The majority of states require prospective teachers to pass Praxis examinations to become certified as highly qualified teachers. The Praxis requirement in a state is the same for all teachers, whether candidates have completed a university program or an alternative certification program. Once you are certified and tenured, you can take more Praxis tests to add endorsements to your teaching license and teach additional content areas.
The Praxis is a standardized test that measures a prospective teacher's knowledge of teaching pedagogy and content in a chosen subject area. Praxis tests are now generally administered on computers at specialized testing centers. You must register and pay online well in advance of your test date.
Most teachers will need to take the Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests in addition to at least one content-specific test. Each state has different testing requirements and different passing score thresholds. For example, a high school history teacher in Maryland needs to pass the Core Reading test with a score of 156, the Core Writing test with a score of 162, the Core Mathematics test with a score of 160, the World and U.S. History Content Knowledge test with a score of 160, and the Principles of Learning and Teaching Grades 7-12 with a score of 157. In nearby West Virginia, the passing scores are the same for the reading and writing tests, but test takers only need to score 150 in Mathematics, and 148 on a single Social Studies Content Knowledge test. Occasionally, states update their standards so it is a good idea to visit the Praxis website to see the most recent requirements for your state.
There are basic study guides available for free. Many people choose to purchase additional books to prepare for the test, but it isnâ€™t necessary if you have good study skills. You need to have a wide range of basic knowledge for the Core tests. You need a much deeper knowledge of the information for the content area tests. For special teaching areas like English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Special Education, test takers also need to have a basic knowledge of legal requirements based on Supreme Court cases as well as the ability to recognize education-related health issues.
Some tests will have your unofficial score immediately, but you generally must wait several weeks for your official score to be reported to your state. There is no penalty for not passing a test, but you must plan to wait for your score to be reported, so never procrastinate taking the required Praxis tests.
Lets get started on preparing now for your PRAXIS exam by checking out our practice exams.