Jamie Goodwin

The Difference Between Praxis Core and Praxis I (PPST)

As of September 1, 2014, the Praxis Core exam replaced Praxis I, or the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST). Some colleges use the Praxis Core exam as a prerequisite for their teacher education program. Some states also require the exam as part of the process to get licensed as a teacher. As you prepare for the exam, you’ll find lots of resources and practice tests for the PPST. Should you use these? Will they still be effective study tools? To determine this, check out the following difference between Praxis Core and Praxis I that you should know about.

Praxis I

The PPST covered basic reading, writing, and math skills. Students could take a computer-based or paper-based exam. The computer exam had 127 questions, split evenly between the 3 sections. There was also 1 essay question. For people who took the paper-based exam, there were slightly less questions to answer.

Teacher candidates used to take the computer-based exam in 2 different 2-hour sessions or just one session that lasted up to 4-1/2 hours. The paper exam, however, could be completed in a 3-hour session.

Praxis Core

Similar to the PPST, a group of educators, teacher education professors, and subject-matter specialists created the Praxis Core exam questions. The Praxis Core exam also tests teacher candidates on basic reading, writing, and math skills. One of the biggest differences is that there are 3 separate exams, which are all computer based. The sections are divided as follows:

  • Reading: 56 questions to complete in 85 minutes
  • Writing: 40 questions to complete in 40 minutes and 2 essays to complete in 60 minutes
  • Mathematics: 56 questions to complete in 85 minutes

Students take the exams either at different times or all at once. If taking all the exams in one sitting, test takers should plan on spending up to 5 hours in the testing center.

The material on the exam is slightly different than the PPST, too. Some of the differences in each section include:

Because of the difference between Praxis Core and Praxis I, it’s important to find updated study materials to use. Although you could prepare for the Praxis Core exam with resources made for the PPST, you want to have the most recent resources available to prepare you as efficiently as possible.


  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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