Hi all. Thought I'd pay it forward a little. Just took my Praxis 0081 test today and my unofficial score was 178 (passing is 157, so I think I should be good). Thought I'd give a few study information that I used (other than the archives here).
1) Be wary of the practice tests. I got a few study books with practices tests and some were horrible. Confusing questions, questions with multiple correct answers (I think because they phrased the question wrong or didn't pay attention when adding answer choices), and a few with wrong answers (or answers that contradicted themselves (saying A at the top and then B after the explanation).
2) Look up the Regents old practice exams. They have them on the regents site. Though they are for High School, they ask some very in-depth questions and helped a lot. They have both US History & World History combined with Geography.
3) There are some video series on YouTube. One is a teacher doing AP US History (again, high school, but in depth). And another called "crash course" for world history. The crash course ones actually have a few other subjects (some different sciences and English) and they are adding a US history. The crash course don't go in depth, but they do a brief review and bring up some finer points you may have missed. I also used a few for economics, but I don't remember which ones.
4) Don't reinvent the wheel. There are several interactive flash-card websites with social studies praxis cards already made up. You might want to double check some of the answers, but if you check them once and note which ones helped, you've already got some made up.
I did have a good background of college courses (an economics, a world civilization, two generic social studies courses plus behavioral sciences). But college was several years ago. I did use my college texts some, but mostly I used Cliffs Quick Reviews as a refresher.
Whenever I came upon a subject I didn't understand or didn't remember, I'd look up more information about it.
In general, I felt that if I knew the basic timelines & trends (as far as the histories went), I could work my way through a question.
For instance, they might ask about an event that led up to WWII and if I knew one of the answer choices was from Vietnam and another was from WWI, then I already had a 50-50 shot even if I didn't have a clue between the other two.
They did not ask many questions about the bigger things you might think (Major wars or revolutions, for example) and when they did, they were pretty in depth and you really needed to know the material.
Overall, it's *not* an easy test, and it certainly is a LONG test (130 questions never seemed so long!), but it is doable as noticed by my score.
And I'll tell you, if I hadn't had the morning I had, I'm pretty sure I could have done better. I won't go into detail, but it involved windshield wipers deciding to stop working, almost getting lost and getting a case of hives almost from head to toe among other things.
Good luck and I hope this helps.