Praxis and PK-12 School Counselor Licensure FAQs
What is the Praxis II exam? Why do I need to take it?
The Professional School Counselor exam of the Praxis II (test number 5421) is required for school counselor licensure in North Carolina. The Praxis II is made up of 120 questions and you have 2 hours to complete the exam.
More information about the Praxis (5421) for School Counselors
I am a licensed teacher and have taken the Praxis. Do I have to take another Praxis exam?
Yes, there are separate Praxis exams for teaching and school counseling. You will be signing up for Praxis II Exam 5421 to be credentialed as a school counselor.
How much does the Praxis II (test number 5421) cost?
When can I register for the Praxis II?
Because it is an application based exam we suggest you take the Praxis during your clinical experiences. We would suggest you take Praxis during your practicum or internship placement.
How do I register?
Registration information for Praxis II (5421 School Counselor)
When is the Praxis II given?
There are 2-3 week windows every month to take the Praxis II. You can see the calendar of dates here. Praxis Test Dates
Where can I take it?
You can take it close to home at an ETS site. There are at-home virtual options and you can take it at NCCU’s Testing Center in the Taylor Education Building (by the tennis courts).
How do I know if I passed?
In NC the passing score is 156. If you are planning to practice outside of NC please check with your state level department of education for more details.
What if I don’t pass the first time?
You can retake the Praxis 21 days after your unsuccessful attempt
Is Praxis II a graduation requirement?
While it is not a graduation requirement, it may demonstrate your readiness for employment by having a passing score when you interview for job placement.
Who sees my scores?
You will be asked to provide your score report to your internship supervisor for your student file and to clear you for licensure with the NCCU Licensure Officer. Dr. Barrow will use your information to complete reports at the end of each semester.
How can I prep for the exam?
The Praxis II questions come from a national pool of questions and each state decides what question they will use. The Praxis II (5421) is designed to have you apply what you know to given scenarios. When reviewing theories consider the school context (i.e., focus on CBT, REBT, Reality, SFBT) and how theory is applied. Don’t focus on Gestalt or Existentialism as they are not a commonly used in the school setting.
Focus on the breakdown of questions. Where do your points come from?
See page 5-11 for more detailed information on content that falls under each of those categories.
Tried and true test prep for the Praxis II (5421)
Don’t know it skip it.
Guessing is fine. There is no penalty for guessing, but do eliminate choices first.
Remember except, least, and not questions are asking which answer doesn’t fit.
For example, which of the following components is the LEAST important in a CSCP?
- Students outcomes and competencies
- Direct delivery of counseling on a demand basis
- Placement, follow-up, and follow through activities
- Accurate counts of the frequency of student initiated contact with the PSC (is the correct response)
- Appropriate materials and resources.
Need more test prep?
Using this link you will find test prep materials, content areas covered, and sample questions from the ETS website.
Test Prep with fees/cost involved:
Pull out your ASCA National Model to review terms and definitions
Practice with questions, matching, flashcards
Addressing Test Anxiety
Remember stress is not always bad. Stress says you care. You care about your performance and the outcome. Too much stress is where you run into negative self-talk, lack of self-compassion, imposter syndrome and all the other things that keep you from maximizing your performance. Here are 3 categories of fear and ways to mitigate that fear:
Addressing Fear of the Unknown
- Review test prep materials.
Take sample tests. What areas were you unclear on? Review that categories content and review your text.
Know where you are going for testing. Drive there before the day of your test.
Recreate test environment when studying. Will you be testing in a quiet room? Study in a quiet room.
Feelings of Inadequacy
You have been training and preparing all along. Reading your texts and working through your practicum and internship experiences have prepared you for this moment.
Know your gaps and review those materials.
Develop a schedule for preparing. Block off study time on your calendar. Actively study – make quizzese, make flashcards, or find an accountability partner (one that will really study with you).
Show up early for the test and write out all your worries and why you are worried. Then, set it aside and clear your mind of the worry clutter.
Fear of the Stakes Involved
- You can retake this test after just 21 days.
- It is a small part of what you know.
- It does not impact your ability to graduate.
- It is a test with a number and not who you are.