Praxis®️ Physical Education: Content Knowledge Ultimate Guide2020-11-05T18:13:54+00:00

Praxis®️ Physical Education: Content Knowledge: Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

Preparing to take the Praxis®️ Physical Education: Content Knowledge exam?


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Praxis®️ Physical Education: Content Knowledge Quick Facts

The Praxis®️ Physical Education: Content Knowledge exam is used in multiple states as a requirement to teach physical education in public schools grades K-12. It is designed to measure the knowledge necessary to teach physical education.


The Praxis®️ PE exam is a computer-based test that includes 120 multiple choice questions to be answered within a 2 hour time window. Each section is worth a different percentage of the examination. The four sections are listed below:

  • Content Knowledge and Student Growth Development
    • 36 questions
    • 30% of exam
  • Management, Motivation, and Communication
    • 30 questions
    • 25% of exam
  • Planning, Instruction, and Student Assessment
    • 30 questions
    • 25% of exam
  • Collaboration, Reflection, and Technology
    • 24 questions
    • 20% of exam


The cost to take the exam is $120. Registration fees can be paid using a credit or debit card, money order, bank check drawn in the United States, Paypal, or an eCheck.


The minimum passing score for the Praxis®️ PE exam varies by state.

Study time:

Ok, so you know what the test covers. How do you prepare to do your best? The amount of study time depends on many factors. One key to success is to assess what you already know. Then, allot study time to the topics in which you are not as confident.

What test takers wish they would’ve known:

  • Guess if you do not know the answer. There is no penalty or subtraction for an incorrect answer. The final score is based on the number of correct answers.
  • Skip the questions you find extremely difficult. Focus on the questions you can confidently answer, then come back to the others.
  • Read all of the answers before choosing one. Be careful to understand what is being asked.
  • Eliminate the weakest answer choices first.

Information obtained from the ETS Praxis®️ website:

Content Knowledge and Student Growth and Development


This content category has 36 selected-response questions. These questions account for 30% of the entire exam.

This content category can be neatly divided into 2 sections:

  • Core Concepts
  • Student Growth and Development

So, let’s talk about Core Concepts first.

Core Concepts

This section tests your knowledge of core concepts, such as motor skills, kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology. You will also need to know about a variety of activities and games appropriate for grade K-12 and how to use equipment properly.

Let’s talk about some concepts that you will more than likely see on the test.

Gross Motor Development

Gross motor skills involve large muscle groups that we use daily. These skills involve the coordination of muscles and the neurological system. Although most of these skills come automatically, they are very complex. Children hit gross motor milestones as they develop. For example, a three or four-year-old typically can jump and land on two feet, while a seven or eight year old has enough balance to ride a bike with no training wheels. These milestones are hit in sequence. There are many examples of “typical” milestones for different age groups. Check out this chart to see a complete list of milestones:

Skill-Related Fitness

The six components of skill-related fitness are agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed.

Agility is the ability of the body to change direction quickly while keeping control. Examples of activities that require agility include:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Balance is the ability of the body to maintain an upright posture when still or in motion. Examples of activities that require balance include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Gymnastics  

Coordination is the ability of the body to use hand and foot movements with the input of our senses. Examples of activities that require coordination include:

  • Crossfit
  • Golf
  • Jumping Rope

Power is the ability of the body to perform strength work at an explosive speed. Examples of activities that require power include:

  • Olympic Lifts
  • Plyometrics
  • Track and Field  

Reaction Time is the amount of time it takes for the body to react to a stimulus, such as a starting gun or movement of an opponent. Examples of activities that require reaction time include:

  • Racquet Sports
  • Martial Arts
  • Cricket

Speed is the ability of the body to move quickly from one point to another. Examples of activities that require speed include:

  • Sprinting
  • Speed Skating
  • Swimming

Student Growth and Development

This section tests your knowledge of designing effective and appropriate physical education activities based on developmental stages and individual student needs.

Here are some concepts you should know.

Affective Domain

The affective domain is comprised of attitudes, values, and emotions. The components that make up this domain include receiving, responding, valuing, organization, and characterization.

  • Receiving– Openness to new information or experiences
  • Responding– Active participation in new information or experiences  
  • Valuing– Attaching value to new information or experiences
  • Organization– Incorporating new information or experiences into a pre-existing value system
  • Characterization– Full integration of new information or experiences resulting in new attitudes, beliefs, and/or behaviors

The affective domain is often applied in the physical education setting because students are often learning new sports, activities, and concepts. Below are some physical education activities that involve the affective domain.

Line Boogie (K-2)

  • Students line up in groups and move a beanbag from one end of the line to the other without letting it hit the floor.
  • Use of Affective Domain: Students must pay close attention to others’ movements to prevent the beanbag from dropping.

Tic-Tac-Toe Relay (3-5)

  • Students are in groups. One person races to the board to put their marker down, coming back to tag one of their teammates that sends them to the board to put their marker down. This pattern continues. The objective is to get a line before their opponent does.
  • Use of Affective Domain: Students must race down and think about where to put their marker in order to block their opponent from winning.

Moving Tower Push Ups (Middle Grades)

  • Teams must rebuild a tower by moving one piece at a time while running to the designated area to complete one push-up to the best of their ability.
  • Use of Affective Domain: Students challenge themselves to race down to complete their push up, tolerate pain when completing the push-up, and persevere despite difficulty.

Wacky Walks Heart Rate Monitoring (High School)

  • Students learn to take their resting and active heart rate. They complete a series of different exercises like walking, lunges, jumping jacks, etc. to determine their active heart rate. They then do push-ups or triceps dips to target a different muscle group and record their heart rate.
  • Use of Affective Domain: Students understand the importance of exercise and what movements will best increase their heart rate.

Check out this website for the other domains used in these different activities:

Experiential Readiness

Experiential readiness is how background knowledge, prior learning, experiences, and level of aspiration affect a student’s readiness to learn. The disparities in readiness can be great when comparing students. For example, some students come into kindergarten knowing all the letters of the alphabet, while others don’t know a single letter. These disparities can also be present in the physical education classroom and can affect a child’s ability. For example, a child may play sports for different recreational leagues outside of school while another child in the same class is not allowed to play outside. As a result, teachers need to mix content with the process of student learning. There should be a balance between experiential activities and content with no judgment while the students explore in a safe place.

Management, Motivation, and Communication


This content category has 30 selected-response questions. These questions account for 25% of the entire exam.

This content category can be neatly divided into 2 sections:

  • Management and Motivation
  • Communication

So, let’s talk about Management and Motivation first.

Management and Motivation

This section tests your knowledge of effective behavior management and increasing motivation in the physical education environment.

Let’s talk about some concepts that you will more than likely see on the test.

Establishing Effective Classroom Management

Teachers must establish positive and effective classroom management beginning the first day of school because expectations must be clear from the start. Directly teaching students how to perform expectations is imperative. For example, if children are to quietly walk and line up at the end of class, students should practice before it is actually time to do so. If students are expected to start jogging laps as soon as they enter the gym, then they must be explicitly taught this. They need to know how they should be running, how fast they should run, how to pass another classmate, etc. This will prevent injuries from occurring, as well as set clear expectations from day one. Check out the link for positive classroom management ideas specifically for the physical education classroom.

Behavior Management Plans

A behavior management plan is a written plan of action for a child who struggles to participate appropriately in the learning process. Its purpose is to help that child succeed and limit the frequency of problematic behaviors. The plan is part of a child’s individualized education plan (IEP) developed by a team of educators and behavior specialists.  


This section tests your knowledge of communicating respectfully and providing effective feedback to enhance students’ performance.

Check out these concepts.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is a way to communicate without words, using facial expressions, gestures, and postures. Examples include giving a student a thumbs up when they do a good job, raising your eyebrows when a student is not doing what they are supposed to be doing, and making eye contact with a student who needs to modify his or her behavior to meet expectations. Nonverbal communication used in the classroom promotes a positive learning environment because a child can be praised and/or corrected without anyone else knowing.

Instructional Feedback

Instructional feedback is a strategy that a teacher uses to clarify misinformation, confirm misunderstandings, and fine-tune understandings. Students thrive when given positive specific feedback. The two major types of feedback given in a physical education classroom are descriptive (general) and prescriptive (specific).

Examples of descriptive feedback:

  • Good job!
  • Way to go!
  • You can do it!

Examples of descriptive feedback:

  • Turn sideways
  • Follow-through
  • Use the instep, not the toe, to kick

Planning, Instruction, and Student Assessment


This content category has 30 selected-response questions. These questions account for 25% of the entire exam.

This content category can be neatly divided into 2 sections:

  • Planning and Instruction
  • Student Assessment

So, let’s start with Planning and Instruction.

Planning and Instruction

This section tests your knowledge of planning developmentally appropriate physical education experiences based on standards. You should also know how to instruct students through explanations, demonstrations, and cues to help them achieve success with the activity.

Here are some concepts you need to know.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation often referred to as CPR, is a medical procedure that requires repeated chest compressions to restore blood circulation and breathing to a person who has suffered cardiac arrest. Check out the link on how to perform CPR:

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a teaching strategy in which small teams of students with varying levels of ability use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of the concept. There are five key elements involved in effective cooperative learning:

  • Positive Independence 
  • Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction
  • Individual Accountability 
  • Small-Group and Interpersonal Skills 
  • Group Processing 

Check out this website on how to use cooperative learning in the physical education classroom:

Student Assessment

This section tests your knowledge of designing and implementing appropriate assessments to accurately measure students’ growth and progress in physical education.

Let’s talk about some concepts that you will more than likely see on the test.

President’s Challenge

The President’s Challenge is a physical activity and fitness program aimed to encourage all Americans to make physical activity part of their everyday life. Through a variety of tests, the program provides tools and resources to motivate youth and adults to live healthy lives.

The Health Fitness Test includes:

  • Partial Curl-Ups
  • One Mile Run/Walk
  • Sit and Reach
  • Right Angle Push-Ups or Pull-Ups or Flexed-Arm Hang
  • Body Mass Index

The Physical Fitness Test includes:

  • Curl-Ups or Partial Curl-Ups
  • Shuttle Run
  • Endurance Run/Walk
  • Pull-Ups or Right Angle Push-Ups or Flexed-Arm Hang
  • Sit and Reach

Formative versus Summative Assessments

Formative assessments are for learning while summative assessments are of learning. Formative assessments are given throughout a lesson to determine how well students understand new concepts and skills. Summative assessments are given at the end of the unit to assess students’ total knowledge of a learning target.

Examples of Formative Assessments include:

  • Exit Ticket
  • Running Records
  • Thumbs Up, Down, or Middle
  • Think-Pair-Share

Examples of Summative Assessments include:

  • State Assessments
  • End of Unit Assessments
  • Chapter Tests
  • District Benchmarks

Collaboration, Reflection, and Technology


This content category has 24 selected-response questions. These questions account for 20% of the entire exam.

This content category can be neatly divided into 3 sections:

  • Collaboration
  • Reflection
  • Technology

So, let’s start with Collaboration.


This section tests your knowledge of collaborating with colleagues, families, and the community to improve the quality of students’ physical education.

Check out these important concepts.

Physical Education and Mathematics

Integrating Mathematics into Physical Education Classrooms:

Telling Time

  • Students can use a stopwatch to time others completing certain activities
  • With these times students can:
    • Subtract to find the difference
    • Order times from least to greatest or greatest to least
    • Find the mean, median, and mode of every student in a class


  • Students can describe different shapes found in different activities
    • Basketball court
    • Tennis court
    • Bowling


  • Students can compare different weights of equipment balls
  • Students can measure lengths of long jump or softball throw


  • Place scores in a variety of graphs for multiple sports and compare data
    • Frequency table
    • Bar graph
    • Dot plot

Community Collaboration

Ways to promote collaboration with the community:

Organize a race

  • Allow anyone in the community to register
  • Reach out to businesses for donations

Organize a competition

  • Have a tournament where a variety of teams compete against each other (i.e. teacher team, administration team, business team)

Invite Community Members to Speak to Students

  • Have health professionals speak to students about the importance of physical activity and nutrition (i.e. doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers)


This section tests your knowledge of reflection as a tool to grow as an educator.

Let’s talk about a concept that you will more than likely see on the test.

Reflective Cycle

The reflective cycle is a systematic approach to your thoughts in regards to a specific event, situation, or activity. The cycle includes six steps: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan. The reflective cycle can be used to reflect on teacher performance, student learning, and instructional goals. Asking yourself some of the following questions can help you implement the reflective cycle within your teaching:


  • What did you teach?
  • How did you teach it?
  • What was the student success rate after you taught this?


  • How did you feel before, during, and after the lesson?
  • How did the students feel about your lesson?


  • What went well during the lesson? Why did it go well?
  • What didn’t go well during the lesson? Why did it not go well?


  • What will you change for next time?
  • What will you keep the same?


  • Did the lesson lead to positive student success?
  • Did the lesson lead to student failure?
  • What skills do students need before teaching this lesson?

Action Plan

  • Do I need to re-teach?
  • Can we move on?


This section tests your knowledge of using technology effectively in a physical education setting.

This concept may appear on the test.

Technology in the Physical Education Classroom

Technology Prevalent in Physical Education Classroom:

  • Pedometers– track steps
  • Heart Rate Monitor– track heart rate
  • Video Resources– teach yoga and dance
  • Smart Watches– track progress over time
  • Gaming Systems– interactive video games
  • Physical Education Apps– Examples: Remind, Team Shake, Sworkit, and FIT Radio

And that’s some basic info about the exam.

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