The Praxis II for chemistry is also known as the Praxis Subject Assessment #5245. This exam is one of the more challenging Praxis science tests. Today, we’ll take a good look at this test: its purpose, format, content, and prep materials.
The Praxis II for Chemistry: Purpose and Format
The Praxis II for Chemistry is an exam for teachers who plan to teach chemistry. The majority of teachers who take this exam go on to teach chemistry in high school. In rare cases, chemistry is sometimes also taught to younger students. Chemistry classes below the high school level are most common at elite private and parochial schools.
The test’s format is all selected response and no constructed response. The test consists of 125 multiple choice questions and has a time limit of two and a half hours.
Praxis Subject Assessment 5245: Content
One thing that makes the Praxis II chemistry exam especially challenging is its holistic nature. By this, I mean that the test focuses on many different aspects of chemistry. Moreover, most areas of chemistry get equal attention on the test.
The following 6 categories each take up 12-15% of the exam:
- Scientific procedures and techniques (12%)
- Scientific inquiry and social perspectives of science (12%)
- Solutions, solubility, and acid-based chemistry (15%)
- Nomenclature, chemical composition, bonding, and structure (15%)
- Atomic and nuclear structure (12%)
- Basic principles of matter, energy, and thermodynamics (14%)
In addition to these 6 topics, one topic is slightly emphasized in the test questions. Chemical reactions and the periodic table of elements takes up 20% of the exam, with 25 questions. Be sure to study each aspect of chemistry with extra care as you prep for the Chemistry Praxis II.
The best study materials for the Praxis II for Chemistry (5245)
The absolute best study materials for the Chemistry Praxis II are the ones made by ETS. ETS offers just two official resources for Praxis II Chemistry. The official Study Companion PDF for Chemistry: Content Knowledge can be downloaded for free. There is also a web-based practice test for Praxis II Chemistry. This costs $19.95.
In addition to these official materials, there are also some unofficial Praxis II Chemistry books and flashcards. Any materials from third-party publishers should be approached with caution. Some unofficial materials make excellent supplements to the stuff from ETS. However, other materials aren’t authentic to the Praxis and won’t adequately prepare you.
At the time that I write this, the Exam Secrets Study Guide for Praxis II Chemistry seems to be the most promising unofficial resource. On Amazon, this book has the most reader reviews, currently with a 4-star rating.
Ultimately, though, the best source for non-ETS materials will be your own chemistry textbooks. This exam assesses the knowledge you gained while you studied chemistry in college. Treat it as a review of your past chemistry coursework. And think of the ETS materials as a kind of study guide for your textbooks.