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Praxis PLT: Practice Questions & Answers

The Praxis PLT is a series of tests designed to assess general pedagogy knowledge in future teachers. The PLT series consists of four different tests divided by age group: Early Childhood, Grades K-6, Grades 5-9, and Grades 7-12.

Across all four versions of the exam, you’ll find three different question types. There are:

  • Teaching-based multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of teaching tools, methods, and legal policies.
  • Theory-based multiple choice questions about child development and the psychology of learning.
  • Scenario-based questions that ask about very specific teaching situations. Some scenario-based questions are multiple choice, and each PLT exam also has four constructed-response short essay questions based on very detailed scenarios. These constructed response scenario-based tasks appear at the end of the Praxis PLT.

Teacher & Students - Praxis PLT Questions

Teaching-based Practice Questions:

Question 1:

In order to assess how a group of students is performing as they learn over the course of the year, what kind of assessment should a teacher use?

(A) a formative assessment

(B) a summative assessment

(C) a criterion-referenced assessment

(D) a norm-referenced assessment

 

Question 2:

Which of the following instructional approaches would be appropriate for developing the mathematics skills of a group of kindergartners?

(A) Having the students compete to see who can finish the largest number of simple addition and subtraction problems within a certain time period.

(B) Having the students count from one to twenty together as a class, and then giving them individual homework where they can look at these numbers in order and carefully copy the sequence by hand.

(C) Giving the students the definitions of common math signs such as the multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division symbols, and then having them repeat these meanings back to the teacher in unison during a flashcard drill.

(D) Showing the students simple counting videos and carefully monitoring the students to make sure they are paying attention to what they see and hear.

Click here to jump the the answers and explanations for these teaching-based practice questions!

Theory-based Practice Question:

Which learning activity best demonstrates Vygostky’s Zone of Proximal Development?

(A) Putting students into study groups so that they can discuss assignments and new information with each other.

(B) Organizing a lab where students can actively use their knowledge and skills in activities that simulate real-life experience.

(C) Placing groups of students in different classrooms and giving them different curriculum, based on their observed levels of academic performance.

(D) Having a teacher help students perform an academic task, while slowly giving the students independence as they learn to perform the task on their own.

Click here for the answer and explanation to this theory-based practice question!

Scenario-based Practice Questions for the Praxis PLT:

Test-takers will be presented with a teaching situation that’s hypothetical, but highly specific. PLT scenarios involve individual teachers, individual students, and specific schools/classrooms.

Scenario-based questions can be selected response (multiple choice) or constructed response (written short answers).

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 1

Jennifer has audio impairments and cannot hear distinct sounds very well. She has been placed in Mr. Wilke’s 8th grade history class under a “least restrictive environment” provision. Jennifer reports that she cannot make out much of what Mr. Wilke is saying in his history lessons, and is having trouble taking effective notes. One of the IEP objectives for Jennifer is that “Jennifer will be able to assemble effective notes for exam study.”

Which of the following strategies is best to help Jennifer facilitate her goal and gather useful notes that can help her prepare for the exams in Mr. Wilke’s class?

(A) Wilke grades Jennifer only on her written essays and does not make her take the exams or take notes.

(B) Wilke increases the amount of words on the slides he shows his class during the lecture, and makes sure that everything he says in his speech is reflected in writing on the slides. Slides are made available to all students via the class web page.

(C) Wilke recruits a volunteer caption typist from a local nonprofit that aids the hearing-impaired, and has the typist create captions that are projected onto a screen at the front of the class for Jennifer’s benefit.

(D) Wilke speaks at an unusually loud volume when Jennifer is in class, and has Jennifer sit at the front of the class so she can hear him as clearly as possible.

Question 2:

A high school math teacher is teaching an introductory algebra class to first year students. In the opening unit, the students are taught a number of key algebra terms, with detailed written explanations of the words for each important algebraic concept. The teacher gives a quiz at the end of the unit. In the quiz, each key term is given, and students must write an explanation of the term in their own words.

To most appropriately modify this assessment for high-beginner level ELL students in the math class, the teacher should

(A) allow the ELLs to circle the numbers, symbols, or steps in a math problem that correspond to each key term.

(B) have the ELLs write out explanations of the algebra terms in their own home languages.

(C) allow the ELLs to make spoken recordings of their answers instead of writing their answers out.

(D) permit the ELLs to skip the quiz without losing any overall percentage points in their final report card grade.

Click here for the answers and explanations to these two scenario-based questions.

Regarding Short Answer Questions

On the Praxis PLT, scenario-based questions that require short written answers are based on very lengthy reading prompts called “case histories.” These prompts are fictional but authentic in tone and format. They are designed to mimic a case file a school might have regarding the learning progress of a student or the performance and professional development of a teacher.

ETS provides example case histories, sample questions, and model answers with scorer commentary through the official preparation pages for each version of the Praxis PLT. This practice material can be found in the for-purchase practice exams and free study companions on each PLT version’s official prep material web page.

Answer Key and Explanations:

The correct answers are in bold, with explanations at the end of each set of answer choices.


 
 
Teaching-based Practice Questions: Answer & Explanations

Question 1:

In order to assess how a group of students is performing as they learn over the course of the year, what kind of assessment should a teacher use?

(A) a formative assessment

(B) a summative assessment

(C) a criterion-referenced assessment

(D) a norm-referenced assessment

Explanation:
A formative assessment is an assessment that measures changes in student knowledge and ability as students learn—so (A) is correct. Summative assessments (B) are given at the end of a learning experience to assess overall learning, and take the forms such as a comprehensive exam or review quiz.

Criterion-referencing and norm-referencing are two different ways of assigning a formal score to an assessment. Criterion-referenced assessments assign a student a grade based only on their own performance in relation to specific scoring standards on the test. Norm-referencing gives test-takers a score based at least partly on how their performance compares to that of other people who took the same test.

Criterion and norm referencing is more likely to be done on assessments that are given formal grades. This can sometimes be done with formative assessments, but reference-based scoring of this type more likely to be used in summative testing.

Question 2:

Which of the following instructional approaches would be appropriate for developing the mathematics skills of a group of kindergartners?

(A) Having the students compete to see who can finish the largest number of simple addition and subtraction problems within a certain time period.

(B) Having the students count from one to twenty together as a class, and then giving them individual homework where they can look at these numbers in order and carefully copy the sequence by hand.

(C) Giving the students the definitions of common math signs such as the multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division symbols, and then having them repeat these meanings back to the teacher in unison during a flashcard drill.

(D) Showing the students simple counting videos and carefully monitoring the students to make sure they are paying attention to what they see and hear.

Explanation:
Choices (A) and (C) propose activities that are beyond the ability of the average kindergartner and are not developmentally appropriate for such a young age group. (D) is also developmentally inappropriate because watching simple videos just for the sake of comprehension is more useful for learning in younger pre-K students. Additionally, (D) suggests an assessment tool that’s too vague to be useful. It’s hard to tell if students are truly paying attention to a video simply by “observing” them.


 
 
Theory-based Question: Answer & Explanation

Which learning activity best demonstrates Vygostky’s Zone of Proximal Development?

(A) Putting students into study groups so that they can discuss assignments and new information with each other.

(B) Organizing a lab where students can actively use their knowledge and skills in activities that simulate real-life experience.

(C) Placing groups of students in different classrooms and giving them different curriculum, based on their observed levels of academic performance.

(D) Having a teacher help students perform an academic task, while slowly giving the students independence as they learn to perform the task on their own.

Explanation:
Psychologist Lev Vygostky coined the phrase “zone of proximal development” to refer to the time that a child spends learning a completely new skill or concept with support from an older, more knowledgeable teacher. Vygostky envisions this learning time period as a “zone” that can be passed through. In time, students master the new thing they’re learning and no longer need the support of a teacher. This concept is summarized precisely in answer (D)

Answers (A), (B), and (C) do not reference learning form a teacher or reaching a level of mastery where a teacher is no longer needed, so these answers can’t be correct.



 
 
Scenario-based Questions: Answers & Explanations

Question 1

Jennifer has audio impairments and cannot hear distinct sounds very well. She has been placed in Mr. Wilke’s 8th grade history class under a “least restrictive environment” provision. Jennifer reports that she cannot make out much of what Mr. Wilke is saying in his history lessons, and is having trouble taking effective notes. One of the IEP objectives for Jennifer is that “Jennifer will be able to assemble effective notes for exam study.”

Which of the following strategies is best to help Jennifer facilitate her goal and gather useful notes that can help her prepare for the exams in Mr. Wilke’s class?

(A) Wilke grades Jennifer only on her written essays and does not make her take the exams or take notes.

(B) Wilke increases the amount of words on the slides he shows his class during the lecture, and makes sure that everything he says in his speech is reflected in writing on the slides. Slides are made available to all students via the class web page.

(C) Wilke recruits a volunteer caption typist from a local nonprofit that aids the hearing-impaired, and has the typist create captions that are projected onto a screen at the front of the class for Jennifer’s benefit.

(D) Wilke speaks at an unusually loud volume when Jennifer is in class, and has Jennifer sit at the front of the class so she can hear him as clearly as possible.

Explanation:
“Least restrictive environment” policies are designed to ensure that students with special needs do not have undue limitations placed on their class activities, relative to other students. A secondary goal of the “least restrictive” environment policy is to avoid stigmatizing, embarrassing, or drawing unnecessary attention to students who have different learning needs than their peers.

(C) and (D) do not follow the spirit of “least restrictive” educational approaches. (C) brings a new person into the classroom just for Jennifer’s benefit, making her hearing impairment extremely obvious to classmates and school staff. (D) causes Mr. Wilke to raise his voice and limits where Jennifer can sit in the class, both stigmatizing her and needlessly restricting her movement. (A) is not restrictive per se, but does not serve the learning goal of preparing good notes for the exam. This leaves (B) as the only choice that is not restrictive and aids Jennifer in her goal of good exam prep note-taking.

Question 2:

A high school math teacher is teaching an introductory algebra class to first year students. In the opening unit, the students are taught a number of key algebra terms, with detailed written explanations of the words for each important algebraic concept. The teacher gives a quiz at the end of the unit. In the quiz, each key term is given, and students must write an explanation of the term in their own words.

To most appropriately modify this assessment for high-beginner level ELL students in the math class, the teacher should

(A) allow the ELLs to circle the numbers, symbols, or steps in a math problem that correspond to each key term.

(B) have the ELLs write out explanations of the algebra terms in their own home languages.

(C) allow the ELLs to make spoken recordings of their answers instead of writing their answers out.

(D) permit the ELLs to skip the quiz without losing any overall percentage points in their final report card grade.

Explanation:
(B) doesn’t help ELL students to improve their English ability, an important learning objective for such students in any American school. This second option is also impractical because it’s highly unlikely that the teacher will be able to read every answer in every home language of each ELL student.

(C) doesn’t really work because an ELL student who struggles with writing in English will not necessarily have an easier time speaking in English. And (D) simply prevents the ELL students from having the same learning experiences as their native English speaking classmates, without addressing actual language struggles in any way.

Eliminating these three obviously wrong answers leaves us with (A). (A) is correct, because high beginner ELL students are capable of learning a handful of new words and relating them to non-linguistic concepts such as math functions.

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