Praxis® Core Test Study Guide & Exam Info

What Is the Praxis Core?

The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam or Praxis Core test, evaluates future educators' comprehensive knowledge of math, reading, and writing. This series of tests on foundational skills in math and English may be used to assess students as they enter teacher preparation programs, or it may be required as part of the state licensure process before becoming licensed to teach.

The Praxis Core exam was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the largest international educational testing organization, whose team of researchers and educators regularly review and revise the Praxis Core to meet Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and better assess the skillsets of prospective teachers. Founded in 1947 with administration sites in over 180 countries, ETS administers some of the most commonly used teacher assessments around the world. Because ETS is committed to an annual review process for Praxis tests, the Praxis Core series is sometimes modified or updated, and some organizations or websites that are more infrequently updated may refer to previous versions of the exam and their test numbers when discussing the current Praxis Core.

The current Praxis Core test number, also known as the Praxis Core Combined, is the Praxis 5752. This set of three tests in math, reading, and writing are also identified by series numbers. As of 2021, the Praxis Core Math is 5733, while the current Core Reading test is 5713, and the Praxing Core Writing test is 5723. Regardless of its version, Praxis Core is a widely used teaching assessment tool that most future educators will take.

What Is the Difference Between the Praxis I and Praxis Core?

Some material may refer to the previous version, Praxis Core I, sometimes termed Praxis Core 1 or Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST). In some cases, the material may be outdated, but some states that have not yet transitioned to the new Praxis Core 5752 will use the older Core I, Praxis 5751. There is one key difference between the Praxis 5751 versus 5752. The new Praxis Core skills for educators test updated the math test in September 2019 to include a greater emphasis on statistics, probability, and data analysis with less geometry and algebra. The reading and writing tests are unchanged, though their tests numbers have also been updated. Test takers should check the Praxis test requirements with their state to determine whether they must take Praxis 1 core or the current version.

Who Should Take the Praxis Core Test?

The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam is intended to be taken by future teachers to ensure that they have a sufficient knowledge base to begin a teacher preparation program. Praxis Core may also be used by student educators as they embark on their journey to licensure. Prospective teachers are required by many states to achieve passing scores on either Praxis Core or Praxis 2, subject-specific assessments that test teacher skills at different grade levels, to qualify for a teaching license. In some cases, teachers may be required to take a combination of both exams.

Though requirements vary, 40 states and US territories use Praxis tests as a mandatory element in licensing teachers. Praxis states include Georgia, Connecticut, Mississippi, Maryland, Maine, Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Nebraska, among others. Some states that do require Praxis tests may allow future teachers a waiver based on high ACT, GRE, or SAT scores, like the Praxis 1 waiver CT (Connecticut Waiver). Alternately, states that do not require the Praxis Core may still require Praxis II tests for certain subjects, like speech-language pathology in New York and California, or they may accept Praxis Core results as an alternate assessment tool. Prospective teachers can find links to state-specific information on what combination of Praxis tests are required for licensure through the Praxis Core state requirements database. ETS provides an overview of state requirements and contact information for every state licensing board.

Praxis Core Registration

ETS has a variety of ways to register for a Praxis test to ease the exam process. The first step prospective teachers must take is to check the Praxis state requirements and determine which combination of tests is required to become licensed in their preferred subject and grade level. While some states may simply require the Praxis Core combined 5752, others may need to take a Praxis II subject-specific exam. Praxis 1 sign-ups may be necessary for states that still administer Praxis 1.

After determining what exams are required, test takers may register online, through the mail, or by phone. Phone registration comes with an additional $35 fee. To register online, test takers must create a Praxis account and pay test fees by eCheck, Paypal, or with a credit/debit card. Test takers may choose the Praxis test dates and locations at the time of registry. It is possible to take separate sections of the Praxis Core combined on different days, but the Praxis test cost will be more expensive than taking all three tests at the same time.

Praxis Core Test Costs

The cost of Praxis Core test depends on how many are taken in one day. Discounts are available for taking the tests two at a time or taking all three at once, but test takers who are more comfortable taking the tests separately may register for the individual tests in any order.

Individual tests cost:

  • Praxis Core Reading (5713 or 5712): $90
  • Praxis Core Writing (5723 or 5722): $90
  • Praxis Core Mathematics (5733 or 5732): $90

Combined tests cost:

  • Two tests (same day): $180
  • Praxis Core Combined (5752 or 5751): $150

Praxis II Subject Assessments cost between $50 to $199 and can also be combined for discounts. Some students currently receiving financial aid may be eligible for a Praxis test fee waiver through their state.

Praxis Core PLNE Accommodations (ESL)

While Praxis Core is only administered in English, prospective teachers for whom English is a second language may seek accommodations to improve their performance on their exams. Verified ESL speakers are eligible for an extra fifty percent in their allotted test time. PLNE, otherwise known as ESL, accommodations are available in all testing locations on all test dates; however, an accommodation request must be made in advance.

To request an accommodation, test takers must complete a PLNE eligibility form, fill out a certification of documentation form that includes a business card, school seal, or stamp, and complete a Test Authorization Voucher. Documents may be emailed or mailed to ETS.

Praxis Core Disability Accommodations

Many accommodations can be made for those with disabilities, but test takers should be aware that the disability review process can take up to six weeks to complete, and if any additional documentation is required during the review, it may take another six weeks before testing can be scheduled.

To register a disability, test takers must submit a Testing Accommodations Form, provide disability documentation, and complete an authorization voucher for test takers with disabilities. Disability accommodations may be requested by mail, email, or online with ETS Disability Services.

Some Praxis accommodations include:

  • Extra time or breaks
  • Selectable colors for both foreground and background
  • Magnification of testing screens
  • Human readers or spoken direction assistance
  • Alternate test formats, including Braille

Praxis Core Test Dates

Some Praxis test locations deliver the Praxis Core all year long but other exams that may also be necessary for future teachers such as Praxis II, which may be available only during certain windows. Test takers should use the Praxis Core Test Dates tool to determine what Praxis Core and Praxis 1 exam dates are available for their required exams. A drop-down menu allows test takers to select their exam and find Praxis test dates on a calendar as well as the projected score reporting dates.

Praxis Core Test Locations

There are thousands of Praxis Core test locations throughout the US. All fifty states have Praxis testing centers, and even states that do not require Praxis Core for licensure have test centers. For instance, New York has 21 test centers though it does not require Praxis Core as part of its licensing process. Testing is often conducted at colleges and universities, but tests can also be taken at dedicated testing sites.

What to Expect on Your Praxis Core Test Day

Test takers will want to prepare themselves fully before their Praxis testing dates. They may take Praxis Core preparation courses or Praxis I test preparation as it applies. Coursework that prepares students for the older Praxis test may include Praxis I test questions or Praxis I (PPST) practice test. While example Praxis Core or Praxis I questions prepare test takers for the material, they may still wonder how long the Praxis Core exam is, what documents they must bring, and what rules they must follow for success on their exams.

Praxis Core test takers are granted 85 minutes for Praxis Core Reading (5713), 90 minutes for Praxis Math Core test (5733), and 100 minutes in 2 blocks of 40 minutes and 60 minutes for Praxis Core Writing (5723). Praxis Core tests are computer tests. Test takers should arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled time with proper identification and are allowed one short unscheduled bathroom break after one test.

Test Center Rules and Regulations

Security is taken seriously with Praxis Core, and test takers should expect that some security checks will be taken to ensure that all test takers approach the test on the same terms. No personal items, including phones, watches, jewelry (except wedding and engagement rings), and any unauthorized test aids, such as scratch paper or calculators not provided by the test center, are allowed. Test center staff may require test takers to show their ankles or wrists or turn out their pockets and may be scanned by a metal detector. Personal items may be stored at the Praxis testing center.

Test takers should:

  • Arrive 30 minutes early
  • Follow directions by test staff
  • Use provided scratch paper and return the complete sheet at the end of the Praxis exam
  • Raise their hand if they need to stand, take a break, or have technical difficulties

Test takers should not:

  • Wear unacceptable clothing such as personal accessories
  • Take any break without authorization
  • Leave the test site during a break
  • Bring food or drink into the testing room

What to Bring to Praxis Core Test

Praxis Core test takers must bring their admission ticket and acceptable ID. An admission ticket will be issued after the Praxis registration and should be printed by the test taker. The admission ticket will include the date, testing site, and some personal identifying information. While some Praxis test locations may not require the admission ticket, ETS advises all test takers to bring their admission ticket in case it is necessary. In most cases, acceptable identifications must be an unexpired, original, government-issued picture ID with the test taker's signature and their exact first and last name. Some exceptions apply for those who are not US citizens, have multipart last names, or use military ID with no signature.

What Is on the Praxis Core Test?

Praxis Core tests use selected-response questions with one correct answer and selected-response questions with more than one correct answer, as well as essay answer entries and numeric entries. The material meets Common Core State Standards, so Common Core Praxis study guides may be helpful, as well as Praxis Core or Praxis 1 exam study guides during preparation. Other preparation tools discussed earlier, such as Praxis 1 exam practice, Praxis Core practice tests, or Praxis Core online tests, will help familiarize test takers beforehand for improved test performance. Praxis 1 practice test books and practice exams will prepare test takers whose states still administer Praxis Core 5751, while current Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators study guides will prepare those who will take Praxis Core 5752.

Praxis Core Reading Test

Praxis Core Reading (5712) tests reading comprehension with 56 selected-response questions in three categories. The section also includes some unscored, unmarked Praxis Core practice questions as research for future exam versions. Praxis Core test questions may be answered in any order, so test takers may skip questions and mark them to return to later. Test takers have a total time of 85 minutes to finish the entire test to be used at their discretion in each section. All test questions are based on reading and responding to passages.

The three test sections include Key Ideas & Details (with 17-22 questions at 35%), Craft & Structure (14-19 questions at 30%) and Integrating Knowledge & Ideas (17-22 questions at 35%).

In Key Ideas & Details, test takers must summarize main concepts and unique details from passages and use inferential reading to draw meaning from the text.

In Craft & Structure, test takers must demonstrate competent structural analysis of the text, understand authorial opinions versus point-of-view attitudes and correctly define vocabulary words and the meaning of figurative passages.

In the last section test takers will answer questions based on pictures, find and understand arguments within texts and identify supporting evidence as it is presented.

Praxis Core Writing Test

The Praxis Core Academics Skills for Educators Core Test in Writing (5723) is divided into three separately timed sections for selected-response questions and essay answers. The selected-response section gives test takers 40 minutes to respond to 40 questions. The other two sections are two essay questions with 30 minutes given separately for each essay answer. More information will be given on Praxis Core Essays below.

As with the reading test, the Praxis Core Writing test includes some unscored practice questions that are unmarked. Selected-response questions will evaluate future teachers' ability to recognize grammatical mistakes, correct sentences for word usage and incorrect idioms, and evaluate the research used in texts for its appropriateness. Students will be given single sentences with underlined words or phrases for sentence correction, read passages and identify problems in sentence structure or grammar, read passages and choose ways to improve the content, and answer questions based on research techniques.

Praxis Core Essays

For the section of Praxis Writing essay, test takers will be given 30 minutes to produce a compelling essay with a clearly defined thesis that presents its arguments in a clear and reasonable order with few or no grammatical, spelling, or word usage mistakes. Test takers will receive scores between 1 to 6 in each section based on the competency of their response.

The first section will ask test takers to formulate an argumentative essay. An essay topic in the form of an opinion will take up the top half of the screen with a box for the essay response in the bottom half. Test takers will use their own life experiences and any information they may be equipped with to answer.

The second section is a source-based essay. Test takers will read two short passages presented on the top half of the screen and then use these sources to develop an essay response inputted in the response box below.

Praxis Core Mathematics Test

There are 56 questions on the Praxis Core Math, divided into three sections on numbers and quantities, data and statistics, and geometry and algebra. The sections are split almost equally. The number and quantity section is 36% of the total exam with 20 questions, while both other sections are 32% with 18 questions each.

The first and largest section, Number and Quantity, evaluates prospective teachers on decimals, fractions, place value and proportions, percent, and ratios. Both US measurements and the metric system are used.

The next section, Data and Statistics, uses charts and other data representations like linear models to assess skillsets in interpreting data, understanding probabilities, and computing mean and median answers.

The final section, Geometry and Algebra, tests future teachers on their ability to solve equations, use the correct order of operations in algebraic problems, understand formulas for area and circumference, and recognize two-dimensional shapes and angles.

The mathematics test allots 90 minutes to be used as the test taker prefers in any section.

Praxis Core Exam Scores

Praxis score release dates vary according to location and the type of Praxis tests that was taken. Generally, official scores will be returned between 7 to 10 days after the test was administered. Some tests may provide an unofficial score upon completion, but these are not always available. Exam scores may be sent automatically to four institutions or state licensing boards. Some states automatically forward exam scores to the pertinent state licensing boards.

Two of the most important questions test takers have are the current Praxis Core passing scores and how many times you can take the Praxis Core. Passing scores vary by state, and some states do not have standard passing scores. Most states require between 130 to 150 on the math test, 156 on the reading test, and 158 to 162 on the writing test. Official test scores will indicate pass or fail, the test taker's highest score, and the required Praxis scores by state.

There is no limit to the number of times the Praxis Core can be retaken. However, test takers must wait until 28 days after their most recent test date before attempting to retake Praxis test. Retakers must register for Praxis exam and pay the exam fee again.

How to Study for the Praxis Core Test

Praxis Core study guides are available through the ETS Praxis Preparation website. The Praxis Core Study Companion is a comprehensive PDF that includes a template for study plans, answers to frequently asked questions, and Praxis Core practice questions with detailed explanations for sample correct answers. Correct approaches to Praxis Core questions are given, like eliminating incorrect answers, paying close attention to questions that contain negatives like not or except, and carefully reading the directions. Possible strategies are outlined, like developing a timeline, creating a Praxis Core study group, and completing practice core Praxis tests.

Test takers who have familiarized themselves with the content and structure of Praxis tests may also want to use free Praxis Core practice tests to best judge their understanding of the material and target studying to concepts or areas where they need the most improvement. Free Praxis 1 tests are also available for those who must take the former version, Praxis I PPST. Both free and paid preparatory materials are widely available for Praxis Core on the internet. Test takers should make sure to use every resource of Praxis prep course possible to ensure their success.

Expert Contributor

Daniel Bal

Daniel Bal, M.S. Ed. has over 12 years of experience as a high school English teacher. As an educator, he has developed and executed curriculum that revolves around the creative process and the practical application of reading and writing. He continues to focus on helping the educational community by working as a content developer and academic researcher. Daniel earned his M.S. in Secondary English Education at Duquesne University and his B.A. in English and Philosophy from Penn State University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is on the Praxis Core test?

    Praxis Core tests have reading, mathematics, and writing sections. The reading and mathematics tests have 56 selected-response questions each, and the writing test has 40 selected-response questions and two essays.

  • Is the Praxis Core hard to pass?

    The difficulty of the Praxis Core varies as some tests are different from others. Passing scores based on the number of questions answered correctly can also vary, as each test edition is scaled to make sure that they are comparable.

  • How much does it cost to take the Praxis Core?

    The Praxis Core is $90 per individual exam, and if a test taker decides to take all three exams in one sitting, the price is $150 or $50 per individual exam.

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