The Praxis: What is it?
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
The Praxis test is a four-hour examination that is required for graduation and for your teaching certification! Scores are submitted to the Utah State Office of Education for approval. You might be asking why you have to take this test? The Educational Testing Services required the Praxis as a way to ensure that students have "highly qualified teachers". Since this test is so important, we wanted to give you a run-down of what the Praxis is and how to prepare. All of this information is drawn from the Education Advising Center here at the McKay School, so if you find you have more questions about the Praxis contact them by clicking here.
The test is made up of four separate sections, it is $90 per individual section or $150 for the combined test. If you fail any of the sections, you will be able to retake the single section rather than re-doing the whole test. Currently, due to COVID limitations, the Praxis is available to take online anytime, so for those of you who are nearing your last semester take that into consideration!
You may be eligible to waive the fees of the Praxis! Only a few waivers are awarded per test, so it is on a first come first serve basis. To see the requirements for receiving a waiver, click here. If you have any further questions about the Praxis' costs or waivers, contact the advisement center.
The Praxis II is made up of 4 different sections: Reading and Language; Mathematics; Social Studies; and Science. You will be required to know each of the subjects up to a 6th-grade level. As a BYU student, you are required to take it prior to your capstone experience, which is either the Internship or Student Teaching. We would recommend taking it in the semester prior to your capstone, which will give you time to redo any sections if need be and apply for graduation. BYU provides in-depth information about registration for the test on its Educator website. You can access it with your BYU login, and then by going to the 'Pre-clinical' tab.
We asked a new teacher who has taken the Praxis recently for some advice. Jessica Snapp says, "Honestly the praxis is similar to ACT type questions, so studying basic math ideas and geography terms and events, also grammar is super important and how to read graphs in science. It’s not too difficult, it’s just practicing basic knowledge that could have been forgotten over the years." A really good place for preparation resources is the Praxis resource website. There you can look at study plans, free online prep, and take interactive tests.
Study Tips and Testing Day Tips
We asked Jessica about what she thinks are the best study tips for the Praxis. "Best study tips... I’d say do a little at a time, have others quiz you, do it with others if you can, and don’t psych yourself out." Giving yourself time to study will be key to help you feel and be prepared. As far as testing day, Jessica says, "My best tip during the test is to use every single minute allowed to you in each subject, don’t rush because going back was worth it and I passed all four the first time probably because of it." Start now studying little by little, and study with friends who are also preparing!
Future teachers, you got this!! Don't worry too much about the Praxis because you can do it. For further questions about the Praxis, contact the advisement center and check out the Praxis website. Good luck!!