Today I took my second Praxis exam, and boy am I glad that is done! The Praxis is a series of exams that have to be taken in order to become a licensed teacher in most states. In Ohio, you have to take Praxis I as a freshman and then Praxis II exams as a senior. I never had to take Praxis I because my ACT score was above a 24, which waived the Praxis I. This fall I took the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Praxis exam for grades 7-12 here at UD. This year was the first time ever that all of the education students passed the PLT, which is good. Anyways, the PLT is focused on general teaching practices and age appropriate teaching. In order to be licensed in biology, I had to take the biology exam, which was no walk in the park.
First off, I scheduled this test right after exam week, which I thought would be fine because my last exam was Thursday, so I would have Friday through Monday to study. Well, I failed to realize that my roommate was graduating Saturday and my fiance graduated from the police academy Monday, so I had barely any time to study. Of course I had lofty goals of studying for an hour every day weeks before the exam, which we all know that never happens. Every time I sat down to study, I was just massively overwhelmed because this exam covered anything and everything in biology. To make studying easier, I decided to buy a study book, which was definitely worth it.
Anyways, this morning I got up and drove an hour and a half to the testing center, which was very similar to jail. I have never been to jail, but from what I have seen on T.V. I believe I had a similar experience. I walked in and there was nobody around. Eventually a guy who looked like bouncer came out with some paper work and a key for me. The paper work basically asked me in 15 different ways for proof that I am who I say I am. After the interrogating paper work, I had to put all of my stuff in a locker including my watch, hence the key. After ridding myself of everything but my license, I went into another room where there is a guy sitting behind a window with a desk full of computer monitors showing all of the test-takers sitting in their cubicles. This guy had me sign more paper work, and then he took a picture of me and made a copy of my license. After my pseudo mugshot, I had to prove that I had empty pockets, and I was wanded with a metal detector. Finally, I was escorted to a computer for me to take my test on. I was given paper, pencils, and ear muffs (to drown out noise). So there I sat in my little cubicle with a camera above me watching me take my test, my license beside me proving that I am Amy, and ear muffs to stifle the typing noises from others around me. As if this test was not enough stress, the whole process of getting to the exam was quite stressful. I was fortunately able to keep my nerves in check and slowly make my way through my long and tedious exam. After I finished my test, a button popped up on the screen telling me to continue to my score report, and my nerves kicked back in. I anxiously clicked continue, and I passed! I was so shocked because the test was a lot more challenging than I expected, but I am one who tends to always assume that I failed.
So after a long and stressful day, I came home and decided my Christmas break had officially begun. I have spent the rest of the day reclined on the couch with a big comforter and some quality T.V. time. I could not be happier! Unfortunately, I will have to repeat this experience one last time to get my integrated science certification in the spring, but until then, relaxation time!