David Recine

Praxis Test at a Glance: What You Need to Know

Have you heard of the Praxis exam, but need to know more? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, I’ll show you the Praxis test at a glance.

The purpose of the Praxis test

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a teacher-in-training, and you’ve probably already guessed the purpose of the Praxis test. But in case you’re still not sure, the Praxis test is a test you may need to take in order to get state teaching certification. Let’s look at some basic facts about the exam.

The Praxis Test at a Glance: Types of Praxis exams

The first basic fact you should know is that the Praxis is not one test. There are actually over a hundred different exams called Praxis exams. Don’t worry, though. To understand what the Praxis is, you don’t need to know about all the different kinds of Praxis tests. You just need to know a few general categories of Praxis tests. Here are the classes of Praxis test, at a glance.

  • The Praxis Core: The Praxis Core is actually three tests: the Praxis Core Math Test, the Praxis Core Reading Test, and the Praxis Core Writing Test. These three tests assess your knowledge of general academic topics at the K-12 level. Basically, the exams measure your proficiency of the kinds of math and language arts content you’ll need to share with your students. The three Praxis Core tests are taken together. There are no state teacher licensing boards that only require teachers to take one or two of the Praxis Core assessments.
  • The Praxis Subject Assessments (also know as the Praxis II): The Praxis Subject Assessments were formerly called the Praxis II tests (among educators, these exams are still often referred to as the Praxis II). This category of Praxis exams includes many tests for teacher licensing in specific content areas. There are tests for teaching licenses in subjects as diverse as biology, elementary education, Chinese as a second language, Braille, and so on.The Praxis Subject Assessment test group includes some exams for non-teaching positions as well, with testing for licensure in areas such as school guidance counseling and K-12 speech-language pathology.The Praxis II lineup includes a special series of tests called the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). The PLT assesses knowledge of teaching methods and learning theory, as this knowledge applies to different age groups. The PLT is divided into four different exams for different student age groups, ranging from early childhood education all the way up to the twelfth grade. Because of its generalized subject matter, PLT exams are often given to all teachers who work with a certain age group in a state.
  • Other kinds of Praxis tests: There are a handful of Praxis exams that aren’t considered to be part of the Praxis II pool. Most notably, the Praxis ParaPro Assessment is used by some school districts to certify classroom aides who assist fully licensed teachers.

The Praxis Test at a Glance: Praxis test question types

There are two types of questions on Praxis exams: selected-response questions and constructed-response questions. Selected-response questions are either right or wrong–they are multiple-choice or numeric entry prompts. Constructed-response questions, which include essays and short written answers, are graded based on quality rather than simple correctness.

The Praxis Test at a Glance: Praxis test scoring

Because selected response questions can be scored automatically by computer, your score results for selected responses are available immediately at the test center. Constructed-response scores aren’t available until your receive your official Praxis score reports, as these scores must be calculated by human scorers who use rubrics to carefully review your performance.

Praxis test grading is done on a 100-200 scale, with the exception of the ParaPro assessment, which is graded on a scale of 420-480.

All Praxis testing requirements are set by the state in which you are seeking a teaching license. So there’s no one benchmark for a passing or failing Praxis score. Whether your Praxis score is a passing one depends on the license you’re seeking and the state you’re seeking it in.


  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he’s helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master’s Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he’s presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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