5 Tips to Keep in Mind for the Praxis Reading Section

By Carla Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

Part of Praxis Core For Dummies Cheat Sheet

There are no essays or short-answer portions on the Praxis reading section of the exam. Every question is multiple-choice and asks you about a brief passage, a longer passage, a pair of passages, or a chart or graph. Here are some hints for doing your best:

  • Always read the whole passage before you look at the question and the answer choices.

  • When a question asks for the “main idea” or “author’s primary purpose,” steer clear of overly detailed answers and pick the broadest answer choice that isn’t wrong.

  • The passages are excerpted from writers who know what they’re talking about, so no statement that is factually false is ever a correct answer. You don’t need outside knowledge to answer the questions correctly, but you can eliminate wrong answers based on outside knowledge when and if you happen to have some.

  • When you see a set of paired passages (from “author one” and “author two”), take a few moments to develop a sense of what the two authors agree or disagree about in your own words before you look at the question and the answer choices.

  • If the visual-information questions (the ones about charts and graphs) make you nervous, rest easy in the knowledge that they’re near the end of the test, which puts you in a good position to judge how much time you have left and verify your answer by plugging in the wrong answers to double-check that they are indeed wrong.