The Praxis CASE Writing Exam not only measures your grasp of language and grammar but your ability to produce well-organized, coherent, and compelling texts. It’s required by many states as part of the teacher certification process.
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What Do I Need to Register?
You can register online, by mail, or by phone. If you opt to register by phone, you’ll have to pay an additional fee. During registration, make sure to use your full name exactly as it appears on the government-issued ID that you’ll be bringing with you on exam day.
You’ll also have to pay the registration fee of $90 for the writing exam. If you need to take all three of the core academic subject exams (including reading and math in addition to writing), you can save money by taking the combination exam. This option costs just $150 for all three subjects.
In order to get the appointment you want, register as far in advance as possible but, no matter what, try to give yourself at least four weeks for each subject exam you will be taking.
What Topics Are Covered?
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There are a total of 40 multiple choice questions and 2 essay questions on the writing exam. The multiple choice questions are divided into two sections. The text types, purposes, and production section includes 6-12 questions focused on improving the style, tone, word choice, and organization of a text as well as generally identifying how it could be improved.
The language and research skills section includes 28-34 questions about grammar, usage, conventions, capitalization, and punctuation. The research questions will ask you to assess the credibility and relevance of sources, determine effective research strategies, and point out which information is relevant to a particular research task.
For the essay portion, you will need to compose one argumentative essay and one informative or explanatory essay. Those grading your essays will look for evidence that you:
- Fully addressed the prompt provided
- Organized and developed your ideas in a logical way
- Provided a clear and focused thesis
- Used supporting details, reasons, and examples to reinforce that thesis
- Constructed error-free sentences in standard written English
- Demonstrated an ability to use a variety of different language and sentence structures.
What Should I Expect on Test Day?
On the day of your exam, all you should bring with you is your exam admission ticket, a primary form of ID, and a secondary form of ID. Everything else will be provided for you, including pencils and erasers. The testing centers are extremely strict about leaving your personal items out of the exam room. Your primary ID must be one of the following:
- State ID
- Driver’s License
- Military ID
Your secondary ID can be one of the above or a student ID. You can also request a confirmation letter from your educational institution verifying your identity but you can’t use your birth certificate or social security card as a form of ID.
Some of the items you cannot bring with you include:
- Jewelry (except for wedding or engagement rings).
- Accessories including hats, ties, scarves, watches, etc.
- Electronics including phones, tablets, computers, etc.
If you have to wear prescription lenses, your glasses will be inspected thoroughly before you can enter the exam room. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your actual appointment to complete the check-in process and familiarize yourself with the place you’ll be taking the exam. You will have 100 minutes to complete the computer-administered Praxis CASE writing exam. That includes 40 minutes for the multiple choice section and 30 minutes for each essay.
What About My Scores?
You will receive your official score report within 10-16 days of taking the exam. The report will tell you whether you passed or failed, how your score compares to other test-takers, and other information to help you interpret how well you did.
Because different states have different requirements, it’s not possible to say what the minimum score you will need is. However, on the writing exam, scores range from 100 to 200 with most people scoring somewhere between 158 and 172.
If you did not pass or did not receive a high enough score, you can make an appointment to retake the exam but you will need to wait 21 days from the date of your most recent attempt. Use that time to work on your essay-writing skills as well as time management to make sure you can complete the essays in the time frame provided.
How Should I Prepare for the Praxis CASE Writing Exam?
Your study plan should include weekly practice sessions where you recreate the conditions of the exam as closely as possible to write two essays. But to really succeed, you’ll want a good study guide that will help you develop a fail-proof method for knocking out a great essay in a short period of time. It’ll give you a rubric for identifying errors and weaknesses in your writing as well as help you improve the way you approach a topic and organize your thoughts into a coherent essay.
After each practice essay, take the time to read through it and grade it:
- Highlight your thesis statement.
- Highlight the main topic sentence of each paragraph.
- Highlight the supporting evidence or examples that reinforce that main topic.
- Underline the transition phrases you used to connect each of those.
- Grade each of those items (on a scale of 1 to 5) separately on how strong they are individually.
- Grade the overall organization and how well each of the components connect and flow with each other.
- At the bottom of the essay (or on the back page), note what you could have done to improve the essay including what word choices you would change, how you would change the organization, or how you would rework the thesis or paragraph topics.
In order to ace the multiple choice questions, your best bet is to use a set of flashcards that will help you master essential grammar and language concepts.
This section will cover the remaining 40 percent of the test, and will consist of 28-34 selected-response questions. Due to our foreknowledge of the domains of this test, we have made sure that the Praxis Writing practice test will cover these topics thoroughly. When taking the Praxis Writing portion, you will have 100 minutes to finish the test.