Which Topics are Covered on the Praxis Core Exam?

By Carla Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

Just like most other standardized tests you’ve taken, the Praxis Core includes long reading passages, complicated math problems, and detailed essay topics. You’ll have a set number of questions about certain topics to answer in a given amount of time.

Test Subject Number of Questions Time
Reading 56 multiple-choice questions 85 minutes
Writing 40 multiple-choice questions and 2 essays 100 minutes
Mathematics 56 multiple-choice questions 85 minutes

Each subject is broken down further into specific concepts:

  • Reading:

    • Key ideas and details: This section requires you to closely read text, make logical inferences, connect specific details, address author differences, and determine uncertain matters. You’ll see 17 to 22 questions about these concepts.

    • Craft, structure, and language skills: This section requires you to interpret words and phrases, recognize the tone of word choices, analyze text structure, assess points of view, apply language knowledge to determine fact or opinion, determine word meanings, and understand a range of words and word nuances. You’ll see 14 to 19 questions about these concepts.

    • Integration of knowledge and ideas: This section requires you to analyze diverse media content, evaluate arguments in texts, and analyze how two or more texts address similar themes. You’ll see 17 to 22 questions about these concepts.

  • Writing:

    • Text types, purposes, and production: This section requires you to produce one argumentative and one informative/explanatory essay. This section also requires you to edit and revise text passages. You’ll see 6 to 12 multiple-choice questions about these concepts.

    • Language and research skills: This section requires you to demonstrate command of English grammar, usage, capitalization, and punctuation. This section also requires you to apply and recognize research skills. You’ll see 28 to 34 multiple-choice questions about these concepts.

  • Mathematics:

    • Number and quantity: This section focuses on the understanding of order among number integers, representation of a number in more than one way, place value, whole number properties, equivalent computational procedures, ratio, proportion, and percentages. You’ll see 17 questions about these concepts.

    • Algebra and functions: This section assesses the ability to handle equations and inequalities, recognize various ways to solve a problem, determine the relationship between verbal and symbolic expressions, and interpret graphs. In this section, you also encounter function questions that test the knowledge of basic function definitions and the relationship between the domain and range of any given functions. You’ll see 17 questions about these concepts.

    • Geometry: This part assesses the understanding and application of the characteristics and properties of geometric shapes, the Pythagorean theorem, transformation, and use of symmetry to analyze mathematical situations. (Knowledge of basic U.S. and metric systems of measurement is assumed.) You’ll see 11 questions about these concepts.

    • Statistics and probability: This part assesses the ability to read and interpret visual display of quantitative information, understand the correspondence between data and graph, make inferences from a given data display, determine mean, median, and mode, and assign a probability to an outcome. You’ll see 11 questions about these concepts.

    The good news about the math subtest is that an on-screen four-function calculator is available for your use, which reduces the chance that you’ll select a wrong answer choice based on a simple arithmetic error.