Passing a standardized test is a basic requirement for teacher certification in almost all states. These tests attempt to measure an aspiring teacher’s knowledge and skills, and are used by most public schools in the United States to ensure that educators are qualified to teach. Because each individual state sets its own standards, testing requirements vary on a state-by-state basis. For example, you can pass the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) for certification in California, but to teach in New York, you would need to pass a test administered by the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). To find out more about the specific testing requirements for the state where you plan to teach, visit our teaching credential state pages.
The following tests are the most widely used in the teaching certification process:
The Praxis Series
Praxis exams are administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and used by over 40 states as indicators of knowledge and skill. The Praxis series is used to determine if an aspiring teacher is eligible for licensing or certification, and consists of the Praxis I and the Praxis II. Some states require one or both of the Praxis exams, and each state sets its own requirements for acceptable scores. You can view the standards of each state on the Praxis State Requirements page.
Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST®)
The Praxis I is used for licensure as well as to qualify candidates for entry into a teacher education program. The tests measure basic skills and are broken into three separate exams:Praxis I Reading Test: Measures a candidate’s ability to analyze and comprehend texts.