Media specialists must meet state-specific licensing requirements before working in the school system within their states. Some states require that media specialists take an exam known as the Praxis II with a school media concentration. The Praxis II is a subject assessment given by the Educational Testing Service to K-12 educators to show whether the future educator has the fundamental knowledge and basic skills needed to teach in their desired subject area.
About the Praxis II for Media Specialists
The Praxis II for media specialists is offered in either computer or paper format. Test takers choose when they register which format they prefer. Those taking the test will have two hours to complete 120 multiple-choice questions. Some questions may not count toward the final score.
This test covers five broad content categories: program administration; collection development; information access and delivery; learning and teaching; and professional development, leadership and advocacy. More specifically, test takers should also be prepared to answer questions on the overall organization of the American Library Association, court cases involving censorship, different taxonomies, various learning methods, the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, the Communications Decency Act, and the Children’s Internet Protection Act. A strong knowledge of children’s authors and various genres of literature for children will also be helpful.
Basic Exam Study Tips
Students wishing to take the Praxis II for school media specialists should develop a formal study plan. The ETS offers a study guide and video-based testing strategies that students should review before taking the test. Study groups can also prove beneficial. In a group situation, members can take turns explaining test-related topics and discussing different variables.
Other Exam Information
Because the final score is based on the total number of correct answers, test takers should respond to every question even if they do not know the answer. Students can answer questions in any order, so skipping difficult questions and returning to them at the end, while paying close attention to the time, is a good strategy. Test takers should be sure to read every question and every answer carefully. Some questions may have phrases that are easy to skip over such as “which do NOT ….” Missing the word “not” completely changes the meaning of the question and could result in a lower score.
Amy Whitmyre has been a writer for more than 10 years. Her career experience also includes work as an educator and market researcher and a librarian in the legal and medical fields. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in library science and is currently working on a Master of Science in education.