Along with meeting other requirements, applicants seeking initial licensure or additional endorsements must submit qualifying scores on all required content assessments developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), National Evaluation Services (NES), or the Tennessee Language Center.
Exceptions to the current ETS Praxis assessment requirements include the following assessments and phase-in timelines:
- Elementary Education: Content Knowledge (5018): If taken by 8/31/2019, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2022.
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161): If taken by 8/31/2022, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2025.
- Middle School Mathematics (5164) if taken by 8/31/2022, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2025
- Middle School Science (5440): if taken by 8/31/2021, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2024.
- Principles of Learning and Teaching (5621, 5622, 5623, 5624): if taken by 1/1/2019, qualifying scores will be accepted through 1/1/2024.
- Reading Specialist (5301): if taken by 8/31/2021, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2024.
- School Leaders Licensure Assessment (6011): If taken by 8/31/2019, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2022
- Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203): If taken by 8/31/2020, qualifying scores will be accepted through 8/31/2023.
Content knowledge may be verified through demonstration of an undergraduate major in the content area, or submission of qualifying scores on content assessments for applicants who are enrolling in a program with job-embedded clinical practice. Job-embedded candidates who have content knowledge verified through of an undergraduate major in the content area have three years following initial licensure issuance to submit qualifying scores on required content assessments.
Additionally, individuals applying for initial licensure are required to submit a qualifying score on the applicable edTPA as noted in Professional Assessments Policy 5.105. If an edTPA is not available in the endorsement area, the applicant must submit a qualifying score on one of the relevant Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) assessments. Applicants who are enrolled in a program with a job-embedded clinical practice have three years following initial licensure issuance to submit qualifying scores on the required pedagogical assessment.
Applicants seeking an initial teacher license in Tennessee through an out-of-state pathway who do not currently hold a professional level teacher license in another state must submit qualifying scores on the appropriate PLT or the edTPA.
Applicants issued a practitioner occupational license on or after July 1, 2018 must submit a qualifying score on the PLT: Grades 7-12 in order to renew the license or advance to the professional occupational license.
Upon receipt of all required documentation and evidence, including a recommendation from a head administrator of the college of education for the college or university, the department will issue the appropriate license or additional endorsement. For more information on applying for licensure in Tennessee, visit the educator licensure page.
When registering for any Tennessee licensure assessment, please provide the testing organization with your social security number and ensure it matches the social security number used to register your TNCompass account. This will ensure timely and accurate transfer of scores to the Tennessee Department of Education.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, initial licensure applicants will be required to submit qualifying scores on the appropriate edTPA performance-based subject-specific assessment (unless there is not an edTPA available in the area where the educator is seeking endorsement). Prior to January 2019, licensure applicants may submit a qualifying score on the relevant Principals of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Praxis assessment or the edTPA. Candidates completing a job-embedded clinical practice must submit the qualifying score before renewing or advancing the teaching license. For edTPA registration information, visit the edTPA website.
edTPA scores for candidates affiliated with an approved Tennessee EPP will be automatically sent to the department. Candidates not affiliated with an approved Tennessee EPP must designate Tennessee as a score recipient when registering. Out-of-state applicants are not required to submit qualifying scores on the edTPA; however, if they have not taken the edTPA, they must submit qualifying scores on the PLT.
- edTPA.com: General information about the edTPA
- edTPA for Tennessee: A complete list of accepted edTPA handbooks and minimum qualifying scores
- edTPA Handbooks and Endorsements Table: A listing of the appropriate edTPA handbook for Tennessee licensure endorsements
- edTPA Information for Districts: General information regarding the edTPA for district and school administrators and clinical mentor teachers
Many endorsements require applicants to submit a qualifying score on a relevant specialty area content assessment prior to issuance of the license or before the license may be advanced or renewed. The department does not administer these tests. Individuals must register with the test provider to take an exam. For registration materials, visit the ETS website or NES website. Praxis Core academic tests may be required for admission to an educator preparation program, but may not be required for licensure. Please contact your provider to determine if the Praxis Core tests are required.
Praxis and NES Resources
- ETS Praxis FAQ: Answers to some of the most frequently asked Praxis testing questions
- Tennessee Praxis Test Requirements: A complete list of required exams and minimum qualifying scores for each specialty area
- ETS Preparation Materials: Praxis study companions, study guides, and practice tests
- NES FAQ: Answers to some of the most frequently asked NES questions
- NES Preparation Materials: General preparation materials, sample questions, videos and tutorials, and full practice tests