Studying for the Praxis Core test is hard work. There are so many topics for each section of the test that you need to master in order to do well. Also, you probably haven’t used many of these skills in years. Working with a tutor can make the study process easier and more effective.
Many students come to me frustrated and intimidated because they are overwhelmed by the prospect of studying for this challenging test, or they have taken the test one or more times and have not passed it.
My Approach to Tutoring for the Praxis Core
The first thing I do is to let my new students know they are supported, and that I will use all of my resources to help them get a passing score. This is important because we learn better when we are not anxious or worried.
Knowing that you will be guided through the study process by someone who has experience with the test and helping others successfully take the test is comforting for many of my students.
I then focus on creating a comprehensive study plan for my student. I gather information on past Praxis test results, practice tests, classes taken previously, self-assessments of skills by the student and conversations with the student.
During the first study session, I usually start with a set of questions that cover a variety of questions. I don’t start with a lesson because I want to see how my new student handles different types of questions.
By starting with a short mock test, I am able to gleam additional information on their weaknesses and strengths very quickly. Often my assessment determines that a different set of skills needs to be focused on than my student initially requested.
This difference happens for a variety of reasons, but primarily it is because students often want to focus on learning more advanced concepts thinking that this study plan will boost their score. I find that the more advanced concepts have 1-2 questions each, while basic skills, like working with fractions, are tested indirectly much more often.
Focusing first on basic skills then on more advanced concepts will lead to a greater score increase. This increase could be the difference between passing and failing the test, and let’s be honest you just want to get pass this test, so you can start your career in teaching.
I created a Trello board that makes creating your study plan easier as I have compiled all of the learning objectives of the Math section, and I listed a few different ways that you can use the board to maximize your study time. You can gain access to my board by clicking on the link above.
What Makes a Student Successful
After working with many students, I have found that the most successful students were not necessarily more skilled. Instead, they were more dedicated, focused and resilient.
Among my students, the must successful test takers made studying for the Praxis Core their first priority. They dedicated 25-40 hours per subject to studying before scheduling the test. I know that this can be a challenge when you have school, work and family responsibilities, but it will be worth it.
I see a lot of students who study for 1-2 weeks before taking their first test, and then they are disappointed by their scores. The same group of students will then retake the test every 3-4 weeks. They feel worse and worse with each failing score.
By the time that they come to me they are dejected and their confidence is shattered. They are so stressed that they cannot focus enough to learn effectively.
I recommend practicing mindfulness to calm their emotions, so they can concentrate on doing their best. I also focus on lifting their confidence by celebrating the small victories that happen while studying.