Teaching Reading 5203
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The Praxis® Study Companion Teaching Reading: Elementary Education 5203 www.ets.org/praxis Welcome to the Praxis® Study Companion Welcome to the Praxis® Study Companion Prepare to Show What You Know You have been working to acquire the knowledge and skills you need for your teaching career. Now you are ready to demonstrate your abilities by taking a Praxis® test. Using the Praxis® Study Companion is a smart way to prepare for the test so you can do your best on test day. This guide can help keep you on track and make the most efficient use of your study time. The Study Companion contains practical information and helpful tools, including: • An overview of the Praxis tests • Specific information on the Praxis test you are taking • A template study plan • Study topics • Practice questions and explanations of correct answers • Test-taking tips and strategies • Frequently asked questions • Links to more detailed information So where should you start? Begin by reviewing this guide in its entirety and note those sections that you need to revisit. Then you can create your own personalized study plan and schedule based on your individual needs and how much time you have before test day. Keep in mind that study habits are individual. There are many different ways to successfully prepare for your test. Some people study better on their own, while others prefer a group dynamic. You may have more energy early in the day, but another test taker may concentrate better in the evening. So use this guide to develop the approach that works best for you. Your teaching career begins with preparation. Good luck! Know What to Expect Which tests should I take? Each state or agency that uses the Praxis tests sets its own requirements for which test or tests you must take for the teaching area you wish to pursue. Before you register for a test, confirm your state or agency’s testing requirements at www.ets.org/praxis/states. How are the Praxis tests given? Praxis tests are given on computer. Other formats are available for test takers approved for accommodations (see page 37). The Praxis® Study Companion 2 Welcome to the Praxis® Study Companion What should I expect when taking the test on computer? When taking the test on computer, you can expect to be asked to provide proper identification at the test center. Once admitted, you will be given the opportunity to learn how the computer interface works (how to answer questions, how to skip questions, how to go back to questions you skipped, etc.) before the testing time begins. Watch the What to Expect on Test Day video to see what the experience is like. Where and when are the Praxis tests offered? You can select the test center that is most convenient for you. The Praxis tests are administered through an international network of test centers, which includes Prometric® Testing Centers, some universities, and other locations throughout the world. Testing schedules may differ, so see the Praxis web site for more detailed test registration information at www. ets.org/praxis/register. The Praxis® Study Companion 3 Table of Contents Table of Contents The Praxis® Study Companion guides you through the steps to success 1. Learn About Your Test.....................................................................................................5 Learn about the specific test you will be taking 2. F amiliarize Yourself with Test Questions.......................................................................9 Become comfortable with the types of questions you’ll find on the Praxis tests 3. Practice with Sample Test Questions.......................................................................... 13 Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers 4. Determine Your Strategy for Success.......................................................................... 24 Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient 5. Develop Your Study Plan.............................................................................................. 27 Develop a personalized study plan and schedule 6. Review Study Topics..................................................................................................... 31 Review study topics with questions for discussion 7. Review Smart Tips for Success..................................................................................... 35 Follow test-taking tips developed by experts 8. Check on Testing Accommodations............................................................................ 37 See if you qualify for accommodations that may make it easier to take the Praxis test 9. Do Your Best on Test Day.............................................................................................. 38 Get ready for test day so you will be calm and confident 10. Understand Your Scores............................................................................................. 40 Understand how tests are scored and how to interpret your test scores Appendix: Other Questions You May Have .................................................................... 42 The Praxis® Study Companion 4 Step 1: Learn About Your Test 1. Learn About Your Test Learn about the specific test you will be taking Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203) Test at a Glance Test Name Teaching Reading: Elementary Education Test Code 5203 Time 2.5 hours Number of Questions 90 selected-response (SR) questions, 3 constructed-response (CR) questions Format The selected-response questions account for approximately 75% of the total test score. The constructed-response questions account for approximately 25% of the score. This test may include questions with an audio or video component. Test Delivery Computer delivered Content Categories I. Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching of Reading III I II. II Reading Development Approximate Number of Questions Approximate Percentage of Examination 22 SR and 1CR* 27% 45 SR and 1CR* 46% A. Phonemic Awareness and Oral Language Development B. Phonics and Alphabetic Principle C. Word-Analysis Skills and Vocabulary Development D. Development of Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension E. Reading Comprehension Strategies Across Text Types III. Writing in Support of Reading 23 SR and 1CR* A. Interdependence of Reading and Writing Development B. Reading and Writing as Tools for Inquiry and Research 27% * On your score report, points earned on the CR questions are reported separately from points earned on the SR questions. The Praxis® Study Companion 5 Step 1: Learn About Your Test About This Test Test Specifications The Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary Education test focuses on the knowledge and skills a teacher must have to support reading development at the elementary level. It reflects the five essential components of effective reading instruction as identified by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, along with other foundational reading skills students must develop, such as word recognition and the application of print concepts. In addition, the test assesses the individual’s knowledge of how to support developing literacy as an integrated skill, starting with oral language development and building to include developing writing skills in parallel with reading development. Test specifications in this chapter describe the knowledge and skills measured by the test. Study topics to help you prepare to answer test questions can be found on page 31. I. Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching of Reading 1. Knows a range of formal and informal reading assessments 2. Knows how different types of assessment data are used to diagnose the reading needs and monitor the progress of individual students 3. Knows how diagnostic reading data are used to differentiate instruction to address the needs of students with reading difficulties Test questions call on the individual’s knowledge of research-based reading practices as well as the ability to apply knowledge and principles to instructional situations. The test taker will be required to analyze and respond to situations involving both classes and individual students at the grade levels from kindergarten through grade six, including students with diverse needs. In addition to selected-response questions, the test contains three constructed-response questions designed to elicit an individual’s understanding in the areas of assessment and diagnostic teaching, reading development, and writing in support of reading. This test may contain some questions that will not count toward your score. 4. Knows how diagnostic reading data are used to differentiate instruction to accelerate the development of students’ reading skills 5. Knows the purposes of flexible grouping in addressing students’ changing reading needs (e.g., academic skills, interests, learning styles) 6. Is familiar with the Response to Intervention (RTI) process II. Reading Development A. Phonemic Awareness and Oral Language Development 1. Knows a variety of instructional strategies for developing students’ listening and speaking skills 2. Knows a variety of instructional strategies for expanding students’ listening and speaking vocabularies 3. Is familiar with methods for scaffolding the learning of Standard American English by speakers of other languages and dialects 4. Is familiar with age-appropriate milestones for language development 5. Knows how to create a learning environment that is respectful of, and responsive to, linguistic and cultural diversity 6. Understands the roles of phonemic awareness in reading development 7. Knows a variety of instructional strategies to promote development of phonemic-awareness skills The Praxis® Study Companion 6 Step 1: Learn About Your Test B. Phonics and Alphabetic Principle 1. Knows ways to promote students’ automatic recognition of high-frequency sight words 2. Knows instructional strategies for helping students learn concepts of print 3. Knows ways to help students recognize and name uppercase and lowercase letters 4. Understands the connection between students’ invented spellings and their understanding of phonetic principles C. D. Development of Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension 1. Knows instructional strategies for increasing development of students’ automatic word recognition, accuracy, and prosody for reading fluency 2. Knows the linguistic, sociological, cultural, cognitive, and psychological bases of the reading process 5. Understands basic phonetic and phonological principles 3. Is familiar with how the linguistic, sociological, cultural, cognitive, and psychological bases of the reading process influence students’ reading comprehension 6. Knows instructional strategies for developing and reinforcing students’ skills in using phonics 4. Understands literal, inferential, and evaluative (i.e., critical) comprehension Word-Analysis Skills and Vocabulary Development 1. Knows the ways phonics, syntax, and semantics interact as the reader constructs meaning 2. Knows methods for teaching students to apply word-analysis skills independently 3. Knows how to help students read multisyllabic words by using syllabication and structural analysis 4. Knows how to help students use context clues for a variety of purposes (e.g., identifying unfamiliar words, determining the meaning of a word, verifying the pronunciation of a homograph) 5. Understands how to teach students reading comprehension strategies 6. Knows the role of independent reading in the development of reading comprehension and fluency 7. Knows ways to promote independent reading in and out of the classroom 8. Is familiar with ways to promote family and community involvement in literacy activities 5. Knows instructional strategies for building and extending vocabulary knowledge 6. Knows ways to help students make effective use of a dictionary, thesaurus, glossary, and other word-reference materials The Praxis® Study Companion 7 Step 1: Learn About Your Test E. Reading Comprehension Strategies Across Text Types 1. Knows how to promote students’ comprehension, enjoyment, and appreciation of a variety of genres. 2. Knows how to select a wide variety of literature at appropriate reading levels to encourage independent and reflective reading 3. Understands ways to help students comprehend fiction by using various reading strategies 4. Understands how different genres and types of literature are used to improve students’ comprehension 5. Understands instructional strategies to help students recognize different genres and types of literature 6. Knows ways to strengthen students’ comprehension by developing their literary response and analysis skills 7. Knows how to select and use a variety of informational, descriptive, and persuasive materials at appropriate reading levels to promote students’ comprehension of nonfiction, including content-area texts 8. Knows how to help students build on existing knowledge through reading in the content areas 9. Understands how to help students apply metacognitive strategies (before, during, and after reading) to a variety of text types 10. Understands instructional strategies to help students identify the author’s purpose 11. Understands instructional strategies to help students distinguish main ideas and supporting details in a nonfiction text 12. Knows ways to promote students’ recognition of text features and organizational patterns to comprehend nonfiction text III. Writing in Support of Reading A. Interdependence of Reading and Writing Development 1. Understands the interdependence of reading and writing development 2. Understands that writing is a developmental process 3. Understands that spelling is developmental 4. Knows strategies to teach students to spell correctly (e.g., recognizing common orthographic patterns) 5. Knows instructional strategies to promote reading comprehension through writing activities 6. Knows instructional strategies for teaching students to use writing mechanics appropriately 7. Knows strategies for promoting students’ writing development 8. Knows the teacher’s roles (e.g., modeling, conferencing, providing feedback) in guiding students through the recursive steps of the writing process 9. Knows various methods of feedback for students throughout the writing process (e.g., conferencing, peer editing, checklists, rubrics) 10. Knows the traits of high-quality writing (e.g., content, voice, word choice) 11. Knows how to teach students to write in various forms and for different audiences and purposes B. Reading and Writing as Tools for Inquiry and Research 1. Knows ways to teach students to use a variety of sources (e.g., print, electronic, interview, observation) as they conduct research 2. Knows ways to teach students research skills 13. Is familiar with how digital media (e.g., electronic books, podcasts, Internet) have an impact on comprehension 3. Knows strategies for helping students make effective use of reference materials and media resources 14. Knows how to help students locate and use evidence from texts to support their predictions, opinions, and conclusions 4. Knows a variety of ways to develop students’ skills in using technology to conduct and create final research products 5. Knows ways to evaluate and select a variety of reference materials and media resources The Praxis® Study Companion 8 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Become comfortable with the types of questions you’ll find on the Praxis tests The Praxis assessments include a variety of question types: constructed response (for which you write a response of your own); selected response, for which you select one or more answers from a list of choices or make another kind of selection (e.g., by clicking on a sentence in a text or by clicking on part of a graphic); and numeric entry, for which you enter a numeric value in an answer field. You may be familiar with these question formats from taking other standardized tests. If not, familiarize yourself with them so you don’t spend time during the test figuring out how to answer them. Understanding Computer-Delivered Questions Questions on computer-delivered tests are interactive in the sense that you answer by selecting an option or entering text on the screen. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. For most questions, you respond by clicking an oval to select a single answer from a list of answer choices. However, interactive question types may also ask you to respond by: • Clicking more than one oval to select answers from a list of choices. • Typing in an entry box. When the answer is a number, you may be asked to enter a numerical answer. Some questions may have more than one place to enter a response. • Clicking check boxes. You may be asked to click check boxes instead of an oval when more than one choice within a set of answers can be selected. • Clicking parts of a graphic. In some questions, you will select your answers by clicking on a location (or locations) on a graphic such as a map or chart, as opposed to choosing your answer from a list. • Clicking on sentences. In questions with reading passages, you may be asked to choose your answers by clicking on a sentence (or sentences) within the reading passage. • Dragging and dropping answer choices into targets on the screen. You may be asked to select answers from a list of choices and drag your answers to the appropriate location in a table, paragraph of text or graphic. • Selecting answer choices from a drop-down menu. You may be asked to choose answers by selecting choices from a drop-down menu (e.g., to complete a sentence). Remember that with every question you will get clear instructions. Perhaps the best way to understand computer-delivered questions is to view the Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration on the Praxis web site to learn how a computer-delivered test works and see examples of some types of questions you may encounter. The Praxis® Study Companion 9 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Understanding Selected-Response Questions Many selected-response questions begin with the phrase “which of the following.” Take a look at this example: Which of the following is a flavor made from beans? (A) Strawberry (B) Cherry (C) Vanilla (D) Mint How would you answer this question? All of the answer choices are flavors. Your job is to decide which of the flavors is the one made from beans. Try following these steps to select the correct answer. 1) L imit your answer to the choices given. You may know that chocolate and coffee are also flavors made from beans, but they are not listed. Rather than thinking of other possible answers, focus only on the choices given (“which of the following”). 2) E liminate incorrect answers. You may know that strawberry and cherry flavors are made from fruit and that mint flavor is made from a plant. That leaves vanilla as the only possible answer. 3) V erify your answer. You can substitute “vanilla” for the phrase “which of the following” and turn the question into this statement: “Vanilla is a flavor made from beans.” This will help you be sure that your answer is correct. If you’re still uncertain, try substituting the other choices to see if they make sense. You may want to use this technique as you answer selected-response questions on the practice tests. Try a more challenging example The vanilla bean question is pretty straightforward, but you’ll find that more challenging questions have a similar structure. For example: Entries in outlines are generally arranged according to which of the following relationships of ideas? (A) Literal and inferential (B) Concrete and abstract (C) Linear and recursive (D) Main and subordinate You’ll notice that this example also contains the phrase “which of the following.” This phrase helps you determine that your answer will be a “relationship of ideas” from the choices provided. You are supposed to find the choice that describes how entries, or ideas, in outlines are related. Sometimes it helps to put the question in your own words. Here, you could paraphrase the question in this way: “How are outlines usually organized?” Since the ideas in outlines usually appear as main ideas and subordinate ideas, the answer is (D). The Praxis® Study Companion 10 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions QUICK TIP: Don’t be intimidated by words you may not understand. It might be easy to be thrown by words like “recursive” or “inferential.” Read carefully to understand the question and look for an answer that fits. An outline is something you are probably familiar with and expect to teach to your students. So slow down, and use what you know. Watch out for selected-response questions containing “NOT,” “LEAST,” and “EXCEPT” This type of question asks you to select the choice that does not fit. You must be very careful because it is easy to forget that you are selecting the negative. This question type is used in situations in which there are several good solutions or ways to approach something, but also a clearly wrong way. How to approach questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages When answering questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages, provide only the information that the questions ask for. In the case of a map or graph, you might want to read the questions first, and then look at the map or graph. In the case of a long reading passage, you might want to go ahead and read the passage first, noting places you think are important, and then answer the questions. Again, the important thing is to be sure you answer the questions as they refer to the material presented. So read the questions carefully. How to approach unfamiliar formats New question formats are developed from time to time to find new ways of assessing knowledge. Tests may include audio and video components, such as a movie clip or animation, instead of a map or reading passage. Other tests may allow you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture. Tests may also include interactive questions. These questions take advantage of technology to assess knowledge and skills in ways that standard selected-response questions cannot. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. QUICK TIP: Don’t make the questions more difficult than they are. Don’t read for hidden meanings or tricks. There are no trick questions on Praxis tests. They are intended to be serious, straightforward tests of your knowledge. Understanding Constructed-Response Questions Constructed-response questions require you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area by creating your own response to particular topics. Essays and short-answer questions are types of constructed-response questions. For example, an essay question might present you with a topic and ask you to discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated. You must support your position with specific reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. Take a look at a few sample essay topics: • “ Celebrities have a tremendous influence on the young, and for that reason, they have a responsibility to act as role models.” • “ We are constantly bombarded by advertisements—on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on highway signs, and the sides of buses. They have become too pervasive. It’s time to put limits on advertising.” • “Advances in computer technology have made the classroom unnecessary, since students and teachers are able to communicate with one another from computer terminals at home or at work.” The Praxis® Study Companion 11 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Keep these things in mind when you respond to a constructed-response question 1) A nswer the question accurately. Analyze what each part of the question is asking you to do. If the question asks you to describe or discuss, you should provide more than just a list. 2) A nswer the question completely. If a question asks you to do three distinct things in your response, you should cover all three things for the best score. Otherwise, no matter how well you write, you will not be awarded full credit. 3) A nswer the question that is asked. Do not change the question or challenge the basis of the question. You will receive no credit or a low score if you answer another question or if you state, for example, that there is no possible answer. 4) G ive a thorough and detailed response. You must demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. However, your response should be straightforward and not filled with unnecessary information. 5) R eread your response. Check that you have written what you thought you wrote. Be sure not to leave sentences unfinished or omit clarifying information. QUICK TIP: You may find that it helps to take notes on scratch paper so that you don’t miss any details. Then you’ll be sure to have all the information you need to answer the question. For tests that have constructed-response questions, more detailed information can be found on page 22. The Praxis® Study Companion 12 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 3. Practice with Sample Test Questions Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers Sample Test Questions This test is available via computer delivery. To illustrate what a computer-delivered test looks like, the following sample question shows an actual screen used in a computer-delivered test. For the purposes of this guide, sample questions are provided as they would appear in a paper-delivered test. This test may include questions with an audio or video component. The Praxis® Study Companion 13 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions Directions: Each of the questions or statements below is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case. 1. Which of the following is the most accurate statement about the language acquisition process of young children? 5. Which of the following is the best way for a teacher to assess students’ phonemic awareness? (A) Ask students to identify the letter at the beginning of the word “desk” (B) Say the word “lamp” and ask students to break it into individual sounds (A) Young children understand full sentences at a relatively late stage in language development. (C) Distribute the letter cards “b,” “a,” and “t” and ask students to order the letters to create a word (B) Young children exhibit random, highly variable errors in sentence construction. (D) Display the written word “cat” and ask students to sound it out as they tap each letter (C) Young children infer the underlying rules of language to which they are exposed. (D) Young children require planned early instructional intervention to master the grammar of the English language. 2. Which of the following is the most effective instructional technique for helping kindergarten students develop an understanding of concepts about print? (A) Exposing students to a variety of rhyming texts (B) Modeling how to track text during shared reading of a text (C) Modeling finger tapping to identify the number of phonemes in words (D) Providing direct instruction in common letter-sound relationships 3. Which of the following pair of words demonstrate that different letter combinations can represent the same speech sound? (A) Church…chorus (B) Bow…bow (C) Hot…cold 6. A fifth-grade class studies the American Revolution. The teacher wants students to understand the differences in perceptions between the colonists who believed their actions in the Boston Tea Party were legitimate protests against British taxation, and the British who thought the colonists were engaged in rebellion against their government. Which of the following student activities is most effective in helping students understand the differences in perceptions? (A) List examples of significant protests and rebellions during other historical time periods (B) Write a letter persuading a friend to view the Boston Tea Party as an act of legitimate protest (C) Create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the concepts of protest and rebellion (D) Read a first-person account told from the perspective of someone who participated in the Boston Tea Party (D) Phone…laugh 4. How many morphemes are in the word “rerecorded”? (A) One (B) Two (C) Three (D) Four The Praxis® Study Companion 14 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 7. A teacher notes that a student is consistently not meeting grade-level performance standards. Which of the following should be the classroom teacher’s first step? 10. Which of the following best reflects research about teaching alphabetic principle to young students? (A) Adjust instructional techniques to meet the student’s unique learning needs (A) Teaching students the letters and their corresponding sounds in alphabetical order (B) Continue to assess and monitor the student’s academic progress on a regular basis (B) Introducing students to the long vowel sounds before introducing them to the short vowel sounds (C) Refer the student for testing to determine if he or she qualifies for special services (C) Introducing students to similar sounding or looking letters in close succession (D) Identify specific learning goals based on the student’s current performance levels (D) Teaching students continuous vowel and consonant sounds before stop (or clipped) sounds 8. When preparing to do a close reading of a complex text with students, it is important to know which of the following? (A) Students should be focused on trying to accurately summarize the text and identify key story elements. (B) The teacher’s role is to guide students through the text and interpret the meaning of challenging text for students. (C) Students should read the text multiple times and focus on a different outcome during each reading. (D) The teacher’s role is to plan extensive pre-reading activities and elicit students’ prior knowledge before students read the text. 9. Which of the following text-dependent questions best focuses students to think about the craft and structure of a text? (A) What did the main character do when he saw the letter? Why? (B) How did the author describe Bradley’s uncle? Why did the author choose to describe him that way? (C) Have you ever read another story like this? How are they similar? (D) How has Ma and Karin’s relationship changed over the course of the story? What changed it? 11. A teacher listens to Zane, a fourth-grade student, read an unfamiliar passage aloud for one minute. He read at an average rate but with poor expression. He accurately decoded 98% of the words in the passage. Based on the results of the assessment, which of the following teacher actions will best improve Zane’s reading ability? (A) Building prior knowledge of the passage before the student’s oral reading (B) Providing explicit instruction and modeling of prosodic reading of text (C) Encouraging the student to engage in repeated readings of the same text (D) Having the student listen to a recording of the oral reading to self-assess his performance 12. A class prepares to read a science text about an unfamiliar, complex process. The best way the teacher can support students’ successful reading of the text is to (A) guide students to continue reading when they come to an unfamiliar word in order to search for context clues (B) assign a small portion of text, and then pause for discussion and student questions before moving on (C) make dictionaries available to students so that they can look up the meanings of challenging vocabulary before reading each section of the text (D) ask each student to do a quick write about the process using their background knowledge, and then ask them to share their writing with a partner The Praxis® Study Companion 15 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions Use the graphic organizer to answer the question that follows. Use the student writing sample to answer the question that follows. Devon wrote the following short response to a story that the teacher presented during a read-aloud. The teacher asked students to name two things that show how clever Coyote is. The first way heis clever is that he can Shot bowinerows The Next way he is clever is that He noes howto get to the moon 14. Based on the writing sample, there is evidence that the student (A) understands that each syllable of a word contains a vowel sound and how to use evidence from the text 13. A middle school teacher uses the diagram above when teaching vocabulary. Which of the following prompts should be added to the diagram in order to best deepen students’ understanding of and ability to retain a new vocabulary word? (A) What makes this an important word for me to know? (B) What is the actual dictionary definition of this word? (C) What personal connections can I make to this word? (D) What are other examples of words that share the same root? (B) knows how to spell most high-frequency words and that individual words are separated by spaces (C) understands one-to-one letter-sound correspondence and how to apply capitalization rules (D) knows that stories have a structure and understands that punctuation marks are used at the end of sentences 15. Which of the following practices is most appropriate for a teacher to use when determining the placement of students into flexible groups for reading instruction? (A) Using students’ most current standardized reading assessment results to group together students with similar scores (B) Using results from a variety of assessments to form mixed-ability groups (C) Using formal and informal measures to inform instruction that targets students’ changing needs (D) Using a teacher-prepared survey to determine students’ authentic reading interests The Praxis® Study Companion 16 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 16. Research indicates that a relationship exists between reading and writing. Which of the following statements supports the finding? (A) Reading is a constructive process, and writing is a recursive one. (B) Reading and writing share similar processes and require using the same kinds of knowledge. (C) Reading requires a passive stance, and writing emphasizes an active stance. (D) Reading and writing development share the same five stages and students proceed through those stages in the same order. 17. Before writing narratives, fifth-grade students use reference materials to create semantic gradients like the one below. The semantic gradients are posted around the classroom so that students can refer to them while writing. 19. Using the list below, place the reading strategies in order according to when the strategy is used: before, during, or after reading. Click and drag the strategy to the appropriately labeled spot on the chart below. Summarizing Self-monitoring Setting a purpose 1. Before reading 2. During reading 3. After reading 20. Indicate whether the following descriptions are true or false regarding explicit teaching. True The primary objective of the lesson is for students to effectively use reference materials during writing as tools for (A) selecting precise language (B) spelling words correctly (C) generating imaginative ideas (D) avoiding repetitive vocabulary 18. While reading a complex piece of text, a teacher asks students to record their reactions in the margin, including their questions, summaries, and personal connections. The primary purpose of the activity is to (A) ensure active comprehension monitoring False Explicit teaching begins with little teacher input and moves toward extensive teacher support for student learning. Students have multiple opportunities to practice a skill on their own and to receive teacher feedback as needed. Teacher modeling of the skill or strategy is one of the first steps in explicit teaching. The first step in explicit teaching is to set a purpose for what the students are about to learn. Student inquiry, independent exploration, and hypothesis creation are more important parts of explicit teaching. (B) develop strong summarization skills (C) assess application of word analysis strategies (D) identify the organizational structure of the text The Praxis® Study Companion 17 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 21. Which of the following instructional strategies best completes the chart? Reading Comprehension Reading Fluency Writing Vocabulary Directed Reading-Thinking activity Shared reading Sentence combining Word hunts Inquiry chart Partner reading Paragraph hamburger Possible sentences Think-Pair-Share ? Revision Word walls (A) Semantic feature analysis (B) Brainstorming (C) Readers’ theater (D) Anticipation guide 22. Which of the following best describes a direct method in which students learn new vocabulary words? (A) Facilitating daily independent reading time (B) Incorporating wordplay activities into the school day (C) Providing both fiction and nonfiction texts in the classroom library (D) Introducing text-specific words before lessons and activities 23. When teaching research skills to elementary students, a teacher should have the students focus primarily on which of the following? (A) Evaluating Web sites for relevance and credibility (B) Taking mental notes on the topic (C) Using appropriate resources and search tools (D) Reading most of the available information about the topic 24. During a reading conference, a teacher notices that a student is unable to answer basic comprehension questions about a book after reading it. Which of the following actions is best for the teacher to take first? (A) Preparing an outline of the plot to assist the student in recalling important details (B) Encouraging the student to reread the parts of the book that were difficult to understand (C) Conducting a mini-lesson on active reading strategies the student can use while reading (D) Administering an informal assessment to identify the skills with which the student is struggling The Praxis® Study Companion 18 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions Answers to Sample Questions 1. (C) is the best answer. According to psycholinguists and others who specialize in human growth and development, young children begin to acquire the ability to communicate through hypothesis testing. Children’s perception of adult speech helps them form hypotheses about how different ideas are expressed in the language they are acquiring, and then they test their hypotheses. (A), (B), and (D) are not correct. Language learning is an active cognitive process that occurs as children hear, imitate, explore, and practice the spoken word. The answer choices are not consistent with this research-based statement. 2. (B) is the best answer. Children are more likely to attend to print when engaged in shared reading with an adult who uses print referencing behavior, e.g., tracking text. (A), (C), and (D) do not address concepts of print. 3. (D) is the best answer. “ph” and “gh” fall into the category of consonant irregularities with consonant combinations that have a unique sound. Both the “ph” in “phone” and the “gh” in “laugh” represent the sound of /f/. (A), (B), and (C) are not correct. The word pairs contain similar letters or letter combinations with different speech sounds. 4. (C) is the best answer. A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in the grammar of a language. The word “rerecorded” contains three morphemes. The unit “re” is a prefix meaning back or again. “record” is the base that gives the word its meaning. The word part “ed” indicates past tense. 5. (B) is the best answer. A student who possesses phonemic awareness can segment sounds in spoken words and blend strings of isolated sounds together to form recognizable words. (A), (C), and (D) are not correct. These answer choices focus on connecting spoken sounds to written letters, which are phonics skills. 6. (C) is the best answer. A Venn diagram is a graphic organizer used to compare and contrast two or more things. (A), (B), and (D) are not correct. These choices do not focus on the differences in perception which is the objective of the lesson. The Praxis® Study Companion 7. (A) is the best answer. The purpose of assessment is to use the data to drive appropriate instruction to meet a student’s unique needs. (B) is not correct. Continuing to assess and monitor student progress on a regular basis does not address the need to provide needsspecific instruction. (C) is not correct. Referring the student for special services testing is not an appropriate first step the teacher should take. (D) is not correct. A student learning goal is a measurable, long-term student growth target, and therefore is not the best first step to meet a student’s instructional needs. 8. (C) is the best answer. Close reading is a technique in which students read challenging texts multiple times, each time for a different purpose; e.g., to determine what a text says and to clarify confusions, to determine how the text works, and to evaluate the value of the text and connect it to other texts. The teacher’s major role is to ask text-dependent questions that require students to interpret what they’ve read and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Instructional time should be focused primarily on students reading and interacting with the text. (A) is not correct. Close reading addresses more than summarizing a text and identifying key story elements. (B) is not correct. Students engaged in close reading should be given the responsibility for interpreting the meaning of the text. (D) is not correct. Instructional time in close reading should be focused primarily on students reading and interacting with the text. The teacher’s role is not to spend an extensive amount of time engaging students in pre-reading activities to support understanding during close reading. 9. (B) is the best answer. Asking about the author’s word choices encourages students to think about the author’s intentions and how these choices affect the reading experience. (A), (C), and (D) are not correct. These textdependent questions are intended to focus the reader toward gaining greater understanding or making judgments about the text. 19 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 10. (D) is the best answer. Continuous vowel or consonant sounds can be prolonged or stretched out when they are pronounced and are easier to say without distortion. Voiced stop sounds are not as easy to pronounce in isolation without a vowel sound. (A) is not correct. Introducing letter sounds in alphabetical order limits the number of words the students can form, thus limiting their ability to practice using the alphabetic principle to read and write. Research generally agrees that the earliest relationships introduced should be those that enable children to begin reading words as soon as possible. That is, the relationships chosen should have high utility. For example, the spellings m, a, t, s, p, and h are high utility, but the spellings x as in box, gh as in through, ey as in they, and a as in want, are of lower utility. (B) is not correct. Research does not support the effectiveness of introducing students to all long vowel sounds before short vowels. (C) is not correct. The simultaneous introduction of auditorily or visually similar sounds and letters should be avoided. 11. (B) is the best answer. The student demonstrates difficulties in oral reading prosody. Providing direct instruction and modeling fluent, prosodic reading is the most effective instructional strategy to assist the student’s specific reading need. (A) is not correct. Building prior knowledge is most beneficial to increase comprehension of text. (C) is not correct. Asking the student to do repeated readings of the text is not as effective as teaching the elements of good oral reading and modeling how to read expressively. (D) is not correct. Without knowledge of how to read expressively in a natural manner, the student may not be successful in self-evaluating and improving his oral reading skills. 12. (B) is the best answer. Assigning a small section of a complex science text and pausing for discussion allow a student to monitor his comprehension and apply fix-up strategies if breakdowns in understanding have occurred. (A) and (C) not correct. Weaknesses in wordlevel processes hinder comprehension, but neither of these choices are the best answer. (D) is not correct. Doing a quick write activating prior knowledge about the science process is more likely to be a prereading activity and is not the most effective strategy to support students while reading the text. The Praxis® Study Companion 13. (C) is the best answer. Making personal connections to a word will help students see how the word is related to their everyday life, therefore making the vocabulary word more relevant and easier to recall. This prompt also asks students to gain deeper understanding of the word because they must determine how the word applies to their prior knowledge. (A), (B), and (D) are not correct. These choices do not encourage the student to make a deep, personal connection to the vocabulary word, and therefore internalizing the word meaning is not as likely to occur. 14. (A) is the best answer. The writing sample shows the student’s understanding that each syllable in a word needs to contain at least one vowel. The student has also responded to the task by citing evidence from the text. (B) is not correct. The sample contains several spelling errors and individual words are not consistently separated by spaces. (C) is not correct. The student does not show an understanding of basic capitalization rules. (D) is not correct. The sample does not contain any punctuation marks. 15. (C) is the best answer. Flexible grouping is a form of differentiated instruction in which a teacher uses a combination of formal and informal assessments and observations to meet the needs of individual students. Based on the data, small groups of students are formed and the teacher provides systematic and explicit instruction in identified skill areas. How long and how often the teacher meets with a group varies depending on student needs. (A) is not correct. Using a student’s most current standardized reading assessment results is only one measure to consider in forming flexible groups. (B) is not correct. In flexible grouping, the teacher forms groups based on similar instructional needs. (D) is not correct. Flexible grouping is used to meet an individual student’s current needs in specific skill areas. The model does not address reading interests. 16. (B) is the best answer. Research has shown that readers and writers use the same kinds of knowledge when constructing meaning. Both processes, for example, require knowledge of sound and letter relationships, language conventions, organization, content, pragmatics, and purpose. (A) and (C) are not correct. These choices are inconsistent with the similarities between reading and writing. (D) is not correct. Writing consists of five stages (prewriting, drafting, revision, editing, and publishing), but these stages are recursive and students do not proceed through them in the same order. These five stages do not relate to active reading. 20 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions 17. (A) is the best answer. Semantic gradients support students in understanding shades of meaning. The reference materials used to make sematic gradients, namely dictionaries and thesauri, help students to recognize that while words can mean nearly the same thing, the nuances are different. Using reference materials to create semantic gradients supports students in selecting precise vocabulary to convey the intended message. 18. (A) is the best answer. Good readers are extremely active as they read. When students respond in writing as they read a complex piece of text by asking questions, summarizing, and making personal connections, they are encouraged to think strategically about what and why they are reading. Through annotation, the student creates a visual record of his thoughts while making sense of the text. (B), (C), and (D) are not correct. Summarizing, applying wordanalysis strategies, and identifying text organization are parts of strategic reading. An active reader needs to do more to reach a deep level of engagement and comprehension of complex text. 19. 1. Before Reading: setting a purpose for reading is a before-reading strategy. 2. During Reading: selfmonitoring is a strategy that is used while reading. 3. After Reading: summarizing is a strategy that occurs after reading has taken place. 20. Statements 2, 3, and 4 are true. Explicit instruction (also known as “direct instruction”) is a sequence of supports: first, setting a purpose for learning, then telling students what to do, then showing them how to do it, and finally guiding their hands-on application of the new learning. Statement 1 is false because explicit teaching begins with a large amount of teacher input and moves towards less teacher input and greater student responsibility. Statement 5 is false because explicit teaching involves direct teaching of a skill or strategy, not independent exploration or student inquiry. 21. (C) is the best answer because facilitating a Readers’ theater is an effective strategy for improving fluency skills. (A) is not correct. Semantic feature analysis is used to work on vocabulary skills, not fluency. (B) is not correct. Brainstorming is used to help students get ideas about which to write. (D) is not correct. An anticipation guide is used to strengthen comprehension. The Praxis® Study Companion 22. (D) is the best answer because the teacher needs to first provide the direct instruction in text-specific words before students engage in reading. Students then can be guided by the teacher to practice the newly learned vocabulary in different activities and contexts. (A) is not correct. Engaging in independent reading activities is an indirect way of students increasing their vocabulary. The teacher is not providing direct instruction in word knowledge. (B) is not correct. Participating in oral word play activities with adults is an indirect way to increase a student’s vocabulary. This option does not require direct instruction from a teacher. (C) is not correct. Providing different genres of books in the class library does not provide direct instruction of vocabulary words. It provides exposure. 23. (C) is the best answer because all appropriate tools should be used, not just the Internet, and not just books. A student would also need to know which search engines to use to get the best results, and which books. A dictionary wouldn’t be used to look up information on Rosa Parks, for example. (A) is not correct. This would be something that high school or older students would be concerned with, instead of elementary aged students. (B) is not correct. Students would need to take paper/pencil notes to add to the report, instead of just mental notes. (D) is not correct. To search effectively, students would need to know how to use keywords and, thus, eliminate part of their time searching for a topic. 24. (D) is the best answer because there are many factors that can contribute to reading comprehension difficulties including phonological and fluency skills. Assessing the source of the student’s difficulty will help the teacher to provide needed support in the area the student needs it the most. (A) is not correct. While this may help the student to understand the book more, it is a temporary fix and will not help the student’s comprehension skills. (B) is not correct. While rereading is a good strategy to clarify what was read, the teacher does not know the source of the student’s difficulties. If it is a decoding or vocabulary problem, for example, rereading would not help. (C) is not correct. While active reading strategies are good tools to aid comprehension, without knowing the source of the student’s struggles, they are not guaranteed to be helpful. 21 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions About the Constructed-Response Questions The Teaching Reading test consists of three constructed-response questions that require the candidate to demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge and theory of reading to specific students’ needs and classroom scenarios. Each task will be scored on a 0–3 scale using the following general scoring guide: Score of 1 The response demonstrates a weak or limited understanding of the elements of reading and reading instruction relevant to the question. A response in this category • basic level. • –– Shows weak or limited knowledge of concepts, theories, facts, procedures, or methodologies relevant to the question. The weakness may be indicated by errors or misconceptions. Score of 3 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of the elements of reading and reading instruction relevant to the question. –– Provides no explanation or an explanation that is weak and inadequately supported by evidence. A response in this category • • Clearly and specifically answers all parts of the question in a way that directly addresses the instructional situation described. Shows strong knowledge of concepts, theories, facts, procedures, or methodologies relevant to the question. Any errors of fact or terminology are minor and do not detract from the understanding shown. Provides a strong explanation that is well supported by relevant evidence. Score of 2 The response demonstrates a basic or general understanding of the elements of reading and reading instruction relevant to the question. A response in this category • Adequately answers most or all parts of the question in a way that is appropriate for the instructional situation described. • Shows basic or general knowledge of concepts, theories, facts, procedures, or methodologies relevant to the question. Any errors do not detract from the general understanding shown. • Provides a basic explanation that is adequately supported by relevant evidence. The Praxis® Study Companion Has one or more of the following weaknesses: –– Fails to answer most parts of the question and/ or fails to address crucial aspects of the instructional situation described. General Scoring Guide for ConstructedResponse Questions • Answers some part (or parts) of the question at a Score of 0 The response demonstrates no understanding of the elements of reading and reading instruction relevant to the question. A response in this category • Fails to respond appropriately to any part of the question. • Shows no knowledge of concepts, theories, facts, procedures, or methodologies relevant to the question; or any information presented about reading and reading instruction is seriously in error. Note: The mere presence of reading-specific words or phrases that might be used in an adequate response does not by itself indicate knowledge. Also receiving a score of 0 would be responses that are blank, completely off-topic, or not written in English. 22 Step 3: Practice with Sample Test Questions Sample Question Directions Read the scenario and then respond to all parts of the task. The suggested time to spend on this question is 10 minutes. Scenario The early childhood teachers in a school have decided to implement interdisciplinary science units with a focus on reading. The district has implemented a policy that all schools must include a technology component that will support reading instruction. Task Be sure to respond to both of the following. • Briefly describe an instructional material the teachers would use within these units to support the reading focus. Explain the criteria used to evaluate the material in meeting these instructional needs. • Briefly describe an activity using technology with the interdisciplinary science units. Specify how the activity supports student reading goals. Sample Response That Received a Score of 3 Teachers can use tradebooks to help integrate reading into a science unit. The instructional material that is needed is a variety of books on the differing reading levels of the students. An example of this would be teaching a science unit on deserts. The teacher would collect books at different readability levels on living in a desert, animals in a desert, or any other related topics to use with the class. The criteria used to ensure the books meet instructional needs are that they are at an appropriate reading level for the students, have a connection to the topic being studied, and contain accurate information. The Praxis® Study Companion A technological activity the students could do would be an online net lab. The students would, for example, be required to follow written instructions as they completed a simulation of a lab activity such as the dissection of an owl pellet. Reading skills such as cause and effect could be reinforced with a webquest through which students discovered and observed relationships between actions. Related hands-on activities could be linked to the webquest tasks. By using these methods of integrating science and reading, the teachers can meet the technology component mandated by the district and further support students’ reading development. Sample Response That Received a Score of 2 I would begin by finding books on insects. Every day we would read books and discuss reading techniques and skills. We would also collect bugs and caterpillars to study. Using PowerPoint, we would make slides that compared and contrasted different insects as a class. Each student would then choose a bug to study and make a slide with a picture and sentence about their insect. I will evaluate the students’ ability to use PowerPoint and make notes on which students need a little more help. We will then make a CD with all the insect slides and burn copies of it so that each student can take one home. We will then have a short quiz on the reading to check for comprehension. Sample Response That Received a Score of 1 An instructional material that teachers would use for the unit could be how a butterfly grows. The kids are learning reading and science at the same time. They could have a computer in the classroom and have Leapfrog Interactive Reading on the computer. The technology would be helping the kids to read and they would be having fun while doing it. 23 Step 4: Determine Your Strategy for Success 4. Determine Your Strategy for Success Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient Effective Praxis test preparation doesn’t just happen. You’ll want to set clear goals and deadlines for yourself along the way. Otherwise, you may not feel ready and confident on test day. 1) Learn what the test covers. You may have heard that there are several different versions of the same test. It’s true. You may take one version of the test and your friend may take a different version a few months later. Each test has different questions covering the same subject area, but both versions of the test measure the same skills and content knowledge. You’ll find specific information on the test you’re taking on page 5, which outlines the content categories that the test measures and what percentage of the test covers each topic. Visit www.ets.org/praxis/ testprep for information on other Praxis tests. 2) Assess how well you know the content. Research shows that test takers tend to overestimate their preparedness—this is why some test takers assume they did well and then find out they did not pass. The Praxis tests are demanding enough to require serious review of likely content, and the longer you’ve been away from the content, the more preparation you will most likely need. If it has been longer than a few months since you’ve studied your content area, make a concerted effort to prepare. 3) Collect study materials. Gathering and organizing your materials for review are critical steps in preparing for the Praxis tests. Consider the following reference sources as you plan your study: • D id you take a course in which the content area was covered? If yes, do you still have your books or your notes? • D oes your local library have a high school-level textbook in this area? Does your college library have a good introductory college-level textbook in this area? Practice materials are available for purchase for many Praxis tests at www.ets.org/praxis/testprep. Test preparation materials include sample questions and answers with explanations. 4) Plan and organize your time. You can begin to plan and organize your time while you are still collecting materials. Allow yourself plenty of review time to avoid cramming new material at the end. Here are a few tips: • C hoose a test date far enough in the future to leave you plenty of preparation time. Test dates can be found at www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates. • Work backward from that date to figure out how much time you will need for review. • Set a realistic schedule—and stick to it. The Praxis® Study Companion 24 Step 4: Determine Your Strategy for Success 5) Practice explaining the key concepts. Praxis tests with constructed-response questions assess your ability to explain material effectively. As a teacher, you’ll need to be able to explain concepts and processes to students in a clear, understandable way. What are the major concepts you will be required to teach? Can you explain them in your own words accurately, completely, and clearly? Practice explaining these concepts to test your ability to effectively explain what you know. 6) Understand how questions will be scored. Scoring information can be found on page 40. 7) Develop a study plan. A study plan provides a road map to prepare for the Praxis tests. It can help you understand what skills and knowledge are covered on the test and where to focus your attention. Use the study plan template on page 29 to organize your efforts. And most important—get started! Would a Study Group Work for You? Using this guide as part of a study group People who have a lot of studying to do sometimes find it helpful to form a study group with others who are working toward the same goal. Study groups give members opportunities to ask questions and get detailed answers. In a group, some members usually have a better understanding of certain topics, while others in the group may be better at other topics. As members take turns explaining concepts to one another, everyone builds self-confidence. If the group encounters a question that none of the members can answer well, the group can go to a teacher or other expert and get answers efficiently. Because study groups schedule regular meetings, members study in a more disciplined fashion. They also gain emotional support. The group should be large enough so that multiple people can contribute different kinds of knowledge, but small enough so that it stays focused. Often, three to six members is a good size. Here are some ways to use this guide as part of a study group: • P lan the group’s study program. Parts of the study plan template, beginning on page 29, can help to structure your group’s study program. By filling out the first five columns and sharing the worksheets, everyone will learn more about your group’s mix of abilities and about the resources, such as textbooks, that members can share with the group. In the sixth column (“Dates I will study the content”), you can create an overall schedule for your group’s study program. • P lan individual group sessions. At the end of each session, the group should decide what specific topics will be covered at the next meeting and who will present each topic. Use the topic headings and subheadings in the Test at a Glance table on page 5 to select topics, and then select practice questions, beginning on page 13. • P repare your presentation for the group. When it’s your turn to present, prepare something that is more than a lecture. Write two or three original questions to pose to the group. Practicing writing actual questions can help you better understand the topics covered on the test as well as the types of questions you will encounter on the test. It will also give other members of the group extra practice at answering questions. The Praxis® Study Companion 25 Step 4: Determine Your Strategy for Success • T ake a practice test together. The idea of a practice test is to simulate an actual administration of the test, so scheduling a test session with the group will add to the realism and may also help boost everyone’s confidence. Remember, complete the practice test using only the time that will be allotted for that test on your administration day. • L earn from the results of the practice test. Review the results of the practice test, including the number of questions answered correctly in each content category. For tests that contain constructedresponse questions, look at the Sample Test Questions section, which also contain sample responses to those questions and shows how they were scored. Then try to follow the same guidelines that the test scorers use. • B e as critical as you can. You’re not doing your study partner(s) any favors by letting them get away with an answer that does not cover all parts of the question adequately. • B e specific. Write comments that are as detailed as the comments about the sample responses. Indicate where and how your study partner(s) are doing an inadequate job of answering the question. Writing notes in the margins of the answer sheet may also help. • B e supportive. Include comments that point out what your study partner(s) got right. Then plan one or more study sessions based on aspects of the questions on which group members performed poorly. For example, each group member might be responsible for rewriting one paragraph of a response in which someone else did an inadequate job. Whether you decide to study alone or with a group, remember that the best way to prepare is to have an organized plan. The plan should set goals based on specific topics and skills that you need to learn, and it should commit you to a realistic set of deadlines for meeting those goals. Then you need to discipline yourself to stick with your plan and accomplish your goals on schedule. The Praxis® Study Companion 26 Step 5: Develop Your Study Plan 5. Develop Your Study Plan Develop a personalized study plan and schedule Planning your study time is important because it will help ensure that you review all content areas covered on the test. Use the sample study plan below as a guide. It shows a plan for the Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading test. Following that is a study plan template that you can fill out to create your own plan. Use the “Learn about Your Test” and “Test Specifications" information beginning on page 5 to help complete it. Use this worksheet to: 1. Define Content Areas: List the most important content areas for your test as defined in chapter 1. 2. Determine Strengths and Weaknesses: Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each content area. 3. Identify Resources: Identify the books, courses, and other resources you plan to use for each content area. 4. Study: Create and commit to a schedule that provides for regular study periods. Praxis Test Name (Test Code): Test Date: Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712) 9/15/15 Description of content Content covered How well do I know the content? (scale 1–5) What resources do I have/need for the content? Where can I find the resources I need? Dates I will study the content Date completed Key Ideas and Details Draw inferences and implications from the directly stated content of a reading selection 3 Middle school English textbook College library, middle school teacher 7/15/15 7/15/15 Determining ideas Identify summaries or paraphrases of the main idea or primary purpose of a reading selection 3 Middle school English textbook College library, middle school teacher 7/17/15 7/17/15 Determining ideas Identify summaries or paraphrases of the supporting ideas and specific details in a reading selection 3 Middle and high school English textbook College library, middle and high school teachers 7/20/15 7/21/15 4 Middle and high school English textbook College library, middle and high school teachers 7/25/15 7/26/15 3 Middle and high school English textbook, dictionary College library, middle and high school teachers 7/25/15 7/27/15 5 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/1/15 8/1/15 5 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/1/15 8/1/15 Close reading Craft, Structure, and Language Skills Interpreting tone Determine the author’s attitude toward material discussed in a reading selection Analysis of structure Identify key transition words and phrases in a reading selection and how they are used Analysis of structure Identify how a reading selection is organized in terms of cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution, etc. Author’s purpose Determine the role that an idea, reference, or piece of information plays in an author’s discussion or argument (continued on next page) The Praxis® Study Companion 27 Step 5: Develop Your Study Plan Content covered Language in different contexts Description of content Determine whether information presented in a reading selection is presented as fact or opinion Contextual meaning Identify the meanings of words as they are used in the context of a reading selection Figurative language Understand figurative language and nuances in word meanings Vocabulary range Understand a range of words and phrases sufficient for reading at the college and career readiness level How well do I know the content? (scale 1–5) What resources do I have/need for the content? Where can I find the resources I need? Dates I will study the content Date completed 4 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/1/15 8/1/15 2 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/1/15 8/1/15 2 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/8/15 8/8/15 2 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/15/15 8/17/15 2 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/22/15 8/24/15 4 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/24/15 8/24/15 3 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/27/15 8/27/15 5 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/28/15 8/30/15 5 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 8/30/15 8/31/15 4 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 9/3/15 9/4/15 2 High school textbook, college course notes College library, course notes, high school teacher, college professor 9/5/15 9/6/15 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Analyze content presented in diverse Diverse media and media and formats, formats including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words Evaluation of arguments Identify the relationship among ideas presented in a reading selection Evaluation of arguments Determine whether evidence strengthens, weakens, or is relevant to the arguments in a reading selection Evaluation of arguments Determine the logical assumptions upon which an argument or conclusion is based Evaluation of arguments Draw conclusions from material presented in a reading selection Comparison of texts Recognize or predict ideas or situations that are extensions of or similar to what has been presented in a reading selection Comparison of texts Apply ideas presented in a reading selection to other situations The Praxis® Study Companion 28 Step 5: Develop Your Study Plan My Study Plan Use this worksheet to: 1. Define Content Areas: List the most important content areas for your test as defined in chapter 1. 2. Determine Strengths and Weaknesses: Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each content area. 3. Identify Resources: Identify the books, courses, and other resources you plan to use for each content area. 4. Study: Create and commit to a schedule that provides for regular study periods. Praxis Test Name (Test Code): ____________________________________________________________ Test Date: _____________ Content covered Description of content How well do I know the content? (scale 1–5) What resources do I have/need for this content? Where can I find the resources I need? Dates I will study this content Date completed (continued on next page) The Praxis® Study Companion 29 Step 5: Develop Your Study Plan Content covered The Praxis® Study Companion Description of content How well do I know the content? (scale 1–5) What resources do I have/need for the content? Where can I find the resources I need? Dates I will study the content Date completed 30 Step 6: Review Study Topics 6. Review Study Topics Review study topics with questions for discussion Using the Study Topics That Follow The Teaching Reading: Elementary Education test is designed to measure the knowledge and skills necessary for a beginning teacher. This chapter is intended to help you organize your preparation for the test and to give you a clear indication of the depth and breadth of the knowledge required for success on the test. Virtually all accredited programs address the topics covered by the test; however, you are not expected to be an expert on all aspects of the topics that follow. You are likely to find that the topics that follow are covered by most introductory textbooks. Consult materials and resources, including lecture and laboratory notes, from all your coursework. You should be able to match up specific topics and subtopics with what you have covered in your courses. Try not to be overwhelmed by the volume and scope of content knowledge in this guide. Although a specific term may not seem familiar as you see it here, you might find you can understand it when applied to a real-life situation. Many of the items on the actual test will provide you with a context to apply to these topics or terms. Discussion Areas Interspersed throughout the study topics are discussion areas, presented as open-ended questions or statements. These discussion areas are intended to help test your knowledge of fundamental concepts and your ability to apply those concepts to situations in the classroom or the real world. Most of the areas require you to combine several pieces of knowledge to formulate an integrated understanding and response. If you spend time on these areas, you will gain increased understanding and facility with the subject matter covered on the test. You may want to discuss these areas and your answers with a teacher or mentor. Note that this study companion does not provide answers for the discussion area questions, but thinking about the answers to them will help improve your understanding of fundamental concepts and will probably help you answer a broad range of questions on the test. The Praxis® Study Companion 31 Step 6: Review Study Topics Study Topics 6. Understands the roles of phonemic awareness in reading development An overview of the areas covered on the test, along with their subareas, follows. 7. Knows a variety of instructional strategies to promote development of phonemic-awareness skills I. Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching of Reading B. 1. Knows ways to promote students’ automatic recognition of high-frequency sight words 1. Knows a range of formal and informal reading assessments 2. Knows instructional strategies for helping students learn concepts of print 2. Knows how different types of assessment data are used to diagnose the reading needs and monitor the progress of individual students 3. Knows ways to help students recognize and name uppercase and lowercase letters 3. Knows how diagnostic reading data are used to differentiate instruction to address the needs of students with reading difficulties 4. Understands the connection between students’ invented spellings and their understanding of phonetic principles 4. Knows how diagnostic reading data are used to differentiate instruction to accelerate the development of students’ reading skills 5. Knows the purposes of flexible grouping in addressing students’ changing reading needs (e.g., academic skills, interests, learning styles) 5. Understands basic phonetic and phonological principles 6. Knows instructional strategies for developing and reinforcing students’ skills in using phonics C. 6. Is familiar with the Response to Intervention (RTI) process 2. Knows methods for teaching students to apply word-analysis skills independently • What are various grouping strategies teachers can use? What purpose does each type of grouping strategy serve? 3. Knows how to help students read multisyllabic words by using syllabication and structural analysis • What are some examples of formative assessment? What is the purpose of formative assessment? 4. Knows how to help students use context clues for a variety of purposes (e.g., identifying unfamiliar words, determining the meaning of a word, verifying the pronunciation of a homograph) Reading Development A. 5. Knows instructional strategies for building and extending vocabulary knowledge Phonemic Awareness and Oral Language Development 6. Knows ways to help students make effective use of a dictionary, thesaurus, glossary, and other word-reference materials 1. Knows a variety of instructional strategies for developing students’ listening and speaking skills 2. Knows a variety of instructional strategies for expanding students’ listening and speaking vocabularies 3. Is familiar with methods for scaffolding the learning of Standard American English by speakers of other languages and dialects 4. Is familiar with age-appropriate milestones for language development 5. Knows how to create a learning environment that is respectful of, and responsive to, linguistic and cultural diversity The Praxis® Study Companion Word-Analysis Skills and Vocabulary Development 1. Knows the ways phonics, syntax, and semantics interact as the reader constructs meaning Discussion areas: Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching of Reading II. Phonics and Alphabetic Principle D. Development of Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension 1. Knows instructional strategies for increasing development of students’ automatic word recognition, accuracy, and prosody for reading fluency 2. Knows the linguistic, sociological, cultural, cognitive, and psychological bases of the reading process 32 Step 6: Review Study Topics 12. Knows ways to promote students’ recognition of text features and organizational patterns to comprehend nonfiction text 3. Is familiar with how the linguistic, sociological, cultural, cognitive, and psychological bases of the reading process influence students’ reading comprehension 13. Is familiar with how digital media (e.g., electronic books, podcasts, Internet) have an impact on comprehension 4. Understands literal, inferential, and evaluative (i.e., critical) comprehension 14. Knows how to help students locate and use evidence from texts to support their predictions, opinions, and conclusions 5. Understands how to teach students reading comprehension strategies 6. Knows the role of independent reading in the development of reading comprehension and fluency Discussion areas: Reading Development • How are decoding, fluency, and comprehension related? 7. Knows ways to promote independent reading in and out of the classroom • What is the purpose of genre studies in improving student comprehension of a variety of texts? 8. Is familiar with ways to promote family and community involvement in literacy activities E. Reading Comprehension Strategies Across Text Types • What strategies are most effective for teaching students new vocabulary? 1. Knows how to promote students’ comprehension, enjoyment, and appreciation of a variety of genres. 2. Knows how to select a wide variety of literature at appropriate reading levels to encourage independent and reflective reading 3. Understands ways to help students comprehend fiction by using various reading strategies 4. Understands how different genres and types of literature are used to improve students’ comprehension 5. Understands instructional strategies to help students recognize different genres and types of literature 6. Knows ways to strengthen students’ comprehension by developing their literary response and analysis skills 7. Knows how to select and use a variety of informational, descriptive, and persuasive materials at appropriate reading levels to promote students’ comprehension of nonfiction, including content-area texts 8. Knows how to help students build on existing knowledge through reading in the content areas 9. Understands how to help students apply metacognitive strategies (before, during, and after reading) to a variety of text types 10. Understands instructional strategies to help students identify the author’s purpose 11. Understands instructional strategies to help students distinguish main ideas and supporting details in a nonfiction text The Praxis® Study Companion • What role does phonemic awareness play in learning to read? III. A. Writing in Support of Reading Interdependence of Reading and Writing Development 1. Understands the interdependence of reading and writing development 2. Understands that writing is a developmental process 3. Understands that spelling is developmental 4. Knows strategies to teach students to spell correctly (e.g., recognizing common orthographic patterns) 5. Knows instructional strategies to promote reading comprehension through writing activities 6. Knows instructional strategies for teaching students to use writing mechanics appropriately 7. Knows strategies for promoting students’ writing development 8. Knows the teacher’s roles (e.g., modeling, conferencing, providing feedback) in guiding students through the recursive steps of the writing process 9. Knows various methods of feedback for students throughout the writing process (e.g., conferencing, peer editing, checklists, rubrics) 10. Knows the traits of high-quality writing (e.g., content, voice, word choice) 33 Step 6: Review Study Topics 11. Knows how to teach students to write in various forms and for different audiences and purposes B. Reading and Writing as Tools for Inquiry and Research 1. Knows ways to teach students to use a variety of sources (e.g., print, electronic, interview, observation) as they conduct research 2. Knows ways to teach students research skills 3. Knows strategies for helping students make effective use of reference materials and media resources 4. Knows a variety of ways to develop students’ skills in using technology to conduct and create final research products 5. Knows ways to evaluate and select a variety of reference materials and media resources Discussion areas: Writing in Support of Reading • How are the processes of reading and writing related? • What are the stages of spelling development that students go through? • What are important factors to consider when choosing sources to use for research? • What are the traits of high quality writing? The Praxis® Study Companion 34 Step 7: Review Smart Tips for Success 7. Review Smart Tips for Success Follow test-taking tips developed by experts Learn from the experts. Take advantage of the following answers to questions you may have and practical tips to help you navigate the Praxis test and make the best use of your time. Should I guess? Yes. Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, with no penalty or subtraction for an incorrect answer. When you don’t know the answer to a question, try to eliminate any obviously wrong answers and then guess at the correct one. Try to pace yourself so that you have enough time to carefully consider every question. Can I answer the questions in any order? You can answer the questions in order or skip questions and come back to them later. If you skip a question, you can also mark it so that you can remember to return and answer it later. Remember that questions left unanswered are treated the same as questions answered incorrectly, so it is to your advantage to answer every question. Are there trick questions on the test? No. There are no hidden meanings or trick questions. All of the questions on the test ask about subject matter knowledge in a straightforward manner. Are there answer patterns on the test? No. You might have heard this myth: the answers on tests follow patterns. Another myth is that there will never be more than two questions in a row with the correct answer in the same position among the choices. Neither myth is true. Select the answer you think is correct based on your knowledge of the subject. Can I write on the scratch paper I am given? Yes. You can work out problems on the scratch paper, make notes to yourself, or write anything at all. Your scratch paper will be destroyed after you are finished with it, so use it in any way that is helpful to you. But make sure to select or enter your answers on the computer. Smart Tips for Taking the Test 1. S kip the questions you find extremely difficult. Rather than trying to answer these on your first pass through the test, you may want to leave them blank and mark them so that you can return to them later. Pay attention to the time as you answer the rest of the questions on the test, and try to finish with 10 or 15 minutes remaining so that you can go back over the questions you left blank. Even if you don’t know the answer the second time you read the questions, see if you can narrow down the possible answers, and then guess. Your score is based on the number of right answers, so it is to your advantage to answer every question. The Praxis® Study Companion 35 Step 7: Review Smart Tips for Success 2. K eep track of the time. The on-screen clock will tell you how much time you have left. You will probably have plenty of time to answer all of the questions, but if you find yourself becoming bogged down, you might decide to move on and come back to any unanswered questions later. 3. R ead all of the possible answers before selecting one. For questions that require you to select more than one answer, or to make another kind of selection, consider the most likely answers given what the question is asking. Then reread the question to be sure the answer(s) you have given really answer the question. Remember, a question that contains a phrase such as “Which of the following does NOT …” is asking for the one answer that is NOT a correct statement or conclusion. 4. C heck your answers. If you have extra time left over at the end of the test, look over each question and make sure that you have answered it as you intended. Many test takers make careless mistakes that they could have corrected if they had checked their answers. 5. D on’t worry about your score when you are taking the test. No one is expected to answer all of the questions correctly. Your score on this test is not analogous to your score on the GRE® or other tests. It doesn’t matter on the Praxis tests whether you score very high or barely pass. If you meet the minimum passing scores for your state and you meet the state’s other requirements for obtaining a teaching license, you will receive a license. In other words, what matters is meeting the minimum passing score. You can find passing scores for all states that use the Praxis tests at http://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/passing_scores.pdf or on the web site of the state for which you are seeking certification/licensure. 6. U se your energy to take the test, not to get frustrated by it. Getting frustrated only increases stress and decreases the likelihood that you will do your best. Highly qualified educators and test development professionals, all with backgrounds in teaching, worked diligently to make the test a fair and valid measure of your knowledge and skills. Your state painstakingly reviewed the test before adopting it as a licensure requirement. The best thing to do is concentrate on answering the questions. The Praxis® Study Companion 36 Step 8: Check on Testing Accommodations 8. Check on Testing Accommodations See if you qualify for accommodations that may make it easier to take the Praxis test What if English is not my primary language? Praxis tests are given only in English. If your primary language is not English (PLNE), you may be eligible for extended testing time. For more details, visit www.ets.org/praxis/register/plne_accommodations/. What if I have a disability or other health-related need? The following accommodations are available for Praxis test takers who meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act disability requirements: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • E xtended testing time Additional rest breaks Separate testing room Writer/recorder of answers Test reader Sign language interpreter for spoken directions only Perkins Brailler Braille slate and stylus Printed copy of spoken directions Oral interpreter Audio test Braille test Large print test book Large print answer sheet Listening section omitted For more information on these accommodations, visit www.ets.org/praxis/register/disabilities. Note: Test takers who have health-related needs requiring them to bring equipment, beverages, or snacks into the testing room or to take extra or extended breaks must request these accommodations by following the procedures described in the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-Related Needs (PDF), which can be found at http://www.ets.org/s/disabilities/pdf/bulletin_supplement_test_takers_with_ disabilities_health_needs.pdf. You can find additional information on available resources for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs at www.ets.org/disabilities. The Praxis® Study Companion 37 Step 9: Do Your Best on Test Day 9. Do Your Best on Test Day Get ready for test day so you will be calm and confident You followed your study plan. You prepared for the test. Now it’s time to prepare for test day. Plan to end your review a day or two before the actual test date so you avoid cramming. Take a dry run to the test center so you’re sure of the route, traffic conditions, and parking. Most of all, you want to eliminate any unexpected factors that could distract you from your ultimate goal—passing the Praxis test! On the day of the test, you should: • be well rested • wear comfortable clothes and dress in layers • eat before you take the test • bring an acceptable and valid photo identification with you • bring an approved calculator only if one is specifically permitted for the test you are taking (see Calculator Use, at http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/policies/calculators) • be prepared to stand in line to check in or to wait while other test takers check in You can’t control the testing situation, but you can control yourself. Stay calm. The supervisors are well trained and make every effort to provide uniform testing conditions, but don’t let it bother you if the test doesn’t start exactly on time. You will have the allotted amount of time once it does start. You can think of preparing for this test as training for an athletic event. Once you’ve trained, prepared, and rested, give it everything you’ve got. What items am I restricted from bringing into the test center? You cannot bring into the test center personal items such as: • handbags, knapsacks, or briefcases • water bottles or canned or bottled beverages • study materials, books, or notes • p ens, pencils, scrap paper, or calculators, unless specifically permitted for the test you are taking (see Calculator Use, at http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/policies/calculators) • any electronic, photographic, recording, or listening devices Personal items are not allowed in the testing room and will not be available to you during the test or during breaks. You may also be asked to empty your pockets. At some centers, you will be assigned a space to store your belongings, such as handbags and study materials. Some centers do not have secure storage space available, so please plan accordingly. Test centers assume no responsibility for your personal items. The Praxis® Study Companion 38 Step 9: Do Your Best on Test Day If you have health-related needs requiring you to bring equipment, beverages or snacks into the testing room or to take extra or extended breaks, you need to request accommodations in advance. Procedures for requesting accommodations are described in the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs (PDF). Note: All cell phones, smart phones (e.g., Android® devices, iPhones®, etc.), and other electronic, photographic, recording, or listening devices are strictly prohibited from the test center. If you are seen with such a device, you will be dismissed from the test, your test scores will be canceled, and you will forfeit your test fees. If you are seen using such a device, the device will be confiscated and inspected. For more information on what you can bring to the test center, visit www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/bring. Are You Ready? Complete this checklist to determine whether you are ready to take your test. ❒ Do you know the testing requirements for the license or certification you are seeking in the state(s) where you plan to teach? ❒ Have you followed all of the test registration procedures? ❒ Do you know the topics that will be covered in each test you plan to take? ❒ Have you reviewed any textbooks, class notes, and course readings that relate to the topics covered? ❒ Do you know how long the test will take and the number of questions it contains? ❒ Have you considered how you will pace your work? ❒ Are you familiar with the types of questions for your test? ❒ Are you familiar with the recommended test-taking strategies? ❒ Have you practiced by working through the practice questions in this study companion or in a study guide or practice test? ❒ If constructed-response questions are part of your test, do you understand the scoring criteria for these questions? ❒ If you are repeating a Praxis test, have you analyzed your previous score report to determine areas where additional study and test preparation could be useful? If you answered “yes” to the questions above, your preparation has paid off. Now take the Praxis test, do your best, pass it—and begin your teaching career! The Praxis® Study Companion 39 Step 10: Understand Your Scores 10. Understand Your Scores Understand how tests are scored and how to interpret your test scores Of course, passing the Praxis test is important to you so you need to understand what your scores mean and what your state requirements are. What are the score requirements for my state? States, institutions, and associations that require the tests set their own passing scores. Visit www.ets.org/praxis/states for the most up-to-date information. If I move to another state, will my new state accept my scores? The Praxis tests are part of a national testing program, meaning that they are required in many states for licensure. The advantage of a national program is that if you move to another state that also requires Praxis tests, you can transfer your scores. Each state has specific test requirements and passing scores, which you can find at www.ets.org/praxis/states. How do I know whether I passed the test? Your score report will include information on passing scores for the states you identified as recipients of your test results. If you test in a state with automatic score reporting, you will also receive passing score information for that state. A list of states and their passing scores for each test are available online at www.ets.org/praxis/states. What your Praxis scores mean You received your score report. Now what does it mean? It’s important to interpret your score report correctly and to know what to do if you have questions about your scores. Visit http://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/sample_score_report.pdf to see a sample score report. To access Understanding Your Praxis Scores, a document that provides additional information on how to read your score report, visit www.ets.org/praxis/scores/understand. Put your scores in perspective Your score report indicates: • Your score and whether you passed • The range of possible scores • The raw points available in each content category • The range of the middle 50 percent of scores on the test If you have taken the same Praxis test or other Praxis tests in the last 10 years, your score report also lists the highest score you earned on each test taken. The Praxis® Study Companion 40 Step 10: Understand Your Scores Content category scores and score interpretation Questions on the Praxis tests are categorized by content. To help you in future study or in preparing to retake the test, your score report shows how many raw points you earned in each content category. Compare your “raw points earned” with the maximum points you could have earned (“raw points available”). The greater the difference, the greater the opportunity to improve your score by further study. Score scale changes ETS updates Praxis tests on a regular basis to ensure they accurately measure the knowledge and skills that are required for licensure. When tests are updated, the meaning of the score scale may change, so requirements may vary between the new and previous versions. All scores for previous, discontinued tests are valid and reportable for 10 years, provided that your state or licensing agency still accepts them. These resources may also help you interpret your scores: • Understanding Your Praxis Scores (PDF), found at www.ets.org/praxis/scores/understand • T he Praxis Passing Scores (PDF), found at www.ets.org/praxis/scores/understand • State requirements, found at www.ets.org/praxis/states The Praxis® Study Companion 41 Appendix: Other Questions You May Have Appendix: Other Questions You May Have Here is some supplemental information that can give you a better understanding of the Praxis tests. What do the Praxis tests measure? The Praxis tests measure the specific knowledge and skills that beginning teachers need. The tests do not measure an individual’s disposition toward teaching or potential for success, nor do they measure your actual teaching ability. The assessments are designed to be comprehensive and inclusive but are limited to what can be covered in a finite number of questions and question types. Teaching requires many complex skills that are typically measured in other ways, including classroom observation, video recordings, and portfolios. Ranging from Agriculture to World Languages, there are more than 80 Praxis tests, which contain selectedresponse questions or constructed-response questions, or a combination of both. Who takes the tests and why? Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) to evaluate individuals for entry into teacher education programs. The assessments are generally taken early in your college career. Many states also require Core Academic Skills test scores as part of their teacher licensing process. Individuals entering the teaching profession take the Praxis content and pedagogy tests as part of the teacher licensing and certification process required by many states. In addition, some professional associations and organizations require Praxis Subject Assessments for professional licensing. Do all states require these tests? The Praxis tests are currently required for teacher licensure in approximately 40 states and United States territories. These tests are also used by several professional licensing agencies and by several hundred colleges and universities. Teacher candidates can test in one state and submit their scores in any other state that requires Praxis testing for licensure. You can find details at www.ets.org/praxis/states. What is licensure/certification? Licensure in any area—medicine, law, architecture, accounting, cosmetology—is an assurance to the public that the person holding the license possesses sufficient knowledge and skills to perform important occupational activities safely and effectively. In the case of teacher licensing, a license tells the public that the individual has met predefined competency standards for beginning teaching practice. Because a license makes such a serious claim about its holder, licensure tests are usually quite demanding. In some fields, licensure tests have more than one part and last for more than one day. Candidates for licensure in all fields plan intensive study as part of their professional preparation. Some join study groups, others study alone. But preparing to take a licensure test is, in all cases, a professional activity. Because a licensure exam surveys a broad body of knowledge, preparing for a licensure exam takes planning, discipline, and sustained effort. Why does my state require the Praxis tests? Your state chose the Praxis tests because they assess the breadth and depth of content—called the “domain”— that your state wants its teachers to possess before they begin to teach. The level of content knowledge, reflected in the passing score, is based on recommendations of panels of teachers and teacher educators in The Praxis® Study Companion 42 Appendix: Other Questions You May Have each subject area. The state licensing agency and, in some states, the state legislature ratify the passing scores that have been recommended by panels of teachers. How were the tests developed? E T S consulted with practicing teachers and teacher educators around the country during every step of the Praxis test development process. First, E T S asked them what knowledge and skills a beginning teacher needs to be effective. Their responses were then ranked in order of importance and reviewed by hundreds of teachers. After the results were analyzed and consensus was reached, guidelines, or specifications, for the selectedresponse and constructed-response tests were developed by teachers and teacher educators. Following these guidelines, teachers and professional test developers created test questions that met content requirements and E T S Standards for Quality and Fairness.* When your state adopted the research-based Praxis tests, local panels of teachers and teacher educators evaluated each question for its relevance to beginning teachers in your state. During this “validity study,” the panel also provided a passing-score recommendation based on how many of the test questions a beginning teacher in your state would be able to answer correctly. Your state’s licensing agency determined the final passing-score requirement. E T S follows well-established industry procedures and standards designed to ensure that the tests measure what they are intended to measure. When you pass the Praxis tests your state requires, you are proving that you have the knowledge and skills you need to begin your teaching career. How are the tests updated to ensure the content remains current? Praxis tests are reviewed regularly. During the first phase of review, E T S conducts an analysis of relevant state and association standards and of the current test content. State licensure titles and the results of relevant job analyses are also considered. Revised test questions are then produced following the standard test development methodology. National advisory committees may also be convened to review and revise existing test specifications and to evaluate test forms for alignment with the specifications. How long will it take to receive my scores? Scores for tests that do not include constructed-response questions are available on screen immediately after the test. Scores for tests that contain constructed-response questions or essays aren’t available immediately after the test because of the scoring process involved. Official score reports are available to you and your designated score recipients approximately two to three weeks after the test date for tests delivered continuously, or two to three weeks after the testing window closes for other tests. See the test dates and deadlines calendar at www. ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates for exact score reporting dates. Can I access my scores on the web? All test takers can access their test scores via My Praxis Account free of charge for one year from the posting date. This online access replaces the mailing of a paper score report. The process is easy—simply log into My Praxis Account at www.ets.org/praxis and click on your score report. If you do not already have a Praxis account, you must create one to view your scores. Note: You must create a Praxis account to access your scores, even if you registered by mail or phone. *E T S Standards for Quality and Fairness (2014, Princeton, N.J.) are consistent with the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, industry standards issued jointly by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (2014, Washington, D.C.). The Praxis® Study Companion 43 Your teaching career is worth preparing for, so start today! Let the Praxis® Study Companion guide you. To search for the Praxis test prep resources that meet your specific needs, visit: www.ets.org/praxis/testprep To purchase official test prep made by the creators of the Praxis tests, visit the E T S Store: www.ets.org/praxis/store Copyright © 2016 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. E T S, the E T S logo, PRAXis, and GRE are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (E T S). MEASURING THE POWER OF LEARNING is a trademark of ETS. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
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