If you have any questions about the required assessments or this process, reach out to a TeachNC application coach or educator preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you.
Whether you’re an upperclassman entering your university’s educator prep program (EPP) or you’ve already completed your four-year degree, you’ll need to complete a few state-required assessments to obtain your license. This guide will explain the various tests and how you can prepare.
To become a teacher in North Carolina, you will need to prove mastery of academic skills in reading, writing and math. You’ll also need to show you’ve mastered content in your chosen subject area. Ultimately, you’ll likely complete three or more assessments before or during your educator preparation program.
Out-of-state educators applying for certification in North Carolina must have their credentials reviewed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Out-of-state educators may still need to take one or more of the required assessments. You can read more on DPI’s Forms & FAQs page.
Prior to the start of your program, you’ll need to submit scores from an approved academic skills test in reading, writing and math. If you’re a college upperclassman applying to a an EPP, you will be required to take and pass the Praxis Core. You may be exempted from the exam with qualifying SAT/ACT scores. If you have already earned a four-year degree, the Praxis Core is not required.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction accepts the following scores for the Praxis Core.
|Praxis I: Core Academic Skills||Reading (156), Writing (162) and Math (150), or 468 composite score.|
|To be exempt from Praxis Core based on SAT scores||
1100 scaled score for quantitative and verbal. For a scaled score of less than 1100:
|To be exempt from Praxis Core based on ACT scores||24 composite score. For a composite score of less than 24:
If you find you need to take a core academic skills test, you can sign up for the Praxis Core through the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Learn more about, register for and prepare for the Praxis Core Academic Skills test on the ETS website.
Subject area assessments let the state know that you know enough about your chosen subject to teach it. In most cases, you will take the subject matter tests for your field while you’re in your program.
Some graduate-level programs require you to sign up for the test during the application process.
For most license areas, you’ll take the Praxis II exam for your subject area. For elementary and special education, you’ll need to take additional tests.
All candidates for initial teacher certification in North Carolina must submit a portfolio of work to be scored through the edTPA/PPAT program. You won’t begin this process until after you’ve entered your EPP (while you’re student teaching), but it’s good to know about edTPA/PPAT in advance.
Formerly known as the teacher performance assessment, and now simply edTPA/PPAT, this assessment isn’t a typical test—there’s no multiple choice questions. Instead, as part of your student teaching experience, you’ll develop a portfolio of lesson plans, sample student work and other teaching materials.You will also answer subject-specific questions designed to assess how you work with diverse students, modify curriculum and develop assignments in your subject and grade level to produce learning outcomes.
In other words, your edTPA/PPAT portfolio provides a summary of what you’ve learned in your EPP and how you’ve developed as an educator so far. This summative assessment is then scored by professional educators, and the results are shared with you and your program.
While you don’t have to prepare for the edTPA/PPAT before you apply to your educator preparation program, you may want to research how the various EPPs help you prepare for the assessment.
The test most candidates have questions about is the subject area assessment(s). We’ll guide you from registration through test preparation and score reporting. Read on!
There are some universal things you can do to prepare for your tests. There are also more specific study guides available for the SAT, GRE, Praxis, Foundations of Reading, and other tests. We cover them both below.
Remember: You’re taking these tests for a reason. You want to become a teacher in a specific subject, and this is your chance to prove you can handle it. Take the time necessary to truly understand the information. You’ll thank yourself for it (and your students will thank you, too).
We recommend a two-pronged approach to structuring your study time:
There are a number of test prep options available from the test-makers directly, and some third-party services have come up with options, too. These resources offer a variety of prep strategies, from study guides and practice tests to one-on-one coaching.
You’ve settled on a content area, verified which test is required for your program application, studied hard, and now you’re ready to take the test.
Make sure you:
Find out how you did—and make sure your program does, too!
Each of the test providers allows you to create an online account, register for tests, view your scores and send them to the schools or programs of your choice.
Keep in mind:
When you apply for licensure, you’ll need to upload your score report to the Department of Public Instruction portal.