David Recine

Praxis Test Overview: What is the Praxis?

praxis test overview

Praxis Test, Praxis Test, Praxis Test. If you’re doing your teacher training, you’re probably starting to hear this phrase a lot. But what is the Praxis Test? Today, I’ll walk you through the basics.

The Praxis Test is Actually Quite a Few Different Tests

There are several different types of Praxis exams. While most Praxis exams are for teachers, others are for paraprofessional classroom aides (the Praxis ParaPro) or for non-teachers who work at schools (speech-language pathologists, guidance counselors, principles, etc.).

As a teacher, the Praxis exams you’re most likely to take are the Praxis Core exams or the Praxis PLT exams. You may even need to take both.

The Praxis Core tests your general knowledge of the academic content that’s taught in K-12 schools. The Core is actually three separate tests: Core Reading, Core Writing, and Core Math. Although these Praxis tests can be taken separately, state licensing boards always ask for scores on all three of the Core exams.

The Praxis PLT is also a series of multiple tests. The PLT assesses pedagogy knowledge rather than academic content knowledge; this is to say that the PLT tests your knowledge of teaching methods and practices. Like the Praxis Core, the PLT is a series of multiple tests. Unlike the Praxis Core, if your state requires the PLT, you’ll probably only be asked to take one version of the test. The PLT exams are divided by age group. There’s a test for teaching early childhood education, another test for K-6 pedagogy, a PLT for teaching grades 5-9, and an exam for grade 7-12 education.

In addition to the Core and/or the PLT, you’ll probably be asked to take a Praxis Subject Assessment of some sort. (This type of test is more commonly known as a Praxis II.) Praxis II tests focus on whatever kind of teaching you plan to specialize in. This could be elementary education, special education, art, business, psychology, science, language arts, etc… So how many Praxis II tests are there? Hundreds!

Where is the Praxis Test Accepted?

While there are some teacher certification tests other than the Praxis, the Praxis Test is very widely accepted. Currently, the Praxis is a teacher licensing requirement in 40 states. The Praxis test is also accepted in Washington DC, and in 4 of the 5 U.S. overseas territories.

What Can You Do to Prepare for the Praxis Test?

ETS’s official Praxis website has an index of preparation materials for the Praxis test. Most Praxis tests have a free official study companion PDF and a full practice test that can be purchased for $19.95. Magoosh is also–if I do say so–an excellent unofficial source of Praxis Prep. We have countless Praxis Core, Praxis PLT, and Praxis II practice questions here on the blog. And we have a paid Praxis Core prep product that includes many additional practice questions and a large set of video lessons.


  • 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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