Praxis tests are designed to test the knowledge and skills of individuals in teacher preparation programs. They are a prerequisite for various teaching jobs in many states and educational institutions. Currently, passing the Praxis test is compulsory for obtaining a teaching license in over 40 states and territories. Besides the US, the tests are also arranged in other countries.
The two main types of Praxis exams are the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests and the Praxis Subject Assessments. The core exam tests candidates in three areas: reading, writing, and mathematics, with a separate test for each skill. These tests are meant to produce a detailed assessment of teachers entering training programs.
The subject assessment exams are designed to gauge your understanding of the subject, along with your general knowledge. This category also includes other tests such as the early childhood to grade 12 Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test and the elementary teacher Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) exam. If you’re unsure of which tests you need to take, check with your state and training program. Besides informing you about the tests, they will also tell you the order in which you need to take these tests.
The content areas for each test are decided by a committee of teachers and teacher trainers after doing a job analysis survey. Core and subject assessment exams are computer-based, and they have selected response and constructed response (essay type) questions.
The selected response items of a test are scored by a computer, while the constructed response ones are scored by one human and one human or software-based scorer.
You will receive a ‘raw’ score for your performance on the test. The scorers will then convert your raw score into a ‘scaled’ score by using the ‘equating’ process. This step ensures that the test is comparable to other previous exams in the same content area.
The minimum passing score for your course will be a scaled score.
ETS recommends you to go through the Study Companion for the test to learn about the content it covers. You can search for the study companion for your course through the preparation materials page on the ETS website.
Your course page on the ETS site will also contain any free and paid preparation materials and a study plan document. The paid option is called “Interactive Practice Test”s (IPTs), and these online exams simulate the real thing.
You can retake the practice exam a total of 10 times within 90 days of the first attempt. Each time, the questions will remain the same, though. ETS also offers test preparation webinars.
Teachers who perform very well on their subject assessments receive the ETS Recognition of Excellence (ROE) Award. This award is based on historical data of the top 15% of test takers. You can get more than one ROE if your score is within the range of the top 15% in that specific content area.