Jamie Goodwin

Praxis Test for Reading Specialists

Reading specialists elementary school student
A reading specialist with a student. Before becoming a reading specialist, you need to pass the Praxis exam.

In order to obtain a supervisory or instructional position teaching reading to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, you need to complete advanced academic courses and pass the Praxis II for Reading Specialists. Here are some things that you should know about taking this exam.

Test Layout

According to the Praxis website, the exam is made up of 80 multiple choice questions, one essay question, and a case study. You have 2 hours to complete the exam.

The information that it covers can be broken down into 4 content categories: reading and writing development, assessment and diagnostic teaching, pedagogical principles and instructional practices, and professional learning and leadership. Over half of the questions focus on reading and writing development, so it’s important to study the information that could be covered in these questions. For the final category, you’ll be asked questions that help determine whether or not you would excel in a leadership role.

Question Types

The test is similar to other computer-based Praxis exams. The questions ask you to consider various scenarios and case studies where you may need to do something like determine the student’s reading level based on misread words. The questions come in several formats, such as:

    • Multiple choice
    • Drag and drop
    • Drop-down menu
    • Check boxes
    • Essays

To become familiar with the format and question types, take plenty of practice tests. Read the directions carefully, and figure out an approach that works for you for each one .

Study Tips

When studying for the exam, start by developing a study plan. Review the various sections for the test and determine how long you’ll need to study for each one. To do this, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Then, create a workable schedule leading up to the test date. Don’t choose a test date that is too soon. You need plenty of time to thoroughly cover the material.

Your study plan should involve using study guides, completing sample test questions, and possibly working with a study group to review information that you need to understand for the exam.

Passing the Reading Specialists Exam

You’ll receive either a pass or fail for the exam. The score that you need to pass the exam depends on the state in which you hope to work as a reading specialist.

Remember that when taking the exam, you won’t lose points for guessing. Do the questions that you know first. Then, you can come back to the ones that you’re struggling with and spend more time to think about the answer. Just be sure to track your time, so you can answer all of the questions in the 2 hours that you’re given.

Have you taken the Praxis II for Reading Specialists? What tips would you give to others preparing for the exam? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.


  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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