David Recine

Teacher Certification Tests Other than the Praxis

teacher certification test

The Praxis is the most widely accepted teacher certification test in America, but it’s far from universal. There are quite a few teacher certification tests other than the Praxis.

The National Evaluation Series

The National Evaluation Series (NES) is a set of teacher certification tests administered by Pearson. Pearson stands alongside ETS (the makers of the Praxis) as one of the largest standardized testing companies in the nation. And in recent years, Pearson’s NES has grown as an alternative to the Praxis in many states.  Some states, such as Oregon, treat the NES as an alternative to the Praxis while also continuing to accept the Praxis. Other states– Minnesota for example– accept the NES but not the Praxis.


I debated including the EdTPA in this article, because the EdTPA doesn’t resemble a typical standardized test. However, the EdTPA is graded on a standardized rubric and is administered by a major standardized testing company– Pearson again.

The EdTPA is a standardized test version of a teaching portfolio. In an EdTPA assessment, teachers gather a specific set of portfolio materials required by Pearson. These materials include videos of teaching sessions, lesson plans, and reflection essays on teaching experiences. Student teachers gather these materials and upload them to Pearson’s servers, where they are rubric-scored by Pearson EdTPA raters.

The EdTPA is currently required statewide in 16 states. This portfolio submission system is also accepted– but not absolutely required– in an additional 22 states. See Pearson’s EdTPA participation map for more information.

State-Level Teacher Certification Tests

Quite a few states have their own completely unique local teacher certification exams. Remember Minnesota and its use of the Pearson NES? Alongside NES requirements, Minnesota also asks teachers to take the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE).

Perhaps two of the most significant state-level teacher tests are the CBEST and the CSET. These are the two teacher licensing exams required in California. California is the most populous state in the U.S.A. Home to countless public school districts and prestigious private schools, California’s education system attracts many out-of-state teachers.

If you’re considering a teaching career in California, you should know that the CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) is comparable to the Praxis Core. The CBEST tests general knowledge of reading, writing and math. The CSET (California Subject Examinations for Teachers) is more analogous to the Praxis II, with many different specialized subject area tests in the series.

Quite a few other states have their own local teaching exams as well. If you are considering a teaching career in an unfamiliar state, don’t assume they’ll accept the Praxis. Always double check the testing requirements so that you can prepare for the right exam.



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