Praxis Middle School: Social Studies (5089) Exam

We’ve created this resource to help you get set to sit for the Praxis Middle School Social Studies (5089) exam. You find information on registration, testing fees, expected test content and more.

Exam Purpose and Background

The Praxis Middle School Social Studies (5089) exam assesses your readiness to serve at a beginning-level social studies teacher. The test aligns with the baseline educational standards of the National Science Education Standards and the National Science Teacher Association.


You can register at

Costs/Payment Options

The test fee is $146, payable using a U.S. bank check, money order, PayPalTM, eCheck, VISA®, Discover®, JCB®, American Express® or MasterCard®.


When you register, you’ll see complete time and location information.

Test Duration: You’ll have two hours to finish.

What to Bring:

  • One government ID, including your name, photo and signature. Examples include a passport, a driver’s license, state/province ID, national ID or military ID). NOTE: Your name on your ID needs to exactly match the way your name appears on your test registration materials.

What Not to Bring:

  • Any electronic devices, including cell phones and calculators
  • Personal items
  • Writing insturments
  • Paper or books
  • Food/drink unless specifically required and approved in advance

What to Expect During Your Praxis Exam

Format/Number of Questions: The exam  is taken via computer, and consists of two portions. The first includes 90 selected-response questions. The second involves three constructed-response questions.

Content Categories

The exam has six different content categories. Here’s an overview of each category, including the approximate number of questions and percentage each category represents.

Category 1: United States History (19% with About 22 Questions)

Covers chronological developments, including North American geography, peoples and cultures prior to European exploration and colonization. It also looks at colony founding and development, the interaction of diverse populations during colonization, American Revolution beginnings and hurdles faced by the new nation.

This section assesses the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, territorial expansion, the Civil War and reconstruction, industrialization, urbanization and immigration, political, economic and cultural development, World War I and World War II, the Cold War, social and political evolution from the 1940s to 1970s and the impact of technology and economic  forces during the 20th century.

This portion also covers racial, gender and ethnic divisions, the impact of individuals and organizations in politics and policy, the U.S. as a world power, major economic milestones, immigration pattern changes and civil rights progress.

Category 2: World History (15% with About 18 Questions)

This section looks at chronological developments, including early civilizations, classical civilizations, changes in civilizations due to trade, religion and invasions, eras such as the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment, the effects of global interactions, revolutions, imperialism and nationalism from 1750 to 1914, the causes and effects of World War I and World War II and global economic changes after the Cold War.

This section also looks at the ways science, technology and adaptation influenced society, the role of religion in world events, economic exchange patterns and influences, primary political ideologies, major economic transformations, the effects of cooperation and conflict on the globe, demographic trends, exploration impacts and human rights struggles and progress.

Category 3: Government/Civics (14% with About 17 Questions)

This portion covers U.S. civics and government principles, including ideals of the republic, states’ rights and federalism, the role of the U.S. Constitution, the three branches of government, civil rights and civil liberties, the election process, the political process and citizen roles, responsibilities and rights.

This section also looks at international relations, including other political systems, and the connection between economic conditions and political efforts.

Category 4: Geography (14% with About 17 Questions)

This section covers geography, including absolute and relative locations, the characteristics of “place,” and reviewing them to identify specific regions.

This section also reviews map skills, including map interpretation, latitude and longitude, special patterns and technological resources, physical geography concepts, including features of the planet, the relationship between humanity and the environment, physical processes and geographic development, natural resources, ecosystems and climate patterns.

Human geography is also covered, including economic and cultural patterns, population trends, land use, idea sharing, trade and migration, political geography, cultural change, diversity and human adaptation.

Category 5: Economics (13% with About 16 Questions)

This section covers Microeconomics I principles, including scarcity, choice and opportunity costs, and market command and mixed economy differences. This portion also looks at Microeconomics II ideals, including market structure, perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition, income distributions and production factors such as rent, profits and wages.

In addition, this portion assesses knowledge about Macroeconomics I subjects such as gross domestic product, unemployment causes and impacts, supply and demand, public policy influences, consumer choice impacts, personal finance characteristics, economic performance measures, money and its effect on the economy and global economy interdependence.

Category 6: Short Content Essays (25% with About 3 Questions)

This section presents three questions to you. For each, you’ll be asked to answer by writing a short essay answer.

The first question deals with United States history, related to government and civics. The second question in the section covers world history in relation to geography. The third question represents United States history and its relationship with geography or geography or it may represent world history and its relationship to civics or government topics.

Calculating Your Passing Score: The score needed to pass the exam varies according to your area. See more at

How Can I Prepare for the Praxis Middle School: Social Studies Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Study Guide



Last Updated: July 27, 2021