Feb 7 / Dr. Jason Ampel

How Difficult Is the Praxis Test In 2024? What You Should Know About The Praxis Test

The Praxis test is an exam that is used to measure prospective teachers’ skills and subject-specific content knowledge. Passing these exams is a prerequisite for getting certified as an educator in most states.

The Praxis exams cover various subjects and grade levels, including elementary education, secondary education, and specialized content areas.

For many aspiring educators, this is the most challenging assessment. The exam is deemed difficult because passing it requires a deep understanding of the subject matter content and effective teaching practices. 

Passing the Praxis test is crucial for aspiring teachers because it determines if you’re certified, and it impacts your career.

In this guide, we will explore why the Praxis test is considered difficult and provide strategies for preparing for this examination.

What Is the Praxis Test?

The Praxis test is a series of exams specifically created to evaluate the teaching skills and content knowledge of aspiring teachers. These exams are used to certify that educators meet the standards set by state education boards.

The Praxis series covers several  assessments as follows:

  • Praxis Core Test: Assesses basic academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. It’s a requirement before you’re enrolled in many teacher preparation programs.
  • Praxis Subject Test: These exams are tailored for subject areas like mathematics, science, social studies, and English. They measure an aspiring teacher’s proficiency in teaching grades K-12.
  • Praxis Content Knowledge Test: This test measures a candidate's mastery of the content they will be teaching in the classroom. The tests are focused on subject-specific knowledge required for teaching.

The Praxis test is recognized and mandatory in more than 40 states. It's one of the most popular teacher certification tests.

Is the Praxis Exam Difficult?

As mentioned, the Praxis is considered the most difficult exam by aspiring teachers. But how difficult is it really?

To determine how difficult it is, you must consider various factors. For instance, the exam comprises several components, and candidates' perceptions of its difficulty may vary based on individual strengths, weaknesses, and preparation levels.

Here are the factors determining the difficulty of the Praxis exams:

  • The Praxis Core exams assess basic academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. However, the difficulty experienced by candidates can depend on their strengths and weaknesses in these areas.
  • The Praxis Core tests measure concepts that are familiar to most high school graduates. The challenge lies in applying this knowledge in a teaching context.
  • Adequate preparation by having a solid understanding of the content, test format, and effective study strategies can determine how difficult it is.

The difficulty of the Praxis exam depends on how you are prepared as an individual and how well you can apply general knowledge to a teaching context.

Praxis Subject Assessments Difficulty

The Praxis tests you take depend on the state you want to teach in and the grade level you wish to teach. For instance, if you’re an aspiring middle or high school educator, you may not have to take the tests.

In the next section, we’ll explore the difficulty of individual Praxis tests.

Praxis Core Math

The Praxis Core Math subject assessment evaluates candidates' mathematical reasoning, quantitative literacy, and problem-solving skills. 

The exam becomes more difficult as you move up the grade level. For example, mathematical concepts at the elementary school level are basic and involve basic algebra. However, as you go into high school, the concepts include calculus and algebra.

You may find this exam challenging, but with adequate preparation through planned study and practice, you can succeed in meeting the required score for teacher certification.

Praxis Core Reading

The Praxis Core Reading measures your ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret written materials. The difficulty of this exam depends on your reading and understanding abilities.

To pass this assessment requires a strong command of reading, critical thinking skills, and the ability to synthesize information from different texts. 

Preparing and understanding the format of the exam and familiarizing yourself with the various question types will help you achieve a passing score and get certified.

Praxis II Science

The Praxis II Science subject assessment assesses your knowledge and application of scientific principles across biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/space sciences. 

The difficulty of this exam increases as you move up grade levels. In elementary school, science education is foundational, whereas in Middle and high school, the science concepts become more challenging.

To pass this exam, you must have a solid understanding of science concepts. Taking practice tests and understanding how to apply scientific principles to practical scenarios will increase your chances of passing.

Praxis Passing Score

There is no universal passing score applicable to all Praxis test-takers. Instead, passing scores are determined independently by individual states. 

For example, the passing score for the Praxis Reading Core in Maine is 156, while in Massachusetts, it is set at 162.

The Praxis Core exams consist of a total of 152 questions and two essays, with a total testing time of 5 hours. 

The difficulty of the exam is influenced by the diverse skill sets of candidates and the distinct passing score requirements established by each state.

Despite the varying passing scores, some common passing scores act as benchmarks across states:

  • Reading: 156
  • Writing: 162
  • Math: 150

These scores provide a general reference. Consult the specific passing score requirements set by your state and tailor your preparation strategies to meet the standards for teacher certification.

Question Types on the Praxis Test

As mentioned, the Praxis Core tests consist of two essays and 152 questions. The question types vary by:

  • Selected-response questions: These are traditional multiple-choice questions where candidates choose the correct answer from a set of provided options. They measure the candidate's knowledge and understanding of specific content areas.
  • Numeric-entry questions: In numeric-entry questions, candidates are required to input a numerical answer directly rather than selecting it from a list of choices. Numeric-entry questions evaluate the aspiring teacher’s ability to solve mathematical problems and arrive at accurate numerical solutions.
  • Constructed response: Constructed response questions require candidates to provide detailed, written responses to prompts or questions. They assess analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to articulate ideas effectively in writing.

The time allocation for the different Praxis tests varies as follows:

  • Praxis Core Reading: 85 minutes
  • Praxis Core Math: 90 minutes
  • Praxis Core Writing:1st section: 40 minutes and 2nd section: 60 minutes.

If you want to, you can spread out your tests over multiple days or choose to complete them all in a single day.

Failing a Praxis Test

Failing a Praxis test can be a setback, but you should remember that the Praxis Core tests can be retaken as many times as needed until you pass. 

: There is a mandatory waiting period of 21 days after scores are released before you can attempt to retake the Praxis test.

To prepare adequately for the Praxis tests and increase your chances of success, use the following preparation strategies:

  • Prepare a study plan: Develop a structured study plan that covers all the content areas of the Praxis test. Allocate specific times for each subject so that you cover every section.
  • Create a study checklist: Break down your study plan into smaller tasks and create a checklist. This will help you track your progress and ensure that you are covering all the necessary topics.
  • Join a study group: Find peers by joining a study group to share ideas, discuss challenging concepts, and benefit from diverse knowledge. Group study can provide support and help you stick to your study schedule.
  • Take preparation tests: Familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions on the Praxis test by taking practice exams. Practice tests help you identify areas that need further attention and improve your time management skills.
  • Make flashcards: Create flashcards to reinforce key concepts, definitions, and formulas. Flashcards are a portable and efficient tool for quick review, especially when you have limited study time.

Praxis Exam Logistics

Praxis exams are administered via computer. They vary in duration, ranging from one to four hours, depending on the specific test. 

When you’re registering for the exam, you'll need to pay an exam fee. The registration fee depends on the specific Praxis exam. Fees can range from as low as $50 for some exams to as high as $209 for others.

If you’re facing financial constraints, there is the option of a Praxis test fee waiver. The waiver alleviates the financial burden for eligible candidates, allowing them to take the exam at a reduced cost.

Most candidates opt to take their exams at a designated Praxis testing center. However, you can choose to take your exams at home. 

Taking the Praxis exam at home offers convenience since you don’t have to commute. It’s also a familiar environment that can help reduce the anxiety that comes with taking an exam.

Get Ready for the Praxis Test

Praxis exams may be challenging, but they are an important step toward becoming a certified educator.

The tests have a major impact on your teaching career, and you should make a conscious effort to achieve the passing score determined by your state.

To get help with test preparation, reach out to us at The Learning Liaisons. We’re test-prep experts with experience and a track record of helping teachers ace their certification exams.

We’ll provide access to video tutorials, practice tests, study guides, and personalized guidance to help you pass your Praxis exams.