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Praxis® Test Study Guide & Exam Info

Earning your teacher certificate will be easier with practice tests and resources to help you prepare for your exam.

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What Is the Praxis Exam?

Many states require that prospective teachers take one or more Praxis exams, created and facilitated by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for licensing and certification purposes. These Praxis exams aim to verify an individual's academic knowledge and teaching abilities. In certain instances, those who intend to teach a specific subject area may also be required to pass one or more subject-specific Praxis exams to demonstrate their expertise within their discipline. The Praxis tests include the following:

  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: This exam assesses an individual's expertise in reading, writing, and mathematics content regardless of their discipline or intended grade level.
  • Praxis Subject Assessments: These exams test an individual's knowledge in a specific subject area that they intend to teach in grades K-12, in addition to overall teaching skills and practices.
  • Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments (CKT): These tests assess expertise in a specific subject area with the intention of teaching at the elementary level.

Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

Those who wish to begin a teaching career usually take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test (formerly known as the Pre-Professional Skills Test or PPST) in order to validate the content and instruction-based knowledge they possess, as well as the areas upon which they can improve in a teacher education program. Most colleges and universities will issue the Praxis Core to students to assess their reading, writing, and mathematics basic skills prior to them enrolling in a teacher education program. Additionally, many states typically require Praxis exam passing scores for individuals to become eligible for a state teaching license or certification.

The Praxis Core exam is made up of multiple-choice, numeric entry answers, selected-response questions, and two essay responses. Praxis study guide and Praxis practice test are widely available online for test takers to utilize in preparation for the exam.

The Praxis Core exam for teachers is usually an online test that is administered through the ETS to individuals at Praxis testing centers.

Praxis Subject Assessments (Praxis II)

While the comprehensive Praxis Core exam may be a state requirement for prospective teachers prior to admission to a teacher education program and/or earning licensure and certification, those who intend to teach a specific subject area or grade level may also need to take a Praxis Subject Assessment or Praxis II. The Praxis II exams allow educators to demonstrate their expertise in a specific discipline, as well as general teaching practices for teaching grades K-12.

Depending on the state in which they intend to teach, individuals may be required to pass the Praxis II exams to earn their teaching licensure and certification. Similar to the Praxis Core, Praxis II tests, excluding the exam for Braille Proficiency, are administered digitally at a local testing center.

There are approximately 90 Praxis II exams in wide-ranging academic topics such as algebra, sociology, psychology, theater, and world languages. Educators should review relevant Praxis state requirements for teaching a specific subject area to determine which Praxis II tests they need to complete, as well as the Praxis test scores to pass.

It is recommended that educators review the Praxis test preparation materials (e.g., Praxis study guide, Praxis study companion, and Praxis practice test) for their intended Praxis II examinations.

Select a practice test to help you prepare for your upcoming exam.

Who Should Take the Praxis Exams?

Prospective or first-time educators may be required to take the Praxis tests for teachers. Additionally, some professional licensing agencies or higher education institutions may also require a passing Praxis score.

Students looking to enroll in a teacher education program should be taking the Praxis Core (and may also be required to do so by their college or university) to gauge their educational knowledge and identify areas in need of improvement.

While each state has its testing standards for Praxis exams and teacher certification, individuals who have scored a passing score on the Praxis test may be able to submit their Praxis scores for licensure in other states, as well.

Which Praxis Exams Do I Need to Take?

Individual states determine the different types of Praxis exams an educator must take, as well as the minimum passing score a person must meet for licensing. This means that test takers are responsible for investigating the requirements and the Praxis scores for each state. Individuals can find information from their state's credentialing body to learn more about the different Praxis exams, certifications, and other requirements based on where they intend to teach.

If a state requires educators to submit their scores from the Praxis Core exam, individuals will need to complete all three subtests, which include Praxis Core Reading, Praxis Core Writing, and Praxis Core Math. Each state also decides whether or not prospective teachers must complete the Praxis II exams to teach a particular subject or grade level.

Which States Require Praxis Exams?

Nearly all states, except for a few, use the Praxis tests for teaching licensure and certification. States that do not require the Praxis exams typically use the National Evaluation Series (NES) instead of, or in addition to, various Praxis tests.

Some examples of varying combinations of Praxis testing requirements are represented by the following states:

Alabama Praxis II
Connecticut Praxis Core, Praxis II, and School Leadership Series
Hawaii Praxis Core and Praxis II
Nebraska Praxis Core, Praxis II, and School Leadership Series
New Jersey Praxis Core, Praxis II, and School Leadership Series
New York Praxis II
Wisconsin Praxis Core and Praxis II

How Do I Register for a Praxis Exam?

Before candidates schedule a Praxis test, they should review their state's requirements for certification and licensure, as well as the Praxis testing policies, accompanying fees, and available accommodations for those with disabilities.

Individuals may register to take a Praxis exam online by filling out the online form and providing their debit/credit card information. An admission ticket (sent by email) will provide further details about the Praxis testing center and the time that a person is scheduled to take the exam. It is recommended that individuals bring a hard copy of their admission ticket to the testing center on the day of the exam in case the administrator asks to see it.

Candidates may also register to take a Praxis test by mail or phone. For those who wish to register by mail, a hard copy of the Test Authorization Voucher Request Form from the ETS website must be printed and mailed in. Phone registration is also available at a nominal fee for applicants who have a Praxis account and intend to take the test in the United States.

When Can I Take the Praxis?

Depending on the state and/or college or university, students seeking an education major may need to pass the Praxis exam(s) to obtain their teaching credentials. The Praxis test dates in which candidates may take the Praxis Core and the Praxis II are usually fluctuating, particularly since many schools require that students pass the Praxis Core in order to apply to a teacher education program, while the Praxis II test may need to be completed at the end of the program or the beginning of a student teaching component. By the time a student takes the Praxis Subject Assessments, it is expected they have completed all their other coursework and have gained the content knowledge necessary to be successful on the exams.

Students should refer to their college or university's website or speak with an academic advisor to determine when they should register for Praxis exam to meet any program deadlines.

How Much Does It Cost to Take the Praxis Exam?

The Praxis test cost typically varies depending on the type of test an educator is registered to take. The Praxis Core charges candidates approximately $90 per subtest (reading, writing, or mathematics). Test takers also have the option to take a Core Combined Praxis that includes all sections for $150.

Praxis Subject Assessment tends to be more expensive, with exam fees ranging from $120 to about $200 depending on the subject area or grade level. Additionally, prospective elementary school educators may opt to take the Praxis Subject Assessments as a bundle, ranging in price from $60 to $170.

Praxis test takers may also be subject to service fees for phone registration, making changes to test centers or exam dates, and obtaining additional score reports. A fee of $65 is also typical for reviewing Praxis test score reports.

College students who are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, are receiving financial aid, and who are required to take the Praxis exams for a teacher education program may be eligible for a fee waiver. Praxis test fee waiver is limited, however, per date and institution.

Where Can I Take the Praxis?

The Praxis exams are administered at several Praxis test locations around the United States and internationally, including universities and colleges, Prometric centers, and additional locations. Each site delivers the Praxis exams through digitally-based testing for the Praxis Core and Praxis 2. However, the Praxis Braille Proficiency exam and the Praxis American Sign Language (ASL) exam are not digitally administered and entail different kinds of testing formats.

For those seeking additional information regarding testing centers in the United States or internationally, the ETS website provides a searchable map where test takers may look up local Praxis testing sites by zip code.

Praxis Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Reasonable Praxis testing accommodations are available for students with disabilities and must be approved by the ETS before students schedule a Praxis test. Accommodations can be requested online, email, or mail, and may take about six weeks for the paperwork to be received. Additional paperwork could take longer to process, so accommodation requests should be made as soon as possible. Upon being approved, the ETS will notify the individual of the procedures of Praxis exam registration.

Some common accommodations for the Praxis exams may include the following:

  • Longer testing time
  • Frequent breaks
  • Screen magnification
  • The ability to test in a different room
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Braille format
  • Having a writer/recorder to assist with answering questions
  • Large print
  • Audio test

While all Praxis exams are delivered in English, individuals whose first language isn't English may request additional time to complete their exam, as well.

What Is on the Praxis Exams?

Each state requires a different combination of Praxis examinations (Praxis Core, Praxis Subject Assessments, and/or Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments) for credentialing purposes. The aim of the Praxis exams is to help determine whether a prospective teacher meets the content knowledge and instructive expertise necessary for certification in the state that they plan to teach.

The Praxis exam material ranges depending on the type of test or subtest being completed. While the Praxis Core material is often more generalized in reading, writing, and mathematics content and pedagogy, a Praxis Subject Assessment will cover material geared toward a particular discipline.

Praxis Core Subtests: Reading, Mathematics, & Writing

Prospective teachers taking the Praxis Core exam will be required to answer questions within the three subtests: reading, writing, and mathematics. Each of these subtests is designed to assess the academic skills of teacher candidates no matter which grade level or subject they intend to teach.

The Praxis Core Reading exam typically covers various reading comprehension topics and skills, such as conceptualizing the objective of a passage, recognizing the author's tone and style, subtexts, critical analysis, and drawing inferences.

The Praxis Core Writing test evaluates the test taker's ability to develop perspectives and arguments in expository and argumentative essay writing. An emphasis is placed on language, sentence structure, revisions, writing style, research skills, etc., and individuals will also have a series of multiple-choice questions to answer.

The Praxis Core Math assesses the test taker's ability to solve a variety of mathematical questions, including integers, fractions, and decimals; data sets; perimeter and area formulas, geometry concepts, and algebraic equations.

Praxis Test Length & Format

The various Praxis exams' lengths and formats depend on the type of subtest being taken. Praxis Core subtests (reading, writing, and mathematics) may be taken on separate days and times, or be completed in one sitting. The following table breaks down the time and delivery format for each Praxis Core subtest:

Praxis Exam Subtest Number of Questions Test Length (Minutes) Format
Mathematics 56 90 Multiple-choice, Numeric Entry, On-Screen Calculator
Reading 56 85 Multiple-choice based on reading passages
Writing 40 multiple-choice; 2 essays 100 (40 minutes for multiple-choice; 30 minutes for essays) Multiple-choice, essays

The Praxis II exams vary in length and structure according to the subject area an individual is testing in. On average, subject tests may take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete. The format of each individual test may be made up of multiple-choice, selected response, essay questions, or a combination of each. The number of questions also varies by the subject-based exam.

Test takers can view details on each Subject Assessment and familiarize themselves with each exam's preparation materials as they begin to develop their study strategies.

How Is the Praxis Scored?

The Praxis scoring system is determined by the types of questions being asked (e.g., multiple-choice or written response). For multiple-choice questions, answers are scored by a machine for accuracy, and each correct response is worth one raw point. Raw points are based on how many questions are answered correctly within the exam.

For essay or constructed-response answers, scoring is done by a qualified scorer who must meet stringent scoring standards set by ETS. For example, written answers are reviewed and scored by a minimum of two highly skilled scorers who specialize in a particular set of questions.

Any pretest or sample questions included in the Praxis exams will not be applied toward the scoring of the Praxis exam; however, the questions themselves may be used in future tests.

It should be noted that only correct answers are counted toward the final score of the exam, so Praxis test takers may wish to guess the answer on questions they are uncertain about.

How Hard Are the Praxis Exams?

Essentially, the Praxis Core exam aims to measure an individual's academic skills when it comes to educational content. While the content may sound simple enough, it is important for test takers to reacquaint themselves with their educational background and the types of academic skills they used when they were in school. The U.S. Department of Education's 2010 data report states that approximately 86.9% of test takers pass the Praxis exam; however, that rate continues to decrease as states raise the Praxis passing scores and the exam itself becomes increasingly difficult.

Individuals taking the Praxis II subject tests may find that the Praxis material is more in-depth and specialized to the subject area or grade level they intend to teach. In that respect, the Praxis II test may be somewhat simpler than the Praxis Core as it tests within an individual's discipline of study.

There are several Praxis study guides and materials to prepare test takers for the exam.

Praxis Passing Scores

Each state defines its standards of Praxis exam passing scores. Test takers can find complete information on passing scores by checking information shared by their state's credentialing organization.

For example, minimum passing scores on the three Praxis Core subtest sections are as follows in the following states:

State Reading Scores Writing Scores Math Scores
Alaska 156 162 150
Kentucky 156 162 150
Maryland 156 162 150
South Carolina 156 158 150
Tennessee 156 162 150

Praxis Retake Policy

If a teaching candidate does not pass the Praxis exam, they must wait at least 28 days before they can retake the Praxis test. Additionally, for those who take a Praxis exam with a series of subtests, it is also prohibited to retake any subtest within the 28-day timeframe. Examples of subtests may include the Praxis Elementary Education Multiple Subjects, the CKT test, or the Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 Core Assessment.

If a teaching candidate cancels their scores on a previous Praxis test, the same 28-day rule applies for retaking the exam. Individuals who violate the Praxis retake policy will be subject to having their new retake scores being canceled by the ETS, as well as being unable to receive a refund.

How Can I Study for the Praxis?

There are many options available to anyone preparing for a Praxis exam, including detailed study guides that cover specific Praxis subtests and subject assessments, interactive practice tests to determine areas of strength and potential for growth, and study plans to help test takers feel confident going into test day. These study tools are available at a wide range of price points and can offer flexibility for test takers with varying amounts of study time available for the upcoming praxis test dates.

Specific study tools that are available to anyone preparing for the Praxis exams include study guides, interactive practice tests, study plans, content-specific apps and online courses, and both local and remote study groups.

Praxis Study Guides

Many prospective teachers will find study guides useful for Praxis Core test prep. Study guides are also available for the Praxis Subject Assessments and often begin with a diagnostic test that helps gauge a test taker's strengths as well as the skills and knowledge they need to improve. After the initial diagnostic test, students may design a tailored study plan for themselves, watch video lessons, and complete full-length practice exams to measure their progress.

Additionally, comprehensive study guides are often available in interactive online or PDF form and provide an overview of each Praxis Core subtest or individual Subject Assessment. These guides include in-depth information on individual tests, practice questions, tips for test takers, and links to further information.

Praxis Prep Courses

Those preparing to take the Praxis exams may utilize an online prep course. These courses are designed to teach specific content found on the Praxis exams to ensure that test takers can review the most essential topics. These prep courses are often taught by Praxis experts through video lessons and instructional examples. Often, prep courses will allow learners to quiz themselves on the material following each lesson or set of lessons to demonstrate their learning and address areas that need improvement.

Praxis Practice Tests

Praxis practice tests provide the chance for test takers to familiarize themselves with what the Praxis exam is like, including the amount of time they spend on each question, areas in need of improvement, and the content itself. Practice tests are available for many Praxis Core and Praxis Subject Assessment disciplines and can be invaluable in helping to prepare for test day by mimicking not just the specific content areas addressed on each exam. With Praxis test sample questions provided in the practice tests, test takers can have a peek into the tone and question formats that each exam will use.

Expert Contributor

Adrianne Baron

Adrianne Baron, M.S. has taught and developed biology courses for over 20 years. She has brought her insights to both high school and college classrooms, in-person and online. Adrianne passed Praxis and GACE exams during the course of her certification. She has an M.S. in Cancer Biology from the University of Texas and an M.S. in Biology with a Concentration in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry from Georgia State University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who has to take the Praxis test?

    Praxis tests may be required for prospective educators at one or two points in their path toward teacher certification. The Praxis Core exams are often a requirement for entry into a teacher preparation program, and passing scores on Praxis exams are a requirement for teacher certification in more than 40 states.

  • What happens if you fail the Praxis test?

    If you do not earn a high enough score on your Praxis test to meet your state's credentialing standards, you may retake the exam. There is a required waiting period of three weeks (21 days) between tests, but you may register to retake the test as soon as you feel you're ready.

Expert Answers to Common Questions about praxis

  • How can prospective classroom teachers make the most out of their student teaching experiences?
  • How do you recommend that prospective teachers find support and community during their time as a student and a new teacher?
  • What advice do you have for a student who is preparing to become a teacher?
  • What advice do you have for prospective teachers trying to decide what age group, subject, and type of school to teach at?
  • What are your most helpful self-care tips for teaching during challenging times, from difficult parent-teacher conferences to teaching online during COVID-19?
  • What tips do you have for preparing for and passing teacher certification exams?
  • Why did you get into the field of education?

You can read their biographies and answers below:

  • Expert contributor image

    Dr. James P. Concannon

    Director for the School of Education, William Woods University

    I serve as the Director for the School of Education at William Woods University. William Woods University is located in the quaint town of Fulton, Missouri. In this role, I help oversee graduate and undergraduate education degree programs along with teacher certification. I work with a wonderful group of professional educators who ensure our students receive a top quality education degree. My professional accomplishments include authoring science education books, several peer-reviewed articles, and some smaller contributions to the field. I serve as an advisor, as needed, for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. I also serve testing companies, as needed, with aspects on bias and content validity of certification specific assessments.

    • How can prospective classroom teachers make the most out of their student teaching experiences?

      It is important for a student teacher to review school policies, have honest conversations with the cooperating teacher and university supervisor about expectations, request that the cooperating teacher provides formative feedback weekly, find a common time to meet with the cooperating teacher, accept criticism, be professional, always remain calm, accept that perfection is unrealistic, and understand that it is just like any other field in that there is often a steep learning curve.

    • How do you recommend that prospective teachers find support and community during their time as a student and a new teacher?

      It is important during the interview process to ask the potential employer what the induction process entails for new teachers. Each district has a different flavor for new teacher induction into the profession, but most districts utilize mentors assigned to first-year teachers. New teachers should also stay in touch with their college or university professors! Former professors are there to assist, and they are a great resource since it is unlikely they will communicate any concerns a new teacher might have with the employer. Finally, a new teacher should find, join, and be active in state and/or regional organizations.

    • What advice do you have for a student who is preparing to become a teacher?

      Looking back on my own personal education experiences, I believe I have always been well-informed of the demands of being a teacher. I have come to realize that the progression to becoming a great teacher, not just a certified teacher, requires not only a continued thirst for content, but also a desire to continue learning about best teaching practices. My advice to prospective and new teachers would be to continue learning, and never accept that you know all that you need to know to be the best version of you as a teacher.

    • Why did you get into the field of education?

      I had a wonderful high school teacher named Mrs. Gunn. She truly sparked and inspired me to pursue my interest in science. Being the youngest of two teaching parents, I was exposed to the teaching throughout my childhood. My passion for science, being a life-long learner, and my commitment to service naturally drew me into the field of education.

  • Expert contributor image

    Julie Jackson Albee, PhD

    Chair of Education Division & Director of Assessment

    Teaching 1st, 3rd, and 4th-grade students in the regular classroom, high school math, and students who are gifted in grades 2 - 8, provided me with a strong base for teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Colorado Baptist University (now a part of Colorado Christian University), Northwest Missouri State University, and Hannibal-LaGrange University. My B.S. in Elementary Education from MIssouri Western State University, M.S. in Professional Studies in Education (Gifted Education) from Iowa State University, and Interdisciplinary PhD in Higher Order Literacy (diagnosing and correcting reading problems) and Urban Policy and Professional Studies in Higher Education were all helpful. I pursued advanced degrees to strengthen my teaching weaknesses. I was blessed to co-author a textbook on reading diagnosis and correction with Dr. Tony Manzo and Dr. Ula Manzo, as well as to publish articles on a variety of educational topics. "Dig Into Reading," a summer reading intervention to reverse the summer reading slump is one of my latest projects. I am a Christian, pastor's wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher--all precious roles.

    • How do you recommend that prospective teachers find support and community during their time as a student and a new teacher?

      I love to receive emails from new teachers! Many times new teachers will email with specific questions about students they are trying to reach in an academic area or in behavior. It is my pleasure to share possible ideas that may work. So, feel free to contact a professor who has a passion for teaching and who likes to support new teachers. Colleagues are another great source of wisdom. Find a mentor teacher (it may or may not be the one your assigned) who you trust. Bounce ideas off of this person, who can help you reflect. Also, remember your friends from your university who are new teachers, also. Reach out to them with questions.

    • What advice do you have for a student who is preparing to become a teacher?

      I wish someone would have told me, "There is no such thing as perfection in teaching." I am a recovering perfectionist. In teaching, as well as in life, perfection is not a possibility! Jesus Christ is the only perfect person who ever lived on this earth. I need to do my best, knowing that each student and each class is different. What worked well with one child, will not necessarily work with the next.

    • What advice do you have for prospective teachers trying to decide what age group, subject, and type of school to teach at?

      Spend a lot of time with children. Take career courses during high school where you spend time in classrooms. Work with children in summer jobs, nursery, babysitting, teaching Vacation Bible School, camps--any way that you can become familiar with different ages. As you work with students of different ages, it will help you learn your best fit.

    • What are your most helpful self-care tips for teaching during challenging times, from difficult parent-teacher conferences to teaching online during COVID-19?

      Doug Lemov's "Teach Like a Champion" strategies are wonderful! If you are not familiar with them, you may want to check them out.

    • What tips do you have for preparing for and passing teacher certification exams?

      First, examine the frameworks of the test you will take. Next to each framework, check if you know the information and put a question mark next to topics you need to review. Then research the unknown topics in textbooks, online, ask professors, etc. Next, take practice tests of the same length as the assessment. This helps you to become familiar with the testing format, as well as the time constraints. The more familiar you are with the testing format, the more relaxed you will be during the test. Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy meal before taking the test. Ask the Lord to help you to recall what you have learned. When you stress, it limits full brain function. Finally, relax and do your best!

    • Why did you get into the field of education?

      When I was little, I wanted to be a nurse--until I had to go to the doctor to get shots. I really do not like shots! So, about the age of 6, I decided that I wanted to become a teacher. That desire has not changed but has only grown stronger throughout the years. I love seeing undergraduate and graduate students apply what they learn in courses in their own classrooms!

Praxis Practice Tests