As of 2021, 46 states utilize the Praxis, as well as the District of Columbia and several territories. The Praxis exam is designed to help test the knowledge and readiness of potential teachers and is typically used in the state's licensing or certification process for teaching. The Praxis includes the Praxis Core Tests, Praxis Subject Tests, and Praxis Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) Tests. Each state has its own requirements for these exams, as well as its own Praxis passing scores. Below, we discuss the Praxis in more detail, as well as some of the state requirements for the tests.
Which Tests Are Included in the Praxis Exams?
The Praxis Core is designed for all aspiring teachers, no matter the grade level or subject area, to help ensure that they have the necessary skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Students may be required to take these exams for entry into teaching education programs and must complete a subtest in reading, writing, and mathematics. The Praxis Subject Tests are designed for students who plan to be K through 12 educators to test their knowledge in a specific subject area. The tests include Subject Assessments and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Tests. The PLT Praxis test measures students' pedagogical knowledge for different grade levels (early childhood, K through 6th, 5th through 9th, and 7th through 12th). Students can choose from a wide range of Subject Assessments, including:
Middle School Science
The Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) Tests are primarily designed for those wanting a generalist elementary school license. The exam tests students' content knowledge and teaching skills in the areas of reading and language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science.
Which States Use the Praxis?
As mentioned, most states utilize the Praxis exam in some way, as well as Washington, D.C., and territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Praxis test requirements vary by state, with some states utilizing all of the different Praxis exams and others only using one specific type of exam. For example, Kentucky requires aspiring teachers to take the Praxis Core and Praxis Subject Assessments, while California only uses Praxis Subject Assessments, which is also known as Praxis 2. The 46 states that utilize the Praxis are:
Praxis Passing Scores By State
The scores needed to pass Praxis depends on the exam and the state. Some states may have similar passing scores for some of the main exams. For example, both Colorado and Kentucky require students to take the Praxis Elementary Education Multiple Subjects to pass each subtest. This means students must score at least a 157 on the mathematics and reading and language arts subtests, a 155 on the social studies subtest, and a 159 on the science subtest. However, the passing test scores for different exams often vary from state to state. For example, even with the similarities, some of the Praxis Subject Assessments vary in Colorado and Kentucky. For instance, Colorado only requires a passing score of 152 on the Latin World Language exam, while Kentucky requires a 166 or higher.
Unfortunately, there is not an easy, accessible list of Praxis scores by state. Instead, students can find Praxis passing scores by state by first selecting their state on the ETS website and then selecting 'What are my requirements?'. The resulting site will list state requirements for what exams need to be taken with the Praxis scores required for each exam. Students can also look at institutional Praxis score requirements to see passing rates for specific exams by state or state scores.
What Is the Average Praxis Score?
The average Praxis scores by state or nationwide vary by year and specific exam. The ETS has a data manager section on its website where students or agencies can request Praxis test score reports. Typically, the average for an exam is calculated with all of the scores added together and divided by the number of examinees. For example, based on the summary report for 2019-2020, the mean score on the Reading section of the Praxis Core was 168.17, with 170 being the median score, 100 being the lowest score, and 200 being the highest score out of 21,140 examinees nationwide.
How Many Questions Do I Need to Get Right to Pass?
There is no set number of questions that students need to get right in order to pass the Praxis. This is because there are several different versions of Praxis tests, and each version has different questions of varying difficulties. Therefore, raw scores are converted to scaled scores so that scores from different versions can be compared. Students can compare their raw points earned to the raw points available on their Praxis score report to see areas they can improve if they did not pass. Students should also be aware of the passing scores for their specific state and exam. You can find out more about how each exam is scored on the Understanding Your Praxis Scores page on the ETS website.
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 the passing score for the Praxis?
The passing score for the Praxis depends on the specific exam and the state in which students plan to teach in, as each state has set scores for the Praxis exams it requires.
What is a good Praxis score?
One could consider a score that meets or exceeds the minimum passing score for their state a 'good' Praxis score. Passing scores vary by state.
How many questions do you need to get right on the Praxis?
There is not a set number of questions that students must get right on the Praxis due to the different editions of the exam, as well as the range of passing scores on exams between states.