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# Understanding Your Praxis Test Results

Often in the hectic task of preparing for Praxis, teachers-in-training focus on exam content rather than exam scoring. This is a good thing for the most part—it’s your content knowledge that will determine the Praxis score, and successful test-takers aim for knowing as much as possible, rather than just hitting a minimum performance benchmark.

Still, once you do get your score, you’re going to want to know what the results truly mean for you and your future as a teacher. And it’s best to have some idea about this as soon as you look at your score report, and not after your university or prospective employer tells you what it means to them.

## Selected response questions: raw score vs. unofficial score vs. official score

Selected-response questions are ones where the answers can only be completely right or completely wrong. Most selected response Praxis questions are multiple choice. However, some Praxis Math questions require the student to key in a numerical response instead of choosing the correct answer from a group of options. This is still a form of selected response, as there is only one correct number that can be entered on such questions.

Because they are graded on a simple right-or-wrong binary, selected response tasks can be scored immediately, right in the testing center. At the end of the exam, you’ll be given a preliminary score report on your selected response performance. This initial scorecard will show you two very different looking numbers: your raw score and your unofficial score.

The raw score is the number of selected-response questions you answered correctly. So if you got—for instance—54 questions right out of the total 56 questions on Praxis Core math, your raw score would be 54. (And that would be an excellent score!)

The unofficial score for a set of selected-response questions is based on the scale range of the official Praxis score you’ll be issued after test day. The Praxis Core and most Praxis Subject Assessments are scored on a scale of between 100 and 200 points. Currently, there are only two exceptions to this scoring scale in the Praxis Subject Assessments Series: the Speech Language Pathology Assessment (5330) and the assessment for teaching Agriculture (0700). Both of these exams are scored on a scale of 250-990 points.

Unofficial scores are based not on the number of questions on a Praxis exam, but on the number of answers. So if a selected-response question has multiple correct answers, it holds greater weight in the unofficial score, compared to its weight in the raw score.  Additionally, on some exams, unofficial scores are scaled and calculated partly based on the relative difficulty of the set of selected-response questions in an individual exam session. On tests that are scaled in this way, if you get a particularly difficult mix of questions on a Praxis test and miss more questions than you might on an easier question set, your score could be adjusted upward.

For selected-response, official scores are calculated in the exact same way as unofficial scores. Official scores are only changed if there is an error of some sort in the test center itself.

## Scores on selected response vs. constructed response scores

As you can see above, score results on selected-response questions are very cut-and-dry. A point lost in selected response means you got the answer wrong; a point gained means you got it right. Scoring for constructed response is not quite as simple. Constructed-response questions require test-takers to complete tasks that have many possible “good” answers, but do not necessarily have right or wrong answers.

In Praxis tests, constructed-response tasks generally involve essays or the creation of lesson plans and materials. These kinds of responses are not clearly right or wrong, and need to be graded for quality. Constructed-response answers are carefully reviewed by human scorers, so it’s not possible for a raw or unofficial score to be given out on the spot in the testing center.

To understand your scores on constructed response, look carefully at the sample constructed response answers found in the free online study companions for each Praxis exam. In the Study Companions, these sample questions include scoring and commentary from ETS explaining how the scores were calculated.

For selected response, your raw score gives you a very quick, easy-to-understand snapshot of how you did on the selected-response question set you just completed. Your unofficial score is calculated in a more complex way. The unofficial score tells you whether or not you met the minimum standards needed for licensure and it also tells you what your official score will almost certainly be, even after checks are made for test-center error. (Test-center error is very rare on the Praxis.)

With constructed-response questions, your score communicates a variety of things—how good a writer you are, the quality of your ideas, your ability to develop a clear, concise lesson plan, and so on. These skills vary from test-to-test.

## The takeaway

First and foremost, understanding your Praxis scores helps you understand if you’re eligible for certification or if you’ll need to retake the exam. But more than that, these scores also help you understand how much you’ve learned and developed as a teacher. Minimum or below-minimum performance is a sign that you need to continue studying the art of teaching, in the interests of both professional development and good performance in future testing, studies, and work.

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh Praxis Prep!

### 21 Responses to Understanding Your Praxis Test Results

1. Tonisha December 26, 2016 at 11:27 PM #

I didn’t receive a raw score at the end of my Principles of Learning: Elementary Education k-6 test. Is that normal, being that it’s a mixture of selected and constructed response answers?

• David Recine January 1, 2017 at 5:32 PM #

I’m sorry to hear this has happened to you. This is not normal, in the sense that you will usually be shown a raw score on test day. But this is not unheard of either. Technically, the Praxis doesn’t guarantee you that they’ll give you an unofficial score report. Sometimes, do to computer issues, they aren’t able to generate a score report for you in the test center. When this happens, it’s definitely frustrating.

• Tori April 13, 2018 at 10:40 AM #

I just took the General Science Praxis, my unofficial score was a 144, it had 135 questions. The state requirement is a 151, will my official score change much?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 15, 2018 at 2:55 PM #

Hi Tori,

While it’s possible that your score will change, we don’t often see a 7-point increase, unfortunately. You may want to start preparing for a retake as you wait for your official results. I know this can be frustrating, but many people improve in the retake because of increased familiarity with the test. Best of luck 🙂

2. Donald Schempp March 14, 2017 at 3:54 PM #

Dave,
Just finished the middle school science test.
My score was 196, which means I got a 96 % answered correctly.

There were 125 question, but some had more then one answer so the nominator will be higher then 125, correct?

I can’t find meaning to the subset score.
9 on scientific method
12 on Matter and energy
19 physical science
24 life science
17 space studies ( did sure the whole title)
11on science tech public Society (Not sure title)

What does this all mean?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 16, 2017 at 1:20 AM #

Hi Donald,

First, congratulations! 196 is a great score.

Typically each question, even those with multiple parts, are treated as 1 question and thus the denominator would remain 125. You can verify this, though, by using your score report to look at the “raw points available” and seeing what the total there would be. That tells you the effective denominator. 🙂

As for the subset scores you mention, the report should have the “raw points earned” and “raw points available.” So you can see where your weak areas may have been in these content areas rather than just an aggregate score for the whole test.

3. Diana C October 17, 2017 at 1:35 PM #

Got an unofficial score of 162 on Praxis 5331 SLP. No essay questions, only 132 questions with single answer responses that were either right or wrong. What is the chance that my unofficial score of 162 will match my official score?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 18, 2017 at 10:07 AM #

Hi Diana,

The chances are very good that you will stay within 2 points +/- of this result. 🙂

• Brieanna December 12, 2017 at 2:43 PM #

Hi Diana, I too saw a 162* (with an astrict) and I just am freaking out to know if that is my score???? I called ETS and they said I won’t know until December 30th. I really wanted to enjoy my Christmas knowing beforehand. 🙁 did u end up passing?

4. Jennie July 31, 2018 at 11:41 AM #

I took the Praxis for the first time a month ago, my scores were 140 for reading, 134 for math, and 172 for writing. I just took the Praxis for the second time and my scores are as follows: 158 for reading, 194 for math. Did I pass all 3 parts??

5. Beau November 13, 2018 at 3:49 PM #

I took the Praxis and did not receive a score instead there was an * and said see below. Below it stated that the state no longer accepted my specialty. If I wanted to go to another state, How do I get my score?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 20, 2018 at 7:24 AM #

Hi Beau,

You should still receive a score report on your MyPraxis account within around 2 weeks of the test (see score release dates here). If you have any more issues, I recommend that you contact ETS directly 🙂

6. Kayleigh McCarthy April 4, 2019 at 7:05 PM #

Hi
I just took the Praxis Core Math exam and received a 148 on it and needed a 150 to pass, is it possible my official score could go up?

• David Recine April 9, 2019 at 7:10 AM #

It’s not uncommon for official scores to go up by a few points, Kayleigh. So there’s definitely a chance you might have passed. There’s also a distinct chance you’ll stay under the cutoff, though. SO I recommend studying for a retake while you wait for your score report, just in case. Either way, you’re very close to where you need to be. Even if your score doesn’t go up on the official score report, your chances of passing on your next attempt should be pretty high. 🙂

7. Breezy April 12, 2019 at 12:32 PM #

My biology praxis score was a 180
There are only 150 questions. I don’t know what the required score is… Will I have passed!?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 14, 2019 at 9:22 PM #

Hi Breezy!

It’s likely that the 180 you saw was your unofficial score! Because the unofficial scores don’t usually change too much, I think it’s safe to say that you passed. Congratulations! 😀

8. Jai September 14, 2019 at 4:23 PM #

I took my Speech-Language Pathology Praxis test for national certification today and earned an unofficial score of 159, while the passing score is 162. Is there any chance that I will see a change in my unofficial score?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 1, 2019 at 1:21 PM #

Hi Jai,

The official score differs from the unofficial score only in rare cases. Most likely, the official score will remain the same.Unfortunately, you will have to wait for your official results to learn more.

9. Courtney October 4, 2019 at 7:14 AM #

Hi! I just took Early Childhood Edu #5025. At the end of the test, the screen displayed “Total Score(s)=181. Is this my unofficial or raw score? It was SR test. I am afraid the 181 is the “total score available” and not my actual score. Any thoughts?

• Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 1, 2019 at 1:02 PM #

Hi Courtney,

It sounds like this is your unofficial score. According to the 5025 Study Companion, all questions are selected response and there are only 120 total questions.

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