Practice Tests

Special education degree holders and others who want to pass the Praxis tests, state tests, or other standardized tests often regard practice tests as an essential part of their preparation. Practice tests are some of the best ways to prepare for a standardized assessment because practice tests provide real experience taking the test. Practice tests also help identify which area or areas the test taker needs to focus on in his or her study time. By taking them on a regular basis in the weeks and months before the test, the test taker can become comfortable with the test by the time the test day comes.

Practice tests and practice test questions can be found in a number of places. Many printed study guides include a number of practice tests. Such study guides can be found for sale at many bookstores or just available online. The answers for these practice tests are usually found in the study guide. Study guides also sometimes include a link to a web site where more practice tests and their answers can be found. In addition, test takers can buy a book of practice tests from the company that administers or produces the tests. For the Praxis tests, Educational Testing Service (ETS) offers several ways to buy sample tests and/or sample test questions. Test takers can even purchase old actual Praxis tests from that company. If test takers enroll in a test preparatory class, practice tests and questions are often a regular part of the experience. Many times, at least some practices tests are available for free online as well.

As test takers prepare for the test by using practice tests and practice test questions, they should familiarize themselves with each section of the test and what is required. For example, for the math section of the Praxis I test, it is advised that the test taker know basic math formulas, especially those involving geometric shapes and simple equations. Decimal placement should also be noted on math equations. While taking the reading section of practice Praxis I test, test takers are advised to focus on reading comprehension and become adept at recognizing main ideas and relationships within pieces of writing. Practicing reading with such a concentration will improve practice test scores as well as real test scores. While taking the writing section of a practice Praxis I test, test takers are advised to focus on sentence structure, parts of speech, and grammar. Practicing writing will also help, not only by doing many practice writing sections, but also by doing focused writing on various topics. Similar preparation and practice tests will help for other basic skills assessments and even for the various subjects tested in Praxis II.

Good practice tests will not only be similar to the type and quality of test questions on the real standardized test, but they will also include explanations of the answers. By having access to especially detailed explanations of the questions and answers, a test taker can better understand how the test questions are constructed and why certain test answers are correct or incorrect. With these explanations, a test taker can learn more about how to take the actual test and best use the knowledge he or she has acquired. Also, standardized tests like the Praxis tests and the state licensing exams are timed. Taking a practice test that is not timed is only of limited benefit to test takers. Time management is of the essence when taking standardized tests, and practice tests provide the perfect opportunity to learn the time management skills needed to pass the tests.

Last Updated: 05/07/2014

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