Praxis II—

Report
Praxis II
Test Preparation Workshop
November 1, 2008
Why Praxis?

No Child Left Behind Act of
2001

Requires all teachers in public
schools to be “Highly Qualified”

Three requirements:



Bachelor’s degree
Full state teacher certification
Subject matter competency
Subject Matter Competency

Individual states choose how to
test subject matter competency

Utah uses the Praxis II test
developed by Educational Testing
Service (ETS)
Utah State Law

Requires educators to take the
Praxis II exam in any subject
they wish to teach
Here’s the good news…!

Any educator who scores below the
final Utah state score will be issued a
non-renewable conditional Level 1
license.

If the educator fails to pass the
Praxis during the three-year duration
of the conditional license, the license
will lapse
School of Education
Requirement

Must register for Praxis II exam
before student teaching
Which Praxis?



Praxis II not Praxis I
Content only – no pedagogical
requirements
Must take Praxis II for any
subject area in which you plan
to teach!
How Do I Register for the
Praxis II?



http://www.ets.org website
http://www.ets.org>Praxis>state
requirements>Utah
Be sure to include Westminster
College and Utah State Office of
Education
They assess content knowledge you
have learned in order to teach it to
others.
 They are comprehensive—covering
materials you may have learned in
several courses during more than one
year.
 Content questions may be embedded in
pedagogical situations.

Content knowledge Praxis exams are all
multiple choice
 Very few simple identification questions of
the sort “Which of the following authors
wrote Moby Dick?”
 Rationale—prospective teachers should be
able to analyze, synthesize, and apply
knowledge to specific examples.
 So . . . It might take longer to respond and
questions may take longer to read.






Learn What The Test Covers—See
specifications in the Tests at a Glance at
www.ets.org/praxis.
Assess How Well You Know The Content.
Collect The Materials You Need to Study.
Plan And Organize Your Time.
Study. [See TAAG for detailed test descriptions, sample questions
with answers and explanations, tips on pacing, guessing]

Know the Multiple-Choice Question Types
“Which of the following . . . “
 “Complete the statement . . . “
 “Roman Numeral Choices”
 “Least, Except, Not”
 “Graphs, Tables, Reading Passages”
 Other Formats


This format limits your choice of answers
only to the list given.
Example:
“Which of the following” is a flavor made from beans?
a) Strawberry
b) Cherry
c) Vanilla
d) Mint

You are given an incomplete statement.
You must select the choice that will make
the completed statement correct.
Example
“The underlying concepts of division most likely will be
understood by the greatest number of children if the
teacher
a) presents the concept of division in several ways
b) thoroughly explains the theory of division
c) provides one easy step-by-step procedure for dividing
d) stresses the everyday usefulness of understanding
division

This format is used when there can be more
than one correct answer from the list.
Example
The term “gender gap” is used in a political science
context to refer to differences in survey response data
from women and men in which of the following areas?
I.
II.
III.
The relative importance of domestic versus foreign-policy issues
Attitudes regarding such social issues as gun control or
pornography
Specific foreign-policy issues such as military issues
a)
b)
c)
d)
I only
II only
I and III only
I, II, and III



This type of question is used in situations in which there are
several good solutions, or ways to approach something, but
also a clearly wrong way to do something.
You must be very careful! It’s easy to forget that you are
selecting the negative!
These words will be in ALL CAPS!!
Example
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 did all of the
following EXCEPT
a) Establish a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour
b) Require the hiring of women and members of minority
groups for some government jobs
c) Fix the workweek at 40 hours
d) Forbid the hiring of workers under the age of sixteen
The important thing to keep in mind is to
answer the question that is asked . . .
 So, you might want to read the question
first and then look at the graph or chart
or reading passage.
 You may not need to spend a great
deal of time trying to understand a
graph or passage fully when you are
asked a very specific question about it.

Example
How many of the countries shown in the graph produced
more crude oil in 1975 than in 1974?
a) None
6
b) One
5
c) Two
4
d) Three
3
1974
2
1975
1976
1
0
Soviet
Union
United
States
Saudi
Arabia
Iran
New formats are developed from time to
time.
 As always, read the directions carefully.
 Then ask yourself what you are supposed
to be looking for, and what details are
given in the question that help you find
the answer.

Example
The following question asks you to analyze teacher goals
and actions intended to lead to the achievement of the
goal. Decide whether the action makes it likely or unlikely to
lead to the achievement of the goal.
GOAL: To increase the participation of low-achieving
middle-school students in whole-class discussions.
ACTION: Instead of asking for volunteers, the teacher
randomly calls on students to discuss homework assignments.
a) Likely, because students who feel anxiety about being
called on will be more at ease and will pay more
attention to class discussion.
b) Likely, because low-achieving students often hesitate to
volunteer and random questioning will increase
responses from these students.
c) Unlikely, because students in the middle-school grades
prefer to have a choice in responding to discussions.
d) Unlikely, because students’ positive feelings toward the
teacher will decrease.
Okay . . . Let’s take a test!
 Special
Guests:
› Charity Gleason: Secondary
› John Cedarland: Elementary
Formulating a Study Plan



Learn what the test covers
Assess how well you know the
content
Collect materials to help you
study





material from the subjects/grades you’ll be teaching
Core curriculum, see http://www.uen.org
Tests at a Glance (TAAG)
ETS Study Guides
Cliffs Notes Test Prep Guides
Formulating a Study Plan




Plan and organize your time
Be familiar with question types
Study
Take advantage of practice tests
and study tips available from
ETS.
RELAX!
GOOD LUCK!!
CELEBRATE!!!

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