For you soon-to-be speech graduates, this post is for you! Having graduated May 2019, the anticipation and anxiety of taking the Praxis Exam is still fresh in my mind, and I’m here to reassure you: you GOT this! There are so many questions that come to mind during this final year of graduate school: How much do I study? When do I study? How do I know when I’m ready? Keep reading so that you enter that Praxis exam feeling confident and ready!
Before anything, let’s talk about the test components of the Praxis Exam:
- Made up of 132 selected-response questions equally measuring:
- Screening + assessment
- Evaluation + diagnosis
- Planning, implementing, and evaluation of treatment
- Knowledge of foundation + professional practice
- The test integrates 9 key areas of content:
- Speech sound production
- Receptive and expressive language
- Voice, resonance, and motor speech
- Social aspects of communication
- Cognitive aspects of communication
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- Feeding and swallowing
- The Magic Score:
- In order to pass, 162 and above is what you will need to aim for!
How to Prep
- Pick out the date of your test
The sooner you know when you will take the Praxis, the sooner you will know what type of studying plan to make. If you take your Praxis during graduate school, which is the requirement of many graduate programs, you will be balancing various deadlines — so it is great to know ahead of time, so know the best way to study efficiently.
- Create a study plan
- As soon as you set the date for the Praxis, take time to create a study plan. It is important to remind yourself to study efficiently, rather than excessively, because as I remember: there is a LOT of information. Pace yourself and set boundaries with studying; for example, if your test is set for 10 weeks away, tell yourself you will study minimum 3 hours per week, and maximum 7 hours per week. It is easy to feel guilty for not studying during every ounce of free time, but remind yourself that you retain much more information when you have a rested mind.
- Find a Study Group / Accountability
- You know that feeling when you told yourself you’d go to the gym, but now you really don’t want to? Isn’t it a much higher chance that you make it inside the gym when you have someone go with you? This is the same thing a study group does. Having a study group or programs keeps you accountable with studying. Additionally, not only does it make the whole process more fun, but it helps keep you motivated and organized. It is also extremely helpful to talk through topics, especially ones that may feel confusing.
- If you live in the Miami, Florida area, consider receiving Grad School SLP Tutoring from a fellow speech pathologist at Exceptional Speech Therapy, who was once in your shoes, and will help you feel prepared and confident.
- Also, please stay tuned for our Praxis Prep Program!
- Study in a variety of ways
- If you’ve developed study habits that work for you, definitely stick with them. If you’re almost done with graduate school, chances are, you are an expert studier! However, with the craziness of graduate school and other deadlines and responsibilities, it is also a good idea to try out new ones and implement “passive studying” throughout the day. For example, download the “Quizlet” app on your phone to look at a few online flashcards throughout the day. Another idea is to record yourself talking about a topic, and then listen to it as you do an errand! Both passive studying and active studying combined contribute to proper preparation.
- Take Practice Tests –
- By taking online practice tests, you will feel much more confident knowing the format, timing, and pacing of the Praxis. Check out the ETS Website with interactive practice tests to get hands-on experience with a variety of question types similar to the ones you’ll encounter on test day. Additionally, if you purchase a review book on Amazon, such as the one below, it includes access to online practice tests.
On Test Day
- Get good rest the night before… if you can! –
- Test day is here… take deep breaths! Hopefully, you got a good night’s sleep the night before. It is important to be well-rested, as it will help you feel mentally alert. However, if you’re like me, I simply could not sleep the night before, as much as I tried! So, if that happens, just continue to take deep breaths and stay calm.
- Review test center procedures –
- Most test centers require documentation and restrict certain items, so make sure to review beforehand.
- Give yourself time to arrive –
- Ever run late to something very important? It is the most stressful feeling. Make sure you know what test center you’re going to, how to get there, and give yourself time to get there. In fact, on the way there, treat yourself and grab your favorite coffee or snack, so that you feel extra calm!
- Know the codes to send –
- I wish I had remembered this before I took the Praxis, but right before the examination begins, you may have the opportunity to send your Praxis score free of charge. Take the opportunity to send to ASHA, your academic institution, and also your state licensing board, if appropriate.
- To send to ASHA
- Code: Select code R5031 and enter 5031
- If you don’t know the answer… Guess! –
- There is no penalty for incorrect responses, so when in doubt, always guess. I also recommend you skip questions and go back to them, in order to allow for ample time for the rest of the test.
- Conquer that Anxiety –
- We all would love to pass the first time, but remember if you don’t pass, it won’t be the end of the world. Remember that you can always reschedule and try again. Although, if you’re reading this post, I have a strong feeling you will pass, as you are already seeking ways to feel prepared!
Best of luck and congratulations to all of you soon-to-be speech-language pathologists!
Andrea Scola, M.S., CF-SLP
Exceptional Speech Therapy Blog Writer