Math Praxis 5161

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by MrCoach615, May 12, 2016.

  1. JayT

    JayT New Member

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    Mar 4, 2019

    I was just thinking, what if you answered almost all of the 10 questions that are being tried out on the given version of the test, correctly? They don't count towards your score? That kind of, well, is a bummer, no?
     
  2. JayT

    JayT New Member

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    Mar 22, 2019

    4th attempt:159. ....ugh....

    Functions/Algebra/Calc section was 24 and Stats/geometry was 8 (this killed me. My last attempt I got 11 right). Total raw: 32
     
  3. AMC

    AMC New Member

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    Mar 26, 2019

    Ok, where are these "I CAN" statements located? I have found the list (LONG) of things we should know on the study plan but cannot find the I CAN statements. Any help?
     
  4. AMC

    AMC New Member

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    Mar 26, 2019

    Im sorry!
    I will be taking it in May..I would take any help you can give. Thank you.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 26, 2019

    Not really.

    • The test taker wouldn't have a way to know.
    • The test taker who gets 8 out of 10 of these questions right probably knows the subject matter well enough to get right answers on 8/10 or more of the questions that do get scored.
    • The questions are being field-tested to make sure they behave as the test makers mean them to: that the question stem is unambiguous and that only one answer works. If I were field-testing a question involving the results of coin flips using quarters, the chances are that test takers near the Canadian border might supply some answers I wasn't expecting: on one side of the last Canadian quarter I saw was the head of Elizabeth II, all right - but on the other side was the head of a moose. As a test maker, I'd need to pay attention both to the prevalence of correct incorrect answers and to their distribution in order to sort out what went wrong.
     
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  6. innovationguy

    innovationguy Cohort

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    Mar 28, 2019

    Here are Praxis competencies = standards one must have mastered:

    * ALGEBRA https://praxismathguru.weebly.com/algebra-standards.html
    * GEOMETRY & STATISTICS https://praxismathguru.weebly.com/geometry-and-statistics-standards.html
    * CALCULUS & TRIGONOMETRY https://praxismathguru.weebly.com/calculus-and-trigonometry-standards.html
    ...though the Calculus requirement is much less for the Praxis than some of the other state-specific Exams like the CSET [CA] and TExES [TX] etc.

    Jay.
    https://praxismathguru.weebly.com/
     
  7. Math<3

    Math<3 New Member

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    Mar 29, 2019

    Just found this thread today so why not post something.
    I'm currently student teaching and as of this afternoon, am on spring break, which means more time to study for the Praxis (5161). I've studied here and there, but as we all know, it's nearly impossible during this phase of school. My student teaching is winding down so over the next 4 weeks, I'm hitting it hard and plan to take the test early May.
    I see where people are saying the I CAN statements on the ETS study guide is the best way to study. Any other tips?
    I already have a job lined up for the fall but have to pass this test first!
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Apr 8, 2019

    My suggestion is to look through all the topics and decide where your time should and should not be spent. If you know stats like the back of your hand, as an example (particularly t-scores, distributions, etc) then don't waste your time there. Also, practice multiple ways to solve a problem. When I took the test, there were definitely some processes that I blanked on, but I was still able to solve because I found a back-door solution (basically, instead of finding the right answer, I could eliminate the wrong answer choices and be left with the right answer via process of elimination).
     
  9. aobrien061

    aobrien061 New Member

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    Apr 26, 2019

    Need some help here. I've taken Praxis 5161 over 10 times and tried absolutely everything. Highest score, 153, I need a 160 to pass. I'm taking the MTEL tomorrow because I've heard it's easier, and then I can just apply for reciprocity. Problem is MTEL scores don't come out until May 24th and I need to be certified by the end of the school year. I currently have an emergency cert which is only good for 1 year. Has anyone taken the MTEL v the Praxis?
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    May 11, 2019

    If your state is anything like mine (CA), then it will take months for your credential to be issued like mine was years ago. When does your school year end? In what state are you trying to be certified?
     
  11. aobrien061

    aobrien061 New Member

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    May 13, 2019

    Looking for RI Cert. My emergency lasts until August, but the school I'm working at wants to at least know I have passing scores to be certified for the upcoming year. I don't need to have full certification by then. Starting June 1st teachers who have Mass or CT licenses can get reciprocity in RI without meeting testing requirements within a year.
     
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  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 13, 2019

    Hugs, aobrien061.

    Both Praxis 5161 and MTEL's math test exist in multiple versions that can vary in difficulty (whence scaling the scores), and the answer to "What's easier" very often depends on who's asking.

    With that said, 5161 is a Content Knowledge test, which means it's strictly selected response, whereas MTEL exams as a class contain at least one constructed response. If showing your work and justifying the moves in it suits your style better than trying to choose the least stupid of four plausible selected responses, you might well find that the MTEL format leverages your strengths a little better.
     
  13. Ash G

    Ash G Rookie

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    May 31, 2019

    https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5161.pdf

    Go to study guide companion and hit "Ctrl F" at the same time. Search "can you" and what to study should be listed. If you know how to answer the "can you" problems you are golden!!
     
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  14. Crystel Roo

    Crystel Roo New Member

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    Sep 3, 2019

    Has anyone tried the praxismathguru practice tests packages? I have read over the website and very interested in what it contains and would love to know if the questions that have been created in those packages really reflect the questions on the praxis II math content. I have already failed twice.
     
  15. stephen r crane

    stephen r crane New Member

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    Jan 29, 2020

    Hello group,
    I have taken the 5161 test a total of 7 times without passing. I seem to have a problem with time management. I will get to the last 10 to 11 questions and run out of time. I am getting frustrated that I know 10 of the 60 questions are not benefiting my score regardless of getting them right or wrong due to the fact they are classified as research questions ie field questions. Is there any others who feel that these field questions are preventing you and others from passing this test. If i am constantly having the same issue with every test I am wasting time with questions that are not helping my score but are taking my limited time given per test.
     
  16. Tim C

    Tim C Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2020

    One t
    One thing you can try is to make two passes of the test. The first pass do all of the easy/medium ones and the second pass do the harder ones. This can make sure you are not leaving any easy points on the table. This has worked for students I have worked with for other Praxis tests.
     
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  17. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Feb 1, 2020

    I second this advice. Go through the whole test. If you can answer it in a minute or less, do so. If you can't, mark it for review, move on with your life, and come back at the end.
     
  18. Ryan Mosse

    Ryan Mosse New Member

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    May 19, 2020

    After you report your scores for the Math 5161 test, where is the "unofficial score" posted on the test screen? Is it supposed to be with the "total score" at the top? I didn't have a number up there. The only numbers I got were the two subject area scores. Thanks for any insight!
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 22, 2020

    Ryan, welcome to A to Z!

    If you saw subject-area scores only, you were seeing raw scores rather than scaled ones. Praxis generally does that when an edition of a given test is new enough that it's still being normed: a scoring scale can't be set up until the number of test takers passes a certain level.
     
  20. Ryan H.

    Ryan H. New Member

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    Jun 10, 2020

    Figured I'd share my experience for future 5161-CK test takers to offer some numerical perspective on how the scoring works. I just took the exam a few days ago (from home through a 3rd party proctoring service, due to the ongoing disruption from Covid-19). I prepped mainly from ETS's 2 official "practice tests" from their website (set me back about $30 but was well worth it because the practice questions were very faithful to the material I encountered on the real test) along with some free supplemental material on miscellaneous topics (lots of great refreshers on YouTube on virtually every topic you could expect to see! you just need to know where to look for them).

    I have been a K-12 math as well as SAT and GRE tutor for over 3 years now and have plenty of upper-level university math courses under my belt. Despite all that, whatever your background or current level of proficiency in problem solving is, this is not a test you want to go into unprepared. It was quite a bit more challenging then I expected (despite some questions being stupid easy), and I was so tired towards the end that I ended up simply guessing on a few problems. Part of what was so strenuous taking it from home was that you are not allowed to use pencil and scrap paper. You are either allowed to use an interactive whiteboard on the computer screen OR a dry erase board with markers (which I wish they would have told me in advance, but luckily I owned one). And as nice as it is taking the test from the comfort of your home, don't think for a second this means that you can cheat or sneak notes in with you (and you shouldn't try to anyways!). They monitor you and your testing room the whole time via mic and webcam, plus it's never worth the risk. No physical calculators allowed either; they give you a virtual TI-84 graphing calculator which you access in the test window, but using it is much more cumbersome and frustrating than having one on hand. It did help with a few problems though.

    Anyways, I was hoping to get a raw score of at least 48 out of 60 because my state's minimum passing score is a 160 out of 200 (scaled score), and I naively figured, 48/60 = 160/200 = 80% of the problems correct, right? Fortunately it doesn't work like that at all...

    My raw score ended up being 43 out of 60 (which I was kind of repulsed to see), but then delighted (and not to mention dumbfounded) to see that it corresponded to scaled scored of 187. Still scratching my head over how that translates as it does, but very relieved to have passed with a solid score. Moral of the story I suppose is treat every question as important, but rather than aim for perfection, focus on getting the ones right that you should be getting right. If you can manage to minimize the number of careless mistakes (and I'm sure I still made some), you should have no problem passing. If you can leverage at least 50% to 60% of the questions correct, you'll be fine.

    It's now rather obvious to me that the test-makers are not out to fail you, as I think they and the Dept. of Education allow a rather generous amount of mistakes for what constitutes a passing score. Anyways, sorry for the length of this post. I didn't have a lot of information going into the test that I wished I had, so I hope my story helps relieve some else's pre-exam anxieties. Good luck though to all future test takers!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
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  21. Joey C.

    Joey C. Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2020

    Hello Ryan H! Thank you very much for sharing your experience of taking Praxis II 5161 via ProctorU. I was wondering if you could answer questions that popped up to my head as I was reading your post.

    1) Do you get to see your raw score and scaled score immediately after you submit the test?
    2) What is the raw score out of? You said it is out of 60, but I thought it is out of 50. Is that a typo?
    3) Every time when I take practice tests, I get 43 questions correct out of 60 on an average. Do you think this could get me a score of 160 on a real exam?

    I am taking the test on the 30th of June, and I am so nervous!!

    Again, thank you very much for sharing your information, and thank you very much for answering my questions!
     
  22. Ryan H.

    Ryan H. New Member

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    Jun 15, 2020

    Hi Joey!

    No problem. Glad this was helpful to you! Happy to answer these questions:

    1.) Yes and yes. You will see both your raw score (total number of questions answered correctly) as well as your scaled score. Apparently sometimes (rarely), you might see an *NS instead of a number for your scaled score. That just means that they have not yet calibrated your scaled score and that you will find that out at a later time when ETS officially posts your score through your MyPraxis account. By the way, at the end of the test, you must select the option to report your scores, otherwise you will not see them and your exam results will be cancelled without a refund (very important so read carefully before you click).

    2.) That is not a typo, but I will clarify is a little further because my earlier post was accidentally misleading and not fully correct. There are 60 questions in total, and you have no way of knowing which ones are not counted toward your score (ETS and other testing companies usually throw in some questions solely for the purpose of gathering data and deciding educational merit of them, that are not counted toward your score). Since you have no way of determining which questions do or do not count, you need to treat every question as if it does. There is no penalty for guessing incorrectly, so don't leave anything blank! You will get a breakdown of your raw score from ETS as such:

    i.) "Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Calculus" (my R.S. was 30 out of 34)
    ii.) "Geometry, Probability, Statistics, Discrete Mathematics" (my R.S. was 13 out of 16)

    So it appears that you are right about that. If you do the math above from my example, your raw score (R.S.) is the number of questions correct out of 50 questions (*not 60), which means that 10 of the questions you will see during the exam do not impact your score (again, you don't know which ones they are). I didn't realize this when I first posted my results because I didn't take into account that my R.S. was 43 out of 50 (*and not out of 60--sorry about that!). Now it is starting to make more sense to me that my raw score corresponded to a scaled score of 187. Also, they do not tell you whether or not you answered the 10 "dummy" questions correctly so I couldn't tell you how I did on those, only how I did on the ones that did count. It took ETS about 5-6 days after I took the test to post my official scores by the way.

    3.) If you are consistently getting 40 or more questions out of the 60 (keeping in mind that your incorrect answers are more likely to be on those "dummy" questions that do not count), I would feel good enough about that constituting a passing performance. I would be more concerned if you were averaging closer to 50% correct out of the total. You should feel confident with those numbers! (but don't get too overconfident)

    Keep practicing in the meantime and concentrate on your areas of weakness. Improving in just one or two categories could very well be the difference between a passing/failing score! For me that last minute prep on weaker topics was probably the difference between me just barely passing and passing with plenty of breathing room. Some final tips if you're taking it from home: bring a decent-sized whiteboard with plenty of dry erasable markers so you can do your scratch work; work out of a quiet, well-lit, comfortable room, and do the pre-exam technology check through ProctorU to ensure that your computer has all the necessary functionalities; and make sure your internet connection is strong and stable. Feel free to ask more questions if you need, and best of luck to you on the 30th! Let us know how you do!
     
  23. Joey C.

    Joey C. Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2020

    Thank you very very very much for your answers! I am just hoping that I can pass this test without having to take it again and again! And, of course, I will definitely let you know how I did on the exam!

    Thank you very much, and stay safe!!
     
  24. Joey C.

    Joey C. Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2020

    Hello Ryan! I just have a few more questions before I take the exam. I got a reminder email from ProctorU, and it told me that I have to download the ProctorU extension (via google chrome) and ETS test browser. I have a strong feeling that I have to install the ProctorU extension, but I am not so sure if I need to download the ETS test browser. Do I need to download the ETS test browser to take the exam (if it is the browser that I will use to take the exam, then why do we need to download the ProctorU extension on Chrome..?)? I know this is a silly question, but please answer this for me haha.

    Thank you very much for reading this and have a wonderful day!

    Sincerely,
    Joey C.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You need both. The ProctorU extension allows them to take control of your mouse to make sure that your computer is set up properly to avoid cheating, etc., and the ETS test browser lets you actually take the test.
     
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  26. Himisstaylor

    Himisstaylor New Member

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    Jun 23, 2020

    Hi there! Thought I would add to this discussion as I have been following it for about two years now.

    I have taken the Math CK praxis 9 times over the last two years and recently took it on June 20, 2020 online. Hoping it will scale two points. I wanted to provide some insight to some questions and comments I see.

    By no means am I saying these things are guidelines, they are just things I recently came to doing and have helped me start to increase my score as I am someone who has switched careers and has NO math background whatsoever.

    SCORING:

    Here are my test scores and how they have scaled. I took my percentage out of 60 questions as for me, it seemed closer to my actual scaled score. Unfortunately, I don't remember what my unofficial scores were, but I know they were pretty much the same or scaled up by 1 point.

    If you want to know more about test scores and how to calculate - see other posts.
    On test day, you will get to see your "raw" score. These are the number of questions right, as well as your unofficial score which is out of 200 possible points. I have not seen the unofficial score scale much on the official score report.

    Listed by date, Category 1 questions correct, category II questions correct, percentage out of 60 questions (As opposed to 50 as some have mentioned) and the official scaled score:
    • 4/2/2018 19, 7, 43% 142
    • 5/12/2018 16, 7, 38% 133
    • 6/9/2018 12, 9, 35% 125
    • 8/11/2018 15, 9, 40% 139
    • 11/26/2018 15, 7, 36% 136
    • 5/4/0219 12, 8, 33% 133
    • 12/14/2019 17, 6, 38% 137
    • 1/11/2020 15, 7, 36% 139
    • 6/20/2020 21, 7, 46% Unofficial score: 150. Official Score: 150. I only needed two more points to pass and the score did not scale at all from test day. Took about 3 days to receive score. Will be retaking.
    On the official score report, I noticed they list an average range of 137 - 169. To me, it seems the closer you are to the ends of this range, the more likely your percentage will be out of 60 questions therefore making your official score your percentage plue 100. No idea if this is true anywhere else?

    PREP AND STUDY:
    Here are some tips i wish i'd known a year ago:
    1. Make a study schedule. Study for at least 3 hours per day.
    2. Active recall has been proven through a multitude of research to be most effective. This means doing practice problems, flashcards, practice tests - in test like conditions will create more gains than passive studying (watching videos, taking notes)
    3. Focus on one question at a time
    4. Revist topics often - even if you know them. This reduces the likelihood of forgetting. For example, say you studied finding inverse matrices on monday. Even if you masted it, revist that topic again on wednesday.
    5. Ask for help, reach out to tutors and study groups!
    6. take practice tests in test like conditions. Act like it's the real thing. You'll build mental stamina.
    Practice Tests:
    • ETS practice tests (both). NOTE: the practice tests do not have an on screen calculator provided)
    • ETS Online calculator practice test - has 13 questions and tutorial on how to solve each one using the provided on screen calculator. Do yourself a favor and learn how to use the onscreen calculator QUICKLY as it is a cumbersome tool. This can save you in terms of decision fatigue and offload some mental work.
    • Cliff notes 3rd edition book with three practice tests
    • There is an old PDF version of a practice test floating around....
    • Teacherprep has one free practice test (you can sign up for free).
    • Calculus AP exams - these are gold. they have many problems similar to what you see on the actual test. They are also abundant.
    Study Materials:
    • ETS Study companion and study schedule which lists each standard you need to know
    • Tutoring - Wyzant has a lot of remote tutors at various price points
    • Youtube: yaymath, nancypi, organic chemistry tutor etc....
    • Cliff notes 3rd edition book with three practice tests. These scores are a good reflection of the scores I got.
    • Khan academy math courses: Algebra I, Algebra II, Precalculus, High School Geometry, Calculus AB and Probability and Statistics. Try taking the course challenge for each to see where you are at. Do the practice problems. His videos aren't for everyone, but the practice problems are really useful as are the "hints" which give step by step instructions.
    • Kuta Software - has a million worksheets with answer keys to practice skills
    The practice tests from ETS were good indicators of about what I scored on the exams. However, if you take them multiple times, yo may get an inflated sense on your score. Reviewing your mistakes is more important than the score you get at the end.

    EXAM TIPS FROM MY TUTOR THAT HELPED ME IMPROVE
    • As others mentioned, time management is everything above even recall of info. I like using the 3 passes method: 1st pass, go for the easy questions you know you can get right. 2nd pass, go through any questions you may have marked and want to revisit. 3rd pass check work if time
    • Try leaving yourself at least 30 minutes to review questions. That leaves roughly 2 minutes or less per question
    • Avoid "marking" more than 15 questions. The exam will let you put a "check" next to questions you want to review later. If you don't know it at all, MOVE ON.
    • Learn how to do basic functions on the provided graphing calculator and learn the most efficient way to use it. Avoid using it as a crutch as it can consume time without you realizing.
    PROCTOR U/ TAKING TEST AT HOME
    • This was less stressful than I thought! I took the exam on a mac. The instructions were clear and easy to follow.
    • My proctor spoke to me and was very personable. He was able to walk me through a few tech issues before getting started. I did not hear him at all during the test and forgot he was there.
    • They do ask you to show a 360 degree view of your room and workspace. My proctor may have forgotten a few areas to be honest! (under desk, around computer screen). My area was fairly clear of any clutter, but I have seen other people who had bookshelves, picture frames, and other normal stuff.
    • My phone had to be shown and placed out of arm's reach
    • Download everything before hand. You need the ETS app (this is where you take the test), and Proctor U browser extension
    • Don't forget to change your privacy settings back at the end. My proctor forgot to turn back on the screen shotting feature.
    • PRACTICE USING A WHITE BOARD! you are allowed to use a white board. My proctor even allowed me to use as many colored markers as I wanted (really helps with the geometry problems!)
    Overall, I really liked being able to take the test at home. Much less stressful than the test centers! Good luck to anyone taking this beastly test!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  27. Ryan H.

    Ryan H. New Member

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    Jun 23, 2020

    Hi Joey!
    That is totally a legitimate question. I toiled through the same before I took the test. Definitely download the ProctorU extension (and activate it of course--use Chrome by the way). Was very straightforward to do. As for the rest, you should not have to download the ETS browser on top of that. Assuming you are registered and have paid for your exam (my cost was $120), you should not have to do anything more than that. If so, otherwise, they will tell you. Remember, the testing service is a business, and they want your money more than anything lol. Don't be afraid to get aggressive and ask them questions. They will do everything to accommodate you as long as you've paid the testing fee. And you still have a few days ;)

    P.S. - once you are logged in, the proctor will take control of everything and all you'll have to worry about is solving equations
     
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  28. Joey C.

    Joey C. Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2020

    Thank you all so much for sharing the testing experiences, tips, and strategies. I just cannot express how thankful I am to hear those from you all! I will definitely keep those into my head, and I will let you all know how I did on the upcoming exam! Also, I will share my testing experience as soon as possible!

    Again, thank you all so much, and stay safe!

    Sincerely,
    Joey C.
     
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  29. Joey C.

    Joey C. Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2020

    Hello everyone,

    Sorry for the late post! Long story short, I think I passed the Praxis II 5161! I scored 35/50, and the unofficial score was 166 (I hope I read this correctly). Even though I am happy with the score that I made, I kind of regret that I did not study hard up to the level that could have got me a score of 170s.

    Main Materials that I used to Study for the Exam:
    • CliffNotes Praxis Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161), 3rd Edition.
      • I strongly recommend this book because it includes *almost* everything that you need to know!
        • *almost*: unfortunately, this book does not have everything that you need to know for the Exam. I strongly suggest you use other study materials (e.g., youtube videos on calculus and AP Calculus notes [if you took AP calculus]).
      • If you have this book, I recommend you to make a flashcard for every chapter. On the flashcards, I wrote theorems, definitions, formulas, and example problems.
      • This book has three practice tests, and I think these tests gave me a good estimate of what I will make on the actual Exam.
    • Two practice tests made by ETS (on their webpage).
      • I highly recommend this too! It also gave me a good estimate of what I will make on the actual Exam.
      • There are two versions: 2014 and 2016. I suggest you take the 2014 version first to evaluate what you know.
      • Once you took the 2014 version, you will see the areas of weakness. I strongly recommend you to study them.
      • Once you studied the areas of weakness, go and take the 2016 version!
    • Practice tests made by Praxis2Math
      • I also recommend this. It has three practice tests (approximately 25 questions each) and two practice tests on trigonometry and probability.
      • It costs $12.00, and I think this is worth it! Notably, the practice test on probabilities is fantastic because it covers questions that you may see on the actual exam.
      • Lastly, this has questions that require you to use more than one mathematical concept.
    Other Materials that I used to Study for the Exam:
    • Passing the Praxis II (R) (5161) Math Exam 2019-2020, 3rd Edition.
      • I used this book as a supplement to the main materials that I used.
      • In my opinion, this book is useful if you have a background in mathematics (For example, if you are a pure/applied mathematics or mathematics education major). In other words, this is a good book to refresh on some of the topics that you need to refresh.
      • I guess one can use this book to cram for the test (PLEASE DON'T DO THIS!)
    • Praxis Mathematics Content Knowledge 5161 Study Guide: Praxis II Math Content Knowledge 5161 Test Prep & Practice Test Questions
      • Like the previous book, I used this book as a supplement to the main materials.
      • It has 60 practice questions, and they were straightforward. I do not think I learned anything from the practice questions. Instead, I think I used this book as a confidence booster (i.e., this gave me a confidence that I would not make a silly mistake on easy problems that I may see on the actual exam).
    *I wish that there are preps that are up to dates. All the preps that I used and found were outdated since they were made in 2015 or 2016.

    Test Experience:

    • It was very nice and less stressful! I took the exam on a laptop (OS: windows). The instruction was clear and easy to follow.
    • My proctor spoke to me and was very nice. He went over everything to prevent any technical issues that I could experience during the exam. I did not hear him at all during the exam.
    • They asked you to show a 360° view of your testing area. They also asked you to show laptop screens and the laptop.
    • They asked you to turn off the phone (in front of them) and asked you to place the phone out of arm's reach.
    • You MUST download the ETS testing browser and ProctorU browser extension before you take the exam.
    • Make sure to practice using whiteboards!!!
    • Lastly, make sure to practice on-screen calculators! This can save you a lot of time during the exam!
    Test Tips:
    1. Time management is crucial! If you do not know how to solve a problem, MOVE ON and come back to it later.
    2. I suggest you spend 2 minutes or less per problem so that you will have approximately 30 minutes at the end of the test. (Thanks to @Himisstaylor, I spent less than 2 minutes per problem and used three passes method).
    3. If you are done with the exam and have a few minutes, please check your answers to make sure that you marked the correct answers. I did this at the end of the test and realized that I mismarked five problems.
    4. MAKE SURE TO REPORT THE SCORE!!!!!
    Overall, I think it was an amazing experience. Again, the testing was much much less than what I expected. You all got this, and I wish you the best of luck!!!


    Oops, I almost forgot to ask this question. When do you get your official scores? How long do I have to wait?
     
  30. Himisstaylor

    Himisstaylor New Member

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    Jul 7, 2020

    Hi Joey! Congrats on passing! The official scores come in in a few business days from my experience.
     
  31. Blackberry_Girl

    Blackberry_Girl Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2020

    I'm joining the ranks of those who didn't pass on the first attempt. I was very confident going into the test because I'd done both of the practice tests from ETS and got roughly 40 Q's correct on each of those practice tests and I've spent the last 2 months studying. I found most questions to be very different from what was on the practice tests, although a few were similar. I left the testing center feeling truly defeated. I'm not sure what I need to do differently to prepare for a retake.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, Blackberry_Girl. Perhaps it will help soothe your sense of defeat a bit to know that secondary-math tests are among those most often not passed on the first go.

    Your official score report will arrive soon; it should have a chart that lists each domain or content area within the test with your raw score in that domain and how your raw score stacked up against others'. That information will give you some idea where to focus your energies as you prepare for the next attempt.

    In the meantime, if you still have access to those practice questions, try this: Pick a question you can answer confidently. For each INcorrect answer choice - the technical term for such a choice among test makers is "distracter", because it's there to see whether the test taker has the chops not to succumb to its wiles - jot down a back-of-the-napkin account not just of why it's wrong but why it's plausible. (Think about how you'd steer a fellow adult who's, um, distracted away from that distracter.) If a distracter is difficult to account for in this way, look it up. Repeat with other questions. This process will sharpen your ability to recognize distracters - but, as you work through questions, you should also be getting a better sense of HOW the practice questions in hand differed from the test questions you encountered: whether the issue was concepts you weren't expecting to see tested or combinations of concepts you hadn't anticipated.
     
  33. AJS1516

    AJS1516 New Member

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    Jul 26, 2020

    First, a huge thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences, advice, and encouragement!

    I recently took the 5161 Content Knowledge test, and received a raw score of 26/11. A "Scale Score" was shown at the end of the test, which was listed as 172. I'm still waiting on the final "official" scores to be posted, but I'm reasonably confident my score won't be adjusted down 13 or more points (I'd be heartbroken if it were!).

    For anyone interested, I thought I would share some of the resources I used to prepare. I thought the $30 for both practice tests from ETS was some of the best money I spent studying. I used the first form as a screener to see where I was weak and where I should focus my studies and the second test shortly before my actual test date to see if I had a reasonable expectation of passing. I found Khan Academy to be a tremendous help, as well as YouTube and MathIsFun.com (FREE!). I also purchased CliffsNotes' "Praxis Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)" for $25, which gave me 3 practice tests that I could take to make sure my studying was actually paying off. I also subscribed to Study.com for some praxis prep, which was expensive (~$60/month), but gave me a reasonable foundation to start from. I work as an ESL teacher, so I have the wonderful opportunity to learn from many other teachers by co-teaching and supporting my students within the different content areas, so I feel I should mention my colleagues as a tremendously valuable resource as well. I tried to download the resources from Praxis2Math (thank you to those who shared that resource!) but I messed up with the PayPal portion of it and was never able to access the material.

    For what it's worth, I would also like to share some of my observations and "tips."
    1. I needed rigorous, regular studying. I've been working on bumping up my math skills for about 2 years, and studied pretty intensively (3-4 hours a day; 5 days a week) this summer.
    2. I kept a 3 ring binder with notes, so that as I was learning and working through material, I had to keep taking breaks to stop, think about what I was learning, and retell it with my notes. These were also really helpful when it came time to study. Hopefully, if I end up teaching math, it will be a great refresher to get started.
    3. I learned to use my Ti-84, especially for the calculus problems. I don't remember now how to integrate functions by hand, but understanding how to use my calculator to integrate was a HUGE help for some questions I would have never stood a chance of answering correctly. It helped less (but some) with matrices. My scores on the practice test went up more than 10%, by just learning how to use the calculator.
    4. I re-read my notes and created a 1-side-1-page reference sheet with all of the equations and information I thought I might need (volume/area/interest formulas, asymptotes, & theorems). Again, I think it forced me to re-read a condensed form of the material, process it, and create another study tool.
    5. On the practice tests and the actual test, I solved more than few questions through BS means. For example, if there were trig. identity questions to the effect of "which of these is equivalent to the above equation," I would just pick a value, plug it into the first equation, and then the answers until I found one that returned the same result. I'm not proud of it, but I would encourage everyone to think outside the box about what the question is asking, and how you might be able to determine that, even if it's not the "correct" way to work the problem.

    I hope some of that is of use to someone else preparing for this test in the future; I know this forum was helpful for me and I'd like to pass it forward. Good luck, all of you aspiring future math teachers!
     
    CaliforniaRPCV likes this.
  34. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2020

    This is a great point right here, and I did it a lot, too. Even when I knew perfectly well how to do problems the "right" way, it was often easier to just guess and check since they give you four answers to work with, with the added bonus of being less likely to make a careless mistake somewhere.
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'll quibble with identifying the plugging in of a possible answer as "solving through BS means": from where I sit, it shows a grasp of how tests work and how math works. And I'm fairly certain the test makers see this issue the way I do.
     
  36. gaylestuff

    gaylestuff Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2020

    I would like to add one more FABULOUS resource. Exam edge. com. You can choose to see the correct answer after each question and see what you did wrong! Sometimes, I thought for SURE I had answered a question correctly... only to see that ooops... You missed something. If I wait until the end of the exam to see my errors, my mind is already blown
     
  37. Jen Bryant

    Jen Bryant New Member

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    Sep 28, 2020

    I have a question for anyone who will answer. I have searched the website and called Praxis, but nobody can answer me. Is a formula sheet given to you for the 5161 exam? Is it in the Help tab with the online calculator?
     
  38. Ryan H.

    Ryan H. New Member

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    Sep 28, 2020

    I do not recall seeing or using a formula sheet when I took it in June. Expect and be prepared for the circumstance that you will not be given one. Most formulas that you will need to use are pretty elementary. Based on what you are seeing in your practice material, try to commit the important ones to memory so that you are ready to apply them without any mental effort come test time.

    And not to sound pessimistic, but don't expect to get in touch with someone from ETS easily or find the answers to all your questions on their website. Their customer support system is just not great, and likely many other agencies now, they are completely overwhelmed during this pandemic.
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Sep 28, 2020

    https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5161.pdf

    See page 23-25. That is the formula sheet provided with the test.
     
  40. Jen Bryant

    Jen Bryant New Member

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    Sep 29, 2020

    See page 23-25. That is the formula sheet provided with the test.[/QUOTE]
    I brought this up with the Praxis people and they didn't have a clue about it. So I didn't know if anyone had taken it recently, that knew for certain.
     

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