Are you looking to become a teacher but are feeling overwhelmed when it comes to your testing options? If so, you’ve come to the right place. While Praxis isn’t the only teacher certification test, it is one of the most widely accepted. There are tons of subjects offered through the Praxis tests, so you are sure to find just what you are looking for.
What Exactly is PRAXIS?
Praxis is a series of core tests, subject tests, and content knowledge for teaching (CKT) tests that are used to help in licensing and accreditation programs for teachers. States have different requirements, and the requirements will vary based on what type of teaching certification you will be going for, but the Praxis exams are a part of many teachers’ paths.
The Praxis core tests cover the subjects of reading, writing, and math. They test the skills that all teachers are expected to have regardless of what level or specialty they intend to teach. These are seen as the basic skills required to be a teacher and are often used by colleges and universities to judge their students’ readiness for teacher prep programs.
The Praxis subject tests cover everything from braille to history to physics. These tests are designed to be specific to the subject that a teacher is planning on teaching. Most people won’t take too many Praxis subject tests since they won’t likely be teaching too many different subjects.
The last category of Praxis exam is the Content of Knowledge for Teaching, or CKT, exam. These exams are used to test a potential teacher’s understanding of the material for the level of schooling in the context of curriculum and information that is specific to the teaching of the subject, not just the learning of the subject.
Which of these tests you have to take to teach your specialty at the level of education that you want entirely in the state you live in. Make sure you check with your specific state’s requirements when determining which Praxis tests you should be signing up to take. As of now, the Praxis exams are only given in English but are offered all over the US.
After you study for and take your Praxis exam, you will then have to wait on your Praxis scores. These scores are reported to you in the form of a scaled score. These scaled scores range from 20 to 80, with a passing score being anything above or including 41. If you are looking to pass your Praxis core tests, you will need a cumulative score of at least 123.
What Does the Praxis Exam Consist Of?
What to expect for your Praxis exam will depend on which exam you are taking. If you are taking one of the core subject exams, you can expect a multiple-choice exam with anywhere from 50 to 80 questions depending on the subject. These exams will generally take between an hour and an hour and a half to complete.
There are two different ways that you can take any of the Praxis exams. You can either take the exam at a proctored testing center in person or through an online proctoring program at a remote location of your choice. Either way, if you opt to take the exam, you will need to follow all of the specific rules and specifications for the exam that you will be taking.
If you are taking a Praxis subject exam, what to expect will vary based on the exam. Some exams will require more writing, while others will be multiple choice based. For example, below is a list of Praxis exams and what to expect from them.
|Type of Question
|Number of Questions
|Multiple choice, transcription
|Selected-response, constructed response
|Selected-response, constructed response
As you can see, each Praxis subject exam is very different from the next. This means that it will be up to you to find out the information about your exam. To make it easier, ETS, the testing organization that puts out the Praxis tests, publishes a study companion and study plan for each of their subject tests.
The study companion breaks down exactly what the structure of the test will be. It will be able to tell you what type of questions you should expect and how many there will be. It will also break down the information required to pass the exam so you know what you need to study.
The study plan is a chart that you fill in parts of with the information you need to organize your studying. The chart breaks down the exam you are taking into manageable parts and asks you if you feel prepared for that part and how much studying you think you will need. Think of it as a guide to help you figure out where you should start your studying.
How Long Does It Take to Study for the PRAXIS?
Determining how long it will take you to study for your upcoming Praxis exam is dependent on a number of different variables. First, you will need to determine how prepared you already are for the exam. If you are well prepared for the exam, it will take less time to study than if you are underprepared. Think about taking a preliminary practice test just to see how you are doing already.
Next, think about how you learn best. Do you need a deadline to motivate you? Do you like to have lots of extra time? Whatever you decide, in general, you should give yourself at least a month to prepare, but no more than six months. Although more time does mean more studying, too much time can cause you to stress out more than you already will.
Remember that each person is different, but you want to make sure that you have at least a month to prepare. Even if you feel like you are super ready, give yourself a month just to get comfortable with the test set-up and make sure that you are used to the way they ask questions on the test you will be taking.
Determining how long you need to study does not need to include the time you spend in any courses for college. Some universities require students on a pre-teaching track to take at least one Praxis exam but consider the exam separate from your classes. That way, you are fully able to focus on the exam and the structure and information that you need to know.
3 Study Tips for the PRAXIS Exam
Wondering how to study for the Praxis exam? Here are our top three tips when it comes to crushing your Praxis exam:
Take a practice test
Taking a practice test when you start studying and at regular intervals throughout your studying can really help you understand how prepared you are for the test. It will let you gain insight into how you will respond when asked to sit and focus for the amount of time the test requires as well.
You can pay for a practice test, get one in a study book, or find a free Praxis practice test online. Places like 240tutoring offer some great free practice tests, but you can also get practice tests in many study guides that you pay for.
Invest in good study materials
Find some study guides specific to the subject tests you are looking to take. Since there are so many subjects offered through the Praxis tests, you must get a guide specific to your test.
Some companies like the “for dummies” series of study guides do offer more general Praxis test prep books, but these only cover the core exams. Book publishers like MoMetrix and ApexPrep both have some fantastic study books that cover different subject exams, so make sure you get a book that is specific to your exam.
Create a study schedule and stick to it
One of the best ways to study for any significant test is to create a study guide. Think of this as a calendar, and a map rolled into one. It will help guide your studying, so you know what all you need to cover and make sure you stay on track to get all your studying done by the time your test date comes.
Creating and sticking to a study schedule can be challenging at first, but it just takes practice. We have some articles that can help you if you are feeling really lost, but just remember that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to study schedules. They are entirely unique to you and your circumstances.
Wrapping Things Up: How Do You Study for the PRAXIS Exam?
Ultimately, the Praxis exams are just like any other large exam you may have taken in your life. The best ways to prepare for your upcoming exam are to understand the exam itself, create and stick to a study schedule, and make sure you have enough time to study. Following these simple steps will help set you up for success on any Praxis exam you might be taking.