PrAACtical Tips for Passing the SLP PRAXIS on the First Try, Part 1

June 24, 2012 by - 6 Comments

PrAACtical Tips for Passing the SLP PRAXIS on the First Try, Part 1
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In today’s post, we’re taking a big detour. For the next few weeks, some of our Sunday posts will deviate a bit from the world of AAC, AT, and disability and plunge into the world of the graduate student SLP. Every job has ‘other duties as assigned’ and part of mine involves helping our graduate students get ready for the SLP PRAXIS exam. At our university, we’ve had a structured review class offered online for almost 10 years and I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with that during its evolution. I frequently get requests from students at other universities to take the class, which we can’t accommodate, and it finally (!) occurred to me to write a blog post with some tips and suggestions. The result is this 3-part series.

So…Let’s get this party started!

Before You Start to Study

1. Learn about the SLP PRAXIS exam so that you know what it covers, how many questions (120), how long you have (2 hours), which exam code you need (0330), and lots of other important details. Knowledge is power, so see what ETS has to say about the exam and check out ASHA’s content, too.

2. Go shopping: Our students buy the two main review texts (McKibbin & Hegde and Mosby/Ruscello). Important: Make sure to get the Hegde book with the flashdrive (more about that later). You may also want to purchase the ETS SLP Study Guide, which is shorter.

  • Why two books? They have a different focus: the former has mostly review content and the latter is focused on practice questions.
  • These are not the only texts and materials out there, but I have found them to be the most consistent in the accuracy of their content.

3. Reflect on yourself as a learner: Where do you stand in relationship to your peers? If you’ve struggled in your coursework, you’ll probably want to view the suggested timeline as a bare minimum and go over and above those requirements. If you’ve done extremely well, then maybe you can cut back a bit. Don’t assume, though, that just because you did well in your classes, that you will automatically do well on this exam. You have a choice: prepare to take this seriously or prepare to take the PRAXIS more than once.

  • Think about your study/review practices. Check to be sure you are using active reading strategies and really processing, not just going through the motions.

4. Decide on a test date: Find out when and where the SLP PRAXIS is being offered. Set a timeline for taking the exam a few months in advance. Then work backwards to lay out a study schedule that covers no more than 2 topics/week. In your planning, go through all the content areas, including your SLP pre-requisite classes, like speech and hearing science and CSD anatomy.

5. Organize your study materials: Be sure to go back to original notes, textbooks, and old tests. Don’t confine your studying to the PRAXIS review books.

6. Rally the troops: Start telling friends and family that you’re planning to take the PRAXIS and may be going AWOL for awhile. Ask for their support and flexibility since your study time will be in addition to what has passed for normal life these last 2+ years.

7. Start developing a PRAXIS mindset:  Life will be a little more hectic while you’re reviewing for the PRAXIS, but it won’t last forever. Prepare yourself mentally to put in some extra work for a few months so that you pass the PRAXIS with flying colors and never have to worry about it again.

Next week, we’ll talk share some ideas for a study schedule. We’ll wrap up the series in Week 3 with suggestions for resources. If you have a specific question, just let us know and we’ll do our best to address it.

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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Therese Abesamis says:

    Hello Dr. Zangari and Dr. Parker,

    I am Therese Abesamis from Nova. I had the pleasure of having you both as my professors at Nova last year:))

    This is such a helpful post. I totally agree with all you said. I used all the three resources you mentioned: Mosby, Hedge and ETS. Thank God, I just recently passed the praxis. Going through the review process is not easy, but like what you said, It’s so worth it!!! The feeling of passing it is so rewarding. One of the mindset I had was: ” It’s okay to miss that movie, nightout, etc. After praxis, I’ll have all the time in the world to do it.” Goodluck to all!! And also, take lots and lots of practice tests!

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      Therese, thanks so much for stopping by to comment and CONGRATULATIONS on passing the Praxis! We’re so very happy for you. I like the mindset you described. One woman who didn’t pass told me that she wished she could go back and reclaim even a small fraction of the useless, time-wasting things she did while she could have been reviewing. So glad you had such a positive outcome. 🙂

    • Robin Parker says:

      Congratulations Therese!!! Your passion and dedication to learning is so clear in so many aspects of your chosen profession. Welcome officially to speech-language pathology, we are so glad you are here!

  • Jacqueline Sarasty says:

    Hey Carole! I’ve taken the PRAXIS 1 three times and I can’t pass it. I miss each one by one or two points. I have taken online prep classes, I’ve bought books. Everything you can think of, I’ve done it but I’m not sure why I can’t raise my score by one or two points at least. Do you have any suggestions? Don’t get me wrong, I study hard-core for every assignment. I make straight A’s but I can’t pass a simple PRAXIS 1. Unfortunately, this is standing in the way of furthering my education. I need help please.

    Jackie Sarasty

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      Jackie, I don’t have much information on the PRAXIS 1. All of my work with grad students has been around the PRAXIS 2. Sorry!

  • Lindsey says:

    Hi Carole!
    I’m planning on writing the praxis in a couple mos and was wondering if you know of any online prep courses that are open to anyone. I’m from canada and have been practicing for almost 15 yrs and I fear that studying the study guides alone won’t cut it! Thanks!

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