South Dakota Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is required to take the Praxis® Subject Assessments (formerly the Praxis II® tests)?
Teachers new to the profession or to the state, as well as existing educators who want to add endorsements or be highly qualified, are required to pass Praxis® Subject Assessments specific to the content areas they will be teaching.
Teachers new to the profession also must take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test that most accurately matches their level of preparation. Existing teachers that have contracted PK–12 teaching experience on a valid certificate can show either verification of teaching experience or a copy of a Praxis PLT score.
- How do I know which test to take?
Refer to the link that lists all the tests for your certification area.
- What if there is no test listed for my content area?
Not all certification areas have matching content-specific tests. You may be able to obtain an endorsement in a content area that does not have a test, based on college coursework and transcripts. Submit the additional authorization application to the Department of Education to request a transcript analysis.
- Do I have to complete all the coursework to add an endorsement to my certificate?
No. You may take the test without completing any prior coursework. If you meet or exceed the qualifying score, the Department of Education will add the endorsement to your certificate.
- What if I don't pass my test?
Candidates can take a Praxis test as many times as necessary to obtain a passing score.
- What if I am asked to teach in a content area for which I don't have proper endorsement?
Your district will be required to complete a "plan of intent" listing the specific Praxis test and/or coursework to be completed by the end of the school year.
- How long does it take to get my scores?
It takes approximately three weeks to receive your scores from Educational Testing Service. Note: you have one year to access your scores online via your Praxis account. Please refer to Getting Your Praxis Scores for further information.
- How can I prepare for a test?
You can download Study Companion publications. Each publication includes detailed test descriptions, sample questions with answers and explanations, and test-taking strategies. Some tests also have interactive practice tests available for purchase.
- I'm moving to South Dakota from another state. Do I need to take a test to be certified in South Dakota?
Yes. You will need to take the Praxis test for each content area for which you are applying. Teachers new to the profession also must take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test that most accurately matches their level of preparation. Existing teachers that have contracted PK–12 teaching experience on a valid certificate can either show verification of teaching experience or a copy of the Praxis PLT score.
If you already have taken the Praxis tests in another state, your score will be accepted as long as you have met the passing score validated by South Dakota.
The department may issue a one-year certificate, allowing an applicant to complete required Praxis tests.
- I currently hold a valid South Dakota teaching certificate. Am I required to take a Praxis test to stay certified in South Dakota?
No. The only time you have to take a test is to add an endorsement for assignments outside of your current authorizations.
- I am pursuing alternative certification. Which tests am I required to take?
You must take the Praxis content test that matches the content area for which you are seeking endorsement. You also must take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test that matches your preparation level. This test must be taken prior to completion of your alternative certification program. Contact Roxie Thielen for questions referring to alternative certification at 1-605-773-4669 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Will the South Dakota Department of Education automatically receive my scores?
The department of education will automatically receive the score if you take it in-state or if you take it out-of-state and designate South Dakota Department of Education as a recipient.