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How Easy is the Praxis Test?

Students often ask me how easy the Praxis will be. So how easy is the Praxis test? Well, that depends a lot on which Praxis test you’re talking about.

How Easy is the Praxis Core?

The Praxis Core, a set of three exams in Math, Reading, and Writing, is probably the most widely taken Praxis assessment. The idea here is to test basic K-12 academic skills, the kind that teachers will need to share with their students. Praxis Core Math is a combination advanced middle school math and early high school Math— think eighth, ninth, and tenth grade level math, for the most part. Similarly, Praxis Core Reading is comparable to eight grade and possibly ninth grade language arts coursework.

Compared to other general academic skill exams, the Math and Reading portions of this three-exam set are relatively easy. Praxis Core Math and Reading are simply not as challenging as Math and Reading on the SAT or ACT. And the questions are definitely not as hard the ones you’d see on other graduate exams such as the GRE and GMAT.

Praxis Core Writing multiple choice questions are closer to the difficulty level of the SAT or ACT. Core Writing also has the same content focus as these two college entrance exams: grammar, mechanics, sentence correction, paragraph revision, and so on. The Core Writing Essay component is harder than the SAT or ACT essays, though. The SAT requires you to analyze a text and the ACT asks you to give your opinion on an issue. But Praxis Core Writing asks you to analyze two texts and take a side int he issue covered in the texts. You’ll also be asked to do a second personal opinion essay, while the SAT and ACT only have one essay. So Praxis Core Writing is ultimately not easier than a college entrance exam. (But still easier than the GRE and GMAT!)

How Easy is the Praxis PLT?

The Praxis PLT is not a general academic skills test. Instead, the PLT tests your knowledge of the teaching profession.

If you’re nearing the end of a teaching degree or have just graduated,  the PLT tests should be reasonably easy for you. The questions will be a review of your recent coursework., You’ll need to study for the exam to be sure you get the best possible score, but the concepts tested on the PLT will  probably be ones you’re familiar with.

On the other hand, if you’re taking the PLT in relation to an alternative certification program, or if it’s been a year or more since you finished your education degree, PLT content will be a little harder for you. You may need to look up and learn (or re-learn) the content listed in the PLT Study Companions (you can find these on official Praxis Preparation Materials web page).

How Easy is the Praxis II?

As I’ve mentioned before, there are nearly 100 different Praxis II tests. The questions on these Praxis Subject Assessments cover various content areas in depth. How easy a Praxis II test is depends on the test-taker’s level of expertise in the content area.

Even if you recently completed a degree in your chosen subject concentration, every Praxis II has a few questions that are really hard to get right. For instance, a Language Arts Praxis II exam may include questions about a specific work of literature– when it was first published, how it was received by critics, details about the plot or the use of literary devices, and so on. It’s pretty much impossible to know every single content-related fact that might come up on the Praxis II.

The more general content questions on the Praxis II will be easy for anyone who has really studied their content area. But easy for an expert is not the same as truly easy, and the Praxis II series of tests probably shouldn’t be described as easy.

The takeaway

There are some pretty concrete ways to measure how easy different Praxis exams are. However, other factors in Praxis easiness are a little harder to estimate. Your own skills and training determine how easy a given Praxis test might feel for you. And it can be easier to get a passing Praxis score in some states, since each state sets its own Praxis standards.

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2 Responses to How Easy is the Praxis Test?

  1. Charlene August 26, 2016 at 11:38 PM #

    The Praxis Core math test is not easy middle school math. Most people I know who’ve taken it could not pass it even after several tries. I work in many schools substituting and 6th graders are still working on multiplication word problems. I never learned the Praxis Core math in 6 years of college, and it was not part of the GED test I took in 1986 either. Unless you are fresh out of high school, you will have trouble passing this test.

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 5, 2016 at 9:16 AM #

      Charlene– good point, and thank you for bringing this to my attention. I misstated the exact proportion of middle and high school math in the Praxis Core. Praxis Core Math is largely a combination of eighth grade math and early high school math. And this level of math really isn’t easy unless it’s pretty fresh in your’e mind, or you’re a strong “math person.” I’ve revised the second paragraph of this post for accuracy regarding Core Math.


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