David Recine

Which Praxis Exams Do I Need to Take?

There are so many different Praxis tests–over a hundred of them actually! You’d be right to ask yourself, “Which Praxis exams do I need to take?” In this post, I’ll help you figure this out.

The Praxis exams you’ll most likely need to take

If you’re in a state that requires Praxis testing for teacher certification, you’ll probably need to take Praxis tests from two different Praxis series: the Praxis Core and the Praxis Subject Assessments (AKA the Praxis II).

If your state asks for Praxis Core scores, you’ll need to take all three of the Core exams: Praxis Core Math, Praxis Core Reading, and Praxis Core Writing. And you’ll likely need to take a Praxis II test, specific to the subject area you’re getting licensed in.

Additional Praxis exams you might need to take

In some cases, you may be asked to take the Praxis PLT, in addition to the Praxis Core and a Praxis II test in your subject area. The PLT assesses your knowledge of teaching theory and teaching practices for different age groups of students. There are four versions of the exam, but if your state requires the Praxis PLT, you’ll probably only need to take one of the four PLTs–the one for the age group of students that you’ll be working with.

Some subject areas also have more than one Praxis Subject Assessment. For example, there are four Elementary Education Praxis II tests: one for Content Knowlege, one for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, one for Instructional Practice and Applications, and one for the academic subjects that are taught at the elementary level. While some states only require teachers to take one of these exams, it’s common for states to ask teachers to take at least two of the Elementary Education Praxis II tests, and possibly all four tests.

In other cases, a Praxis II content area will have two exams that are only slight variations of each other. The Praxis Subject Assessment for art teachers would be a good example of this. The two exams for certification as an art teacher are Art: Content and Analysis, and Art: Content Knowledge. These two tests are very similar with a large overlap of questions. When the two exams in your content area are similar in this way, you will probably only need to take one of the to Praxis exams for the subject. However, in some rare cases, a state will require teachers to take both tests.

“Which Praxis exams do I need to take?” Here’s who you should ask.

Ultimately, the question of which Praxis exams you need to take will be answered by your state’s teacher licensing board. So to know the answer to this question for certain, you can check with your state’s department of education. If you’re in a teacher training program, you can also check with your instructors or advisers. They will know the state requirements for the teaching license that you’re seeking, and they can help you identify and prepare for the Praxis exams you need to take.


  • 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!

More from Magoosh