Praxis 5165 vs 5161: Differences and Similarities

Both praxis 5161 and 5165 are certification exams for high school math teachers. One of the main differences is the time it takes to take the test. For the newer praxis mathematics test, 5165, you get 180 minutes to take the test rather than 150 minutes.

Also, there are more questions on the 5165 compared to the 5161. There are 66 selected-response questions in the 5165, as opposed to the 60 in earlier tests. However, both tests consist of various questions from topics like calculus, algebra, and functions.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the differences and similarities between praxis tests 5161 and 5165. Keep reading to learn more.

Praxis 5165 vs 5161

What Are Praxis 5165 and 5161?

As mentioned earlier, praxis 5161 and 5165 are tests used by various States in the United States on high school mathematics teacher candidates. They aim to determine the candidate’s knowledge of the subject and help license them to teach in that state.

Praxis 5161

Praxis 5161 has been used to test teachers after replacing the previously used National Teacher Exam (NTE.) This test has approximately 41 questions on numbers, quantity, algebra, functions, and calculus.

Praxis 5161 also had approximately 19 questions on discrete mathematics, geometry, probability, and statics. The questions were usually remotely taken through a computer or in test centers in your state. This test was used for certification up until September 2022.

Praxis 5165

Praxis 5165 recently replaced the 5161 and was accepted for certification starting November 11, 2021. This new test covers various content categories, with approximately 13 questions covering algebra and seven on numbers and quantity.

Functions and calculus also get approximately 20 questions, with functions getting at least 13 and calculus 7. Other content covered by this test includes geometry, and candidates can expect approximately 13 questions on this topic and 13 on statistics and probability.

Approximately 25 percent of the questions test the candidate’s expertise in a teaching scenario. They measure the decision-making of the aspiring teacher while working with students and solving mathematics questions. These types of questions were not in the 5161 tests, and among the reasons, they changed.

Read: What If You Can’t Pass the Praxis Core

Where Are Praxis Tests Used?

Praxis exams are required in the so-called praxis States, where the teaching candidates must take and pass this test before licensing. These states include;

● Alabama
● Alaska
● Arkansas
● Colorado
● Connecticut
● Delaware
● District of Columbia
● Georgia
● Guam
● Hawaii
● Idaho
● Indiana
● Iowa
● Kansas
● Kentucky
● Louisiana
● Maryland
● Maine
● Mississippi
● Nebraska
● New Jersey
● New Hampshire
● Nevada
● North Carolina
● North Dakota
● Northern Mariana Islands
● Ohio
● Pennsylvania
● Rhode Island
● South Carolina
● South Dakota
● Tennessee
● Utah
● US Virgin Islands
● Vermont
● Virginia
● West Virginia
● Wisconsin
● Wyoming

Florida, Illinois, and Arizona are the states that do not use praxis exams at all. However, due to teacher shortages in various States, they are either lowering or doing away with these expensive teacher licensing tests.

Candidates can take their praxis exam at home using their computers or visit testing centers nearby. Those who schedule the exam in testing centers must pay a $130 fee. Any reschedule also costs $40. Scheduling the praxis test is done on the ETS website.

Read: Why Do Teachers Get Paid Monthly?

Differences in the New Praxis 5165 Compared to 5161

The new mathematics test 5165 has several changes from the 5161 used earlier. These changes serve as the differences between the two, including the following.

1. Discrete Mathematics Dropped

The new test 5165 dropped discrete mathematics, which included graphs, logic statements, and combinations. Also, matrices are not in the new test because they are not content that a high school teacher would normally encounter. However, other content, like algebra, functions, and calculus, are still in the new test.

2. More Questions

Praxis 5165 contains 66 selected-response questions, six more than the earlier 60 used in Praxis 5161. These additional questions are in the geometry, statistics, and probability sections, which get approximately 26 out of the 66 questions.

3. More Test Time

The new test, code 5165, also gets more test time, totaling 180 minutes, 30 minutes more than the time given in 5161. However, the additional time is probably to cover the added questions, which those who have taken the new test claim are more challenging.

Similarities in Praxis 5161 and 5165 Tests

Besides the few changes mentioned above, most other things are similar between the two tests. They include:

1. Test Delivery

One of the similarities between the two tests is how the test is delivered. In the earlier and the latter test, you can take the test on your personal computer or visit a test center nearby. The fees are still applicable for test centers and rescheduling.

2. Calculator and Help Screen

In the new test, you also get the on-screen graphing calculator that you can use during the test. Also, the test takers can access a list of formulas, definitions, and notations on the test’s help screen.

3. Passing Score

Like the earlier mathematics testing, code 5161, the passing score varies by state. However, with the growing teacher shortage, one of the Education Testing Service’s (ETS) solutions to address the teacher shortage includes reducing current passing scores.

4. Format

The format of answering the new high school teachers’ mathematics test resembles the earlier one. You get to select one answer, numeric entry, and test completion questions, to name a few.

Preparation Tips for the New Praxis Exam

Preparing for the new praxis exam is more like any other mathematics exam preparation. However, various things can help you pass without costly retakes.

One of these things is studying through tests available on many websites online, including, Khan Academy, Mometrix, and Exam Edge, among others. You can also prepare through various physical books covering these topics.

Also, familiarize yourself with the calculator and the online platform you’ll use for the exam. However, you will get at least 30 minutes before the exam for preparation, including the testing space examination.

In most states, you only need to get more than 159 to qualify and pass the exam. However, some states, like Mississippi, Kentucky, Delaware, and Arkansas, have a lower minimum score of 152. Check the Praxis Minimum/Qualifying score requirement, and search for 5165 for mathematics for the complete list.

Final Thoughts

The new praxis 5165 test retains most topics and content categories from the earlier 5161 test. This fact means test takers with some knowledge of the earlier version have a chance of passing the new test. Also, some topics were dropped from the new test, concentrating only on the relevant ones.

If you’re scheduling for the test, take time to practice using various websites and other prep materials. You can also consult people who have taken and passed the test online on forums and Reddit for pointers. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to