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Test Day tips

Test Day tips for Praxis Math

Here are a bunch of our favorite strategies for making Test Day as successful as possible—we hope you find them useful!
Avoid cramming: Plan to end your review a day or two before the actual test date. Sometimes called "tapering", this method is preferred by marathon runners, and the Praxis is a marathon of the mind, don't you think? Give your brain the recovery time it needs so you'll be refreshed and focused when the clock is ticking.
Make a transit plan: A few days before the test, 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!
Get some rest: Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each of the preceding two nights.
Dress for comfort: Wear comfortable clothes and dress in layers—so you don't get too hot/cold!
Treat yourself to some good food: Have a healthy meal before you take the test—the night before and the morning of.
Stay hydrated and avoid hunger Bring a healthy snack and water with you to the test site.
Bring ID: You'll need to bring an acceptable and valid photo ID with you.
Be patient! Be prepared to stand in line to check in or to wait while other test takers check in.
Go for it! 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.

Time management

Try the "Two Passes" strategy for time management

Many students find this approach helpful:
First pass = Harvest low-hanging fruit: Work your way through the test, doing the questions you immediately know how to do, and skipping questions you find difficult. Keep your eye on the time, and try to finish your first pass with 10 or 15 minutes remaining.
Second pass = Pick your battles: Go back to the beginning of the test, and look more carefully at the questions you skipped during the first pass. Avoid "quicksand" questions that might take you a lot of time, and try to do the questions in ascending order of difficulty.
Leave nothing blank! Your score is based on the number of right answers, so it is to your advantage to answer every question. If you don’t know an answer, try to narrow down the choices, and then guess.

Read all of the choices 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.

Check 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.

Relax, and do your best

Remember that Praxis is a pass/fail test. You can miss a few questions—or leave a few blank—and still 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. What matters is that you meet or exceed the minimum passing score.
You can find passing scores for all states that use the Praxis tests at the ETS website or on the web site of the state for which you are seeking certification/licensure.
Here are a few more Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I guess?

Yes. Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, with no penalty or subtraction for an incorrect choice. When you don’t know the answer to a question, try to eliminate any obviously wrong options 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 the myth that the answers on tests follow patterns. Another myth is that there will never be more than two questions in a row with the correct choice in the same position (e.g.: AA or BB or CC). Neither myth is true. In past years, tests have had three or even four of the same letter in a row. Don't second-guess a choice you think is right because of which position it's in and how that position compares to those of the answers of the questions around it.

Can I write on the scratch paper I am given?

But of course! Top test-takers write down their work on paper for a couple of reasons:
  • Some of the problems are too hard to do in your head!
  • If you come up with an answer that's not an option, you can go back over your work and look for an error, instead of having to start the entire question from the beginning.
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!

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