What is the Praxis PLT?
The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) is a standardized teacher certification exam designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills of prospective educators in many states.
This exam assesses a teacher's understanding of educational theories, instructional practices, and assessment methods. If your state uses the Praxis exams to certify teachers, chances are, you have to take and pass the Praxis PLT.
The Praxis PLT is a computer-based exam that consists of 70 multiple-choice questions and four constructed-response questions.
What are the differences among the Praxis PLT 5621, 5622, 5623 and 5624?
There is a Praxis PLT for each grade level: PLT 5621 (early childhood), PLT 5622 (elementary education), PLT 5623 (middle school), and PLT 5624 (high school).
There isn’t much difference among all the different PLTs. In fact, the test specifications and blueprints for these exams are virtually the same.
The only difference is some questions will be specific to the grade level of the PLT you’re taking. Also, the constructed response portion of the PLT will be specific to the grade level of the exam.
For example, if you are taking the Praxis PLT 5624, your writing prompts for the constructed response will be about high school classroom scenarios.
What’s on the Praxis PLT?
The content categories for the Praxis PLT are:
- Students as Learners (21 questions - 22.5% of the exam)
- Instructional Process (21 questions - 22.5% of the exam)
- Assessment (14 questions - 15% of the exam)
- Professional Development Leadership, and Community (14 questions - 15% of the exam)
- Analysis of Constructed Scenarios (4 questions - 25% of the exam)
- Students as Learners (1-2 questions)
- Instructional Process (1-2 questions)
- Assessment (0-1 questions)
- Professional Development, Leadership, and Community (0-1 questions)
Notice for the constructed response, your questions will come from the main content categories on the exam.
Also, you will definitely get a constructed-response question about students as learners and instructional practices, but you may not get a question on assessment or professional development, leadership, and community.
Is the Praxis PLT Difficult?
The difficulty level of the PLT exam varies depending on the candidate's background, knowledge, and experience.
New teachers, in particular, may find the exam challenging as they may not have extensive experience in the classroom.
The PLT exam requires candidates to apply their knowledge of educational theories to practical teaching situations, which can be difficult without practical experience.
One of the most difficult things about the Praxis PLT is the amount of scenario questions on the exam. New teachers with little experience often have a difficult time identifying the correct answers on the scenario questions and will often think more than one answer could be correct. Below is an example question that’s from my Praxis PLT 5623 study guide:
Ms. Schaffer has several students in her class who are special education students with varying exceptionalities. What would be the best way to help these students achieve at their highest potential?
A. Group the students together so they can support each other during learning.
B. Read each student’s IEP to target interventions and accommodations.
C. Request meetings with each student’s parents to determine specific needs.
D. Request that a paraprofessional be placed in her classroom to assist students.
To a new teacher, all of the answer choices are reasonable. However, the question specifically asks for the best way the teacher can support special education students to achieve their highest potential.
Answer choice B is the best answer because it references the student’s IEP and accommodations, which are the most important things when teaching special education students.
Answer A is incorrect because grouping students is not as effective as referencing the IEP and applying accommodations.
Answer choice C is ok, but transfers the responsibility onto the parents rather than handling it in the classroom. Finally, answer choice D is not correct because requesting outside help is usually never the correct answer on these exams.
If you’d like to learn more about the Praxis PLT and how to navigate these questions, check out my free webinar and free study guide by filling out the form below:
Again, a new teacher may not be able to distinguish between the best answer and all the other reasonable answers. My Praxis PLT online courses have hours of video tutorials to help understand these scenario questions.
What is a passing score on the PLT 5621, 5622, 5623, and 5624?
Most states that use the Praxis PLT for teacher certification require a score of 157-160 to pass.
Every state is different; therefore, it is important to check your specific state requirements. You can check the minimum passing score . Simply scroll down and select your state, and then select the PLT exam you are taking. It will look like this:
How do I calculate my Praxis PLT Score?
This is difficult to do because ETS, the company that makes the Praxis PLT, uses a scale score rather than a raw score.
I always say you should achieve at least 75% correct on the practice tests before attempting the actual exam. This will ensure you are in the passing range for the exam.
If you would like to learn more about how to calculate your Praxis PLT score, watch this video.
I also have a Praxis score calculator you can use to estimate your score while you prepare for the exam. Simply fill out the form below and you will be able to download and use the calculator.
Is the Praxis PLT the same as the Praxis Core?
The PLT exam is different from the Praxis Core and Praxis subject area exams. The Praxis Core evaluates a candidate's basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.
The Praxis subject area exams evaluate a candidate's knowledge and skills in a specific subject area and grade level.
For example, the Praxis Middle School Math exam is a subject area exam. The PLT exam focuses on a teacher's ability to apply educational theories and practices to teaching scenarios, regardless of the subject area.
Most states that use the Praxis exams to certify teachers require three tests for certification:
- Praxis Core (sometimes called the Praxis I)
- Praxis Subject Area Exam (sometimes called the Praxis II)
- Praxis PLT
Teachers who are getting certified in reading or special education may have to take an additional exam for specific certification.