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What Is The Easy Way To Pass The Praxis PLT 7-12?

When you are eager to begin teaching, the Praxis Professional Learning and Teaching 7-12 Exam should not stand in your way!

There may be no easy way to pass your Praxis PLT, but there is a best way!

For teachers who are looking to pass the PLT 7-12 (5624) the first time—or the second—the best way to ensure you pass is to use great test-taking research as you study, do Praxis II practice test questions and take the actual exam!

Many potential teacher candidates don’t heed that advice. They try to take short-cuts and end up like these test-takers:

  • I took the test twice. . . After studying I passed easily. I wish I would have purchased it [study manual] from the beginning, I had to wait a whole semester to finish because of this test

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ve passed your classes, so you’ll pass this test. This test is on all of your classes COMBINED! You’ve been taking the tests AS YOU WERE TAKING EACH CLASS. This is different!

  • I failed to pay attention to time therefore not even getting to the last case study

This test-taker not only failed to pay attention to time. The candidate failed to understand the scoring and probably failed the test. Why? The case studies are worth 25% of your total score!

  • “I am not a writer. This is a 2 hr essay test”

Just because you want to teach 7-12 grade students doesn’t mean you’re an excellent writer!Even if you are great at writing, are you concise? How long has it been since you’ve taken—and passed—constructed response exams?

It all comes down to this: how can you use this information AND test-taking research to pass the PLT 7-12 on your first attempt?

Follow these three steps! They may not be fast or simple, but they will lead you to succeed in passing The Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 the first time!

Links To Praxis II Practice Tools And Tactics

Step One: Know The Test (Praxis PLT 5624)

The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 tests your knowledge of educational practices as a prospective 7th through 12th grade teacher. Whether you hope to teach math, agriculture, English, or special education, the material tested is NOT about your specific subject area. It’s about the “art, science, and profession” of teaching, or PEDAGOGY.

The Praxis 5624 is made up of 4 questions in short answer format and 70 questions in multiple choice format.

You are allowed two hours to show what you know in these areas:

  • students as learners (22.5%)
  • instructional process (22.5%)
  • assessment (15%)
  • professional development, leadership and community (15%)

You’ll be given 4 instructional scenarios to analyze for the written short-answer portion. Those constructed response questions will be asked about the four topics listed above, but THEY ACCOUNT FOR 25% OF THE TOTAL SCORE!

Let’s face it: any of the four categories above are just vague topics! How do you find out what’s REALLY on the test so you can find the best study materials?

  1. Get the test specs from ETS
  2. Only after completing the next checklist should you try to find study materials and practice tests that will help you pass the test

Here’s your checklist of things to do:

  • Start at the Educational Testing System (ETS) Study Companion pages found here: https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5624.pdf
  • Read the WHOLE section “Learn About Your Test” (*It’s 9 PAGES! Read Carefully!)
  • This is the MAP of the pedagogy, or “the art, science, or profession of teaching” on the test
  • Once you have read the WHOLE 9 pages, print them out
  • Reread the section. Use a pencil. Mark what you DON’T know AND what you DO know:
    • a question mark ? = I’m not sure I know this
    • a check mark √ = I know this
  • If you’re like most teacher candidates, you will have A LOT of question marks: you UNDERSTAND the theories and terms, but you need a refresher

 

Now you know WHAT is on the test AND what you have to study!

You are one step closer to getting the study guides and practice tests that will help you to learn the material for your Praxis Professional Learning and Teaching 7-12 Exam!

Step Two: Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses

If you followed the checklist above, you already have a head start on knowing your strengths and weaknesses as you prepare to take the Praxis Professional Learning and Teaching 7-12 Exam (5624).

Now is the time to find out your test-taking skills. Use these questions to focus on TEST skills:

  • Do you have trouble taking timed tests
  • Do you second-guess your first instincts when answering multiple choice questions
  • Are you able to understand what constructed response questions are really asking
  • Have you had trouble in the past with “tricky” questions
  • What is your strategy when you KNOW you are spending too long on one question
  • Are you able to write short answers clearly using key words that show your understanding
  • Do you know how your test will be scored AND do you know what that means for YOU

Each of these questions will help you to see your strengths and weaknesses as a test-taker.

And YOUR honest answers to these questions will help you to choose the test-prep materials that will lead YOU to pass the Praxis PLT 7-12 the first time.

Step Three: Put In The Time To Select AND Use The Best Test-Prep Materials

There are so many test-prep materials available: study guides, study manuals, practice tests, and combinations. Which should YOU choose?

If you’ve completed Steps One and Two, you have done most of the research already.

Now, match YOUR needs with the materials available.

DO

  1. Look for a guide that is thorough, even if it is boring! Your #1 goal is to pass the test!
    • It matches the 9-page PDF document in its terms and explanations.
    • It includes current acronyms and theories.
    • It bold-faces the terms you need to know.
  2. Find a guide that is organized like the test and is easy FOR YOU to use.
    • It has sections on students as learners, instructional processes, assessment, and professional development, leadership and community
    • Check carefully so it reflects the theories and strategies YOU need to review.
    • A Table of Contents and/or Index lets you find that information fast.
  3. Check out the constructed response section (there better be one!) for tips on the essay portion.
    • Is there a scoring rubric? Is the rubric explained?
    • Is there at least one example of a strong constructed response answer?
    • Is there an explanation of WHY the answer is well-written?
  4. Find a study guide that allows you to practice taking the test! (*Researchers find this to be one of the most helpful tools in improving test-takers’ scores!)
    • Is there at least one full-length test?
    • Are there easy to understand explanations of BOTH correct AND incorrect answers?
    • Are there “practice” constructed response/essay questions for each section?
    • Is the scoring of the test explained?
  5. Be picky about typographical or grammatical errors!
    • A typo may be a simple mistake, but these guides are NOT cheap!
    • If you find typos or grammar errors, can you trust the answers?

DON’T

  1. Buy a guide without looking at reviews! But consider YOUR needs!
  2. Be “tricked” into purchasing an outdated study guide.
    • Look for the copyright date, but check the information as well;
    • The acronyms change; the theories change; the strategies change; and the test
  3. Think that all study guides were written by people who know the Praxis PLT 7-12 (5624).
    • The PLT has been around long enough that study guide authors should KNOW the test;
    • Just because the it’s published by a big-name company doesn’t mean it’s a good guide!
  4. Expect that it’s going to be a fun read. It may be dull but its purpose is to help you pass!

Look for this in practice tests:

  1. Sections organized just as the real Praxis PLT 7-12 is organized
  2. Questions with the right amount of difficulty (check sample questions at the ETS site for comparison)
  3. No typos: if there are typos, there may be other errors;
  4. Thorough explanations of both the correct AND the incorrect answers (feedback);
  5. Thorough explanations of the scoring of both parts of the test (did you know you’re not penalized for wrong answers?)
  6. Up-to-date version, complete with current learner theories and teaching strategies;
  7. At least three opportunities to take the test (*Research says the more you take, the more you retain for the real test—and the more you can practice pacing!);
  8. Each practice test should offer sample constructed response questions AND sample answers

No one can make it fast and easy, but here are a few hints from real test-takers on how to use your study time and test-prep materials:

  • Many test-takers say that 4-6 weeks is a good time to begin using a study guide.
  • Plan to use your study guide every day for a set amount of time.
  • 20, 40 or 60 minutes at a time is better than a six-hour cram session.
  • Read through explanations of the answers; many test-takers say this is key to passing!
  • Practice active reading: find a good study space, have a purpose for reading, and use a highlighter as you read.
Celebrate Your Success

Once you’ve selected your Praxis PLT 7-12 materials, and USED them to YOUR best advantage, there’s only one thing left to do!

Celebrate!

The work of finding your strengths and weaknesses and knowing both the material AND the test itself means YOU do NOT have to spend extra time and money on retakes.

Instead, you can spend YOUR time planning for your first year of teaching!

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