The Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) is a series of tests that measure reading, writing, and mathematics skills. The PPST is used for both the purposes of determining what candidates are qualified for a teacher education program and also for licensure purposes of those who wish to become teachers.
The tests include multiple-choice questions and an essay question for the writing portion. The tests can be taken as three separate tests on different days or as a single combined test. The test can be taken in both computer and paper formats. For the computer-based tests, the reading and mathematics sections each contain 46 questions and 75 minutes are given to complete each of the two sections. Following an optional 15-minute break, the writing test is administered with two sections-44 multiple choice questions that must be completed in 38 minutes, followed by an essay that must be completed in 30 minutes. Test takers are planned to allow for four-and-a-half hours total to take the entire test, which includes time for tutorial and for the test taker to provide background information. For those taking a paper test, the amount of time allowed for each question as well as the number of questions to be answered varies slightly. There is no penalty for incorrect answers, so test takers are encouraged to pace themselves to allow enough time to answer all questions. There is no uniform passing score for taking the Praxis I. However, some states and agencies enact their own passing scores for each of the sections for those who are taking the Praxis I for licensing purposes. In addition, some states require passing scores on individual Praxis I tests and some require passing scores only for the cumulative total of the Praxis I tests.
For those taking the paper exam, it is only offered on pre-scheduled dates throughout the school year. The computer-based test is offered continually throughout the year at a variety of testing centers across the country. The PPST is only offered in English, but test takers who have a primary language other than English may be allotted extra time to complete the exam. However, not all testing centers offer the exam with extended time.
The Praxis I can be retaken, although test takers must wait 30 days or more to retake. In addition, some states limit the number of times that the test can be retaken. Those who elect to retake the Praxis I are strongly encouraged to examine the detailed score report and determine for which specific sections they have the greatest room for improvement, and focus their study efforts on those sections in particular.
The fees for the Praxis I vary based on whether the entire test is taken at once. Registering for just one of three sections is $85. Registering for two of the exams costs $125, and registering for all three costs $135 (and when registering for multiple exams, they all must be taken at the same time). Cancelling a registration is allowed and 50 percent of the test fees will be refunded if the cancellation is made at least three days prior to the test date. During registration, test takers can select up to three institutions to receive a score report for free. Additional score reports can be sent to institutions after the test for $40 each. Scores are considered valid for up to 10 years following the exam.
For those taking the Praxis I for the purpose of licensure and who need their score sent to the state or a designated agency, the Praxis I website lists states to which test scores are automatically sent. If the state is not on the list, the test taker will have to designate that state or agency to receive one of the three free reports when registering for the test, or otherwise pay to have the score sent after the test.
Test takers who take the computer version of the Praxis I can find out the scores of their exam either online or by phone. There is a $30 fee to find out scores over the phone. Scores are generally available two to three weeks after the exam, with scores available by phone approximately four days before they are made available online.
There are also fee waivers for students who take the Praxis I, though fees will only be waived once a year regardless of how many times the test is taken. To receive a fee waiver, a test taker must be currently receiving financial aid, currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, meet certain income guidelines, and be required by a state or agency to take the Praxis I for licensure purposes.
On the day of the exam, test takers must take an admission ticket as well as a photo ID. Calculators are not needed nor allowed for the Praxis. Personal items such as cell phones are not allowed into the testing center.
Score verification services are offered for those who feel their score does not accurately reflect how they performed on the exam, but only for the essay portion of the test. The fee for score verification is $40.
The official Praxis I website offers a variety of test preparation services, including free study guides and practice tests as well as resources that can be purchased. One service offered for Praxis I preparation that is not offered for many other tests are test preparation webinars, in which test takers can interact with the moderator and other attendees and ask questions about the exam.