Thursday, July 8, 2010


Last month, I took the Praxis again.

The Praxis is a teacher certification exam, one that must be taken in order to become a certified teacher. It's not a national exam; every state has its own requirements: Some states require the Praxis, while others require different exams. New York, the state in which I attended college, doesn't require the Praxis, but it has its own exams, so while I'm certified in New York State, I had to take the Praxis to become certified to teach in Utah. Furthermore, those states that do require the Praxis have different "pass" scores. Pennsylvania, for example, has a "pass" score of 160, while Utah has a "pass" score of 168. This is one of the reasons taking the Praxis several months ago was so frustrating: Aside from already being certified to teach in New York State, the score I got on the Praxis back in March was 165 - good enough for Pennsylvania, but three points short of Utah's requirement.

And they're expensive exams: $130 for the first exam back in March, and $80 for the June exam. (I suspect the $50 registration fee is waived if you take the exam again within a certain period of time.) And they're always so early! Although there are exams that start in mid-morning, mine always seem to start at 7:30 a.m. - or are supposed to, but they never do start on time. They last two hours from the start of the exam, which means one must be sitting quietly for the duration. A few folks were chatting quietly before the exam, and we were politely but firmly hushed. Nor were we allowed to be reading, looking at cell phones, or doing anything but sitting quietly. One is not allowed to leave the test site before the two hours has expired. It gets rather boring rather quickly. (I fell asleep at the end of the exam back in June; just rested my head against the back wall, and awoke to the proctor carefully nudging me. I hope I snored.)

Which is why I was relieved to learn today that I passed the exam the second time, by an amazing three points. Now I get to officially put together my application for the Utah state teaching license. I thought I had brought copies of my transcripts, but apparently not - at any rate, I can't find them - so I have requests in process.

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