Graduate School

The Praxis: What You Need To Know

 {This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience.}
Slide1

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:

IMG_0148 IMG_0149 IMG_0150 IMG_0151 IMG_0152

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:

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 1.20.04 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 1.51.12 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 6.28.58 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 6.54.35 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 5.25.25 PM

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

Do you love all things SLP?

Enter your email below to get the Speechy Musings newsletter. Once you sign up, you'll get a free handout explaining test scores to parents! Woo!

Shannon

You Might Also Like

Previous Story
Next Story

51 Comment

  1. Reply
    slpsummer
    October 20, 2013 at 12:10 AM

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

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      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!

      1. Reply
        Brina
        September 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        Im just getting in the field and I need help im attending Idaho State on line. Wow, im taking the prerequisites know its hard if any of you have attended this program please contact me. Im in need..m

        1. Reply
          Lauren
          January 12, 2016 at 8:01 PM

          I completed my degree through ISU! One year in person and one online. Email me if you need anything!
          Bigskyspeech@gmail.com

        2. Reply
          Lauren
          January 14, 2016 at 4:49 PM

          Hi Brina,
          I did one year of the ISU program in person and one year online. I would love to help you out in any way. Jude Jones can provide you with my email address. Just ask for Lauren’s email address and she should know what you are talking about.

      2. Reply
        Brina
        September 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        Im just getting in the field and I need help im attending Idaho State on line. Wow, im taking the prerequisites know its hard if any of you have attended this program please contact me. Im in need..m

  2. Reply
    Mary Genovese
    October 20, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    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.

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      You are amazing!! Thank you!! Good luck to your daughter. I appreciate you sharing my blog!

  3. Reply
    Stacey Henry
    October 20, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    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.

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      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. Reply
    All Y'all Need
    October 20, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    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

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 21, 2013 at 7:20 PM

      Thanks! Yes.. I was so happy I didn’t have to wait!

  5. Reply
    Nanette
    October 20, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    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!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 21, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Thank you so much! You are so nice 🙂

  6. Reply
    Emily
    October 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    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?

    1. Reply
      Emily
      October 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Also forgot to say congrats!!!

      1. Reply
        Shannon
        October 21, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Thanks! 🙂

    2. Reply
      Shannon
      October 21, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      I would recommend taking it as early as you feel confident! Although, I should note that most testing booklets/professional resources say to wait after your are finished with your classes. Most of my classmates are taking it over winter break!

  7. Reply
    Megan
    October 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    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!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      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. Reply
    Nicole Lopez
    October 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    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!!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      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. Reply
    Rachel
    December 10, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    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!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      December 10, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      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. Reply
    Calli
    April 5, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    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!!!!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      April 5, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      THANK YOU!! So glad it was helpful!

  11. Reply
    Munni
    June 25, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    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!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      June 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      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. Reply
    Paige
    August 15, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    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?

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      August 27, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      I found out right away!

  13. Reply
    Sherri Coker
    September 2, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    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?

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      September 2, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      Yes I do think all the studying from the Praxis helped on comps! I did well on both! 🙂

  14. Reply
    Liz
    September 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    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!!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 6, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      I honestly didn’t look much at the newer one but the blue one worked fine for me 🙂

  15. Reply
    Matt
    October 20, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    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??

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      October 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      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. Reply
    alexia
    November 13, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    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…

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      November 16, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Yes! Very, very similar! I think I gave my exact scores above so check that out!

  17. Reply
    Sherri Coker
    December 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    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!!!!!

  18. Reply
    Amy
    January 10, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    I have been out of the field for a number of years due to medical problems, but in the meantime my certification became inactive & I’d have to retake the Praxis if I want to be able to go back. I graduated 30 years ago. I knew the information then & remember the basics, but lots have changed. Do you think it would possible to learn what you need to know to pass the test reading & learning from the review books or would have have to go back to school?

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      January 12, 2015 at 6:18 PM

      I think you could totally do it! Honestly, your best bet is to take the practice tests from ETS as they provide the best guess for what you might get as a score. Good luck!

  19. Reply
    Molly
    February 13, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    I am taking the Praxis in 8 weeks after a 10 year break in working. With the computer version of the test, if you are unsure of an answer to a question, can you skip it and go back to it later? Do they allow you to bring pencil and paper to the test site?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      February 14, 2015 at 12:52 PM

      Yes to both questions! You can go back and re-look at the whole test and/or specific questions if you have time. You are also provided with scratch paper and a pencil! Good luck!!

  20. Reply
    Shruthi
    February 23, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    Hey Shannon, it is a great blog and I feel lucky to have found this. Preparing for my praxis and your blog did give a lot of info.. Thank you and keep up the good work 🙂

    1. Reply
      Shruthi
      March 2, 2015 at 2:23 PM

      Hey Shannon.. the link that you have given http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/PRAXIS/pdf/0330.pdf says page not found.. if you have the ebook will you be able to pass it on??

  21. Reply
    Carrie
    March 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    If you’re looking for more tips specific to the new Praxis exam (5331), head on over to: https://slpsaywhat.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/praxis-5331-tips-study-guide/ !

  22. Reply
    Nathalye Fasci
    June 12, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Hi! Just read this and saw the part about your free week subscription to slpexam.com. How were you able to get this? I am starting to study now and was wondering if this was available to everyone? Thanks!

  23. Reply
    Atiya K Clymer
    April 10, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    This post was SOOOOOOO helpful! I actually took the Praxis exam when I was in grad school and successfully passed! However, I never applied for my CCCs and joined ASHA (my state doesn’t require membership or ASHA certification to obtain employment as a SLP). Now, 15 years later, I am applying for certification and I am have to take the exam again according to ASHA’s requirements. Yes I am an effective and successful SLP, but I haven’t studied for ANYTHING in years and sitting in front of the review book is like staring at hieroglyphics. Your tips are so great and helpful. Thank you

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      April 10, 2016 at 4:13 PM

      So glad they were helpful for you!! Thanks for commenting! Have a fabulous day!

  24. Reply
    joe
    July 10, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Very helpful. Signed up for my test next month.

  25. […] field. With posts where Shannon touches on practical advice for current graduate SLP students and what everyone needs to know about taking (and passing) the Praxis for SLP, you need to bookmark this blog […]

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.