The PRAXIS II Biology Content Essays Exam (0233) is taken by candidates interested in teaching secondary school biology. The exam is composed of three essay questions covering molecular and cellular biology, classical genetics and evolution, and organismal biology and ecology. Candidates have one hour to complete the exam.
The Molecular and Cellular Biology section of the exam covers structure, components and functions of molecular genetics; the forms and behaviors of cells; or the chemical foundations of life forms. The Genetics and Evolution section of the exam covers proof of evolution, hereditary, and inheritable disorders. The Organismal Biology and Ecology section covers organisms in biology and ecology.
The essay questions require a response to a variety of issues in biology, and are likely to contain more than one section. Candidates will be given one essay to demonstrate competency in conducting experiments and interpreting the resulting information. A second essay provides an assessment of the candidate’s comprehension of scientific concepts and biological systems, and the scientific use of models. The third essay assesses the candidate’s understanding of how scientific laws and theorems are used, and the effects of science on society.
All three essays are scored from 0-5. An essay receiving a score of 5 demonstrates a high level of comprehension of science theories and terminology. Proofs and examples support the response. An essay receiving a 3 demonstrates an average scientific knowledge of science, with limited terminology. An essay receiving a 1 demonstrates very little scientific knowledge and the response is not supported with a hypothesis or examples. A score of 0 is reserved for essays not answered at all, or for which the response is completely off target.