Test Development

How Are Tests Developed?

The Praxis® tests are developed by educators for educators. Advisory committees of distinguished teachers, teacher educators, key administrators and professional organizations help determine test content and review, revise and approve all questions and exercises. The Praxis Series® is grounded in current research, including a comprehensive analysis of the most important tasks and skills required of beginning teachers and extensive surveys to confirm test validity.

For each test, a job analysis survey is conducted in order to determine what a representative group of teachers and teacher educators believe a newly licensed/certified teacher of a particular subject/grade level should know in order to perform his or her job competently. Based on the results of the job analysis as well as any national disciplinary standards that may apply, an Advisory Committee of teachers and teacher educators defines the content areas that should be covered on the test. They then create specifications to guide the development effort.

Test development specialists and practicing teachers use this information to develop test questions. Once developed, the questions undergo a series of reviews conducted by the Advisory Committee, content experts and ETS staff to confirm that they cover the content defined in the test specifications. At every step in the test development process, ETS follows well-established industry procedures and standards that are designed to ensure that the test measures what it is intended to measure. This iterative process creates clear links between the skills and knowledge being measured and the content of the test.

What Steps Does ETS Take To Design Tests That Are Valid and Fair?

ETS uses a validation process that is consistent with the technical guidelines in the Standards for Educational and Psychology Testing (AERA, 1999). Central to this process is the connection between the content of a test and the knowledge and skills judged important for entry-level practice.

Committees of educators with ETS's subject experts conduct reviews for the appropriateness and fairness of test content. The process ends with passing-score or standard-setting studies conducted by each state or licensing agency, during which the job relatedness of the test content for that state's entry-level teachers is evaluated.

How Do ETS Tests Stay Up-To-Date With Common Core State Standards?

The Praxis program continues to update tests to better measure what teachers need to know and be able to do in order to implement the Common Core State Standards in their classrooms. The Praxis II® Middle School and Secondary English Language Arts and Mathematics tests were regenerated, with new versions in the fall of 2013. Revised and aligned versions of the Praxis I® Academic Skills tests in Reading, Writing and Mathematics also came out in the fall of 2013. The Praxis program has created match documents to show how the specifications for current and newly regenerated tests that include ELA and/or Mathematics content correspond to the Common Core State Standards.

Please view the below PDFs for information on how specific Praxis tests in English Language Arts and Mathematics are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Elementary School

Middle School

Secondary School

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RFP/RFI White Paper

View guidelines for Producing RFIs and RFPs Related to Teacher Licensure Assessment Programs.