I need to take the Praxis exam to get my certification to teach math for grades 5-8. I wanted to ask those that HAVE already taken it what they thought. Was it very challenging? I know there are prep courses and books to help, which I plan on doing. I’m wondering how much time I actually need to prep before I register for a specific date. Thank you!

I think that the answer is going to depend on how much math you took in college, and just how comfortable in teaching concepts that run from 4th grade levels through algebra. That MS Math certification could have you teaching low students, below 5th grade proficiency, all the way through algebra if you end up with a very high functioning class of students. It is actually quite a range, and mastery in MS is definitely required for many of these students to excel in math at the HS level. The amount of prep time prior to the exam will depend greatly on the level you are starting at, and that is just a fact, not an insult. If I were you, I would see how well the study and prep goes, and wait to schedule a test date once you feel very confident you are ready to ace the test. Now that these tests are administered on computers, and at many different sites, I have never had to wait more than a week to get a seat for any of them.

Great suggestion, Vicki! I’ll prep a bit and assess my own progress...then figure out a date. Thanks for the input!

I dunno if ETS.org still does this but I purchased their online practice questions when I studied for chem and physics. The questions were similar to the actual test questions so definitely worth the money!

You only get one set of questions for practice. You can take the practice test 40 times or something like that. Even though the questions are the same, getting familiar with them and the answers will help.

I actually have a question, (sorry it's not an answer) To get Math Credential to teach up to 8 grade, up to what Math do you have to know or what Math courses one has to complete? (bachelor's degree in Math level, or Associate degree- for eg., up to linear algebra/Cal 3)? And what state are you preparing for?

To be honest, what you are asking is so state specific. I can give you the requirements for NJ, but some states only require you pass the Praxis, or state exam, such as Texas, an example that I am familiar with. There is a big difference in having to have so many undergrad math credits on your transcript plus pass the required exam versus simply being able to pass an exam. Having to show college courses taken and passed could mean that your test result is more truly indicative of what you not only know, but how it should be taught. That is, of course, simply MHO. I am actually good in math, but have no desire to teach it - I passed out of a lot of courses that I would probably have to teach. I think that would make me less able to know how to teach to students who may be truly struggling to understand. In NJ, to teach MS math, you would simply need 15 undergrad credits in math, no sequence or level specified, and passing the Praxis. If you don't already have the Elem. Ed. Praxis series as a certification, you would need that, as well, to be able to teach MS Specialization Classes: Science, Math, English, Social Studies.

---------------------------- Thanks for the answer The question I have is what Math level are on the Praxis for 5th to 8th grade teaching exam-- is it up to 1.) Precal or Cal 1, or 2.) Cal2,3 Linear, or 3.) Bachelor's in Math which is beyond Cal 3 Linear.

Thank you, but in order to pass the single subject Math exam(?) to teach middle school (or 5th to 8th grade), I have to already have a teaching certificate for elementary school right? If I only have BA, but not an elementary credential ( nor any type of school teaching credential/certificate), then I cannot prepare for the test you mention above, and get middle school Math teaching certificate?

If we are talking about NJ, you would be required to pass the Praxis 5001, which consists of a test in ELA, Math, SS, and Science. Virtually anyone with a bachelor's degree is eligible to take the exam, since the qualification is that you have 60 credits of coursework that is considered general education courses - think intro to __________ kinds of courses. It is the type of courses that virtually every undergrad has to take - the basics. You are going to need to meet the required GPA - generally considered a 3.0 or better. If you lack any type of teaching credential, then you would be looking to enter through the Alternate Route procedure. To teach any middle school class, you have to have the Elem. Ed. certificate, as well as pass the Praxis Middle School Specialization Test for the subject you want to teach - in this case, math. If in doubt about how AR works, and what is involved, look it up on NJDOE. I did enter through AR, but it has been long enough ago that some of the particulars have changed. You don't need a teaching degree to go AR, but there are hoops to jump through. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, you would need to have 15 math credits in your BA, no specific sequence or level required. If you have the credits to apply for the CE that have been approved by the NJDOE, then you would be following the requirements to meet qualification for the CE in Elem. Ed., and the CE in MS Specialization: Math. Check out the NJDOE website - it is laid out clearly. Once you have secured the CE's, then you would look for a job, and while teaching, you would take training to qualify you as a teacher. Most AR candidates take the training from Rutgers CESP - it is the least expensive way to get the required training without spending much more tuition taking college courses. Once you have a job offer, the district will get you hooked up with the AR training courses. Once employed, you would be a provisional teacher, which would last for at least two years. If you pass your observations, etc., then you should be able to earn your standard certificates at the end of the two years. I highly recommend looking at the NJDOE website, and making contact with your county superintendent's office - they can walk you through the process.

Thank you again. It looks like then one must take subject matter exam for both elementary School one (various subjects-Math, Engl, Science, PE, music etc.), and exam for Single Subject( Math) as well

Well, if it makes you feel any better, the Elem. Ed Praxis 5001 has no subjects other than Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies. You don't have to do any push ups, or sing on key. Honestly speaking, the Elem. Ed Praxis consists of what I would consider "common knowledge". It may be the easiest Praxis you would ever take. The rationale for having to take the 5001 is that the Elem. Ed certificate covers K-6, which overlaps the MS Specialization of grades 5-8. Although I did put some study in on the Elem. Ed. exam, I earned a score of 196 out of 200, and I had been out of college for a number of years. As far as the MS Specialization Exams, I have taken three of them, passed on first try, with scores in the top 10% of the scores. Math is a MS Specialization Exam I haven't taken, because I passed out of all of my math requirement courses in college, which means I would have to take CLEP exams to get the mandatory credits on a transcript. I'm good at math, but don't like teaching math, so what would be the point? Both ELA and Social studies were easy tests to pass (for me), but I have an interest in those subject matters. Science, of course, was right down my alley, since I also hold that Certification in Biology and General Science K-12. Some day I may go for the Chemistry Praxis, K-12, as I have a second major in chem, but then again, maybe not, because I don't like chem until you get to organic chemistry, not something that is commonly taught in HS. If you have the credits to teach any of the world languages, that has grown into a huge variety of certs, since it is now mandatory. Honestly, not being able to pass the Elem. Ed Praxis exam would seem highly unlikely. Other than just having to take the test, it may be the easiest endorsement you will ever earn. Assuming you already have the requisite 15 credits (or more) on your transcript in math, well, you knew you would have to take that anyway. More info can be found about the AR program at https://www.state.nj.us/education/license/alternate.htm.

I’m always amazed by how much you’ve done in your career. Incredible. Concerning Chemistry, you could just teach AP Chemistry as it has an organic chemistry unit. I subbed once for half a year for AP Chemistry as a long-term sub at my school and I loved it!

Something to consider. FWIW, I have always loved school and learning. I consider myself a life-long learner, and still take courses that simply interest me. I simply love learning. It's a great fit for someone who enjoys teaching, don't you think?

Couldn’t agree with you more. I love math and science and stick to those subjects. I have taken a course here or there, but I largely just check out math books and read through them on my own.

I took the middle school math praxis a few months ago and I just recently took high school math praxis (yeah I'm aware I didn't need to do both, but I wasn't planning on aiming for high school when I took the middle school one). I have been out of school for more than half a decade so I had to brush up on a lot. I used Khan Academy, and I went through everything from 5th grade to AP Calculus/Statistics. Obviously, you wouldn't need to go that far since you are aiming for middle school. I HIGHLY recommend doing this. It's free, it's high quality, and there are many many practice problems. After I went through everything on Khan Academy, I looked at the study guide for the specific test and brushed up on some things that were not covered or slightly different. Then I took both practice exams, which as others have said, are very representative of what is on the test. This worked out really well for me. I got a perfect score on the middle school math praxis and a 195/200 on the high school praxis. So to answer your question, I would say it is easy if you prepare well. If you want any more advice or have any more questions feel free to contact me on here. And good luck!

Thank you so much! I've been out of school a lot longer than a decade so I'm kind of running out of time.. What state Math Praxis exam did you take? For your state, one must take Multiple Subject Praxis as well as middle school Math Praxis to teach Math lower grade than high school also? And for Middle school Praxis exam, up to what level of Math knowledge required (When you say AP Calculus, is this equivalent to Cal 1 or Cal 2 from junior college?

-------------------------- Thank you!! Even though I graduated from college long time ago, I don't think I had up to 15 credits in Math. What Math courses did you take in college(or high school)? I'm trying to find out what Math level is required to pass the Math Praxis or middle school. Thanks again!

I don't know what state you are in. If in NJ, then the 15 credits in math are necessary. Other states may have other requirements. If in NJ, you could look at CLEP exams in math to see if there are courses NOT already on your transcript that you think you could pass and give that a try. I have included the link so you can find out more about them at your leisure. https://clep.collegeboard.org/science-and-mathematics

I took the Praxis in New Jersey. You do not need to take both to teach lower levels, but I was originally planning on only teaching middle school. I later changed my mind, so I did the high school one as well. For middle school, there is no calculus. It basically just goes up through Algebra with some Geometry and Probability/Statistics, but nothing too deep. It won't let me post the link here, but to find the study guide, go to the Praxis website and look for the study companion for Praxis 5169. It tells you pretty much everything you need to know!

If you go to page 1 of this thread, you will see that I have already posted the study guide for 5169.

--------------- I meant, I understood as in order for me to obtain a middle school Math certificate only, I I still need multiple subject Praxis ( Language arts, Science, History, Math) plus Single Subject Math for middle school Praxis. (Algebra, Geomentry, Stat) to teach Math for middle school students.... Thanks all for the answers!!

I guess the real question is why do you want to teach MS Math if you have less than 15 college credits in the subject? Have you had experience teaching math in a school setting? Color me curious.

---- I'm not sure if I want to teach Math, however, I wanted to know what Math level one needs to have in order to pass middle school Math certificate.