An Overview of the Praxis Elementary Education 5017 Exam

By Carla C. Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

Part of Praxis Elementary Education For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Praxis Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment exam (5017) uses 120 questions to evaluate your curriculum development, instructional, and assessment abilities in five subject-area groups:

  • Reading and language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Art, music, and physical education

The 120 questions of the exam are divided among five subject-area groups according to these proportions:

Test Subject Approximate Number of Questions Approximate Percentage of the Exam
Reading and language arts 37 31%
Mathematics 31 26%
Science 20 16%
Social studies 17 14%
Art, music, and physical education 15 13%

In each of the five subject areas, questions are related to relevant national standards and test your knowledge of how to help students develop an understanding of particular areas of knowledge or how to help them acquire and use key skills.

The questions about each subject are focused on curriculum, instruction, or assessment.

  • Curriculum: Curriculum questions require you to show that you understand developmentally appropriate curriculum planning. Specifically, you need to be ready to demonstrate that you can sequence lessons; plan strategies to enhance students’ understanding and, inevitably, correct their misunderstandings; and make connections to and from one subject and other subject areas, such as connecting reading and math concepts, or social studies and science.
  • Instruction: Instruction questions require you to show that you understand how to design instruction to meet the culturally and academically diverse needs of your students. They also test your ability to select and use developmentally appropriate instructional methods, strategies, and resources that support learning in the major focus areas of each subject.
  • Assessment: The assessment questions for every subject area require you to show that you know how to evaluate the effectiveness of your instruction and your students’ progress in each subject area. To answer these questions correctly, you need to be ready to show that you can design, use, and interpret a variety of formative and summative assessments. You must be able to recognize the misconceptions students may develop and devise ways to reteach in order to correct those misconceptions.