What is the Praxis Core?
includes all subtests
The Praxis Core exam is also known as the Praxis I.
This is one of several exams designed to assess whether a prospective teacher has the requisite knowledge and skills necessary to teach. The Praxis Core is similar to an ACT or SAT. There are no teaching scenarios on this exam; this test assesses your reading, writing, and math knowledge.
The subtests of the Praxis Core are:
Each of these subjects is considered crucial for an elementary education teacher, as they encompass the fundamental curriculum of elementary education.
Our proven Praxis Core study guides
Is the Praxis Core what I need to take to teach Elementary Education?
Most states use the Praxis Core test to certify elementary and secondary education teachers. However, it's important to note that the requirement can vary depending on your state's licensure regulations.
Some states might have different tests or additional requirements for prospective teachers.
That’s why it's crucial to check with your state's Department of Education or the ETS website to confirm the exact requirements for becoming an elementary education teacher in your state.
In general, the Praxis Core is widely recognized and accepted across many states in the U.S. as a standard measure of competence for elementary education teaching.
How hard is the Praxis Core hard to pass?
While the Praxis Core is considered a basic skills test, the exam is rather large and complicated.
Fewer than 50% of people pass their Praxis exams the first time, so it’s very important you do not underestimate the test.
This test can be difficult because many prospective teachers, especially career changers, haven't used the skills assessed on this exam in a long time.
For example, the reading exam requires test takers to read lengthy passages and answer comprehension questions.
Prepositional phrases and misplaced modifiers are common themes on the writing exam. The writing exam also has a constructed-response section where you will have to write two essays; you're only given 60 minutes to do this.
Finally, algebra, geometry, and probability and statistics are standard on the math exam. These questions are often assessed in lengthy, challenging word problems.
You’ll need to brush up on skills you may have forgotten and skills you haven’t used in quite some time.
What happens if I fail one or more of the subtests?
Because the subtests are scored separately, you can pass all or some exam sections. Therefore, if you pass some sections but not others, you can retake just the sections you were unsuccessful in.
For example, if you pass the reading and math but fail the writing section, you will just retake the writing section the next time around.
Remember, you must pass all subtests of the Praxis Core to pass the exam.
What does the Praxis Core exam consist of?
The Praxis Core consists of three subtests, which are scored separately. The following is the estimated number of questions you will receive on each subtest.
The entire exam is almost 5 hours in total hours. You can take a break between each subtest. You can take a 5- to 10-minute unscheduled restroom break. See the Praxis Test Information Bulletin to learn more about unscheduled breaks.
Praxis Core - Reading 5713
The Praxis Core Reading 5713 has approximately 56 selected-response questions; you will have 85 minutes to complete this exam.
Most states require at least a 156 to pass this subtest.
The Praxis Core Reading 5713 subtest measures academic skills in reading needed to prepare successfully for a career in education. All skills assessed have been identified as needed for college and career readiness, in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for reading. In particular, there is an emphasis on skills critical to learning and achievement in teacher preparation programs.
These skills include understanding, analyzing, and evaluating texts of different kinds. Varying in difficulty, the reading material on the test is drawn from various subject areas and real-life situations that educated adults are likely to encounter. Each passage is followed by questions based on its content and related to reading skills.
All questions can be answered using the information within the passage; no question requires outside knowledge of the content.
The Reading subtest is divided into three key content categories, each focusing on a specific aspect of reading comprehension. These categories include:
- Key Ideas and Details
- Craft, Structure, and Language Skills
- Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
You can read my complete overview and breakdown of the Praxis Reading 5713 exam and our best tips for passing the test here.
Praxis Core - Writing 5723
The Praxis Core Writing 5723 has approximately two sections: 40 selected-response questions and two constructed-response questions. You will have 100 minutes to complete this subtest: 40 minutes for the selected response and 30 minutes for each constructed response (60 minutes total for the essays).
Most states require at least a 162 to pass this subtest.
The Praxis Core Writing 5723 measures academic skills in reading needed to prepare successfully for a career in education. All skills assessed have been identified as needed for college and career readiness, in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for writing.
The test includes questions that assess usage, sentence correction, revision in context, and research skills. The usage questions include skills in grammar and mechanics, idiomatic expressions, and word choice.
- Text Types Purposes and Production
- Language and Research Skills for Writing
You can read my complete overview and breakdown of the Praxis Core Writing exam and my best tips for passing the test here.
Praxis Core - Math 5733
The Praxis Core Math 5733 exam has approximately 56 selected-response questions; you will have 90 minutes to complete this exam.
Most states require at least a 150 to pass this subtest.
The Praxis Core Math subtest measures academic skills in mathematics needed to prepare successfully for a career in education. All skills assessed have been identified as needed for college and career readiness, in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
The test will cover three major content areas:
- Number and Quantity
- Data Interpretation and Representation, Statistics, and Probability
- Algebra and Geometry
The focus is on key mathematics concepts and the ability to solve problems and reason in a quantitative context. Many of the problems require the integration of multiple skills to achieve a solution.
You can read my full overview and breakdown of the Praxis Core Math exam and my best tips to pass the test here.
What is a passing score for the Praxis Core exam?
Each state sets the passing score for the Praxis Core and its individual subtests. Therefore, it is important that you locate your state’s specific requirements for this exam. You can learn more about that here.
The following is a range of scores for each subtest. Because each subtest is scored separately, there are different score requirements for each of the four subtests.
- Passing Score for the Praxis Core Reading 5713 - Most states require at least a 156 to pass this subtest. However, Nevada and Kentucky require a 150.
- Passing Score for the Praxis Core Writing 5723 - Most states require at least a 156 to pass this subtest. However, North Dakota requires a 160, Nevada requires a 156, and Kentucky requires a 158.
- Passing Score for the Praxis Math 5733 - Most states require at least a 150 to pass this subtest. However, Nevada and Kentucky require a 144.
It is important to note that the Praxis Core is scored using a scale score. This is much different than a raw score.
Scale scores are determined by taking your raw score (how many you got correct) and configuring it into a scale score based on question complexity, form of the test, and other measures. To learn more about scale scores vs. raw scores, watch this video.
To learn more about this, check out this blog: How to Calculate Your Praxis Score.
How many questions are on each of the Praxis Core subtests?
Each section is scored separately. Therefore, you can think of the following as their own individual tests. If you pass one or more of these subtests but are unsuccessful on another, you do not have to take the entire test again. You only have to retake the subtest you did not pass.
However, you must pass all three subtests to pass the full Praxis Core exam.
Praxis Core Reading 5713
You will have 85 minutes to complete approximately 56 selected-response questions.
- Key Ideas and Details - 17-22 selected-response questions
- Craft, Structure, and Language Skills - 14-19 selected-response questions
- Integration of Knowledge and Ideas - 17-22 selected-response questions
Praxis Writing 5723
You will have 65 minutes to complete approximately 50 questions.
- Text Types and Purposes - 6-12 selected-response & 2 constructed-response questions (essays)
- Language and Research Skills for Writing - 28-34 selected-response questions
Praxis Core Math 5733
You will have 90 minutes to complete approximately 56 selected-response questions.
- Number and Quantity - 20 selected-response questions
- Data Interpretation and Representation, Statistics, and Probability - 18 selected-response questions
- Algebra and Geometry - 18 selected-response questions
Why did my test have more questions than it was supposed to?
Please understand that you may have several additional questions on your test. ETS, the company that makes the exam, will often field test new items on the exams.
You will never know which test items count toward your score and which items are being field tested. You can learn more about this HERE.
Field testing items is common practice in the testing industry. Therefore, if you see a couple more questions on your exam, don’t panic. Just answer all the questions on your test.
The best ways to pass and study for the Praxis Core exam?
Everyone is different in terms of how they want to prepare for the exam. People have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important you choose the right program for you.
The following are a few tried and tested resources you can consider when preparing for this test.
The ETS Study Companion
The first and most important thing you can do to pass your Praxis Core test is to examine the test structure and content on the exam by reviewing the test specifications in the Praxis 5901 Study Companion.
This document is developed by ETS and shows you everything you are responsible for on the exam. It even has practice test questions similar to what you will see on test day.
Beyond that, most people prefer to use a study guide with practice tests to prepare for the exam. Our Praxis Core study guides align with the test specifications and blueprint outlined in the ETS Study Companion.
They also have hundreds of practice test questions for each subtest and content category, so you are fully prepared for the exam.
Online courses equipped with instructional videos and practice components prove invaluable for those searching for supplementary aid. Our comprehensive, self-paced online Praxis Core courses contain hours of video content strategically curated to prepare you for success in the Praxis Core exam.
How many questions do you need to get right to pass?
To keep things simple, we recommend scoring at least a 75% on the practice tests before you go in to take the exam.
However, realistically It is difficult to predict exactly how many questions you must get correct to pass the Praxis Core because a scale score is used rather than a raw score.
This means that your raw score—the number of questions you get correct—is put into a formula to calculate a scale score.
Getting 75% of the questions correct when you practice indicates you are ready to take the actual test.
Remember, there is a constructed-response section for the Praxis Core Writing exam. We recommend practicing with the writing prompts we provide in our study guide.
Do you provide free resources for the Praxis Core exam?
We have many free resources you can use to pass the exam. Our YouTube channel has tons of videos for this exam and its subtests.
You might also want to check out our free Praxis Core webinar. It has a free study guide, test strategy tips, and more. Just fill out the form below, and you will gain access to all of that free material.