How to Prepare For Praxis Core Reading

Praxis Core Reading is a measure of the candidate’s fluency in academic reading at the high school and early college level. It is a part of the three tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) as the Praxis series of tests, alongwith the Math and Writing tests.

The Praxis Core Reading tasks are typically easier and more straightforward than the reading assessments on other graduate exams such as the LSAT, GRE or GMAT. Even so, if you have not taken an English class in the last few years, the Praxis Core Reading test can be a little daunting.

In the following guide on how to prepare for Praxis Core Reading, you will find information on the basics of the test and focused tips for how to pass the Praxis Core Reading exam.

The Basics of Praxis Core Reading

Before we get into the process for preparing for the Praxis Core Reading test, let us first quickly review what the test contains.

Length and Format

The Praxis Core Reading is an 85 minutes-long test with 56 passage-based multiple choice questions. Questions are based around three subject areas:

  • Key Ideas and Details
  • Craft, language skills and structure
  • Integration of ideas of knowledge

What Is on the Test?

The reading material on the test uses reading material from a variety of topics and real-life situations. After every passage, there are a series of questions based on its content. Passages are drawn from sources such as newspapers, journals, non-fiction books, online articles, novels and infographics etc.

Questions would test students on their ability to identify the main idea, supporting ideas, author’s attitude, relationship of ideas and purpose of the passage etc. There are mainly two types of questions on the Praxis Core Reading test – content questions that would ask about the information contained in a text and analysis questions that would require you to analyze a passage and look for the deeper meanings.

In addition to that, the test would often contain visual-based questions, including diagrams, charts, graphs and infographics. Make sure you are well-versed with this visual vocabulary before the test day, as it can be very easy to misread a visual.

How to Prepare for Praxis Core Reading

If you want to pass the Praxis Core Reading test, there are several things you ought to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at some of the tips to help you ace this test.

Practice Reading Skills: This is, without doubt, the best way to improve your reading skills. Read as much as you can, but don’t just read anything. Look for the kind of readings that commonly appear on the Praxis Core Reading exam. These would typically be in subjects like science, history, art and other common academic subjects. You can also read content from famous news outlets.

Practice Writing Skills: Writing and reading have a direct relationship. If you write regularly, you would have a greater understanding of other people’s writing as well. Take some time out to write a few lines every day, whether you are writing practice essays or posting your ideas on social media.

‘Read Outward’ When Looking for Answers to Detail Questions: This technique can help you save time for questions where you are asked about a specific detail in the passage. In such a case, first look at the words immediately surrounding the detail. More often than not, you will find the answer here. However, if you don’t, start reading the sentences surrounding the detail and the whole passage, if need be.

With ‘Whole Passage’ Questions, Skim Through for Main Ideas: A question that revolves around the main idea or purpose of the passage would require you to know what is in the entire piece. While it may be tempting to read the whole passage, it will take up a lot of your time. A better way to go about it would be to skim through for the most important ideas. You are likely to find the most information at the beginnings and ends of passages.

Understand Vocabulary in Context: Memorizing long lists of words in preparation for the Praxis Core Reading might not be necessary. A better way to go about it would be to understand words in context, so that you can understand the meanings of the passages better.

Look at Any Infographics in Complete Detail: Infographics contain very focused information, so they cannot be skimmed through. Make sure you analyze every detail of any visual-based question and answer comprehension queries accordingly. Make sure you practice such questions a lot beforehand to be able to understand formatted information.

Don’t Make Assumptions When Analyzing Arguments: Always try and base your answers on information directly contained in a passage. Avoid any ‘ifs’ when analyzing an argument. For instance, don’t make judgments like the author might be implying something if a certain situation is true. Only make judgments about the facts contained in the passage.

Study Options for Praxis Core Reading

Aspiring educators who intend on appearing for the Praxis Core Reading exam can benefit from a wide array of study options. Let’s take a look at some of these:

  • Online Study Plans: A lot of websites and agencies offer paid-for or free-of-cost study plans online. These typically contain a template of the plan, practice questions, answers with explanations, test tips and strategies and list of frequently asked questions.
  • Personal Tutors: Personal tutors are available through various organizations, both online and in-person. These are paid tutors who have specialized in the field. Before going for this option, you ought to go over the program outcomes in detail to make sure you get your money’s worth.
  • Self-Study: This is the most popular option with most students when it comes to Praxis Core Reading. A lot of self-study materials are available online through various channels. Students will need to create their own plan and set a pace that suits them according to the time-frame available.

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