What is the Praxis II?

I’ve had a few teacher trainees come to me in recent years, confused about the Praxis II. They keep hearing about the Praxis II from their professors or their school websites. But when they actually look on the official ETS pages for the Praxis, they find little or nothing about this exam. What’s going on? What is the Praxis II?

Out with the old…

The reason for this confusion is that the Praxis II was recently discontinued… and replaced by a very similar series of tests called the Praxis Subject Assessments. The Subject Assessment tests are exams that focus on specific teaching skills, rather than the general academic knowledge that’s measured in Praxis Core. Subject area assessments can measure skills specific to certain academic subjects, such as German as a foreign language, grade 4-8 language arts, business education, and so on. They can also measure teaching skills that are purely pedagogical, related only to classroom management and not tied to a specific scholarly topic. (The Praxis PLT is a good example of this.)

The new line of Praxis Subject Assessments is so similar to the previous Praxis II exams that many teacher training programs, licensure boards, and employers use the terms “Praxis II” and “Praxis Subject Assessments” interchangeably. In fact, even the official ETS Praxis website notes that the Praxis Subject Assessments were “formerly the Praxis II tests.”

Other Changes to Keep in Mind

So if you hear the term “Praxis II” being thrown around, what it really is referring to is the Praxis Subject Assessments. At the same time, it’s important to understand that when the name Praxis II was retired, more than just the name was changed. A number of teaching subject area exams were completely retired, and other subject area exams were changed, either in small or big ways.

So be cautious when viewing a third-party list of Praxis II exams you might need to take. Because there is a lot of confusion about the exact difference between the old “Praxis II” label and the new-but-similar Praxis Subject Assessment lineup, you should always look directly at the current, official menu of Praxis Subject Area assessments to see what’s available and find properly updated preparation materials. If a Praxis II exam listed in a non-ETS resource isn’t on the current ETS list of exams, it probably no longer exists.

If you think a Praxis II requirement you’ve been asked to meet is out of date, check with an adviser, professor, or supervisor. You may also want to encourage your university or school district to start using the more updated terminology. There are still a lot of outdated Praxis II resources out there, beyond the official ETS website. When schools use the newer, updated term “Subject Assessment,” they help steer student teachers away from obsolete study guides and advice.


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

8 Responses to What is the Praxis II?

  1. Sharon August 12, 2016 at 4:40 PM #

    I just took the praxis ii 5122 family and consumer science exam my unofficial score was 131 and the passing score is 153. So, that means i would to retake it correct!

    Ms. Confused

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 13, 2016 at 3:54 PM #

      You should definitely retake the exam, Ms. Confused. Official scores from 5122 can be adjusted from the unofficial score by a few points, but if an adjustment happens, it won’t bring your score all the way up to where it needs to be. My condolences, and best of luck on the retake.

  2. LindsayM July 2, 2018 at 9:20 AM #

    Hello I’ve been reading through your stuff. The praxis online content on their web says there is no way to calculate a score.
    I’m taking the business content knowledge exam soon (5101) and it says for my state I need a 150 score to pass.
    Could you break that down for me and tell me how many percentage wise I need to get right to pass?
    I’ve been studying a lot and am just nervous for the test.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 4, 2018 at 1:58 PM #

      Hi Lindsay,

      We have a method for estimating your Praxis II Score here: https://magoosh.com/praxis/praxis-ii-scores-need-know/

      It’s not perfect, and it is only an estimate, but it will give you a good sense of where you stand! According to that method, in order to reach 150 you have to answer approximately 50% of the questions correctly. In order to be safe, you should aim for more like 60% correct. Again, this estimate is not exact, but you can use it to estimate your score and defeat those pre-exam jitters!

  3. Alexis November 6, 2018 at 1:06 PM #

    Hey! I just to a practice praxis test today because I take my test Friday and I got 63 out of 120. Do that mean i did good or not?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 7, 2018 at 10:05 AM #

      Hi there, Alexis!

      You can use this method to help you convert your raw score to a scaled score for the practice exam that you took. I went ahead and calculated your score for you, and your scaled score would have been a 153 if this were the real exam!

      Now, it’s difficult to say whether or not this would be considered a passing score without additional information. Passing scores vary depending on your state and the type of Praxis exam that you are taking. However, you can do some further exploration to see how your score compares by reading through our What Are Passing Praxis Scores? blog and by taking a look at https://www.ets.org/praxis/states.

      I hope that this helps! =D

  4. HMarie March 11, 2019 at 5:06 PM #

    I just took the practice test for Content Knowledge (5018) and scored 85/140; or a 67% would this bee a passing score on the test. I am in Tennessee and I need 163 points

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 14, 2019 at 10:01 AM #

      Hi there,

      The unofficial score that you see after your test is usually the final score that you will receive. At most, it may change by 1 point. It sounds like you passed, congratulations!

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