Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests

The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests (formerly Praxis I) is a series of three academic skills assessments administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS).  These test your basic skills in reading (test 5712), writing (test 5722), and math (test 5732).  Most four year colleges require students to take the three Praxis Core Academic Skillsexams prior to applying to their teacher preparation program.  We recommend that you take them in your last semester at JTCC or soon after completing your JTCC math and English courses--while the material is fresh in your mind!
For more information on the Praxis exams, practice questions, and/or to register for an exam, go to the Praxis Page of Educational Testing Services and follow the links for "Test Takers."
Please Note: As of March 2004, the Virginia Department of Education exempts licensure candidates from having to take the Praxis Core Adademic exams if their high school SAT scores exceeded a certain threshold.  However, most teacher preparation programs at four year colleges still require you to take the Praxis assessments for admission into their program.  Check with the teacher education program you hope to transfer into to determine if they require Praxis.
Advice for Praxis Test Takers:

Most people who fail the Praxis tests do so because they take the exams cold without studying.  There are no surprises in the Praxis tests if you have prepared for it.  Spend time reviewing the ETS "Prepare for a Praxis Exam" materials.  These include an overview of each exam, including the number of questions per topic being tested ("Test at a Glance"), test-taking tips, and practice questions.  ETS now also offers a free webinar that you can sign up for.  The webinar will go over the nature of the test, talk about test anxiety and study plans, and offer practice questions.
There are many websites that contain Praxis practice questions and advice for taking the exam.  Simply Google "Praxis Core Academic Assessments Practice Tests" to review these.  You can also buy Praxis Core Academic Assessment review books online and at area bookstores.  
The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) offers Praxis Core and Praxis II review classes/webinars. See for more information.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Praxis Core Exams:
  • There is no limit to the number of times you can take the Praxis Core exams.  If you fail one or more components of the exam (reading, writing, or math), you only have to take over the component that you failed.
  • You must take the Praxis Core tests at a local testing center.  In the past, you could choose to take it online or with paper/pencil.  However, the Core tests are now only given online.  
  • Your Praxis Core scores are valid in any state.  Different states have different criteria for what constitutes a passing score.
  • Praxis II tests your skills in a specific subject area and is necessary for licensure to teach that subject.  You should NOT take Praxis II until your fourth year of college in order to maximize your knowledge going into the test.
  • The Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) is required for licensure. Some colleges will allow a student to substitute the VCLA for the reading and writing portions of Praxis Core exams.  This will save you money since the VCLA must be taken at some point and you can avoid the cost of the Praxis Core reading and writing exams.
Penny Speidel,
Jan 10, 2014, 5:30 AM