Praxis Core Ultimate Guide2019-08-01T15:01:07+00:00

PRAXIS CORE ACADEMIC SKILLS FOR EDUCATORS

Your Ultimate Guide

If you’re looking to ace the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find everything you need to know, including:

  1. Can’t-Miss Details – There are a few important details you need to know, like the cost of the test, where to take it, and how many times you CAN take it…
  2. What to Know – Each subtest focuses on a specific set of skills and knowledge. We break down the specific concepts, ideas, and skills you need to pass this subtest.
  3. Practice Test – See what types of questions are on the Praxis Core and find out how well you know the concepts.

Looking for a Praxis Core Study Guide? Check out our Praxis Core Study Guide Reviews page.

Jump To the Videos

Praxis Core Test Overview

If you’re a teacher trying to get certified or a student entering a teaching program, you’ll most likely be taking the Praxis Core test.

The test is divided into three subject areas – Math, Reading, and Writing. It’s 116 selected-response questions (multiple-choice) and two constructed-response questions (essay). You get five hours to complete all three subtests.

The test is fairly straightforward as it assesses mastery of basic skills and covers content relevant to teaching at any level. However, knowing the test structure and how things are asked is key. Keep scrolling to learn more.

Praxis Core Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PRAXIS CORE

The PRAXIS CORE assesses basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Typically, the PRAXIS CORE used as an admission requirement for teacher certification programs (such as universities, colleges, and alternative certification programs). PRAXIS CORE requirements vary from state-to-state. To find out more specific information, see the state-by-state breakdown below.

How much is the PRAXIS CORE

The full PRAXIS CORE exam cost $150 per test attempt. If you register for a subtest (or multiple subtests) individually, then the cost is:

  • 1 Test – $90
  • 2 Test – $180
  • 3 Test – $270

If you need to register for all three PRAXIS CORE subtest, it is cheapest to register for the (5751) complete test.

How long is the PRAXIS CORE

The PRAXIS CORE consist of 3 separate subtests:

  • PRAXIS CORE: Mathematics – 56 selected-response questions to be answered in 85 minutes
  • PRAXIS CORE: Reading – 56 selected-response questions to be answered in 85 minutes
  • PRAXIS CORE: Writing– 40 selected-response questions to be answered in 40 minutes. Two essay questions that need to be answered in 60 minutes (thirty minutes for each).

Selected-response questions are similar to multiple choice but might require selecting more than one correct answer.

For a more in-depth test breakdown, see test breakdown section.

How is the PRAXIS CORE scored/graded

The PRAXIS CORE is graded on a curve. Each question you answer correctly is worth one “raw” point. So all the questions you answer correctly equals your “raw” score. Your “raw” score is then scaled- which means that ETS looks at how everyone else answered the same questions and then “scales” your score.

This means that if you have an easy set of questions that you and everyone else scores very high on- the test will “scale” your score so that the passing percentage is equal (or fair) for people who get hard test questions.

How is the PRAXIS CORE Writing CRQ Scored

The writing prompts of the PRAXIS CORE are scored on a scale from 1 to 6. The essay is scored holistically, meaning that the entire essay is scored as a whole, and is not scored in parts.

Generally, an essay will earn a passing score if it: is organized, incorporates information from provided sources in the arguments, displays competent use of the English language, is generally free from grammatical and spelling errors, adequately addresses the prompt (the latter being the most important of the metrics)

How hard is the PRAXIS CORE (math, reading, writing)

The PRAXIS CORE can be difficult for a majority of test-takers. In general, if you do not meet the exemption requirements for your state, you should spend a significant amount of time preparing for the PRAXIS CORE. See resources below to better understand if you are prepared for the PRAXIS CORE exam.

PRAXIS CORE Locations

Educational Testing Services offers locations United States (and some places internationally). To find the testing location(s) nearest you, simply visit the ETS Test Center and Dates page:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates

PRAXIS CORE Passing Score

Mathematics Reading Writing
Alaska 150 156 162
Alabama 150 156 162
Arkansas 150 156 162
Hawaii 150 156 162
Kentucky 150 156 162
Louisiana 150 156 162
Maryland 150 156 162
Maine * * *
Minnesota 150 156 162
Mississippi 150 156 162
North Carolina 150 156 162
North Dakota 150b 156b 160b
Nebraska 150 156 162
New Hampshire 150 156 162
New Jersey 150 156 162
Nevada 150 156 162
Oregon 150 156 162
Pennsylvania 142C c c
South Carolina 142 156 158
Tennessee 150 156 162
Virginia 150 156 162
Vermont 150 156 162
Washington 142 156 158
Washington, D.C. 150 156 162
Wisconsin 150 156 162
West Virginia 150 156 162
Department of Defense Education Activity 150 156 162
American Samoa 150 156 162
Guam 150 156 162
Virgin Islands 150 156 162

* = Test required – passing score not set – verify with the state.

b = ND Licensure for all areas requires (1) achieving a combined total score of 466 and meeting the passing scores on any two of the three tests or (2) meeting the passing score of 150 for Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732), meeting the passing score of 156 for Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), and meeting the passing score of 160 for Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).

c = PA Licensure (all areas, Instructional I, Educational Specialist I): requires meeting the passing score of 142 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732), meeting the passing score of 156 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712), and meeting the passing score of 162 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).

PA Vocational Instructional I requires meeting the passing score of 148 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (5712) and meeting the passing score of 158 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5722).

PA Vocational Instructional II requires meeting the passing score of 142 on Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5732).

PRAXIS CORE Dates

The PRAXIS CORE is a “continuous testing” exam. Which means it is offered an on-going basis at numerous locations across the United States (and internationally). To find the testing location(s) nearest you, simply visit the ETS Test Center and Dates page:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates

PRAXIS CORE ID Requirements

To take the PRAXIS CORE, you must present an original, government-issued, valid (non-expired) identification that has your photograph, full name, and signature. Make sure to bring the ID with you on the day of the test to the testing center. For most test-takers, a valid driver’s license or United States Passport is a valid ID.

For exemptions: taking the test internationally, are renewing your driver’s license, or have a specific question about your particular I.D. see the ETS Information Bulletin

How to sign up for the PRAXIS CORE

  1. Create a (or sign into you) ETS Account
  2. Confirm your information
  3. Select the score report recipient (where do you want your scores sent)
  4. Select your exam (5751 if taking all three tests)
  5. Select your test center, test date, and test time
  6. Pay
  7. Print out your confirmation
  8. Pass your PRAXIS CORE!

PRAXIS CORE Math Formula Sheet

While you won’t receive a formula sheet on the PRAXIS CORE, you will be able to use a basic on-screen calculator. To find out more about the on-screen calculator, visit the ETS website:

https://www.ets.org/praxis/test_day/policies/calculators/using_onscreen_calculator

PRAXIS CORE v. PRAXIS Subject Assessments (Formerly PRAXIS II)

The PRAXIS CORE is an entrance exam for candidates entering a teacher preparation program. It measures a candidate’s basic academic skills: reading, writing, and mathematics.

The PRAXIS Subjects Assessment refers to a collection of independently taken exams to measure subject-specific content-knowledge. It’s designed to make sure a teacher is competent in the subject-area they are certified to teach.

PRAXIS CORE Tips (Top 7)

  • Make sure to answer every question (even if you guess)
  • Know how much time you have left
  • Be familiar with the on-screen calculator (for the math section)
  • Understand how to write a Constructed Response Question
  • Eliminate incorrect answers first
  • Work through practice questions so you know what to expect
  • Study quality, trusted sources [like 240Tutoring]

PRAXIS CORE: Mathematics

Math Breakdown

The math test gives you 85 minutes to answer 56 questions. It covers four main areas that count for 100% of your score.

The questions are set up in a selected-response format, so some questions might require multiple answers, writing numbers in a box, clicking a specific part of a graph or selecting your answer from a drop-down menu.

Important Details

Cost: To register and take the PRAXIS CORE, the cost is $90 for the subtest, $150 for the combined version*

Location: The Praxis Core Math test is a continuous testing Computer-Administered Test (CAT), so it can be taken at numerous locations across your state, as well as a few locations outside of it.

Number of attempts allowed: You can retake the test 21 days after test scores are released without limitations nationally. Your state and/or school may have attempt limitations so be sure to check with them.

Who can take the test: Pretty much anyone. Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core tests for people entering their teacher education programs early in their college careers. Some states also require Praxis Core scores to license teachers.

If you have a degree or are working toward one, you’re eligible to register.

What You Need to Know

The Math Subtest focuses on four main areas of mathematics – numbers and quantities, algebra and functions, geometry, and stats and probability.

All of the questions are worth the same amount of points and there’s no penalty for wrong answers. If you don’t know, do your best to make an educated guess by eliminating the obviously wrong answers.

If you don’t understand a question, read through it again to make sure you haven’t missed anything. And always be on the lookout for key words or hints that let you know how to start solving the problem.

Keep scrolling to learn more, or jump ahead:

Numbers and Quantities

Concepts You MUST Know:

These questions look at your ability to identify proportional relationships and ratios between numbers. They test your knowledge of real numbers, including dividing fractions, identifying factors, approximating irrational numbers and using radicals. They also test your ability to reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems.

Algebra

Concepts You MUST Know:

These questions want you to apply arithmetic to real-life situations and use equivalent expressions. They also test how well you know functions and how you apply variable and linear equations to solve problems.

Geometry

Concepts You MUST Know:

Geometry questions test how well you construct and describe geometrical figures, if you can transform figures on the xy plane, how to use the Pythagorean theorem, and apply geometric measurements and dimensions.

Statistics and Probability

Concepts You MUST Know:

These questions look at statistical variability, distribution, drawing inferences interpreting statistical data. They also test your ability to make decisions with probability or make inferences based on presented data.

PRAXIS CORE: Reading

Reading Breakdown

The reading test gives you 85 minutes to answer 56 questions. It covers three main areas that count for 100% of your score.

The questions are set up in a selected-response format, so some questions might require multiple answers, writing numbers in a box, clicking a specific part of a graph or selecting your answer from the drop-down menu.

Important Details

Cost: $90 for the subtest, $150 for the combined version*

Location: The Praxis Core Reading test is a continuous testing Computer-Administered Test (CAT), so it can be taken at numerous locations across your state, as well as a few locations outside of it.

Number of attempts allowed: You can retake the test 21 days after test scores are released without limitations nationally. Your state and/or school may have attempt limitations so be sure to check with them.

Who can take the test: Pretty much anyone. Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core tests for people entering their teacher education programs early in their college careers. Some states also require Praxis Core scores to license teachers.

If you have a degree or are working toward one, you’re eligible to register.

What you need to know:

The reading exam is a selected-response or multiple-choice test. You read through four types of passages and answer questions based on what you read.

  • Paired passages: a side-by-side comparison of a topic by two authors who may or may not agree
  • These are typically about 200 words total with 4-7 questions
  • Long passages: approximately 200-word sections with 4-7 questions
  • Short passages: approximately 100-word sections with 2-3 questions
  • Brief statements: short statements with 1 question

According to Praxis, the reading test has an “emphasis on skills critical to learning and achievement in teacher preparation programs”.

Basically:

Doing well on the test means a better chance at certification and a lifetime of fulfillment shaping the young minds of future students.

There are three main topics covered in the Praxis Reading Test. Knowing these is part of knowing how to pass the test.

Keep scrolling to learn more, or jump ahead:

Key Ideas and Details

This counts for 35% of the exam.

There are three parts to key ideas and details:

Close Reading: read the text closely and logically. Connect insights from specific parts of the passage to understand the whole passage more clearly.

Determine Central Ideas: identify and summarize key details and ideas. What in the passage helps support the main ideas?

Analyze interactions in the Text: identify how and why people, ideas and events connect in the passage.

Craft, Structure, and Language Skills

Craft, Structure and Language Skills – this counts for 30% of the exam.

This section is all about understanding how specific words make a passage more powerful and effective.

  • Interpret words and phrases: recognize how the author makes specific word choices to shape the meaning and tone of the passage
  • Analyze the structure of the text: look for key transition words and phrases. Look at the organization of the passage
    Common themes include compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution
  • Point of view: how does the point of view shape the content and style of the passage?
  • Language, context clues and meaning: distinguish between fact and opinion, understand how language allows for greater comprehension of a topic, use context clues to define words with unknown meanings, understand nuances in definitions.

And, as always, be able to understand words and phrases and read at a college or career-readiness level.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas – this counts for 35% of the exam.

The three main areas are:

  • Analyzing diverse media formats: Not everything you read will be in a paragraph. The test wants to see if you can read visual and quantitative information too.
  • Evaluate arguments in a text: Can you evaluate evidence, determine logical assumptions and draw conclusions based on ideas presented in the passage?
  • Compare and contrasts texts: Here you’ll be tested on recognizing and predicting ideas similar to what’s already been presented and apply those ideas to other situations.

PRAXIS CORE: Writing

Writing Breakdown

The test structure is pretty simple. You have 100 minutes to complete it – 40 minutes to answer 40 selected-response questions and 60 minutes to write two essays.

The questions count for 40% of your score and the essays make up the other 60%.

Important Details

Cost: $90 for the subtest, $150 for the combined version*

Location: The Praxis Core Writing test is a continuous testing Computer-Administered Test (CAT), so it can be taken at numerous locations across your state, as well as a few locations outside of it.

Number of attempts allowed: You can retake the test 21 days after test scores are released without limitations nationally. Your state and/or school may have attempt limitations so be sure to check with them.

Who can take the test: Pretty much anyone. Some colleges and universities use the Praxis Core tests for people entering their teacher education programs early in their college careers. Some states also require Praxis Core scores to license teachers.

If you have a degree or are working toward one, you’re eligible to register.

What You Need to Know

The Writing test is broken into two sections – a constructed-response section with two essays and a selected-response section with 40 questions.

In the essay portion, you’re tested on your ability to use written English correctly and effectively. You get a writing prompt for an argumentative essay where you use personal experience, observation or what you read to support your position – giving specific examples.

You also write an informative/explanatory essay using information from two provided sources. Here you show how well you can pull data from what you read and use it to outline important concerns related to your topic.

With both of the essays, you need to:

  • Be organized
  • Have a clear focus
  • Use proper grammar
  • Write for adults

Writing Sample

To see a writing score chart and sample essays, check out pages 19-30 in the Praxis Study Companion 5722.

The question portion of the writing exam covers four main topics – usage, sentence correction, revision in context and research skills.

For more detailed information (and a little bit of boring jargon) check out pages 5-8 in the Praxis Study Companion 5722.

Usage

Usage – All you do is try to find out what’s wrong in the sentence. You look for mechanical errors, structure and grammar relationship errors and common expression or word choice errors.

Now try saying “error” three times fast.

Sentence Correction

Sentence Correction – Here you look for the best way to restate the underlined portion of a sentence. The choices are given to you, and sometimes the best choice is to leave it the way it is.

Revision in Context

Revision in Context – Editing is important. Part of editing is deciding what to change and when to change it. In this section, you review the development, organization, word choice, style and tone of a passage, and decide what, if anything, to change.

Research Skills

Research Skills – Can you recognize a citation in context? What about identifying effective research strategies? Research Skills questions test your ability to access credible sources, recognize relevant information, citations and research strategies.

Text Types, Purposes, and Production

Text types, purposes, and production – all the things the test looks for in your writing

And

Language and research skills for writing – all the things the test questions cover

We’ve covered most of the writing; you need to write an argumentative essay, write an explanatory/informative essay and you need to be able to revise (or edit) what you write.

For the language skills portion, you need to know:

  • grammatical relationships – These are your basic nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, direct objects, indirect objects, prepositional phrases and how they relate to one another.
  • structural relationships – This includes understanding clauses, identifying comma errors and sentence fragments, writing parallel sentences and spotting dangling modifiers.
  • word choice – Distinguishing between there, their and they’re (and other commonly confusing words), identifying redundant words, recognizing incorrect word choices or other errors, identifying redundant words…
  • English language conventions – Mechanics, usage and sentence formation. These are the things that make writing easier to read by putting words in a format readers are comfortable with.

Research skills will include relevant strategies, credible sources and correct citations, which we already covered above.

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