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What to Do When You Failed the Praxis

So you took the Praxis and failed. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this is a minor setback. Here are some things you can do.

If you failed the Praxis, schedule a retake as soon as possible

According to the official Praxis website, “you may retake a Praxis test once every 21 days, not including your initial test date.” Twenty-one days is definitely enough time to study for a retake. But it’s also a fairly long time to delay your job hunt, especially if you are heading into summer and want to land your first teaching job by fall. So you certainly don’t want to wait any more than three weeks for a retake.

As you study for your retake, make sure you do real practice questions with ETS’s official Praxis preparation materials. Check your answers and make note of your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you build on your strengths and manage your weaknesses so that you can pass your state’s Praxis requirements the second time around.

If you failed the Praxis, consider a score review

The Praxis exam does offer score review service on a limited basis. If you request a score review, ETS will double-check the score you got. And if they feel your score was calculated incorrectly, they can modify your score. Praxis Score Review costs $65, and this kind of score review is only available for constructed response questions (essay or short answer questions, in other words).

When considering a score review, bear in mind that there are some potential disadvantages to requesting a score review. In some cases, ETS may decide to lower your score upon review rather than raising it. They may also decide that no mistakes were made in the original scoring; in this case your score won’t change. Additionally, it takes 3 to 4 weeks for a score review to be completed once you send in the request. This means that if you wait to see the results of your score review, you’ll miss your first window of opportunity to do a Praxis retake. So you’ll either have to delay your retake while you wait for the score review results, or you’ll need to do a retake without knowing if one will truly be necessary.

Still, if you strongly suspect you failed your Praxis exam due to scoring errors on your essays or short answers, a  retake is definitely an option to consider.

If you failed the Praxis and you have a pending job offer, talk to your prospective employer right away

If nearly all of your teacher training is done, a school may offer to hire you on the assumption that you will be getting your teaching license in the near future. If you’ve just failed the Praxis and you are facing a delay in getting your license, you need to be as honest with your school as possible. If you hide this delay from them, it can cost you your pending job. However, if you let school officials know you fell short of the minimum Praxis score and you show them that you’ve registered for a retake, there’s a good chance you’ll get to keep your new job. Employers are often willing to give you time for a Praxis retake, so honesty is definitely the best policy here.

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

82 Responses to What to Do When You Failed the Praxis

  1. Frustrated Skeptic August 21, 2016 at 5:18 PM #

    I have taken and failed the praxis II 3x for a foreign language. I know I’m not alone and I find it troubling that one of the top search results to pop up when I’m looking for stories or tips relating to my situation is your site, suggesting I spend more money on another Praxis test and test prep materials. I refuse to give up and I don’t want to become a “it’s a scam!” conspiracy theorist, but I find it hard to believe I’m coming within 10 points of passing every time no matter how hard I study with other non-ETS materials.

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 22, 2016 at 12:05 PM #

      Honestly, Frustrated Skeptic, I’m glad you brought this up. You really MAY need to pay ETS for its materials in order to boost your score. And yes— it could be argued that this isn’t fair. The companies that make standardized tests have a huge advantage over other third-party providers, and usually offer a only limited number of free materials, charging money to those who want a substantial amount of prep material for the exam. But sometimes, frustrating as it is, you may need to bite the bullet and pay $20 for the demo test ETS offers on the Praxis. When other materials don’t allow you to get all the way to your target score, the “real” materials probably will. Fair or not, it can be necessary. This is especially true for the Praxis II exams, since there are so few third-party study guides for them.

      As an FYI, Magoosh has no official ties to ETS, and we don’t benefit financially in any way when people purchase materials from them. And it’s our goal to help students find as many free or very cheap prep materials as possible. Pretty much every Praxis exam has a free official online Study Companion PDF. Sometimes this alone can be enough to help you boost your score. If you haven’t done so already, look up the study companion for your test by going to Praxis’s dropdown menu of test prep materials.

      One other thing you may want to do as well is think carefully about which test questions you may have missed. If you can figure out your weak areas in the foreign language you’re testing in, you may be able to boost your score just by working on the “trouble spots” you have in that language, without needing to consult any official Praxis materials beyond the free study companion.

    • Ticked off teacher February 19, 2017 at 5:27 AM #

      Absolutely correct

    • Onepointer January 19, 2018 at 12:48 PM #

      I’ve taken Mid -level LA 14 times, failed by 1 point 12 times.I’ve had it re-graded . I bought all ETS material for my test and studied 6 months before my first test. I was an honor student in college. My focus was Language Arts. To fail this test consistently by 1 point seems to be a fluke. I thought I was alone until the state board of education contacted me. Apparently there are numerous people experiencing the same issue. It is sad the state recognizes the problem with a test, but still requires the test.

    • bob April 11, 2018 at 9:54 AM #

      Hello

      I have not had any luck with the praxis at all, I am a music teacher and I took the praxis 2 5114 and failed, I’m taking it again and I have it made up in my mind that If I fail this time I will leave the profession. My question is what are some good steps to take for getting started in a plan B in career?

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 12, 2018 at 10:32 AM #

        Hi Bob,

        I’m so sorry to hear about this! We hear from a lot of students with the same frustration, and I really hope that you don’t let this test completely change your mind about teaching. After all, standardized tests focus on pure content knowledge/test-taking ability can’t actually measure your worth as a teacher and mentor. I encourage you to use the official test prep resources for the Praxis 5114 as you study for your retake. Also keep in mind that most people improve their score just by re-taking the test because you are more familiar with the test, the environment, and the procedures for the test.

        If you do decide that a career change is the best option for you, this blog post might help you start thinking of some alternatives. But don’t write off the Praxis just yet…if you prepare and think positively, you can definitely pass!

  2. Brendan September 11, 2016 at 8:10 AM #

    Are the retakes free, or covered by the original testing fee for the initial failed exam?
    As in, do you pay once and keep retaking every 21 days until you pass for the same one-time fee already paid?

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 13, 2016 at 1:55 PM #

      Unfortunately, you need to pay a new, full fee any time that you retake the Praxis.

  3. Desperate October 7, 2016 at 9:07 AM #

    I took it 5161 Math 2x. Since my gpa is low I need a high score. I cant seem to grasp the material anymore but while subbing, teachers are requesting me left and right! I can handle a classroom for the year but I cant seem to pass this standardized test! I even tutor but not in calculus thus, the “study and explain to someone what you learned” method doesn’t help me here. I did phenomenal on the placement test for college but the Praxis is not the same thing at all. I have the study guide and studying via youtube. I know God will help me pas in due time but just wanted to reach out for more sources besides what ETS offers.

    • David Recine
      David Recine October 7, 2016 at 3:49 PM #

      Hello “Desperate,”

      Wow, there’s a lot going on in your message to our blog. But I think you’ve raised some important issues here. From the sound of it, you’re able to do almost everything a licensed teacher is expected to do, but you keep falling short on your licensing exam— the Praxis II for Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161). That certainly sounds frustrating!

      A few thoughts here: From what you’re telling me, you know most of the math skills that are tested in 5161, but you’re not as comfortable as you need to be when it comes to calculus and perhaps a few other exceptionally advanced math concepts on 5161. One thing I’d recommend is searching Khan Academy’s math video library, if you haven;t done so already. Their videos are free, cover every math concept from 5161, and break things down in a way that is very “user friendly.” In fact, Khan Academy even has a direct partnership with ETS to provide free web-based support for one of their other exams– the GRE.

      From what you’ve told me, it sounds like you also should work specifically on your skills in multiple choice strategy. When you get an answer wrong in practice (such as on the practice questions in the 5161 Study Companion or the official 5161 practice test), you should really think about why you got the answer wrong. You should also always figure out how you could have arrived at the right answer.

      Above all, try to think like the designers of the Praxis 5161. Think about the way that the incorrect answers are designed to trick you. The wrong answer choices aren’t random– they’re the result of small missteps– or sometimes big ones– that can be made while you calculate the answer. Figure out what missteps you’re making, and you’ll be able to avoid them.

      Desperate, I think you’re experiencing a lot of common challenges among Praxis II test-takers. Thank you for sharing your concerns. If you have anything to say in response to the advice I’ve given you so far, feel free to post an additional response to my response. I’ll be glad to continue this conversation here if you’d like.

      • Determined to teach May 20, 2017 at 5:53 PM #

        I know all to well how you feel desperate. I have taken the praxis 2 math multiple times but I haven’t given up yet. Im going to keep striving. I accepted a long term sub teacher position and I am doing well but cant seem to get this test down however, with faith I will overcome. You will as well; just hang in there.

        • David Recine
          David Recine May 21, 2017 at 1:36 AM #

          Thanks for the encouraging words. The certification exams can be the hardest hurdle, but they’re also the last hurdle. The end’s in sight, even if you’re moving toward the end more slowly than you’d like.

    • Gary July 11, 2017 at 4:30 PM #

      I don’t know what state you are in but in my state you can get certified to teach middle school math by passing Praxis 5169 middle school math. I took and passed it and it is much easier than 5161. I no have 9 months to study for the 5161.

      • David Recine
        David Recine July 11, 2017 at 5:15 PM #

        Interesting, Gary! What state are you in?

      • Mary Zynda December 29, 2017 at 11:10 AM #

        Someone help. I have taken the middle school 5169 numerous times and can not pass this test. I study and feel comfortable, but still fall short. Obviously I must be studying the wrong stuff. I am really feeling like a loser right now. I teach middle school math and I am verified, but of I want to keep my job I have to pass this test. I am desperate. Please direct me.

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 1, 2018 at 4:25 PM #

          Hi Mary,

          I’m so sorry to hear about this–I know it’s frustrating to have to keep retaking this test despite your experience as a teacher. What study materials have you been using? You should definitely be using the free 5169 study guide from ETS, and I highly recommend that you purchase the ETS practice tests available for this test.

          Besides this, I encourage you to think about your testing experience and strategy. The Praxis tests are like a game–you must know how to plan and what the test-takers are trying to measure in order to do well. Unfortunately, experience and knowledge is not always enough–you also must understand how to take the test and what strategies will help you to get a passing score. I encourage you to reflect on your experience with the test and study material and think about what questions you have missed. Consider your pacing, problem-solving strategy and “state of mind” during the test. Sometimes, the difference between passing and failing is as simple as managing your response to stress. In other cases, learning a few pacing strategies can really boost your score.
          Again, I’m sorry to hear about your experience with the Praxis so far! I wish you the best of luck as you study for your retake–we are all rooting for you here at Magoosh!

  4. Michelle October 21, 2016 at 11:18 AM #

    Well I really have a good one for you. I have taken Praxis II 10 times and missed it by a point the last time it was taken. Now I have to retake Praxis I and II and a PLT to get my teaching license. It was very frustrating but I finally found the guides I needed to help me along and have my first test scheduled for the 28th of this month.

    • David Recine
      David Recine October 25, 2016 at 3:21 PM #

      That is a “good” one. Not good in the sense that your situation must be disappointing and frustrating. Good in the sense that I’m sure a lot of students can relate to what you’re saying. This is also good because it’s wonderful to hear you found the right guides! Tell us a little bit more! What guides have been working for you? Are you using the official ETS ones? Magoosh? Other third-party books or websites. Let us know– I’m always looking for the best resources to share with the readers of this blog. 🙂

  5. Karen November 8, 2016 at 12:44 PM #

    I have failed the praxis ll 5161 3 times. I bought the ETS practice test and it did not help at all. Out of the 60 problems on the practice test, maybe 10 were similar to the real 5161test. I wouldn’t waste the $20

    • David Recine
      David Recine November 10, 2016 at 12:21 PM #

      This is definitely one of the frustrations of Praxis Prep. Although I do recommend the practice tests, the amount of questions in them are very limited– just a single exam’s worth of questions. With just a little bit of bad luck, you may get a set of questions on test day that’s pretty distant from the single practice test available. It’s also possible that some Praxis exams have lower-quality ETS practice tests than others. Thanks for your advice on Praxis 5161, Karen. And if anyone else has had experience with 5161 or other ETS practice tests, mention it here in the comments. My readers and I would love to hear about your experiences!

    • Natalie December 1, 2016 at 8:14 AM #

      I took the Praxis II 5161 in November and did not pass. I am a former accountant and current business teacher who has not had a math class in 15 years (but math was always my best subject). I bought the ETS practice test just like you did, Karen. I felt the same way. Very few questions were similar to the actual test. I did study quite a bit before I took the test (taking practice test, using Khan Academy, etc…) I felt like I was prepared for the types of questions that I studied, but found that there were many questions on the actual test that I had not prepared for. My question for Karen is: “In the 3 times that you took the test, did you find that the questions were similar to each other, or was the test completely different each time?

  6. Margo November 28, 2016 at 9:59 AM #

    My husband has taken the 5161 5x’s and failed. This last time he got a 152 and did not answer 10 questions. My question to you, are the unanswered questions counted against him?

    • David Recine
      David Recine November 29, 2016 at 7:47 AM #

      Yes, an unanswered question costs the exact same amount of points as an incorrectly answered question. Because there’s no “guessing” penalty on the Praxis, your husband should always guess at Praxis answers rather than simply leaving them unanswered. At worst, he’ll guess wrong. At best, he’ll guess correctly and get a point.

  7. Jessie January 20, 2017 at 2:25 PM #

    I just took the praxis 5511 and missed it by one point. And the worst part is they just raised the passing by one point. I have been crying all day. I have taken it 5 times and I always run out of time and rush at the end. Any tips???

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 27, 2017 at 2:56 AM #

      Hi Jessie,

      First, I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I know this is very frustrating, and disappointing, too. If you are only one point away from what you want, though, that means you can absolutely do this. I would start by taking a week or so to regroup, walk away from Praxis thoughts, and settle your thoughts. Coming back with a fresh mind will really help you. Next, I would come back to your studies with a renewed focus on drilling timing specifically. If the pacing is the main issue, you can work on your skills in this area and find success. It sounds like being able to handle the stress at the end of your test is the key to getting your score. You can do this, Jessie. 🙂

    • Megan July 6, 2017 at 3:28 AM #

      I hear you!! I took it yesterday for my 5th time. I just can’t get it seems like.

      • David Recine
        David Recine July 6, 2017 at 7:14 AM #

        So sorry to hear you’re going through this too, Megan! 🙁 Did you take 5511 as well, or a different test? And how close have you come to getting the score you need?

  8. Future Educator March 26, 2017 at 2:23 AM #

    Unfortunately I am in the same boat. I have taking the praxis 5001 and missed each one by a couple of points. I retook them multiple times but have only manage to pass the social studies section. I am truest fustrated and down on myself. I have tried countless of study resources but still miss passing the other sections by 2-3 points. It’s hard when you put so much time and effort just to fail. I don’t know what to do. These exams have made my depression and anxiety rise, I am an emotional wreck.

  9. Shawn Williams April 19, 2017 at 10:27 AM #

    If you miss the praxis test by one point then their should be away that the praxis scorers say ya they were really close enough so they passed. These praxis tests are another way to make money. Why am I paying all this money for college and then having to pay a fortune for a test that has multiple possibly correct answers. These tests aren’t created to challenge you, but to make you rethink what the correct answer actually is. These praxis tests need to be addressed because teachers don’t make enough to have to take these ridiculously priced tests, especially retakes. It’s all about that money for some people. It’s just sad they want to make it harder for our teachers to succeed.

  10. Beverly Palmer April 22, 2017 at 6:36 PM #

    These exams are are another example of money generators. I have watched my exceptional daughter for 3 years on and on take these rip off exams. Where does this ridiculous exam say this test and that test make a great teacher. It’s a scam, it should use a scale of success. You change exams, you miss by one point, you don’t have enough time, it’s criminal. Get off the soap box give good qualified teachers with these small salaries, a chance now!! Write me and say it like it is. Signed, A mother of a great teacher!!!!!

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 23, 2017 at 1:23 AM #

      Thank you for posting this. I think you raise a lot of important points that other readers will relate to.

      When properly used, the Praxis is a good teacher licensing tool. But you are right– the Praxis tests it really can be misapplied, as your own post indicates. I too get frustrated when states change Praxis requirements, either in terms of the specific test required or the score required. And some states seem to make changes to Praxis requirements alarmingly frequently. It’s also very frustrating when there’s a disconnect between the Praxis requirement and someone’s actual teaching ability. Far too often, licensing tests (Praxis or otherwise) act as an obstacle that keeps good teachers out, rather than a filter that brings the good teachers in.

      As a father myself, and as someone whose own parents helped him with his teacher training, I can also tell you that your daughter is lucky to have you. I hope your daughter has success with her Praxis exams in the near future. And I’m sorry she’s been facing these frustrations and setbacks.

    • Keri May 2, 2017 at 9:30 AM #

      Totally agree! I only have my social studies portion to pass and I have failed it 3-4 times now! only by a couple of points each time! This is after studying for months at a time and saving just so I can sign up again. It’s ridiculous. I keep saying instead of a stupid test that seems nearly impossible to pass, there should be a system of assessment where the potential teacher is assessed on their skills in a classroom. Have someone judge them on their teaching presence, time and classroom management skills, organization, etc. That’s the stuff that really counts.

    • Carolyn Hagel October 21, 2017 at 3:22 AM #

      Shawn I’m with you in that one. My daughter has tirelessly taken this darn pain in the but test and can notttttt seem to pass it yet she is a deans list student at the University that she is in. I said from day one this test is a money making scam that is good for causing test takers anxiety and making them mental. It tells absolutely nothing about the type of teacher that one will be all it good for is to line the pockets of the greedies with money. 40000 a year I college and STILL have to spen on this nonsense test. We are so frustrated right now. We brought all kinds of ETS learning crap and it’s a disgrace how they are doing these potential teachers and all for money.
      I am an advanced practice nurse and not even in this field is there this much BS. Definitely needs to be a reform on this mess of a system.

      • Daria November 7, 2017 at 1:18 PM #

        It’s comforting to see that other people agree! Teacher’s don’t make enough money for all the nonsense they are put through. These tests are about the money. It is not an accurate reflection of the kind of teacher you will be. I have taken the math praxis 5002 three times. Math has never been my strong area. I failed by a lot the first time, made it to just shy of 6 points from passing on the second, and failed worse than the first test today. What gets me, is they change the tests each time so this one I was not entirely prepared for and you can no longer complete student teaching and graduate unless you pass these exams. So your degree is held hostage until you do. It’s awful!

        • Daria November 7, 2017 at 2:14 PM #

          i mean to say math praxis subtest 5003

  11. Anne May 6, 2017 at 6:13 PM #

    Does anyone have a suggestion on what they used tp pass Praxis I core Math

    • Jackie January 9, 2018 at 2:17 AM #

      An instructor in Virginia wrote a text book for the praxis math test. I purchased the book and my son studies and he passed the exam. Name is Dr Madelyn Gardner. Ask your advisor.

  12. Help May 8, 2017 at 11:36 AM #

    I have taken the praxis II elementary math subtest 3x, and have made a 140 all three times! 3 points short of a passing score in Al. I have used multiple resources and even personal tutoring sessions from math teachers. The questions always seem to be slightly different than the prep material or I run out of time. I don’t know what else to do. Would it help to take the test on a different state?

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 9, 2017 at 12:43 AM #

      Sorry to hear this is happening to you, Help. 🙁 Taking the test in a different state doesn’t change the odds that you’ll get unfamiliar questions, unfortunately.

      I do have some advice though. If you haven’t done so already, look at the questions you’re missing in practice sessions, and think about which types of math are hardest for you. Also think back to any unexpected content you’ve encountered on the exam. This too will help you find specific weak areas that you can address, so that you can finally reach your target score.

    • Marcus D June 15, 2017 at 3:30 AM #

      In AL, I took the General Science 6-12 (5435) Praxis II and failed both times. After moving to LA, I took the 5435 again and passed it for AL standards, but not for LA standards. So, taking the exam in a different state may benefit. I truly hate to suggest it if it does not work for you, but it worked for me. So, I could move back to AL and be a teacher there.

      • David Recine
        David Recine June 15, 2017 at 7:34 AM #

        Marcus raises a good point. You can take the Praxis in another state that has a lower score requirement, although that will probably mean teaching in that other state… At first, at least. (In the long run, if state number 2 and the state you originally teach in have reciprocity, you may be able to teach in your original state, although this is tricky and not guaranteed.)

        But very smart move, Marcus! Years ago, when I got my teaching license, I did the same thing– I passed the Language Arts Praxis II for Louisiana, but not for my home state of Wisconsin, and I taught in Louisiana for a time. I too eventually moved back to my home state to teach. 🙂

  13. Bukar June 1, 2017 at 1:58 PM #

    Hi
    I’m have a pending teaching job. I have to take praxis II for business; I do not know what to expect. Can any help?

    I’m so worried!!! English is my 3rd language.

    • David Recine
      David Recine June 6, 2017 at 7:35 AM #

      Your THIRD language! That’s very impressive, Bukar. Not everyone gets to a third language… or even a second! 🙂

      As for taking the Praxis II: Business Education Content Knowledge and knowing what to expect, I recommend two resources.

      The first resource I recommend is the official Study Companion PDF for Praxis Business Education: Content Knowledge. That PDF is available free-of-charge and may be enough to allow you to prepare for the exam with confidence.

      However, if you still need more prep, and want an exact look at what the test is like, there is another resource. ETS also offers a full-length Business Education: Content Knowledge test that you can take online. Click here to purchase that exam for $19.95.

      But again, the free PDF just might do. 🙂

    • Stefanie August 2, 2017 at 7:43 PM #

      Also bear in mind that if you are testing in your non-native language you can request extra time.

  14. Tomeka b June 15, 2017 at 10:24 AM #

    Today I took the praxis business 5101 exam again which was 120 questions. At the end of the test the computer give a score of 133 but when I look at how many questions I got correct it was 54. What is going on

    • David Recine
      David Recine June 15, 2017 at 11:46 AM #

      You’re right, Tomeka– that is kind of strange. A 54/120 is 45%, which should translate into a raw score of 133. It’s possible that some answers in Praxis 5101 are worth more than others, and that you missed some of the more valuable questions. It’s also possible that there was a computer error in the testing center. If it’s the latter, that should be corrected by the time you get your official score. Let us know how things turn out!

      • Tomeka b June 15, 2017 at 1:27 PM #

        Thank you I will let you know how things turn out

        • tomeka b July 10, 2017 at 10:09 AM #

          I received my official scores and it was a score of 133 so i have to retake the exam over.

  15. Robert Strickland June 16, 2017 at 7:23 AM #

    Has anybody taking the Praxis II 5543. If so can you tell me what to study for.

    • Stefanie August 20, 2017 at 10:28 PM #

      Robert there is a free study plan available for this test on the ETS website that tells you exactly what you will need to know. Additionally ETS offers an online Praxis Practice test that you can take in real time conditions. It also gives explanations of incorrect answers and gives you the chance to practice the 3 constructed response questions that are 25% of your final score.

      Hope this helps!

  16. Josh July 8, 2017 at 11:30 AM #

    I just took the 5081 exam. Got a 154. I need a 161. I’m frustrated because I bought all of the ets materials and I feel like the test came out of left field. I feel like the materials did not prepare me. I don’t know what to do now. Is it possible that 7 points can be added to my score?

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 10, 2017 at 11:09 AM #

      I’m sorry this has happened to you, Josh. It definitely does sound frustrating! The good news is that it’s definitely possible to boost your add 7 points to your score on the retake. What’s important is to study for the retake very carefully. Review the ETS materials a second time, checking every question and answer explanation carefully. Also know your content in general— really research all the most important facts in the six Social Studies academic concepts listed in the Praxis 5081 Study Companion.

  17. Amy July 17, 2017 at 3:32 PM #

    I took the 5047 today, how long does it take to get the scores?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 20, 2017 at 11:50 AM #

      Hi Amy,

      According to ETS, “Official score reports are available approximately 10–16 days from the last date of the testing window or on the test date if the test is offered continuously.”

  18. Susan July 21, 2017 at 10:58 AM #

    I just boomed the Praxis Core Mathematics with an unofficial score of 130. I had previously taken 2 or 3 practice tests and passed each of those. I am not sure what happened??!! I am in tears and don’t know what to do now. Some of the questions seemed different than the ones I practiced with. I used Praxis Core for Dummies and the practice test from the ets.org website that I purchased. Are there other materials for this test to study with? Should I hire a tutor? Math is my weakest subject. I am heart broken that I can not start teaching.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 26, 2017 at 9:22 PM #

      Hi Susan,

      First, I am so sorry this has happened. It is frustrating to have standardized tests and bureaucracy get in the way of what you want. But don’t give up! The fact that you are upset means you are the kind of person with empathy and passion to teach. The world needs you! 🙂

      Now, I recommend getting that score report and scrutinizing it. Where are the weak areas? What can you tackle to do better next time? This is good information, because it can help you decide if you want a tutor (this can definitely work if you have access to this kind of support) or if you think you can tackle the issues on your own. You don’t have to be a math whiz to conquer this, but you do need to focus on dominating the test style and content so you can clear the hurdle. You can do this! Get that report first, and build your approach around the information it gives you.

    • Robin February 19, 2018 at 6:25 PM #

      Hi Susan,

      The ETS practice tests are not beneficial , please stop recommending them Dave. I suggest mgmtutoring.com– it is a GREAT resource. I’ve spent $$$$ on practice materials and re-takes- and with this book Ive increased 10+ points on the Math Core and really think the next test I’ll pass.

      Also just ordered another resource- will let you know how it is– Exam Sam?
      Also just ordered

      • David Recine
        David Recine February 21, 2018 at 10:59 AM #

        Hi Robin,

        I can honestly say that the ETS practice tests really helped me when I prepped for the Praxis. But I also know that they can be a bit hit-or-miss, especially because the test day experience is sometimes a good deal different than the exam. In future writings on this blog, any recommendations of the ETS tests will include some caveats.

        Thank thanks for the link to MGM tutoring. There are so few tutoring services that offer Praxis tutoring at all, and it looks like the tutors and prep material creators there are very knowledgeable.

  19. Nicole July 22, 2017 at 7:27 AM #

    I have taken Praxis II 5038 ELA content 3 times. The first time I made 159, second time 149 and third time 163. My state requires 167. I am so frustrated with spending money on test material and yet to pass!! Does anyone have any testing strategies or recommendations for study material for this test???

  20. First-Year TN Teacher July 22, 2017 at 4:35 PM #

    Today I took the Praxis Core Math and failed for the second time, with the exact same score of 148 (I need a 150). I have already passed the Praxis Core English and Writing, as well as, the Praxis II Content. However, the Praxis Core Math portion is defeating me. Not to mention, the costs per test are alarming. I’m so confused as to how I could manage to get the exact same failing score twice. On another note, when I took the Praxis Core English, the score given after the exam was 176. But, when I received the official score, it was 172. I wonder why there was a deduction of 4 points? I heard that Praxis scores never decrease, but rather increase if anything. My study efforts have not helped me, but I will continue to test until I pass it. The Praxis Core test should be relevant to the grade level that the prospective educator will teach. I’m a first-year ELA teacher in elementary school. I have to pass this Praxis Core Math to continue on in graduate school and to keep my certification.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 26, 2017 at 9:29 PM #

      Hello First-Year TN Teacher,

      I want to respond to all of the things you’ve said here, so I’ve put parts of your message here in bold to keep it organized.

      Today I took the Praxis Core Math and failed for the second time, with the exact same score of 148 (I need a 150). I have already passed the Praxis Core English and Writing, as well as, the Praxis II Content. However, the Praxis Core Math portion is defeating me.

      I am sorry! This is frustrating, especially when you have been trying to clear a hurdle (and have successfully gotten over so many others). Many people have trouble with the Praxis Core Math, though that is not necessarily helpful when you’re looking to move forward. Definitely use your score report to determine how you need to prepare for your next (and final!) retake.

      I’m so confused as to how I could manage to get the exact same failing score twice. On another note, when I took the Praxis Core English, the score given after the exam was 176. But, when I received the official score, it was 172. I wonder why there was a deduction of 4 points? I heard that Praxis scores never decrease, but rather increase if anything.

      A change of 4 points is a little larger than I see, but the scores definitely can get higher or lower. There is some final adjustment that happens, which is why those scores displayed are called “unofficial” and, unfortunately, one of the possible directions is down. :/ I’m sorry your score fell, though a 172 is still great!

      My study efforts have not helped me, but I will continue to test until I pass it. The Praxis Core test should be relevant to the grade level that the prospective educator will teach. I’m a first-year ELA teacher in elementary school. I have to pass this Praxis Core Math to continue on in graduate school and to keep my certification.

      And I have great confidence that you can conquer it your next time! I am sure many other teachers and future teachers can understand this frustration of needing to pass exams and get certifications that ultimately are not relevant to what you aim to do. Keep at it, analyze your math test results, and fill in enough knowledge gaps to master that test! 🙂

    • Stefanie August 20, 2017 at 10:35 PM #

      Robert there is a free study plan available for this test on the ETS website that tells you exactly what you will need to know. Additionally ETS offers an online Praxis Practice test that you can take in real time conditions. It also gives explanations of incorrect answers and gives you the chance to practice the 3 constructed response questions that are 25% of your final score.

      Hope this helps!

  21. Stef August 6, 2017 at 7:49 AM #

    Stefanie August 4, 2017 at 2:29 PM #
    Hi so my official Praxis 5001 scores are in:

    Reading writing 179 = Pass
    Social studies 181.=Pass
    Science. 196 = Pass
    Math. 146 = NOT PASSED

    * Interesting point about the Math. There are 50 questions on the test. However there were only 40 available points because 10 of them are pre-test questions and don’t count. I got 23/40 questions which translates to 157.5 and technically a pass. Which can only mean that Praxis makes you do 10 questions that don’t count toward your final score AND they don’t take the 10 questions out of the denominator. EXTREMELY UNFAIR! 23/50 translates to my score of 146.
    So I am retaking math…. hopefully next time around any questions I get wrong are pre-test questions.
    On the other hand, I am extremely happy with my other scores 😊

  22. Stef August 6, 2017 at 1:16 PM #

    I also wanted to note that I have a year to go before I student teach so I took the Praxis II before taking the relevant classes so, I still have time 😊

  23. Megan September 11, 2017 at 8:26 AM #

    Hi, I have taken the Math 5161 3 times. I need a 160. They first time I got a 143, then a 151, and lastly a 153. I have good study materials through the program I’m using (WGU). I want to pass on some of the advice my mentor for my program gave me. When you are taking the test, leave a corner of your scratch paper to jot down things you just totally don’t know. Try to memorize it and write down everything you can remember from the test that way you can study those concepts should you need to retest. This test is insanely difficult. I already work in a school district and I know the skills tested on this exam are not needed to be an effective teacher. It’s just covers too much material. It is so discouraging.

    • Kim December 6, 2017 at 5:08 AM #

      Hi Megan,
      Thank you for your post. I just failed the second time yesterday and am very discouraged (139 1st attempt, 145 yesterday – need 152 in CO). I have put my life on ‘hold’ while I’m teaching Middle school math and studying for a this test. I echo your sentiments.

  24. Donna miller September 15, 2017 at 5:19 PM #

    I have very bad test anxiety and it gets worse each time I take the test. I have completed all but 1 of my teacher education courses with A’s, passed the Praxis for Special Education and have failed the Praxis Core at least 5 times. I am getting more and more frustrated. I have so much difficulty with this type of test! I purchased all the ETS study materials and have passed every one of the practice tests. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Praxis nightmares October 15, 2017 at 5:53 PM #

      Donna, I am also having trouble with the Math Core test. I have taken it 3 times already and am failing. It is discouraging and it pains me to keep paying out ridiculous funds for these tests that have now bearing on the material i will teach a K-3 grades. I received high honors with my coursework. I am also struggling with the Praxis II 5024 exam and failed it four times. I have bought study books and hired tutors. I completely understand that frustration issue with the timed testing and not being able to see the questions that I am getting wrong. Besides spending yet more money on these tests and materials, what do you suggest? Anxiety is my biggest hurdle as well. 56 questions in 70 minutes or so. You not only have to know how to do the problems, but you have to know how to do the shortcuts as well. Because you can only spend about 2 minutes on each question. By the time I get to questions 40 + I am panicking b/c my time is running out!

      • David Recine
        David Recine October 17, 2017 at 10:49 AM #

        Really good points, PN. Managing your test anxiety and your pacing is about as important as knowing the content!

  25. amy October 18, 2017 at 7:35 AM #

    I am in the process of applying to graduate school for a Masters in Education and need to pass Praxis 1 to be accepted. I was able to pass the reading on the first try, but did not have the same luck with the math and writing. I have had the same experience as many on here – failed by only 1-2 points below passing each time- SO FRUSTRATING!!!

    After failing the math twice, I searched the internet high and low for the best study guide (the ETS material just wasn’t cutting it). I found an excellent math study guide called Core Math Made Easy (https://www.mgmtutoring.com/books/core-math-made-easy/). It is available in book format for $50 or PDF for $35 (I bought the pdf version). The examples are easy to understand and the test questions are spot on. I have no doubt that this study guide helped me pass…third times a charm ;). Unfortunately, I am still working on the writing section; took it for the fourth time yesterday – fingers crossed that this time will be the last!!

    Best of Luck to everyone!!

  26. Ashley November 11, 2017 at 5:51 AM #

    I have taken the PLT praxis 3x’s and then Math Praxis 3x’s. I’m super frustrated that I haven’t passed yet. For the recent PLT I took, I purchased the study tests. Which were completely different then the test. I felt super prepared. Then showed up and realized maybe I wasn’t. I don’t know how to better prepare for the PLT praxis. If anyone has advice please share, I would like some input to be able to pass and finally teach. I’ve been testing off and on for a year now… 🙁

    • David Recine
      David Recine November 15, 2017 at 11:55 AM #

      Hi Ashley,

      The PLT really can be challenging, since it’s a review of a veyr wide variety of specific things you learned in your teacher training. I’m sorry to hear that the PLT practice tests didn’t match your test day experience. The best advice I can give you is to use the official PLT Study Companion guide on the various “art of teaching” content you can look up and review. You can find a link to the study companion PDF on the main preparation web page for whatever version of the PLT you’re taking. And much of the content listed in the study companion can be found in your teacher training textbooks or in education websites. Just as importantly, PLT study companions include sample short answers.

      We also have several Praxis PLT tutorials and practice questions right here on the blog, which you may find helpful:

      Praxis PLT Question Types
      Praxis PLT Practice Test Questions
      Praxis PLT Case History Questions
      Praxis PLT Scenario-Based Questions

  27. Worried Mom December 10, 2017 at 6:59 PM #

    My daughter that makes the dean’s list all the time cannot pass the English praxis. She has taken it three times. The first time she was 1 point away, the second far away and this time she was so confident she had done well but missed it by 5. She has put so much money into these tests and her heart is broken. There should be a point when the kids don’t have to pay, it is hard enough all the student loans that have to be paid back and teachers don’t even make much. She has said she is a failure…this breaks my heart and I find these tests to be ridiculous. For all the money they charge for each time there should be some study guides and free help to pass. I don’t know what to tell her at this point.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 12, 2017 at 6:19 AM #

      Hi Worried Mom,

      This is a difficult position to be in, and first and foremost I recommend giving your daughter space to feel whatever emotions she feels and some time to step away and collect herself. When she is ready to talk about it, I would emphasize that this test does not test her readiness for her career path or her intelligence as a future educator. This is nothing more than a standardized hurdle that she has to learn to overcome not because it is indicative of her ability to do her job well, but because it is one of many bureaucratic steps. If she can shift her thinking to “how can I conquer this test by mastering its form?” instead of “how do I become smart enough to pass?” that will hopefully be the bump that gets her where she needs to go. Incredibly intelligent and capable people fail standardized tests all the time, and I wish I could tell each one that it isn’t a reflection of them so much as it is a reflection of their under-preparation to tackle the test-specific tricks that ETS or other test makers write into the exams.

      I personally don’t like standardized tests (does that sound crazy since I work for Magoosh?) but I get a lot of satisfaction helping our students conquer these exams so they can move on to the real things the want to do. 🙂

      Wishing you and your daughter the best!

  28. Logan February 13, 2018 at 8:18 PM #

    I have passed the Praxis math core, but now need to pass Praxis 5001, which includes Elementary Math, Anyone know how these two exams compare in content?

  29. dylan March 21, 2018 at 11:39 AM #

    If I take the Praxis Multiple subjects (5001) and pass all but one of the sections do I have to retake the entire Multiple subjects test (5001) or just the one subject that I failed?

    • David Recine
      David Recine March 22, 2018 at 11:21 AM #

      You can retake any one of the subtests: 5002, 5003, 5004, or 5005. Hope this helps! 🙂

  30. Marwa M Elnehrawy April 2, 2018 at 2:21 PM #

    I just took the 5161 math and I saw 125 score that means pass or not

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 6, 2018 at 11:33 AM #

      If you saw a 125 in the test center, that means your scaled official score will likely also be 125. A 125 on Praxis 5161 (Mathematics: Content Knowledge) is low by the standards of most states. However, to know for sure whether you passed, check on the Praxis requirements of your own state. And remember that your final score may be adjusted by a few points!

  31. Collette April 11, 2018 at 8:17 PM #

    I took the Praxis twice because I was short by two points of the required score. I did pass the second time going two points above the required score. I took the exam after my 21 day period. I’m just glad that part is done so I can move on.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 15, 2018 at 2:46 PM #

      Congrats, Collette! Thanks for sharing your experience with us–many students find this page discouraged after failing to pass, and your experience shows that hard work and persistence pays off!


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