How to Prepare For Praxis Core Writing

If you are planning to become an educator, the Praxis exams would certainly be on your mind. For those of you who do not know, these are a series of exams that measure the subject knowledge, along with logical reasoning, math and understanding skills of teacher candidates.

Praxis Core Writing is one of the three tests that make up the Praxis Core, and is perhaps the trickiest one. Unlike the other two tests, this is a combination of multiple choice questions, along with constructed response questions. Praxis Core Writing test is a combination of varying kinds of multiple choice questions – Usage, Revision in Context, Research and Sentence Correction. Besides that, it has two separate questions involving constructed response – Informative/Explanatory Essay and Argumentative Essay.

With a complex structure like this, it comes as no surprise that aspiring teachers look for guidance when preparing for the Praxis Core Writing exam. If you are among these teachers, the following guide on how to prepare for the Praxis Core Writing will be of great help to you. It lists down important tips, along with study options for Praxis Core Writing.

How to Prepare for Praxis Core Writing Exam

If you want to pass Praxis Core Writing, you need to ensure that you do the preparation right. The following guidelines will shed some light on the basics that you need to be aware of.

Know the Basics: Before getting into the details of the test, it is important to understand the format of the exam. The Praxis Writing exam is a 100 minutes long test, with three sections.

  • Section 1: Multiple Choice Questions – 40 Minutes
  • Section 2: Argumentative Essay – 30 Minutes
  • Section 3: Explanatory Essay – 30 Minutes

Create and Follow a Strict Study Plan: Once you know what the test is going to be like, it is important to create a reasonable study plan and strictly follow it. You should consider the following while developing a study plan:

  • What materials will you need?
  • How much time can you dedicate to studying?
  • What date are you planning to give the test on?
  • Would you rather study alone or go for group study options?

Whatever kind of study plan you create, make sure you dedicate some time to practice questions on a daily basis.

Consider Your Studying Options: There are several options for study materials for Praxis Core Writing test. You can go for a purchased online study plan, or a personal tutor. If you want to keep your preparations simple and minimal, you can opt for free online resources and practice tests.

How to Pass the Praxis Core Writing Exam

The following list of tips will help you pass the exam, by highlighting the common kind of questions and what they test you on.

  • In Usage questions, Look for the Errors That Are Easy to Make: Questions in a multiple choice format in the Praxis Core Writing exam typically focus on simple errors, in areas like subject verb agreement, punctuation, capitalization, double negative, use of plural and singular forms etc. Try and identify these mistakes quickly to save time.
  • If Unable to Find the Error, Don’t Overthink It: You should be aware of ways to identify errors in the Usage, Revision in Context and Sentence Correction questions. However, if you have looked in detail and haven’t found any mistakes, then choose the option that says no change or no error. Keep in mind though, that ‘no mistake’ won’t be a very frequent answer. You can expect 2-4 questions with ‘no mistake’ answers. If you are getting this answer more often than that, you are probably making some mistake.
  • Look out for Parallel Structure: A lot of the mistakes that you find in the Sentence Correction, Usage and Revision in Context questions would involve parallel structure. For instance, if you see a change in verb tense or form or if there is a single phrase with substantially different wording that the other phrases, be sure to double check it. If there is no particular reason for this difference in pattern, there must be a mistake in parallel structure.
  • Check for Errors in Verbs: You can expect to find mistakes in verb tenses, gerunds, singular/plural verbs and the use of infinitives. These are common Praxis Writing questions.
  • Be Aware of How Primary and Secondary Sources Differ: Being aware of these simple definitions can save you a lot of time. A primary source is the one that is derived straight from the matter under study. For instance, letters written by a soldier to his wife or parents back home would be classified as a primary source for an essay about history. Similarly, the lab results of a research experiment would be a primary source in a science paper. On the other hand, secondary sources would typically be works by scholars who talk about a particular subject. For instance, a textbook or an online article on the Great Depression would be considered a secondary source.
  • Understand the Format for Essays: It is important to know the methods of content usage in essays. Students ought to be aware of introductions, smooth transitions, relevant information and summaries and so on. In addition to that, students need to be aware of cohesion and clarity. Try not to make the essay wordy and awkward to read. The flow of the content should be smooth and easy to follow.
  • Know the Time Frame for Essays: Thirty minutes is not a lot of time to write an essay. You are advised to use your time intelligently by breaking down the process of writing. A good way to go about it would be to spend 10 minutes on brainstorming, making an outline and writing a thesis. Following this, write the essay in 15 minutes. The remaining time should be used to proofread and polish the finished essay.

Once you are done attempting all sections of the exam, make sure you proofread to fish out any mistakes. The review process is an important part in the Praxis Core Writing exam, so you ought to spare some time for it.

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