Frequently Asked Questions about Testing for Education Majors

What tests do I need to take during my time as an education major?
When should I take my tests?
How much will these tests cost?
How should I prepare for my tests?
What are some test taking tips I should know?
Are there accommodations available?

What tests do I need to take during my time as an education major?

  • All candidates need to take the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA).
  • Candidates also need to take the Praxis Core: Mathematics test unless exempt from this using ACT or SAT scores.
  • All students take a Praxis Subject Assessment for each licensure area.
  • PreK-3, PreK-6, and SPED candidates take a Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) assessment.

All required tests, codes, and registration info is found online or in the teacher education handbook.

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When should I take my tests?

  • Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) – as soon as possible in program. Take this during your first year.
  • Praxis Core: Mathematics (if not SAT or ACT exempt) – as soon as possible in program. Take this during your first year.
  • Praxis Subject Assessment – these tests assess your content knowledge for your specific major. You are required to take your assessment before you can student teach, and to pass your assessment before you complete your program. Plan to take your assessment after completing all or most of your content area courses.
  • Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) – PreK-3, PreK-6, and SPED candidates must take this before student teaching, and must pass this before completing program. Literacy Block prepares you for success on this assessment, so plan to take it at the end of or after you take Literacy Block.

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How much will these tests cost?

Praxis Core: Mathematics $90
Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) $130 total
Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) $130
Spanish: World Language test $160
6-12 and other PreK-12 subject assessments (content knowledge tests) $120
Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects test* $170

*Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects test includes 4 subtests. Subtests taken separately are $60 each.

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How should I prepare for my tests?

There are various resources available to help candidates prepare for success on required assessments. Here are some we encourage you to consider:

  • VCLA’s website has test blueprints, tutorials, a study guide, practice tests, and score report explanation.
  • For Praxis and RVE tests visit the ETS website to find free study companions, strategies and tips, a testing demonstration, webinars, and more.
  • Use Interactive Practice Tests when available. For EMU teacher education majors needing to take the Praxis Core: Mathematics test, the education department will cover the cost of one subscription of this practice test. Contact the education department for further details.
  • Work with a tutor! Contact the Academic Success Center for an appointment.
  • Use this book on reserve in the library: Core math made easy: A manual to prepare teachers for the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (5372) by Madeleine Gardner.
  • Access eight math practice tests and answer keys available in the Meta-Education course in Moodle. These tests were created by Madeleine Gardner as a companion to the book listed above. The tests are also available in the academic success center.
  • Consider using Khan Academy videos and exercises for both writing and math.
  • For the Praxis Core: Mathematics test, visit praxismathpreparation.wordpress.com.

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What are some test taking tips I should know?

  • Take the official practice test, then work with a tutor to talk about items that were missed or were confusing.
  • Check in with your advisor or a tutor to review test taking strategies, and get some support before heading to your test.
  • Get plenty of sleep before test day.
  • Don’t spend too much time on any one question, and be sure to answer every question (even if you have to guess)!

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Are accommodations available?

If you are a test taker whose primary language is not English, or if you have documented disability or a health-related need, you may be eligible for extended testing time or alternative testing arrangements. Plan ahead as it takes time to apply and receive approval! Visit these sites for more information:

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