What Are the Different Praxis™ Scores?

T. Broderick

Though an overall score determines an individual's highly qualified status in his or her teaching area, there are different Praxis™ scores reported on a single score report. These different scores relay a variety of information to the test taker. Most importantly, though, is the minimum passing score of the state where one plans to teach. The data reported on score reports also allows one to create a study plan for retaking a test.

Some Praxis tests are split into separate multiple choice and essay sections.
Some Praxis tests are split into separate multiple choice and essay sections.

Twenty-four states in the U.S. use the Praxis™ series of exams to determine if a teacher is highly qualified in his or her subject area under No Child Left Behind legislation. These tests last from one to two hours, and some tests are split into separate multiple choice and essay sections. Roughly one month after taking a test, score reports are visible through one's online account at the Educational Testing Service website. Even if a teacher took just a single test, a score report contains different scores relating to that test.

The first Praxis™ scores one will see are those under the heading "Current Test Date." Next to the name of the test are three sets of scores. From left to right, the first score is "Your Score," the score one received on the test. The second range of numbers labeled "Possible Score Range" indicates all possible scores one could have received on the test. Finally, a second range of numbers, "Average Performance Range," informs one of the score range of the middle 50% of test takers in the last test session; though this last number has no direct relation to whether or not one received a passing grade on the test, it suggests one's strength against others competing for the same teaching jobs as the test taker.

The next valuable set of Praxis™ scores on a score report are under the heading beginning with a test taker's state of residence followed by "Department of Education." In this section, two Praxis™ scores are very important. The first is the overall score reported at the beginning of the score report. The second is immediately to the right; this is the state's "Required Passing Score." If one's score is above this number, one is highly qualified in his or her subject area; one can send in the necessary paperwork to the state's department of education to add an endorsement to his or her teacher's license/certificate.

On the last page of a score report is a breakdown of one's Praxis™ scores. The test is broken into four or five categories, each a sub-topic within the academic subject area. One learns his or her performance in each category by comparing "Raw Points Earned" against "Raw Points Available." As with the first section of the report, an "Average Performance Range" section is included. The last page of a score report is especially valuable if one failed a test; before retesting one can focus solely on areas where improvement is needed.

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