HELP: Praxis Writing Core, MC!!!

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by Mackenzie Roberts, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Mackenzie Roberts

    Mackenzie Roberts New Member

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    Jul 16, 2019

    Hi! I have successfully passed both reading and math test but I am STRUGGLING to pass my writing praxis core. My raw score for the essay is 16 but my multiple choice is always between 8-12. Can someone guide me in the right direction of what to study or what websites/books they have used! I take it in two weeks and I need to pass!!! Anything will help!

    Thank you!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2019

    Welcome to A to Z, and hugs. If you're generally better at writing decently than you are at explaining why your writing (or someone else's) works, you might find it useful to work through 501 Grammar and Writing Questions, published by LearningExpress; the questions will take you through a fairly wide range of glitches in writing, the answers are reasonably well explained, most bookstores and libraries carry or can get you the most current edition, and any edition published in the last two decades should serve your purpose.
     
  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    Aug 5, 2019

    I had to take those tests and a couple of classes when I moved here to get certified due to state requirements for certification. I'll bet 1/3 of one of the classes I was in had taken the writing test and not passed it. It made me nervous, so I found a Praxis practice book.
    I am thankful I did. I would have expected things like punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and word usage.
    When I got the book, there were a few I remember that I never could have figured out the answer. This is just an example ( I promise it was not a test question...lol) :
    Look out for questions that have some form of redundancy. Something like this: A small passage could talk about people protesting against the Viet Nam War. ( I know it was a conflict, but that has nothing to do with it.) To me, that sounds perfectly normal. I had heard it so many times in my life. However, "protesting and against" would be redundant. That would be the mistake in a sentence or small passage. Best of luck and if I think of anymore tips, I'll add them tomorrow.
     
  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    Aug 6, 2019

    I thought of some helpful tips if you are still checking this. I don't want to type them all out if you are not looking anymore. If you are still checking, let me know and I'll write it out tomorrow.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2019

    The OP may not read this, Tired Teacher, but someone else surely will.

    The seat-of-the-pants rule for sentence correction tasks like the one you mentioned is that the shorter of two almost-identical answer choices is correct, provided that (a) it doesn't introduce some other error and (b) it omits no content that was in the original sentence.

    (Side note: The verb "protest" seems to have become two verbs, and I think formal English hasn't quite kept up. In the sentence "'But that is not my button!' Toad protested," the verb "protest" means something like 'speak out against' is pronounced with stress on the second syllable (pro-TEST), like many other two-syllable verbs that English has acquired from Latin, and we can speak of Toad's protestation. But "protest" in the example you cite has the sense 'participate in an organized rally for political purposes', and the stress is on the first syllable (that is, PRO-test), one can perfectly well protest in favor of a cause, and the noun is also "protest".)
     
  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    Aug 7, 2019

    TeacherGroupie: I am a bit confused with a part of what you wrote. In this sentence: Many people protested against the Viet Nam War.
    Are you saying protested is not the verb? I understand you are saying that you can protest for or against something. Yikes, I am going to have to go back and look that up because I remember being taught something like that probably wrong. :) I am amazed almost daily ( lol) with things I have no clue about or don't remember correctly.
    I think the main advice I would have for anyone reading this is to get the Praxis Practice Test book and study. I am kind of OCD when it comes to studying before exams. I have taken many different ones over the years.
    I have never had problems with them because I really learn the format before taking them. Also, when I do not understand something, I get someone to explain it to me. If I realize the explanation is beyond me, I focus on what I can learn without making my head spin. :)
     
  8. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    Teachergroupie, IDK why, but it doesn't let me post links here. I have seen both sides of it on the internet.
    1 I looked at said, "protested against" is OK.
    The other is titled 10 Phrases You Should Cut from Your Writing and "protested against" is 1 of them. Ill just copy and paste a bit of it.
    ‘Protest against’ is redundant for the same basic reason that ‘respond back’ is redundant (cf. above 6.), i.e., the notion of ‘against’ is already contained within the conceptualization of ‘protest’.

    So...............lol I still am not sure. :) It is good I have time to procrastinate right now because I will keep looking. :)
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 8, 2019

    I'm not saying that "protested" isn't the verb, no. What I'm suggesting is that English is in the process of splitting "protest" into two different verbs - the fact that they're pronounced a bit differently, pro-TEST versus PRO-test, is part of the evidence - and that, as usual, spoken language ("ordinary English", if you will) has taken the change farther and faster than has standard English ("classroom English"). Read aloud the almost-identical sentences (a) and (b), please, stressing the syllables as noted by the capitalization (and the reading-aloud part matters here, because these need to be heard):

    a. Angela said she was going to vote for Mr. Magoo, but Frank proTESTed.
    b. Angela said she was going to vote for Mr. Magoo, but Frank PROtested. ​

    If you hear (a), with stress on the second syllable of "protest", you may assume that Angela and Frank were in conversation, she voiced her intention, and he then tried to talk her out of it. That is, he is necessarily speaking. If you hear (b), with stress on the first syllable, however, you're likelier to assume that Frank was performing a political action (during which, by the way, he could perfectly well be silent!), and you might also then reinterpret the clause about Angela as being less about her speaking than her political intention.

    Language change is everywhere.
     
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  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 8, 2019

    Oh, and you can't post links, yet. But if you persist in posting generally, in due course you will be able to.
     
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  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    OK, I get it now. :) The examples and your explanation helped me a lot. I have never heard of "Language Change" before, but language sure has changed over the years.
    There are so many new words that never even existed before. It is hard to keep up with changes. My friend and I are constantly checking words in the urban dictionary when we know there has to be a different meaning to make certain words funny to the kids. :) The words always have a new obscene meaning.
    I am not sure if it is writing styles, formats, or changes, but when I 1st learned commas in a series, we were taught to put a comma before the word "and". Like this: Pam, Rita, Sue, and Tina were friends.
    When I went to get my education degree, we were taught you needed to drop that final comma to make it correct. The sentence would be: Pam, Rita, Sue and Tina were friends. When I went back to my MA program, it had switched back to what I had originally learned. As I get older, I realize the less I truly know....lol
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 8, 2019

    Ah, comma usage! What you were originally taught is the "Oxford comma" - comma after every item in the list except the last - and it seems to be gaining some ground again, after having come under assault by those who think the extra comma is superfluous. I generally go with the Oxford comma because indiscriminately including that comma is less likely to lead to misunderstanding than is indiscriminately omitting it, but it really is a matter of personal preference (or, to put it somewhat differently house style: in some publications, "gonna" really is preferred over "intending to"...)
     
  13. Mackenzie Roberts

    Mackenzie Roberts New Member

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    Aug 8, 2019

    Yes, I am still looking for tips!! Sorry, I took it again and failed by 2 points!
     
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  14. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    I never knew the name of it as the Oxford comma. I just remember how frustrating it was to stop using it...lol Professors gave the same reason as you mentioned( the extra comma is superfluous) .
    Once I had trained myself not to use it, things became worse because in all of the elementary school practices the "right answer" had the Oxford comma.
    Then I kept forgetting to put that final comma in my MA program. I wondered if it was a difference in the APA writing format and another. I am not getting a PhD, so the rats won't have a chance to change it on me again.....lol :) If they do, it won't matter. I only have 2 yrs left to teach anyways. I am older than I appear! :)
     
  15. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    OMGoodness! I am so sorry. 2 lousy points! You are so close. You can get there. No worries!
    For the written portion, it is persuasive or opinion writing. Is that still correct? If yes:
    1. Come up with a really good generic introduction and conclusion. Leave blanks in it where you need to fill in the stance or opinion and basic topics for why.
    2. Memorize them before you go in to take the test.. When you get the test, you will have to tweak it a bit to fit your topic, but it saves a lot of time. Also, you start off quickly and confidently.
    3. Once you get the test, look at the 2 sides. ( I really wish I could tell you the Q mine asked. )
    4. Focus on which 1 you can easily think of reasons to support.
    5. Whether you agree or disagree doesn't matter. Pick the side you can support the best.
    6. Leave yourself a few minutes to proofread and edit.
    **I ended up scoring high enough on this 1 that I could afford to have missed lots of their stupid questions. (Haha! I only call them stupid because they don't give you much time to get through them all. I like to take my time.)
    6. Do all of the easy ones first.
    7. If 1 seems really hard, skip it. Give yourself time to go back and pick an answer before time is up. ( Even if your answer is D. lol)
    8. Teacher groupie has really good advice above about once you have it narrowed down to 2 answers that both look like they could be right.
    9. If you have time, check out the Praxis Practice. You will see which types of Q's you are missing. Learn all that you can without making your head spin.
    I noticed that the practice book had some way harder questions on it than the real deal. I chose not to worry about anything that was too tricky for me to learn quickly because of time.
    The one thing I remember most that made me glad I had studied was it made me aware to look for redunancies. I never had thought of that being on the test. Good luck!!!! You can do it!
    Teacher Groupie seems to be the expert on this test. I am sure she has top- notch advise. All I did was practice and take the test. Best of luck!
     
  16. Twanda Taylor

    Twanda Taylor New Member

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    Jan 15, 2020

     

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