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IntroductionABOUT THIS BOOK
REA’sPraxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST)test prep is a comprehensive study
package designed to assist you in preparing to take the PPST test. To help you to succeed in
this important step toward your teaching career, this book features:
â¢ An accurate and complete overview of the three sections of the PPST
â¢ The information you need to know about how the exam works
â¢ A targeted review of each section of the exam
â¢ Tips and strategies for successfully completing standardized tests
â¢ Diagnostic tools to identify areas of strength and weakness
â¢ Four full-length practice tests that replicate the PPST question format and level of difficulty
â¢ Detailed explanations for each answer on the practice tests. Designed specifically to clarify the material, the explanations not only provide the correct answers, but also explain why the other answer choices are incorrect.
Test-takers should note that the computer-delivered version of the PPST (known as
the Computerized PPST) and the paper-delivered version of the exam differ in the number
of multiple-choice questions and the length of time permitted to take the test. This chapter
will explain the format and concepts tested for both versions of the PPST.
You should also be aware that every time the PPST is administered, multiple versions
of the exam are created and distributed to each testing center. These versions may
contain a mix of different questions with different answers. This test versioning can add a
greater level of uncertainty for the test-taker. This book is designed to prepare you for every
possible version of the PPST. All the information you need to succeed is right here in this
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE PPST
By reviewing and studying from this book, you can achieve a top score on the PPST. The
PPST evaluates knowledge you have gained throughout your academic career. Most of the
material tested by the PPST is covered in your college or university teacher preparation
programs or through other classes. While the test does not measure aspects of teaching such
as dedication, rapport with students, and motivation, it does assess the basic skills that are
relevant to the teaching profession.
The best way to prepare for the PPST is to replicate the PPST test-taking experience.
This test prep includes four full-length practice examsâtwo paper-delivered and two
computer-delivered that accurately reflect the PPST in terms of format, content, and degree
of difficulty. Our practice exams mirror the latest PPST and include every type of question
that you can expect to encounter on test day. Each practice exam comes with detailed explanations
of every test answer.
By completing the practice exams and studying the explanations that follow, you
will pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in each area. This will allow you to concentrate
your study on sections of the exam you find to be more difficult.
ABOUT THE PPST
Who Takes the PPST and What Is it Used For?
The PPST is used as a gateway test for teacher certification and is part of Educational Testing
Service’s Praxis Series. The Praxis Series of exams are taken by individuals entering the
teaching profession as part of the certification process required by professional licensing
organizations and many states. Besides licensure, the PPST is often used by colleges and
universities to screen candidates seeking entry into teacher education programs. Each state
or agency that uses the Praxis exams sets its own requirements for which tests you must
take and the associated passing scores. To find out which teacher certification exams are required
in your state, visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis.
Who Administers the PPST?
Like all of the Praxis Series tests, the PPST is administered by ETS and involves the assistance
of educators throughout the country. The test development process is designed and
implemented to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test are appropriate.
When and Where Is the Test Given?
The Praxis I PPST is available in computer-delivered and paper-delivered formats. The
computer-delivered tests are administered year-round by appointment. The paper-delivered
tests are administered on pre-scheduled dates throughout the school year. To learn
more about test center locations and test dates, visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates/.
When you register for the PPST, your registration bulletin will contain test dates,
administration sites, and other important information. You may obtain a registration bulletin
ETS â The Praxis Series
P.O. Box 6051
Princeton, NJ 08541-6051
Phone: (800) 772-9476
The official PPST bulletin, registration booklets, and forms are available online at:
How Do I Register for the PPST, and Is There a Registration Fee?
You can register for the computer-delivered PPST by telephone. Call Prometric Candidate
Services at 1-800-853-6773 or 1-443-751-4859, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.â8 p.m.,
Eastern Time (excluding holidays). Details on payment options are available at:http://www.ets.org/praxis/register/computer/.
You can register for the paper-delivered PPST by mail or via a form on the ETS
website. Internet registration is offered MondayâFriday, 7 a.m.â1 a.m., Saturday, 7 a.m. to
Sunday, 8 p.m., Eastern Time. A registration form and details about payment options are
The official PPST bulletin, registration booklets, and forms are available online at:
Registration fees are required and vary for the paper-delivered and computer delivered
exams. A complete list of registration fees is listed athttp://www.ets.org/praxis/about/fees/.
Fee waivers are available for qualified candidates who are unable to afford registration.
Visithttp://www.ets.org/praxis/about/bulletin/fees/fee_waivers/to learn more about
eligibility criteria and how to apply for a fee waiver.What if I Need to Cancel or Change My Registration?
If you need to cancel or reschedule a computer-delivered test, call Prometric candidate services
at 1-800-853-6773 or 1-443-751-4859. If you cancel a test, you may be eligible for a
To change or reschedule a paper-delivered test, you must complete a Change Request
form and submit it to ETS. There is a $45 fee for this service.
The Praxis registration bulletin and forms are available online at:http://www.ets.org/praxis/about/bulletin/.
Can I Retake the Test?
Yes. Because the PPST is usually taken before the completion of a teacher certification
program at a college or university, this gives teacher candidates enough time to retake the
test if they are not pleased with their score. If you do not achieve a passing score on the
PPST, don’t panic. You can take the test again. Note that you may only take the computer-delivered
test once per month and no more than 6 times within a 12-month period. There is
no limit to how many times you can take a paper-delivered test. However, you should contact
your state or licensing agency to confirm its retest policies.
FORMAT OF THE PPST
The PPST is divided into three sections: Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and
Writing. The test is made up of multiple-choice questions and one essay question. Each
multiple-choice question presents five choices (A through E).
The number of questions and length of the PPST tests vary based on which version
of the test you take. The formats and score requirements for the computer-delivered and
paper-delivered tests are comparable; however, state score requirements are slightly
PPST Test Content and Structure
The content of the PPST computer-delivered and paper-delivered exams is the same. However,
the number of questions differs depending on which test you take. The chart on page
5 shows a breakdown on the type of questions, number of questions, and time allowed for
each version of the PPST.
Format of the Computer-delivered Tests
The computer-delivered PPST tests may be taken either as three separate tests on separate
days, or as one combined test. Individual scores will be reported for Reading, Mathematics,
and Writing on both the individual and the combined tests.
If you take the PPST computer-delivered tests separately, each session lasts 2 hours.
If you take the combined test, the entire session lasts 4Â½ hours. Each session includes time
for tutorials and the collection of background information. The combined test includes time
for an optional 15-minute break.
The computer-delivered reading test (test code 5710) and the computer-delivered
mathematics test (test code 5730) each contain 46 multiple-choice questions. You will have
75 minutes to take each test.
The computer-delivered writing test (test code 5720) contains 44 multiple-choice
questions and one essay. You will have 38 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions
and 30 minutes to write your essay.
Format of the Paper-delivered Tests
Each PPST paper-delivered test (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing) is one hour long and
may be taken as 3 separate tests on different days or on the same day.
The paper-delivered reading test (test code 0710) and the paper-delivered mathematics
test (test code 0730) each contain 40 multiple-choice questions. You will have 60 minutes
to take each test.
The paper-delivered writing test (test code 0720) contains 38 multiple-choice questions
and one essay. You will have 30 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions and
30 minutes to write your essay.
How Do I Score My Practice Tests?
Educational Testing Service does not set the passing scores for the PPST, but if you answer
75% of the questions correctly, you’ve probably achieved a passing score. Passing scores
vary by state, therefore it is best to check with your credentialing authority to verify that you
passed. The multiple-choice section of the PPST Writing Test is scored very much the same
as the other sections. However, the essay portion of the exam is read and rated by two writing
experts. The essays are scored on a six-point scale, with “6” being an exceptional essay
and “1” being an unsatisfactory essay. A score of “0” is used for essays that are completely
off -topic. Therefore, provided that you respond to the topic, your score will be between 2
and 12. You may use the conversion table to determine your scaled score by locating the
number of questions you’ve answered correctly in the first column, and following that to the
row represented by your essay score.
When Will I Receive My Score Report?
All test takers receive a score, regardless of the number of questions answered or the type
of test. Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, with no penalty
or subtraction for answering a question incorrectly. It is to your advantage to pace yourself
so that you have enough time to carefully consider every question.
Your PPST test scores will be available to you online approximately four weeks after
your test date. For more information on score reporting dates, accessing your scores, and
understanding your test scores, visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/scores/.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the PPST. The earlier you begin, the more time you
will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to
study because it does not allow you the time you need to think about the content, review the
material, and take the practice tests. Make the best use of your time by following our study
schedule on pages 11 and 12. The schedule is based on an eight-week program, but it can
be shortened to 4 weeks if you are starting late.
What Should I Study First?
We strongly recommend that you begin your PPST preparation with Practice Test 1. This
test is a full-length model test designed to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses
on the material the PPST will cover. For maximum benefit, simulate actual testing
conditions by taking the test where you will not be interrupted. After you’ve taken the practice
test, review the detailed explanations of answers to determine what areas you need to
What Do the Review Sections Cover?
The targeted review chapters in this book were designed to help you sharpen the skills you
need to succeed on the PPST, as well as provide strategies for answering the questions.
This test prep includes detailed Reading, Mathematics, and Writing review chapters,
which correspond to the subject areas on the PPST. Supplementing your studies with our
review material will provide focus and structure and will allow you to choose a particular
subject or subtopic to study. The reviews are set up to give you exactly what you need to do
well on the exam.
The Reading Test measures your ability to understand and analyze written information. Our
Reading Comprehension Review is designed to enhance the reading comprehension skills
necessary to achieve a high score on the PPST. Strategies for attacking reading comprehension
questions are thoroughly explained, and a four-step approach to answering the test
questions is completely outlined. In addition, a vocabulary enhancer is included to help you
better understand the passages on the test.
The Mathematics Test measures competency in mathematical skills that an educated adult
will require, including numbers and operations, algebra, geometry and measurement, and
data analysis and probability.
Several problems involve the integration of several skills into one problem-solving
situation. The Mathematics Review in this test prep will help you reinforce the arithmetic,
algebraic, and geometric concepts that will be tested on the PPST. Drill questions are
included that will help you sharpen your mathematical skills. A valuable reference table
offers quick access to important formulae and an index of mathematical symbols. Careful
review of this section should give you all the information you need to pass this section of
The Writing Test section includes multiple-choice questions and an essay. The multiple-choice
questions test the examinees’ knowledge of grammatical relationships, structural relationships,
and word choices and mechanics. Test-takers will be presented with a topic and
must write an original essay within the allotted time.
Our Writing Skills Review contains a wealth of information concerning the structure,
content, and format of the PPST essay. Regardless of the topic you are assigned
on the exam, a concise, well-constructed essay is essential to achieve a passing score.
Careful study of the Essay Writing Review will hone your essay-writing abilities, so that
you will be able to write your essay with confidence. The review also covers the material
tested on the multiple-choice questions, so you’ll be ready to tackle the Writing Section.
STUDYING FOR THE PPST
You may be wondering how you will find time to work, take care of family obligations, and
prepare for the PPST. But don’t worry, our helpful test-taking tips and flexible study schedule
will show you how to make the most of your valuable time.
Choose a time and place for studying that works best for you. Some people set aside
a certain number of hours every morning to study, while others prefer to study at night
after work (or school) or before going to sleep. Other people study off and on during the
dayâfor instance, while waiting for a bus or during a lunch break. Only you can determine
when and where your study time will be most effective. Be consistent and use your time efficiently. Work out a study routine and stick to it.
Remember, repeated study of the review material helps build and reinforce your
skills. After you have reviewed sufficiently, take the practice tests to familiarize yourself
with the format of the PPST.
When you take the practice tests, simulate the conditions of the actual exam as
closely as possible. Turn off your television, radio, and cell phone, and sit down at a table in
a quiet room, free from distraction. After completing a practice test, score it and thoroughly
review the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly; however, do not review
too much in one study session. Concentrate on one problem area at a time by reviewing the
question and detailed answer explanation, and then study the related review chapters until
you are confident that you have mastered the material. Many have found the use of study or
note cards very helpful for reviewing “problem” areas.
Keep track of your practice test scores so you can gauge your progress and discover
general weaknesses in particular sections. Give extra attention to the reviews that cover
your areas of difficulty, so you can build your skills in those areas.
After completing the Writing section of a practice exam, ask a friend, colleague, or
family member to read your essay and offer feedback. Each practice test includes sample
essays, explains the point system used for grading essays, and offers criticism based on the
official scoring criteria. Be sure you understand what is expected of you and carefully study
the Writing review chapter.
If you know other people who are studying for the PPST, why not arrange a study
group? Study groups make preparing for the exam more enjoyable, and allow you to share
knowledge and obtain feedback from other members of your group.
I Started Studying Too Late. What Do I Do Now?
Last-minute cramming is not the best way to prepare for any exam, but if you concentrate
your study efforts during the days before the PPST, you can still get a good score.
First, take Practice Test 1 to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Next, review
the subject areas where you are weak. Review the test-taking tips in this chapter; then take
Practice Test 2. See where you did well and where you need to improve. Review your weak
areas again, paying close attention to the detailed answer explanations for the questions you
answered wrong. Take Practice Test 3, then study the review sections for any areas you need
to improve. If time permits, take Practice Test 4.
While this “crash course” method requires extra energy and focus, we realize that
not everyone has the luxury of the time they’d really like put into it. Of course, if you score
poorly, you can always register for the next PPST test administration. Just remember to plan
ahead and schedule your study time wisely for the next exam, so you can get a great score.
PPST TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES
Although you may not be familiar with standardized tests like the PPST, our proven test-taking
tips will show you how to prepare for the exam and alleviate any test-taking anxieties.
By following the suggestions listed here, you can become more relaxed about taking
the PPST, as well as other tests.
â¢ Become comfortable with the format of the PPST. When you take our practice
tests, simulate the conditions of the actual test. Pace yourself and stay calm. After
repeating this process a few times, you will boost your confidence and improve your
chances of performing well on test day.
â¢ Read all the possible answers. Just because you think you have found the correct
response, do not automatically assume that it is the best answer. Read through
each answer choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to
â¢ If you are uncertain about a question, guess at the answer rather than skipping it.
You will not be penalized for answering incorrectly, since wrong answers are not
counted toward your final score. This means that you should never leave a blank
space on your answer sheet. Even if you do not have time to narrow down the
choices, be sure to fill in every space on the answer sheet. You can only gain by this,
since you will receive credit for any questions answered correctlyâeven if purely
â¢ Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a question and eliminate
as many incorrect answer choices as possible. If you can eliminate two or three answer
choices, you have given yourself a better chance of getting the item correct. Do not leave an answer blank. It is better to guess than not to answer a question on the PPST because there is no penalty for wrong answers.
â¢ Place a question mark in your answer booklet next to the answers you guessed, and
then recheck them later if you have time.
â¢ Work quickly and steadily. Do not spend too much time on any one question. If,
after a few minutes, you cannot answer a particular question, make a note of it and
continue on. You can go back to it after you have completed easier questions first.
Taking the practice tests in this book will help you learn to budget your precious
â¢ Learn the directions and format of the test. This will not only save time but also will
help you avoid anxiety (and the mistakes caused by being anxious).
â¢ When taking the multiple-choice portion of the test, be sure that the answer oval
you fill in corresponds to the number of the question in the test booklet. The
multiple-choice test is graded by machine, and marking one wrong answer can
throw off your answer key and your score. Be extremely careful.
â¢ When writing your essay, write legibly. Remember, your essay will be scored by two
peopleânot a machineâso write neatly. No points will be deducted for poor penmanship,
but illegible handwriting impairs communication. Be sure to re-read your
essay for content and proofread it to catch any spelling or grammatical errors.
THE DAY OF THE TEST
Before the Test
The night before the test, make sure you have everything you need for test day organized
and in one place. (You don’t want to forget anything or be rushing around in the morning.)
Here are a few important things you should do:
Verify the time and location of the exam: make sure you know when and where
you need to report to take the PPST. It’s a good idea to get directions to the test center
and be sure you know where you’re going before test day. (You don’t want to risk being
late for the exam because you got lost.) You can verify your test information by logging
on to your “My Praxis Account” at:https://www.ets.org. When you sign up for an account, you can register online for paper-delivered tests, access your admission ticket, view scores, and order additional score reports.
Print your admission ticket: If you are taking a paper-delivered test, print a copy
of your admission ticket and bring it with you to the test center. If you are taking a computer-
delivered test, bring your authorization voucher with you.
Gather your identification documents: You must have acceptable and valid ID
with your name, signature and photograph to be admitted to a test center. ID requirements
are strictly enforced. (More about proper ID appears in the next section.)
On the morning of the PPST, dress comfortably so you are not distracted by being
too hot or too cold while taking the exam. Check your Registration Bulletin or visithttp://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates/to find out what time to arrive at the testing center.
It’s always a good idea to arrive at the test center early. Reporting early will allow you
to collect your thoughts and relax before the test and will also spare you the anguish that
comes with being late.
Procedures for Test Day
For computer-delivered tests:be sure to arrive at your test center location at least 30 minutes
before your reporting time. When you arrive, an administrator or supervisor will check
you in and assign your seat.
You will be given 30 minutes of practice time for the tutorial and other untimed sections
prior to the test. This allows you to become familiar with the computer functions and
will help make your computer-delivered testing experience go smoothly.
For paper-delivered tests:Arrive at the testing center by 7:30 a.m. for Session 1
tests, or at 10:45 a.m. for Session 2 tests. When you arrive, an administrator or supervisor
will check you in and assign your seat. You may not bring mechanical pencils or paper into
the testing room.
For more information on testing procedures, visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/procedures.
What to Bring on Test Day
For paper-delivered testing, you MUST bring the following with you to the test site:
â¢ Admission ticket/authorization voucher and acceptable ID
â¢ Several sharpened, soft-lead (No. 2 or HB) pencils with erasers for paper-delivered
tests. Pencils are not supplied at paper-delivered testing centers, but are supplied at
computer-delivered testing centers. (Note: Mechanical pencils are not allowed.)
â¢ A blue or black pen for paper-delivered tests. Pens are not supplied at the test center.
â¢ A calculator if allowed for your test (Visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/policies/calculatorsfor the procedures and policies regarding calculators.)
For computer-delivered testing, you MUST bring the following with you to the
â¢ Your admission ticket
â¢ Proper identification
Test Site Rules
Keep in mind that when you register for the PPST, you are agreeing to comply with all the
rules in the current registration bulletin. Violation of test site rules may result in the voiding
of your scores.
The following are not permitted at the test site:
â¢ Cell phones, BlackBerry devices, PDAs and/or any other electronic or photographic
devices. (If you bring these devices to the test center, you will be dismissed from
the test, your registration and test fees will be forfeited and your scores will be canceled.
Test center staff members are not permitted to collect and/or store devices.)
â¢ Watches with alarms or other time-keeping devices that make noise
â¢ Smoking and the use of all tobacco products
â¢ Visitors, including relatives, children, and friends
â¢ Weapons of any kind
â¢ Handwritten or printed materials, such as dictionaries, notebooks, scratch paper, or
â¢ Personal items, such as packages and bags of any kind, such as backpacks, briefcases,
â¢ Hats or headwear, except those being worn for religious or medical purposes
â¢ Food and drink
â¢ Unauthorized aids, such as slide rules, rulers, translation aids, highlighters, etc.
For more information on what to bring (or not bring) to the test, visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/bring.
Acceptable Identification Documents
Acceptable primary ID includes:
â¢ Passport with name, photograph, and signature
â¢ Valid driver’s license with name, photograph, and signature
â¢ State or province ID issued by a motor vehicle agency with name, photograph, and
â¢ National ID with name, photograph, and signature
â¢ Military ID with name, photograph, and signature
Supplemental ID may be required if the test center administrator has concerns about
the primary ID. If your primary ID does not contain your signature, sign the document or
present an acceptable supplemental ID document.
For general questions about acceptable ID, call: 1-800-205-2626 (U.S., U.S. Territories
and Canada) or 1-609-771-7393 (all other locations). or more information about acceptable
ID and other ID procedures visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/id/.
If you are absent from the test, you will not receive a refund or a credit. However, you can
request a transfer of your registration to a future test date in the same testing year up to 3
days prior to the test date. You may not transfer your registration from the previous testing
year to the current testing year. There is a $45 fee for this service.
Computer-delivered Tests:You are eligible for a refund of $20 per test ($60 for combined
test) if you cancel your testing appointment at least three full days prior to your test date.
Paper-delivered Tests:You are eligible for a refund of the test fee(s) and any state
surcharges if you cancel your paper-delivered test no later than three full days prior to your
Please note that if you are absent from or arrive too late to take the test at the test
administration for which you registered, you are not entitled to a refund.
For more information on refunds, visit:http://www.ets.org/praxis/about/fees/refund_policies/.
During the Test
Once you enter the test center, follow all the rules and instructions given by the test supervisor.
If you do not, you risk being dismissed from the test and having your score canceled.
When all the materials have been distributed, the test instructor will give you directions
for completing the informational portion of your answer sheet. Fill out the sheet carefully,
because the information you provide will be printed on your score report.
During testing, you may take restroom breaks. Keep in mind that any time you take
for restroom breaks is considered part of the available testing time. You may not leave the
testing room in which you have been seated for any purpose (other than to use the restroom)
until your test materials have been collected and a test administrator has officially
dismissed you. During the test, you may not communicate with other examinees or any unauthorized
persons in any way, either in person or by using any communication device.
After the Test
After your test materials have been collected, you will be dismissed. Celebrate completing the PPST by doing something fun. Go shopping, see a movie, visit with friends, or go home and relax. The good news is that the hard part is over. Now you just have to sit back and wait for the test results.