The Praxis essay section is 30 minutes long and contains only one question. It asks you to reflect on your personal experience and observations and to use them for information, examples, and even generalizations throughout the writing process. The essay question generates a raw score that ranges from 2 to 12. This section of the exam tests your ability to read through the topic carefully, organize your argument before drafting the essay and then write it lucidly and concisely. The essay requires basic knowledge of college-level writing. Papers are scored on the writer’s ability to achieve a good level of organization and the development of ideas with supporting evidence of specific examples; identifying the essay’s intended audience; understanding of the assignment; masterful use of language; and accuracy of usage, mechanics and paragraphing.
- Carefully read through and examine the prompt. The Praxis essay topics ask you to discuss your stance on a given statement. This implies that you may either completely agree or disagree with a statement. In addition, you may use a middle-ground approach to your essay if that works best for you.
- Plan your essay for at least eight minutes. The planning is essential, because it will actually enhance the quality of the essay. Before you start writing, be sure to make a list of all your supporting details. Then select two or three of your finest arguments and organize them logically. Organizing the arguments in advance is critical, especially if you are taking the paper-based Praxis exam, as you would not be able to reorder huge chunks of the text once you have begun writing. Analyze and discuss your points in an interesting way.
- Draft the essay. Try to finish your draft in 15 minutes so you can have at least a few minutes to reread the essay at the end.
- Include a concise and clear introduction to your topic, but don’t spend too much time on it.
- Add an effective conclusion to the essay that accurately sums up the main points and evaluates the benefits.
- Use the remaining time to revise the essay. Read your draft carefully, looking for omitted words, awkward phrasing, problematic transitions and similar issues. Pay close attention to errors in sentence structure and subject-verb agreement. In addition, be sure to avoid the use of the second-person pronoun “you” in your writing.