It is just a test. I know it costs money, and I know it determines the rest of your life...but it doesn’t. If you are taking the Praxis then you already know that tests and exams don’t actually reflect on your intelligence. You know that just because some people are good test takers doesn’t mean they actually know the material. You also know that just because people know the material doesn’t mean they will test well. It sounds like a lose-lose situation, but it isn’t. You. Got. This. If you fail, it DOES NOT mean you are going to fail as a teacher. I repeat. If you fail, it DOES NOT mean you are going to fail as a teacher.
Here are some tips for studying as well as ways to reduce your Praxis anxiety.
1. Take the practice test
Take the practice test to understand what your strengths are, as well as the topics you may need to improve on. Taking a practice test will give you an idea of what the exam will be like. Taking practice exams will also get you more comfortable with the idea of taking the exam. Imagine walking into taking the exam taking zero practice tests vs taking practice tests.
2. Study with a friend
There is no one else better to study with than someone who knows what you’re going through. For some reason, teachers really have a knack for finding ways to learn creatively. Finding a future teacher that is in the same boat as you will give you two brains creating unique ways to study and remember the material.
3. Use your resources
You have plenty of notes from classes that you know you saved because you’re a teacher AKA hoarder. Use what you have to help you study. Seeing your old notes and books can help jog your memory of what you may have learned and talked about in class.
4. Deep breathes
Don’t forget to breathe. Whenever you get frustrated take a step away or a brain break and take deep breathes. Focusing on your breathing will help you relax because you aren’t focused on whatever problem or material is stressing you out.
5. Little by little
Do not sit down all in one night to learn all the material. Set goals for yourself. Reasonable goals. For example, maybe focus on math for one week or focus on a specific theorist in one study session. Do not try to cram for everything each time you study. Not only will it feel like it is impossible, you will get frustrated and burn out before you learn anything.