Preparing for Praxis Core Writing Questions
On the Praxis Core Writing test, your challenge is to find the error in the sentence — or the lack of one — or to choose the best version of a sentence or phrase. When you practice these types of questions, be prepared to
- Identify how the eight parts of speech work together
- Recognize whether phrases and clauses are used correctly
- Choose the right words, including in idioms
- Select the proper punctuation, particularly with commas, semicolons, and apostrophes
- Choose appropriate transitions
- Decide whether a sentence should be cut from a passage
You need to know your grammar and punctuation rules, so pay attention to these areas:
- Matters of agreement: Agreement problems — whether they involve a subject and a verb, a noun and a noun, a noun and a pronoun, a pronoun and a pronoun, or different verb tenses — make up a large part of this section of the Praxis.
- Phrases and clauses: Most grammar tests for adults don’t bother throwing in too many run-ons, because they’re easy to spot. But test-writers just love to throw comma splices at you! Learn to spot a comma splice from a mile away.
- Contractions: Whenever you see a contraction, sound it out: it’s = it is, they’re = they are, and so on.
- Commas: Longer sentences don’t necessarily require more punctuation, especially commas, than shorter ones. If the Praxis asks you to consider punctuation, locate the sentence’s main subject and verb and go from there.