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"Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge" Tips

by Susan Ozmore

The Praxis is a standardized test used by many states as a requirement for teacher licensing and certification. It is administered by Educational Testing Service in two parts, Praxis I and Praxis II. Praxis I is a general knowledge test taken by all candidates and Praxis II tests are specific to various subjects. The Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge exam tests your overall understanding of mathematics in areas such as algebra, calculus, statistics and data analysis.

Test Structure

The Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions, taken on paper or via computer. Questions are divided between five branches of mathematics, each weighted differently, based on the number of questions allotted to each area. In addition to your content knowledge, the exam tests your ability across a number of process categories, such as mathematical problem solving, reasoning and proof, as well as your ability to use a graphing calculator.

Planning Study Time

The test is divided into five areas of mathematics. Algebra and Number Theory accounts for 16 percent of the test. Measurement, Geometry, and Trigonometry questions make up 24 percent, while Functions and Calculus constitute 28 percent. Probability, Data Analysis and Statistics and Matrix Algebra and Discrete Mathematics range from 14 to 18 percent each. Taking a practice Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge exam will reveal your areas of weakness, so you can devote more study time to them.

Practicing

Your calculator should have the ability to graph a function, find its zeros and calculate numerical derivatives and integrals. Practicing with the calculator that you will use on the test will help you become comfortable with it. Computers, calculators with typewriter keyboards and cell phone calculators are not allowed in the Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge exam. A list of formulas, notation and definitions is included in the test booklet. You can familiarize yourself with the list and use it while you practice.

Test Day

You will have the use of pencil, paper and a graphing calculator when you take the Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge test. The memory of all calculators will be cleared before beginning the test, so back up any important data before you go. You will have two hours to complete all questions with no scheduled break. No penalty is incurred for incorrect answers, so be sure to answer all questions, even if you have to guess.

About the Author

Susan Ozmore has 25 years experience teaching and writing education materials for adults and teenagers in the areas of math, science, history and telecommunications. After receiving her education in applied mathematics, she spent 12 years in telecommunications before teaching high school math and biology.

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