Praxis Core For Dummies with Online Practice Tests

Praxis Core For Dummies with Online Practice Tests

by Carla C. Kirkland, Chan Cleveland


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Get the confidence you need to ace the Praxis Core

Prepping for the Praxis Core can feel like a pain—but it doesn't have to! Beginning with a thorough overview of the exam to ensure there are no surprises on test day, Praxis Core For Dummies with Online Practice Tests arms you with expert test-taking strategies and gives you access to the types of questions you're likely to encounter on the reading, writing, and mathematics portions of the Praxis Core Academic Skills For Educators exam.

As a future educator, you know how thorough preparation can affect performance—and this is one exam that requires your very best. This hands-on study guide gives you all the study guidance, tried-and-true strategies, and practice opportunities you need to brush up on your strong suits, pinpoint where you need more help, and gain the confidence you need to pass the Praxis Core with flying colors.

  • Get a detailed overview of the exam
  • Take six full-length practice tests (two in the book and four additional tests online)
  • Answer hundreds of practice questions
  • Hone your test-taking skills

This is the ultimate study guide to one of the most important tests you'll ever take.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119382409
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/21/2018
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 107,202
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Carla C. Kirkland, founder and CEO of The Kirkland Group, has helped educators prepare their students for standardized tests for more than 20 years. Chan Cleveland, executive vice president of The Kirkland Group, is an English educator and serves as an educational consultant.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 2

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with the Praxis Core 5

Chapter 1: Previewing the Praxis 7

Why Take the Praxis? 7

Breaking Down the Praxis 8

Knowing what topics are covered 8

Seeing what types of questions you’ll face 9

Understanding How the Test Is Scored 10

Chapter 2: Getting Ready for Test Day 13

Registering for the Test 13

Using Your Time Wisely 14

Budgeting your study time leading up to test day 14

Budgeting your time while taking the test 15

When Test Day Has Arrived 16

Knowing what to bring and what to leave at home 17

Getting familiar with computer testing 17

If You Are Retaking the Test 18

Chapter 3: Practicing the Praxis: Sampling Some Practice Questions 19

Going through the Pre-Assessment Questions 19

Reading practice questions 20

Writing practice questions 23

Mathematics practice questions 25

Looking at the Pre-Assessment Answers 28

Reading answers and explanations 28

Writing answers and explanations 31

Math answers and explanations 33

Assessing Your Results 36

Identifying categories where you struggled 36

Understanding where you went wrong specifically 36

Part 2: Mastering Math Concepts 39

Chapter 4: Count on It: Number and Quantity 41

Working with Integers: Whole Numbers and Their Opposites 41

Doing basic operations with integers 42

Finding factors of whole numbers 43

Employing some helpful divisibility rules 43

Finding multiples of integers 43

Determining the greatest common factor and least common multiple 44

Exponents and square roots 45

Computing with Fractions and Mixed Numbers 46

Simplifying fractions 47

Converting between fractions and mixed numbers 47

Performing basic operations with fractions and mixed numbers 48

Working with Decimals and Percents 50

Converting between decimals and percents 50

Performing basic operations with decimals 51

Understanding the Number Line 52

Interpreting numeration and place values 52

Knowing the basics of order 53

Finding orders of magnitude 54

Finding numbers in sequences 54

Following Orders: The Order of Operations 55

Remembering “GEMDAS” 55

Using the order of operations within itself 56

Reasoning with Quantities 56

Using the two major systems of measurement 56

Converting units of measurement 57

Basic word problems 58

Practice Questions about Number and Quantity 60

Answers and Explanations 61

Chapter 5: Introducing Letters: Algebra and Functions 63

Variables: When Letters Represent Numbers 63

Laying out the terms: Variable terms and expressions 64

Let’s get together: Combining like terms 64

Multiplying and dividing with terms and expressions 65

When variable values are given 67

Working with Equations 68

Solving for x and other variables 68

Undoing addition and subtraction 69

Undoing multiplication and division 70

Multistep equations 70

Proportions 71

Systems of equations 71

Solving for variables in terms of other variables 73

Solving Inequalities 74

Following two more rules when solving inequalities 74

Graphing inequalities 75

Describing solution steps 76

Factoring in Algebra 77

Factoring terms out of bigger terms 77

Using reverse FOIL 77

Decoding Algebra Word Problems 78

Translating English into mathematical language 78

Algebraic word problems 78

Figuring Out Functions 79

Identifying functions 80

Working with functions 81

Thinking Outside the Algebra Box 81

Recognizing relational patterns 81

Algebraic reasoning 82

Practice Questions about Algebra 83

Answers and Explanations 84

Chapter 6: Grasping Geometry Concepts 87

Understanding the Building Blocks of Geometry 87

Getting to the point 88

Defining lines and parts of lines 88

Moving along planes in space 88

Getting the right angles on angles 89

Recognizing congruence 89

Understanding Angle Measures and Relationships 90

Distinguishing degrees of angle measure and naming angles 90

Working with angle relationships 91

Knowing Common Shapes and Their Basic Properties 92

Defining polygons in general 92

Analyzing triangles: Three-sided polygons 92

Identifying facts about quadrilaterals 94

Working with other types of polygons 95

Knowing the basic facts about circles 96

Working with Shapes that Are Alike 96

Forming conclusions about congruent shapes 96

Working with similar shapes 97

Figuring out Geometric Formulas 98

Finding the perimeter 98

Circling the circumference 99

Getting into the area 100

Calculating on the surface: surface area 101

Finding the right volume 103

Combining Shapes 104

Coming together: Shapes that have joined without an invasion 104

Preparing for invasion: When one shape invades another 105

Geometric overlaps and intersections 106

Knowing the Ways of the XY Coordinate Plane 106

Naming coordinate pairs 106

Identifying linear equations and their graphs 107

Using the distance and midpoint formulas 108

Finding meaning in intersecting graphs 109

Transforming coordinate plane figures 109

Touching on Right Triangles 112

Knowing what Pythagoras discovered 113

Working with special right triangles 113

Practice Questions about Geometry 115

Answers and Explanations 116

Chapter 7: Pinning Down Statistics and Probability 117

Representing Data 117

Tables 118

Bar graphs and line graphs 118

Pie charts 120

Stem-and-leaf plots 121

Box-and-whisker plots 122

Venn diagrams 124

Scrambling around scatter plots 125

Loitering around line plots 126

Analyzing Data 127

Combing through comparisons 127

Homing in on the range 127

Measuring arithmetic mean, median, or mode 127

Variably affecting data 129

Scrutinizing samples for data analysis 129

Interpreting linear models 129

Calculating Probability 130

Determining the likelihood of an event 130

Using complements 131

Pointing Out Scientific Notation Facts 131

Practice Questions about Probability and Statistics 132

Answers and Explanations 134

Chapter 8: Test-Taking Strategies for Core Math 135

Using Helpful Shortcuts 135

Solving equations versus determining what must be solved 136

Using estimation and approximation 137

Using the calculator 137

Identifying calculations you can make in your head 137

The art of guessing as a last resort 138

Working backward 139

Narrowing Down Answer Choices 139

How to eliminate obviously wrong answer choices 139

Avoiding the most common wrong answers 141

Tackling the Constructed Response 142

Tips for preparing responses and answering questions 142

Understanding the importance of avoiding careless errors 143

Some proper ways of representing answers 143

Part 3: Refining Your Reading Comprehension Skills 145

Chapter 9: Reading Comprehension: Finding Meaning and Identifying Purpose 147

Previewing the Praxis Reading Test 147

Knowing what the test contains 148

Applying a general strategy 148

Mastering Short-Passage Questions 149

Ferreting out the main idea 149

Discerning the author’s tone and intent 151

Putting vocabulary in context 152

Looking at Long-Passage Questions 153

Purpose and paraphrase 153

Arguments and support 154

Getting the hang of “If” questions 154

Sample questions for long passages 156

Visual- and Quantitative-Information Questions 158

Rethinking charts and graphs 159

Getting graphs 159

Practice Reading-Comprehension Questions 161

Answers and Explanations 164

Chapter 10: Test-Taking Strategies for Core Reading 169

Figuring Out Which to Read First: The Passage or the Question 169

Examining Strategies for the Various Passages 170

Approaching long and short passages 171

Approaching the paired passages 172

Approaching Questions about Charts and Graphs 173

Eliminating Wrong Answers 173

Tips for Slow Readers 174

Part 4: Fine-Tuning Your Writing Skills 177

Chapter 11: Acing the Essay 179

Perusing the Types of Prompts: “Picking a Side” versus “Exploring an Idea” 179

Writing persuasively 180

Sticking to the facts 180

Creating a Solid Essay 180

Making an outline: Essential or overrated? 181

Looking at the sections of your essay 181

Don’t box yourself in: Theses aren’t set in stone 182

Citing the sources 182

Checking out some additional writing pointers 182

Turning a Good Essay into a Great One 182

Adding interesting anecdotes 183

Painting a picture with words 183

Anticipating objections against your position 184

Understanding How the Essay Is Scored 184

Checking Out Some Practice Prompts 185

Prompts for argumentative essays 185

Prompts for informative/explanatory essays 185

Reviewing a Sample Essay 187

Evaluating Your Essay 188

Chapter 12: Giving Grammar a Glance 191

Getting a Grip on the Parts of Speech 191

Finding nouns as subjects and objects 192

Putting verbs to work 192

Using adjectives to describe people, places, and things 195

Calling on adverbs to describe actions and conditions 196

Getting the lowdown on pronouns 197

Considering conjunctions 200

Perusing prepositions 201

Making Sense of Sentence Structure 202

Independent clauses versus everything else 203

The sentence skeleton: Identifying the main subject and verb 203

Run-ons and comma splices 204

Appositives: Interruptions to the independent clause 205

Pondering Punctuation 206

Commas 206

Semicolons 208

Apostrophes 208

Misplaced Modifiers 208

Redundancy and Double Negatives 209

Homophones: “They’re in there with their bear” 210

Which one has the apostrophe? 210

Spelled and used differently, but sound the same 211

Capitalization: What You Need to Know 212

Practice Questions about Grammar 213

Answers and Explanations 216

Chapter 13: Test-Taking Strategies for Core Writing 221

Knowing the Types of Selected-Response Writing Questions 221

Type 1: Answering usage questions 222

Type 2: Showing your research skills 223

Type 3: Making sentence corrections 224

Type 4: Regarding revision-in-context questions 225

Identifying and Correcting Errors in Selected-Response Items 226

Eliminating the obviously wrong choices 226

Don’t be afraid to say it’s right the way it is 226

The art of guessing as a last resort 227

A word of advice about “trusting your ear” 227

Mastering the Essay 227

Outlining your thoughts and managing your time 228

Arm yourself with versatile examples 228

Practicing ahead of time 229

Part 5: Tackling Praxis Core Practice Tests 231

Chapter 14: Practice Exam 1 233

Answer Sheet for Practice Exam 1 235

Part 1: Reading 237

Part 2: Writing 253

Argumentative Essay 260

Source-Based Essay 261

Part 3: Mathematics 263

Chapter 15: Practice Exam 1: Answers and Explanations 275

Part 1: Reading 275

Part 2: Writing 290

Argumentative Essay 300

Source-Based Essay 302

Part 3: Mathematics 303

Answer Key 324

Chapter 16: Practice Exam 2 327

Answer Sheet for Practice Exam 2 329

Part 1: Reading 331

Part 2: Writing 345

Argumentative Essay 352

Source-Based Essay 353

Part 3: Mathematics 354

Chapter 17: Practice Exam 2: Answers and Explanations 365

Part 1: Reading 365

Part 2: Writing 381

Argumentative Essay 391

Source-Based Essay 392

Part 3: Mathematics 393

Answer Key 406

Part 6: The Part of Tens 409

Chapter 18: Ten Common Math Errors to Avoid 411

Misusing Negative Signs 411

Confusing Perimeter and Area 412

Incorrectly Combining Like Terms 412

Messing Up when Moving Decimals 412

Not Solving for the Actual Variable 412

Misrepresenting “Less Than” in Word Problems 413

Mixing Up Supplementary and Complementary Angles 413

Finding the Wrong Median 413

Fearing Fractions 413

Forgetting about Fractions in Formulas 414

Chapter 19: Ten Mistakes to Avoid on the Praxis Reading and Writing Exams 415

Avoiding Mistakes Common to the Writing and Reading Tests 415

Don’t look for patterns in the answers 415

Don’t change answers merely for the sake of changing them 416

Sidestepping Mistakes on the Writing Test 417

Don’t equate different with wrong 417

Don’t assume something must be correct just because it sounds fancier or more complex 417

Don’t turn the essay into a thesaurus explosion 418

Don’t paint yourself into a corner with a rigid thesis 418

Evading Mistakes on the Reading Test 418

Don’t rule out the “too obvious” 419

Don’t word-match 419

Don’t ignore your outside knowledge 419

Don’t try to answer more than the question asks you to 420

Index 421

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Praxis Core For Dummies, with Online Practice Tests 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is incomplete and has too many errors. Find another book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book helped my friend and I pass the Reading and Writing tests. Both of us failed the first time. We studied together and the difference was this book. The practice tests and strategies are awesome! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely worth buying if you have had trouble with the Praxis Core. I felt prepared and subsequently passed my exams. Easy to read and easy to understand.
TestPrepTutor More than 1 year ago
Fairly up to date but not as good as the Barrons book and not as good a bargin as the Barrons book. I would choose Barrons and this may be a backup f you need one, 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks so much for writing this book, it's an easy read and i love the detailed answer explanations.  I always appreciate the dummies series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Ok now you can unpack I will be back soon"he said