Praxis Core and Praxis II: A Comprehensive Comparison

Educators in the United States often require certification to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Two standardized tests used for teacher certification are the Praxis Core and Praxis II. While both assessments serve a similar purpose, there are key differences between them that candidates should be aware of. This article aims to provide a detailed comparison of the Praxis Core and Praxis II, highlighting their similarities, differences, and implications for aspiring teachers.

Praxis Core and Praxis II: A Comprehensive Comparison
Praxis Core and Praxis II: A Comprehensive Comparison


  • Purpose: Both Praxis Core and Praxis II are standardized assessments used to evaluate the knowledge and skills of prospective teachers.
  • Validity and Reliability: Both assessments have been rigorously designed to ensure validity and reliability, ensuring that they accurately measure what they purport to measure.
  • Administration: Both tests are administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and can be taken at designated testing centers across the United States.


1. Purpose and Target Group:

  • Praxis Core: Assesses basic academic skills, including reading, writing, and mathematics, that are essential for teaching across all grade levels. It is typically taken by aspiring teachers who have not yet completed their teacher preparation program.
  • Praxis II: Assesses subject-specific knowledge and skills required for teaching in specific content areas, such as English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. It is typically taken by candidates who have completed their teacher preparation program and are seeking certification in their chosen field.

2. Exam Structure and Content:

  • Praxis Core: Consists of three separate sections: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Each section has a time limit and covers a range of subareas within the subject.
  • Praxis II: Varies depending on the specific content area being tested. Each test has a unique exam structure and covers the knowledge and skills required for effective teaching in that subject. For more details on preparing for Praxis Elementary, check out this guide on crushing your Praxis Elementary.

3. Scoring System:

  • Praxis Core: Scores are reported on a scale of 100-200 for each section. A passing score is set by each state or licensing agency, typically around 150 or higher.
  • Praxis II: Scores are reported on a scale of 100-200 for most tests. However, some tests use a different scoring system. Passing scores vary depending on the specific test and the requirements of the state or licensing agency. For a comprehensive guide on Praxis exam scores, visit this page.

4. Preparation and Study Materials:

  • Praxis Core: Requires a strong foundation in basic academic skills. ETS provides official study guides and online practice tests. Learn more about the Praxis exam for teachers here.
  • Praxis II: Requires in-depth knowledge of the specific content being tested. ETS provides subject-specific study guides and practice tests. Additionally, candidates may benefit from using textbooks and materials related to the content area. Find out what Praxis test you need to take here.

5. Implications for Teacher Certification:

  • Praxis Core: Passing the Praxis Core is typically a requirement for entering teacher preparation programs in most states.
  • Praxis II: Passing the Praxis II is typically a requirement for obtaining teaching certification in the specific content area. To understand what the Praxis exam entails for school certification, check out this article.


The Praxis Core and Praxis II are both essential assessments for prospective teachers in the United States. Understanding the key differences between these two tests is crucial for candidates to choose the appropriate assessment and prepare effectively for their teacher certification journey. By selecting the correct test, acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills, and seeking adequate preparation, candidates can increase their chances of success in both the Praxis Core and Praxis II. For practical examples to help you prepare, visit Praxis Examples: A Practical Approach.

Additionally, if you're experiencing test-taking anxiety, consider exploring some effective techniques to manage it. For those looking for expedited score results, you can find more information here. Lastly, if you need a step-by-step guide for Praxis exam registration, check out this resource.

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