There are many Praxis II exams (AKA Praxis Subject Assessments)– nearly a hundred of them. How can you know which one to take? I’m glad you asked! I mean, if you clicked on this post, I assume this is a question you’ve asked. 😉 Anyway, there are a few different ways you can find an answer to this question.
Your home state can tell you which Praxis II tests to take
Every state has different testing requirements for the various teaching licenses they issue. More often than not, a state’s teacher licensing agency will post all Praxis II requirements to their website. But if you’re having trouble finding those regulations– or you want to make sure the info on the web is accurate and up-to-date– it doesn’t hurt to call or email your state to confirm which Praxis II tests you need to take.
Your teacher training program can tell you which Praxis II tests to take
Teacher training programs want their students to succeed, and they have a close working relationship with local public school districts and state teacher licensing agencies. And a teacher training program is likely to also know the Praxis II requirements for other states in its region.
In fact, your professors, advisers, and mentors will probably be willing and able to help you find the licensing requirements for more distant states, if you are considering a relocation after you graduate.
Which Praxis II tests should you take if you’re not sure which state you’ll teach in?
This is there the answer gets a little more complicated than “just ask someone.” If you’re not sure which state you’ll teach in, you need to really do your homework. In this situation, look up different states’ Praxis II requirements for your content area.
Often, different states have slightly different Praxis requirements for the same subject. For example, one state might ask you to take the English Language Arts: Content and Analysis Praxis II exam, while another might ask you to take the Content Knowlege variation of this test. A third state might ask you to take a Praxis II PLT test along with one or both of the Language Arts Praxis IIs.
If you truly want to maximize your possibilities in multiple states, you can take the complete range of Praxis IIs required by multiple states. This is a very ambitious approach though– not for the faint of heart, and perhaps not necessary. Most student teachers have narrowed down their possible states by the time they complete their training.
Which Praxis II tests should you take if you’re not sure which subjects you’ll teach in the future?
Many content areas have a “sister subject.” Math teachers may eventually teach other math-oriented classes such as economics or business. An ESL teacher who speaks fluent Spanish may hope to eventually do some Spanish teaching on the side– or maybe switch to Spanish instruction full time at some point.
In cases like this, it’s not a bad idea to take the Praxis II in a subject you might teach in the future. This can increase your bargaining position if you want your school to let you teach a new subject before you’ve gotten an additional license in it.