David Recine

3 Top Tips for Passing the Praxis First Time

Passing the Praxis on the first try is ideal, obviously. Today, I’m going to give you some top tips for passing the Praxis first time around.

Praxis Top Tip # 1: Use official prep materials

At Magoosh, we recommend using official prep materials for all of the exams we support. But this is especially important for the Praxis. Unlike many other standardized tests, the Praxis is not covered by very many unofficial websites, schools or publishers. And often, third-party practice materials aren’t even all that up-to-date. It seems that most test-prep companies just don’t put much into their Praxis products.

So the official Praxis preparation materials from ETS aren’t just the best materials. In many cases, they are the only Praxis study resources that are true to the exam. And for some of the Praxis exams, they’re the only study materials out there, period.

Official Praxis resources are also quite affordable. Each exam comes with a free study companion PDF, and either a reasonably priced study guide or an affordable practice test with answer explanations… or both! Getting some or all of the official study materials for each Praxis test is well worth it.

Praxis Top Tip # 2: Study all content, practice all skills

Every Praxis exam is multidisciplinary. The Praxis Core covers Math, Reading, and Writing. The Praxis PLT has questions on developmental psychology, learning theory, and pedagogy. Other Praxis II Subject Assessments will cover many different aspects of a discipline, in terms of both content knowledge and teaching skills.

One of the biggest reasons that people fail the Praxis on their first try is because they didn’t sufficiently study all skills on the exam. Be sure you know exactly what to expect on test day, and don’t just focus on the areas you think are the hardest. Make sure you are fully practiced and ready for anything that might be on the test.

Praxis Top Tip # 3: Understand Why Certain Answers are Right or Wrong

Correctly answering questions is all well and good. But with just five answer choices for each question, getting the right answer is sometimes a matter of educated guessing or even blind guessing. If you do really well in a few rounds of practice questions, but you’re not sure why you did well, some of your success could be based on luck. You may have simply gotten a lot of questions that are easier to guess at.

You don’t want to count on luck at all on test day. To be sure that you’ll pass the Praxis on the first try, you’ll need sharp skills. So when you get a practice question right, you should still really think about why you were right. How sure of the answer were you? How did you know the answer was right, while the others were not? Do the same when you get an answer wrong. Dissect your mistake. How did you miss the correct answer? Why are the wrong answers wrong?

Analyzing Praxis questions and answers this way allows you to develop skills related to test content and test strategy. This powerful duo of Praxis abilities can launch you to your target score and beyond, so that no retake will be necessary.


  • 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!

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