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Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests measure academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Some colleges and universities require students to pass the Praxis test before entering teacher education programs. Many states require the Praxis test for teacher certification and licensing.

We have 4 on-demand Praxis Core webinars—reading, writing (grammar), writing (essay), and math. You can access them for free. Click the links below for access.


Praxis Core Overview

The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators is required for entrance into many teacher preparation programs across the country. The Praxis Core assesses skills in reading, mathematics, and writing.

Praxis Core Structure

The Praxis Core is divided into three sections: reading, writing, and math.

  • You will have 85 min to complete 56 selected response questions on a variety of reading passages: short passages, long passages, double passages, and graphs and charts.

  • You will have 85 min to complete 56 selected response questions that assess a variety of math skills: number and quantity, algebra and functions, geometry, and statistics and probability.

  • You will have 100 min to complete the entire writing test. It is 2 sections:

    • Section 1 - 40 min to answer 40 selected response questions on usage, sentence correction, revision in context, and research skills.

    • Section 2 - 60 min to write 2 essays—30 min each. The scores for the essays and the selected response are combined for an overall writing score.


Frequently Asked Questions - Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

How is the test administered?

  • The test is administered on the computer.

 

Do I need to bring anything with me, like pencils or a calculator?

  • You will not be permitted to bring anything with you in the testing room.

  • You will be given scratch paper and pencils for the exam.

  • You will also have access to an on-screen 4-function calculator.

  • You can also ask for noise-canceling headphones, and we recommend you do so, especially if you are distracted easily. You could be working on the reading section; the person next to you could be writing an essay, tapping away on the keyboard.

  • Dress comfortably.

  • You will be required to put all items you are not wearing into the testing room into a locker. Some testing centers will make you remove all jewelry except for a wedding ring or wedding band.

4-function on-screen calculator

4-function on-screen calculator

 

How should I study for the exam?

  • We always recommend incremental practice over cramming for long periods of time. In our research, we have found students do much better when they take 20-30 min a day to work through different areas than when they try to cram everything over the weekend or over a few days. Of course, this all depends on each person’s skills. Some people need intensive instruction in areas of math, reading, and/or writing. While, others only need a quick refresher on the skills assessed on the Praxis.

  • Do NOT underestimate the exam. It is tough and will require you to work on your skills. We have a three-week study plan you can use to guide your practice.

Who creates the test questions for the Praxis Core?

  • According to ETS (the company that builds and administers the Praxis Core), educators, faculty of teacher preparation programs, and disciplinary specialists prepare Praxis test questions. The developers and reviewers follow rigorous, standardized procedures to ensure that test material reflects the skills being tested and meets high quality assessment standards. Each question is reviewed by ETS experts. After test questions have been reviewed and revised, they are administered in trial situations and assembled into tests. Tests are then reviewed according to ETS procedures to ensure that all tests are free of cultural bias. Statistical analyses of individual questions ensure that all items provide appropriate measurement information.

  • In a nutshell, teachers and other experts build the questions. ETS reviews the questions to make sure they are up to their standards. ETS then field tests the questions—they put them on actual exams people are taking. They determine if the questions are reliable and valid. If they are, they are then used on the exam. ETS will also periodically run statistical analysis on tests to see how the questions are performing.

What can I expect from the Praxis Core test?

The test is split up into 3 parts; reading, writing, and math. Some sections of the test are selected response (multiple choice) while others writing tasks. We have comprehensive Praxis Core study guides, practice and digital courses available.

Praxis Core READING - 85 min

There are two basic categories of questions on the Praxis Reading Exam: 

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  1. Content questions require you to understand the explicit information presented in the readings. These are what many teachers call ‘right there’ questions—you can point to them directly in the text.

  2. Analysis questions require you to analyze the readings for deeper understanding. In these questions, the answers are NOT explicitly stated in the passage and require the reader to use inference to answer the questions.

The reading has short passages, long passages, double passages, and graphs and charts.

The following is an example of a short passage on the Praxis reading test.

Example

Heart of Darkness

by: Joseph Conrad

The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing, the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.

The tone of the above passage can be described as:

A. optimistic as the author gazes at the greatest town on earth.

B. restless as the author is anticipating an upcoming voyage.

C. oblivious as the author is unaffected by the scenery.

D. ominous as the author is cautious about the surrounding area.

E. terminal as the author is sure he will die.

Explanation: If we read the question stem first, we understand that as we read, we should be paying attention to the tone or overall feeling of the passage. From the title—Heart of Darkness—and the descriptions in the text—vanishing flatness, air is dark, a mournful gloom—we can infer that this passage is probably not optimistic or relentless because those words do not fit here. Oblivious means unaware, but the author seems very aware of his surroundings. Terminal is too strong of a word here, and we cannot infer that the author is sure he will die. That is what we call strong language, and choices containing strong language are typically not the correct answers. Therefore, D is the best answer here. Ominous can mean gloomy, and the word gloom is used in the last sentence.

Get more reading praxis in our NavaED Praxis Core study guide.


Praxis Core Writing

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The writing section of the Praxis Core exam is divided into two parts:

  1. Text Types Purposes and Production – This includes the essay task and some selected response.

  2. Language and Research Skills for Writing – This is all selected response.

You will have 100 minutes total to complete the entire writing exam: a 40-minute selected response test and two 30-min essays. 

There are two basic parts of the Praxis Writing exam: 

  1. Grammar and Mechanics – This part of the exam will test all the basic grammar and mechanics rules. This includes usage, sentence correction, revision in context, and research skills. We have several videos to help with the writing tasks.

  2. Essays – This part of the exam requires you to write 2 separate essays that are well organized and display proper grammar usage.  We have several videos to help with the writing tasks.

Praxis Core Writing - Grammar

This portion of the Praxis Core Writing test contains 40 selected response questions that assess grammar and mechanics:

 

Grammatical relationships

  • Errors in the use of adjectives and adverbs

  • Errors in noun-noun agreement

  • Errors in pronoun antecedent agreement

  • Errors in pronoun case

  • Errors in interrogative and relative pronouns

  • Errors in the use of intensive pronouns

  • Errors in pronoun number and person

  • Vague pronouns

  • Errors in subject verb agreement

  • Inappropriate shifts in verb tense

Structural Relationships

  • Errors in the placement of phrases and clauses within a sentence

  • Misplaced and dangling modifiers

  • Errors in the use of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions

  • Fragments and run-ons

  • Errors in the use of correlative conjunctions

  • Errors in parallel structure

  • Errors in capitalization

  • Errors in punctuation

    • commas

    • semicolons

    • apostrophes

Research Skills

  • Assess the credibility and relevance of sources.

  • Recognize the different elements of a citation.

  • Recognize effective research strategies.

  • Recognize information relevant to a particular research task.

 

Example Selected Response Grammar Test Question

2. Even though she seemed unaffected, the senator spoke passionately about the tragedy. 

A.     the senator spoke passionately about the tragedy. 

B.     the senator did spoke passionately about the tragedy.

C.    the senator did actually speak passionate about the tragedy.

D.    the senator spoke passionate about the tragedy.

E.     The senator had spoken passionately about the tragedy.

Explanation: A. No change is needed.  The word passionately is an adverb and should modify the verb spoke.

2. How should sentence 4 (reproduced below) be revised so it is grammatically correct.

They also argue that todays students need more practice reading and interpreting the type of text they will be exposed to in a professional setting.

A.     (As it is now)

B.     They also argue that today’s students need more practice reading and interpreting the type of text they will be exposed to in a professional setting.

C.    They also argue that todays students needed more practice reading and interpreting the type of text one will be exposed to in a professional setting.

D.    They also argue, that todays students actually need more practice reading and interpreting the type of text students will be exposed to in a professional setting.

E.     They also argue that todays students need more practice by reading and interpreting the type of text they will be exposed to in a professional setting.

Explanation: B. The sentence contains an apostrophe error.  Change todays to today’s because the author is referring to students that belong to today.  

For more grammar and mechanics practice, check out our NavaED Praxis Core products.


Praxis Core Writing - Essay Task

Essay Number 1 – The argumentative essay task will require you to offer an opinion on a topic with which you either agree or disagree. Once you take a position on the issue, you must provide your opinion and specific examples to support your argument. It’s very important that your argument is supported by relevant and sufficient evidence that is clearly and coherently written. Your argument and its supporting evidence have to be organized and developed logically. To be sure that the readers completely understand your argument, it is crucial that you write without ambiguity. Most importantly you should provide clear and concise details with concrete examples to support each idea. The rubric also requires that your essay be grammatically correct and show a use of sentence variety and structures.

Essay Number 2 – The explanatory or informational essay task will require you to evaluate a pair of passages, each outlining a different opinion on a particular issue. The most important aspect of the source-based essay is that you adequately summarize the individual passages (author’s opinions/arguments). You will be asked to identify each author’s opinion on the issue presented in the assignment, as well as, the arguments and supporting details provided by each author. To achieve a high score, an essay must address each text and provide citations from each. For the explanatory essay, it is important to understand that you are not supporting any particular side, but rather summarizing both sides of each author presented in the prompt.


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Praxis Core Math

The Praxis Core math is made up of 56 selected response questions. You will have 85 min to complete this section of the exam.

The exam tests several skills:

  • Number and quantity

  • Algebra and functions

  • Geometry

  • Statistics and probability


Example Praxis Core Math Question:

A newlywed couple purchased their first house for $175,000. Six years later, the house was put on the market and sold for $236,250.  What was the percent increase in price?

A.     20%

B.     26%

C.    35%

D.    42%

E.     74%

Explanation: C. To find percent increase use the formula:

 
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It is important to notice the absolute value bars in the numerator |top of fraction| mean that the number that comes out CANNOT be negative. 

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Example Praxis Core Math Question:

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Explanation: A. This problem is a proportion. Cross-multiply and use algebra to solve for .

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Another method to use if the above method escapes you at test time is to guess and check. Since it is multiple choice, substitute each answer in for x. The one that proves the equation true is the correct answer. The following example uses choice A.

 
 

NavaED Praxis Core Study Plan

Using the NavaED Praxis Core study guide or other Praxis Core study guide

Week 1

Monday

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

  • 3 Praxis reading passages (analyze your answers)

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

  • 10 Praxis grammar questions (analyze your answers)

Thursday

Friday

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

  • 5 Praxis reading passages (analyze your answers)

Saturday

  • 2 Praxis reading passages (analyze your answers)

  • 10 Praxis grammar questions (analyze your answers)

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

Sunday

Take a break. Go do something fun, and get back to studying tomorrow. 


Week 2

Monday

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

  • 3 reading passages (analyze your answers)

Tuesday

  • 10 Praxis grammar questions (analyze your answers)

  • Watch NavaED Praxis writing video

Wednesday

  • 20 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

  • 20 Praxis grammar questions (analyze your answers)

Thursday

Friday

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

  • 5 Praxis reading passages (analyze your answers)

Saturday

  • 2 Praxis reading passages (analyze your answers)

  • 10 Praxis grammar questions (analyze your answers)

  • 10 Praxis math problems (analyze your answers)

Sunday

Take a break. Go do something fun, and get back to studying tomorrow. 


Week 3

Monday

  • Focus on your weaknesses in math.

  • Go through the skills pages in the NavaED Praxis math study guide.

Tuesday

  • Focus on your weaknesses in reading.

    • main idea, tone, point of view, vocabulary

Wednesday

  • Focus on your weaknesses in argumentative writing.

  • Build an argumentative essay, read it back, see if it makes sense.

Thursday

Friday

  • Focus on the source-based essay.

  • Review our video course.

  • Write an essay for time and read it back. Use the rubric in the Praxis Study Companion to see how you would score.

Saturday

Sunday

Take a break. Go do something fun, and get back to studying tomorrow. 


Praxis Core Practice Videos


MATH


WRITING


NAVAED PRAXIS CORE SERIES

Our Praxis Core test prep is divided into 3 parts: reading, writing, and math. Our Praxis Core resources include Praxis study guides, books, digital books, and digital courses. Our digital courses are extremely comprehensive, covering a depth and breadth of skills and practice necessary for the exam. There are hours of practice and videos in every section of our NavaED Praxis Core series.

Digital Courses

The full digital course includes all 3 parts. A digital version of our Praxis Core book is included in the full course. The digital version is identical to the physical version. Our digital course is divided into 3 sections: reading, writing and math. You can also purchase these sections individually.

Praxis Core Reading Digital Course

  • Includes the digital NavaED Praxis Core Reading book, which contains a skills and strategy section and a full reading practice test with detailed answer explanations.

  • Includes a full video course, which contains skills and strategy videos and individual videos for each question in the NavaED Praxis Core Reading book.

  • Includes Praxis Core practice tests and detailed answer explanations.

Praxis Core Writing Digital Course

Grammar Section - the multiple choice section of the writing exam.

  • Includes the digital NavaED Praxis Core Writing book, which contains a skills and strategy section.

  • Includes 2 full Praxis Core practice tests and detailed answer explanations.

  • Includes a full video course, which contains skills and strategy videos and individual videos for each question in both practice tests in the NavaED Praxis Core Writing book.

Writing Section - the essay portion of the writing exam

  • Includes the digital NavaED Praxis Core Writing book, which outlines the entire writing process for the exam.

  • Includes a full video writing course with videos detailing how to approach both the argumentative essay and the informative (sourced-based) essay.

  • Includes organization and timing strategies.

  • Includes practice writing prompts.

Praxis Core Math

  • Includes the digital NavaED Praxis Core Math book, which contains an extensive math skills and strategy section.

  • Includes 2 full Praxis Core Math practice tests with detailed answer explanations.

  • Includes a full video course, which contains skills and strategy videos and individual videos for each question in both practice tests in the NavaED Praxis Core Math book.

NavaED Praxis Core Books

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We have physical books that we ship to customers, and we have digital books that we email to customers. The physical and digital book are identical.

The Book Includes

  1. Reading - skills and practice passages with answer explanations. 

  2. Writing - grammar practice with two practice tests with detailed answer explanations. Detailed writing practice for both the argumentative essay and the explanatory/informative essay.

  3. Math - skills overview and 2 practice tests with detailed answer explanations.

IMPORTANT

  • You can buy separate sections of the digital book.

  • The digital course comes with the digital book. Therefore, if you purchase the digital course, either in full or in sections, it will come with the digital book.