.

The purpose of the Praxis Social Studies test is to assess the specific knowledge and competency required to teach social studies in a secondary school. The people who take this exam come from a variety of backgrounds, but most are college seniors or recent graduates of a four-year college. Another contingent of people seeking certification include those who have had other occupations and are hoping to change careers, or teachers who are moving to a state that requires the Praxis for certification from a state that does not.

How and When is the Test Administered?

The Praxis Social Studies test is offered on computer during specific testing windows that occur several times a year. Minimal computer skills are required to complete the test. You need to be comfortable with the Windows environment, and using a mouse (including clicking, double-clicking, and scrolling) at a rate that will allow you to complete the exam in the allotted time.

How Do I Register for the Test?

Before registering, check your state’s testing requirement to make sure you are taking the right test. At you can register for the test, locate the nearest testing centers, find the available test dates, and request special testing accommodations if you are a test taker with disabilities or health-related needs.

You will have to pay a registration fee to take the Praxis Social Studies test. A limited number of fee waivers are available, however, for candidates who are unable to afford registration and meet the eligibility requirements contained in the Praxis Series registration bulletin.


What is Assessed on the Praxis Social Studies Test?

The Praxis Social Studies test determines whether an examinee has the knowledge and skills necessary for a beginning teacher of social studies in a secondary school. The test requires the candidate to understand and apply social studies knowledge, concepts, methodologies, and skills across the fields of United States history; world history; government/civics/political science; geography; economics; and the behavioral science fields of sociology, anthropology, and psychology.

Correctly answering the questions requires knowing, interpreting, and integrating history and social science facts and concepts. Some of the questions are based on interpreting material such as written passages, maps, charts, graphs, tables, cartoons, diagrams, and photographs. Between 10 and 15 percent of the questions contain content reflecting the diverse experiences of people in the United States as related to gender, culture, and/or race, and/or content relating to Latin America, Africa, Asia, or Oceania. The Praxis Social Studies test covers six major content areas and has approximately 130 multiple-choice questions. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam.

What Types of Questions are on the Test?

The Praxis Social Studies Content Knowledge test is strictly a multiple-choice assessment. However, ETS says it may use interactive questions that could include audio and video components. Such questions may occasionally ask you to respond with multiple correct answers. You may encounter items that will ask you, among other things, to click a check box, click on a sentence or on portions of an interactive graphic such as a map or chart (a so-called hot-spot question), drag and drop answer choices, or use a dropdown menu.

For more information on computer-delivered questions and to see examples of the question types, be sure to consult ETS’s Praxis Study Companion for the 5081 test and see ETS’s Praxis computer-delivered testing demo at the Praxis website (


What is a Passing Praxis Score?

As you’re preparing for the Praxis Social Studies test, it is important to understand how the test is scored and how to interpret your test scores. Naturally, your first question might be: what is a passing score? Well, that depends. Each state that requires the Praxis tests sets its own passing scores. For the most up-to-date information on your state’s requirements visit

What is on the Score Report?

Praxis test questions are categorized by content. Your score report will show how many raw points you earned in each content category. The passing score is calculated by comparing your “raw points earned” with the maximum points you could have earned (“raw points available”).

Your score report will include information on passing scores for the states you identified as recipients of your test results. The score report will include your score and whether you passed, the range of possible scores, the raw points available in each content category, and the range of the middle 50 percent of scores on the test.

If you have taken the same test or other tests in the Praxis Series over the last 10 years, your score report also lists the highest score you earned on each test taken. If you have questions about how to read your score report, visit:

When Are Scores Available?

Your official Praxis Social Studies score report will be available online via your My Praxis Account approximately two to three weeks after your testing window closes. If you do not already have a Praxis account, you must create one to view your scores, even if you registered by mail or phone.

Can Praxis Scores be Transferred?

Praxis scores can often be transferred from one state to another. The Praxis tests are part of a national testing program, meaning that they are required for licensure in many states. If you move to another state that also requires Praxis tests, you can transfer your scores.

Table of Contents


Passing the Praxis Social Studies Content Knowledge Test
How to Use This Book + Online Prep
About the Praxis Social Studies Test
Format of the Test
Scoring the Exam
Study Schedule
Test-Taking Tips to Boost Your Score
The Day of the Test


Physical Geography of North America
Native American Peoples
European Exploration and Colonization (1492-1763)
Establishing a New Nation (1763-1791)
The United States Constitution (1787-1789)
Early Years of the New Nation (1791-1829)
Continued National Development (1829-1850)
Civil War Era (1850-1870’s)
Emergence of the Modern United States (1877-1900)
Progressive Era through the New Deal (1900-1939)
The Second World War and the Postwar Period (1939-1963)
Suggestions to Help You Study


Human Society to Approximately 3500 BCE
Development of City Civilizations and Ancient Empires (CA. 3500 BCE-3500 CE
Disruption and Reversal (CA. 500-1400 CE)
Emerging Global Interactions (CA. 1400-1750)
Political and Industrial Revolutions, Nationalism (1750-1914)
Conflicts, Ideologies, and Evolutions in the Twentieth Century
Suggestions to Help You Study


Foundations of Government
Economic Theories
Constitutional Foundations of the United States Government
Structure and Functions of the National Government
Comparative Government and Politics
International Relations
International Law
Suggestions to Help You Study


The Spatial Perspective
The Five Themes of Geography
Maps and Mapmaking
Types of Maps
A Geographic Tour
Suggestions to Help You Study


Fundamental Concepts in Economics
The Economic Problem
Demand and Supply
Economic Systems
How a Market Economy Works
The Public Sector in the American Economy
Gross National Product
Macroeconomic Problems of the American Economy
Money and Banking
Monetary Policy
Impact of the Global Economy
Developing Nations’ Economies
The Brave New World Brought About by Technology
Suggestions to Help You Study


The Behavioral or Social Sciences
Suggestions to Help You Study

Answer Sheet
Practice Test
Answer Key
Answer Explanations

Answer Sheet
Practice Test
Answer Key
Answer Explanations


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