What you need to know about the PRAXIS test

Student taking the PRAXIS® Core Academic Content for Educators test.

There are many PRAXIS tests administered by the Educational Testing Service® (ETS®). Regardless of your teaching field or level, you must take the PRAXIS Core test, as well as other tests on specialized subject matter. The PRAXIS Core test measures basic academic skills in reading, writing, and math that teachers should possess before entering a teacher preparation program.

The results may be used in two ways. Colleges often require certain score levels prior to acceptance in their teacher training programs. Many states require submission of scores as part of their teacher licensing or certification process.

All three sections of the PRAXIS Core test is taken on computer and they are only administered in English. There is a possibility of qualifying for extra time if English is not your native language. Tests of language are not included in this provision. Go here for more information about that.

Actual testing times and number of questions per section are as follows:

  • Reading: 85 minutes to answer 56 selected response (multiple-choice) questions

  • Mathematics: 85 minutes to answer 56 questions of varying answer types (See our Mathematics Study Guide for more information about this section.)

  • Writing: delivered in two sections—40 minutes to complete 40 multiple-choice questions and 60 minutes to write two essays

What are the costs?

You can save quite a bit of cash by taking all three of the PRAXIS Core test sections on one day, during one testing session. All three tests, when taken together, cost $150.00. If you choose, however, to split up your PRAXIS Core testing, you could pay as much as $270.00 for all three tests, or $90.00 per test.

What should I bring?

You should be prepared to show proof of your identity on test day. Also, consult the official ETS website for specific instructions about what else to bring with you to the test site, and what not to bring. They have some very specific requirements and restrictions.

How is it scored?

Your goal when taking the PRAXIS Core test is to earn the minimum passing score required by your state. Scores higher than this are not necessarily more desired, unless there is a chance you may wish to apply for certification in another state that has a higher passing score requirement. Check here to determine what score you need.

There are questions on this test that are not scored, but are used as pretest questions. You will not know which questions fall into this category, so do your best on all items.

What kind of job can I get?

Research confirms that the highest level of learning is shown by the ability to teach content to others. So, you must have thorough knowledge of the subject(s) you want to teach. Teaching, however, also requires a great deal of knowledge about, and skill in, the teaching process. Teaching positions are available worldwide, at every conceivable level, from infant to graduate study. You can teach in person or through an online service, but, to get most teaching jobs, you must be certified by a state.

Am I eligible?

You do not have to have any teaching license or certification before taking a PRAXIS Core test. In fact, these tests are often used before admission to a teacher training program or as part of a certification or licensing application. Most people who take these tests are enrolled in some sort of teacher education program.

Why does it matter?

Your performance on the PRAXIS Core tests may determine whether or not you are accepted to the teacher education program of your choice. It will tell institutions whether you have, indeed, mastered the basic skills necessary to succeed in teacher training and in the classroom. If the tests are taken as part of a teacher certification or licensing process, your score could determine whether or not you are licensed to teach in the state of your choice.

What salary can I expect?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for teachers range from around $32,000 annually for a graduate assistant or preschool teacher to well over $100,000 a year for post-secondary (college level) teachers. It is also possible for teachers to earn additional money through coaching and other paid extracurricular duties.

When is it available?

You can take the PRAXIS Core tests at any one of many worldwide testing centers, at selected colleges and universities, and at some other locations. They are administered during several “testing windows” of time throughout the year. For a list of testing sites, check out this link. Each state has its own list of specific testing requirements, so be sure to consult the state list, here, to view these state-specific requirements.

Time Allowed

You can take all three tests at the same time and the total testing session will last about 5 hours or you can take each test separately, in which case you need to allow 2 hours per test. These time allotments include instructions for using the computer during the test and time to enter your personal information.

Practice using our expertly crafted questions!