Your guide to teacher certification exams in each state

To be a teacher is to work hard. In addition to training, study and student education, in many cases you also need to pass the teacher certification exam. Each single U.S. state requires some form of testing, but each is very different. Looking for study help for your certification exam? See 240 tutorials for exam preparation by state.

Whether you are studying for Praxis, NES or state-required exams, take a look at this list to get an idea of ​​the exams you need to take to get your certificate or license by state.

Teacher Certification Exam Overview

Here are some notes from the teacher test in general:

  • If you are earning your primary education license or certification through your college training program, good news! They will tell you what tests you need to take and can help you arrange them.
  • Although most new teachers acquire their licenses through college teacher training programs, many states offer alternative routes. In most cases, the required tests remain the same but may vary by state.
  • If you move from one state to another and need a new license, you may or may not need to take the Teacher Certificate Exam. Use the state-level links on this page for more information
  • Many states use at least some national standardized tests, usually from companies like ETS Praxis or Pearson NES. For your convenience you will find more information about those tests on the company website linked here.
  • Some states approve licenses or certificates, which may require additional testing. All of these tests may not be listed here, so be sure to check with the state if you have questions.
  • Some states require testing for alternative teachers and teacher assistants, which are not listed here. Check with your state for requirements.

And finally: states are constantly changing, modifying and updating their testing requirements. This information is as accurate as the summer of 2022 but may change at any time. So always check the tests you need to take before signing up And now, the need for testing by the state!

In Alabama, teachers take two types of tests:

Alaska requires two types of exams for teacher certification:

In Arizona, there are three areas where teachers must prove their skills, known as the Arizona Educator Skills Assessment:

The Arkansas exam requirements depend on the age and the subject (s) you plan to teach.

California conducts its own set of teacher certification exams (note that the Praxis II exam is no longer accepted except for speech-language pathology). The required tests vary by age and subject and include:

In Colorado, you can bypass exams by completing approved college programs in many cases. Some approvals require knowledge testing of Praxis content. Learn more here.

Connecticut requires a content knowledge test, which is offered by Praxis and Pearson.

In Delaware, you must pass a content knowledge test.

Florida uses its own teacher certification exam program, known as the FTCE (Florida Teacher Certification Exam). There are three types of tests that all teachers must pass:

  • General Knowledge Test: This four-part test measures your initial reading, writing and math skills. It contains multiple choice questions and an essay.
  • Vocational Education Test: The Education and Professional Skills Test consists of about 100 multiple choice questions.
  • Subject Area Tests: Subject area tests may be multiple-choice only, depending on the subject and age, or may include written and oral sections. Some tests have several subtests.

Georgia has created its own teaching test program, GACE (Georgia Assessment for Teacher Certification). Tests include:

  • Admission to the program: Admission to a teacher-training program in Georgia requires testing these basic skills in reading, writing and math. Other test scores such as SAT and ACT may exempt you from taking this test. Check with your teacher-training program for more information.
  • Content Testing: This tests your knowledge of content and teaching skills. Different tests are required depending on the age and the subject (s) you are planning to teach. See the full list here.
  • Georgia Ethics Assessment: This assessment has a built-in training module that includes all assessments. It is needed for all teachers.

Most Hawaii teacher exams are offered through the ETS Praxis. Here’s what the state needs:

Appropriate Praxis Content Knowledge Test for Idaho requires the area and subject (s) you plan to teach. Some tests have multiple subtests built-in. Learn more about the required praxis test in Idaho here.

In Illinois, you must pass two types of teacher certification exams.

Indiana has moved to the Praxis Subject Area test since September 1, 2021. It verifies your knowledge of the content and teaching skills of the age and subject (s) you will teach. Learn more about the Indiana Praxis Subject Area Exam here.

In Iowa, if you complete a state-approved teacher preparation program, exams are not required. After completing the program and meeting the requirements of the state, you will be granted your primary education license.

When moving to the state of Iowa, teachers must show proof of completing a recognized program outside the state, including transcript review. Learn more here.

Kansas requires two types of teaching certification exams:

Teacher testing requirements in Kentucky include:

Louisiana requires the following teacher exams:

Maine has three required teacher exams:

There are several teacher testing requirements in Maryland:

The Massachusetts Test for Educator License (MTEL) program oversees teacher testing in the state. They are currently trying a pilot program of alternative assessment, so you may have different options to meet each test requirement. Be sure to visit the Massachusetts Department of Education website for the latest information. Here’s an overview of the current test requirements:

You must pass the appropriate MTTC (Michigan Test for Teacher Certificate) content test. These Pearson tests vary based on the age and subject (s) you will teach. Learn more here.

The Minnesota Teacher License Exam (MTLE) covers different areas. The state has a tiered licensing system, requiring different tests at each level.

Mississippi has multiple test requirements:

Missouri has its own set of teacher certification exams called MEGA (Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment) conducted by Pearson. They include:

Praxis Content Knowledge Test for Montana requires the age and subject (s) you will teach. Learn more about the required praxis test here.

Nebraska teacher uses praxis test for certification. These tests include:

Nevada uses praxis testing, which includes:

New Hampshire Teacher Exam Requirements include:

New Jersey teachers use the Praxis test for certification. These tests include:

New Mexico is in the process of changing its testing requirements.

  • Praxis PLT and Content Exams: Those who have graduated from the New Mexico Approved Teacher Preparation Program in 2022 and 2023 will still have to take appropriate policy and content exams for teaching and learning according to age and subject. Starting in the spring of 2024, only applicants from outside the state will be required to take these tests.
  • Praxis Teaching Reading: Preliminary Exam: As per state law, all primary education candidates will continue to take this exam now and in the future.

As of April 27, 2022, New York has eliminated the requirement of edTPA testing for all applicants. However, they still need to test this teacher:

The North Carolina teacher uses Pearson and Praxis tests for certification.

North Dakota uses a praxis test for a teacher’s license:

In Ohio, these are the test requirements:

Oklahoma is in the midst of revising its many testing requirements. The state dropped OGET (Oklahoma General Education Examination) on May 6, 2022. However, these tests are still required:

In Oregon, there are different types of testing requirements:

Here are the Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Exam requirements:

Rhode Island teachers use the Praxis test for certification. These tests include pedagogy and content knowledge assessment. See Rhode Island test requirements here.

The South Carolina teacher exams include:

South Dakota uses these tests:

Tennessee uses the following tests:

The Texas Teacher Certification Exam includes:

Utah requires two types of testing:

Vermont requires the following tests:

In Virginia, test requirements include:

Two types of teacher evaluation are required in Washington:

West Virginia uses the Praxis test for a teacher’s license:

The Wisconsin Teacher Certification Exam includes:

Wyoming only has these requirements:

Teacher Certification Exam Preparation

Most teacher exams come with hefty fees, so you’ll want to pass them first and avoid paying extra to retake. If you are looking for a resource to help you prepare, see 240 Tutorials. They have received study guides for many of the tests on this list, all included in a monthly subscription. You can take a diagnostic test, review content, use flash cards, try practice quizzes, and more. 240 tutorials also provide general support on topics such as writing strong answers to response questions (CRQs).

240 tutoring has helped more than 115,000 teachers pass their exams, most notably Praxis, FTCE, TExES, and CTC. Reviewers agree: 240 Tutoring is how smart teachers pass their exams!

Looking for a place to ask more questions about teacher certification exams and other new-teacher topics? Join the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook!

Also, see examples of 15 philosophies of education for job-seeking teachers.

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