Praxis II Tests
The Praxis II tests are part of the PRAXIS series of tests which was developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the late 1980s. Whereas the Praxis I was created primarily as an entrance exam for candidates entering teacher training programs, the Praxis II exams are meant to be taken by trained teachers who are applying for teaching licensure.
Especially since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001, the licensure process for teachers has undergone complex changes from state to state, and the Praxis II examinations and individual states' requirements are revised often. ETS encourages candidates to review updates to examinations and to state requirements when these changes are published on ETS's website each July.
Function of the Test
Like other examinations in the Praxis series, Praxis II examinations are used for teacher assessment and licensure decisions by many states. There are more than 120 Praxis II examinations. The many Praxis II exams are divided into three primary categories: Subject Assessments, Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Tests, and Teaching Foundations Tests.
Praxis II examinations are typically a part of the state licensure process for new teachers, but requirements and passing scores vary greatly from state to state. Some states, such as Florida, appear to make no use whatsoever of Praxis examinations; some, such as Pennsylvania or Ohio, accept Praxis tests for certain purposes or subjects, but may not prefer or require them; and some states, such as Connecticut, require candidates to pass Praxis examinations to obtain teaching licensure. Candidates are encouraged to carefully review their own state's licensure requirements when determining which, if any, Praxis II examinations to take.
ETS provides historical score statistics for most of its examinations. For example, for the popular Elementary Education: Content Knowledge examination, out of 38,163 recent test takers, the median scaled score was 166 out of 200, versus a typical passing score of about 140-150.
Most multiple-choice Praxis II exams cost $115 to take, while those which require a constructed response or essay typically cost $139. World Language exams typically cost $150. However, many exceptions exist to these general rules, so candidates are encouraged to review examination fees carefully. Candidates in Nevada must pay an additional $5 surcharge per test on top of the standard examination fee.
The lengths of Praxis II exams vary greatly from subject to subject. The shortest Praxis II test (Assessment of Signed Communication – American Sign Language) is a mere 20 minutes long, whereas the longest (Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects) is 255 minutes long. The median length of a Praxis II exam is about two hours.
Passing scores on the Praxis II exams vary widely from state to state. For example, passing scores on the Chemistry: Content Knowledge examination range from a low of 139 out of 200 (Alaska and Idaho) to a high of 160 out of 200 (Vermont). Scores are made available online approximately 2-3 weeks following the exam date. Candidates who wish to retake one or more of the Praxis II exams must wait at least 21 days between each test date. There does not appear to be a limit to the number of times candidates may take a Praxis II exam. However, candidates should be sure to check for any additional restrictions which may be imposed by their individual states or universities regarding retaking Praxis II exams.
Candidates who require special accommodations for a disability must register for the exam by mail and have the requested accommodation approved by ETS prior to taking the test. Candidates requesting special accommodations must complete and submit several forms, including a Certification of Eligibility form. Candidates are encouraged to refer directly to ETS's website for details regarding this somewhat complex process.
The Praxis II exam series contains a number of exams that are designed to test teachers on the subject material they are testing for. If it's a test for teachers, there may also be questions on teaching practices. The testing time varies test to test, and ranges from around an hour to four hours. The tests are usually a mix of multiple choice questions, constructed-response, and essay questions.
Testing centers for Praxis II exams generally ask that candidates show up for their exam at least half an hour before the exam is scheduled to begin. This gives ample time to check in and get settled in to the testing center. For admission, candidates must bring a valid photo identification containing a name and a signature. Some locations will require a second form of ID as well.
- Sample Praxis II Early Childhood: Content Knowledge Practice Questions
- Children develop phonological awareness:
- A. Only through direct training given by adults
- B. Only naturally, through exposure to language
- C. Via both natural exposure and direct training
- D. Via neither incidental exposure nor instruction
- Young children's skills in phonological awareness are focused on:
- A. Morphologies
- B. Speech sounds
- C. Word meanings
- D. Word sequence
- Sample Praxis II Elementary Education Multiple Subjects Practice Questions
- How did Egypt's geographical features most contribute to the stability of ancient Egyptian culture?
- A. The Nile River regularly and predictably flooded, irrigating crops.
- B. The expanse of the Nile River prevented Egyptians from settling elsewhere.
- C. The Valley of the Kings divided Upper Egypt from Lower Egypt.
- D. The Mediterranean Sea enabled contact between Egyptians and other ancient peoples.
- What effect did the Crusades have on Europe's Jewish population?
- A. Entire European Jewish communities were killed during the First Crusade.
- B. Persecution of Jewish people declined as the Crusaders focused on Muslims.
- C. Most Jewish traders and merchants profited through Crusades-related business.
- D. To avoid persecution, some Jewish-only battalions fought in each Crusade.
- Sample Praxis II General Science: Content Knowledge Practice Questions
- Which of the following is usually the first form of study in a new area of scientific inquiry?
- A. descriptive studies
- B. controlled experiments
- C. comparative data analysis
- D. choosing a method and design
- Water that evaporates from oceans can precipitate over land due to the process of:
- A. Transpiration.
- B. Advection.
- C. Sublimation.
- D. Interception.
- Sample Praxis II Reading Specialist Practice Questions
- A fifth grader has prepared a report on reptiles, which is something he knows a great deal about. He rereads his report and decides to make a number of changes. He moves a sentence from the top to the last paragraph. He crosses out several words and replaces them with more specific words. He circles key information and draws an arrow to show another place the information could logically be placed. He is engaged in:
- A. Editing
- B. Revising
- C. First editing, then revising
- D. Reviewing
- A ninth grade class is reading a 14-line poem in iambic pentameter. There are three stanzas of four lines each, and a two-line couplet at the end. Words at the end of each line rhyme with another word in the same stanza. The class is reading a:
- A. Sonnet
- B. Villanelle
- C. Sestina
- D. Limerick
Answers to Sample Questions
Early Childhood Content Knowledge: 1;C 2;B Elementary Education Multiple Subjects: 1;A 2;A General Science Content Knowledge: 1;A 2;B Reading Specialist: 1;B 2;A
- Stotsky, Sandra. An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests. April 19 2015
- ETS - Annual Changes April 19 2015
- [https://www.ets.org/praxis/about/praxisii ETS - Praxis II® Overview] April 19 2015
- ETS - Praxis II® Test Content and Structure April 19 2015
- ETS - State Requirements April 19 2015
- ETS - Pennsylvania Test Requirements April 19 2015
- ETC - Overview of Ohio Testing Requirements April 19 2015
- ETS - Overview of Connecticut Testing Requirements April 19 2015
- ETS - Understanding Your Praxis® Scores April 19 2015
- ETS - The Praxis Series® Passing Scores by Test and State April 19 2015
- ETS: Computer-Based Testing Center List for United States, U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico and Canada April 19 2015
- ETS: The Praxis Series Information Bulletin April 19 2015
- ETS - Test and Service Fees April 19 2015
- Praxis II Content 23 April 2015
- Test Day Overview 23 April 2015