Test Taking Tips and Strategies • Why do I have to take this exam? • Registration: Bring IDand Admission Ticket
Before the Test • In preparing for the test: 1. Register 2. Study 3. Rest • Be awake: “Educational research indicates the mind not fully activated until three hours after waking.” • The Praxis takes 2 hours; plan to be at the test site at 7:30 • Finished by 11:00 a.m. • You may not leave until the time has expired
Before the Test (continued) • Bring supplies: • Bring and Use a Watch • Bring a four-function calculator* • Bring several number two pencils • No food or drink, special calculators or paper • Not allowed to wear hats • Tip: Be ready for unusual testing circumstances
Test Taking Tips and Strategies • This is an objective test: 110-150 questions • Each Praxis Test is different- Review the TAAG • There are similar strategies to each test: • 1. Answer each question • 2. Equally weighted; skip around • 3. Get to each question; • 4. Use time to your advantage
Test Taking Tips and Strategies • 5. Circle the details in your question book so that you don’t miss any of them. • 6. If you do not immediately know the answer, narrow down your choices, then make a guess. • 7. Don’t lose focus, get stressed, and dawdle when you don’t know an answer. Move on. • 8. Read carefully, as there are usually hints
Test Taking Tips and Strategies • 9. Use time to your advantage • 10. Know strengths and weaknesses; make sure you get all the points possible for your strengths. • 11. Use all allotted time and check your work • 12. Spend time getting the graphs right- answers are on the page in front of you.
Test Taking Tips and Strategies • 13. Test divided up into content sections within your content area. For example: • Social Science--130 questions in 2 Hours. • I. U.S. History - 29 = 22% • II. World History - 29 = 22% • III. Government - 21 = 16% • IV. Geography - 19 = 15% • V. Economics - 19 = 15% • VI. Behavioral Sciences - 13 = 10%
Test Taking Tips and Strategies • Elementary Education Praxis: 150 questions • I. Reading/Language Arts - 51 = 34% • II. Mathematics - 25 = 17% • III. Science - 21 = 14% • IV. Social Studies - 21 = 14% • V. Fine Arts - 21 = 14% • VI. Physical Education - 11 = 7% Individualize Your Study Plan to Fit Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Test Taking Tips and Strategies • Physical Education Praxis: 150 questions • I. The Art of Human Movement - 38 = 25% • II. The Science of Human Movement - 37 = 25% • III. The Role of Physical Education as a Profession 15 = 10% • IV. The Role of P.E. Within Total School Curriculum 15= 10% • V. Planning the Teaching/Learning Process 15 = 10% • VI. Implementing the Teaching/Learning Process 15 = 10% • VII. Evaluating the Teaching/Learning Process 15 = 10% Individualize Your Study Plan to Fit Your Strengths and Weaknesses
How are these tests created? • Praxis tests challenge both content knowledge and your ability to reason. • Quote, “When the Praxis tests were first being developed by teachers and teacher educators across the country, it was almost universally agreed that prospective teachers should be able to analyze situations, synthesize material, and apply knowledge to specific examples.”
How are these tests created? • Each test written by educators in their own field. • Quote from the P.E. test at-a-glance Booklet, • “The test is broad in scope because of the variety of programs in which physical education students are enrolled…Approximately half the questions concern the art and science of human movement; the other half relate to teaching physical education, including planning, implementing, and evaluating the teaching/learning process.
How are these tests created? • (continued) “…Generally, 70 percent of the questions measure knowledge and comprehension of basic concepts and principles, and 30 percent measure higher order thinking skills, such as application and evaluation.” • Test takers often say the test reflected questions about “common sense.”
Example of Content Knowledge • An example: • “In which of the following theories is the influence of rewards most likely to be emphasized in explaining behavioral change? • (A) Information-processing theory • (B) Operant conditioning theory • (C) Classical conditioning theory • (D) Cognitive development theory
Example of Content Knowledge and knowing how to apply it • “According to most researchers on bilingualism, which of the following would beleast helpful for children whose native language is not English and who have limited English proficiency to acquire knowledge of a subject?” • (A) Teaching them the subject exclusively in English. • (B) Teaching them the subject in their native language until their English skills permit instruction in English. • (C) Developing their English skills while they are learning the subject. • (D) Strengthening native language skills to support subject-matter instruction.
More strategies • Praxis questions try to confuse students, or at least make you think and spend time. • For example, test questions routinely use the words, “NOT,” “EXCEPT” and “LEAST” • The significance of these words are found in the way sentences, paragraphs, and meaning changes • Pay attention to what the question asks, then reason out the BEST answer.
Improving your ability to guess correctly • There is a common pattern to the response choices on Praxis tests. • Answer choices will have two very similar answers that seem correct, one that is definitely wrong, and one that seems plausible. • Your goal is to eliminate as many as possible. • If an answer seems ridiculously basic or simplistic, reread the question and look for tricks.
Types of Questions: • Multiple-choice question types: • I. Complete the statement • II. Which of the following • III. Roman Numeral Choices. • IV. Least, Except, Not • V. Questions about Graphs, Tables, or Reading Passages
PRAXIS Fee Waiver • There are a limited number of fee waivers available • By quota • Financial need • Financial aid • Apply very early • Instructions in the registration booklet
Praxis Review Session Read the Test At A Glance Booklet (TAAG) • one third of the persons who fail the test have not read the tag • Form a study group • Schedule study sessions • Know topics covered on the test obtained from the TAAG booklet • Review course syllabi
Praxis Review Session • Familiarize yourself with the test before taking it • Read the directions carefully • Plan your approach • Pace your activities • Organize your response
About the PRAXIS II Emphasis is on thinking skills: convergent, divergent, literal, analytical, critical, creative, knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, interpretation, memory, and translation Know Terms: practice, reinforcement, transfer, mastery, understanding, motivation, cognitive, abstract, asserted, and others. Review: terms in content areas and others related to developmental stages, curriculum development, instructional strategies and assessments. Practice: reading charts, graphs, maps, and other graphics
PRAXIS Review SessionThe Questions Key Questions to ask yourself: 1. What is the question asking? 2. What is knowledge base needed to answer the question? 3. What are the processes used to answer the question? 4. What are the obviously wrong answers I can eliminate? 5. What is the answer?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What is question number 1 asking?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What is question number 1 asking? • What is the focus of the essay derived from the topic sentence?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What do you need to know to answer the question?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What do you need to know to answer the question? • Something about an essay. • Something about a topic sentence and focus
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What are the processes used to answer the question?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What are the processes used to answer the question? • Application, analysis, synthesis, interpretation and evaluation
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • Can you eliminate the obviously wrong answers?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • Can you eliminate the obviously wrong answers? • Did you choose A? Why or Why not? • Was a description of teacher skills needed to lead effective small group discussion the focus? • How about C? Was a listing of teacher reasons for using lecture v.s. small group discussion the focus? • Was the focus an argument to eliminate lecturing and full-class discussion?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • What is the answer?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions • Try answering question number 2 on your own. 2. Which of the following is most accurate concerning the findings of cross cultural research on the capacity of people to use abstract reasoning? (A) All children develop use of abstract reasoning at the same age. (B) Children who have not attended school can use abstract reasoning in a wider variety of tasks than can children who attended school. (C) People who perform poorly on standard tests of cognitive skills may be capable of abstract reasoning in more familiar contexts. (D) In some cultures, the capacity for using abstract reasoning in all situations precedes the capacity for using concrete operation thinking.
Sample PRAXIS II Questions Now work together with a group of two or three and discuss your choice. Decide if you eliminated the same answers. Did you choose the same answer?
Sample PRAXIS II Questions Try working through some other types of questions. • Remember you can use the Talent Development Center for support