Praxis® Core Writing Practice Test

What Is the Praxis Core Writing Test?

The Praxis Core test has three primary subject areas: reading, writing, and mathematics. You can take each of these tests separately in two-hour sessions, or take them all in one five-hour session. The Core Writing test assesses both informative/explanatory writing and argumentative writing. There will be one writing task for each of the two writing types. In addition to the Praxis essay questions, selected-response questions will assess research strategies and abilities to revise and improve text. Skills assessed are important for college and career readiness and align with the Common Core State Standards for Writing. The Praxis Writing test does not measure an individual's disposition toward teaching or potential for success, nor does it measure your actual teaching ability.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

Praxis Writing Test Structure

The Praxis Core Writing test has two content categories:

  1. Text Types, Purposes, and Production
  2. Language and Research Skills for Writing

The topics for the argumentative and informative/explanatory essays attempt to present situations that are familiar to all educated people; no topic will require specialized knowledge other than an understanding of how to write effectively in English.

Content Categories Approximate Number of Questions Approximate Percentage of Exam
Text types, purposes, and production 6-12 selected-response
2 essays
60%
Language and research skills for writing 28-34 selected-response 40%

Multiple-Choice Section

The selected-response, or multiple-choice, section will include 40 questions to be answered in a 40-minute time period. There are four question types covered:

  1. Error identification
  2. Sentence correction
  3. Revision in context
  4. Research skills

Many of the selected-response questions will begin with 'which of the following.' Take a look at our example below.

Which of the following is red in color?

(A) Blueberry

(B) Cucumber

(C) Strawberry

(D) Corn

How do you think you would respond to this question? While this one is purposely obvious for demonstrative purposes, the ones on the Praxis writing test may be tricky. Here are some steps you can follow to select the correct answer.

  1. Focus on the choices given. We know that there are other red fruits and vegetables out there, but they are not listed.
  2. Eliminate the obviously wrong answers. You know that blueberries are blue, and cucumbers are green. Without overthinking the possibility of all of the various types of corn that may be out there, we know that corn is generally yellow. That only leaves one right answer: strawberry.
  3. Verify your response. Try replacing 'which of the following' with your response. Does it make sense? 'A strawberry is red in color.' If you're still not quite sure, try substituting the other options to see if they make sense.

For most questions, you will respond by clicking an oval to select a single answer from a list of answer choices. However, there are some other interactive question types to be aware of:

  • Clicking more than one oval
  • Typing into an entry box
  • Clicking checked boxes
  • Clicking parts of a graphic
  • Clicking on sentences
  • Dragging and dropping answer choices into targets on the screen
  • Selecting answer choices from a drop-down menu

Argumentative Essay Section

The argumentative essay section will invite examinees to draw from personal experience, observation, or reading to support a position with specific reasons and examples. You have 30 minutes to complete the essay question. You will need to be able to produce an argumentative essay to support a claim using relevant and sufficient evidence. In doing so, you will need to write clearly and coherently:

  • Address the assigned task appropriately for an audience of educated adults
  • Organize and develop ideas logically, making coherent connections between them
  • Provide and sustain a clear focus or thesis
  • Use supporting reasons, examples, and details to develop clearly and logically the ideas presented
  • Demonstrate facility in the use of language and the ability to use a variety of sentence structures
  • Construct effective sentences that are generally free of errors in standard written English

Informative/Explanatory Essay Section

The Informative/Explanatory essay topic asks examinees to extract information from two provided sources to identify important concerns related to an issue. You will need to produce an informative/explanatory essay to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. You have 30 minutes to complete the essay question. The following are expected:

  • Write clearly and coherently
  • Address the assigned task appropriately for an audience of educated adults
  • Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis
  • Organize and develop ideas logically, making coherent connections between them
  • Synthesize information from multiple sources on a subject
  • Integrate and attribute information from multiple sources on a subject, avoiding plagiarism
  • Provide and sustain clear focus or thesis
  • Demonstrate facility in the use of language and ability to use a variety of sentence structures
  • Construct effective sentences that are generally free of errors in standard written English

Preparing for the Praxis Writing Test

Setting clear goals and deadlines can help you maximize your Praxis test preparation. Here are some helpful tips to help you feel more confident on test day:

  1. Learn what the test covers. Get familiar with the content of the exam and its format.
  2. Assess how well you know the content. Be honest with yourself here; it's better to be over-prepared than to be under-prepared.
  3. Collect your study materials. Use any books or notes you may have from relevant courses you may have taken.
  4. Plan and organize your time. Once you select your test date, work your timeline backward to figure out how much time you have for review.

Praxis Core Writing Practice Tests

Take advantage of the practice tests and other Praxis resources available online. Becoming familiar with the structure of the test and questions prior to the testing day is to your advantage.

How Is the Praxis Writing Exam Scored?

The passing Praxis score is set by each state or agency requiring the test. You can find out what your state requires on the Praxis State Requirements page. Below is a breakdown of how each section is scored.

Selected-Response

The selected-response sections are scored based on the number of correct answers chosen. Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, with no penalty or subtraction for answering a question incorrectly. Make sure you're taking a moment to carefully read and consider each question.

Argumentative Essay

The Argumentative Essay Praxis Core is scored on a scale from one to six, with six being the best score. Readers assign scores for the argumentative essay based on the following score guide.

Score of 6

  • Demonstrates a high degree of competence
  • Few minor errors
  • States or clearly implies the writer's position
  • Well-organized and developed ideas supported with examples, details, or other well-chosen reasons
  • Displays effective sentence variety
  • Generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • Clearly displays facility in the use of language

Score of 5

  • Demonstrates clear competence
  • Minor errors
  • States or clearly implies the writer's position
  • Ideas are clearly organized and developed with connections made between them
  • Key ideas are explained and supported with relevant reasons, examples, or details
  • Some sentence variety displayed
  • Facility in the use of language displayed

Generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

Score of 4

  • Demonstrates competence
  • States or implies the writer's position
  • Shows control in the organization and development of ideas
  • Some key ideas are explained, supported with adequate reasons, examples, or details
  • Adequate use of language
  • Shows control of grammar, usage, and mechanics but displays errors

Score of 3

  • Displays some competence
  • Limited in stating or implying a position
  • Displays limited control in the organization and development of ideas
  • Inadequate reasons, examples, or details to explain key ideas
  • Accumulation of errors in the use of language
  • Accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

Score of 2

  • Seriously flawed
  • No clear position
  • Weak organization and/or very little development
  • Few or no examples, relevant reasons, or details
  • Frequent serious errors in the use of language
  • Frequent serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

Score of 1

  • Fundamental deficiencies in writing skills
  • Contains serious and persistent writing errors
  • Incoherent
  • Undeveloped

Informative/Explanatory Essay

The informative/explanatory essay, or source-based essay, is scored using the same 1-6 scale as the argumentative essay and many of the criteria are similar. Graders will assign a score to the essay based on the following score guide.

Score of 6

  • High degree of competence
  • Few minor errors
  • Insightful and explains why the concerns are important
  • Supports explanation with an effective link between the two sources and well-chosen reasons, examples, or details
  • Ideas are organized and developed logically
  • Effective sentence variety
  • Facility in the use of language
  • Cites both sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • Generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

Score of 5

  • Demonstrates clear competence
  • Clearly explains why concerns are important, clear links between sources
  • Ideas are clearly organized and developed
  • Facility in the use of language
  • Cites both sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • Generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

Score of 4

  • Demonstrates competence
  • Adequately explains why the concerns are important
  • Supports explanations with some links between the two sources using adequate reasons, examples, and details
  • Information is incorporated from both sources to identify and explain important concerns
  • Shows control in the organization and development of ideas
  • Adequate use of language
  • Cites both sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • Shows control of grammar, usage, and mechanics, may display errors

Score of 3

  • Demonstrates some competence
  • Limited explanation as to why the concerns are important
  • Incorporates only one of the sources or incorporates two sources inadequately
  • Limited in supporting the explanation
  • Limited control in the organization and development of ideas
  • Accumulation of errors in the use of language
  • Accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • Cites sources when paraphrasing or quoting

Score of 2

  • Seriously flawed
  • Fails to explain why the concerns are important
  • Incorporates only one source weakly or fails to identify concerns regarding the issue discussed in the provided sources
  • Offers weak support for the explanation
  • Weak organization or very little development
  • Frequent serious errors in the use of language
  • Fails to cite any sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • Serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

Score of 1

  • Fundamental deficiencies in writing skills
  • Persistent and serious writing errors
  • Incoherent
  • Undeveloped

Expert Contributor

Amanda Carpenter

Amanda Carpenter, M.S. is an ESL Teacher with 5 years of experience teaching English to students in China. She has also worked as a 5th Grade Teacher in Alabama. Amanda completed an M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction at Western Governors University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many questions are on the Praxis Core Writing?

    The Praxis Core Writing test has 40 selected-choice questions and two essay questions. The essay questions will assess argumentative writing and informative/explanatory writing skills. The selected-choice questions will assess text types, purposes, production, language, and research skills.

  • What is the passing score for the Writing Praxis?

    While the test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the passing score is determined by the licensing state or agency. Find out your state's required scores here.

  • What is Praxis Core Writing?

    The Praxis Writing Test measures academic skills in writing needed to prepare successfully for a career in education. All skills assessed align with Common Core State Standards for Writing and have been identified as needed for college and career readiness.

  • What is on the writing part of the Praxis?

    The Praxis Core Writing test consists of approximately 40 selected-response questions and two essay questions. The essay section will assess both informative/explanatory writing and argumentative writing abilities. You are given 40 minutes for the selected-response questions and 30 minutes for each essay question for a total of 100 minutes of testing time.

Exam

Take a Praxis Core Writing Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of Praxis Core Writing.
Choose your answers below. Complete the 15 questions then click "See Results."

You have answered 0 out of 15 correctly.

The correct answers are highlighted with green below.

  1. Read the sentence that follows and then consider which italicized portion, if any, needs to be corrected for grammar, punctuation, structure or word choice.
    (A) Everyone (B) in kindergarten talks about who (C) they want to be when they (D) grow up.

    • Correct Answer
  2. Use this material to answer question #2

    Recent decades have witnessed an outpouring of research on the contributions of women artists. But

    as is typical in the humanities, these studies have been qualitative, and consequently do not provide

    a systematic evaluation of the relative importance of different women artists. A survey of the illustrations

    of the work of women artists contained in textbooks of art history reveals that art historians judge Cindy

    Sherman to be the greatest woman artist of the twentieth century, followed in order by Georgia O'Keeffe,

    Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, and Frida Kahlo. The life cycles of these artists have differed greatly:

    the conceptual Sherman, Hesse, and Kahlo all arrived at their major contributions much earlier, and

    more suddenly, than the experimental O'Keeffe and Bourgeois. The contrasts are dramatic, as Sherman

    produced her greatest work while in her 20s, whereas Bourgeois did not produce her greatest work

    until she had passed the age of 80. The systematic measurement of this study adds a dimension to our

    understanding of both the role of women in twentieth-century art and the careers of the major figures.

  3. What is the term used to describe an incomplete sentence?

    • Correct Answer
  4. Which sentence incorrectly uses parallel structure?

    • Correct Answer
  5. Which of the following sentences contains a misplaced modifier?

    • Correct Answer
  6. Which is the best way to combine the following two sentences?

    The women often go to breakfast on Saturday mornings. This Saturday, they cannot meet.

    • Correct Answer
  7. Which of the following symbols is used to indicate an apostrophe?

    • Correct Answer
  8. Read the sentence that follows and then consider which of the following choices, if any, would most effectively refine the correctness and effectiveness of the italicized part of the sentence.

    After being on a hunger strike for two days, the protester began ravenously eating the plumply juicy strawberries.

    • Correct Answer
  9. What punctuation is needed to accurately complete the following sentence: "Arabella rides horses Charlotte rides ponies."

    • Correct Answer
  10. A peer-reviewed article is most likely to be found in

    • Correct Answer
  11. A _____ is a sentence or group of sentences provided at the beginning of an essay that establishes the essay's main argument with specificity.

    • Correct Answer
  12. All of the following are types of informative essays, EXCEPT

    • Correct Answer
  13. A 7th grade teacher notices that many of her students are struggling to get started on the argumentative essay she has recently assigned. While the students have little to no issue explaining their ideas aloud, she realizes they struggle to translate these thoughts into written words.

    Which of the following facets of effective writing would be the most beneficial for this teacher to give a remedial lesson on before asking her students to turn in a first draft?

    • Correct Answer
  14. What is the core purpose of using transitions in writing?

    • Correct Answer
  15. Which of the following sentences is free of errors?

    • Correct Answer
  16. Which of the following sentences is free of errors?

    • Correct Answer