praxis elementary education

What’s Tested on the Praxis Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Exam?

The Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment test is designed to test the knowledge and skills necessary for a teacher of the elementary grades with a focus on, unsurprisingly, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The test consists of 120 multiple-choice questions that assess a prospective teacher’s understanding of various principles and processes, including differentiation for a range of educational needs (e.g., special education, English language learners, and gifted). Most of the questions are posed in the context of the six most commonly taught subject areas in elementary school: reading and language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and physical education. Some questions will focus on general information about curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The test is aligned with the Common Core Standards for Language Arts and Mathematics and content standards for every subject area.

Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Format: Computer-delivered
Number of Questions: 120
Time: 130 minutes
Question Types: multiple-choice (called “selected-response” by the test maker)
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 and Language Arts Curriculum, Instruction, and AssessmentApproximately 37 questions, 31 percent of the test
Mathematics Curriculum, Instruction, and AssessmentApproximately 31 questions, 26 percent of the test
Science Curriculum, Instruction, and AssessmentApproximately 20 questions, 16 percent of the test
Social Studies Curriculum, Instruction, and AssessmentApproximately 17 questions, 14 percent of the test
Art, Music, and Physical Education Curriculum, Instruction, and AssessmentApproximately 15 questions, 13 percent of the test

Keep in mind that the information below, while helpful for preparing for the Praxis Elementary Education: Learning, Instruction, and Curriculum exam, is not an exhaustive list of things to know for the exam. For more information about how to prepare for the exam, check out Kaplan’s Praxis resources.

Reading and Language Arts Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Reading and Language Arts section is the largest section on the test, making up 31 percent of the questions. You will need to be able to provide a balanced reading, writing, speaking, and listening program and recognize the importance of reading/language arts competence. You will need to recognize how reading competence emerges and be able to apply this knowledge in instructional contexts.

Understand the factors that affect comprehension, reading fluency, word identification skills, and previous knowledge. You should know how to include comprehension skills, such as comparing and contrasting, drawing conclusions, and finding the main idea, in your daily instruction.

Understand the importance of pre-reading activities like word recognition, context clues, and K-W-L charts. Know that during reading, students can work on vocabulary development, graphic organizers, and decoding skills.

Understand that students should have access to direct instruction and guided practice in the English writing conventions of grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Know how to provide opportunities for students to use and develop their understanding of English writing conventions in the context of meaningful written expression. Understand how to instruct students in properly researching and citing primary and secondary source materials.

Know how to be clear when promoting students’ awareness of the sounds (phonemes) of oral language to facilitate their understanding of the alphabetic principle and development of graphophonemic knowledge (letter-sound relationships).

Understand the characteristics, uses, and limitations of various types of conventional reading assessment instruments and the rationales for selecting particular assessment instruments in given situations. Know how to monitor student performance, plan appropriate reading and language arts instruction, and determine when a student may be in need of additional help.

Know how to observe the stages of students’ development and maintain appropriate records of these observations. Know how to analyze and assess student work using formal and informal measures.

Understand the basis for using the Frye Readability Index in assessing texts and other reading materials for suitability for student use. Know how to administer the basal reader assessment instruments, interpret the results, and plan instruction from the results.

Be able to adapt assessment materials for students with special needs, including gifted students. Know how to provide opportunities that use performance and authentic assessment as well as structured assessment situations.

Mathematics Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Mathematics is the second largest section on the test, making up 26 percent of the questions. You will need to understand mathematical communication and be able to use mathematical language and vocabulary, representations, and data to communicate information to students. Know how to describe and communicate quantitative information to students using symbolic, verbal, graphic, and concrete representations such as models, tables, graphs, diagrams, and drawings.

Know how to promote students’ understanding of number and numeration by using such mathematical activities as measuring, ordering, comparing, and symbolizing. Be able to identify opportunities to integrate mathematical concepts into instruction in other content areas.

Know how to provide instruction that aids students in their ability to apply statistics and probability concepts; to collect, organize, and interpret data; to construct and interpret charts and graphs; to draw conclusions; and to make decisions in everyday statistical and probability situations.

Know how to encourage the development of thinking and questioning skills in students by providing opportunities for them to discover and apply mathematical principles in a variety of contexts, including real-world applications.

Know how to analyze students’ work and correct misconceptions and errors. Understand the use of rubrics in assessment, when to remediate, and when to accelerate instruction. Know how to use the results of standardized tests as well as informal testing results.

Science Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Science section makes up 16 percent of the questions on the test. You will need to understand learning cycles, constructivism, inquiry, and discovery learning. Know how to apply and encourage higher-order thinking skills in the sciences that will provide students with opportunities to develop these skills in meaningful contexts.

Be able to instruct students in locating needed information, organizing science data, identifying similarities and differences, and arranging events and activities in appropriate sequential order to support a scientific investigation. Know the steps of the scientific method and be able to design instruction applying it.

Know how to demonstrate to students an understanding of how the life, earth, space, and physical sciences relate to one another. Understand the interrelatedness of science to other curricular areas.

Social Studies Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Social Studies section makes up 14 percent of the questions on the test. There are many components of the social studies curriculum. Some of the most important ones are scope and sequence, appropriate materials, technology, and learner objectives. Know how to provide developmentally appropriate experiences that will promote students’ understanding of these concepts and skills. Know how to teach map and globe skills, the use of models, research skills, and appropriate use of technology.

Be able to assist students in understanding the geography, government, and history of the United States and the world. Understand how to inform students about the major developments in the history of the United States, including the governmental system; the principles, ideals, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship; and the fundamental principles and concepts of economics.

Understand how to create a social studies atmosphere in the classroom that encourages questions, promotes appreciation of and respect for human diversity, provides opportunities for students to explore and understand social interactions, and helps them recognize their own personal social responsibilities.

Arts and Physical Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The Arts and Physical Education section makes up 13 percent of the questions on the test. You will need to know the curriculum for art, including art history and its developments and movements. You should be familiar with art techniques, with art as a form of visual communication, and with originality and imagination as they apply to art.

Know components of music and key terms associated with music, such as melody and timbre. Be familiar with the basics of making music, including singing and using instruments, and notating music.

Be familiar with physical education concepts and principles, including proper exercise practices and general ideas for promoting physical fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle. Understand what qualities and skills are valued in games and sports. Note that elements of a health curriculum are included within Physical Education, as well as within Science, on the test.

Know how to emphasize culturally diverse examples in teaching art and music. Know how to use materials and equipment, including musical instruments, art supplies, and physical education equipment, as well as software and the Internet.