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What is the Praxis Test?

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When talking about becoming a teacher we all hear constantly about the Praxis test. Many people fear it; many people take classes to prepare for it; and many people are just not sure what it actually is. Hopefully, we will answer some of those questions here to support you on your path of becoming a teacher. Let’s get started.

What is the Praxis Test?

Well, first off this may be surprising, because we often don’t hear about the fact that there is not actually just one Praxis test, but three. The one people are often most familiar with is called the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. This is generally administered by Institutions of Higher Learning to evaluate and assess the skills of a prospective teacher prior to them matriculating into a teaching program. These particular tests are not tailored to students of a particular grade level, but prospective teachers in general. The tests go into a variety of subject areas including: mathematics, reading, and writing, and they get a sense of a student’s skills early on in their academic career. Praxis state requirements vary, however, and some mandate that students show Praxis Core test scores in order to achieve their teaching license at the other end of their academic career. The test itself is administered on a computer, though you cannot take it just anywhere. There are testing centers all over the world where students can access the PRAXIS test. The test is given only in the English Language, however, if English is not your first language, you may qualify for an extended testing time. The test does not give penalties for answering a question wrong versus leaving it blank, so it is best to slowly consider every answer and take your time as a strategy, though of course the clock is ticking. 

The next Praxis test is called the Praxis Subject Assessments. This particular series of tests is for prospective teachers entering the field of K-12 grade education, and they test proficiency in subjects that are critical to the field. This is the series of tests that is required for certification and licensing. Sometimes these results are used for licensing criteria in order to make decisions regarding a candidates license. 

Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) Tests are the third type of Praxis. This series of tests looks at content knowledge that is critical for excelling as an educator in the field of elementary education. Because elementary educators teach a survey of subjects, this test ensures they are prepared for anything that might come up including: language arts, reading, social studies, science, and mathematics. This is not based on content that the test taker will necessarily be teaching in the field, but shows that they have a proficiency in the subject matter. There are also subject based PRAXIS exams.

How Hard is the Special Education Praxis?

Questions like this are relative, but this is known as one of the harder Praxis tests. The Praxis Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications Exam is designed to assess the skills of students who are interested in working in special education classes, and therefore passing the test enables them to achieve their credential. 

Do Praxis Scores Expire?

You can access your PRAXIS scores through your online PRAXIS portal for up to one year, however they are available to you if you request them, for up to ten years. 

How to Calculate Praxis Score

It is a little bit complicated determining the actual score. After taking the test you will get to see your raw score immediately. The score looks at the number of questions you answered correctly. The raw score is then put into an equation as the raw score is then run through an equation on a scale of zero to the number of test questions total. It is then calculated in another equation between one and two hundred. 

Though the Praxis can be intimidating, there are many ways to prepare and set yourself up for success. There are many practice tests online that can get you in the flow. There are also short classes that enable you to understand the methodology of the test itself. Research shows that there are many ways to improve your score, one being as easy as reading every day for fun. Just exercising your brain in that way can prepare you for success. We’re not talking about BuzzFeed articles, but finding a book you can dive into.