Test Preparation Workshop
November 1, 2008
No Child Left Behind Act of
Requires all teachers in public
schools to be “Highly Qualified”
Full state teacher certification
Subject matter competency
Subject Matter Competency
Individual states choose how to
test subject matter competency
Utah uses the Praxis II test
developed by Educational Testing
Utah State Law
Requires educators to take the
Praxis II exam in any subject
they wish to teach
Here’s the good news…!
Any educator who scores below the
final Utah state score will be issued a
non-renewable conditional Level 1
If the educator fails to pass the
Praxis during the three-year duration
of the conditional license, the license
School of Education
Must register for Praxis II exam
before student teaching
Praxis II not Praxis I
Content only – no pedagogical
Must take Praxis II for any
subject area in which you plan
How Do I Register for the
Be sure to include Westminster
College and Utah State Office of
They assess content knowledge you
have learned in order to teach it to
They are comprehensive—covering
materials you may have learned in
several courses during more than one
Content questions may be embedded in
Content knowledge Praxis exams are all
Very few simple identification questions of
the sort “Which of the following authors
wrote Moby Dick?”
Rationale—prospective teachers should be
able to analyze, synthesize, and apply
knowledge to specific examples.
So . . . It might take longer to respond and
questions may take longer to read.
Learn What The Test Covers—See
specifications in the Tests at a Glance at
Assess How Well You Know The Content.
Collect The Materials You Need to Study.
Plan And Organize Your Time.
Study. [See TAAG for detailed test descriptions, sample questions
with answers and explanations, tips on pacing, guessing]
Know the Multiple-Choice Question Types
“Which of the following . . . “
“Complete the statement . . . “
“Roman Numeral Choices”
“Least, Except, Not”
“Graphs, Tables, Reading Passages”
This format limits your choice of answers
only to the list given.
“Which of the following” is a flavor made from beans?
You are given an incomplete statement.
You must select the choice that will make
the completed statement correct.
“The underlying concepts of division most likely will be
understood by the greatest number of children if the
a) presents the concept of division in several ways
b) thoroughly explains the theory of division
c) provides one easy step-by-step procedure for dividing
d) stresses the everyday usefulness of understanding
This format is used when there can be more
than one correct answer from the list.
The term “gender gap” is used in a political science
context to refer to differences in survey response data
from women and men in which of the following areas?
The relative importance of domestic versus foreign-policy issues
Attitudes regarding such social issues as gun control or
Specific foreign-policy issues such as military issues
I and III only
I, II, and III
This type of question is used in situations in which there are
several good solutions, or ways to approach something, but
also a clearly wrong way to do something.
You must be very careful! It’s easy to forget that you are
selecting the negative!
These words will be in ALL CAPS!!
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 did all of the
a) Establish a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour
b) Require the hiring of women and members of minority
groups for some government jobs
c) Fix the workweek at 40 hours
d) Forbid the hiring of workers under the age of sixteen
The important thing to keep in mind is to
answer the question that is asked . . .
So, you might want to read the question
first and then look at the graph or chart
or reading passage.
You may not need to spend a great
deal of time trying to understand a
graph or passage fully when you are
asked a very specific question about it.
How many of the countries shown in the graph produced
more crude oil in 1975 than in 1974?
New formats are developed from time to
As always, read the directions carefully.
Then ask yourself what you are supposed
to be looking for, and what details are
given in the question that help you find
The following question asks you to analyze teacher goals
and actions intended to lead to the achievement of the
goal. Decide whether the action makes it likely or unlikely to
lead to the achievement of the goal.
GOAL: To increase the participation of low-achieving
middle-school students in whole-class discussions.
ACTION: Instead of asking for volunteers, the teacher
randomly calls on students to discuss homework assignments.
a) Likely, because students who feel anxiety about being
called on will be more at ease and will pay more
attention to class discussion.
b) Likely, because low-achieving students often hesitate to
volunteer and random questioning will increase
responses from these students.
c) Unlikely, because students in the middle-school grades
prefer to have a choice in responding to discussions.
d) Unlikely, because students’ positive feelings toward the
teacher will decrease.
Okay . . . Let’s take a test!
› Charity Gleason: Secondary
› John Cedarland: Elementary
Formulating a Study Plan
Learn what the test covers
Assess how well you know the
Collect materials to help you
material from the subjects/grades you’ll be teaching
Core curriculum, see http://www.uen.org
Tests at a Glance (TAAG)
ETS Study Guides
Cliffs Notes Test Prep Guides
Formulating a Study Plan
Plan and organize your time
Be familiar with question types
Take advantage of practice tests
and study tips available from