The Praxis: What You Need To Know

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Due to a variety of personal reasons, I was impulsive. I signed up to take the Praxis in October of my second year of graduate school! Ahh!! So, I thought I’d share my experiences and describe how I passed!! (yay!!) Sorry this is kind of a really long post!

My General Timeline of Studying:

Eight Weeks (before the exam): Ordered a Praxis review book. Below I’ve linked to the 2 books I’ve seen used most often. I used the blue one (because I’m really cheap… it’s 2nd edition) but most of my classmates used the other. Additionally, if you want more practice exams, you could get the Mosby’s book as well. You can see a pretty long preview of some of the quizzes on Google here or check out the Amazon reviews below. I didn’t get this but from the Google preview, the questions were much harder than the ones on the test itself (but it’s a great review!).

 

Six Weeks: Signed up for the test! To do this, click here and check out the ETS website. I found it to be kind of a confusing process (finding the codes to where everything should be sent). FYI: The code for ASHA is 5031 (unless they change it!).

Six Weeks: Made a calendar and started a Praxis Binder. Check it both, and some other pictures, below:

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I wrote the topic I would review/study each day. I did this a week at a time (you can definitely see weeks I didn’t have time to study… dang school!). That way, if I struggled on a topic, I could do it again another week. Typically, I’d study the corresponding chapter in my review book and then take the quiz at the end of the chapter. If I did well on the quiz, I didn’t plan another day on that topic. If I felt lost or did poorly on the quiz, I rewrote that topic for another day. I call this phase my study phase.

Four Weeks: I took a full-length practice exam. You can purchase these here from ETS. This was a fantastic confidence booster, and I feel like these practice tests prepared me for the exam more than anything else! I got a 700. I printed both the test and the explanations of the answers. I went through one by one (even on the questions I got right the first time) and read the answers, looking up anything I had questions on. During this time, I tended to stay away from my Praxis review book. Instead, I printed off things from the internet or looked back at class notes at topics I did poorly on in this practice exam. For example, I definitely knew I didn’t remember all of the dysarthrias. So, I printed off information on each and studied that for a day.

Three Weeks: I took another practice exam! I had this feeling that I had gotten lucky and received a higher score than I really earned on the previous practice exam. To be honest, I had guessed on quite a few! On this exam, I got a 700 again. How about that for consistency?! Again, I went through the exam. I read every question over again, took notes on the exam itself, studied information I didn’t really know and guessed, and thought through every question.

Two Weeks: I started a week long membership to slpexam.com. This website is filled with practice questions, exams, videos, audio (that you can upload to your computer or iPod!!), and more! (if interested in hearing more about this site, read my review in the Resources section below) Due to my class schedule, this is when I really got serious and started spending more than 2-3 hours per week on Praxis studying. I studied every day, pretty much putting everything else on hold for a while! I ate meals and listened to audio (from the site above). I took practice test after practice test. I made flashcards. I studied the practice exams again. I reread parts of my Praxis book again.

One Week: Panic! I will be honest… For some reason, the Praxis stressed me more than pretty much anything else in grad school. Everywhere I looked was warnings about taking it too early (which I was doing…) so this week I crammed and felt very in over my head!

Test Day:

I got to the testing site really early (per usual for me). I ate lunch at a Panera nearby and attempted to walk around some stores for awhile but I was feeling pretty anxious. I chugged a coffee, went in early and was able to start a little early which was nice! Note: Writing that long statement is cursive is absolutely ridiculous (and really hard!!). Once I sat down to take the test, I felt so much better (compared to an hour earlier). I wasn’t 100% confident while taking the test, but I kept a list of every question I thought I got wrong on scratch paper. Every time I felt stressed, I looked back at the list and reminded myself that I only had to get like 70% or something and I hadn’t written down 30% of the questions! :) It took me an hour to take the test (I’m a fast test taker) and THIS is when my anxiety kicked back in! What do I do with the second hour? Do I go back through questions? Do I just submit it? I stared at the submit screen for what felt like a year, and submitted the test!

All I wanted to see was a 6 (a score in the 600s). I got 720 and it took me a minute to realize that it was good!! I got up and left the room and SPRINTED to my car to call my mom! Might have cried a little bit… I was just so happy!!

Things You Should Read/Listen To:

ASHA Code of Ethics

Classifications of Aphasia

Information from ASHA on each disorder. The page for Apraxia is here as an example!

Dysarthria Information

Speech & Language Developmental Milestones

Introduction to Spectrogram Analysis

Beginners Guide to Phonetics Part 1

Resources:

Free practice test with 10 questions. Give you correlated Praxis score to see if you would have passed. Can purchase bundles of practice exams! Graphs your results. http://praxisspeech.com/

Ten example questions from ETS. http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/PRAXIS/taag/0330/mc_questions.htm

Speech Language Pathology Praxis Study Companion, a free download! http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/PRAXIS/pdf/0330.pdf

And don’t forget about the textbooks I mentioned above, and the ETS Practice Exams!! There were word for word questions from the practice exams on my exam and they were the most helpful of any preparation I did!

I was lucky enough to get a free week subscription to slpexam.com to check it out/review it. While much of the Praxis is comprised of long case study type questions and this website is not, it was a good website for reminding me of my weaker areas and helping me think through several tricky topics! I would recommend signing up for their free emails and sampler daily quizzes (for a week) to get a feel for the site. If you like it, consider a subscription! After each test you take, the website provides you with a spread of your scores in each content area. Check out some screen shots below:

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Have any questions?? Let me know! Good luck!!

Lovely comments so far...

  1. What’s this about cursive? Is there a handwritten component? Is it all on paper, instead of on computer like the GRE?

    • You can take either a computer or a paper version. The cursive I’m talking about (and I’m sure you did it for the GRE and forgot) is when you’re checking in. You have to rewrite/copy a phrase about not sharing test material with others etc… but you have to write the whole thing in cursive! I realized I have forgotten how to write in cursive haha. :) But no, none of the test (as long as you choose the computer version) is handwritten or anything!

  2. Mary Genovese says:

    This is a truly amazing post! I have been an SLP for 32 years and have always loved the field. Things were different when I took the praxis (it wasn’t even called the praxis) but it was challenging and stressful and I didn’t have a detailed study plan. I did very well but would have so valued this organizational blueprint for studying. My daughter is a senior in college and is applying to grad school for speech. I will definitely direct her to your website- thank you so much.

  3. Stacey Henry says:

    Thanks for sharing and for having this blog. I was wondering are questions on the Praxis more like the Mosby Practice book or the McKibben book? They appear pretty different. Just curious.

    • You’re welcome!! I’d say they are probably more similar to Mosby in style, but McKibben in difficulty. Really, to get a good feel for the questions on the Praxis, I’d check out the practice exams and/or the study guides from ETS that have sample questions! Good luck!

  4. Congrats! I had to wait a couple of weeks for my score to come through the mail. What a great post for everyone going through this experience!

    All Y’all Need

  5. Awesome post re: Praxis exam preparation. I have been a SLP since 1998 and remember very well staying up late preparing for this exam. You have certainly gone out of your way to help other future SLPs! Kudos to you!

  6. Thank you for this post. When is the most ideal time to take the praxis/when do you recommend taking it? Would it be best before or after comprehensive exams?

  7. I was wondering if you every time you purchase a practice test if it’s different or how it knows which one you’ve already been given? I purchased my first one from the same place as you. I am worried about buying another practice test to take and getting the same one. Thanks!

    • Hi! No, each time you purchase the practice exam it is the same. There is two because the study guide you can purchase through ETS contains the second Praxis exam! Hope that makes sense. Good luck!

  8. Nicole Lopez says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for your information. I take my exam on the 9th of December…freaking out! But i had a question. If you purchase 2 practice tests, do you have to use them right then and there or if you purchase them are they available when you are ready to take them? Or do you suggest to buy one and then when you take another one buy it then?? Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Nicole! Once you purchase the practice exams from ETS, you can download them and keep them on your computer forever!! :) So you can look them over, print them, take them on your computer, etc… anything you want! Good luck on your exam! You’ll do great! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  9. Thank you so much for your information! It was very helpful! I had a question and I am not sure if you know or not, but some people have said the paper based tests were easier than the computer based tests? And that the ETS practice exams they give us are from the paper based tests? did you feel like the computer based was more difficult or are they similar to the paper based ones? Thank you for your information! Congrats on passing it! I take mine soon!

    • I had heard that before as well, but I don’t think it is true! I did better on my computer exam than I did on the paper practice ones! :) Good luck on your test! Just stay as relaxed as possible!

  10. As a first year graduate student this is extremely helpful!!! I love your blog, all your valuable information and resources! I really appreciate your time and effort you put in to help us fellow grad students!! KUDOS!!!!

  11. Thank you for this blog post! This is so very helpful! How did you come up with your study schedule? Did you use the Advanced Review book to identify specific topics you would cover each day in order? I only saw the one month example of your study schedule which is SO extremely helpful so I’m trying to identify what topics I should cover the other weeks :)

    Thanks again for taking your time to write this blog!!!!! I really appreciate it!

    • Thanks for your kind words! Yes, that is exactly what I did. I tried to think of my weaknesses, what classes I’d taken, and the topics in the book. I only scheduled the beginning and then filled the end with topics that I didn’t think I totally understood the first time through. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

  12. Thanks for posting & congrats on passing! My test date is quickly approaching! Ahhhh! I just had a quick question for you, do you find out your score immediately following the test or how long do you have to sweat it out to find out if you passed or not?

  13. Sherri Coker says:

    Hi Shannon! Great blog . . . thank you for the great ideas for studying and preparing for the Praxis. I have 9 months to study for our comprehensive exams in May 2015, so I think this would be a great help for that! Did you do great on your comps as well?

  14. Hi ! Like everyone else has said, your blog is awesome and so so extremely helpful!!

    I was just wondering, did you find the blue book (2nd edition) much different than the newer version? I’m always so uneasy when it comes to buying the older editions because I’m afraid I’m missing something. (Even tho I’m a broke student and I’d much prefer the cheapest books possible) I just want to know ahead by someone whose used it what exactly is in the book!

    Thank you!!

  15. Hi! I’m taking my PRAXIS exam this upcoming December so I’ve started studying. I’m a bit nervous about it though. Your site is extremely helpful though. Thanks. Do you know where else I can get practice exams? What do you think helped you the most? and is the slpexam.com a great site to help in preparation? do you recommend??

    • I think doing the practice exams helped the most (from ETS). I’m not sure how much any of it helped in reality (not many, if any, questions I practiced were on the exam) but it helps to just get your brain in that mode if that makes sense. Good luck!

  16. Did you find that the scored you got on the practice tests were fairly similar to your actual score, or not really?
    I still have a while to go, I’m about to finish my first semester of grad school. But I am interested in starting to soak my brain in the information that will be on the test as for me it works better to see things repeatedly and understand them before I actually try to memorize them…

  17. Sherri Coker says:

    Shannon I noticed in the pics you posted of your notes / study schedule – your hand-written notes appear to cover very random subjects. Did you make your notes from the practice tests? Seems like it would be a good way to get an idea of the types of things they deem as important. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL!!!!!

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