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. sugarpot

    sugarpot Rookie

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    Dec 11, 2015

    i had 146 and needed 150
    how many questions out of 56 do I need to get right to get atleast 150
     
  2. Vulcan_Klaatu

    Vulcan_Klaatu Rookie

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    Sugarpot, I'm honestly not sure. Perhaps another member knows how the questions are specifically weighted.
    To be honest, assuming your other areas (geometry, number, and stats) stay as strong as your last test result (it sounds like you're staying on top of these areas based on your posts), then your increased understanding of functions and slopes will help boost your algebra score, which should probably get you that passing score.
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Only Praxis can answer definitively the question of how a given question is weighted on a given version of a given test, and Praxis ain't sayin'. It's also worth noting that the Test Companion says that some questions may not count toward your score: that usually means that some questions definitely don't count. (The teacher-test companies are in the habit of field-testing multiple-choice questions by including them in tests but not counting them.)
     
  4. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2015

    The only thing I notice from the praxis core and middle school math test score, is that the algebra and number section count more than the Geometry and Stat questions. Only 50 Questions counted on my test. The other 6 where experimental questions for future test. On my test I had 5 fill in the blank and and 1 select all that apply. I want to say those were the one that did not count. I would aim for at least 32 correct answers. With the math test they can either curve up or down.
     
  5. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    Hello everyone, I received my Praxis writing score and here are my results:

    18 in Multiple Choice
    15 in Essays
    33 points in total out of 58

    My overall score is 164 and I needed 162. I guess the third time really was the charm. I hope it will be the same for the math test.
    -----------------------------------
    My second Praxis writing score I received a 158 out of 162.

    22 in Multiple Choice
    12 in Essays
    34 points in total out of 58

    I am guessing that the Essays are weighted more than the multiple choice answers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 12, 2015

    I'll put it this way: each constructed response counts more than any one multiple-choice question. That's partly because constructed-response questions score differently than do multiple-choice questions: there are fewer constructed-response questions, and each is worth up to six or twelve points or so, depending on exactly how the scoring is done. (Both Praxis and Pearson have at least two scorers per response; Pearson nearly always takes the sum of the scores per response as the raw score, and Praxis sometimes does that but sometimes takes the average.) In most tests that combine both question types, however, constructed response is weighted less overall: 20% to 40% of total points is pretty typical. The notable exceptions would be basic-skills writing tests, in which the weighting is often 50/50 or even more in favor of the essay(s).
     
  7. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2015

    TeacherGroupie, thanks for the explanation.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You're welcome. I'll add that, unless the topic is literature or composition, the task in subject-matter and teaching-practice tests is generally not to write an essay: the objective of most constructed responses isn't to write pretty, it's to show grasp of subject matter, terminology, reasoning, and evidence.
     
  9. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    I understand what you are saying. When I looked back over my prior essays I can see why I didn't do as well compared to this time.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (This isn't necessarily directed at you, ladysasuke.) Basic-skills test writing IS about writing pretty, of course: the scorers care much less what one's opinion is than that one can express it in a thesis statement and support it using reasoning and evidence while simultaneously showing a command of formal educated English.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  11. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    I receive my writing score last week.

    I didn't pass
    15 on multiple choice
    10 on essays

    Since I feel better I know I can do alot better on the essay. But I don't want to retake the writing test until i get a better understanding on how to write the source base essay.
     
  12. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    I am sorry to hear that you did not pass goodlife. What part of the source based essay do you have the most trouble with? Is it citations? The structure?
     
  13. Vulcan_Klaatu

    Vulcan_Klaatu Rookie

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    Goodlife, the following understanding of the source-based essay may or may not be useful to you (It helped me get a strong writing score). First, identify the core concepts being discussed in both sources (there is usually one overarching theme that can either lead to complementary or adversarial stances), which can be stated in your intro (keep it brief). In addition, end your intro with any unique insights or conclusions that you drew from the sources, which demonstrates originality on your part. Second, in a new paragraph (#2), discuss the specific points from the first source, which reinforces the key concept argued in it. In addition, post citations after these statements, which shows that your backing up your words with evidence. Third, repeat this process with the other source (paragraph #3). Fourth, elaborate on your unique observations and insights regarding the sources (paragraph #4). For example, what are their similarities and differences? Could the techniques of both authors be harmonized into one solution, which could more adequately address the main issue being contested (or are both irreconcilable?). In a nutshell, the fourth paragraph provides you with an opportunity to have fun and explore the subject matter in a creative fashion; however, remember to be brief and stay on point (don't digress; be direct and concise).

    In summary, the key to passing is simplicity. It is not going to be possible to address every issue within the 30 minute time period. Therefore, honing in on the key points of each source and reinforcing each source's key points with a couple of supporting details (respective to each one), will aid you in simplifying the essay. In addition, be direct and get right to the point in the source-based essay (this is accomplished in the intro). The main challenge is to make sure you give yourself enough time to hone in on the main points of each source. If, for some reason, the sources are very long and not immediately clear, then you might be able to write a good three paragraph essay (harmonizing the second and third paragraphs into a more concise version), which could be a potential fall back plan.

    P.S Perhaps this may be of use to you. If not, I wish you luck in finding a plan of attack that works for you. Take care.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  14. goodlife4545

    goodlife4545 Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2015

    Thank you. I think I understand now.
    My essay was on teamwork.
    One paragraph stated that teamwork is good and the other one stated that it is bad. Should have been an easy topic for me, but I struggle on it.
    The introduction is always the hard part for me. I feel that I either give to little or to much informations. Also, this is where I spent most of my time on the essay section.
     
  15. sugarpot

    sugarpot Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2015

    Hi
    I took my math yesterday. I didn't look at the score because I find the exam was so hard.
    the last exam I took was easier and lost only by 4 points. I was confident I will make it if I study well. I prepared for it all the way but I found this exam was very hard. It was totally different questions I did loose faith in it. I am thinking I will not even make 120 on this one . I even doubt that the exam I had was not even 5732
     
  16. sugarpot

    sugarpot Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2015

    I am having problem with slope problems scatter plots where u have to find ponts
    I am not sure if I am good at explaining
     
  17. sugarpot

    sugarpot Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2015

    Hi
    Just wanted to let you all know that I passed my math I got 160. After the exam I really thought I will not pass because the questions were different from last 2 times I took
    I would like to share a material I used few days before I took the exam
    I found this online It is very helpful I think because of this I passe my exam
    It is the closest material to praxis core
    Here is that link you can follow directions to order its 100% worth your money I only had time to do the lessons and rushed through 1 exam out of 7 thats all I had time for
    even after that I passed
    http://www.mgmtutoring.com/core-math/
    thank you all for support and suggestions
     
  18. screeningtool

    screeningtool Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2015

    In theory, a strategy becomes obvious: The requirements for being a teacher are of little significance, when compared to those of any other teacher. Therefore they enable any teacher to be fired and be replaced by any other teacher, such as perhaps a lower wage teacher from overseas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  19. screeningtool

    screeningtool Rookie

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    Perhaps our scores are lowered on a curve, or otherwise,
    to decide a score distribution in advance.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 21, 2015

    The questions that don't count are questions that are being field-tested for inclusion in future versions of the test.
     
  21. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2016

    Does anybody know if the Praxis test score expires and on what date. I have yet to retake the math section after failing it again on the 23rd and I don't want to have to take the whole test all over again.

    If it does expire then what date to I go by. The date of my first test or the date of my latest test. Will my test scores disappear?

    Edited: I put the wrong date, but changed it to the 23rd.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  22. ceqrnlv

    ceqrnlv Rookie

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    Scores are good for ten years, I believe.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    A subject-matter score expires - can no longer support an application for licensure or authorization in the subject area - five years after the date on which the test or subtest was taken. If a test taker passed the elementary-education science and math subtest in November 2010 but didn't pass the language arts and social studies subtest till January 2016, the test taker would need to retake the science and math subtest.

    Basic skills test scores are generally good for life, though it's certainly possible that a given state that uses Praxis Core might choose not to accept scores that are more than a certain number of years old. I'd be surprised to see scores expire fewer than ten years out.
     
  24. TeachLikeBethune

    TeachLikeBethune New Member

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    The Praxis Core really isn't that hard if you prepare for the test based on your specific learning style. As teachers, we know that adapting lessons to LSs are important.

    I recently took the Praxis Core and passed the reading (198) and math (158) on the first try. I spent most of my time studying math using the Your Teacher Praxis App. It was totall worth the $9.99. There is also a site called TeachersTestPrep that was a great pre test to see what areas I needed to study more. If you're lucky, your local library system might have a testing database that will allow you to practice full, timed tests.

    One more piece of advice is to time yourself as much as possible so you are prepared for the pace of the test.

    I'm still waiting on my writing score...hopefully it's above a 162!

    Happy Testing!!!
     
  25. ladysasuke

    ladysasuke Rookie

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    Jan 19, 2016

    Thank you for the replies everyone. It is one less thing to worry about and I can focus on my math score.
     
  26. cherepashka

    cherepashka Guest

    Jan 28, 2016

    Hi everyone,
    I just took praxis core, and my reading is 170, my math is 130, I was very disappointed in my math, because i was thinking my math score will be the highest of all three.. I am still waiting for writing score, but I dont think I passed, English is my second language, and I struggle to write essays..I've passed praxis biology and general science from first try, this praxis writing I dont think I'll be able to pass, especially I am not a native speaker. I feel hopeless. Why if someone wants to become a teacher the DOE makes it so difficult?
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 28, 2016

    Hugs, cherepashka. It's not uncommon that a test taker requires more than one attempt to pass.
     
  28. ladybee4

    ladybee4 Rookie

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    I want to thank everyone who posted great info in this thread. Last Saturday I took the VCLA had the Praxis Core Math scheduled for yesterday. Only a week before I googled "is the praxis core math hard" and almost had a nervous breakdown when I realized how difficult it could be and that I only had a week to prep. Thankfully I found this thread! All the info in here was super helpful. I studied LOTS of practice tests and videos during the last week. The test was as un-fun as I imagined, but at least I felt somewhat prepared. My unofficial exit score was 176. I believe that should keep me over 150 even after the official results?
     
  29. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Unofficial congratulations, ladybee4!
     
  30. RSA1984

    RSA1984 Rookie

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    I found the math exam to not be overly difficult, but definitely a bit challenging on various questions. I ended up scoring a 162.

    I used the Praxis Core Dummies book and the Practical Math Sucess in 20 Minutes a Day guide (5th or 6th edition). Both texts were extremely helpful. I found the Practical Math guide to be easier to understand, but it contained some 'extra' information than would actually be needed for the Praxis Core math (not that it's a bad thing).

    As soon as I began my test, I immediately wrote down all the geometric formulas I could remember. That was a huge weight off my shoulders right there. If you have the formulas down, you should be able to obtain a so/so mark, at the very least, on the geometry section. Stats and Numbers/Quantity, in my opinion, are the two easiest sections of the exam. If you can score very well on those, it allows you to obtain a lower score on the algebra and geometry sections.

    I did read various university/college remarks on Praxis Core scores and the consensus was that, on average, you need to score a 29/50 to obtain the 150 minimum score. Again, this is the average, so some might be higher, some a little lower and they are basically admitting that most Core math exams have 6 field questions (don't count).

    Math is challenging to some, no doubt. In high school, I practically failed algebra...I just didn't care about my marks back then and I was partly challenged...Past experiences definitely had me nervous before taking 5732, but I studied hard for about 3 weeks with those guides, I purchased the practice exam from ETS to get a feel for the types of questions and that was it. So believe me...if I can do it, you can, too.

    Note: I thought the in-exam calculator was decent. You don't have to use the mouse to enter the numbers/values as you can use your keypad, which can help save a second or two each time you need to make use of the calculator. Time management is important. I finished my exam with about 15 minutes to spare and went back to about 8-10 questions I had 'marked'
    Submitted my exam for scoring with about 3-5 minutes left.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    ladybee4 likes this.
  31. RSA1984

    RSA1984 Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2016

    I'm going to take my writing exam this Friday. I've taken CORE exams for reading and also the Praxis II for Biology CK. Writing is my last exam until the PLT in another 15-18 months from now, near my program's conclusion. Starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel though (as far as exams are concerned).

    I'm curious if anyone can offer some insight?

    I purchased the practice exam from ETS for the writing section and scored a 32/40 on the MC. I figure they will probably not count 4-6 questions on the real exam, so I adjusted my score to around 26-28 out of 34-36.

    As far as the written portion, I usually am extremely conservative. I honestly believed I wrote 2 decent essays and gave myself scores of 3/6 for each respective writing piece.

    So my questions is: would a score of, say, 27 on MC and writing scores of 3/6 per essay be sufficient to reach the minimum score of 162?

    How badly does one need to write in order to receive a score of 1 or 2? I guess I'm nervous that I'll think I put together a good piece but the scorer will disagree and give me a very low score. My GF was an English major in undergrad before going off to law school and is a grammar nut. She read some of my work and said it was actually pretty good, but just try to improve with my transition from one paragraph to the next.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Scorers generally want to see evidence that you know and can handle the major characteristics of formal writing under time pressure. They want to see a clear thesis; they want to see it argued in paragraphs that are organized and supported with evidence and in which appropriate transitions are given; they want to see few enough errors in usage and mechanics that those errors can be attributed to haste rather than lack of knowledge. The advice I regularly give is to follow the Five-Paragraph Essay format - if you can muster only two good supporting paragraphs, go with four paragraphs total - and to privilege structure over originality. If that's what you did, you may be pleasantly surprised by your writing score.
     
  33. RSA1984

    RSA1984 Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2016

    Thank you, TG.

    Do you happen to know if the time on the exam carries rollover minutes? If I finish the MC and still have 15 minutes left for the allotted time, will those minutes carry over to the essay?
     
  34. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If the Study Companion doesn't say the time is divided into x many minutes for multiple choice and y many minutes for writing, then the total time you've got is x + y and you distribute it as you see fit. (I confess that I haven't consulted this Study Companion. But in states whose writing test combines multiple-choice grammar questions and one or more writing tasks, it's fairly typical that the time comes in one chunk.)
     
  35. tbutler01

    tbutler01 New Member

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    Hi there,
    I am currently trying to prepare myself for the writing section. Do you have any tips? I was considering writing only a single paragraph for the argumentative essay. What do you recommend for the second essay?
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'd never recommend a single paragraph for the argumentative essay. The scorers want to see that you can frame a thesis and provide two to three topics in its support; breaking for a new paragraph is part of how a skilled writer signals a shift from one such topic to the next.
     
  37. tbutler01

    tbutler01 New Member

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    She stated that her 1 paragraph essay received a 6 though. I believe the highest score you can earn is a 6. And I also thought that they were just focused on your writing and not the content of your essay. So would you recommend the typical 5 paragraph format? I know that you get only 30 mins for the essay, so I'm really worried about the timing.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 24, 2016

    Half an hour is pretty short, true, though if there's a logical break in the discourse - for instance, you're comparing/contrasting two things, and you've just finished with thing 1 - a paragraph break right there is a good idea.

    As for the much-maligned Five Paragraph* Essay Format, it exists as a kind of proving ground on which to make a writer practice organizing the discussion. If you write your essay (or business letter, or memo, or whatever) as just one physical paragraph, it is nevertheless vital to ensure that each topic you treat doesn't bleed all over the others, organizationally speaking. It is definitely a kindness to the reader to get one topic fully dealt with before charging off to another.

    When people who advise about taking basic-skills tests announce that the scorers focus on your writing and not the content, here's what they mean: With very few exceptions, it won't hurt a writer to take an unpopular or politically incorrect or even lighthearted position on the argumentative prompt. What does matter is whether the writer can then formulate a thesis statement that clearly relates to the prompt, then defend it with reasoning and evidence that is relevant to the thesis statement and appropriate to the intended audience.

    *This is short for Five Paragraph, Plus Or Minus One: that is, the rules for dealing with topics don't change just because there are fewer or more topics with which to support the thesis.
     
  39. tbutler01

    tbutler01 New Member

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    So would you suggest four paragraphs for the argumentative essay? For example, I just write an introduction, two body paragraphs, which supports my thesis, and a conclusion?
     
  40. RSA1984

    RSA1984 Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2016

    I think it is a matter of whatever works best. Is it possible to write an effective, thorough, and well structured essay in one paragraph? Perhaps, but I'd say unlikely. Everyone has a different writing style. If you feel you can do this in one paragraph then do so. It's not a matter what you write...that is, what stance you take on an issue or what you choose to inform on with respect to the articles, but of how you write.

    Best of luck
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016

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