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Published and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Praxis tests measure the academic capabilities and subject comprehension of those looking to become teachers. There are multiple types of Praxis tests, and those you’ll need to pass will be dictated by the level at which you wish to teach, and the State and organization responsible for your licensure.
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How Praxis tests are scored
Scoring methods for Praxis tests are complex, owing to the variety of assessment types and structures.
Selected response questions are evaluated by a scoring algorithm. You’ll receive one point per correct answer, with no negative marking for incorrect or missing responses.
Your score card will show your total raw score against the maximum marks available, as well as raw scores for each individual test section. This is useful if you need to retake your test, as you’ll clearly see areas for improvement.
Constructed response questions are evaluated by educators practicing in the relevant field. Each long-form or essay answer is marked by two or more individuals, and you’ll be assigned a rating that determines your raw score here.
If your Praxis test contains a combination of question types, your overall score will be a weighted sum of scores from each section.
As the ETS publishes several variations of each test throughout any given year, raw scores are converted to scaled scores to account for any small differentiation in test difficulty.
If you’re taking a Praxis test that is only offered at certain times throughout the year, the ETS states that your official score report should be available 10 to 16 days after the testing window closes.
If the test is offered on a rolling basis, scores are often available on the day of your test.
5 Tips for taking Praxis tests
1. Start with the study companion
The ETS publishes study companions for each Praxis test administered. These are comprehensive resources with a full test overview, practice questions and detailed answer explanations. The relevant study companion should be your first port of call. Use it to understand what you’ll be tasked with and the type of content you need to focus on in your preparation.
2. Choose the right approach
For Praxis Core and CKT tests, candidates may opt to take each section individually. For many people this is the best option, as it allows them to focus their efforts on one subject at a time. There are downsides to this, however, as it draws out the process and increases associated costs, so it’s all about choosing the right approach for your circumstances.
3. Develop a constructive study plan
Depending on which Praxis tests you’re required to take, you may have a lot of ground to cover in terms of revision, so it’s vital to plot a detailed study plan and stick to it. You may need to brush up on core subjects like math, english and science, as well as theory learnt through your teacher training. For Praxis Subject Assessments, don’t assume that you’re fully prepared just because you hold a subject-related degree. Make plenty of time in your plan for a review of content relating to your discipline.
4. Focus on effective delivery
In a Praxis Subject Assessment, it’s not just what you know, but how well you can impart that knowledge in an educational context. This is what the constructed response questions are designed to measure, so be sure to practice explaining key concepts in an effective manner.
5. Be focused on test day
On the day of your Praxis tests, maintain a clear head and focus on the task at hand. Balance time management with precision, reading each question carefully before choosing or constructing a response. It’s also advisable to take an educated guess whenever you’re unsure. Remember, there’s no negative marking on selected response questions so it makes sense to give it your best shot.
How much does a Praxis test cost?
Fees vary from test to test. The Praxis Core test, if taken in one go, costs $150. If you were to take each section individually, you would pay $90 per test. The Praxis CKT test has a combined fee of $199, with individual subtests costing between $60 and $74. Subject Assessments range from $120 to $160. There are additional fees if you register by phone, or wish to change the date or location of your test. Students that meet specific criteria may be exempt from some fees.
What if I fail the Praxis test?
If you fail one or more of your required Praxis tests, it’s advisable to book a retake as soon as possible, particularly if you have a pending job offer. The ETS states retakes must be booked at least 28 days after the date of your last test, so use that time for constructive study.
If you feel you’ve been unfairly marked, a score review is available for some constructed response questions at a cost of $65. However, the process can take up to a month, and won’t necessarily result in a higher grading.
Do you have to pass the Praxis test to teach?
This depends on the State and school in which you wish to teach. Currently, there are over 40 States and territories that require candidates to pass specific Praxis tests to gain a teaching license for the public school system. Private schools vary, and as some do not require state licensure, a Praxis test may not be a prerequisite for a teaching post.
How many times can you take the Praxis test?
There is no limit to the amount of times you can sit any given Praxis test, provided they are completed after the ETS’s designating waiting period, currently 28 days.