The dreaded Praxis. It's kept many a teaching hopeful up at night. It's that final step before the Department of Education will accept your application for certification and licensure.
It's like a superhero showdown meets reality TV meets standardized testing.
Meets a panic attack.
We've got some tips to help you pass (that doesn't include using an ear monitor). And hey, you may find yourself giving similar advice to your students before their SAT, ACT, or other exams.
Why? Because they work.
We know, we know—thank you, Captain Obvious and all that. But for real, brush up on your knowledge and watch your P's and Q's on this one. Sure, you worked your buns off during school and you have years of knowledge under your belt, and you're probably golden if you've got a respectable GPA. But study anyway. You'd rather know you did well than live with doubt.
You can find study groups within your program to reinforce content, but the best way to really get to know the test is to peruse the ETS website. Additionally, you'll want to check our Praxis prep.
These two oh-so-stellar websites will help you understand how the test is designed and how questions are structured. And it's your lucky day: Shmoop also provides practice questions so you can get a real-world sense of how you'll do. This level of comfort will help you to feel more prepared before you ever set foot in the testing room.
2. Get a good night's sleep.
Thanks, Mom; we learned that in second grade. But hey—sometimes it gets forgotten when you've got a big, grown-up, profesh-style thing to study for. So, if you're finding it hard to keep your eyes open in front of the computer screen, then you have a serious problem. And we mean S-E-R-I-O-U-S.
Getting a good night's sleep will help you to think clearly and logically, and you'll most likely avoid a cranky mood or freezing under pressure. Mom was right all along.
3. Eat breakfast.
What's worse than being sleepy? Getting hangry.
Now some folks say they can't eat breakfast because it makes them sick. If this is you, don't eat it. Or else, eat a banana and call it an early lunch. Because in general it's going to help you out to eat something nutritious. The Praxis II exam can be as many as 4 hours long, so your brain is probably going to start craving tater tots at some point during that time.
4. Bring a snack.
Hey, you can always put it in the locker, and it'll be especially tasty if you're someone who skipped out on breakfast. During your break, you can sneak out and nourish yourself if necessary. We're no doctors, but we're guessing our medical friends would say you should definitely do this if you have diabetes or are prone to hypoglycemia.
As for the rest of you: take a snack even if you don't think you'll need it. An uneaten snack is better than "I wish I'd brought my snack because I'm so hungry and it's all I can think about and what is this test doing in front of me?"
Yeah, you're in the middle of the test. Which means that now is the time to inhale deeply, drop your shoulders, and exhale.
If you're stressed, your brain won't be as flexible (at least that's Shmoop's theory), so help calm your fight-or-flight system with a deep inhale and slow exhale. And get up and stretch if you need to. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
Those are the things we did to get ourselves out of paying another testing fee. Who wants to take a test twice if they don't have to? Not us, and we're guessing not you.