Praxis Core Reading: Practice Content Questions

Learn more about the Praxis Core Reading Test and then try your hand at the practice questions below.

Detail question:

“Visual language” includes any use of visual images in human communication. This includes ancient cave paintings meant to signify religious and cultural ideas. More contemporary examples include written language and graphic organizers of information, such as charts and diagrams. With the advent of high speed Internet and graphic-heavy web-pages, researchers are beginning to take interest in visual language as a science.

The author suggests which of the following about visual language? Select all that apply.

(A) It includes both writing and illustration.

(B) Visual language is a modern innovation.

(C) Visual language on the Internet interests academic professionals.
Note: while this detail question has multiple correct answers, not all detail questions are like this. Most questions on the exam have only one correct answer choice, but a few are formatted like the question above.


Main idea question:

Four-leaf clovers are said to be lucky. However, there is also a science to finding and growing four-leaf clovers. This variation of clover represents a genetic strain that recurs on the same network of plants. Clover hunters who find one four-leaf clover can find more by following the path of the vine, and it is also possible to deliberately cultivate this special variety.

The primary purpose of this passage is to

(A) contrast superstitious beliefs and scientific ones with regards to the four leaf clover

(B) explain the scientific cause for a specific genetic trait found in some clover plants

(C) demonstrate how networks of clover plants communicate with each other

(D) imply that four leaf clovers are primarily cultivated deliberately by farmers

(E) suggest that the most successful clover hunters study plant genetics


Definition and reference question:

Economists who follow the laissez-faire theory of economics believe that economic recession and growth are cyclical and inevitable. Under this theory, heavy-handed government intervention in a depressed economy is unnecessary and may have unintended or undesirable results. Laissez-faire economists argue that in the long run, damaged economies recover with or without intervention. Noted economist John Manard Keynes disputes this laissez-faire assertion, without denying the underlying assumption beneath it, declaring “In the long run, we are all dead.”

In the context in which it appears in the passage, disputes most nearly means:

(A) questions

(B) argues with

(C) disagrees with

(D) contradicts

(E) appeals to a higher authority


Organization question:

For an example of an organization question, please look at page 33 of The Praxis Study Companion – Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading PDF.


Explanations for practice questions

Detail question: (A) correctly summarizes the information in the second and third sentences of the reading. (B) is tempting, but incorrect. While the final sentence in the passage emphasizes modern forms of visual language, ancient forms are also mentioned earlier in the passage. (C) is correct, and summarizes information from the end of the passage.

Main idea question: (B) is correct because the reading really does focus on the science behind finding and growing clovers with four leaves. (A) has the wrong; superstition about four-leaf clovers is only mentioned briefly, and not contrasted with scientific beliefs. (C) contains an idea about plant communication that is not found in the reading. (D) and (F) are both too extreme. Genetic knowledge and clover cultivation are mentioned in the passage, but not given the importance suggested in (D) and (F).

Definition and reference question: Every answer is a possible synonym for the verb disputes, as it might appear in different contexts. But only (C) matches the meaning of disputes as it’s used in the reading. Keynes’ declaration that “in the long run, we are all dead” shows sarcastic disagreement with a core assertion of laissez-faire economics.

Organization question: The official study companion PDF linked to earlier also contains an explanation on page 33.


By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh Praxis Prep!


  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply