How to Budget Your Time During the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Exam

By Carla C. Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

On test day, it’s all about pacing yourself. Look at the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam from the perspective of how many questions you have to answer per minute:

  • The math and reading sections give you 85 minutes to answer 56 questions. This gives you a little over a minute and a half to answer each question.
  • The writing section gives you 40 minutes to answer 40 multiple-choice questions. That comes out to one question per minute.
  • The essay section gives you 60 minutes to write two essays.

You may look at those numbers and think, “There’s no way I can answer questions that quickly!” But fear not. Here are some tips that will help you shave seconds off the amount of time it takes you to answer many of the questions:

  • Watch the clock on the computer screen. Monitor the time on the computer screen like it’s your million-dollar countdown. Remember that you’ll have at least one minute per question, and you need to use every minute wisely.
  • Don’t make time your sole focus. Don’t get so caught up on timing that you aren’t paying attention to what the questions are asking. Strike a balance between monitoring the time and concentrating on the task at hand.

  • Watch for the traps. The people who write the assessment questions always add “trap” answers into the mix. These incorrect answers look like they’re correct, but they’re not. For example, you may see an answer to a word problem that’s achieved by multiplying when you should be dividing. It’s a trap. Watch out for it.
  • Use the process of elimination. If you don’t know the answer immediately after reading the answer choices, try to eliminate as many answers as possible. Then guess at the answer. Your chances of guessing correctly increase as you eliminate more answer choices.
  • Read all possible answers. Sift through each answer choice and ensure that you aren’t overlooking a better answer. Don’t select Choice (A) before looking at the alternative answer choices.