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Teaching Praxis Exam

Interested in taking the Praxis Exam?

Get all the steps to prepare for test day.

If you’ve been on the career path to become a teacher, chances are you’ve heard of the Praxis Exams. You may think that the Praxis test is only one exam, but in reality there are multiple test options for potential teachers to take. In addition to earning your teaching degree, taking the Praxis Exam is one of the most important parts of your teaching journey, as this exam determines whether or not you have what it takes to become a teacher. A passing score means you can become licensed to teach in your state.

Praxis Core Tests

Demonstrate your knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics for entry into teacher preparation programs

Praxis Subject Tests

Apply your subject-specific content knowledge in these tests for licensure and certification.

Praxis CKT Tests

Showcase your understanding of Elementary Education subject matter and how to apply it in the classroom.

Regardless of your field of study as a teacher, from social studies to math, a Praxis Exam will be a part of the certification process that will lead to your teaching license. The Praxis isn't subject specific and needs to be taken whether you're in elementary education or secondary education. However, there are different categories of the Praxis Exam, depending on your area of interest. For example, test takers focusing on reading, writing, and math are expected to take the Core Exam, while test takers focusing on theater, biology, or political science may need to take Praxis Subject Assessments.

 

female teacher and students reading a story together

There are also Principles of Learning and Teaching Exams that are directed toward the age range of students a teacher will be expected to lead, such as early childhood, junior high, and high school. Additionally, there’s the Content Knowledge for Teaching Exam, which is specific to elementary school teachers.

Testing requirements can differ by state, so it’s best to check with your licensure board to ensure you’re covering all the bases. In the meantime, you can use this guide to help you prepare for the Praxis Exam.

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What Is the Praxis Test?

The Praxis Test, also known as the Praxis Exam, is a key teacher certification step for aspiring teachers to prove their competencies and knowledge in their area of academic focus. The main purpose of the Praxis Exam is to determine if future teachers are prepared to lead a classroom. Depending on the subject matter, teachers may be required to take more than one test to prove their content knowledge and skill set.

Praxis I and Praxis II

Historically, the Praxis I and Praxis II tests were very similar, both including reading, writing, and math sections. Today, the Praxis I test still measures teachers’ aptitude in those categories, but it also covers core academic skills. Praxis II, on the other hand, focuses on subject assessment. The Praxis II covers a wide range of subjects, measuring teaching skills based on those subjects in addition to general knowledge.

 

Do Substitute Teachers Need to Take the Praxis?

The short answer is, it depends. Some states require substitute teachers to obtain a teaching license while others will find a substitute teaching certification perfectly sufficient. There is a spectrum of requirements, depending on your hours of subbing experience and the school district you work in. Check with your state licensure board for detailed information.

 

How Do I Register for the Praxis Test?

Once you’ve determined which Praxis Exam you need to take, you must register for the test, which requires paperwork and documentation, such as school transcripts and proof of pre-admission test scores. You’ll also need to pay the test fee. Keep in mind that there are registration periods for your state’s Praxis Exam, especially if you’re taking an exam that’s specific to your subject matter area. Some states hold exams only at certain times throughout the year.

 

Who Should Take a Praxis Exam?

You should take a Praxis Exam if it is required of professionals in your desired career path. In many states, the Praxis exam is required to obtain teacher licensure. Each state is different, so you’ll need to refer to your state’s board of licensure to know your requirements. If you’re considering entering a Master of Arts in Teaching program, the Praxis Exam can act as a partial admission requirement. The Praxis I isn't subject specific, so the area of education and grade-level you are pursuing is irrelevant to the test itself. There are, however, different subject assessments for the Praxis II, that pertain to academic areas of interest. If your education focus is broad, you’ll take the Core Exam, which covers reading, writing, and math. On the other hand, say you’re passionate about social studies, physics, or theater. In this case, you’ll need to seek a Praxis Subject Assessment.

schoolkids raising hands while teacher explains

Who Is Eligible to Take the Praxis?

Technically, any student of education is eligible to take any Praxis Exam. Which Praxis Exams you must take and pass depend on state-level requirements. Some states require a minimum SAT score to qualify, while others don’t even require a degree in teacher education. As mentioned, you should check with your state licensure board to ensure you take the proper steps in becoming a fully qualified teacher.

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How Much Does the Praxis Cost?

The cost of taking the Praxis Exam ranges from $90 to $210. Pricing for the exam depends on which test you take and if you’re testing a specific subject matter area. For instance, Praxis Core Exams typically cost $90 per test and $150 for a combined test. Both the Praxis Special Education: Mild to Moderate test costs and the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) for grades K–6 cost $146.

You’ll also encounter additional fees, such as $35 to register for the test by phone, or $40 to make changes to your registration.

Where Do I Take the Praxis Exam?

The Praxis I/Praxis Core Exams have deadlines throughout the year, while other Praxis exams are scheduled through more limiting windows.

You should search for testing centers for your desired exam and test date on the Praxis testing service website, which includes online or “home testing” options.

In order to qualify for the home test option, you must live in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and meet specific requirements regarding equipment and environment.

How Do I Prepare to Take the Praxis?

Exam questions will vary depending on which Praxis exam you take. However, all testers should be prepared to answer multiple choice, fill in the blank, numeric entry, and essay questions as part of the Praxis exam.

Use a study guide from the ETS Praxis website to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you can expect. This resource not only provides study guides for the core exams and general knowledge questions, it also has guides for the specific subject matter tests. You should also explore Magoosh, which is a software that offers customizable practice sessions and videos. Another good resource is books that you can get at your local library, such as the Praxis Official Guide or Praxis Core for Dummies.

You should not attempt the Praxis test until you have at least a couple of practice tests under your belt. Teachers Test Prep has free sample Praxis tests for each category, so you can practice taking your specific exam and see how you measure up. Test Preview and Magoosh are two more sources of Praxis Core sample exams at your disposal.

 

The Praxis Exam will work for future teachers of all different abilities. If you have a disability, medical requirements, restricted mobility, a need for frequent breaks, or another condition that would interfere with your ability to take the test, you have the option to apply for Testing Accommodations through Educational Testing Service (ETS). Simply visit ETS.org to access the Testing Accommodations Request form and ensure that nothing gets in the way of earning a passing score on your Praxis exam. Depending on the details of your application, the ETS may ask for documentation related to your claim.

Many accommodations can be made for those in need, including sign language interpreters, tests in braille or larger print, adjustable chairs, and beyond. Don’t wait too long to submit your Testing Accommodations Request form because it can take up to six weeks to process.

 

How Is the Praxis Scored?

On most Praxis tests, each correct answer is worth one raw point and your total raw score is the sum of all correctly answered questions. In order to pass the Praxis Exam, you need to score between 100 and 200 points. Passing standards are different depending on the specific exam, the state you live in, and can change year-to-year.

Is the Praxis Test Hard?

No, the Praxis test is not hard. In theory, the teacher education you received prior to the test should render you perfectly capable of passing your Praxis exam. As long as you can prove that you are ready to lead a classroom and that you confidently know what you need to teach your students, the exam should be very manageable.

Next Steps: Enroll in a Teaching Program at WGU

female high school teacher in a classroom setting

You may already be enrolled in one of our teaching programs and well on your way to preparing for the Praxis Exam. If not, and you feel that helping students get the most out of their education is your calling, then you should get the most out of yours by enrolling in one of WGU’s nationally recognized online teaching degree programs. Not only is this a surefire way to be 100% prepared for the Praxis Exam, it’s also an incredibly affordable, flexible, student-centric way to earn your degree. Check out WGU’s online teaching degree programs and take the first step toward your future career today.

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Candidates for this program often include:

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This elementary education degree program includes courses in the foundations of teacher education, instructional planning and presentation, assessment, and classroom management. Core teacher education courses focus on diversity, disciplinary literacy, elementary education methods, and pedagogy. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. This online teaching degree program helps you to be eligible for teaching certification in any of the 50 states.

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Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching license options in your state.

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