Praxis II Test
Over three dozen states and U.S. territories use the Praxis II test series as their official teacher certification exams. A teacher who passes one is officially recognized by the state as highly qualified to lead a classroom in that subject. (In some cases, a college student must pass a Praxis II exam in order to enter a student teaching program.) The exams are currently given in both paper and computer based form; however, at the end of 2015 the paper tests were discontinued. Paper tests are only given four days a year, if the test taker meets the ADA requirements associated with taking a paper test, while computer versions of most tests are available in certain time periods, called windows, which take place on a regular basis throughout the year. (Computer versions of some exams are at any time during the year.) Test dates and windows are determined by Educational Testing Service, which administers the PRAXIS exam.
Praxis II Test Review Sections
Free Praxis II Practice Test
Use the free Praxis II practice test questions below to get a better understanding of the Praxis II exam. Take advantage of this valuable resource to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
Praxis II Tests
Praxis 2 tests were created as a response to landmark federal legislation. In 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind act (NCLB), arguably one of the most important education reform laws in American history. NCLB was based on the premise that millions of schoolchildren in America are being shortchanged and are receiving an inferior education because of large numbers of under-qualified and poorly trained teachers in classrooms. NCLB states that all schoolchildren have a right to a highly qualified teacher, and mandated that higher standards for teachers be put in place by school districts across America.
To that end, Educational Testing Service (ETS) developed the Praxis series of exams. Praxis Core exam is used by colleges and universities as a pre-admission test for applicants who want to major in education. Praxis II exams, of which there are around 200, are tests of specific subject matter and pedagogical skills in that subject. They are designed to measure the knowledge and abilities a person must possess in order to be an effective teacher in the subject matter. Praxis II tests are challenging and thousands of people fail them every year, forcing many of them to defer or abandon their dreams of teaching children. Thorough preparation is critical, and you’ll find an abundance of free videos here at Mometrix Academy to help you prep for these important exams.
Praxis 2 Study Guide
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Praxis II Overview
The Educational Testing Service has taken the time to ensure the Praxis 2 test is crafted with care in order to be reasonable and applicable to become a successful teacher. Each Praxis 2 test goes through an extensive standardization process. The Educational Testing Service hires in educators that work the same content area that the test is patterned after. They do this to identify what content is appropriate for the average American classroom, and then they apply that content to the Praxis 2 exam. Once the educator is finished, the experts and content advisors at the Educational Testing Service make sure the Praxis 2 exam questions meet the pre-established standards and requirements. They are then placed in trial testing and removed of any cultural bias. Once all of the is done the questions are placed on the appropriate Praxis 2 exam.
Test Length and Format
Each Praxis II test will vary on the amount of questions and test length. In regards to test time, every Praxis II test will range from 1 to 5 hours. Praxis II exam questions will typically be either selected response questions or essay questions. Each question is designed to assess the test taker’s knowledge and abilities to perform adequately as a beginning teacher. Subject knowledge as well as general pedagogical knowledge will be extensively tested. There are three main types of tests the test taker will face when taking a Praxis II test: a Subject Assessment Praxis II test; a Principles of Learning and Teaching, or PLT, Praxis II test; as well as a Teaching Foundations Praxis II exam.
The Subject Assessment Praxis 2 exam category is the most varied category in regards to both subjects as well as question number, and test time. Each Subject Assessment Praxis 2 exam can contain both general questions and subject-specific questions. Every Subject Assessment Praxis 2 exam will contain selected response and/or constructed response questions. These tests are designed to measure the abilities of the test taker in the specific field the test taker wishes to teach. Though the Core Praxis 2 exam and the Pedagogical focused Praxis 2 exam are both important, this Praxis 2 exam will be the test that relates closest to the day to day activities of the future instructor.
Principles of Learning and Teaching
The Principles of Learning and Teaching, or PLT test is primarily used to assess the test taker’s abilities and pedagogical knowledge in regards to instructing a classroom. There are four different versions of this Praxis 2 test. Each Praxis 2 test in this category will consist of 70 selected response questions and 4 constructed response questions, in which the test taker will have two hours to complete. Each version of this Praxis 2 test category will cover topics such as: Students as Learners; Instructional Process; Assessment; Professional Development, Leadership, and Community; as well as an Analysis of Instructional Scenarios. The different versions of the Praxis PLT test are as follows: the Early Childhood Praxis 2 test; the K-6 Praxis 2 test; the 5-9 Praxis 2 test; as well as the 7-12 Praxis 2 test.
Finally the Teaching Foundations Praxis II exam category is used to measure the test taker’s ability to adequately teach about the following four main areas: Multiple Subjects; Mathematics; English; and Science. Each Praxis II exam in this category will consist of selected response questions as well as constructed response questions. These tests are like a mixture of the two previous tests. Each Teaching Foundations Praxis II exam focuses on a specific subject; however, unlike the Subject Assessments, this Praxis II exam category also assesses the test taker’s ability to teach and control the classroom, much like tests in the PLT Praxis II exam category. Each Teaching Foundations Praxis II exam uses scenarios related to the subject matter to assess how the test taker would perform in each specific scenario.
Since the Praxis II test is being utilized by over three dozen different states and U.S. territories, test sites are located all across the country. These sites can be found in multiple cities and provinces in all 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Upon registering for the Praxis II test, the test taker will be able to choose whichever testing center is closest to them. The state requirements for the Praxis II test vary by each state; however, almost every state requires that the test taker holds a baccalaureate degree, and that each test taker has completed an educator preparation program. Each state is different in their requirements, so it is important that the test taker knows their specific state’s requirements when applying to take the Praxis II test.
Whenever the test taker feels they are ready to take the Praxis 2 exam, they can register in three different ways: online; by mail; or by phone. If the test taker decides to register by mail then ETS will mail the admission ticket that the test taker needs to enter the testing facility. If the test taker registers using their Praxis account, they must print out the admission ticket themselves. The testing location may change so the test taker needs to make sure that they check around three days before the testing day to ensure they know where to take their Praxis 2 exam. If the test taker wants their scores reported to their respective colleges, they must include which school to send the school to when registering. Depending on which state the test taker registers to take the Praxis 2 exam in, they may have to submit their Social Security Number upon registration. In the event that the test taker is absent on the day of their Praxis 2 exam, all test fees will be forfeited; however, the test taker may change the date to another date that is in the future as long as it is in the same testing year. If it does not fall into the same testing year, a $40 fee will be applied. If the test taker wishes to cancel their testing appointment, they must do so three or more days before their scheduled test day; otherwise, their test fees will be forfeited. The test taker may take their respective Praxis 2 exam, regardless of whether or not they have paid the appropriate fees; however, scores will not be distributed until the account is fully paid off.
Upon the day of taking their Praxis 2 test, the test taker will be allowed only specific items while in the testing area. They will be allowed to bring and are required to bring their admission ticket as well as one of the following acceptable photo IDs: A Passport with the test taker’s name, photograph, and signature; A valid government-issued driver’s license with their name, photograph, and signature; any kind of national ID that has the test taker’s name, photograph, and signature; or a Military ID that has the test taker’s name, photograph, and signature. The test taker can also bring a calculator if it is appropriate for their respective Praxis 2 test.
When taking the Praxis II exam, there are certain items that the test taker should not bring. Personal items such as bags, backpacks, and purses will not be allowed in the testing room; likewise, cell phones are prohibited. In the event that the test taker brings in a cell phone, the phone will be confiscated and inspected for any test information. Watches are not allowed in the testing room while taking the Praxis II exam either. Food and drinks are also not allowed to be brought into the testing area. There will be a place to store personal items while the test taker is testing; however, they will not have access to such items during the breaks. The testing centers hold no responsibility if the items stored are damaged or stolen. If the test taker needs access to any personal items, equipment, or sustenance due to a medical need, they must follow the correct filing procedures notifying ETS of the medical condition requiring the specific accommodation.
Once the Praxis II test is over the test taker will be expecting to know their scores to determine if they passed, or if they need to take the test again. The ETS does not have a specific passing score for any Praxis II test. Each passing score is determined by each state and territory that accepts the Praxis II test. This deviation is a direct result of the diversity that America cherishes. Each state has its own culture and social and academic norms. Due to this, each state has different requirements teachers need in order to be successful in their careers. Because each Praxis II test is carefully crafted by teachers and teacher educators in the specific subject and state in which the test taker takes the Praxis II test, the content and difficulty will vary for each state offering the Praxis II test.
So how does the test taker know they passed? The ETS will inform the test taker of their results. The time in which the test taker receives their scored is dependent on how they elect to receive their Praxis 2 exam scores. If the test taker decides to have their scores mailed to them, it will take 10 to 16 business days for the ETS to send the Praxis 2 exam scores. Alternatively, if the test taker decides to have their scores posted online, they will receive their scores immediately after the 10 to 16 day period, instead of waiting for the scores to travel through the mail. If the test taker wishes to have additional Praxis 2 exam score reports sent to them, they will have to do so through their Praxis account, and will be charged an extra $50 to do so. Such Praxis 2 exam scores can be received online, or through other mediums such as, mail, phone, or by fax.
Once the test taker completes the Praxis 2 test, their test scores are sent to the test taker as well as any institutions or agencies that the test taker denotes in the Praxis 2 test registration form. Institutions will not be automatically sent score reports. They must be denoted in the test taker’s registration form. In addition to the selected recipients, the Praxis 2 test scores are also automatically sent to the departments of education in the following states: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; as well as Wyoming. If the state the test taker wishes to have Praxis 2 test scores is not in this list, the test taker must list the specific state they wish to send the scores to as a score recipient upon registering for the Praxis 2 test.
Due to the fact that each Praxis II exam is individually crafted, the questions on each test vary in difficulty. For this reason, the ETS decided not to base results on a raw score. A raw score is purely how many questions the test taker answered correctly. These scores have no regard to how difficult each question is. In contrast, the scaled scoring system for the Praxis II exam does take the difficulty of each question into consideration when scoring the test. The easier the question, the fewer points a correct answer is worth; alternatively, the harder a question is, the more points a correct answer is worth. The ETS has a scaling process known as equating that they use to ensure that each Praxis II exam score is fair and accurate.
The Praxis II test can be very arduous. If the test taker does not adequately study, they will fail. The reason the test is so difficult is to ensure that the test takers that pass the Praxis II test will be qualified to instruct a classroom. The education years are arguably the most vital point in a person’s life. The quality of a person’s education is in direct correlation to their success later on in life. Due to this importance, ETS rigorously prepared the test to weed out unqualified teachers, allowing only the best to help shape students’ future. Though the Praxis II test is difficult, it is not impossible. Through adequate preparation and diligent study, almost anyone can pass. We at Mometrix want to see you succeed. We want to see the world become a better place. This is why we have taken the time and effort to create appropriate study guides and practice tests for the Praxis II test. We want to help you become prepared for your test day, so that you can become a qualified teacher, and help lead our children’s future down the right path. With our study guides and practice tests, we believe we can give you the help that you need in order to be successful.
Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation
Last updated: 01/24/2018
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Questions about text types, purposes, and production make up 60% of your Praxis Core Writing score. This includes the Praxis Core Writing Source-Based Essay. And it includes the Praxis Core Writing Argumentative Essay. (Praxis Core Writing revision-in-context questions also fall under the category of text types, purposes, and production.)
Today, we’ll look at a practice Source-Based essay question for Praxis Core Writing. This practice essay will include a full prompt — directions and two source passages. The passages will both cover the same topic from different perspectives. This prompt will be followed by a model Praxis Core Writing source-based essay that earns the full 6 points. (Both the Praxis Core Writing Source-Based essay and the Praxis Core Writing Argumentative essay are scored on a scale of 1-6.)
Example Praxis Core Writing Source-Based Essay Prompt
The following assignment requires you to use information from two sources to discuss concerns that relate to a specific issue. When paraphrasing or quoting from the two sources, cite each source used by referring to the author’s last name, the title, or any other clear identifier.
Automatic teller machines (sometimes called ATMs or ATM machines) allow people to withdraw cash from their bank accounts remotely. ATM users insert their bank cards into the machine and request cash. The ATM then dispenses the cash and makes an electronic withdrawal from the user’s bank account. In this transaction, additional money is also drawn from the ATM user’s bank account in the form of ATM service fees. Both of the following sources address the relationship that ATM use has with bank accounting, and particularly whether ATM fees place an unfair financial burden on the people who use them.
Read the two passages carefully and then write an essay in which you identify the most important concerns regarding the issue and explain why they are important. Your essay must draw on information from BOTH of the sources. In addition, you may draw on your own experiences, observations, or readings. Be sure to CITE the sources whether you are paraphrasing or directly quoting.
Adapted from: Nym, Alex. Legal Theft: How Financial Service Fees Inhibit Capitalism. Madison, Wisconsin: Vanity Press. 2015. 81-82. Web. 13 Jun. 2016.
It seems incredibly unfair to have to pay money just to access your own money. Unfortunately, this form of highway robbery happens millions of times every day at ATMs across the nation. What makes ATM fees the most frustrating is their unpredictable costs. The costs themselves can vary widely. One ATM may have charge cardholders three or four times as much as another ATM. While these variations might theoretically create healthy competition among different privately owned ATM stations, in reality, consumers don’t have the time to explore every ATM in an area and find the best deal.
It seems that the ATM’s particular brand of legal theft is on the rise. Since ATM owners first began charging the bank account holders who use their machines, prices for ATM use have risen astronomically. To make matters worse, the actual bank that issues the bank card will often charge an additional fee to its hapless cardholders. This means that when someone uses an ATM to withdraw money from their bank account, they are not just charged a fee by the owner of the ATM. They pay a fee to the bank where they have their account. With this double charge, a small twenty dollar ATM withdrawal can have an additional cost of ten dollars, and sometimes more.
Aside from being unethical, ATM user fees are also financially harmful to consumers and to businesses. High ATM fees discourage people from spending money, and this means lower sales volumes at stores, restaurants, and other establishments.
Adapted from: Eincer, Brenda. Un-Nickeled and Un-Dimed: Financial Health for Individuals and Industry. Boston: Nosredna Publishing. 2014. 81-82. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.
People are quick to complain about the fees they pay at the ATM. But these fees are a small price to pay for the benefits of ATMs. These machines are helpful to both consumers and businesses.
Withdrawing money from an ATM has many advantages in spite of the potential fees. It’s easy to forget that any use of money from a bank account comes at a cost. Alternatives to ATM cash withdrawal also cost money, in the form of fees for payments made with cards, interest paid on credit card purchases, fees for writing checks, and so on. And bear in mind, those bank fees only are just the ones that impose costs on individual consumers. When people pay with a card, merchants themselves pay additional costs, in the form of “merchant service fees.” Merchant service fees are fees that sellers have to pay to the bank in order to process bank card transactions. These fees for receiving non-cash payments can be a real burden to business owners, but are avoidable when the customer pays in cash. Ultimately, ATMs may actually help customers and businesses save money.
Some claim that ATM fees have greatly increased in the last few decades, but this statement is only partly accurate. Yes, average fees have risen at ATMs that charge fees. However, there is a growing trend of no-fee ATMs. Increasingly, restaurants, stores, and other retail businesses are purchasing their own ATMs and offering cash withdrawals without fees to their customers. This practice allows businesses to reduce the merchant service fees they pay because their customers pay in cash. This is a win for consumers as well, as they are able to minimize ATM fees by patronizing certain establishments.
Sample Praxis Core Writing Source-Based Essay
ATM fees, the fees people pay to access cash from their bank accounts via automated teller machine, raise a number of socioeconomic issues due to their increasingly high costs. In his essay, Alex Nym complains of the “unfair” nature and “unpredictable costs” that people face when they want to access their personal funds through an ATM (“Legal Theft: How Financial Services Inhibit Capitalism”). Nym claims that average fees for ATM use have risen a great deal in the last 30 years. He also notes that many customers get double-charged when they use an ATM; first, the owner of the ATM charges a fee for ATM use. Then, the bank where the money is withdrawn from charges an additional fee for removing the cash from the account. Nym suggests that ATM fees are bad for the economy as a whole because they discourage people from taking out money and spending it.
Brenda Eincer, author of the book “Un-Nickeled and Un-Dimed: Financial Health for Individuals and Industry,” has a perspective that runs counter to Nym’s. Eincer feels that ATM fees are not unreasonable, and the people get many benefits in exchange for the cost of ATM use. Challenging Nym’s assumption that ATM use raises costs, Eincer points out that that there are also service fees for alternatives to ATM cash withdrawal. She asserts that using a debit or credit card or writing a check also have costs. This author also brings up the issue of the “merchant service” fees that businesses need to pay when they receive payments by card instead of by cash from an ATM. In Eincer’s opinion, ATM fees may be the better deal for both ATM users and the businesses where they shop. Finally, Eincer offers a different perspective than Nym’s with regards to rising ATM fees. She notes that while some ATMs charge more than before, many businesses now host no-fee ATMs to encourage onsite shopping.
Both authors agree that ATM use certainly has noticeable costs and that the highest ATM fees are higher than ever. The real debate is whether these costs are worth it. Nym and others who share his views would argue that the costs of ATM use have risen too high and ultimately discourage economic activity. On Eincer’s side of the debate, it seems possible that ATM costs are potentially cheaper than those associated with card and checkbook purchases. If that proves to be the case, then ATM use may actually benefit both shoppers and businesses.
Commentary on Sample Praxis Core Writing Source-Based Essay
This essay meets the top standards of the official score guide for the Praxis Core Writing Source-based essay. (See pages 35 and 36 of the official Praxis Core Writing Study Companion.)
The organization of this essay shows logic and sophistication. The essay frames the importance of the issue in the very first sentence. From there, the test-taker looks first at the perspective in Passage 1, and then at the views expressed in Passage 2. The person who wrote this essay organized the summary of the passages in a logical “point-counterpoint” arrangement. Eincer’s favorable views of ATM fees in Passage 2 are treated as a possible counterpoint to Nym’s negative verdict on ATM costs in the previous passage. At the end, the essay-writer pulls it all together by stating each author’s core thesis and comparing the rationale and implications for both perspectives.
This sample essay also meets the technical standards required for the full 6 points. The test-taker uses a variety of sentence structures as needed, and demonstrates a good range of vocabulary. Sources are also cited in a clear, consistent fashion.
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