By Katherine Warner, Staff Writer
All students who desire to be certified teachers must pass the Praxis Core Test, also known as Praxis I, in order to continue their education courses. Recent changes in scheduling for this test have allowed UMF students more freedom as to when they can take the test.
According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS) these tests measure academic skills in reading, writing and mathematics and were designed to provide comprehensive assessment that measures the skills and content knowledge of candidates entering teacher preparation programs.
Praxis tests are incredibly important to education students because many states require their scores as part of the teaching licensing process. “In order for students to become certified as teachers in Maine, they must pass both the Praxis I test and a second Praxis,” said Shannon Larsen, assistant professor of elementary math and first-year adviser, in an email. “All prospective teachers need to pass the Praxis I test regardless of their major.”
Previous to the schedule changes, it was not always easy for students to sign up and take the Praxis Core. “Praxis I was offered during two week ‘windows’ each month,” said Larsen. “Therefore, students could only sign up to take the test two out of every four weeks.”
The offered times would often fall into class or meeting times, making it difficult for a full-time student to make it work. “There were only two Saturdays during which students could take the test,” Larsen said. “However, Saturday dates tend to fill up quickly, since every student with an education major of some form had to take the test.”
Nate Geisser, a transfer student from Southern Maine Community College, found it difficult to find a time that would really work with his schedule. “There weren’t many times that I really wanted, but I found one that kind of fit. And I really wish they had more in breaks,” he said.
Now, the testing is continuous. Students can take the Praxis Core test during any time of the month. “This adds a great deal more flexibility to the scheduling process,” said Larsen. “It also opens up more weekend dates, when students are typically free.”
UMF students have found the continuous testing to be very convenient. It allows them to find a time whenever necessary, instead of waiting until the next open window of test taking. “You have more options of when you can take it,” said Olivia Bates, a freshman studying secondary education.
Before, students had to be ready to take the Praxis as soon as possible, especially if they couldn’t wait until the next window. The new openings have changed the haste for students. “You can schedule your test later on, so that you have more time to prepare for it,” Bates said.
More information can be found at www.ets.org/praxis/about/core/ or through the UMF testing office in Franklin Hall.