Here on the Business/Science floor we often have individuals ask us about Praxis test study manuals, and though it’s clear they’re asking about teacher certification testing when Praxis is mentioned, they often use teaching jargon such as “Core Content” and throw in seemingly random numbers like “It’s the 5150” or some such. Speaking for myself, this is a bit frustrating and confusing, because as I search for someone’s desired resource I want to know what I’m looking for with greater surety.
So, without further ado, here is some more detailed information about the Praxis.
There is an official site for the test that is very helpful, https://www.ets.org/praxis, on which it is stated:
“The Praxis® tests measure the academic skills and subject-specific content knowledge needed for teaching. The Praxis tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations.”
That description is clear and precise. More specific to a patron we may see at the reference desk, the site also offers state specific requirements, and the Tennessee requirements can be found here: https://www.ets.org/praxis/tn. It’s pretty detailed, and not something that a librarian would necessarily need to know, but that’s where you can find the information if you feel the need. In summary it tells what specific Praxis related materials are necessary, what to do if you take your test out of state to transfer it to Tennessee and similar issues.
What may be more helpful to a reference desk librarian is the About the Praxis link. You can familiarize yourself with the Praxis in detail on this page, and, among other items, this page links to the FAQ about the Praxis, the PDF document Understanding Your Praxis Scores 2016-17, another PDF the Praxis Tests Information Bulletin and a link to the Khan Academy’s Praxis study site. The important thing about the Khan Academy is their headline: “You can learn anything. For free. For everyone. Forever.” Here it is in living color on their front page:
As for the Praxis numbering system, here is a list I harvested from their site:
Another resource we link to from our reference desk that specifically relates to the Praxis is Learning Express Library. This site has several study guides and practice tests for the Praxis, but does it offer comprehensive help for the Tennessee requirements? Let’s find out.
When you first log into Learning Express, you want to choose the Career Center:
From there choose Prepare for an Occupation Exam:
Then toward the bottom of the left hand side choose Teaching:
From there the two Praxis options are evident:
It looks as if it does have quite a bit for the Praxis, but it does not appear to comprehensively cover all of the options listed in the lengthy list above. This is, however, a good place to start for anyone asking about the Praxis.
Now you may be more informed about the Praxis, but ETS, the testing company, also covers other tests, such as the TOEFL and the HiSET. Those posts are for another day.