Praxis I Scoring
Taking Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) is an important landmark on your way to becoming a certified teacher. Praxis I will be required for admission to teacher education programs in most US states. Some US states may also consider your test scores for grant of teaching licensure. The skills being evaluated by the Praxis I tests are the basic academic skills in reading, writing and mathematics of the level that should ideally be present in educated adults. Adults who meet the Praxis I state requirements for a particular state can be considered eligible to enter teacher training programs being conducted in that state. Most of the states have different testing requirements and eligibility conditions with respect to the tests. Therefore, you will have to put in your level best and score as high as possible so that your Praxis I scores help you qualify for admission to teaching programs across the maximum number of states.
An Overview of the Praxis I Test Format
It is important to understand the test format before one tries to understand the scoring process of Praxis I. These tests are offered in two formats: Computer-based (CBT) and Paper-based (PBT). You will have to check the test centre where you are planning to take the tests to check the format of the tests being offered there. As Praxis I is an assessment of reading, writing and mathematics skills, the test format has been accordingly divided into three tests, one each for each of the skills being evaluated.
- Reading Test: You will be presented with multiple-choice questions in this test that are designed to test your reading skills. There will be a total of 46 questions that have to be completed in 75 minutes if you are taking the computerized tests. You will have to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes in the PBT version of the tests.
- Mathematics Test: This test consists of multiple-choice questions for assessing your mathematical skills. There will be 46 questions in the CBT version and you will have 75 minutes to answer them. The PBT version will consist of 40 questions that have to be answered in 60 minutes.
- Writing Test: This test will consist of two sections. There will be a multiple-choice section and an essay section. The computerised Writing test will consist of 44 multiple-choice questions. You will have 38 minutes for completing the multiple-choice section and 30 minutes for the essay. In the PBT version, there will be 38 multiple choice questions and you will have 30 minutes each for completing the essay section and the multiple-choice section.
Scoring of the Praxis I Test Questions
Each multiple-choice question carries 1 ‘raw point’. You will get the point if you answer the question correctly. No marks will be deducted for questions that have been answered incorrectly by you. Therefore, your total raw score for each test will be the total number of multiple-choice questions that you have answered correctly. The raw scores for the multiple-choice section of the Writing test will be calculated in a similar manner. The multiple-choice questions are scored by a computer.
The essay written by you is scored by scorers who are adequately trained and are professionally competent to adhere to the ETS scoring procedure to ensure fair and accurate scoring. Your essay will be scored by more than one scorer and your raw score for the essay will be calculated on the basis of the scores awarded by the individual scorers.
The raw scores in each test are converted to a scaled score that is known as your Praxis I score for that test. This conversion has to be done to account for the difference in difficulty levels of the questions that have been presented in different editions of the tests. Therefore, scaled scores make it possible to evaluate the test-takers at the same level irrespective of the administration or edition that they may have taken.
The score range for each of the tests could vary from a minimum of 150 to a maximum of 190 depending upon the edition of the test that has been taken. It is for this reason that this range is referred to as the ‘possible score range’. The average score ranges for the tests generally lie in the following ranges:
- Reading test: 174 to 181
- Mathematics test: 174 to 184
- Writing test: 173 to 178
You can visit the official website of ETS, www.ets.org and download the document ‘Understanding Your Praxis Scores’ for a detailed interpretation of the test scores. This document contains other details like glossary of terms used for description of the exam scores and answers to frequently asked questions about the scores.
The qualifying scores for Praxis I or the minimum scores required for being eligible for admissions is state dependent. The minimum scores required for admission to your desired teacher training program could be much lower than the average score range or it could be well within the average score range. Therefore, you will have to check the requirements of your state from the official website of ETS.
The Praxis I Score Report
Depending upon the state in which you test, the regulations for sending your score reports to the concerned authorities may vary. For instance you may have to follow a specific procedure if you have taken the tests in a state other than the one where you are testing for the teaching licensure by taking the Praxis II tests. The policies will be different if the state accepts the exam’s scores for teaching licensure also. Therefore, you need to do a thorough study of your state’s requirements in order to understand how, when and where your scores will be reported. Most states will require you to designate the educational institution where your score report will be sent directly. You may also request for an Additional Score Report (ASR) for additional recipients. Go through the ‘Praxis Series Information Bulletin’ that is available for download at www.ets.org/praxis for detailed information in this regard.
In addition to the background information provided by you during registration for Praxis I, your score report will include the following:
- Your scores
- The Possible Score Range for the test taken by you
- The raw points that are available in each content category for the test taken by you along with the raw points earned by you in that category
Visit the official website to have a look at a sample score report for a better idea of how your performance in the tests will be reflected in your score report.
Planning a Retest!
There are chances that inexperience or inadequate preparation might lead to low scores in the tests. You will then have to retest in order to meet the passing standards. You have the option of taking each of the tests separately for meeting the total combined passing score, if any. This again depends on the state where you are testing. They may or may not consider your combined scores in all the three individual Praxis I tests for evaluating your eligibility for admissions.
You can compare the values against ‘raw scores available’ and ‘raw scores earned’ for each content category in your score report for a better understanding of the subject areas that you need to concentrate upon, in case you need to take a retest. If the difference in these values is high, then it means that there is a lot of scope for improvement by taking a retest. However, the need for a retest will not arise if you make good use of the information and also the preparation materials that are available at the official website for passing the Praxis I tests with good scores in your first attempt itself!