How to Pass the Praxis Core Math Test

The Praxis Core Math Exam is designed to measure prospective teachers’ abilities to understand and apply mathematical concepts and skills.

The exam covers a range of topics, including algebra, geometry, and data analysis and will require you to use equations, proportions, logical reasoning, and complex mathematical practices to solve problems.

The Praxis Math (5733) is just one of three sections of the Praxis Core. The test also includes Reading (5713) and Writing (5723).

Did you know: All sections of the Praxis core are scored separately. For example, let’s say that you pass the reading section and writing section, but fail the math. In this case, you will only have to retake the math section.

The Praxis core math test consists of three main content categories:

Number and Quantity

This section requires you to solve problems involving integers, decimals, fractions, ratios, and proportions. In addition, you will have to solve real-life word problems. Here are a few examples of what that might look like on the exam.

Example Question:

The height of a tree can be found using similar triangles. A 12-foot tall tree casts a 7-foot shadow. If a nearby tree casts a 5-foot shadow, how tall is the tree?

Correct Answer: B

For this question it is helpful to draw a picture and label the lengths.

Next, use the picture to set up the proportion. Notice that the labels on the picture are already in the right place for a proportion.

Finally, cross multiply and solve for x.

7x = 60
x = 8 4/7

Example Question:

Order the following from least to greatest

Correct Answer: C

Convert all fractions to decimals and order the numbers from least to greatest.

Quick Tip: Before changing the numbers all to decimals, look at the answer choices to see if you can narrow down the options.

Because we are ordering least to greatest, the negative number must be in the first position. Therefore, we can eliminate any answer choice that does not have the negative value listed as the first number.

Data Interpretation and Representation, Statistics and Probability

This section of the exam covers topics such as measures of central tendency (mean and median), scatter plot graphs, correlation, and causation. Here are a couple of examples from this section of the test.

Example Question:

In a recent survey of 120 people at a grocery store, 20% said they were there to buy snacks, 45% said they were there for their weekly shopping, 15% said they were there to buy lunch, and the remaining people were there to purchase non-grocery items.

How many people surveyed are buying non-grocery items?

Correct answer: C

  1. 3
  2. 20
  3. 24
  4. 25
  5. 72

Subtract the percents given from 100 to get the percent of people shopping for non-grocery items.

100 – 45 – 15 – 20 = 20. Next, find 20% of 120 people, 0.20 ⋅ 120 = 24

Example Question:

Find the median age given in the table.

  1. 30
  2. 32.5
  3. 35
  4. 37
  5. 38

Correct Answer: 1

The frequency in the table refers to how many times the number repeats in the list. Age 30 appears 7 times, with 4 numbers to the left, and 5 numbers to the right.

Without writing out the entire list, we can deduce that 30 is the middle number (if this is not apparent, write out the list if small enough).

Example Question:

The scatter plot displays the relationship between a person’s arm span and their height.

Based on the graph, what type of correlation exists between the two data sets?

  1. High, positive correlation
  2. Weak, positive correlation
  3. Negative correlation
  4. No correlation
  5. Low, positive correlation

Correct Answer: 1

The data is close together and increasing, so there is a high positive correlation. If it appeared that the data was increasing but was spread out, or far from a trendline, the data would indicate a loose or weak positive correlation.

Algebra and Geometry

This section requires you to demonstrate an understanding of the properties (commutative, associative, and distributive) of the basic operations.

You will also have to solve linear and quadratic equations. In addition, you will have to use basic properties of common two-dimensional shapes and basic angles to solve problems.

You will also have to solve problems using formulas for three-dimensional shapes like spheres, rectangular prisms and pyramids. Here are a few example problems.

Example Question:

A circle with a radius of 3 inches has a central angle that measures 40º. What is the length of the intercepted arc?

Correct Answer: B

To solve this problem, use a proportion, filling in the missing values to solve for arc length.

Example Question:

Which of the following cereal boxes holds the most cereal?

  1. Box A
  2. Box B
  3. Box C
  4. Both boxes A and C
  5. Both Boxes A and B

Correct Answer: 2

Find the volume of each box by multiplying length x width x height. Box B has the largest volume and can hold the most cereal.

Is the Praxis Core Math hard to pass?

While the Praxis Core Math 5733 exam is referred to as “basic skills exam,” it’s actually quite difficult.

You can see from the practice questions above that this exam will require you to apply a multitude of skills in different mathematical areas.

The skills needed to pass this exam are comparable to the skills required of tenth-grade students in public education.

The test is similar to the ACT and SAT.

You might be thinking, I graduated high school, I certainly have the skills of a tenth grader. Please don’t underestimate this exam. The first-time pass rates for many Praxis exams are less than 50%.

Many people think because this is considered a basic skills test, they won't have any trouble passing. However, it’s probably been a while since you’ve solved problems using proportions or linear equations.

You’re going to have to dust off some skills you haven’t used since middle or high school in order to pass the exam.

Without studying properly, it could take several attempts to pass. This can be quite costly and time consuming.

To prepare for the Praxis Core Math Exam and maximize your chances of passing it's essential to review the content that will be covered on the exam and to practice with sample questions.

You will want to review the specific skills outlined in the test specifications for the test.

There are many resources available that can help you prepare, including study guides and practice exams. By studying effectively and putting in the necessary time and effort, you can increase your chances of success on the Praxis Core Math Exam.

What is the best study guide for the Praxis Core?

Obviously, we believe our Praxis Core study guide is the very best resource you can purchase to prepare for the Praxis Core for three key reasons:

  • Our Praxis Core test prep is 100% aligned to the exam.
  • The book is sectioned out by subtest, and within those subtests we’ve aligned all of the information to the test specifications and blueprint. This ensures you are studying what you will see on test day–nothing more, nothing less.
  • After each section, there are practice test questions that align specifically with the skills in that section.
  • There are three full-length practice tests with detailed answer explanations at the end of the study guide.

In each section, there are practice items that align specifically with the skills you just studied, so you can see exactly what a question for that skill or content will be like on test day. In addition, we have detailed answer explanations for every question in our study guide. This ensures you know why you got something correct or incorrect.

Finally, our study guide contains two-three, full-length practice tests with s at the end of each subtest. Therefore, you have hundreds of practice questions to work with.

Here is an example of how we provide you with comprehensive answer explanations for every practice question in our study guide.

It is very important that you not only understand how to solve the problem, but also what content category the skills come from. This will help you identify specific areas you can improve in. We provide all of that information in our answer explanations.

We sort every practice test question by test skill. This helps you identify the skills in which you are low, so you can go back and study those aspects of the study guide. Knowing what skill the questions assess is a huge benefit to your studies.

The study guide is an amazing resource to help you pass the Praxis Core. However, you might need more support in one or more areas. In that case, we have online courses packed full of video tutorials and extra practice.

Our Praxis Core online course also includes the digital study guide. If you need more support, you can check out our Praxis Core online course. Like the study guide, you can purchase the whole course or individual subtests.

Where Can I find free Praxis Core Math practice tests?

We have free Praxis Core webinars that contain presentation materials and practice test questions.

You can also find free practice test questions in the ETS study companion. This document contains the specifications, blue print, sample items, and explanations.

Does the study guide have the same questions as the real exam?

Many people want to purchase a study guide with the same questions as the exam. However, this is not only against testing regulations, but it is also impossible.

State tests are secure, standardized, and heavily regulated. No one is privy to the questions on teacher certification exams.

ETS–the company that makes the exam–has hundreds of test questions in their item banks for each exam.

When you take the exam, your version of the test has questions randomly pulled from these item banks. Therefore, trying to memorize what you think will be on your test is an exercise in futility.

Instead, you should study the skills and content outlined in the specifications and blueprint of the exam. To learn more about testing administration and how item banks work, check out this video.

We provide the test specifications and blueprints for the exam in our study guides. That way, you can review how the test is designed and what skills are assessed.

In fact, the questions in our study guide are structured similarly to what you will encounter on test day. We align all of our questions to the test specification and blueprint.

This ensures you’re studying the content and practicing the skills you will need to be successful on the exam.

How long should I study for the Praxis Core Math?

We get this question a lot, and there is no simple answer. People’s abilities vary greatly when it comes to the skills needed to pass the test.

However, we always recommend incremental practice over an extended period of time rather than cramming all your studies into one weekend before the test.

Ideally, you would spend 20-30 minutes a day for 2-3 weeks to prepare for the math portion of the Praxis exam.

When you sign up for our Free Praxis Core webinars, you will get a suggested study plan to help you organize your time as you prepare for the test.

What Else Can I Do to Pass the Praxis Core Math Exam?

The most effective way to prepare for this exam is to practice regularly. We recommend incremental practice over an extended period of time. For example, carving out 20 minutes every day for 2-3 weeks is much better than cramming your studies into one weekend before the test, especially if you struggle with these skills.

You can also catch some of our previously recorded live sessions on our YouTube channel. There you will find over a year’s worth of lessons, and you can download the problems we cover in each session.

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