Required Standardized Testing
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires that teacher certification students pass two rounds of standardized testing: the Basic Skills Tests and Praxis II Subject Assessments.
Please note that the Basic Skills Test requirement has been suspended by PDE until July 2025. Students eligible for teacher candidacy between July 2022 through July 2025 will not need to fulfill the Basic Skills Tests before taking higher level teacher preparation courses or to apply for initial certification. The other requirements for teacher candidacy (48 credits completed, 3.0 GPA, required courses) are still in place.
Basic Skills Tests
The Basic Skills Tests cover reading, writing, and mathematics. Scores from the corresponding sections of the SAT and ACT tests can count towards the Basic Skills Tests if they meet the required scores. You will need to retake one or more sections of the Basic Skills Tests if you do not meet the minimum scores, or if your composite score is too low. It is recommended to take the sections you need from the Praxis I Core test. You can also use a combination of scores from all test options.
Obtaining passing scores is a teacher candidacy requirement and must be completed prior to enrollment in clinical experience courses. Transfer students coming to KU with 48 credits or more will also need to achieve passing scores before admittance into an education program.
PDE will allow a minimum grade of a B in CMP 200 or CMP 201 to count as passing scores towards the reading and writing sections. A minimum grade of a B in MAT 103 and MAT 104 counts towards a passing score for the math section.
Scores for Basic Skills Tests:
Prior to March 1, 2016:
Content Critical Reading Mathematics Writing Passing Score 500 500 500
Minimum 500 or higher in each individual section required.
After February 29, 2016:
Content Reading Mathematics Writing Passing Score 27 26 28 Minimum Score 25 24 26
Composite score of 81 with at least the minimum score required.
September 1, 2015, to August 31, 2016:
Content Reading Writing Mathematics Passing Score 22 21 21 Minimum Score 20
Composite score of 64 with at least the minimum score required.
After August 31, 2016:
Content Reading Writing Mathematics Passing Score 22 8 21 Minimum Score 20
Composite score of 51 with at least the minimum score required.
Praxis (Core) Test
Sept. 1, 2019, and later:
Content Reading (5713) Writing (5723) Mathematics (5733) Passing Score 156 162 142 Minimum Score 148
Composite score of 460 with at least the minimum score required.
Content Reading (8001) Writing (8003) Mathematics (8002) Passing Score 220 220 193 Minimum Score 193
Composite score of 633 with at least the minimum score required.
*PDE will accept 174 from candidates accepted into an educator program prior to 8/31/16
Praxis II Subject Assessments
The Praxis II Subject Assessment tests measure knowledge of specific subjects that educators will teach, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge. Teacher candidates must pass the assessment as part of the teacher licensing and certification process required by Pennsylvania and other states.
The test(s) you take depend(s) on the content area you want to teach. Each state that uses the Praxis tests sets its own requirements for which tests you must take, as well as the associated passing scores. Find the current requirements for Pennsylvania here.
Special Education dual certificate teacher candidates must take the 5511 Fundamental Content Knowledge Praxis test in addition to their content area Subject Assessment test.
- Khan Academy® Official Praxis® Core Prep: Build the reading, writing, and mathematics skills you need to succeed on the Praxis Core tests with this free online resource.
- Explore Praxis Test Preparation: Prepare for your test with interactive practice tests and study companions.
- KU's Pre-Service Testing Center provides study resources. The Center is located in Beekey 129. Call 484-646-5900/610-683-4356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praxis II Subject Assessments
- Praxis test preparation materials: includes detailed study tools that contain outlines, sample questions with answers and detailed rationales, valuable test-taking strategies, as well as full-length interactive practice tests.