It never seems like you have enough time to prepare for an exam, does it? One of the cool things about the Praxis exams is that you often have a tremendous amount of time to study for them, compared to other exams. If you’re planning to get a bachelor’s degree in teaching, you have four whole years to prepare!
You see, everything you need to know for any Praxis exam can be learned as an undergraduate. Your first and second year math and English classes can help you brush up on the broad academic skills you need for the Praxis Core. To further prepare for the Praxis during your degree, you can also choose other elective courses that reinforce math skills or give you practice in critical reading and academic writing. These courses can reinforce the academic skills you learned in high school and ensure that you perform well when you eventually take the Praxis Core in your final year of school or shortly after graduation.
Throughout your undergrad years, you can also build skills and knowledge for the kinds of pedagogy questions you’ll see on the Praxis PLT. The PLT focuses on K-12 learning theory and child psychology. So be sure to take some developmental psychology courses, paying special attention to theorists such as Piaget, Bloom, Vygostky, and the other key theorists that come up in the Praxis PLT series.
At least two or three developmental psychology classes will probably be required as prerequisites to the courses in your school of education. But try to take some additional electives in developmental psychology and learning theory too. Not only will this boost your PLT skills, it will also expand your knowledge of the art and science of teaching… and leave you with impressive-looking transcripts by the end of your degree.
Once you get into the courses that are specific to your teaching major and your subject area concentration, your coursework will become very relevant to the Praxis Subject Assessment you’ll take after you complete foundational exams such as Core and PLT. In fact, many teacher education professors specifically design their courses to help teacher trainees pass their Subject Assessments.
So be sure to know what’s in the Subject Assessment you’ll take, and then watch for that content in your classes. And remember the relationship between Subject Assessment prep and the classes in your concentration is symbiotic. Your courses can help you get a good grade on your final Praxis test, and your Subject Assessment prep materials can double as a study guide for your coursework, pointing to the most important information in the textbooks and lectures.
If you’re getting a Master’s, of course, you may not have quite as much time to prepare—but two years is still a lot of prep time for a set of standardized tests. Be sure to pay attention to the psychology, learning theory and subject area content in your courses, just as you would if you were an undergrad.
And to prepare for the Praxis Core in grad school, take electives that boost your math and language arts skills, if your Master’s program offers such electives. If not, you can still take advantage of the tutoring services your university offers to students, refreshing yourself in any Core academic skills you’ve gotten rusty in.