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PRAXIS CORE 2017-12-14T14:10:03+00:00

PRAXIS CORE ACADEMIC SKILLS FOR EDUCATORS

Your Ultimate Guide

If you’re looking to ace the Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators Test, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find everything you need to know, including:

  1. Can’t Miss Details – There are a few important details you need to know, like the cost of the test, where to take it, and how many times you CAN take it…
  2. What to Know – Each subtest focuses on a specific set of skills and knowledge. We break down the specific concepts, ideas, and skills you need to pass this subtest.
  3. Practice Test – See what types of questions are on the Core Math test and find out how well you know the concepts.

Praxis Core Subjects Test Overview

If you’re a teacher trying to get certified or a student entering a teaching program, you’ll most likely be taking the Praxis Core Subjects test.

The test is divided into three subject areas – Math, Reading and Writing. It’s 116 selected response questions (multiple-choice) and two constructed response questions (essay). You get five hours to complete all three subtests.

The test is fairly straightforward as it assesses mastery of basic skills and covers content relevant to teaching at any level. However, knowing the test structure and how things are asked is key. Keep scrolling to learn more.

PRAXIS CORE: Mathematics

Math Breakdown

The math test gives you 85 minutes to answer 56 questions. It covers four main areas that count for 100% of your score.

The questions are set up in a selected-response format, so some questions might require multiple answers, writing numbers in a box, clicking a specific part of a graph or selecting your answer from a drop down menu.

Important Details

Cost: To register and take the PRAXIS CORE, the cost is $90 for the subtest, $150 for the combined version*

Location: The Praxis Core Math test is a continuous testing Computer-Administered Test (CAT), so it can be taken at numerous locations across your state, as well as a few locations outside of it.

Number of attempts allowed: You can retake the test 21 days after test scores are released without limitations nationally. Your state and/or school may have attempt limitations so be sure to check with them.

Who can take the test: Pretty much anyone. Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core tests for people entering their teacher education programs early in their college careers. Some states also require Praxis Core scores to license teachers.

If you have a degree or are working toward one, you’re eligible to register.

Just think –  for $39.99 monthly, you can access all of the Praxis study guides 240Tutoring offers, which is way cheaper than paying for a new test if you fail. Do the right thing..

Get the Study Guide

What You Need to Know

The Math Subtest focuses on four main areas of mathematics – numbers and quantities, algebra and functions, geometry, and stats and probability.

All of the questions are worth the same amount of points and there’s no penalty for wrong answers. If you don’t know, do your best to make an educated guess by eliminating the obviously wrong answers.

If you don’t understand a question, read through it again to make sure you haven’t missed anything. And always be on the lookout for key words or hints that let you know how to start solving the problem.

Keep scrolling to learn more, or jump ahead:

Numbers and Quantities

Concepts You MUST Know:

These questions look at your ability to identify proportional relationships and ratios between numbers. They test your knowledge of real numbers, including dividing fractions, identifying factors, approximating irrational numbers and using radicals. They also test your ability to reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems.

Example Problems: Number and Quantities

Order the following numbers from greatest to least: -2, ½, 0.76, 5, √2, π.

A. 5, π, √2, 0.76, -2, ½
B. 5, π, √2, 0.76, ½, -2
C. -2, 0.76, ½, √2, π, 5
D.-2, ½, 0.76, √2, π, 5

Correct Answer: B

This is correctly ordered from greatest to least.  The largest number is 5, which rules out answer choices C and D. The biggest issue here might be deciding which is larger: π or √2.  It is important to know that a good estimate for π is » 3; it is good to know that √2, the square root of 2, is some irrational number slightly bigger than 1.  So π > √2 and so far, we have: 5, π, √2.  0.76 is close to 0.75 or 3/4, which is bigger than 1/2. -2 is the smallest, the only number less than 0.  So, the correct order is 5, π, √2, 0.76, 1/2, -2.

A sixth-grade class is asked to estimate the answer to the following question:

75.8 + 326.79 + 488.92 ÷ 11 = _____.

Which of the following would be the best answer?

A. 900
B. 80
C. 450
D. 82

Correct Answer: C

This question checks for understanding of the order of operations.  Since this problem involves both addition and division, division MUST be done first.  The correct order of operations is parenthetical expressions, exponents, multiplication/division (left to right, whichever comes first), and finally addition/subtraction (left to right, whichever comes first).  So, the 488.92/11 is performed first.  Since this is an estimation problem, it would be about 500 / 10, which is 50.  Then 75.8 + 326.79 is about 400.  Adding the 50 and 400, we get about 450.

Algebra

Concepts You MUST Know:

These questions want you to apply arithmetic to real-life situations and use equivalent expressions. They also test how well you know functions and how you apply variable and linear equations to solve problems.

Example Problems: Algebra and Functions

x 1 2 3 4 5 6
y -1 -3 -5 -7 -9 -11

Which expression best represents y in terms of x?

A. y = x – 2
B. y = 2x – 3
C. y = 1 – 2x
D. y = -(x + 4)

Correct Answer: A

The data in the table should be understood to be linear data because the change in y-coordinates is consistently to go down by two units for every one unit increase in x-coordinates. This observation is the slope of the line, which could also be calculated using the slope formula and any two points. For example, using the ordered pairs (4, -7) and (5, -9) gives a slope calculation of (y2 – y1)/(x2 – x1) = [-9 – (-7)]/(5 – 4) = -2/+1 = -2. Only one answer option shows an equation of a line with a slope of -2, and so the answer y = 1 – 2x can be selected.

In the expression 3x² + 6x +3, how many terms are in the equation?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Correct Answer: C

A term is either a single number, a variable, or numbers and variables multiplied together. The equation 3x² + 6x +3 has three terms: 3x², 6x, and 3.

Geometry

Concepts You MUST Know:

Geometry questions test how well you construct and describe geometrical figures, if you can transform figures on the xy plane, how to use the Pythagorean theorem, and apply geometric measurements and dimensions.

Example Problems: Geometry

In the parallelogram above, what is the measure of angle G?

A. 100°           
B. 110°
C. 220°
D. 120°

Correct Answer: A

A parallelogram’s angles have a sum of 360°. By definition, the opposite sides are parallel meaning that side GH and FI are parallel, and sides GF and HI are parallel.  When lines are parallel, their same side interior angles are supplementary: their sum is 180°.  This means that angle H and angle G have a sum of 180°.  So, if the measure of angle H is 80°, then angle G has a measure of 100°.  This problem requires an understanding of the properties of parallel lines as well as of the properties of parallelograms.

A student is instructed to draw a four-pointed geometric shape on an xy-plane. After the shape is drawn, the student is instructed to add 5 to each x-coordinate and add 3 to each y-coordinate. Which of the following did the student perform?

A. Rotation           
B. Reflection
C. Refraction
D. Translation

Correct Answer: D

A translation is simply moving the object from one point on a plane to another point on the plane. The shape of the object remains the same; the object is simply moved along the plane.

Statistics and Probability

Concepts You MUST Know:

These questions look at statistical variability, distribution, drawing inferences interpreting statistical data. They also test your ability to make decisions with probability or make inferences based on presented data.

Example Problems: Stats and Probability

Mrs. Azul had each of her first graders separate a small bag of M&Ms into groups by color, arrange the groups into side by side bars, and determine which color they had the most of.  What concept is Mrs. Azul introducing to her first-grade class?

A. Range
B. Mean
C. Median
D. Mode

Correct Answer: D

Mrs. Azul is having her students arrange their data (M&Ms) into bars in order to compare the heights or lengths of the bars.  This is a visual representation of the bar that is the longest or has the most M&Ms – the mode.  A good way for students to remember mode is to think about the word most.  The mode is the piece of data (M&Ms in this case) that occurs the most frequently.

Tim rolls a pair of dice 25 times and records the sum of the numbers shown.  How many different sums are possible?

A. 10           
B. 11
C. 12
D. 36

Correct Answer: B

The possible sums when rolling a pair of dice are: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 11, 12. There are 11 possible sums.

Mathematics Practice Test

Think you’re ready for the real deal? Try working through this free math practice test:

12π ÷ 9 is approximately equivalent to:

A. 4/3
B. 4
C. 4π
D. π

Correct Answer: B

4 is the correct answer.  Recall that a good estimation for π is 3.  So, 12π ≈ 12(3)

A student is instructed to draw a four-pointed geometric shape on an xy-plane. After the shape is drawn, the student is instructed to add 5 to each x-coordinate and add 3 to each y-coordinate. Which of the following did the student perform?

A. Rotation
B. Reflection
C. Refraction
D. Translation

Correct Answer: D

Choice “D” is the best answer. A translation is simply moving the object from one point on a plane to another point on the plane. The shape of the object remains the same; the object is simply moved along the plane.

If angle DEF is congruent to angle GHI, which of the statements is true?

A. ∠ E and ∠F are complementary
B. ∠D ≌ ∠I
C. ∠G and ∠F are complementary
D. Side DE ≌ Side EF


Correct Answer: C

If two triangles are congruent, then corresponding sides (sides that are in the same position) and corresponding angles (angles that are in the same position) are also congruent.  In the figure, this means that DE = GH, DF = GI, and EF = IH and m∠D ≌ m∠G, m∠F ≌ m∠I, m∠E ≌ m∠H.  The symbol in the corner of ∠E and ∠H tells us that E and H are right angles and are each equal to 90°.  Since the sum of the angles in any triangle is 180°, this means that since m∠H = 90°, then m∠G + m∠I = 180 – 90 = 90° and would, therefore, be complementary.  But what about ∠G and ∠F?  Well, since ∠F and ∠I are corresponding angles, they are congruent and their measures can be substituted for each other.  So, m∠G + m∠F = 90°.  Therefore, this option is a true statement.

In the expression 3x² + 6x +3, how many terms are in the equation?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Correct Answer: C

A term is either a single number, a variable, or numbers and variables multiplied together. The equation 3x² + 6x +3 has three terms: 3x², 6x, and 3.

Which of the following geometric objects has five faces, eight edges, and five vertices?

A. A pentagonal pyramid
B. A rectangular pyramid
C. An octagonal prism
D. A triangular prism

Correct Answer: B

A rectangular pyramid is the correct choice.

Tim rolls a pair of dice 25 times and records the sum of the numbers shown. How many different sums are possible?

A. 10
B. 11
C. 12
D. 36

Correct Answer: B

The possible sums when rolling a pair of dice are: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 11, 12. There are 11 possible sums.

In the parallelogram above, what is the measure of angle G?

A. 100°
B. 110°
C. 220°
D. 120°

Correct Answer: A

A parallelogram’s angles have a sum of 360°. By definition, the opposite sides are parallel meaning that side GH and FI are parallel, and sides GF and HI are parallel.  When lines are parallel, their same side interior angles are supplementary: their sum is 180°.  This means that angle H and angle G have a sum of 180°.  So, if the measure of angle H is 80°, then angle G has a measure of 100°.  This problem requires an understanding of the properties of parallel lines as well as of the properties of parallelograms.

Mrs. Azul had each of her first graders separate a small bag of M&Ms into groups by color, arrange the groups into side by side bars, and determine which color they had the most of.  What concept is Mrs. Azul introducing to her first-grade class?

A. Range
B. Mean
C. Median
D. Mode

Correct Answer: D

Mrs. Azul is having her students arrange their data (M&Ms) into bars in order to compare the heights or lengths of the bars.  This is a visual representation of the bar that is the longest or has the most M&Ms – the mode.  A good way for students to remember mode is to think about the word most.  The mode is the piece of data (M&Ms in this case) that occurs the most frequently.

Order the following numbers from greatest to least: -2, ½, 0.76, 5, √2, π.

A. 5, π, √2, 0.76, -2, ½
B. 5, π, √2, 0.76, ½, -2
C. -2, 0.76, ½, √2, π, 5
D. -2, ½, 0.76, √2, π, 5

Correct Answer: B

This is correctly ordered from greatest to least.  The largest number is 5, which rules out answer choices C and D. The biggest issue here might be deciding which is larger: π or √2.  It is important to know that a good estimate for π is » 3; it is good to know that √2, the square root of 2, is some irrational number slightly bigger than 1.  So π > √2 and so far, we have: 5, π, √2.  0.76 is close to 0.75 or 3/4, which is bigger than 1/2. -2 is the smallest, the only number less than 0.  So, the correct order is 5, π, √2, 0.76, 1/2, -2.

The Booster Club at Martin MS is selling spirit buttons for homecoming.  The buttons cost $0.75 to make and will be sold for $2 each.  How many buttons, b, must be sold to make a profit of $500?

A. $500 = $2b + $0.75b
B. $500 + $2b = $0.75b
C. $500 = $2b – $0.75b
D. $500 – $0.75b = $2b

Correct Answer: C

The profit is equal to the selling price minus whatever costs are applicable.  So, if the profit is to be $500, then enough buttons must be sold to reach that profit.  If we are selling the buttons for $2 each, but it costs $0.75 to make each one, then there is a profit of $2 – .75 or $1.25 on each button.  How many buttons will we have to sell to reach $500 profit:  $500 = $1.25b.  This is: $500 = $2b – 0.75 c = 1.25b. So, the Booster Club will have to sell 400 buttons.

Susan surveyed the people leaving Mama Mia’s Pizza Palace to determine America’s favorite food when eating out.  What is the best explanation for why the results of Susan’s survey might NOT be valid?

A. The survey is biased because it did not include everyone in America
B. The survey should have been conducted in front of a different restaurant
C. The survey is biased because it only interviewed people who had just eaten at a specific restaurant
D. The survey should have been conducted online

Correct Answer: C

This gives the best explanation of why this survey is invalid:  it only interviewed people who had just eaten at a specific restaurant, so the sample surveyed was definitely not random.

A sixth-grade class is asked to estimate the answer to the following question:

75.8 + 326.79 + 488.92 ÷ 11 = _____.

Which of the following would be the best answer?

A. 900
B. 80
C. 450
D. 82

Correct Answer: C

For 900, the sums of the first three numbers were estimated, but no division by 11 happened. For 80, this reflects that the total sum was divided by 11 (incorrect since only the last added 488.92 is to be divided by 11) and rounded to the nearest 10. For 82, this reflects that the total sum was divided by 11 (incorrect since only the last added 488.92 is to be divided by 11) and rounded to the nearest whole number.

This question checks for understanding of the order of operations. Since this problem involves both addition and division, division MUST be done first. The correct order of operations is parenthetical expressions, exponents, multiplication/division (left to right, whichever comes first), and finally addition/subtraction (left to right, whichever comes first).  So, the 488.92/11 is performed first. Since this is an estimation problem, it would be about 500 / 10, which is 50.  Then 75.8 + 326.79 is about 400.  Adding the 50 and 400, we get about 450.

Mrs. Fields’ science class takes care of a plant at school. The class is responsible for watering the plant and measuring its growth. The students’ measurements are charted in the table.

Which of the following equations relates the height of the plant, h, and the number of months, m, assuming a constant rate of growth?

A. 5m + 3 = h
B. 4m = h
C. 8m – 5 = h
D. 3m + 5 = h

Correct Answer: A

The difference between the growth of each month is 5 inches; looking at the growth of each month, the plant’s height increases 5 inches each month. If the rate of growth is constant, then the beginning height of the plant is 3 inches; the height at the first month (8 inches) minus the growth of that month (5 inches) would equal 3 inches. If the growth of each month is 5 inches, then one can find the height of the plant by the growth of each month (5 inches) multiplied by the month (m) and then add 3 inches to account for the initial height. 5m + 3 = h.

Mr. Andrews is in a city whose street grid can be represented by a coordinate plane. Mr. Andrews wants to walk from his current location at a local barbershop, represented on the coordinate plane as (1, 2), to his apartment. Mr. Andrews walks 5 blocks east, or to the right, and 1 block south, or down. Which of the following ordered pairs correctly depicts the location of Mr. Andrews’ apartment?

A. (6, 1)
B. (2, 7)
C. (0, 7)
D. (6, 0)

Correct Answer: A

The first number in the coordinates represents the X-axis, the second number represents the Y-axis. The X-axis runs horizontally and the Y-axis runs vertically. If Mr. Andrews walks 5 blocks east, or right, then it would be correct to add 5 to 1, which would be 6. If Mr. Andrews walks 1 block south, or down, then it would be correct to subtract 1 from 2, which would be 1. The correct answer is (6, 1).

Triangle ABC will be reflected across the line x = y. What are the coordinates of the reflection image of point A?

A. (-2,-1)
B. (2,1)
C. (1,2)
D. (1,-2)

Correct Answer: D

(-2,- 1) is the reflection of A over the x-axis (or y = 0). (2,1) is the reflection of A over the y-axis (x = 0). (1,2) is the result of a 90° clockwise rotation of A about the origin.

While most are familiar with reflecting over a horizontal or vertical line, reflection over any line is permissible. The line y = x is used frequently in mathematics to find inverses of graphs. The inverse of a graph is its reflection over the line x = y. The reflection of the point over the line x = y of point B (-1,1) becomes (1,-1) or B; the x and y values are simply swapped. The same is true for point A (-2,1): the reflection is the point A’ which becomes (1,-2) and point C (-2,3), the reflection is the point C(3,- 2).

Tosha has 8 coins in her pocket.  She has a mixture of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, but she has no more than 3 of any coin. What is the largest amount of money she could possibly have?

A. $1.11
B. $1.07
C. $1.23
D. $1.21

Correct Answer: A

To satisfy the prompt given, there must be a minimum of $.08 in pennies and a maximum of $2.00 in quarters. She will need to have the most number of the coins with the greatest value: quarters and dimes. So, that would be 3 quarters, 3 dimes, 1 nickel, and 1 penny. This totals $1.11.

A runner is running a 10k race. The runner completes 30% of the race in 20 minutes. If the runner continues at the same pace, how long will it take to complete the race?

A. 67 minutes
B. 60 minutes
C. 85 minutes
D. 62 minutes

Correct Answer: A

To find the answer to this question, set up a ratio; remember that 30% = .3 and 100% = 1. (20 / .3) = (x / 1) When you cross multiply to solve for x, you get the equation .3x = 20. Divide each side by .3 to isolate x and the answer is 66.66666. The best answer choice is 67 minutes.

What is the range and mode of the following data set?

10, 8, 5, 3, 7, 4, 5, 9, 2, 3, 7, 3, 8, 6, 4, 1, 2, 1, 10, 3

A. Range: 9; Mode: 3
B. Range: 10; Mode: 3 and 4
C. Range: 10; Mode: None
D. Range: 9; Mode: 3 and 4

Correct Answer: A

Remember that before you can find the median, the data must be arranged in order from least to greatest or greatest to least. Then the median is simply the middle term. In this set, however, there are 20 terms so the middle two terms are 4 and 5. The median, in this case, is the average of the two middle scores: (4 + 5) ÷ 2 = 4.5. The mean is the sum of all of the numbers in the data set divided by 20, the number of items in the data set: 101 ÷ 20 = 5.02. The mean is about 5.0. The mean is written as 5.0 because the value has been rounded to the nearest tenth; writing the mean as 5 would indicate that it is an exact whole number, 5.

There are 5 children in the Drake family.  The oldest children are 12-year-old twins, and the youngest child is 4 years old. If the sum of all the children’s ages is 47, what could be the ages of the other 2 Drake children?

A. 8 and 11 years old
B. 9 years old
C. 3 and 6 years old
D. 7 and 11 years old

Correct Answer: A

The sum of the ages of the five children is 47. The twins are 12 (2 x 12 = 24) and the youngest child is 4 years old. So, for these three children, we have used 24 + 4 = 28 of the sum of 47, leaving 19 as a sum of the ages of the two remaining children when each of the two children must be between the ages of 4 and 12. The only choice that sums to 19 is 8 and 11.

Which of the following best describes the polygon above?

A. A regular pentagon
B. A convex pentagon
C. A concave pentagon
D. A hexagon

Correct Answer: B

A convex polygon has no angles greater than 180°. Another way to think of how to identify a convex pentagon is that it has no angles pointing inward. A pentagon has 5 sides. The shape above is a convex pentagon.

Mrs. North’s front yard is in the shape of a pentagon. The measure of 4 of its angles are: 90°, 110°, 120°, and 90°. What is the measure of the fifth angle?

A. 128°
B. 88°
C. 28°
D. 130°

Correct Answer: D

To solve this problem, you need to know the sum of the angles of a pentagon. The sum of the angles of a pentagon is 540°. Therefore, the equation for the solution would be 540 – (90 + 110 + 120 + 90) = N. N, being the solution of the fifth angle, would be 130°.

Simplify: 30 – 2 * 50 + 70

A. 0
B. 570
C. -210
D. -70

Correct Answer: A

To simplify the equation, follow the order of operations: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction (PEMDAS) and work left to right. The steps to simplify the expression would be: 30 – 2 * 50 + 70 = 30 -100 + 70 = -70 + 70 = 0. PEMDAS can be slightly deceiving. The order of operations is parentheses, then exponents, then multiplication and division, then addition and subtraction. When performing multiplication/division, you perform the actions as they appear left to right; multiplication does not necessarily come before division – they have equal priority. The same goes for addition and subtraction.

Mrs. Harris writes all the numbers from 4 to 24 on slips of paper and places them in a hat. She then asks a student to pick a number from the hat. What is the probability that the number chosen by the student will be a prime number?

A. 1/24
B. 3/10
C. 1/3
D. 9/20

Correct Answer: C

Mrs. Harris writes down 21 numbers (4-24). This number set has 7 prime numbers (5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, and 23). That leaves 7 numbers out of 21 being prime. A student has 7 chances in 21 to choose a prime number. This can be simplified to 1 out of 3, or 1/3.

PRAXIS CORE: Reading

Reading Breakdown

The reading test gives you 85 minutes to answer 56 questions. It covers three main areas that count for 100% of your score.

The questions are set up in a selected-response format, so some questions might require multiple answers, writing numbers in a box, clicking a specific part of a graph or selecting your answer from the drop-down menu.

Important Details

Cost: $90 for the subtest, $150 for the combined version*

Location: The Praxis Core Reading test is a continuous testing Computer-Administered Test (CAT), so it can be taken at numerous locations across your state, as well as a few locations outside of it.

Number of attempts allowed: You can retake the test 21 days after test scores are released without limitations nationally. Your state and/or school may have attempt limitations so be sure to check with them.

Who can take the test: Pretty much anyone. Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core tests for people entering their teacher education programs early in their college careers. Some states also require Praxis Core scores to license teachers.

If you have a degree or are working toward one, you’re eligible to register.

Just think –  for $39.99 monthly, you can access all of the Praxis study guides 240Tutoring offers, which is way cheaper than paying for a new test if you fail. Do the right thing..

Get the Study Guide

What you need to know:

The reading exam is a selected-response or multiple-choice test. You read through four types of passages and answer questions based on what you read.

  • Paired passages: a side-by-side comparison of a topic by two authors who may or may not agree.
  • These are typically about 200 words total with 4-7 question.
  • Long passages: approximately 200-word sections with 4-7 questions
  • Short passages: approximately 100-word sections with 2-3 questions
  • Brief statements: short statements with 1 question

According to Praxis, the reading test has an “emphasis on skills critical to learning and achievement in teacher preparation programs”.

 

Basically:

Doing well on the test means a better chance at certification and a lifetime of fulfillment shaping the young minds of future students.

There are three main topics covered in the Praxis Reading Test. Knowing these is part of knowing how to pass the test.

Keep scrolling to learn more, or jump ahead:

Key Ideas and Details

This counts for 35% of the exam.

There are three parts to key ideas and details:

Close Reading: read the text closely and logically. Connect insights from specific parts of the passage to understand the whole passage more clearly.

Determine Central Ideas: identify and summarize key details and ideas. What in the passage helps support the main ideas?

Analyze interactions in the Text: identify how and why people, ideas and events connect in the passage.

Example Questions

Willa Cather’s 1910 novel, O! Pioneers, follows a Swedish family of farmers in Nebraska. In this passage, John Bergson is dying and worries about what will become of his wife and young children. Alexandra is the oldest Bergson child.

Alexandra, her father often said to himself, was like her grandfather; which was his way of saying that she was intelligent. John Bergson’s father had been a shipbuilder, a man of considerable force and of some fortune. Late in life he married a second time, a Stockholm woman of questionable character, much younger than he, who goaded him into every sort of extravagance. On the shipbuilder’s part, this marriage was an infatuation, the despairing folly of a powerful man who cannot bear to grow old. In a few years his unprincipled wife warped the probity of a lifetime. He speculated, lost his own fortune and funds entrusted to him by poor seafaring men, and died disgraced, leaving his children nothing. But when all was said, he had come up from the sea himself, had built up a proud little business with no capital but his own skill and foresight, and had proved himself a man. In his daughter, John Bergson recognized the strength of will, and the simple direct way of thinking things out, that had characterized his father in his better days. He would much rather, of course, have seen this likeness in one of his sons, but it was not a question of choice. As he lay there day after day he had to accept the situation as it was, and to be thankful that there was one among his children to whom he could entrust the future of his family and the possibilities of his hard-won land.

Drawing upon John Bergson’s reflections of his father, one can infer that:

A. John’s bitterness about his father’s financial losses still haunts him.
B. John finds peace in remember his father’s more enduring qualities as he sees them in Alexandra.
C. John worries for the future of his family if his situation is left up to his sons, who lack the character of his father.
D. John’s own disappointment in himself is evident, as he lacks the character of his own father.

Correct Answer: B

The tone of the passage is one of acceptance. John Bergson reflects on his father’s better qualities as he sees them displayed in his own daughter, and knowing that, he can “accept the situation” and “entrust the future” to her.

All of the following details correctly support John Bergson’s sense of “acceptance” of his situation EXCEPT:

A. John remembers that his father had built his own business.
B. John recognizes that Alexandra is like her grandfather.
C. John recalls the folly of his father’s second marriage.
D. Alexandra has a simple, direct way of thinking things out.

Correct Answer: C

Answer “C” is the exception. This detail adds nothing to Bergson’s sense of “acceptance” and peace.

Craft, Structure, and Language Skills

Craft, Structure and Language Skills – this counts for 30% of the exam.

This section is all about understanding how specific words make a passage more powerful and effective.

  • Interpret words and phrases: recognize how the author makes specific word choices to shape the meaning and tone of the passage
  • Analyze the structure of the text: look for key transition words and phrases. Look at the organization of the passage
    Common themes include compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution
  • Point of view: how does the point of view shape the content and style of the passage?
  • Language, context clues and meaning: distinguish between fact and opinion, understand how language allows for greater comprehension of a topic, use context clues to define words with unknown meanings, understand nuances in definitions.

And, as always, be able to understand words and phrases and read at a college or career-readiness level.

Example Questions

Harold Washington’s acceptance speech. In 1983, Harold Washington was the first African American elected mayor of Chicago.

1 Tonight we are here. Tonight we are here to celebrate a resounding victory. We, we have fought a good fight. We have finished our course. And we have kept the faith. We fought that good fight. We fought it, with unseasoned weapons and with a phalanx of people who mostly have never been involved in a political campaign before. This has truly been a pilgrimage. Our government will be moving forward as well, including more people. And more kinds of people, than any government in the history of Chicago. Today… today… today, Chicago has seen the bright daybreak for this city and for perhaps this entire country. The whole nation is watching as Chicago is so powerful in this! Oh yes, they’re watching.

2 Out of the crucible… Out of the crucible of this city’s most trying election, carried on the tide of the most massive voter turnout in Chicago’s history. Blacks. Whites. Hispanics. Jews. Gentiles. Protestant and Catholics of all stripes. Have joined hands to form a new democratic coalition. And… and to begin in this place a new democratic movement.

3 The talents and dreams of our citizens and neighborhoods will nourish our government the way it should be cherished and feed into the moving river of mankind. And we have kept the faith in ourselves as decent, caring people who gather together as a part of something greater than themselves. We never stopped believing that we were a part of something good and something that had never happened before.

4 We intend to revitalize and rebuild this city. To open its doors and be certain that its babies are healthy! And its old people are fed and well-housed. We intend, we intend that our city will grow again and bring prosperity to ALL of its citizens.

In paragraph 1 of the selection, the repetition of the word “we” has the effect of:

A. singling out the ones who did not join in the movement.
B. uniting the people and reminding them of their collective efforts in a singular cause.
C. addressing the governing body correctly in the plural tense.
D. reminding the people of all the work that they still need to do.

Correct Answer: B

In this historic speech, Washington is repeating the word “we” to honor the collective efforts of the people in working together on this cause.

In paragraph 3, the speaker employs what figurative language device in the first sentence?

A. Hyperbole
B. Understatement
C. Personification
D. Paradox

Correct Answer: C

In the sentence, the “talents and dreams” of the people are “nourishing” and “feeding” the “river of mankind”. Here, Washington employs personification—he gives inhuman objects human qualities. He brings to life the people’s talents and dreams to show how they “feed” all mankind.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas – this counts for 35% of the exam.

The three main areas are:

  • Analyzing diverse media formats: Not everything you read will be in a paragraph. The test wants to see if you can read visual and quantitative information too.
  • Evaluate arguments in a text: Can you evaluate evidence, determine logical assumptions and draw conclusions based on ideas presented in the passage?
  • Compare and contrasts texts: Here you’ll be tested on recognizing and predicting ideas similar to what’s already been presented and apply those ideas to other situations.

Example Questions

1  Lima, the capital city of the South American country of Peru, is located near the Pacific Ocean in the Sechura Desert. This desert region is one of the driest in the world and receives almost no rainfall. Yet more than eight million people live in Lima. Because of the scarcity of water, one out of every 10 residents has no access to running water. Some people depend on private companies to deliver water to their homes and businesses.

2  The engineers at the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) thought about how Lima’s extreme water shortage problem could be solved. They noticed that even though the rainfall in Lima was scant, the humidity was high. Due to the city’s coastal location, humidity can be higher than 90 percent on summer days. The engineers wondered whether they could harness the moisture in the air.

3  The staff at the university realized that this project, while helping the residents of Lima, could also showcase UTEC’s engineering program. Thus they formed a partnership with the advertising agency Mayo DraftFCB. The two groups created an advertisement to demonstrate the university’s engineering projects. They made a billboard that extracted moisture from the air and converted it into drinkable water. The water was then made available to the public.

According to paragraph 2, what is the importance of including the detail about the humidity being high?

A. Humidity puts much-needed moisture in the air that could be used for drinking water
B. Humidity adds to the desert-like conditions of Lima, increasing the drought problem
C. High levels of humidity can contaminate what little water resources they have available
D. The recent increase in humidity has alerted the engineers to a potential problem

Correct Answer: A

Choice “A” is correct because the engineers discovered that using the moisture in the air created by humidity would allow them to provide more water to the residents of Lima.

After reading this selection, a student at UTEC may come to the conclusion that:

A. UTEC spends too much of its resources in the engineering department.
B. their education can be used to help other around them in practical ways.
C. the water crisis in Lima is too large of a problem to solve completely.
D. advertising agencies are very helpful companies.

Correct Answer: B

Choice “B” is the best answer. A student at UTEC will read an article about how creativity and education can go hand-in-hand to find solutions to many problems in the world around him/her.

Reading Practice Test

Think you’re ready for the real deal? Try working through this free reading practice test:

Read the following passage and answer the 2 questions that follow.

Shipping containers are used to haul cargo on ships, trains, and trucks. Because these trips can be rough, the containers are used for only about five to ten years. Then they usually end up in a junkyard or landfill. However, these containers are durable, lightweight, and of relatively low cost, so entrepreneurs and artists are finding ways to repurpose them.

After reading this selection, what information will most likely come next?

A. Detailed information on the structural components of shipping containers
B. The various methods we use to transport material and products around the globe
C. Other durable, cost-effective ways to store and transport materials
D. The numerous ways shipping containers can be reused

Correct Answer: D

The above paragraph discusses shipping containers and narrows in on how, because of their short lifespan on the shipping yards, they quickly cumulate in landfills. Now, however, people are finding some interesting and creative ways to reuse these containers for purposes beyond what they were initially intended for. Thus, choice “D” is correct.

It can be inferred from the paragraph that “entrepreneurs and artists are finding ways to repurpose [shipping containers]” because:

A. it is a lucrative way to start a business or receive notoriety as an artist.
B. it is an environmentally friendly way to keep them from piling up in landfills.
C. companies are no longer using these kinds of containers to ship their products.
D. these containers are part of our cultural heritage and are interesting to study.

Correct Answer: B

Choice “B” is the best answer because the paragraph connects the idea of the junkyards and landfills piled high with old containers with the idea of artists and entrepreneurs taking the old containers and reusing them. This connection infers that it was a choice inspired by their desire to be eco-friendly and spare the junkyards and landfills from being overloaded with used containers that take up space and could easily be used for something else.

Use following passage and image to answer the 6 questions that follow.

1          Lima, the capital city of the South American country of Peru, is located near the Pacific Ocean in the Sechura Desert. This desert region is one of the driest in the world and receives almost no rainfall. Yet more than eight million people live in Lima. Because of the scarcity of water, one out of every 10 residents has no access to running water. Some people depend on private companies to deliver water to their homes and businesses.

2          The engineers at the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) thought about how Lima’s extreme water shortage problem could be solved. They noticed that even though the rainfall in Lima was scant, the humidity was high. Due to the city’s coastal location, humidity can be higher than 90 percent on summer days. The engineers wondered whether they could harness the moisture in the air.

3          The staff at the university realized that this project while helping the residents of Lima, could also showcase UTEC’s engineering program. Thus they formed a partnership with the advertising agency Mayo DraftFCB. The two groups created an advertisement to demonstrate the university’s engineering projects. They made a billboard that extracted moisture from the air and converted it into drinkable water. The water was then made available to the public.

According to paragraph 1 of the article, all of the following are problems associated with water shortage in the region of Lima EXCEPT:

A. the location of Lima.
B. the population of Lima.
C. the amount of rainfall in Lima.
D. the corruption in Lima.

Correct Answer: D

The paragraph does not directly discuss the topic of corruption, thus choice “D” is the only exception. All other choices are problems associated with water shortage in Lima.

According to paragraph 2, what is the importance of including the detail about the humidity being high?

A. Humidity puts much-needed moisture in the air that could be used for drinking water
B. Humidity adds to the desert-like conditions of Lima, increasing the drought problem
C. High levels of humidity can contaminate what little water resources they have available
D. The recent increase in humidity has alerted the engineers to a potential problem

Correct Answer: A

Choice “A” is correct because the engineers discovered that using the moisture in the air created by humidity would allow them to provide more water to the residents of Lima.

According to paragraph 3, all of the following are listed as having benefitted from the water project EXCEPT:

A. UTEC.
B. the residents of Lima.
C. the government.
D. the Mayo DraftFBC advertising agency.

Correct Answer: C

Choice “C” is correct—although the government may have benefitted in some way from the project done by UTEC and Mayo DraftFBC, the paragraph does not list the government specifically as a beneficiary.

Which of the following would be the best title for this selection?

A. “What Caused the Lima Water Crisis?”
B. “A Creative Solution to Water Shortage”
C. “Reasons for Choosing UTEC”
D. “The Outcome of Overpopulation”

Correct Answer: B

The reading selection focuses on how a group of students came up with a creative solution to a practical problem in their society, the problem of water shortage. Thus, choice “B” is correct.

According to the map, Brazil:

A. Is a country located to the east of Peru.
B. Is a city located to the east of Peru.
C. Is a city east of Chile.
D. Is a country south of Argentina.

According to the map, the Sechura Desert:

A. Runs south of Bolivia.
B. Is west of the Pacific Ocean.
C. Runs down the west coast of Peru.
D. Runs the border of Peru and Brazil.

Correct Answer: C

This question requires a reader to carefully study the map and the map key. It requires one to follow geographical directions and carefully locate directions on a map. “C” is the correct answer choice here because it accurately describes the location in question.

Willa Cather’s 1910 novel, O! Pioneers, follows a Swedish family of farmers in Nebraska. In this passage, John Bergson is dying and worries about what will become of his wife and young children. Alexandra is the oldest Bergson child. Use the following passage to answer the next 3 questions

 Alexandra, her father often said to himself, was like her grandfather; which was his way of saying that she was intelligent. John Bergson’s father had been a shipbuilder, a man of considerable force and of some fortune. Late in life, he married a second time, a Stockholm woman of questionable character, much younger than he, who goaded him into every sort of extravagance. On the shipbuilder’s part, this marriage was an infatuation, the despairing folly of a powerful man who cannot bear to grow old. In a few years, his unprincipled wife warped the probity of a lifetime. He speculated, lost his own fortune

and funds entrusted to him by poor seafaring men, and died disgraced, leaving his children nothing. But when all was said, he had come up from the sea himself, had built up a proud little business with no capital but his own skill and foresight, and had proved himself a man. In his daughter, John Bergson recognized the strength of will, and the simple direct way of thinking things out, that had characterized his father in his better days. He would much rather, of course, have seen this likeness in one of his sons, but it was not a question of choice. As he lay there day after day he had to accept the situation as it was and to be thankful that there was one among his children to whom he could entrust the future of his family and the possibilities of his hard-won land.

Drawing upon John Bergson’s reflections of his father, one can infer that:

A. John’s bitterness about his father’s financial losses still haunts him.
B. John finds peace in remember his father’s more enduring qualities as he sees them in Alexandra.
C. John worries for the future of his family if his situation is left up to his sons, who lack the character of his father.
D. John’s own disappointment in himself is evident, as he lacks the character of his own father.

Correct Answer: B

The tone of the passage is one of acceptance. John Bergson reflects on his father’s better qualities as he sees them displayed in his own daughter, and knowing that, he can “accept the situation” and “entrust the future” to her.

All of the following details correctly support John Bergson’s sense of “acceptance” of his situation EXCEPT:

A. John remembers that his father had built his own business.
B. John recognizes that Alexandra is like her grandfather.
C. John recalls the folly of his father’s second marriage.
D. Alexandra has a simple, direct way of thinking things out.

Correct Answer: C

Answer “C” is the exception. This detail adds nothing to Bergson’s sense of “acceptance” and peace.

Which of the following words best defines the word “probity” as it is used in the passage?

A. Integrity
B. Problems
C. Corruption
D. Fame

Correct Answer: A

Answer “A” is the best definition for probity in the passage. Looking closer at the sentence, Bergson’s father’s second wife was “unprincipled,” so she was a wife without character. And her unprincipled nature “warped,” or twisted the good character that his father had held onto for a “lifetime.”

Read the passages and answer the following 4 questions. Passage 1 is by Dorothy Sayers; Passage 2 is adapted from a work by Raymond Chandler.

Passage 1

The detective story does not and cannot attain the loftiest level of literary achievement. Though it deals with the most desperate effects of rage, jealousy, and revenge, it rarely touches the heights and depths of human passion. It presents us with an accomplished fact, and looks upon death with a dispassionate eye. It does not show us the inner workings of the murderer’s

mind—it must not, for the identity of the criminal is hidden until the end of the book. The most successful writers are those who contrive to keep the story running from beginning to end upon the same emotional level, and it is better to err in the direction of too little feeling than too much.

Passage 2

I think what was really gnawing at Dorothy Sayers in her critique of the detective story was the realization that her kind of detective story was an arid formula unable to satisfy its own implications. If the story started to be about real people, they soon had to do unreal things to conform to the artificial pattern required by the plot. When they did unreal things, they ceased to be real themselves. Sayers’ own stories show that she was annoyed by this triteness. Yet she would not give her characters their heads and let them make their own mystery.

Which of the following best paraphrases the main idea in Passage 1?

A. Detective stories are not great literature
B. Detective stories don’t have relatable characters
C. Detective stories may someday be improved upon
D. Detective stories have plots without direction

Which of the following statement would the author of Passage 2 most likely agree with?

A. Dorothy Sayers writes formulaic and predictable detective stories
B. Detective story writers should ensure that the characters are not too deeply developed
C. Dorothy Sayers’ writings have inspired a new type of detective story
D. Detective writers should hold on tightly to their plots and characters’ actions

Which of the following best describes the relationship between the two passages?

A. Passage 1 highlights the merits of the genre; Passage 2 downplays its faults
B. Passage 1 focuses on the uniqueness of the genre; Passage 2 focuses on its weaknesses
C. Passage 1 discusses the limitations of the genre; Passage 2 discusses the uniqueness of the genre
D. Passage 1 relates the details the particulars of the genre; Passage 2 generalizes the limitations

Which of the following would the author of Passage 1 most likely agree with?

A. The detective genre involves a creative and unpredictable writing style
B. The plot of a detective story is formulated
C. Detective story writers soon be known as world-class writers
D. The characters in detective stories are well-developed and have deep inner worlds

Use the following passage to answer the following 2 questions. 

(1) Landscapes, images of natural scenery, remained a popular subject in early modern art. (2) Driven in part by their dissatisfaction with the modern city, many artists sought out places (3) resembling untouched earthly paradise. In these areas, away from the bustle of the modern city, artists were able to focus on their work and observe nature firsthand. Because of this, many (5) radical artistic experiments occurred in the most rural and least “modern” of settings. These ranged from the use of unexpected, non-naturalistic colors, to the unusual application of paint.

Which of the following best states the main idea of this passage?

A. Similar to previous artists, modern artists enjoyed painting landscapes
B. Inspired by the modern city, artists experimented with new techniques
C. Early modern artists avoided the modern world and embraced nature, causing new techniques to be developed in old settings
D. Early modern artists used new techniques in color choice and application

Correct Answer: C

Option C is correct. The passage discusses artists’ desire to leave the modern city and focus on nature to create art, which caused new “modern” techniques to be created in settings that weren’t modern at all.

The author probably uses the word “dissatisfaction” in line 2 to mean:

A. contentment.
B. unhappiness.
C. unkempt.
D. misery.

Correct Answer: B

Option B is correct. Artists expressed their “dissatisfaction,” or unhappiness, with the city, so they went to the country to create.

PRAXIS CORE: Writing

Writing Breakdown

The test structure is pretty simple. You have 100 minutes to complete it – 40 minutes to answer 40 selected-response questions and 60 minutes to write two essays.

The questions count for 40% of your score and the essays make up the other 60%.

Important Details

Cost: $90 for the subtest, $150 for the combined version*

Location: The Praxis Core Writing test is a continuous testing Computer-Administered Test (CAT), so it can be taken at numerous locations across your state, as well as a few locations outside of it.

Number of attempts allowed: You can retake the test 21 days after test scores are released without limitations nationally. Your state and/or school may have attempt limitations so be sure to check with them.

Who can take the test: Pretty much anyone. Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core tests for people entering their teacher education programs early in their college careers. Some states also require Praxis Core scores to license teachers.

If you have a degree or are working toward one, you’re eligible to register.

Just think –  for $39.99 monthly, you can access all of the Praxis study guides 240Tutoring offers, which is way cheaper than paying for a new test if you fail. Do the right thing..

Get the Study Guide

What You Need to Know

The Writing test is broken into two sections – a constructed-response section with two essays and a selected-response section with 40 questions.

In the essay portion, you’re tested on your ability to use written English correctly and effectively. You get a writing prompt for an argumentative essay where you use personal experience, observation or what you read to support your position – giving specific examples.

You also write an informative/explanatory essay using information from two provided sources. Here you show how well you can pull data from what you read and use it to outline important concerns related to your topic.

With both of the essays, you need to:

  • Be organized
  • Have a clear focus
  • Use proper grammar
  • Write for adults

Writing Sample

To see a writing score chart and sample essays, check out pages 29-40 in the Praxis Study Companion 5722.

The question portion of the writing exam covers four main topics – usage, sentence correction, revision in context and research skills.

For more detailed information (and a little bit of boring jargon) check out pages 5-8 in the Praxis Study Companion 5722

Usage

Usage – All you do is try to find out what’s wrong in the sentence. You look for mechanical errors, structure and grammar relationship errors and common expression or word choice errors.

Now try saying “error” three times fast.

Example Questions

Pilots must have very stressing₁ jobs, as they are required to work odd₂ hours and are responsible for so many₃ lives.

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: A

“Stressing” should be changed to “stressful” since the word is an adjective describing the noun “jobs”.

If the dogs won’t eat the bones₁ we bought, we₂ can sell them₃ in the market next week.

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: C

“Them” should be changed to “the bones” in order to remove the vague pronoun. Does the speaker intend to sell the dogs or the bones? “Them” makes this point unclear. Since there are two possible nouns the “them” can refer to, we must clarify the pronoun, and an easy way to do this is to simply change “them” to “the bones.”

Sentence Correction

Sentence Correction – Here you look for the best way to restate the underlined portion of a sentence. The choices are given to you, and sometimes the best choice is to leave it the way it is.

Example Questions

So we would all be ready to play, Evan’s band rehearsed daily for their gig daily.

What change should be applied to the underline part of the question?

A. So one would all be ready to play
B. In order for one to be ready to play
C. So they would all be ready to play
D. So he would be ready to play

Correct Answer: C

A run-on sentence is formed when two sentences are joined by just a comma or by no punctuation at all. If only a comma is used, like in answer choice C, the error is called a comma splice. In order to fix the comma splice, the writer could change the comma to a period or a semicolon.

Focusing on how music affects plant growth, Allie found that classical music had the most positive effect.

What change should be applied to the underline part of the question?

A. Focused on how music affect plant growth, Allie found that classical music had the most positively effect.
B. Focusing on how music affecting plant growth, Allie found that classical music had the most positive effect.
C. Focus on how music affects plant growth, Allie found that classical music had the most positive affect.
D. Focusing on how music affects plant growth, Allie found that classical music had the most positive effect.

Correct Answer: D

The sentence is most correctly stated in the example. All of the other options introduce new errors in subject-verb agreement, adverb usage and word choice.

Revision in Context

Revision in Context – Editing is important. Part of editing is deciding what to change and when to change it. In this section you review the development, organization, word choice, style and tone of a passage and decide what, if anything, to change.

Example Questions

Have you ever seen a homeless person? Chances are, you have. Homelessness is an epidemic issue, affecting people of every age and in every country. This issue is especially evident in societies where people live a hand-to-mouth existence, subsisting on what they make paycheck to paycheck. If you walk down the street in many big cities in the United States, you might notice people sleeping on the sidewalk or begging for food or money. These individuals are very visible to passersby, and it is difficult to ignore them.

Therefore, there are also homeless people who do not sleep on the streets. They are not as visible to the public eye, but they are also homeless. These people often spend their nights sleeping in shelters. Shelters can provide benefits such as food, rooms, and often a variety of social services (like daycare). We might not see these people on the streets, but it does not mean that they aren’t suffering.

What would be the best revision of the underlined portion in sentence 3?

Homelessness is an epidemic issue, affecting people of every age and in every country.

A. Homelessness is an epidemic issue,
B. Homelessness is an issue that is likely to be an epidemic,
C. Homelessness is an issue that has become an epidemic,
D. Homelessness, like an epidemic, has become likely,

Correct Answer: C

“Homelessness is an issue that has become an epidemic” is the best choice, as the author goes on to point out the widespread issues associated with homelessness. “Homelessness is an epidemic issue” doesn’t set up the author’s point as well, it is not the best option. “Homelessness is an issue that is likely to be an epidemic” is weakly stated and doesn’t follow the author’s assertions later in the passage. “Homelessness, like an epidemic, has become likely” introduces additional grammatical errors into the sentence.

Which sentence provides the best conclusion to the last paragraph?

A. People should take action to fight the problem of homelessness.
B. Homelessness is a serious issue, and something we should all be paying attention to.
C. Homeless is not something we should really be worried about.
D. People who live in shelters aren’t suffering as much as people who live on the street.

Correct Answer: B

The author does not state anything about fighting homelessness so “people should take action to fight the problem of homelessness” is not a good choice. The passage clearly states that those living in shelters are still suffering, so “people who live in shelters aren’t suffering as much as people who live on the street” is incorrect. The author states homelessness is an epidemic and points out the suffering attached with it, drawing the reader into the issue, so “homelessness is not something we should really be worried about” is incorrect. “Homelessness is a serious issue, and something we should all be paying attention to” is the best choice.

Research Skills

Research Skills – Can you recognize a citation in context? What about identifying effective research strategies? Research Skills questions test your ability to access credible sources, recognize relevant information, citations and research strategies.

Example Questions

Thomas is doing a research paper on the life of the poet Emily Dickinson. Which of the following source material would not be appropriate for this professional paper?

A. A biography of her life
B. Her own poetry
C. A blog by a writer who enjoys Dickinson’s poetry
D. All of the above would be appropriate

Correct Answer: C

A published biography on the life of Dickinson would be a most credible source for research material and citation. Also, her own poetry would provide insight into her inner mind and external situation.

Which of the following internal citation is NOT written correctly?

A. Biographer Joe Smith correctly asserts that Emily Dickinson’s poetry is “a deep reflection of her true life” (14).
B. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is a “deep reflection of her true life” (Smith 14).
C. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is a “deep reflection of her true life” (Joe Smith, 14).
D. All of the above are correctly written

Correct Answer: C

“C” is incorrectly written. Within an internal citation, only include the writer’s last name and pagination within the parenthesis.

Text Types, Purposes, and Production

Text types, purposes and production – all the things the test looks for in your writing

And

Language and research skills for writing – all the things the test questions cover

We’ve covered most of the writing; you need to write an argumentative essay, write an explanatory/informative essay and you need to be able to revise (or edit) what you write.

For the language skills portion, you need to know:

  • grammatical relationships – These are your basic nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, direct objects, indirect objects, prepositional phrases and how they relate to one another.
  • structural relationships – This includes understanding clauses, identifying comma errors and sentence fragments, writing parallel sentences and spotting dangling modifiers.
  • word choice – Distinguishing between there, their and they’re (and other commonly confusing words), identifying redundant words, recognizing incorrect word choices or other errors, identifying redundant words…
  • English language conventions – Mechanics, usage and sentence formation. These are the things that make writing easier to read by putting words in a format readers are comfortable with.

Research skills will include relevant strategies, credible sources and correct citations, which we already covered above.

Writing Practice Test

Think you’re ready for the real deal? Try working through this free writing practice test:

Shelley is a successful interior designer who has ten years of experience₁. In her initial consultation, she attempts to accomplish many tasks₂. She asks her clients to fill out a design questionnaire, she uses it to get a sense of their personalities and style preferences₃.

Which part of the passage contains a run-on sentence?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: C

A run-on sentence is formed when two sentences are joined by just a comma or by no punctuation at all. If only a comma is used, like in answer choice C, the error is called a comma splice. In order to fix the comma splice, the writer could change the comma to a period or a semicolon.

Which dessert should I choose₁? Last time I choose₂ chocolate cake and I was disappointed. This time I think I’ll choose₃ lemon pie.

Which part of the sentence contains a grammatical error?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: C

People commonly confuse the words choose and chose

because they don’t follow the typical rule of using “-ed” for past tense.

The present tense of choice is choose. It is a verb, an action word. The past tense is chose. Answer choice B should be “chose” because the author has indicated past tense with the word yesterday.

Low₁ introductory credit card rates₂ usually revert back₃ to standard interest rates after the initial period is complete₄.

Select the word or phrase that is redundant and can be removed without changing the meaning of the text.

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Correct Answer: C

Redundant words and phrases needlessly repeat information that is given elsewhere in the sentence. “Back” and “revert” are redundant. “Back” can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence, so it should be taken out.

Oops₁ I forgot₂ to put the ice cream away. Now₃ it is all melted.

Where should a comma be inserted to make the sentence grammatically correct?

A. After “oops”
B. After “forgot”
C. After “now”
D. No comma is needed.

Correct Answer: A

Use a comma after introductory elements like yes, no, well, and interjections when they are followed by a complete sentence. The interjection “oops” at the beginning of the sentence requires a comma.

Although the jeweler’s apprentice thought that the emeralds looked real, the master jeweler easily determined that they were counterfeit.

The underlined word “counterfeit” means:

A. genuine.
B. reliable.
C. unstable.
D. fake.

Correct Answer: D

Antonyms are words with opposite or almost opposite meanings. When you see a word you don’t know, you can use antonyms as context clues to help figure out an unfamiliar word’s meaning. In the passage, the antonym “real” helps you figure out that “counterfeit” means fake or forged.

My bathroom floor which is composed of hexagonal tilework was inspired by a traditional Swedish design.

Where should comma(s) be inserted to make the sentence grammatically correct?

A. After “floor”
B. After “floor” and after “tilework”
C. After “tilework”
D. After “traditional”

Correct Answer: B

Nonrestrictive, or nonessential, elements are groups of words that offer extra information about something a writer has already mentioned in a sentence and should be set off from the rest of the sentence by commas. Without the information, the meaning of the sentence would still be clear. Answer choice B, placing commas around “which is composed of hexagonal tilework” is correct. The information is nonrestrictive and should be set off with commas. It could be removed from the text and the identity of “my bathroom floor” would still be clear.

Lasagna is a delicious comfort food, it can be made healthier with the addition of vegetables₁. Although it is time-consuming to make, it is my favorite dish to prepare₂. Maybe it’s my favorite because my grandmother passed down her recipe to me₃.

Which part of the passage contains a comma splice?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: A

A comma splice error occurs when two complete sentences are joined by only a comma, like in answer choice A. In order to fix the comma splice, the writer could change the comma to either a semicolon or a period. Alternatively, the writer could insert the coordinating conjunction and after the comma.

My band has been rehearsing daily₁. Because we have a concert in two weeks₂. It is our first paid gig, so we are all looking forward to it₃.

Which part of the passage is a fragment?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: B

A sentence is a group of words that has a subject, a verb, and expresses a complete thought; a sentence fragment is a group of words that does not express a complete thought. The word “because” makes answer choice B a fragment. The corrected sentence would read, “My band has been rehearsing daily because we have a concert in two weeks.”

Trying to fall asleep in the uncomfortable bunk₁, the sheets felt uncomfortably hot₂ and the breeze refused to blow₃.

Which part of the sentence contains a misplaced modifier?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: A

“Trying to fall asleep” is a dangling modifier or a modifier that appears to modify the wrong word or phrase because the word or phrase that it should modify is missing from the sentence. A corrected version of the sentence would read, “Trying to fall asleep in the uncomfortable bunk, I felt uncomfortably hot in the sheets and the breeze refused to blow.”

There₁ thinking about selling their₂ house; it’s the one with the red door over there₃.

Which part of the sentence contains a grammatical error?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. No Error

Correct Answer: A

There, their, and there are commonly confused words. The sentence should begin with “they’re,” which is a contraction for they are.

In a jury trial₁, few₂ stray from his₃ first instinct when debating the verdict₄.

Which part of the sentence contains an error in pronoun usage?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Correct Answer: C

“Few” is an indefinite pronoun that is plural; therefore, it requires a plural pronoun. The correct sentence should read, “In a jury trial, few stray from their first instinct when debating the verdict.”

Which of the following would be helpful research strategies to employ when doing research for a professional paper?

A. List some key words and ideas related to your topic in order to focus your research.
B. Utilize the library’s online databases and catalog system to find relevant and scholarly articles
C. Get on “Google” and type in the topic and see what comes up
D. Both A and B

Which of the following would be considered primary source material on the Civil Rights Movement?

A. Speeches by Civil Rights activists.
B. A recently written editorial discussing a reporter’s opinions on the movement
C. Photographs of Civil Rights demonstrations
D. A and C only

Which of the following internal citation is NOT written correctly?

A. Biographer Joe Smith correctly asserts that Emily Dickinson’s poetry is “a deep reflection of her true life” (14).
B. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is a “deep reflection of her true life” (Smith 14).
C. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is a “deep reflection of her true life” (Joe Smith, 14).
D. All of the above are correctly written

Thomas is doing a research paper on the life of the poet Emily Dickinson. Which of the following source material would not be appropriate for this professional paper?

A. A biography of her life
B. Her own poetry
C. A blog by a writer who enjoys Dickinson’s poetry
D. All of the above would be appropriate

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