Feb 24 / Dr. Jason Ampel

The 2024 Guide to Praxis Core: Writing

US teacher candidates seeking certification are commonly required to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5723), known as Praxis Core: Writing. The exam is designed to assess a teaching candidate’s ability to understand and use English writing effectively as a professional educator. 

Passing the exam requires preparation and familiarization with the testing format. Our guide will provide insight into the exam’s structure, content topics, and where to register. We’ve also provided advice on preparing and strategies to use on testing day.

Deep breath. You’ve got this. 

Do I Need to Take the Praxis Core: Writing (5723)?

As of the start of 2024, 46 US states require at least one Praxis exam for some of their teaching candidates. However, which Praxis exam(s) a candidate must take is determined by their state and the certification and licensing they require for their intended grade level, subject(s), and any specialty.

To find out if YOU need to take the Praxis Core: Writing:
  •    Visit your state’s education department’s website.

Need to take it? Read on.

Exam Overview

Exam Name and Code: Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (5723)

Purpose of the Exam: To assess a teaching candidate’s understanding of English writing and ability to use it correctly and effectively. 

Content Summary: The Praxis Core: Writing focuses on four areas of English writing: 

  •    Usage
  •    Sentence correction
  •    Revision in context
  •    Research skills

Detailed Breakdown of Exam Content

The Praxis Core: Writing (5723) is a computer-based exam that contains 40 select response questions and two essay questions. The exam focuses on two main content categories:

  •    Text Types, Purposes, and Production (60%)
  •    Language and Research Skills for Writing (40%)

The exam is split into three timed sections:

  •    40 questions of selected responses (40 minutes) 
  •    1 essay (30 minutes)
  •    1 essay (30 minutes)

Praxis Core: Writing Selected Response with Example

The Praxis Core: Writing Selected Response section is 40 minutes long and comprises 40 questions that draw from both content categories. However, the majority of the questions, 28-34) will be on Language and Research Skills for Writing. 

An example selected response question:

Which of the following corrects an error in the sentence below? 

The accused walked slow to the place where the judge waited to sentence him for the dastardly crime of jaywalking.

a.    slowly
b.    to be sentenced
c.    dastard
d.    jaywalking
e.    no errors

(The answer is a.) 

Praxis Core: Writing Essay Questions with Example

The Praxis Core Writing Essay section is split between two essay questions of 30 minutes each. The essay questions draw from the first category: Text Types, Purposes, and Production.

An example essay question:

  •    Read the stated opinion. 
  •    Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with this statement. Support your views with specific reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. 

School uniforms are a necessary policy to fight gang violence at schools where that is a prevalent issue. Uniforms also force students to focus on their academics rather than the distractions of individual style and fashion. I support the idea that all schools should mandate school uniforms for all students.” 

Exam Format and Administration

Total Length of Exam: 100 minutes (40 min selected-response section, 2 X 30-minute essays sections)

Breaks: Candidates can request an unscheduled break, but the exam clock won’t stop ticking, so be quick. 

Registration, Fees, Arrival Time, and Required Items

Registration Process: Book through the ETS Praxis Tests Page

Fees: $90 for Praxis Core: Writing (5723); OR, $150 for Combined Test: Reading, Writing & Mathematics (5752)

Dates: Usually throughout the year. The site lets you book up to 180 days in advance.

Venues: All over the country

Arrival time: Arrive at your testing venue at least 30 minutes early to provide time to register and stash your belongings in a locker. Those taking it virtually, be ready in advance to ensure all equipment is functioning properly. 

Required Items: Approved ID and booking ticket. Those taking the test at a venue will be provided with a computer, pencil, and scratch paper. Those taking it virtually may use a personal-sized dry-erase board with a dry-erase marker.

Rescheduling, Canceling, & Refunds: Rescheduling must be done at least 3 days in advance. Cancelation must be done at least three days in advance, and you may be granted 50% of your test fee. Those that cancel with fewer than 3 days in advance forfeit their fee.

Preparation Tips and Strategies

Passing the Praxis Core: Writing (5723) is an achievable goal. However, it requires preparation and commitment. 

Not sure where to begin? No worries. We’ve gathered our top tips and strategies to help you get on the road to success. 

Select Study Resources

Gather the study resources you’ll use to prepare for the exam. A popular choice is taking a preparation course dedicated to Praxis Core: Writing (5723). Unlike general teacher preparation programs, these are targeted “boot camps” focusing on the knowledge, skills, and test-taking strategies candidates will need to take the exam successfully. 

Other useful sources:

  •    University libraries
  •     Articles
  •    Online and campus study groups
  •    Online videos and webinars
  •    Teacher preparation coursework

Create a Study Plan

Creating a study plan for an upcoming exam provides a road map to success. Sure, you could try to do it by the seat of your pants. But things go smoother and have less drama when there is a plan. 

Here are some helpful tips for designing a study plan:

  •    Take an honest look at your life. Take an honest look at your schedule and block it out on a calendar, including work, school, and activities such as book club meetings and Pilates classes. Also, look ahead and note where there are any other events, including upcoming vacations and a dentist appointment. Now, how much time is left for studying? If you only have 30 minutes a week to spare, you must start preparing much sooner than somebody with 10 hours a week to dedicate to studying. 
  •     Block out study time. The best way to ensure your study time isn’t squandered by a spontaneous movie night or being asked to do a favor is by blocking out time for studying in advance. Tell people, “I’m sorry, I’ve already got an appointment at that time.” 
  •    Give yourself leeway. Always block out more time than you may need. Even people who are excellent at drawing boundaries and guarding their time still have unexpected events like dead car batteries or a plumbing fiasco that can dramatically change the trajectory of a day. 
  •    Study with purpose. Each study session should have a goal. Some can be small, “I will read one chapter.” Others may require more time, “I will do an entire practice test and review my answers.” 
  •    Mix it up. Study sessions require variety to keep us motivated and to ensure our brains stay engaged. Ensure you use various strategies to learn the material, such as study groups (in person or online), reading, flashcards, tutorials, informative videos, and practice tests. 
  •    Record your progress. Keep track of your study sessions and note your strengths and weaknesses. If certain areas are easy for you, don’t spend so much of your study time on them. Instead, focus on the more challenging areas. 

Practice and Review

You wouldn’t join a bicycle race having only ridden a stationary bike. Don’t show up to your exam having only studied but never taken a practice test. Doing practice questions helps you evaluate your readiness and teaches you how to manage your time while working through the sections.

Stress Reduction Techniques

It is completely natural to feel nervous about an upcoming exam. However, high stress and anxiety levels can make it difficult to focus. So up your self-care and try a few techniques to lower your stress, such as: 

  •    Exercise. Yes, you are very busy, but exercise is an excellent stress reducer. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you need to start training for a triathlon. The Mayo Clinic has found that almost any form of exercise, including a short walk, can positively impact stress levels. 
  •    Sleep. Most people wouldn’t down a beer right before taking an exam. Yet studies have found that sleep deprivation can reduce your brain’s performance even worse than polishing off a cold one. Getting sleep is like recharging your phone. So, in the week leading up to the exam, prioritize your nightly rest. 
  •    Stretch. Like exercise, stretching has been shown to reduce stress. Standing up during an exam and going full yoga is probably frowned upon. But you can roll your shoulders and take a few deep breaths to help reduce the stress.

Praxis Core: Writing Exam Strategies And Time Management

Successfully taking the Praxis Core: Writing (5723) exam requires more than studying. It also requires using top exam strategies and time management skills, such as:

  •    Listen and read all the directions. The Praxis Core is full of instructions from the moment a candidate registers to how a person exits the exam room. All of them are important. Forfeiting the test because you forgot to take your watch off is an unfortunate oversight. 
  •    Be the tortoise, not the hare. Time management doesn’t mean rush. Skimming the questions only leads to wrong or incomplete answers. Embrace the lesson from the Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and the Hare: slow and steady wins the race. 
  •    Come back to challenging questions. Don’t confuse “don’t rush” with “get stuck.” Do not allow a question to suck away all your valuable time. Instead, return to it after completing the rest of the questions. 

Scoring and Results

Scoring System: Praxis Core: Writing (5723) provides a score of 100-200. The scoring is broken down into two content sections:

  •    Content 1: Text Types, Purposes, and Production (60%, including 6-12 selected-response questions and 2 essays). 
  •    Content 2: Language and Research Skills for Writing (40%, made up of 28-34 selected response questions).

The state determines the passing score. Information can be found by navigating the ETS site for your state’s information or by visiting your state’s education department website. A common passing score is 162. However, some states accept lower scores, such as South Carolina (158) and Utah (156).

Receiving Scores: 3 weeks from test day
Retaking the Exam: 28 days between exams, including those who have canceled their scores.


Passing the Praxis Core: Writing (5723) is a necessary hurdle for many teaching candidates to become fully certified educators. However, the process is easier to navigate through planning and preparation. The Learning Liaisons has assisted many candidates in passing their certification tests. So don’t stress. Instead, sign up today to learn more about how we can help you.

Additional Resources