A teacher certification test is a standardized test that attempts to measure teaching knowledge and skills. Each state sets its own standards for the teacher certification test.
The Praxis Series and the National Evaluation Series are the two most commonly used teacher certification tests in the United States. The Praxis Series consists of the Praxis I and Praxis II and is used in over 40 states. Each state sets its own standard for adequate scores. Some states require aspiring teachers to take one or both of the exams.
The Praxis I includes a reading, mathematical and writing test. The tests are offered both in paper and electronic versions. The Praxis II tests include Subject Assessments, Teaching Foundations Tests and Principles of Learning Tests. The tests typically consist of essays and multiple choice questions, and it can take up to four hours depending on the subject.
The NES is administered through Pearson, an organization focusing on teacher education, and is newer than the Praxis series. The computer-based testing program aims at measuring the qualification and knowledge of aspiring teachers. The test covers various subjects including English, math and technological skills. Aspiring teachers are advised to find out the specific requirements for their state before sitting for the teacher certification test.