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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.

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