Praxis assessments are used by 46 states and four U.S. Territories to determine if a candidate has the skills and knowledge required to obtain a teaching license within that state. The Praxis Biology: Content Knowledge exam measures your knowledge and competencies required by your state for a beginning secondary school teacher of biology.
The Biology: Content Knowledge exam utilizes the fundamental concepts and processes identified by the National Science Education Standards and the National Science Teacher Association. The test is made up of 150 multiple-choice questions that evaluate your understanding of concepts, terms, phenomena, methods, applications, data analysis, and problem-solving in Biology. You will have two and a half hours to complete the exam.
Each question presented is followed by four possible answers, with only one correct answer. The questions may use tables, graphs, and reading passages to introduce the examined stimulus. Pay attention to word use within the questions to help you select the correct response.
The content evaluated is compiled from the knowledge you should master in introductory and advanced-level college Biology courses. The exam consists of six content areas:
- History and Nature of Science – 21 questions
- Molecular and Cellular Biology – 30 questions
- Genetics and Evolution – 30 questions
- Diversity of life and organismal Biology – 30 questions
- Ecology: Organisms and Environments – 24 questions
- Science, Technology, and Social Perspectives – 15 questions
Registration, cost, and location
The registration fee for the Biology: Content Knowledge exam is $120.00. The state of Nevada assesses an additional $5.00 surcharge fee for exams at Nevada test centers. You can register for the exam online, by mail, or by phone. Phone registrations incur an additional $35.00 processing fee. Payment is made for the exam by credit/debit card, eCheck, personal check, and PayPal.
Testing centers are located nationwide, and each center sets their appointment availability. Generally, appointments are available Monday through Saturday. Military members and their immediate family members may be eligible to apply their educational benefits to the cost of the exam.
Print your admission ticket and verify the information on it matches your identification. The ticket contains information about your exam including date, time, location, and items allowed and not allowed in the testing center. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment, so you have time to park and store your belongings.
Scratch paper and writing utensils are provided to you, and you will not need to use a calculator during this exam. At your testing station, you have an opportunity to take a tutorial walking you through the online testing procedure. At the conclusion of the tutorial, your exam begins.
An on-screen exam clock keeps you informed of the time remaining on your exam. Try to regulate the time you spend on each question, so you have time left at the end to review your answers. You are scored on correct answers, so it is beneficial to answer every question possible, even if you have to guess.
Exam scoring and results
Some test centers provide an immediate unofficial pass or fail status for your exam. Your official test taker score report is available 10 to 16 days after your test date, or testing window closes. Your results are also sent to the institutions you identified at registration, and some states automatically receive a copy.
Your score is a result of each correct answer converted to a scaled score ranging from 0 to 200. States have differing passing scores from 139 to 157; check with your state’s licensing board to confirm the required passing score. If you did not pass the exam, you can retake the exam after a 21 day waiting period.
How Can I Prepare for the Praxis Biology Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!