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The Definitive Practice Test Guide for the PRAXIS Test
- About the PRAXIS Core Test
- Sections of the PRAXIS Test
- What to Expect on Test Day
- Best Ways to Study for the PRAXIS Core Test
- PRAXIS Core Test Tips and Tricks
- PRAXIS Core Test FAQ:
About the PRAXIS Core Test
The PRAXIS exam series is administered by Education Testing Services®, or ETS®. The series includes many different tests across a broad range of subjects to ensure that teaching candidates possess the skills and knowledge to competently instruct in their chosen fields. But no matter what field or grade level the teaching candidate intends to pursue, all teaching candidates must complete the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators test if the PRAXIS is required for certification in their state.
This exam covers reading, writing, and mathematics competencies that all teachers must possess. There were some changes made to the Mathematics section of the PRAXIS Core test in late 2019, mainly resulting in the tested content being more appropriate for general classroom teachers. An overview of the time allotted and the number of questions in each section follows:
Mathematics: 56 questions of various formats (including multiple-choice, word problems, and fill-in-the-blank) to be completed in 90 minutes.
Reading: 56 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 85 minutes.
Writing: This section of the exam is split into two parts; one is composed of 40 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 40 minutes, while the other includes two essays with a time allowance of 60 minutes.
The full exam is four hours and 35 minutes (not including breaks) if all three sections are taken on the same day. Candidates can split them up across several days, although this will increase the testing fees. The exam is computer-administered, and while it is given only in English, non-native speakers may be allowed an extra time provision. To perform well on the PRAXIS Core test, it’s a great idea to have an in-depth understanding of what to expect in each section.
Sections of the PRAXIS Test
The Mathematics section of the PRAXIS Core test assesses your ability to reason in a mathematical way—quantitatively. Some questions require you to do multiple processes to arrive at an answer.
There are three different question formats in the Math section:
- numeric entry—filling numbers in boxes
- multiple-response—“clicking” on one or multiple ovals or boxes to choose an answer or answers to a single question
These questions cover a wide variety of skills in these four mathematical domains, in approximately these percentage rates:
|Concept Area||% of Test Questions|
|Number and Quantity||36%|
|Algebra and Geometry||32% (Algebra: 20%; Geometry: 12%)|
Statistics, and Probability
During the PRAXIS Core Math test you will have access to a four-function calculator on the screen. You will also be given a geometry formula reference sheet.
On the PRAXIS Core Reading test, you will be asked questions about one or more passages or documents. All of the questions are selected-response type (multiple-choice). The questions come from these skill areas, in approximately these percentages:
|Concept Area||% of Test Questions|
|Key Ideas and Details||35%|
|Craft, Structure, and Language Skills||30%|
|Integration of Knowledge and Ideas||35%|
For extensive details about this test, see this booklet for test-takers which contains information and question examples.
The PRAXIS Core Writing test has two parts: questions to answer in 40 minutes and two essays to write within 30 minutes each.
The content tested by the question section includes:
- Sentence Correction
- Revision in Context
- Research Skills
There are two types of essays required for the essay section of the PRAXIS Core Writing test:
- Argumentative Essay
- Source-Based Essay
Our practice questions will help you review for the questions section of this test, and you can find out how your essays will be scored in our study guide for the PRAXIS Core Writing test.
What to Expect on Test Day
Many examinees get nervous on the day of any exam, and since the PRAXIS Core test is required to move forward with your teaching career, it can be especially nerve-racking. It can help to ease your anxiety to have a good understanding of how to prepare for the day and what to expect.
If you are taking all three sections on the same day, be prepared for a very long day. Total testing time, without breaks, is over four and a half hours. In addition to that, ETS® recommends that you plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your testing time to allow for check-in, and expect additional time to go through pre-testing procedures.
Given the length of the test, it’s a good idea to make sure you are well-rested and have eaten a full and nutritious meal before you arrive. Doing this will ensure that your mind stays focused on the task at hand, and you are not distracted by hunger or drowsiness. It’s also a good idea to read the test center’s rules and regulations, which is provided by ETS on their website. This document will give you an idea of what accommodations can be requested, if necessary, and other applicable policies.
During the check-in process, the test center may collect biometric data, such as voice, photo, or video recording. They may also take a finger or thumbprint, and compare your signature to the one on your identification. Refusal to provide any of the requested data may result in the cancellation of your test and the forfeiture of any fees you may have already paid.
What to Bring
You will need to bring an acceptable and valid form of identification with your name, a signature, and a photograph. The name must exactly match the name registered for the exam. You will also want to bring a printed copy of your admission ticket. You may not be required to present it at the test center, but it could be requested. And it can help with additional information if you encounter problems during registration.
What Not to Bring
Aside from your identification and admission ticket, you are not required to bring anything else with you. Some PRAXIS exams allow you to use a calculator, but the Core test does not, so there is no need to bring one. Electronic devices, such as phones, tablets, recording devices, and wearable technology, are strictly prohibited. All jewelry, aside from a wedding ring, is also prohibited, as are other personal items that are non-essential, such as jackets, scarves, hats, and headbands, among others. Unless you are bringing something you need, it is best to leave it home or in your vehicle. Most testing centers have storage space for you to keep personal items, although the testing center assumes no responsibility for items left in storage areas.
Best Ways to Study for the PRAXIS Core Test
Take Practice Tests for the PRAXIS Core Test
The PRAXIS Core test is a long exam, and passing it is often required in order to advance in your career. The best way to ensure this is by being as prepared as possible to ace the test on exam day. Practice tests are the best way to do this. They help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will see in each section, and the format of the exam. Practice exams also help you to identify any weak areas that may require additional time for preparation.
Use Alternative Study Methods
Many examinees find it helpful to review content across multiple formats. This additional exposure can help with memory and retention of the information. If you are looking for a well-rounded study experience, it is a great idea to consider incorporating study aids such as PRAXIS flashcards and study guides.
Simulate the Testing Experience
Another way to improve your performance on exam day is by simulating the entire testing experience several times before the day of the exam. Since it is a timed test, it is crucial that you get an idea of how well you perform under the time restrictions. This process can help you learn to pace yourself in a way that ensures you have sufficient time for all of the questions in each section. It can also help you to identify whether you want to take all three exam sections on the same day or space them out.
PRAXIS Core Test Tips and Tricks
Start Preparing Early
The PRAXIS Core test is comprehensive, which means that the earlier you start studying, the more prepared you will be on exam day. This will ensure that you can review all of the subject matters adequately.
Use the Study Companion
ETS® publishes a Study Companion to provide information about what topics will be covered. Use this resource to develop a comprehensive study plan for the weeks leading up to the test.
Consider Dividing the Test into Several Days
If you are concerned about preparing for and taking all three test sections in one day, split them up. You are not required to take all three sections of the PRAXIS Core test on the same day in one sitting. If you think you may perform better by spreading them across multiple days, then do it. Many candidates may find they can get a better score if they only have to focus on one section at a time.
PRAXIS Core Test FAQ:
1. How much does it cost to take the PRAXIS Core test?
If you take all three sections on the same day, the total cost is $150. However, if you split the sections up, be prepared for additional fees. It can cost up to $90 to take each section individually, meaning the total cost could be up to $270.
2. How long will it take to get my test scores?
ETS® provides information about when you can expect your official test scores based upon your test date. However, you can see your unofficial score immediately upon concluding your test.
3. Can I order additional score reports?
Yes, you can order additional score reports online, by mail, by phone, or by fax. Each additional score report request is $50.
4. Can I retake the PRAXIS Core test?
Yes, you can retake the PRAXIS Core test once every 21 days. Additional fees are incurred every time you retake the exam.