Praxis Tests in North Carolina

Praxis Tests Used by the State of North Carolina

Education professionals in North Carolina can opt to pursue certification to focus on students with specific learning needs, to teach specific subjects or to work with students at certain grade levels. It's important to consider your long-term professional goals to ensure that you take the exam that fits with the subject areas and grade levels that you want to work with.

K-12: All Areas

In North Carolina, all candidates entering a state-approved education program must complete the K-12 Praxis testing requirements to become certified. Three tests must be passed to earn licensure. They are:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics

The mathematics and reading tests are each 85 minutes long while the writing test takes 100 minutes. The tests establish that applicants understand these subject areas and are capable of performing appropriate tasks related to these subject areas. Key topics on these tests include algebra, statistics, producing effective persuasive and explanatory texts and processing written information with a clear understanding of the content.

Middle School

Middle school teachers can opt to qualify to teach students in grades 5 through 9 in middle school mathematics, social studies, science or English language arts. Applicants must complete the Content Knowledge test for their chosen subject area. The social studies test is 2.5 hours while the others are 2 hours.

Secondary School

Except for physics teachers, all secondary education teachers must pass the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT): Grades 7-12 exam. This 2-hour test is used to ensure that applicants understand how to develop age-appropriate lesson plans, how to evaluate student work and how students learn. The PLT may be replaced in the future, but it is still required at this time.

Candidates must also take the appropriate Content Knowledge Praxis for their subject area. Depending on the test, the length can vary between 2-2.5 hours. These tests are typically designed for those who have completed undergraduate studies in a specific subject area, such as physics, social studies, biology, etc.

All Grades

To qualify to work with students from kindergarten through grade 12 in specific subject areas or to work with students in these grades who have specific educational needs, it is necessary to pass the appropriate Praxis test. All grades Praxis tests used in North Carolina are:

Speech Communication: Content Knowledge Reading Specialist
Physical Education: Content Knowledge Teaching Reading
Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge Gifted Education
Music: Content and Instruction Art: Content and Analysis
Health Education

Most of these exams are only 2 hours in length.

Special Education

North Carolina uses several special education Praxis tests to qualify teachers and administrators to work with students in special education. Teachers can opt to specialize in working with students with issues such as behavioral disabilities or learning disabilities. North Carolina also certifies teachers to work with students who have vision impairments. Some special education certification areas require applicants to pass two Praxis tests.

The most commonly used special education Praxis in North Carolina is the Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge test. It is 1 of the testing requirements for the following certification areas in special education:

  • Severely Profoundly Mentally Disabled
  • Mentally Disabled
  • Learning Disabled
  • Cross Categorical
  • Adapted Curriculum
  • Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled

The Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge Praxis takes 2 hours, and tests applicants on their knowledge of mathematics, science, English language arts, citizenship and social studies.

World Languages

Those who want to work with ESL students or teach a foreign language must qualify to work with students in kindergarten through grade 12. They can do this by taking the English to Speakers of Other Languages Praxis if they are pursuing ESL teaching opportunities or by passing the appropriate World Language exam.

World Language exams include:

  • Spanish
  • German
  • French
  • Latin

These Praxis tests typically last about 3 hours (except for the Latin and English to Speakers of Other Languages tests which are 2 hours) and assess the applicant's ability to read and write the language, as well as their skill at processing the language when it's presented orally. They are also tested on their ability to speak the language.

Career & Technical Education Professionals

There are several Praxis exams used in North Carolina to assess applicants who wish to teach career or technical education courses. They are:

Business Education: Content Knowledge Marketing Education
Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision Technology Education
Family and Consumer Sciences

These tests all take 2 hours, and some of them are used to certify applicants to teach middle or high school students. With the exception of the Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision Praxis, the tests used in this area focus on evaluating the applicant's understanding of the subject area.

Educational Support Professionals

North Carolina also uses Praxis exams to qualify certification applicants to work in a number of school support positions. Aspiring audiologists, for example, must take the Audiology (5342) Praxis while the Professional School Counselor (5421) test is used for school counselors.

Other professionals required to take a Praxis test include:

  • Curriculum-instructional specialists
  • School psychologists
  • Media coordinators
  • Media supervisors

Test Preparation

Study guides can be used to effectively prepare for your required Praxis exams. Use the links here to access materials for your certification tests or to locate other resource materials for the tests you need to take.

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