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Teachers are dedicated to educating children and setting them up for success in the future, arguably making them some of the most influential and vital members of our country. A career in teaching can be challenging at times, but the inspiration and impact teachers can make on students can greatly outweigh the challenges.

The path to becoming a teacher can vary, but overall you’ll need to obtain a degree and receive a teaching certificate. Most states within the United States use Praxis exams to ensure that future teachers have the knowledge and skills for teaching in a classroom setting. 

The Difference Between Praxis I and Praxis II

The Praxis Core exam (formerly known as Praxis II) evaluates a candidate’s base knowledge of the teaching skills that are necessary in a classroom and measures their understanding of math, reading, and writing. You can take the 3 subtests of reading, writing, and math all in the same day, or on separate days if you choose. When taking all 3 subsets at once, you’ll need to clear approximately 5 hours of your day for the exam.

Breaking down the Praxis Core Exam Subsets:

  • Reading – 56 multiple choice questions that must be completed within 85 minutes
  • Writing – 40 response questions that must be completed within 40 minutes plus 2 essay questions that must be written within 60 minutes
  • Math – 56 multiple choice questions that must be answered within 90 minutes

The Praxis Subject Assessment tests (formerly known as Praxis II) assesses content-specific knowledge, usually broken down by grade levels and/or areas of subject. There are over 90 Praxis Subject Assessments that will cover very subject-specific content. These assessments vary in length and contain different types of questions such as multiple choice questions, open-response questions, or a mix of the two. 

How to Prepare for the Praxis

If you’re aspiring to become a teacher, the first step is to check with your state’s educational department so you can be aware of the requirements to become a teacher within the state. Passing the Praxis Core exam is generally used for admission into an educator program, but most states will require that all aspiring teachers pass these exams. Many students will take their Praxis Subject Assessment exams closer to graduation or after they’ve received their bachelor’s degree.

The level of difficulty for the Praxis exams will vary. The Praxis Core exams generally aren’t considered to be over-challenging; however, the Praxis Subject Assessments have been known to be difficult exams. Regardless of which exams you’re required to take, it’s a good idea to be well prepared and begin your Praxis test prep early. 

Creating a study plan, utilizing Praxis study guides of the subjects and content you are covering, and taking online Praxis practice tests can help you become familiar with the content and test format of the Praxis exams. Giving yourself enough time to identify your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to improve your test scores.

Peterson’s Praxis prep courses include full-length Praxis practice tests that simulate the real exam so you can go into your Praxis exam with confidence.