Praxis® Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) Tests

What are the Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) Tests?

To be successful, you need the full range of content knowledge used in teaching. This includes both a solid understanding of the subject itself and the specialized content knowledge only used in teaching. The Praxis® Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching (CKT) and Elementary Education: Applied Content Knowledge for Teaching tests were developed to measure both types of knowledge. CKT assessment tasks focus on how well you can apply your content knowledge in order to recognize, understand and respond to the content problems you will encounter in your day-to-day teaching practice.

Who Takes the Tests, and Why?

The purpose of these tests are to assess whether you, as a prospective elementary teacher, have the full range of content knowledge needed at the time of entry to the profession in the areas of reading and language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. They are designed for teacher candidates seeking a generalist elementary school license.

What Content Do They Cover?

The content covered in the four subtests is described below. Three of the subtests — Reading and Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science — are CKT, or “Content Knowledge for Teaching,” assessments. The questions in these CKT subtests reflect a new approach to identifying and measuring the content knowledge that teachers need, and assess two things:

  • content knowledge you will learn during your elementary education studies that you need to do the work of the student curriculum
  • specialized content knowledge that you apply to specific tasks so you can teach the student curriculum

This specialized content knowledge is not knowledge that your students are expected to learn, nor is it general knowledge of classroom-management strategies or learning theory. It is knowledge specialized to the work of teaching elementary reading and language arts or mathematics.

Reading and Language Arts — CKT and Applied CKT Subtests

These subtests focus on the essential content knowledge needed for teaching elementary reading and language arts. The CKT subtest contains 63 selected-response and numeric entry questions, and the Applied CKT Subtest contains 55 selected-response and numeric entry questions and 2 constructed response questions.

  • Approximately 20 percent of the questions measure content knowledge needed to do the work of the student curriculum, such as identifying the details in a passage that support the main idea.
  • Approximately 80 percent of the questions measure specialized content knowledge needed to teach the student curriculum, such as the knowledge you would use when choosing the most appropriate graphic organizer to help students identify the supporting details for a main idea

Mathematics — CKT and Applied CKT Subtests

These subtests focus on the essential content knowledge needed for teaching elementary mathematics. The CKT subtest contains 52 selected-response and numeric entry questions, and the Applied CKT subtest contains 48 selected-response and numeric entry questions and 2 constructed response questions.

  • Approximately 20 percent of the questions measure content knowledge needed to do the work of the student curriculum, such as solving a math problem similar to one students would solve.
  • Approximately 80 percent of the questions measure specialized content knowledge needed to teach the student curriculum, such as the knowledge you would use when choosing an example to demonstrate a mathematical concept or interpreting a student’s mathematical misunderstanding based on a pattern of errors.

Science — CKT Subtests

These subtests focus on the essential content knowledge needed for teaching elementary science and contain 47 selected-response questions. The content aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Approximately 20 percent of the questions measure content knowledge needed to do the work of the student curriculum, such as interpreting graphs similar to those presented to students during a class activity.
  • Approximately 80 percent of the questions measure specialized content knowledge needed to teach the student curriculum, such as the knowledge you would use to help students successfully complete inquiry activities

Social Studies Subtests

These subtests are designed to assess whether you have the broad knowledge and competencies necessary to be licensed as a beginning teacher at the elementary school level. The 55 selected-response questions are based on the material typically covered in a bachelor’s degree program in elementary education.

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