Teacher Education Department

Content tests

"Content" refers to what – not how – you will teach. To qualify for a Colorado teaching license, or even to be placed for student teaching, you must first pass the required Content Tests. 

What test should you take?

There are currently two types of Content Tests, PLACE and PRAXIS. However, PLACE tests are being phased out.

You should take the test for your licensure area:

  • Early Childhood Education
    • PLACE Test 02 or
    • PRAXIS 5024
  • Elementary Education
    • PLACE Test 01 or
    • PRAXIS II 5001
  • Secondary English
    • PLACE Test 07 or
    • PRAXIS II 5038
  • Secondary Mathematics
    • PLACE Test 04 or
    • PRAXIS II 5161
  • Secondary Science
    • PLACE Test 05 or
    • PRAXIS II 5435
  • Secondary Social Studies
    • PLACE Test 06 or
    • PRAXIS II 5081
  • K-12 Art
    • PLACE Test 28 or
    • PRAXIS 5135
  • K-12 Music
    • PLACE Test 29 or
    • PRAXIS 5113
  • K-12 Physical Education
    • PLACE Test 32 or
    • PRAXIS 5091
  • K-12 Spanish
    • PLACE Test 09 or
    • PRAXIS 5195
  • K-12 Drama
    • PLACE Test 30 or
    • PRAXIS 5641

Where do you take the content tests?

All PRAXIS exams are offered at designed test sites in the region. Fort Lewis College is NOT a designated test center. The closest test center is San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, approximately one hour south of Durango.

PLACE exams are being phased out. The last test will be May 6, 2017 at the FLC testing center.

Registration and costs

Register for Content Tests on the PLACE or PRAXIS websites. These sites also offer:

  • Study guides
  • An outline of exam topics
  • Information on passing scores. 

Each test costs up to $160 and takes up to 4 hours.

When should you take the tests?

Take your content test almost a year before you apply for admission to student teaching. Test dates can be found on the PLACE and PRAXIS websites or on the bulletin board outside EBH 242.

Not all students pass their test on the first try. Give yourself enough time to study and re-take the test. Your goal should be to pass on the first attempt but be prepared for a three-try sequence.

To Student Teach in the Spring: The Student Teaching Application Meeting happens in September. You need to pass the test before that meeting. Thus, we recommend:

  • First try:  April preceding the September application meeting.
  • Second Try: Summer (June or July) before the September application meeting.
  • Third Try: September of the application meeting.  Avoid this situation. You cannot Student Teach in the Spring Semester if you fail.

To Student Teach in the Fall: The Student Teaching Application Meeting happens in January. You need to pass the test before that meeting. Thus, we recommend:

  • First try: Summer (June or July) preceding the January application meeting.
  • Second Try: November preceding the January application meeting.
  • Third Try: January of the application meeting. Avoid this situation. You cannot Student Teach in the Fall Term if you fail.

Student teaching application meeting

Once you have passed your Content Test, plan to attend the appropriately scheduled Student Teaching Application meeting. These meetings are held at the beginning of the term preceding the student teaching term. 

Add-on licensure tests

Additional endorsements do make you much more marketable. If you wish to add endorsement areas to your initial license, you can take additional content tests. For example:

  • Early Childhood Education majors - You may want to take both the Early Childhood Birth-8 and Elementary Education K-6 content tests. You may not be qualified to teach in a Colorado elementary school without passing the Elementary Education PRAXIS or PLACE exam.
  • Art majors - You may want to take the Elementary Education PRAXIS exam if you wish to teach in a Colorado elementary school.
  • Other majors - You might choose to take Social Studies and Language Arts tests, or Science and Math tests, in order to teach in a middle school interdisciplinary team.