Praxis® Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203) Practice Test & Study Guide

Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203) Test

The Praxis tests are a series of exams that some aspiring teachers will need to take. Many states use the Praxis to test students' knowledge and skills as part of the licensure or certification process for teaching. The Praxis consists of the Praxis Core Tests for students entering teacher preparation programs, the Praxis Subject Tests for testing specific subject areas, and the Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) Tests. The Teaching Elementary Reading Praxis, or Reading Praxis 5203, is one of more than 90 Praxis Subject Assessments. This Praxis Subject Assessment is designed specifically to test teachers' knowledge in skills in supporting their elementary-aged students' reading development. There are some other closely related subject tests, such as the Teaching Reading Elementary 5205 exam. Most states that require teachers to take an elementary reading exam require the Praxis 5205 exam, but some states may accept either the Praxis 5205 or Praxis 5203 and the state of Ohio requires the Praxis 5203. The biggest difference between the Praxis 5203 vs. 5205 is the specific content breakdown, but both exams are designed to test skills in reading development for kindergarten through 6th grade students.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

What is on the Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203) Test?

The Praxis 5203 Teaching Reading exam is a computer-delivered test that must be completed in 2.5 hours. The exam consists of 90 selected-response questions, as well as 3 Praxis 5203 constructed-response questions. Some questions may contain audio or video components. The questions on the Teaching Reading Elementary Praxis are designed to test teachers' knowledge and abilities in three main areas, the assessment and diagnostic teaching of reading, reading development, and writing in support of reading. Each section has one constructed-response question and multiple selected-response questions. The reading development and writing in support of reading have multiple components that students are tested in. For example, the reading development section tests students' knowledge in areas such as phonemic awareness and oral language development, reading comprehension strategies across text types, and word-analysis skills and vocabulary development, while the writing in support of reading tests students' skills in interdependence of reading and writing development and reading and writing as tools for inquiry and research. Some states require this exam for teachers who work with K through 6th grade students for earning licensure or certification. Sometimes, this exam is paired with other subject tests. For example, Tennessee requires middle school language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies teachers to take their respective subject test and a Teaching Reading Elementary exam to work with kids grade 6 through 8.

Scoring Guide

Some helpful Praxis 5203 tips include understanding the scoring of the exam. Students may want to focus more of their attention on some of the larger portions of the exam. For instance, the reading development section makes up 46% of the exam, while the writing in support of reading and the assessment and diagnostic teaching of reading sections each make up 27% of the exam. Students may also benefit from knowing that selected-response questions account for 75% of the final test score, while the constructed-response questions make up the last 25% of the score. Selected-response questions are scored by the computer and students receive one raw point for each correct response. There is no penalty for incorrect answers, so students should guess for questions they do not know. These raw points add up over the whole exam for the total raw score, which is later converted to a scaled score in order to account for differences amongst editions of the exam. The constructed-response questions take longer to score as they are manually scored by 2 or more scorers. In exams like the Praxis 5203 where there is a combination score of selected-response and constructed-response questions, the total score is the weighted sum of Praxis scores from both types of questions, which is then converted to a scaled score for the different test editions.

Practice Test Materials and Study Resources

Students preparing to take the Reading Across the Curriculum Praxis should be sure to take advantage of different Praxis 5203 prep materials that are available to them. These materials include Praxis 5203 study guides and Teaching Reading Praxis practice test 5203. Students can access Praxis II online study guides that break down the format of the exam, provide a list of study topics, give sample questions and explain the correct answers, as well as offer sample study plans. In addition to these resources, study guides offer test-taking tips and strategies and answer frequently asked questions concerning different Praxis tests. From the Praxis Prepare for Your Praxis Test page, students can also access the organization's video library to watch videos on what to expect on test day, resources for developing a study plan, a list of strategies and tips, and interactive practice tests.

Cost and Registration

Students who know they need to take the Praxis 5203 exam can register for the exam online, by mail, or by phone. However, registering by phone does come with an additional $35 fee. During the Praxis registration, students will be able to view and select from available Praxis 5203 test dates for completing the computer-based exam in-person at a Praxis testing center. Once registered, students can print their admission ticket from their Praxis account. During the registration process students will also be asked to pay the required $156 fee for taking the Praxis 5203. Additional fees may come if students decide to change their test location or date, order additional score reports, or request a score review.

Expert Contributor

Nadim Tabsch

Nadim Tabsch is an adjunct English professor with over 15 years of experience. He has deep expertise in Literacy and Social Sciences and has been an educator at the elementary, middle school, high school, and collegiate level. Nadim graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from Barry University and a Master's degree in Literacy from the University of New England.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a passing score for Praxis 5205?

    Several states require a passing score of 159 or higher on the Praxis 5205, including Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia, and more.

  • What does the Praxis reading test consist of?

    The reading across the curriculum Praxis tests students' knowledge of assessment and diagnostic teaching of reading, reading development, and writing in support of reading.

  • What score do you need to pass Praxis 5025?

    The passing score for the Reading Praxis 5205 or the Reading Praxis 5203 varies by state. For example, Ohio requires a 162 or higher on the Praxis 5203 exam, while multiple states require a 159 or higher on the Praxis 5205.

  • How long is the Praxis teaching reading test?

    The Teaching Reading Elementary Education 5203 exam takes 150 minutes or 2.5 hours to complete, which is the same as the Teaching Reading Elementary 5205 exam. Both exams also include 90 selected-response questions and 3 constructed-response questions.


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  1. What is the difference between the revising and editing stages of writing?

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  2. In addition to the six traits of writing, some instructors include a seventh trait. The seventh trait is

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  3. Which step of the writing process involves figuring out what topic you want to write about and exploring all of your potential ideas?

    • Correct Answer
  4. Students are learning to structure their essays in English class. The teacher explains to the students that an effective essay contains a beginning, middle, and end. Students create the beginning of their essay by responding to a prompt, which asks them to outline their topic and create a thesis statement. In this scenario, which of the following types of paragraph are the students creating?

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  5. While editing their essay, a student realizes that they made some mistakes. The student uses a red pen to circle letters that are improperly capitalized, and adds punctuation to sentences that are missing commas and quotation marks. The student also uses a dictionary to check words they were unfamiliar with to ensure they were spelled properly. Which of the following parts of the editing process is the student focusing on?

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  6. Students are learning about different types of informational writing in class. When preparing for an argumentative essay, the teacher has their students gather information to support their arguments. The teacher explains that without this information, the essays they write will not be nearly as effective. In this scenario, the teacher is asking the students to gather information so they may provide

    • Correct Answer
  7. 'Pride and Prejudice, one of the most famous novels by Jane Austen, tells the story of the fictional Elizabeth Bennet, a young woman in Regency England. What type of writing is this?

    • Correct Answer
  8. Mr. Jacobs has started to suspect that one of his students may have a learning disability. To address this, he should start by

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  9. This figure outlines the three tiers of Response to Intervention (RTI). What is the problem with the figure?

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  10. Mr. Cameron's students are struggling with unknown words. Which of the following should he not teach to his students to help them with unknown words?

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  11. When a child is reading and does not know one of the words, they can use clues from the other words and sentences around that unfamiliar word. This is known as

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  12. Which of the following words is not a homograph?

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  13. A teacher is following the workshop model of literacy instruction. Which of the following teaching strategies for reading and writing comes first?

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  14. Adding notes or comments while reading to help understand and organize information is known as

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  15. Which of the following writing skills involves the ability to recognize and understand the structure of language, including independent and dependent clauses, verbals, and appositives?

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