The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests are developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and required for teacher licenses in over 40 U.S. states and territories. The tests are an assessment of the proficiency of participants of teacher preparation programs. They measure the content knowledge and education sense of future teachers. But how do you calculate your Praxis score?
Praxis Core tests are computer-based and consist of three categories: reading, writing, and mathematics. You can take the tests separately or in one session. The questions include both selected-response and constructed response questions. The reading and math tests have 56 questions each and a time limit of 85 minutes for answering the questions. The writing tests include 40 questions with a 40-minute time limit and two essays that you need to do in an hour.
The assessment of constructed response questions, like the essays, will involve at least one human scorer who will use ETS scoring guidelines for their evaluation. Your test will be scored by two independent scorers. Besides a human scorer, the assessment may involve the ‘c-writer’ software. This software scores by comparing your responses to previously scored responses. If there is more than a specified difference in the two assessments, a third assessor will score the test. The two scorers and are added to get your final score. The number of correct responses is called the ‘raw score,’ with one point for each correct response.
Your score report for the test will contain raw points scored along with the total available raw points for that category of the test. The number of correct answers you give is your raw score. The raw score is converted to a ‘scaled score’ using the statistical method of ‘equating.’ This is done to make the assessment consistent across different versions of the same test.
It’s important to note that the same score across two different subjects does not mean that the candidate has the same level of knowledge in both disciplines. In other words, a 120 on the chemistry test is not equal to a 120 on the elementary education test. The examiners use a “raw-to-scale conversion table” for each edition of the test.
The passing scores for tests are set by each state, institution, and association. The possible score range is between 100 and 200 points. The percentage of correct answers will translate to a value on the 100-200 scale. For example, if you answer 60% of the questions correctly, you will get a score of 160. Note that the percentage of correct answers is different from the raw score. For example, if a question has more than one correct answer, then that question contributes more than one raw point in the conversion.
According to an ETS report, the minimum passing scores in most states was 156 for the reading Core test, 150 for Mathematics test, and 162 for the writing test, as of May 1, 2018. The report gives scores for several states and includes other subjects as well.
There will be a difference in assessments that involve human scorers scoring constructed responses. The smaller the difference between evaluations of the same tests, the lower will be the error in scoring. If you feel that your essay is scored incorrectly, you can get it verified for a fee.