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What Is Praxis?

Instructor: Nicky Davis
The Praxis is a series of exams designed to measure the skills and pedagogical knowledge of teacher candidates. Read on to learn more about the Praxis series, from exam structure and content, to tips on how to prepare.

The Praxis Series: Overview

The Praxis Series consists of the following types of exams for aspiring educators:

  • Praxis Core test
  • Praxis Subject Assessments (formerly Praxis II)

Each exam tests students on their knowledge, skills and pedagogical training in various academic subjects. Some colleges and universities require certain Praxis exams as part of admission to teaching programs. Additionally, there are currently more than 40 U.S. states and territories that require one or more of the Praxis exams to qualify candidates for educator licensing and certification. Praxis exams are generally computer-administered.

Praxis Core Exam

The Praxis Core exam is most often taken early on in a teacher candidate's college career, as it is required by a number of teacher training programs. The Core exam is also common among state licensing requirements for educators.

The Praxis Core exam is broken down into three parts, which can be taken together as a single 5-hour exam or as three individual 2-hour exams on separate days. It should be noted that the Praxis tests are only administered in English. Non-native English speakers may qualify for extended exam times.

Reading Test

This 56-question exam tests reading analysis, comprehension, and integration skills for a variety of document types. Test takers are given 85 minutes to complete this section of the exam.

Writing Test

The writing test is divided into two parts to address proofreading and revision skills, knowledge of different research methods and competency with both expository and persuasive writing. The first part is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions, for which test takers are given 40 minutes. The second part consists of two essay questions, one argumentative and one explanatory, for which test takers are given 60 minutes.

Mathematics Test

This 56-question exam includes multiple-choice questions as well as questions requiring students to enter the numerical solution to a problem. Test takers are allotted 85 minutes to complete this section of the exam. Students are provided with a calculator, as the test is intended to assess students' proficiency in mathematical reasoning, rather than their arithmetic skills.

Preparing for the Core Exam

Study.com offers comprehensive, self-paced study guides and practice exams for each section of the Core exam. Available resources include video lessons covering topics found on the actual tests and multiple-choice quizzes to assess students' understanding of the material. Check them out below:

Praxis Subject Assessments Test

The Praxis Subject Assessments include exams on more than 90 different subjects, specialties, and techniques for teaching K-12 students. These exams are usually taken at the conclusion of a teacher-training program. Which exams students take will depend on their desired teaching path, as well as their state's licensing requirements.

The Praxis Subject Assessments Tests range in length from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the exam. Below are some examples of subject assessment tests, their format and length:

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