Praxis Social Studies: Content Knowledge (5081) Exam

The Praxis and its many exams are used as part of the certification process for many states and local licensing agencies throughout the nation and worldwide.  This specific exam is used to assess the abilities, skills, and knowledge of prospective teaching candidates for Social Studies at the secondary education level. Its content focuses on U.S. and world history, geography, political and behavioral sciences, and economics.

Who is Eligible?

The Praxis allows each state or licensing agency that uses it may construct their own standards and requirements as to who is eligible and which tests are taken for certain certifications. They are also able to decide on which, if any, prerequisites are needed to be completed before eligible candidates are able to take this Praxis exam.

Therefore, it is critical that you check with your state or local licensing agency as to your eligibility for this test, as well as, what must be completed beforehand and in what time frame.  

What is the Cost?

The fee for this specific Praxis exam is $120.

When and Where Can I Take it?

This computer-administrated exam can be scheduled by appointment year-round at locations throughout the U.S. and worldwide. These include Prometric testing centers, some universities, and other various sites. You will be provided with a full list of dates, times, and locations during registration. 

While you are able to choose a testing session that is the most convenient for you, it is recommended that you schedule as early as possible. Space is limited at most locations and is filled on a first come, first served basis for all candidates.

You will be sent an Admission ticket as confirmation to your exam being scheduled with the date, time, and address of your appointment. This will need to be printed out and brought with you to the testing site.

You may reschedule or cancel your appointment, if necessary, any time up until the last three days before your original exam. changes cannot be made after this time period and will result in the forfeiture of any fees.

Special accommodations are available for those with disabilities or who may not be able to test under normal conditions. This must be requested during the registration process and will require supporting documentation.

What is Covered?

This exam contains 130 selected-response questions. You will be given two hours to complete them all.

The Social Studies: Content Knowledge exam covers six main categories. These are listed below with the number of question and weight assigned to each.

  • United States History (26 questions/20%)
  • World History (26 questions/20%)
  • Government, Civics, and Political Science (26 questions/20%)
  • Geography (19 questions/15%)
  • Economics (20 questions/15%)
  • Behavioral Sciences (13 questions/10%)

What Should I Bring?

You must arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam. This allows you to complete a required check-in process. Those who do not arrive on time will be turned away and not allowed to test that day. You will need to re-register and pay another fee to make a new appointment.

You will need to bring at least one current and valid government-issued ID with you to the testing site, along with your admission ticket. This ID should include your photo, signature, and full name as it appears on your registration information. IDs containing missing or incorrect information will not be accepted.  

The following personal items are not allowed in the testing center unless you have been approved for special accommodations:

  • Cell phones/electronic devices
  • Study materials, books, or notes
  • Food/drinks
  • Bags, purses, or wallets of any kind
  • Writing utensils, calculators, or any paper

You will be immediately dismissed and your scores voided if any of these items are found on your person inside the testing center.

How is it Scored?

Along with setting the above-mentioned eligibility standards, each institution or state determines the passing score criteria for each exam. It would be wise to know the minimum score needed for your specific program before you attempt the exam. 

Most testing sites will give an opportunity to view unofficial score reports on-screen at the completion of your exam. This will include information on whether or not you have passed based on the program you are affiliated with. Your official score report will be available online to you about two to three weeks after your test.

Retakes are available after a 21-day waiting period.

How Can I Prepare for the Praxis Social Studies: Content Knowledge Exam?

We believe that different learning styles require different tools for success. We have compiled a list of the best study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that we’ve found on the market. Some of these guides have review videos, for you visual learners out there. Others have practice tests, which have been proven to increase student scores by a whole letter grade (in some cases more than that)!

Top Study Guides:

Best Flashcards:


Last Updated: July 28, 2021