What's Tested on the Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge Test?

The Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge Test is designed to test the knowledge and skills necessary to teach in the elementary grades, with a focus on the major content areas. A scientific calculator is provided.

Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge
Format: Computer-delivered
Number of Questions: 140
Time: 150 minutes
Question Types: multiple-choice (called “selected response” by the test maker); numeric entry
On-screen scientific calculator available
Test may include pre-test questions that do not count toward your score
No penalty for incorrect answers
Scratch paper is available during the exam (it will be destroyed before you leave the testing center)

Content Covered# of Questions, % of Test
Reading/Language ArtsApproximately 49 questions, 35 percent of the test
MathematicsApproximately 41 questions, 29 percent of the test
Social StudiesApproximately 25 questions, 18 percent of the test
ScienceApproximately 25 questions, 18 percent of the test

Reading/Language Arts

The Reading/Language Arts section of the test covers the fundamentals of reading, writing, and communication skills.
You will need to understand the foundations of reading. Topics covered on the test include the foundations of reading development and literacy; the roles of phonological awareness and phonics; and the roles of fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. You will need to be familiar with the basic elements of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama for children, and you must understand the uses of simile, metaphor, and other figurative language. You should know how to use reading and language arts resource materials in the classroom.
You will also be tested on your knowledge of language in writing. To be successful, you will need to be familiar with the elements of grammar and usage. Know the various types of writing, including narrative and persuasive, and understand tone, purpose, and audience. Know the stages of writing development and the writing process. Understand sentence types and structure and be able to describe the organizational structures of a piece of writing.
Know the different aspects of communication skills, including speaking, listening, and viewing, and understand the role they play in language acquisition for English language learners.


You will be tested on your understanding of mathematical processes such as problem solving and representation; as such, you will need to:
Know the fundamental concepts of number sense and numeration systems, including prenumeration; basic number systems; and the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Understand the basics of number theory. Know how to solve problems using multiple strategies and assess results. Understand the basics of numerical patterns.
Understand algebraic concepts. Be conversant with algebraic methods and representation. Understand the use of associative, commutative, and distributive properties in algebra. Understand inverse operations. Know the special properties of zero and one, understand equalities and inequalities, and know how to apply formulas. Be proficient in the analysis and manipulation of formulas, equations, and algebraic expressions.
Understand informal geometry and measurement, including figures, the coordinate plane, transformations, and different standards of measurement.
Know how to organize and interpret data. Understand basic statistics, probability, counting techniques, and the interpretation of graphs and charts.

Social Studies

You will be expected to know regional and world geography and understand how humans change the environment and vice versa. Following is a list of the major requirements for success on this test.
Understand how to apply geography for different uses, such as to interpret the past or future. Be familiar with the ways in which people from different cultures relate to the environment and the people around them.
Know US history, from European exploration through the nation’s founding and up to the present day. Understand the major changes and developments that occurred in the United States in the 20th century. Understand how historical events in the United States are related by cause and effect.
Have a basic understanding of world history, including the major contributions of ancient civilizations and the developments in world history from the 20th century through the present day. Be able to make cross-cultural comparisons.
Know the principles and structures of government, citizenship, and democracy and understand social studies processes and how to use social studies resource materials. Understand the fundamental terms and concepts of economics. Describe the effects of an economy on people, natural resources, and innovations. Explain the influence of the government on the economy and vice versa.
Apply inquiry principles to social studies using primary and secondary research material. Interpret data and information from many sources.


You will be tested on your understanding of the structure and processes of the earth system. Know Earth history, including paleontology and the origin of Earth. Understand the relationship of Earth to the universe, including stars, planets, and galaxies.Understand the Earth’s four spheres, their cycles, and their interactions: hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
Know the characteristics and function of living systems and understand how living things change over time. Understand reproduction, heredity, regulation, and behavior. Understand the interdependence of organisms and the diversity of life.
Understand basic physical science, including the properties and structure of matter, forces and motions, energy, and interactions between energy and matter.
Identify and classify plant and animal organisms. Understand plant and human organ systems. Be familiar with topics such as technology, personal health, science as a career, science as inquiry, and science processes.
Understand the scientific method, data interpretation, and laboratory safety considerations.

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