What is the Praxis test?
Praxis is developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The Praxis exams are a series of tests used to assess essential academic skills and specific-subject knowledge of prospective educators as part of the licensing and certification process. There are three types of Praxis tests:
- Praxis Core assesses basic skills such as reading, writing and mathematics.
- Praxis Subject Assessments evaluates subject-specific knowledge and pedagogy.
- Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments (CKT) tests the specialized content and pedagogical knowledge required for elementary teaching.
Each participating state requires a different combination of tests, depending on their individual certification requirements.
What is on the Praxis exam?
The Praxis exam is a series of tests that contain questions designed to assess academic and pedagogical knowledge during the teacher credentialing process. Each state that uses the Praxis exams requires a different combination of tests depending on their individual certification requirements.
Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Praxis Core)
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams assess the fundamental content knowledge of candidates entering teacher preparation programs. These tests are designed to measure the reading, writing, and mathematics skills needed for all teachers regardless of the specific subject matter they will teach in their career. The Praxis Core exams are taken by prospective teachers at all teaching levels, though specific requirements vary by state.
The Praxis Core Reading exam requires the candidate to read and analyze material to evaluate a variety of reading comprehension skills. The skills assessed include:
- Identifying the main idea and primary purpose of a passage
- Drawing inferences
- Identifying an author's attitude and tone
- Analyzing the organization of a passage
- Identifying word meanings
- Conducting analysis of a passage
The Praxis Core Math exam requires the candidate to read and analyze material to evaluate a variety of reading comprehension skills. The skills assessed include:
- Integers, decimals, and fractions
- Properties of numbers
- Data sets and interpretation
- Algebraic expressions and equations
- Word problems
- Geometric shapes and angles
- Perimeter, area, and volume
The Praxis Core Writing exam assesses explanatory and argumentative writing through two essay sections. Additionally, research and revision strategies for writing are evaluated using selected response questions. The content covered on the exam includes:
- Development of ideas and arguments
- Use of language
- Sentence structure
- Development of an essay
- Use of appropriate revision strategies
- Command of language
- Research skills
The Praxis Core exams contain multiple types of questions, including selected response, numeric entry, and constructed response questions. Each of the three Praxis Core tests may be taken separately or in a single sitting. The table below provides the question format and time limits for each test.
|Exam||Number and format of questions||Time given|
|Praxis Core Reading||56 selected response||85 minutes|
|Praxis Core Mathematics||56 selected response & numeric entry||90 minutes|
|Praxis Core Writing||40 selected response & 2 constructed response||40 minutes for the questions & 60 minutes for the essays|
Praxis Subject Assessments
The Praxis Subject Assessments measure the candidate's knowledge on subjects typically taught to K-12 students. Additionally, the Praxis Subject tests assess general pedagogical knowledge. There are more than 90 different subject assessments, and the tests required during the credentialing process vary by state. The most up-to-date information for testing requirements by state can be found on the ETS website. The table below provides examples of popular subject assessments, including the question format and time limits for each test.
|Exam||Number and format of questions||Time given|
|Mathematics Content Knowledge (5161)||60 selected response & numeric entry||2.5 hours|
|Social Studies Content Knowledge (5081)||130 selected response||2 hours|
|English Language Arts: Content and Analysis (5039)||130 selected response & 2 constructed response||3 hours|
|PLT Grades 7-12 (5624)||70 selected response & 4 constructed response||2 hours|
|PLT Grades K-6 (5622)||70 selected response & 4 constructed response||2 hours|
|Algebra (5162)||60 selected response & numeric entry||2.5 hours|
|Biology||150 selected response||2 hours|
|Chemistry (5245)||125 selected response||2.5 hours|
|Early Childhood Education (5025)||120 selected response||2 hours|
Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments (CKT)
The Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching tests are a series of assessments that measure candidates' understanding of subject-specific content and pedagogical knowledge. These tests require the candidate to apply their content knowledge to a teaching scenario to assess their readiness to deal with the day-to-day challenges of teaching. Approximately 20% of the test assesses understanding of the content that students will learn, and approximately 80% of the test evaluates ability to teach the content to students.
There are four subject areas in the Content Knowledge for Teaching tests: Reading and Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
|Exam||Number and format of questions||Time given||Content assessed|
|Reading and Language Arts — CKT||63 selected response||90 minutes||
|Mathematics — CKT||52 selected response & numeric entry||85 minutes||
|Science — CKT||47 selected response||60 minutes||
|Social Studies — CKT||60 selected response||50 minutes||
Who takes the Praxis test?
Praxis tests are taken by new or prospective teachers that wish to be certified in the state they will teach. Praxis tests are also required by several professional licensing agencies and numerous colleges and universities. Aside from specific state testing requirements, teachers that have passed a Praxis test in one state can submit their scores for consideration in any other state they wish to teach.
Which states accept the Praxis tests for certification?
Nearly all states accept Praxis testing. Additionally, each state that uses Praxis for the teacher certification process has different standards. It is important to check each specific state's Praxis testing requirements, including which tests are required within the suite of Praxis exams.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico*
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
*Some states offer testing other than Praxis exams for teacher credentialing. These states specifically offer National Evaluation Series (NES) exams as an alternative.
How is the Praxis scored?
Multiple-choice questions are auto-graded and each worth one point. Essays, or Constructed-Response (CR) questions, are scored by content-area professionals. Each CR question is graded by two professionals. There are some short-form questions that are auto-graded. The Praxis scoring methodology includes taking each of these scores, adding them to tally a total raw score, and then converting to a scaled score.
What are Praxis passing scores?
Each state determines its own passing score criteria. Study.com maintains a complete list of passing Praxis scores by state.
How long does it take to get Praxis scores?
Candidates will receive an unofficial score at the end of selected tests. If available, they will be asked whether to report or cancel their score. If candidates cancel the score, it will not be reported, and this decision will not be able to be reversed. If candidates choose to report the score, they will be shown the score on-screen, but will not receive a printed score report. Score reporting is based on the date of the exam and whether the exam is continuously given or given on a specific date.
Do Praxis scores expire?
Praxis scores are good for up to ten years, or until a specific state determines the score is no longer valid.
View all available Praxis resources
Core Academic Skills
How to prepare for the Praxis tests
Preparing for the Praxis test begins with organizing the content matter covered on the exam. Study.com has comprehensive Praxis preparation materials, including Praxis Study Guides and Praxis Test Prep materials for Praxis Core, Praxis Subject Assessments, and Praxis Content Knowledge (CKT), such as Math, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Earth & Space Sciences.
How do I study for the Praxis?
To prepare for the test, start by getting familiar with what the test covers, including content, question format, and time limit.
Take an honest diagnostic assessment and base the depth and volume of studying on those results.
Collect study materials, such as those available on Study.com's Praxis resource page.
After scheduling a test date, create a study plan to track your preparation.
Finally, be sure to assess progress using practice tests, especially those available on Study.com's practice test page. Candidates may also choose to take supplementary lessons from Study.com's Praxis exams courses. All these steps will help you prepare for the Praxis tests and enter the testing site confidently.
How to register for Praxis tests
Each state has individual requirements for the tests that must be taken for certification. Prior to registering for Praxis tests, candidates should check their individual state requirements. After confirming the test(s) they are required to take, candidates should review the Praxis Tests Information Bulletin on the ETS website.
You can register for the Praxis tests online, via U.S. Mail, or by the telephone.
- To register online, test takers will need to set up a Praxis account.
- To register by mail, test takers will need to print out registration forms from the ETS website. Once the forms and payment are mailed, candidates should receive their registration information within a month. However, they will still need to schedule the exam online using the registration information received in the mail.
- Registering by phone is only possible if test takers already have a Praxis account and are taking the test in a U.S. testing center. Additionally, registration by phone includes an additional $35 fee.
What are the Praxis test dates?
Some tests are given on a continuous basis while others are only offered on specific dates. To find specific testing dates by state, review the official ETS website.
Where can I take the Praxis test?
Each state has various testing centers. Candidates can check for the nearest testing center using the official ETS website, or search by state.
What do I need to bring with me to my Praxis test?
On the day of the test, candidates should bring their admission ticket and proper identification, and make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to their testing time. Additionally, prepare to be at the testing center longer than the planned testing time as unexpected delays may occur.
Pencils and erasers are supplied by the testing center. If a test requires a calculator, be sure to bring one. Graphing, scientific, and four-function calculators are generally allowed. Test takers will not be permitted to bring any other personal items into the testing area. Candidates will also not have access to personal items during breaks, except for food, beverages, and medication. Jewelry is also prohibited, apart from wedding and engagement rings.
How much do Praxis exams cost?
Praxis fees range from $50 to $210 per test depending on the type and length of the exam. There are also state-specific costs for certain tests in the Praxis suite.
What accommodations are available for the Praxis tests?
ETS has made it clear that they are committed to providing accommodations to test takers with special needs. To request accommodations, candidates should complete the Testing Accommodations Request form, and submit to ETS Disability Services via email, online, or U.S. mail. It is very important that candidates complete this request prior to scheduling the exam, as it is not possible to request accommodations for an already scheduled test. After receiving an accommodations approval letter, be sure to keep the letter someplace safe, as it may be possible to use it for future tests if the letter specifically allows. You should also review the available accommodations in detail to make sure you are aware of qualifying conditions and certain special accommodations available with permission.
Study.com's Keys to the Classroom Initiative
As part of Study.com's commitment to social impact and our 1% Pledge, Keys to the Classroom seeks to help aspiring educators across the U.S. prepare for and pass their teacher certification exams. Through a combination of donations, scholarships and community partnerships, Keys to the Classroom aims to ensure prospective educators of all backgrounds and ethnicities can access the profession to help address both the overall teacher shortage in the U.S. and the lack of diversity in the existing teacher pipeline -- ultimately increasing educational outcomes for all students.
To take advantage of this teacher test preparation program, you must be a part of one of our partner organizations. Please let us know if you would like to bring Keys to the Classroom to your community as well.
Can anyone take the Praxis test?
Yes. Anyone is permitted to take the Praxis tests. You do not necessarily need an education degree. Requirements for licensure like formal education, testing and certification are determined by the individual states, and different states may have different education requirements.
Can you take the Praxis test online?
Certain Praxis tests are currently being offered online at home during test center closures and limitations due to COVID-19.
How many times can I take the Praxis?
There is no restriction as to how many times Praxis exams can be taken; however, test takers must register for a retake that is at least 21 days after the failed test. The 21-day count does not include the day the exam is taken.
Is the Praxis test difficult?
The Praxis Core exams include material most students should have learned in middle school and high school. Test takers should use this to consider how long ago they were in secondary school learning this material, meaning that the longer it has been, the more preparation may be needed. The other Praxis tests, including Praxis subject exams, should not be too difficult for those who have recently completed their teaching degree. For those entering teaching through an alternative method, such as those not studying and earning a teaching degree, Praxis subject tests may be more difficult but certainly not impossible. Test takers entering teaching through alternative pathways may need to devote additional study time prior to taking subject exams.
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