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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.

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6 Responses to Can I Get Teacher Certification without the Praxis Test?

  1. Steve D. July 2, 2017 at 4:16 PM #

    I graduated back in 2012 with a Language Arts degree specializing in education including finishing the Special Education program which is an endorsement program now for the state of Utah.
    I am not teaching because I have never passed the Praxis 2 exam. By the fifth time I was burned out having reached a score of 148 but needing a 168.
    It has been five years later and I still wonder how I could have performed as a teacher. I don’t doubt that I would have been great.
    Do you recommend a state or states where it might be easier to become a teacher?

    • Ness July 17, 2017 at 3:46 PM #

      Did you ever get an answer to this?

  2. Ernest April 9, 2020 at 12:06 PM #

    Hello,
    I have a couple of points:
    1. I have taught at international schools for the last 14 years ( 10 of those years teaching IB English A: Literature ) I just got hired for school year 2020 at a prestigious international school in Mexico with the understanding that within the next three years I get a teacher certification. It sounds like your program may meet my needs.

    2. I have a learning disability called dyscalculia, it’s similar to dyslexia but rather than mixing up letters, I mix up numbers. I hope you understand that if I mix up the numbers the chances of getting almost any answer correct on a math test are pretty much impossible. I am 55 years old and when I was a student we didn’t really know much about learning disabilities. I do not believe that I can pass the Praxis MATH test, even the basic math test. I will not be teaching math, I’ll be teaching English. Do I STILL have to take the Praxis Math test? It is possible to get that portion of the test waived? Do you have any suggestions about how I might get my teaching certification given my situation?

    I hope to hear from you soon,

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 24, 2020 at 1:55 PM #

      Hi Ernest, thanks for reaching out! If you are interested in becoming a Premium student, please reach out to us at help@magoosh.com and we’d be happy to discuss!

      For your second question, I think an important question is what teacher certification you need to get. Did the school specify what score you need or what requirements you need to fulfill? This is important information because a passing score in California is different than a passing score in Arizona, for example. Most state licensing boards will require you to take all three exams, but depending on the grades you’ll be teaching, you also may want to look into Praxis II exams which may be more aligned with the subject matter you are teaching. It may be worth doing some more research and talking with the school more in depth about what they are looking for.

  3. Meghan December 1, 2020 at 7:52 PM #

    I have been trying to pass the core and I’m frustrated over it because I have not passed it. I have had to change my major from early Ed to a general studies but my ultimate goal is to be a teacher but if I can’t pass the core I guess I have to give up my dreams of being a preschool to first grade teacher

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 15, 2021 at 10:11 AM #

      Hi Meghan, I’m so sorry to hear about this! I realize that these tests are stressful and difficult. I encourage you to read through our resources for preparing for the Praxis Core. With effort and persistence, you can improve! Good luck!


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