Can I Get Teacher Certification without the Praxis Test?

Can you get teacher certification without the Praxis test? In some cases, this can be possible. In this post, we’ll look at situations where you don’t need the Praxis.

Can I get teacher certification without the Praxis Test? Yes, in certain states.

All teaching licenses in the U.S.A. are granted by individual states. Currently 36 states and three U.S. territories accept the Praxis test. If your state or territory doesn’t accept the Praxis, then you can get a teacher certification without the Praxis Test. But if you’re seeking certification in a non-Praxis state, like Colorado, you’ll still have to take some kind of teacher certification exam. It just won’t be the Praxis.

Can I get a teacher certification without the Praxis test if I’m in a state that accepts the Praxis?

If you are in a Praxis accepting state, you might be able to skip the Praxis Core exam under certain circumstances. Many states will allow you to get your teacher certification without taking the Praxis Core, provided you have qualifying scores on the ACT or SAT. (The Praxis Core has very similar content to those two college entrance exams.)

Also bear in mind that some states require the Praxis Core, but do not require a Praxis II subject area exam. Such states may offer their own alternative subject area test for teacher certification.

In rarer cases, states that require the Praxis II may also accept a different teacher certification exam. But this is not very common. Most Praxis II accepting states require the Praxis II exam exclusively.

Can I skip the Praxis if I’m getting alternative teacher certification?

If you are in a state that requires the Praxis for traditional teacher certification, you will also need to take the Praxis for alternative certification. Alternative teacher certification programs need to meet all the same state testing standards as the traditional ones.

If my state requires the Praxis exam, is there any way for me to get a license without taking the Praxis?

Yes and no. States can sometimes provide you with an emergency teaching license. Emergency teaching licenses are given to teachers who agree to work in a teaching position that otherwise can’t be filled. This is especially common if a school loses a teacher after the school year starts, or is not able to hire a licensed teacher by the beginning of the school year.

It may be possible to get an emergency teaching license without taking any teacher certification tests at all, if you are hired by a truly desperate school. However, an emergency teaching license is a short-term permit that is only good for the school year when you’re hired. If you teach on an emergency license, you’ll still need to take the Praxis if you want to keep teaching after your first school year ends.

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!