Critical Information on Praxis I

ALERT: The PPST Praxis I test will only be available until August 31, 2014!

The current version of the Praxis test called Praxis I PPST will be available to students for a limited time. After August 31, 2014, any students who have not passed the test must instead take a new version called the Praxis CORE. Both tests are listed as options, the old PPST I and the Praxis CORE, so be sure to select the right test: the combined test code for the PPSTI test is 5750.

Because the new version is more challenging, our advice is to complete the Praxis I test before that date, if possible. Some of the challenges include the fact that there will no longer be an option to pass with a composite score, the CORE tests are lengthier, no free review materials are available, and the range of concepts tested is broader, and, in math, more difficult. One caution: if you pass a few sections of the Praxis I before the deadline, but not all, you will not be able to keep those scores but instead start over with the three Praxis CORE tests. 

**Please note that some students are still exempt thanks to higher scores on the SAT and ACT tests.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Praxis I test requirement for education majors

What is the Praxis I test?

The Praxis I standardized test consists of three sections: Reading, Writing and Math. Students at Appalachian must earn a composite score of 522 on the Praxis I test in order to be admitted to the College of Education or they must have earned high enough scores on the SAT or ACT tests to be exempt (see below for details).

Passing the Praxis I is part of the overall admission process in the College of Education. Until this process is completed, students cannot take some of the key classes to complete their majors.

OUR BEST ADVICE: As soon as you know you want to major in Education and that you have to pass the Praxis I, take a free practice test. 

Taking a practice test will help you find out how much you need to review. Read the following section to find out how to access practice tests from ETS.

What resources are available for the Praxis I test?

Online review (free)

An ASULEARN online review site is available for each of the three areas of the Praxis PPST I test (Reading, Writing and Math). Please note that this site will not be useful for the Praxis CORE tests that replace PPST I in September 2014. The site includes tips, review of key content, and practice tests for the PPST Praxis I. Please email Cama Duke at  to request access to this site (only available if you have an active Appalachian email address).

Describe the Reading Praxis I Test

The reading test is made of varying lengths of short, nonfiction reading passages. Students are then asked to answer a number of multiple choice questions on the passages. These questions test students' ability to identify the main idea, supporting details, and to make inferences (read between the lines) based on the reading. A student's vocabulary also plays a role, since they must understand words in the passage and the questions in order to choose the right answer. Logical thinking and careful reading of the question are also important. Students have about an hour to complete 40-50 questions (depending on format of testing).

Describe the Writing Praxis I Test

The writing test includes a 30 minute timed point of view essay (similar to the English placement test) and 30 minutes to complete a series of multiple choice questions testing a student's knowledge of grammar. Students need to be able to recognize grammar errors (rather than be able to state grammar rules).

Describe the Math Praxis I Test

Most of the math problems involve percentage, fractions, geometry, general problem-solving, basic algebra, interpreting graphs, and logical thinking. Students are not allowed to use a calculator.

How to sign up for the Praxis I test

Students should visit the ETS website to sign up and then select the nearest testing center, which in most cases will be the testing center at Appalachian in the JET building. Test times in the Appalachian testing center are available at various times every week and some weekends on a first come, first serve appointment basis. Be sure to take note of the password and login information, and once you get your scores online, print a copy for your records.

Please note that paper-based tests are only offered once or twice a semester at a few designated test centers in every state. Appalachian only administers the computer-based test in accordance with ETS requirements. Information on the current costs of the test are posted

It is possible to sign up to take all three sections at different times rather than on the same day if you wish, although it costs more. If this interests you, you should sign up for two of the tests individually at one time, then once that process is complete, start again to sign up for the third section.

Are some students exempt from this test?

YES. Students with a score of 1100 or higher on the SAT combined Verbal and Math (Writing is not counted) or a composite ACT score of 24 or higher are exempt from all three Praxis I tests.

If you did not earn a 1100 or higher (or composite ACT of 24 or higher), you may still be exempt from one or two sections of the test if...

*Students who earned a SAT verbal score of 550 or higher; ACT 24 or higher on English test are exempt from the Praxis I Reading and Writing tests.

*Students who earn a SAT math score of 550 or higher; or a ACT 24 or higher on the math are exempt from the Praxis I Math test.

UNFORTUNATELY, the SAT Writing score is not considered in either the total SAT score nor is it a way to be exempted from the Praxis I Writing.

And even more unfortunately, it turns out you cannot piece together ACT and SAT scores. That is, a student might have the ACT score they need for verbal, and the SAT score they need for math, but they cannot use both, according to NC state policy. If that situation describes you, I would recommend assessing which set of tests looks most achievable--the Praxis Math or the Praxis Reading & Praxis Writing. And if it is about the same, then choose to take the Praxis Math because it is only one test area and it is one of the more straightforward areas to review, at least until August 31, 2014.

Explain the meaning of the required composite score of 522

In past years, students had to earn at least a 176 on the Reading, and at least a 173 on the Math and Writing tests. In May 2007, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved the proposal to allow North Carolina teachers to satisfy Praxis I testing requirements by earning a 522 composite score from the total points earned on the Reading, Writing, and Mathematics tests.

I am exempt from one part of the test, but still have to take part of it. What do I need to know?

An important question! A student may earn a 600 on the math SAT and a 400 on the verbal SAT and be exempt from the Praxis math but not the Praxis reading and writing. That means that the composite score no longer applies to that student, who must now earn at least a 176 on the reading and at least a 173 on the writing. HOWEVER, if the student decides to go ahead and take the Praxis Math (and the SAT scores in my sample suggest this is a strength), the composite score would apply, and the Praxis Math test scores could help the student pass the overall Praxis I.

Please note that there are no options at this time for a composite score for the new Praxis Core that will be required after August 31, 2014. To pass the Praxis Core, you must earn a passing score for each section.

What is the code for the combined PPST I Praxis so I can be sure I am registered for the right test?


Why can't I bring my cell phone to the test?

You risk having your scores nullified if they believe you have consulted your phone when you shouldn't have. Leave the phone at home.