PRAXIS CORE Ultimate Guide2019-06-21T20:03:01+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.

Looking for a Praxis Core Study Guide? Check out our Praxis CORE Study Guide Reviews page.

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Praxis Core 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 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 Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PRAXIS CORE

The PRAXIS CORE assesses basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Typically, the PRAXIS CORE used as an admission requirement for teacher certification programs (such as universities, colleges, and alternative certification programs). PRAXIS CORE requirements vary from state-to-state. To find out more specific information, see the state-by-state breakdown below.

How much is the PRAXIS CORE

The full PRAXIS CORE exam cost $150 per test attempt. If you register for a subtest (or multiple subtests) individually, then the cost is:

  • 1 Test – $90
  • 2 Test – $180
  • 3 Test – $270

If you need to register for all three PRAXIS CORE subtest, it is cheapest to register for the (5751) complete test.

How long is the PRAXIS CORE

The PRAXIS CORE consist of 3 separate subtests:

  • PRAXIS CORE: Mathematics – 56 selected-response questions to be answered in 85 minutes
  • PRAXIS CORE: Reading – 56 selected-response questions to be answered in 85 minutes
  • PRAXIS CORE: Writing– 40 selected-response questions to be answered in 40 minutes. Two essay questions that need to be answered in 60 minutes (thirty minutes for each).

Selected-response questions are similar to multiple choice but might require selecting more than one correct answer.

For a more in-depth test breakdown, see test breakdown section.

How is the PRAXIS CORE scored/graded

The PRAXIS CORE is graded on a curve. Each question you answer correctly is worth one “raw” point. So all the questions you answer correctly equals your “raw” score. Your “raw” score is then scaled- which means that ETS looks at how everyone else answered the same questions and then “scales” your score.

This means that if you have an easy set of questions that you and everyone else scores very high on- the test will “scale” your score so that the passing percentage is equal (or fair) for people who get hard test questions.

How is the PRAXIS CORE Writing CRQ Scored

The writing prompts of the PRAXIS CORE are scored on a scale from 1 to 6. The essay is scored holistically, meaning that the entire essay is scored as a whole, and is not scored in parts.

Generally, an essay will earn a passing score if it: is organized, incorporates information from provided sources in the arguments, displays competent use of the English language, is generally free from grammatical and spelling errors, adequately addresses the prompt (the latter being the most important of the metrics)

How hard is the PRAXIS CORE (math, reading, writing)

The PRAXIS CORE can be difficult for a majority of test-takers. In general, if you do not meet the exemption requirements for your state, you should spend a significant amount of time preparing for the PRAXIS CORE. See resources below to better understand if you are prepared for the PRAXIS CORE exam.

PRAXIS CORE Locations

Educational Testing Services offers locations United States (and some places internationally). To find the testing location(s) nearest you, simply visit the ETS Test Center and Dates page:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates

PRAXIS CORE Passing Score

Mathematics Reading Writing
Alaska 150 156 162
Alabama 150 156 162
Arkansas 150 156 162
Hawaii 150 156 162
Kentucky 150 156 162
Louisiana 150 156 162
Maryland 150 156 162
Maine * * *
Minnesota 150 156 162
Mississippi 150 156 162
North Carolina 150 156 162
North Dakota 150b 156b 160b
Nebraska 150 156 162
New Hampshire 150 156 162
New Jersey 150 156 162
Nevada 150 156 162
Oregon 150 156 162
Pennsylvania 142C c c
South Carolina 142 156 158
Tennessee 150 156 162
Virginia 150 156 162
Vermont 150 156 162
Washington 142 156 158
Washington, D.C. 150 156 162
Wisconsin 150 156 162
West Virginia 150 156 162
Department of Defense Education Activity 150 156 162
American Samoa 150 156 162
Guam 150 156 162
Virgin Islands 150 156 162

* = Test required – passing score not set – verify with the state.

b = ND Licensure for all areas requires (1) achieving a combined total score of 466 and meeting the passing scores on any two of the three tests or (2) meeting the passing score of 150 for Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732), meeting the passing score of 156 for Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), and meeting the passing score of 160 for Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).

c = PA Licensure (all areas, Instructional I, Educational Specialist I): requires meeting the passing score of 142 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732), meeting the passing score of 156 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), and meeting the passing score of 162 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).

PA Vocational Instructional I requires meeting the passing score of 148 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712) and meeting the passing score of 158 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).

PA Vocational Instructional II requires meeting the passing score of 142 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732).

PRAXIS CORE Dates

The PRAXIS CORE is a “continuous testing” exam. Which means it is offered an on-going basis at numerous locations across the United States (and internationally). To find the testing location(s) nearest you, simply visit the ETS Test Center and Dates page:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates

PRAXIS CORE ID Requirements

To take the PRAXIS CORE, you must present an original, government-issued, valid (non-expired) identification that has your photograph, full name, and signature. Make sure to bring the ID with you on the day of the test to the testing center. For most test-takers, a valid driver’s license or United States Passport is a valid ID.

For exemptions: taking the test internationally, are renewing your driver’s license, or have a specific question about your particular I.D. see the ETS Information Bulletin

How to sign up for the PRAXIS CORE

  1. Create a (or sign into you) ETS Account
  2. Confirm your information
  3. Select the score report recipient (where do you want your scores sent)
  4. Select your exam (5751 if taking all three tests)
  5. Select your test center, test date, and test time
  6. Pay
  7. Print out your confirmation
  8. Pass your PRAXIS CORE!

PRAXIS CORE Math Formula Sheet

While you won’t receive a formula sheet on the PRAXIS CORE, you will be able to use a basic on-screen calculator. To find out more about the on-screen calculator, visit the ETS website:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/policies/calculators/using_onscreen_calculator

PRAXIS CORE v. PRAXIS Subject Assessments (Formerly PRAXIS II)

The PRAXIS CORE is an entrance exam for candidates entering a teacher preparation program. It measures a candidate’s basic academic skills: reading, writing, and mathematics.

The PRAXIS Subjects Assessment refers to a collection of independently taken exams to measure subject-specific content-knowledge. It’s designed to make sure a teacher is competent in the subject-area they are certified to teach.

PRAXIS CORE Tips (Top 7)

  • Make sure to answer every question (even if you guess)
  • Know how much time you have left
  • Be familiar with the on-screen calculator (for the math section)
  • Understand how to write a Constructed Response Question
  • Eliminate incorrect answers first
  • Work through practice questions so you know what to expect
  • Study quality, trusted sources [like 240Tutoring]

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: C

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.

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 questions
  • 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 others 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.

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 underlined 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 underlined 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.

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