PRAXIS Test Guide
PRAXIS Test Summary
|What: Praxis Core Exam, PPST and Praxis II|
|Who: The tests are administered by Educational Testing Service.|
|Where: Tests are given at Prometric Testing Centers nationwide, as well as at many colleges and universities.|
|When: Tests are given throughout the year. Students typically take the Praxis Core Exam before college and take PPST as freshmen or sophomores, and the Praxis II as seniors.|
|How: All tests use a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.|
|Type: The Praxis exams are available as computerized tests.|
|Why: The Praxis exams are required for state licensure, and they help demonstrate a teacher is qualified for employment.|
|Time: The Praxis Core Exams last four hours. Praxis II exams range from one to four hours.|
|Preparation: Students may benefit from workbooks, tutorials and even Praxis workshops.|
|Cost: There are costs to take the tests.|
The Praxis Series of exams are administered by Educational Testing Service and used by individual states to grant teaching licenses to qualified candidates. Praxis exams are required for licensure in 40 states. The Praxis Series includes two distinct exams:
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam - Measures basic academic knowledge
- Praxis I (Pre-Professional Skills Test, or PPST) – Measures basic academic knowledge
- Praxis II – Measures subject-specific knowledge and teaching skills
Requirements for teaching candidates vary by state. Students should check with their state department of education to ensure they are aware of the most up-to-date requirements at test time.
Praxis Core Exam and the PPST
The Praxis Core Exam evaluates a student’s basic reading, writing and math skills. Students typically take this exam before college or early in their college career.
The exam is now exclusively computer-based, unless there are special needs. With the exception of essays that are written during the Writing exam, all questions are multiple choice. Calculators are provided on the computer.
The Core Exam and the PPST are broken down into three separate subjects: reading, math and writing. The reading and math tests each include 56 questions to be answered in 85 minutes. The writing test is separated into two sections. The first writing section includes 40 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 40 minutes. The essay section includes two essay topics to be completed in 60 minutes.
Test takers have the option to complete each test separately in two-hour segments on different days, or to complete the entire Praxis Core Exam or PPST at once in a four-and-a-half hour block with a 15 minute break offered midway through.
The questions cover the following topics:
- Reading – Literal comprehension and critical and inferential comprehension
- Math – Basic operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability
- Writing – Grammar, mechanics and structure, revision in context and research skills
During registration, students can select their preferred testing location. The Praxis Series of Exams is administered at Prometric Test Centers as well as many colleges and universities. Students may register online through Educational Testing Service or over the phone with Prometric Candidate Services (800.853.6773). Students may also contact a test center directly to register.
Praxis II: Subject Assessments
The Praxis II exams test a candidate’s general and K-12 subject-specific knowledge and teaching skills. Students need to complete the Praxis II prior to applying for state licensure. Many students take the exam while still in their senior year of college.
There are 120 exams in the Praxis II series, including:
Subject Assessments, such as
- Business Education
- Driver Education
- Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Foreign Languages, including French, German, Latin and Spanish
- Gifted Education
- Government/Political Science
- Health Education
- Physical Education
- Special Education
- Technology Education
- Principles of Learning and Teaching Tests
- Early Childhood
- Grades K-6
- Grades 5-9
- Grades 7-12
- Teaching Foundation Tests
- Multiple Subjects
Praxis II tests may last one, two or four hours, depending on the exam. Each test includes questions that are either multiple choice or essay. The number of questions varies with each exam. Students may take up to three exams in a single day.
Test candidates can register for the Praxis II online through Educational Testing Service. Praxis II exams are administered at test locations on several dates throughout the year.
Praxis Series Scores
Scores are available online approximately three weeks after the test date for the computerized tests. Score reports generally arrive in the mail a week to 10 days after online scores are made available. For a fee, students may receive their scores over the phone earlier. Educational Testing Service provides a schedule online that indicates when phone scores are available for each testing date.
Are you a teaching student ready to start preparing for the Praxis Series exams? There are lots of great preparation programs available to you. Check out our PRAXIS Test Directory to get started today!
Source: Educational Testing Service; ets.org
Jessica Carlson, MA
Jill Mountain, MA
Adel Arshaghi, MS
Michael Atkins, Ph.D.