Praxis Core For Dummies with Online Practice Tests
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon
Correctly answering selected-response items on the writing portion of the Praxis requires that you read each question carefully. Where possible, put the question into your own words. Be sure to read every choice before you make your selection.

Eliminate the obviously wrong choices

The process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer in a selected-response question. Start by crossing off the answers that couldn’t be right. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices before selecting your answer. Doing so greatly increases the odds of your choosing correctly.

Pay special attention to answers that contain these words: none, never, all, more, always, and only. These words indicate that the answer is an undisputed fact and, consequently, isn’t likely to be the correct choice. Conditional words like usually or probably make the answer more likely.

Be particularly careful of selected-response questions using the words not, least, and except. These questions usually ask you to select the choice that doesn’t fit. Stay alert! It’s easy to misread these questions.

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

Although it may seem counterintuitive, if a sentence is correct as written, “No error” is the correct answer. Fear not: some tasks will be written correctly. Just be sure to consider all the choices before making your decision.

The art of guessing as a last resort

Your score is based on the number of correct answers. You’re not penalized for incorrect answers. For this reason, you should answer every question.

If you face a difficult question, narrow your choices as much as possible and, if necessary, guess! Don’t spend too much time considering a difficult question. Mark the question and come back to it. Answer the easy questions first.

You’re not expected to answer all the questions correctly. In order to pass the Praxis, you must simply achieve the minimum passing score for your state.

A word of advice about “trusting your ear”

If you grew up in a family of English teachers who corrected your every incorrect utterance, complete with an accompanying grammar lesson, it’s probably pretty safe for you to “trust your ear”; that is, whatever sounds right to you is likely to be right. However, if you’re like most people, you grew up in a family that was considerably less interested in your grammar. Language that sounds right to you is simply language you’re accustomed to hearing and may very well be incorrect. Play it safe and analyze the sentence carefully. It’s easy to make a mistake when “trusting the ear.” Consider some examples.
Neither the boys nor the girl (is/are) paying attention.
While “are” may sound right, the correct answer is “is.” The verb agrees with the closest subject when subjects are compound.
I will split the cost between you and (I/me).
You probably hear someone use the incorrect construction of “between you and I” pretty often. Just because you hear it spoken, though, doesn’t mean it’s correct grammar. Objects of the preposition must be objective case, so “me” is the pronoun to use here.
You and (I/me) should see that new movie.
In this example, the personal pronoun is being used as one of the subjects of the sentence. Subjects must be nominative case, so “I” is the correct choice here.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Carla Kirkland, founder and CEO of the Kirkland Group, an educational consulting firm, 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 who has developed language arts resources for multiple school districts.

Carla Kirkland, founder and CEO of the Kirkland Group, an educational consulting firm, 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 who has developed language arts resources for multiple school districts.

This article can be found in the category: