Monday, May 7, 2012

Praxis Exam for School Psychologists

Now that my academic course load is done for the year (yay!) I am beginning to focus on studying for the Praxis exam. I recently signed up for the June date and am feeling the impending pressure of all things school psychology. 

I attended a Praxis session at the NASP Conference this year. I am including some information for this presentation and my own research and materials provided by my graduate program. 

The Praxis exam  (0401) is required to gain certification/licensure in many states and is required to gain the title of Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). The exam is put out by ETS, the very same people who brought your the GREs. The cost is $130.00, which covers the exam fee ($80) and the annual registration fee ($50). 

When registering you are given the option of sending your scores to three places. Be sure to send them to your graduate school and NASP. NASP needs to have these documents in order to process your NCSP. Additional copies of your scores are available for the price of $40 each. 

As you will see through preparation materials the exam is broken down into six sections: 
  1. Data-Based Decision-Making
  2. Research-Based Academic Practices
  3. Research-Based Behavioral and Mental Health Practices
  4. Consultation and Collaboration
  5. Applied Psychological Foundations
  6. Ethical, Legal, and Professional Foundations

Preparation Materials
The ETS website provides an overview of the exam at this link. The site also provides an information bulletin and test prep materials.  ETS also has a study guide available in an e-book format found here.  There is also a hard copy book for purchase titled PASS: Prepare, Assist, Survive, and Succeed: A Guide to PASSing the Praxis

Note: I have not purchased the e-book or PASS so I cannot speak to their content or helpfulness. 

NASP provides resources for preparing for the Praxis as well. Recommendations, References and Study Tips for the Praxis II Exam in School Psychology is available for download. Its a great resource and was written by MSPP's very own Arlene Silva! 

In addition to these two study guides you can order one from School Psychology Exam. This site allows you to subscribe (for a fee) which gives you access to many features or you can purchase their study guide in either PDF, Kindle, or hard copy. There is also a FREE practice exam on this site. I do have a copy of the School Psychology Exam study guide listed above. It is quite extensive totaling around 440 pages (phew!). There is a some content that I am not familiar with, such as lesser used assessment measures. I haven't made a dent in this study guide yet so I can't really speak to how well its preparing me. In speaking with my professor recently, she let our class know that there was a significant amount of questions on her exams she had to guess at. You can't know everything!

In the age of technology there are also apps to help you study on the go! You can buy them for the iPhone and Android. There are also Android flashcards available. 

In addition to this prep material that is available, it is recommended that you study with members of your cohort, dividing up content areas and reviewing the information. A great review would be to go through your Best Practices texts. As you study make notes of content areas you are unsure about to go back and study further as well. 

Wow, that was a lot of links!

I hope that this is a helpful resource to get acquainted with and prepare for the exam. Feel free to comment on any additional resources you have or if you used any of the above for your studying.
Good luck!

Until next thyme,



  1. Thanks so much. I plan on taking the Praxis in June.

  2. Was the study guide you purchased helpful?

    1. Yes and no. Some of the material was outdated and there was a lot of content of lesser known instruments, etc. However, it provided structure to my studying and kept me focused. It was something, rather than nothing!

  3. Thanks for posting such a nice information about praxis exams. Even i agree that they are sufficient enough to build a successful carrier.

  4. Ho was the test? any other tips? questions/answers we need to know

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. do you remember questions from the test?

    1. It would be unethical to share questions from the exam. I suggest that you prepare using the course materials and study guides that I have listed above.

      Good Luck!

  7. f you had any specific tips, that would be wonderful, but also if there was any way you could rate the test in terms of difficulty that would be great too. I know that is not an easy request, because each person has a different experience taking it. Did you find yourself completely overwhelmed by some of the questions, even after you spent weeks studying? Did you find yourself totally prepared, and found it to be a breeze? Or after taking it, did you feel like you were not ready at all?

    1. The exam was overwhelming to prepare for and anxiety provoking to take. Rest assured that you are more than prepared given the rigorous training you have received in and out of the classroom. Some questions you will have no idea the answer to, and that's okay. It's stressful waiting for the results to come in because you second guess yourself, but practice some of those coping skills! Don't forget you can always take it again!

      Good Luck!