Preparing for the Reading Specialist Praxis Exam with Test Prep Books

Updated: Jul 4

Preparing for the Reading Specialist Praxis Exam



I earned my masters in reading 10 years ago. When I started the program in 2008, just getting the masters and passing the six hour comprehensive exam required by my program was enough to get a reading specialist endorsement in the state of Virginia. At the end of my three years, as I was preparing to take my comprehensive exam, the state passed a new law requiring teachers to take a Praxis exam after finishing their masters in order to become a reading specialist. I was so pissed and so broke after getting my masters that I never took my praxis, and I wasn’t ready to leave the classroom so I didn’t care.


I am still not ready to leave the classroom, but I would like to advocate for changes for the struggling readers at my school and I feel that adding this endorsement to my license will give me the credibility I need to be heard. SO, ten years later, here I am trying to prepare to take the Praxis Reading Specialist test (5301).


I still have all of my graduate materials, and I plan on working my way through my old binders, but I also bought a test review book. There were not a lot of options, so I went with Test Prep Books’ Praxis Reading Specialist 5301 Study Guide. I tried to figure out which authors contributed to the book (actual researchers?), but the “authors” are just labeled generally as “TPB Publishing.” This made me a bit wary since I can’t exactly trust who put these materials together.


I am only on the first few pages but the book is only okay. It lacks depth and context, and I am finding that I need to heavily supplement the book with my own research. So, it’s better than nothing and it has given me a roadmap for my studying, but for anyone else who is rusty and needs more depth, here are the resources that I have used to supplement my understanding of each section.



Section 1: Assessment & Diagnostic Teaching


Page 9-Formal & Informal Assessments

“Selected Response Questions”: https://assessment.ucdavis.edu/designing-selected-response-tests


Page 10-Planned Observations

“The Observation Survey” by Marie Clay: https://readingrecovery.org/reading-recovery/teaching-children/observation-survey/

“Word Test” example http://www.literacylearning.net/uploads/3/7/8/8/37880553/copymasters_os__lldi.pdf

“Writing Vocabulary” & “Hearing & Recording Sounds in Words” example assessment: https://literacypages.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/an-assessment-to-guide-early-literacy-teaching/