The Format of the Praxis Core Exam

Now that you’ve decided to take the Praxis Core, you’re probably wondering just what the test will look like. In this post, we’re going to briefly break down the format of the Praxis Core.

The Praxis Core is made up of three tests:

The Reading Test

In this 85-minute portion, you’ll be asked to read and analyze texts. The ETS divides the reading exam into three question types:

  • 17-22 “Key Ideas and Details” questions. These questions require you to draw inferences based on the passage, decide what the main ideas of the text are, and determine how ideas, people, and events function in the text and in the context of the author’s argument.
  • 14-19 “Craft, Structure, and Language Skills” questions. These questions ask you to analyze how certain words and phrases are used in the passage, how certain parts of the text relate to others, and to use context to determine the meaning of words and phrases.
  • 17-22 “Integration of Knowledge and Ideas” questions. These questions require that you interpret content that may be visual, quantitative, or textual; to analyze the validity of claims and the relevance of evidence; and to compare multiple texts on the same topic.

    The Writing Test

    The writing section is divided into two parts:

  • Selected Response (40 min.): On this section, you’ll be answering questions that test your ability to use standard written English. These questions test your ability to recognize correct English usage; to choose the best way to write a sentence; to revise and edit an essay; and to recognize and implement research and citation strategies.
  • 2 Essays (30 min. each): This section requires you to produce two essays. The first is an argumentative essay, in which you need to make a claim and support it with evidence. The second essay is source-based: You’ll be given two passages that address a topic. After reading the passages, you’ll be asked to address the topic yourself using the passages as source material.

    The Math Test

    The 85-minute math test has four parts:

  • 17 “Number and Quantity” questions
  • 17 “Algebra and Functions” questions
  • 17 “Geometry” questions
  • 17 “Statistics and Probability” questions

  • Note: You will be provided with an on-screen calculator.
    You can read more about this here.


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    2 Responses to The Format of the Praxis Core Exam

    1. Debbi Morello July 6, 2016 at 2:04 PM #

      This is very helpful. I’m trying to find out if for the Math Core Praxis, if they provide any reference sheets for things like geometry formulas etc.? Do we need to memorize and know all formulas? Thanks!

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 7, 2016 at 9:19 PM #

        Great question, Debbi. In some cases, a formula will be provided for you on a Praxis Core Math problem. But there are a lot of formulas you’ll simply be expected to know. Mike McGarry has put together a Praxis Math Formulas Cheat sheet here on the blog that you may find helpful.

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