Overview of Tennessee Testing Requirements

How to Qualify for Certification

For initial certification in Tennessee, all candidates must do the following:

  • Complete an approved educator preparation program and satisfy Tennessee's licensure test requirements. Required tests for program admission include the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests.
  • Demonstrate satisfactory completion of the Praxis® Subject Assessments. Required tests include the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) and separate subject tests for each area of endorsement sought.

Important Information

  • On July 2, 2017 cut scores on seven content knowledge exams and four pedagogical exams will increase, in accordance with revisions to the Professional Assessments Policy 5.105 passed by the state board during the July 2016 meeting.
  • The Office of Educator Licensing and Preparation will accept the previous scores for these exams for up to five years, provided the exam was taken on or before July 1, 2017.
  • On the requirements page tests with passing scores that are increasing after July 1, 2017 are listed with the score required prior to July 2 as well as the score required on and after July 2. Questions may be directed to the Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation at Educator.Licensure@tn.gov.
  • If you test in Tennessee, your score report will be sent automatically to the Tennessee Department of Education. If you test outside of Tennessee, select the Tennessee Department of Education (state code 8190) as a score recipient when you register or on an additional score report request.
  • Tennessee requires a Social Security number (SSN) in order to process educator certification paperwork. ETS does not require your SSN for its own purposes but will submit it to Tennessee with your tests results. Failure to provide your SSN could delay processing of your certification application.
  • ETS discontinued paper-delivered testing; however, Praxis tests will continue to be available in a paper-delivered format as required for ADA accommodations. All scores for previously administered paper-delivered tests are reportable for 10 years from the date the test was taken.
  • The state of Tennessee accepts the Algebra I (5162) Praxis exam as one of the supplemental exams that can be used to meet the Algebra I employment standard. Additional requirements for the Algebra I employment standard can be found on the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.

Who Must Take the Tests?

  • Teacher candidates or those wishing to become certified must take the Praxis® tests.
  • Prior to entering an educator preparation program at your college or university, you may be required to take the Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests to demonstrate your qualifications.
  • Applicants for initial educator licenses are required to pass the PLT Praxis® test and the designated specialty area exam(s) required for the endorsement area(s) requested.
  • If adding a new endorsement area to an existing full Tennessee license, only the specialty area exam(s) required for that area must be taken to obtain the additional endorsement.
  • Candidates pursuing alternate routes to licensure must satisfy the same testing requirements as candidates in a traditional program.

Exemption from Testing

  • Candidates for licensure in the following areas are required to complete the appropriate subject area exam only and are not required to take the PLT exams:
    • School Counselor PreK–12
    • School Psychologist PreK–12
    • School Social Worker PreK–12
    • Speech/Language Pathology PreK–12

For further information on exemption from testing, contact the Office of Educator Licensing.

In Tennessee, you must take the appropriate Praxis tests for each area of certification you seek.

See also:

Tennessee Department of Education

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