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.


By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh Praxis Prep!


  • 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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2 Responses to Teacher Certification Tests Other than the Praxis

  1. Aarti Praveen tiwari October 17, 2020 at 1:38 AM #

    Hi… i wanna to know how to prepare for Praxis .. or any other exams equivalent to praxis,, it is difficult to pass Praxis.. how much preparation i need to pass it … how to select subject for praxisII i teach biology 11 and 12 th grade

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 27, 2020 at 4:46 PM #

      Hi Aarti,

      If you’re talking about the Praxis Core tests, then we can help! There are a lot of different Praxis tests, and we mainly cover the Praxis Core in-depth in this blog. Check out our other blog posts for more information!

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