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State Certification Testing Requirements

Each state sets its own requirements regarding what tests must be taken and what minimum passing scores must be earned to achieve state certification/licensure. The tests are typically designed to evaluate teacher candidates' basic academic skills, subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and, in some cases, classroom performance.

Typically, in the first step of the process, teachers must pass basic skills examinations before they are admitted to teacher education programs or enroll in upper-level courses (those taken in the junior and senior year) at colleges and universities. The basic skills tests measure reading, writing, and mathematics skills.

In the second step, educators who have gradated with a teaching degree must pass subject-area tests as part of the certification/licensure process in their state of employment. Subject Assessments measure candidates' knowledge of the academic subjects they will teach, as well as domain-specific pedagogy skills (how to best teach these particular subjects).

Most SREB states use the Praxis system that is managed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for both certification and NCLB testing. The Praxis Series is a nationally administered set of rigorous assessments of basic skills as well as the content fields covered by state teacher licenses.

Alabama, Florida, and Texas use their own testing service for certification purposes, though some states do accept the Praxis II tests for displaying NCLB content area competency. Oklahoma uses the Praxis I series for entrance into teacher preparation programs but uses its own test for content-area examinations at the certification level.

STATE Praxis I Praxis II Praxis III Other For more information, including specific scores
Reading Writing Math
AL       Yes*   Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program 1) Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program and 2) Alabama: Praxis Test Requirements
AR 172 173 171 Yes Yes   1) Arkansas: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Arkansas Department of Education
DE 175 173 174 Yes     1) Delaware Department of Education and 2) Delaware: Praxis Test Requirements
FL           Florida Teacher Certification Examinations Florida Department of Education
GA            Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators® (GACE®) Georgia Professional Standards Commission
KY Yes    Required Praxis I test results varies by certificate level. 1) Kentucky: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board
LA 174 173 172 Yes     1) Louisiana: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Louisia Department of Education
MD 177 173 177 Yes     1)Maryland: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Maryland State Department of Education
MS 170 172 169 Yes     1) Mississippi: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Mississippi Department of Education
NC 176 173 173 Yes     1) North Carolina: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
OK 173 172 171      

The Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), The Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSAT) and The Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE)

1) Oklahoma: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation and 3) Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators™ (CEOE™),
SC 175 173 172 Yes     1) South Carolina: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) South Carolina Department of Education Division of Educator Quality & Leadership
TN 174 173 173 Yes     1) Tennessee: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Tennessee Department of Education
TX           Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Texas Examinations of Educator Standards
VA 178 176 178 Yes    Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment® (VCLA™) and Virginia Reading Assessment® (VRA®), Virginia: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) Virginia Department of Education
WV 174 172 172 Yes     1) West Virginia: Praxis Test Requirements and 2) West Virginia Department of Education
* Between April 14, 2005, and April 13, 2006, a “no-fault” period will be in effect during which time no candidate for initial certification will be denied a teaching certificate based upon his or her score on the Praxis II subject assessments. Thereafter, a minimum score to be set by the State Board of Education will be required. For NCLB required scores, see

Links to SREB State and Related Resources


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