How hard is the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests (Praxis Core)?

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by thesub, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2015

    I am thinking of going back to school for ESL K-12 certification at Rider University, NJ and apparently this is a new test for teacher prep programs. Did anyone take this test?


    Right now, I am an aide in a 3rd grade class. Is there material from high school on this test?

    Thank you so much,
    thesub
     
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  3. Gaioma

    Gaioma New Member

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    I have no idea.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Go to ETS.org and look at the information that they have posted. They will give you excellent guidance on the type of material that they are interested in you knowing for the exam. Honestly, this is like an exam, that has been used for many years, that assures the state that you will have a given proficiency of basic necessary academic knowledge in English, Math, Literacy. Yes, high school level of information, and no use of calculators on the math. Most, if not all, universities require these to enter teachers education programs. The good news is that this test is similar to the test necessary to teach elementary education, an endorsement that goes along with the ESL endorsement. To teach ESL in public schools, you must have the K-6 Elementary Education endorsement.
     
  5. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Thank you

    :)
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Is it like the Praxis PLT?
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    No, Caesar: more like Praxis I/PPST.
     
  8. Carneybar

    Carneybar Rookie

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    The new test (5732) is unbelievably difficult and it involves a lot of geometry a^2+b^2=C^2 also area, volume, radius and Pie formulas as well as ratios, integers and graphs, means, medians, ranges, etc. The timing is critical as it allows less than two minutes per problem (85 minutes for 56 problems) and many problems have a full paragraph of information that needs to be deciphered and in some cases a chart/graph before you can even decide what formula to use. Also the algebra questions are not the typical ones.. I took it for the first time after studying the study guide and taking the practice praxis exam that I purchased from the ETS website ($19.99) and still failed the real test with a humiliating (120) when I needed a (150). I might add that I took the practice exams over and over until I received a 100 (not memorizing the answers but actually memorizing how to solve the problems...none of which were remotely close to what was on the exam :( I did not study for the other sections and I passed the reading (5712) with a whopping (188) and only needed a (156). The writing requires two essays now instead of just one (two different types) and they are timed as well and you have to answer 40 questions prior to the writing part.That writing test is the (5722) and I am still waiting for the results as the essays have to be graded...takes longer.

    I must say that I feel I studied long and hard for a month (all day on weekends only though) after taking and passing the (5025) first time around, for the 5712,5722 and 5732 combined test but again I just studied the math part. These new Core Academic Skills for Educators exams were designed to be more rigorous according the NJDOE (and they have the same passing score and content for 16 states now). However, they no longer have composite scoring nor do they allow remaining time from previous tests in the combined test to be used for any other tests like they did with the older version (found that information from researching comparisons of the test).
     
  9. Carneybar

    Carneybar Rookie

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    It may have been used many years but it no longer allows for composite scoring or carrying over remaining time to apply to another test, in the combined tests, if needed and it is required to write two essays instead of one. These new tests as of September 2015 were intentionally designed to be more rigorous, according to NJDOE, than the previous version. It seems others have had an advantage in previous years that is no longer afforded to new candidates (not to mention more problems were added to the math version with less than 2 seconds to solve) especially problems with formulas that have multiple steps.

    Forgive me but I can't help but wonder why it is a requirement to master geometry etc., to teach pre-k? Or why it is a requirement to take this so called Basic Skills Test when one has already obtained an advanced degree with a 4.0 and a 3.93 for a BS? Just not sure why or how a test that typically requires cramming, which is later forgotten or never even used later should or could determine if one could effectively teach especially early childhood education......
     
  10. Carneybar

    Carneybar Rookie

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    Oh and did I mention I also used the ETS study guide and purchased the practice test for the 5732 and registered for this test only after I mastered the practice test but nothing on the actually test except for maybe 5 out of the 56 problems
     
  11. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2015


    On the reading and writing sections, How many questions did you get right?
     
  12. ceqrnlv

    ceqrnlv Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2015

    I am taking my Praxis core on the 28th of Nov., 2015. I have been told by other recent test takers that the test is a majority of multiple choice questions, and that in most cases. the choices can simply be plugged in until you get the right choice. I have also been told that if you "mark" (skip) the questions, the geometric formulas are scattered throughout the test and can then be written down on your scratch paper to be used when you return to the "marked" questions.

    I also called ETS a few days ago, and they did say that the on screen calculator was available for all of the questions. I was also told by ETS that ALL of the questions were multiple choice, but some of my colleagues contradicted this and said some were fill-in the blank, and not multiple choice. The majority opinion was that the questions are not terribly difficult, but I have the misfortune of suffering "math anxiety," and would like to have as much "correct" information prior to the 28th. Any insight from RECENT test takers on the issues raised would be most appreciated. "Veteran" insight is also most welcomed.
    Thx in advance!
     
  13. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2015

    Ceqrnlv, I am taking the test on Tuesday Nov 17, 2015. I will let you know after I take the test. You also can take the practice test at this website. "teacherstestprep" I took the middle school math and the praxis core math. If you can pass either one you should be able to pass the praxis core math.
     
  14. ceqrnlv

    ceqrnlv Rookie

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    Good luck! Looking forward to your input...and your success.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have no thoughts on the test but I'm a Rider grad and have complete confidence you will be well prepared there.
     
  16. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Thanks, Anything else you need me to check on, besides the math section? I probably will not remember the math questions itself, but will give a general idea on what to study.
     
  17. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Ceqrnlv, my results, 154 on the reading, a 198 on the math and will get my writing score in 2 week. I was sick throughout most of this test which is why I did so poor on the reading sections.

    On the math portion of the test. There was about 5 fill in the blank, 1 select all that apply and the rest were multiple choice. The fill in the blank question was easy. they ask you to either solve for x or what is ratio of A to B.(Some test do not count these problem or they will report it with your official score.) On most of the math problems I was able to solve with just my calculator or by looking at the graph, chart, diagram, etc. There were about 7 geometry questions. You need to know pythagorean theorem, area, perimeter, circumference, and volume equation. The circle, square, rectangle and triangle is all you need to know.(possible cylinder V=πr²h). If it is an advanced geometry question,the formula will be given to you. You should know the slope and point slope equation. Also watch out for those trick questions. They have feet in the question but inches, yards, etc. in the answer
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
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  18. ceqrnlv

    ceqrnlv Rookie

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    Awesome input! Thank you so very much for your insight, and good luck with the results.
     
  19. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    I'll share my experience with the test. I took the combined(my first mistake) skills test for the first time in September unprepared(second mistake). I brought a guidebook for the test from Barnes and Nobles and barely studied (third mistake) with it. This has changed and I have been studying every spare moment that I have.

    My Reading Score - 180 - Needed 152 to pass

    My Math Score - 118 - Needed 150 to pass

    My 1st Writing Score - 142 - Needed 162 to pass

    My 2nd Writing Score - 158 - Needed 162 to pass

    I am scheduled to retake the math test on December 1 and the writing test on December 2 .
     
  20. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Yea I think the combined test is too long. If you need any help on the math section I am more than welcome to assist you. On the writing section How much did the essay affect you scores. For the Argumentative essay, they gave me a horrible topic and for the Informative essay, I have no idea how to write one.
     
  21. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    The combined test is something I believe should be done away with and the individual tests prices should be lowered. Thank you for the math offer, I could really use all the help I can get. I wish I could bring my own calculator, the one on the computer is distracting in itself to use and I spend to much time on each question, especially the geometry and probability ones.

    The first time I took the test I received a 6 on my essay. I wrote one paragraph for each of the essays, because truthfully, I was exhausted by the time I reached that part and I just wanted to be done.

    The second time I took it, I received a 12 and I did better on the multiple choice part. I believe there are two scorers for the essays and they are given a rating 1-6, but my score was out of 24 points so I think I received a 0 on one of the essays. I had extra time and I read the instructions twice. I then used the scrap paper that they gave me to write down the key points that they wanted from me. I wrote a few notes and I started. My first essay was about 1-2 paragraphs and the second was 4-5 I had a lot to say and I used proper quotations. I do think they should trim the essay down to one and give us more planning time separately from writing so we can write more. I can help you on the argumentive essay if you would like.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 19, 2015

    Scorers on basic-skills test essays aren't expecting a perfectly elaborated piece of polished writing: they know you don't have much time. They're looking for a structured piece of prose that (a) does what the prompt directs with the topic or material that the prompt supplies, (b) is organized, (c) shows a decent respect for the rules of formal English, and (d) suggests that, with time, the writer could do better. Where the prompt provides material that can be quoted, a judicious quotation or two is a fine idea. Given a choice between interesting phrasing and structured prose that's a little boring, always go with structure.
     
  23. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    What is the reason for you spending so much time on geometry and probability? Are you having a hard time studying it or memorize the formula. If the formula is a problem I can list all the one I think that are important to study.

    On the Argumentative Essay, I know how to set it up. My problem is the topic they give me. The essay I wrote was one sided. It is hard to argue something if you have nothing to argue. Now for the Informative essay, that is the one I am having trouble with. Are we summarize each prompt and then comparing and contrasting them?
     
  24. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    I think that the reason I spend so much time on the problems is because I want to make sure that I am reading the directions right. Can you give me a list of the right formulas to study? It would be really helpful.

    For the informative essay, I believe we are educating someone on topic and explaining the pros and cons to it, while leaving out our personal opinions and only using the facts that are provided. I understand what you mean about the argumentative essay though I try to look at it as more straightforward than the informative one. First, I pick a point and argue its advantages and some that are not disadvantages while explaining why the benefits out weigh them.
     
  25. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    The put bracket around the one that was on my test
    To find the missing angle you can use the equation 180(n-2) (For example, a triangle have 3 sides so 180(3-2) give you total of 180° or a four sides figure 180(4-2)=360°),complementary (x+y)=90°, and [Supplementary angles(x+y)=180°],if it is a regular polygon with equal sides you can use (180(n-2)) ÷ n

    [a²+b²=c² Pythagorean Theorem]
    Midpoint and distance equation
    [Length of horizontal and vertical segments]
    [Slope and point slope equation]
    Circumference and area of a circle
    Perimeter and [area of a rectangle, triangle], and square.
    The Perimeter was not mentioned once on my test but it is some thing extra you can study.
    Volume of a cylinder, [rectangular solid] and a cube
    Area of Sectors and lengths of Arcs

    [congruent triangle]
    [Parallel lines and transversals] this can be use to solve for the missing angle as well.

    I think those are the main one you need to study or you should know. You can also google Khanacademy, go to the math section and do arithmetic, pre-algebra and basic geometry. You can take the practice exam on teacherstestprep

    For probability you need to know
    [Sample space] all of mines came from this equation except 1 P(event)= (#of desired outcomes)/(total number of outcomes),
    [Compound event P(a) * P(b).]
    Probability
    of an Event not Occurring,
    (1-P(a))
    Probability involving the word OR, P(event A or Event B) = P(event A) + P(event B) - P(overlap of event A and B)
    Just four equation for Probability

    IF you need examples I can find you some or come up with some myself
     
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  26. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    Thank you for providing this. It seems like I am going to need to study a lot of formulas.
     
  27. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    for the Argumentative Essay, would this be the way you set it up?
    Introduction -
    Topic
    Background of topic,
    Choose a side(thesis
    List item to talk about in body
    Body-
    Reason 1 with some facts and examples
    Reason 2 with some facts and examples
    add Reason 3 if it is a good topic.
    Conclusion -
    Review topic
    Restate or review thesis
    Make it clear why you choose this side over the other?

    For Informative
    Introduction-
    Topic
    Background of topic
    Body -
    Facts about passage 1
    Facts about passage 2
    Compare and contrast passage 1 and 2
    Conclusion -
    Review topic
     
  28. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Remember the geometry and Prob only make up a small part of the test. I think you should focus on the Number and Quantity, Algebra, and Statistics. Once you master those section you should study the probability first and study the Geometry last. If you can find an algebra book, it covers everything you need to know. It cover basic math, algebra, basic geometry and probability and stat. It also give a list of main formulas to study.
     
  29. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    For informative it was

    Title
    Hook
    Thesis Statement and Introduction

    Three body paragraphs

    Conclusion with restated thesis statement

    For argumentive, I used a similar outline to the one you listed above.

    (1)Intro - 1 paragraph

    (2) Develop your argument - 2 paragraphs

    (3)Dispute opponents argument - 1 paragraph

    (4) Wrap it up with restating your argument in a conclusion. - 1 paragraph
     
  30. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    I got my Reading and math score back on the praxis website. I miss the reading by one questions. On the math section I got
    13 out 15 on the Number section
    13 out 15 on the Algebra section
    8 out of 10 on the geometry
    9 out of 10 on the Prob and Stats
    43/50 = 0.86
    I mention in my post early that it was about 5 fill in the blank and 1 select all that apply. I am thinking those are the 6 they did not count.
    I am thinking you need to get at least 25 right and if they give a curve then about 20.
     
  31. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    Great job on the math. I am using my old algebra book to study. When I took the test, I received a 6 out of 15 on both numbers and the algebra section and 3 out of 10 on the others so you may be right about the scores.

    Too bad about the reading, but if you missed by 1 point then you are sure to make it the next time.
     
  32. Carneybar

    Carneybar Rookie

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    On the reading I got 43 of 56 right. Still have not received my writing essay questions scores yet. In the math I only got 21 right out of 56. The math allows for less than 2 minutes per problem which is just not enough time to complete all. I think one would do best by trying to get around 30 right to pass. So one would probably need to skip the extremely difficult ones and go on to the ones he or she feels they can pass as opposed to wasting time on difficult math problems that require multiple steps to complete.
     
  33. Carneybar

    Carneybar Rookie

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    That's great news! Congratulations on passing that math! I know there are several versions of each test . I read that they have different levels of difficulty so I am hoping to get one that is less difficult the next time I test. Regardless, I plan to continue studying...
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2015

    For the record, scaled scores exist in order to compensate for the inevitable differences in difficulty among test questions and test versions. If the questions are harder, they count slightly more.
     
  35. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    I do plan on taking the reading section only if I didn't do to bad on the writing section. English has always been my worst subject. My teacher didn't really teach us much; in college we only focus on writing different types of essays. Right now, I am trying to improve on my grammar and writing skills. IT is hard when you have no one to teach how to do it the right way. I am also working on my Master's in Computer Science and later on I plan on get my Master's in Math, but having a teaching certif would be a great back up plan.

    I have B.S in Math so the math section come easy to me. I was actually studying the Praxis II High School Math test, which I didn't pass because of the calculus and advanced geometry.(rusty) By studying for that test it help me pass the middle school math and the praxis core math.

    If you like you can send me solve math problems through private message and I can see exactly what you are doing wrong. You can always solve a math problem more than one way. If I see that you're doing it the long way, I probably dummy it down for you. I also answer alot of question on yahoo answer to. It help me keep my basic math up to date.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  36. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    I understand the reading and writing being scale different, but I don't understand why the math test weight different. All they have to do is keep the same math problem and change the numbers. You would be surprised by how many people get a math problem wrong if change one number.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2015

    goodlife, there's a sense in which 3x - 5 = 4, 0.3x - 0.5 = 0.4, 3/5x - 1 = 4/5, and 30,000x - 50,000 = 40,000 are all "the same problem", but most takers of a basic skills teacher test will struggle more with the last three of these than with the first, and the algorithm that converts raw scores to scaled scores takes this into account.
     
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  38. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Using the same problem 3x-5=4
    the new problem would 6x- 10=8 or 2x +5=11
    All I did was change the numbers. I didn't make it harder or easier.
    But I do understand what you are saying.
    To be honest, I think the math section should only be required for math major and elementary teacher or let the school create their own math test.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 23, 2015

    What you suggest is a test in which the questions are the same from version to version and only the numbers change. That would be silly, because it would commit each version to test only the concepts tested in the original version - which is a proper subset of the concepts that the test framework specifies, and not a very large subset at that.

    As for the assertion that only those who teach math need to know math, let me point out, first, that all teachers deal with statistics in the form of their students' results on tests. Even if the statistical computations are done for the teacher by the software package that does the testing, the teacher still needs to know what the numbers mean. Second, a teacher ought to be able to read an article that promotes this or that classroom practice as "research-based" and be able to discern whether the article really is supporting the claim it's making.
     
  40. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Nov 27, 2015

    I notice some states requires the Praxis Core, other requires the PLT, and some do not require either of the two. So the states that do not offer the praxis core or PLT, do they have their own test.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  41. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 27, 2015

    The answer to your question is mostly yes, but with exceptions. For instance, Virginia's basic-skills test is its own (well, to be exact, it is a Pearson test, but it's specific to Virginia), but Virginia's subject-matter tests are Praxis II. California uses PLT (though only for those who go through internships rather than full-time or part-time credential programs), but most of the remaining tests are California-specific. Pearson launched its own multiple-state test series, which was being called NESTest, a few years ago; one generally signs up for those through Pearson's site for that state (for instance, www.aepa.nesinc.com for Arizona), and there's generally at least one test that the state uses that isn't NES.

    The best source for the tests that are currently required by a state is the state's own department of education (DOE): if I wanted to know which tests are required in, say, Nebraska, I'd Google "nebraska teacher tests" or "nebraska teacher test requirements", and then I'd pay particular attention to Web sites that end in ".gov" and include "doe" or "education" or some other phrase that makes it clear that the Web site belongs to the state's top education authority.
     
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