The Praxis series is a group of exams administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) that are designed to assess an individual’s general and specific teaching skills. These exams are used by state and local licensing boards in 44 states as a means of determining which individuals possess the knowledge necessary to become certified or licensed teachers.
The Praxis series includes three primary types of exams, which are Principles of Learning and Teaching Tests (PLT), Subject Assessments, and Teaching Foundation Tests. Each of the Principles of Learning and Teaching Tests covers information related to general educational knowledge for a particular grade level, including early childhood, K – 6, 5 – 9, and 7 – 12 grade.
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Each of the Subject Assessments covers information related to general education knowledge, but each primarily focuses on a particular area of teaching such as agriculture, art, biology, business education, chemistry, communications, driver education, English, family and consumer sciences, mathematics, physical education, physics, psychology, and many other specific topics.
Each of the Teaching Foundations Tests covers information related to one of five educational categories including English, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science. There is also a multi-subject Teaching Foundations Test intended for individuals seeking certification or licensure in elementary education.
Each Praxis exam consists of multiple-choice questions, constructed-response essay questions, or some combination of the two, but the exact number of questions and the format of the test varies from exam to exam. The amount of time that an individual has to complete a Praxis exam ranges from 1 – 4 hours depending on the specific exam. However, most exams must be completed in 1 or 2 hours.
The exam-taker will receive a grade of pass or fail depending on whether or not the individual’s scaled score meets the standard to pass the exam set by the state in which the individual is applying. The exam-taker will receive a report with the raw score, scaled score, and the grade of pass or fail from ETS as ETS will determine the pass or fail grade based on the state in which the individual is applying for licensure.
The scale used for each Praxis exam depends on the particular exam, but the two main scales that are used are a scale of 100 – 200 and a scale of 250 – 990. However, it is important to realize that even though two different exams may be scored on the same scale, they are not scaled in the exact same fashion and a score on an exam from one particular subject cannot be accurately compared with a score from a different subject exam.
To register for the exam, you can contact ETS via their website and complete an online registration or mail a completed written registration form to ETS. The registration fee for each exam depends on the type of exam that you are taking, but usually ranges from $65 – $115 per exam. Before taking any Praxis exam, you should make sure to check with your local licensing board as it is important to know which exams are required for licensure and certain states use their own exams instead of the Praxis.