Overview of Tennessee Testing Requirements

How to Qualify for Certification

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

  • Complete an approved teacher preparation program and satisfy Tennessee's licensure test requirements. Required tests for program admission include the Praxis™ Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests. These tests are available in a computer-delivered format.
  • Demonstrate satisfactory completion of the Praxis II® Subject Assessments. Required tests include the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) portion and separate Subject Assessment tests for each area of endorsement sought.

Important Information

  • 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.
  • Beginning with the 2013–14 testing year, ETS is administering a new version of the Health Education test. This new test will be offered in a computer-delivered format and the new test code will be 5551. The new test covers the same content as the previous test. However, scores are reported on a different scale, so requirements will vary from previous versions. All scores for discontinued tests are reportable for 10 years from the date the test was taken.
  • ETS is offering several additional tests in a computer-delivered format which will be introduced throughout the testing year. Visit Test Centers and Dates to find testing centers near you. For tests available in both formats (paper and computer), the computer-delivered versions cover the same content as the paper-delivered versions and are scored on the same scale; however, the computer-delivered tests have different test codes
    • Art: Content and Analysis (5135) — July 2014
    • English to Speakers of Other Languages (5361) — February 2014*
    • Music: Content and Instruction (5114) — February 2014*
    • Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood (5691) — July 2014
    • Special Education: Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (5272) — April 2014
    • Special Education: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments (5282) — April 2014
    • Speech Communication: Content Knowledge (5221) — December 2013
    • Technology Education (5051) — July 2014
  • * Beginning February 2014, this test will not be available in a paper-delivered format except as required for ADA accommodations.

Who Must Take the Tests?

  • Teacher candidates or those wishing to become certified must take The Praxis Series™ tests.
  • Prior to entering a teacher education 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 portion of The Praxis Series tests 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

  • A candidate who holds a current, valid license from a state recognized by Tennessee through the NASDTEC Interstate Educator Certification/License Agreement may be exempt from testing to obtain a Tennessee license if they completed an approved college/university teacher education program for the endorsement(s) sought or have teaching experience of at least three years out of the past seven years as a licensed educator. Also, exemption for initial state licensing purposes may be available if a candidate held a full educator license in any state prior to July 1, 1984, and has not been employed as a teacher in Tennessee. For further information or clarification about exemption from testing contact the Office of Educator Licensing.
  • 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 II tests for each area of certification you seek.

See also:



Tennessee Department of Education

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