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Licensure Exam Preparation

When registering for Praxis Core, candidates must indicate WCU as score recipient. When registering for Praxis II and Pearson exams, candidates must indicate WCU and NC DPI as score recipients. To be considered official, test scores should be delivered to WCU and NC DPI directly from the testing agency.

WCU's School Code: 5897

General Preparation Materials

Praxis Core

Praxis II


General Tips

First, find out which exams you must take by checking the following sites: Praxis CorePraxis II and Pearson Tests.

1. Learn what the exam covers.
You can find test specifications for your exam(s) in the Praxis Study Companions as well as for North Carolina's General Curriculum and Foundations of Reading exams. Each set of preparation materials outline the content categories that will be measured by the exam and what percentage of the exam will be devoted to each topic.

2. Assess how well you know the content.
Research has shown that test takers tend to overestimate their preparedness — this is why some test takers assume they did well and then find out they did not pass. These tests are demanding enough to require serious review of likely content, and the longer you've been away from the content the more preparation you will most likely need. If it has been longer than a few months since you've studied your content area, you will want to make a concerted effort to prepare for the tests.

3. Collect study materials.
Obtaining and organizing your review materials for review are critical steps in preparing for the tests. Consider the following as you plan your study:

  • Did you take a course in which the content area was covered? If yes, do you still have your book(s) or your notes?
  • Does your college library have a good introductory college-level text book in this area?
  • Does the library have a high-school level textbook? Additional test preparation resources such as study guides and practice tests are available for most tests. Check the Praxis Prepare for a Test page to see what materials area available for your exam. The NC Foundations of Reading | General Curriculum Prepare page includes strategies, tutorials, videos, practice exams, and more.

4. Plan and organize your time.
You can begin to plan and organize your time while you are still collecting materials. Allow yourself plenty of time to review so you can avoid "cramming" new material at the end. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose a test date ( Praxis and NC Foundations of Reading | General Curriculum) far enough in the future to leave you plenty of preparation time.
  • Work backward from that date to figure out how much time you need to review.
  • Set a realistic scheduled and stick to it.

5. Develop a study plan.
A study plan provides a roadmap to prepare for the exams. It can help you understand what skills and knowledge are covered on the test and where to focus your attention. A written study plan can help you organize your efforts. ETS offers Praxis Core and Praxis II content-specific study plans (contact your Suite 201 advisor for a copy). While there are many online resources available, middle and high school text books are an excellent resource.

General Preparation Materials

  • Educational Testing Service (ETS) for Praxis offers free Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration to help you become familiar with the computer-testing experience. The demonstration walks you through introductory screens and the various functions of the computer-delivered tests and then an interactive feature allows you to try out these functions.

  • ETS also offers a free Test Preparation Webinar Video (Flash, 11 min, 49 sec.) for teacher candidates preparing to take a Praxis test.
  • Materials to Recognize and Reduce Test Anxiety are also available from ETS.
  • Free and priced Praxis test preparation materials (print & ebook study guides, tutorials, webinars, strategies and tips) can be found through Educational Testing Service by selecting Prepare for a Test.
  • Study Companions covering over 130 Praxis tests and are available for select titles. Visit to find the new Study Companions, Interactive Practice Tests (IPTs), and all official Praxis test preparations materials.
  • The NC Foundations of Reading | General Curriculum exam site also offers a plethora of preparation materials.

Praxis Core

North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) requires undergraduate degree-seeking teacher candidates to satisfactorily complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests, referred to as Praxis Core, as part of the process for formal admission to approved teacher education programs in North Carolina. The SBE sets minimum scores needed for admission to teacher education, including exemptions using qualifying SAT or ACT scores.

Students who already hold a four year degree and are seeking a second undergraduate degree or MAT degree certification are not required to pass the Praxis Core.

ed2go Praxis Core Preparation Course sponsored through Educational Outreach at WCU. It is possible to click on “choose another school,” enter the zip code, and see options for other locations. The course is offered for $89 by selecting WCU and $75 at both Southwestern and Haywood Community Colleges. A number of students have chosen to take this prep course in lieu of simply re-registering for the exam.

Praxis Core Preparation Materials Available for Checkout from the University Library: There are three resources available through the library (reading, writing, and math practice tests and study guides). The Learning Express Library offers online practice tests and tutorials for teaching exams. Just click on the Praxis Core test resources you need. Any user will be required to register; however, access is free through WCU.
Library Search  and Sample Register Page (this one is for Core Math).

The University Library Curriculum Materials Center (CMC) also maintains a collection of teacher's editions of textbooks adopted by the NC DPI. Textbooks are available for check-out by students, faculty, and staff.

Longsdale Publishing Praxis Core Preparation Course & Practice Tests

This free resource for WCU students offers comprehensive instruction for all three Praxis Core areas – reading, writing, and math.

Highlights include:

  • Flexible program – work from the beginning or navigate to specific sections based on individual needs
  • Practice tests – 4 for each area (12 total!) – view scores, items missed, and correct answers
  • Personalized Suggestions – indicates strengths/weaknesses and provides students with suggestions for improvement
  • Essay Evaluation – students can submit up to TWO sample essays (argumentative and/or informative) for evaluation
  • Progress Tracking – Suite 201 can track individual student progress and offer suggestions for additional resources, if needed
  • Best used in Firefox or Internet Explorer

Contact Suite 201 today for access to the course!

Students enrolled in EDCI 201 and BK 250 are automatically added to TeachersTestPrep and will receive an email with instructions to activate the free account.  Students who transfer in credit for EDCI 201 or BK 250, and would like to be set up with a free account, please contact Heather McGuire in Suite 201 (

TeachersTestPrep provides a free diagnostic test for the Praxis Core to help students identify areas to emphasize.  Students who choose to continue with additional tutoring will be offered a reduced student rate.

Praxis II

NC State Board of Education (SBE) requires all completers of an approved teacher education program to pass identified license exams. Timing of when passing scores are required is determined by NC SBE policy and IHE (i.e., WCU) expectations of their program completers. WCU recommends candidates for licensure when they have completed all requirements of the program, university, and state and provide documentation of passing scores on all relevant licensure exams prior to licensure recommendation.

First, know which Praxis tests you are required to take.

Praxis Study Companions covering over 130 Praxis tests are available for select titles.
Study Companions, Interactive Praxis Tests (IPTs), and all official test preparation materials 

General Test-taking Strategies

Good Words & Bad Words Strategy | Works on All Kinds of Exams | Kathleen Jasper

Additional advice:

Art (K-12):

The Praxis II for Art Education focuses on basic art history AND basic understanding of art processes and materials. Much of the content will derive from ART 136 and ART 137, so review of those textbooks is highly recommended. Students will also be required to analyze some of your own art work via digital image (this is why students photograph and save images in methods classes!). Hunter Library has electronic study guides for Praxis II art exam available for checkout. A practice exam is given in ART463/563 to help identify students' areas of weakness.

Related Resources:

Learn about the structure of the test

Praxis II - Content Exam for Visual Art: Content and Analysis 5135 161

Flashcard Machine: Art History Art History Course and Exam Description

Art History Practice Exams

Study Art Vocabulary on NCSOS site

English (Secondary 9-12):

Program faculty have resources on hand and periodically offer study sessions to help student prepare for the Praxis II. Be sure to check with your program faculty about upcoming sessions!

Health and Physical Education:
Preparation should also include studying notes/writings/readings from the follow HPE program courses, which are especially applicable: HPE 235 Motor Behavior, HPE 355 Fitness Concepts, HPE 346 Dance and Gymnastics, HPE 223 Kinesiology, HPE 325 Risky Behaviors, HPE 350 Current Health Problems, HPE 255 Mental and Emotional Health, and HPE 360 Sexual Health.

HPE Praxis II Study Guide

Preparation should include studying notes/writings/readings from the following music education program courses, which are especially applicable: Music Theory III (MUS 318), Music History I (MUS 418) and II (MUS 419), Music in Elementary School (MUS 323), Music in Middle School (MUS 324), Instrumental/Choral Methods (MUS 326/327), Choral/Instrumental Conducting (MUS 428/429), and Orchestration (MUS 470). Music Essential Standards could also be useful: K-8 and 9-12

The University Library Currlculum Materials Center (CMC) also maintains a collection of teacher's editions of textbooks adopted by the NC DPI. Textbooks are available for check-out by students, faculty, and staff. The Learning Express Library offers online practice tests and tutorials for teaching exams. Just click on the resources you need. Any user will be required to register; however, access is free through WCU.


North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) requires Elementary Education, Special Education: General Curriculum, and Inclusive Education program completers to pass the Pearson Foundations of Reading AND EITHER General Curriculum math subtest or Praxis Elementary Education Mathematics CKT 7813 exam prior to being recommended by the IHE (i.e., WCU) for a teaching license. Additionally, Special Education and Inclusive Education need to pass identified Praxis II exams.

Praxis Elementary Education Mathematics CKT 7813 Study Plan & Study Companion

North Carolina Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum Mathematics Subtest

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