In this post, we’ll look at Praxis raw scores: what they are, how they’re calculated, and how they’re different from unofficial and official scores.
What is a Praxis raw score, and how is it calculated?
A Praxis raw score is a “question count.” It measures the number of questions that you answered completely and correctly on the exam. Praxis raw scores are calculated only from selected response questions–questions that are multiple choice or numeric entry. Constructed response questions–essay questions and written short answer questions–are not included in your raw score. This is because constructed response questions are not simply correct or incorrect; instead, they’re graded on a rubric. (For more information, see my earlier post on selected response and constructed response questions.)
So if you take a Praxis exam that is 100% selected response, your raw score will give you some idea of how you did on the entire exam. Take the Elementary Education: Content Knowledge exam. All 140 questions on this test are multiple choice or numeric entry. So if you get a raw score of 98, it means you got 98 questions correct—this would be 70% of the total number of questions on the exam.
On the other hand, Praxis exams such as the PLT have both a selected response section and a constructed response section. So if you take a test like the Praxis PLT for Grades 5-9, your raw score will not be calculated based on your performance on all the questions; it will only be taken from this exam’s 70 multiple choice questions. The four constructed response questions at the end of the exam will not be part of your raw score because those questions are graded based on quality, not based on whether your answer is correct/incorrect. Say you get a raw score of 65 on PLT 5-9. This only means that you successfully answered 93% of the questions in the initial multiple choice section of the exam. The raw score won’t tell you anything about your performance in the second section with the four constructed response questions.
How is your Praxis raw score different from your unofficial and official Praxis scores?
You’ll be shown your Praxis raw score on test day, right after you complete the Praxis exam. Alongside your raw score, you’ll see your unofficial score. And you’ll get your official scores 2 to 4 weeks later, depending on the exam. (See my the Magoosh Praxis Blog post “When Do I Get my Praxis Exam Results?”)
Your Praxis raw score has one unique trait that separates it from both the unofficial and official score. Unlike your other Praxis scores, the raw score measures the number of questions you got right, not the number of correct answers. This is an important distinction because on the Praxis, certain questions have more than one answer. If a Praxis question asks you to select two answers, and you only choose one of the two answers correctly, this would count as one wrong question in your raw score calculation. But your unofficial and official scores are based on the answers you get right. Both unofficial and official scoring would count that question as half-correct, with one right answer and one wrong one.
Your raw score and your unofficial score also both have one important thing in common: both of these scores are derived exclusively from your performance on selected response questions. Only official scores include the rubric-based grades you receive for constructed responses.
You, your school, and your potential employers will all want to know how you did on the Praxis as soon as possible. Your raw scores and your unofficial scores both give you some insight into your Praxis performance right away, before your official scores arrive. Understanding the relationship between your raw, unofficial, and official scores is very important as you consider your Praxis performance and the impact it will have on your teacher training, teacher licensure, and future career. For more in-depth information, check out the following two posts: