I am trying to find another teaching job and am finding out that a lot of districts require the Praxis test. I haven't been to college for a long time and am afraid I will not pass it. I have taught in the first and second grades so have forgotten a lot of Math and Vocabulary that I learned in college. Is it as hard as some teachers have told me? Are there any districts that don't require it?
*I would also like to thank all of you who were able to send job feedback!
PRAXIS has a guide you can practice with, and you can buy it for a decent price on AMAZON. I helped a fellow teacher practice for the test, and it appeared to be fifth grade math, at the greatest. I think it's very important for you to buy this book and practice with it, because it provides the types of questions that they will ask you, even though they won't be the same questions as appear on the test. When I took the test, I used the practice book, and I passed it the first time. It helps a great deal to understand the format of the test and the types of questions they ask.
Don't worry a great deal about the test. Most people I have known who have taken it have passed it. Another bit of advice I can give you is that when you take it, you need to pace yourself carefully. There are a lot of questions on the test, and you have to figure how many you should be finished with by a certain time. I have known people who have failed the test because they didn't pace themselves and didn't finish on time. Watch the time carefully.
Don't think when you walk out that you failed it. I know I thought I failed it when I walked out, and I was discouraged. When I got my results back, I found that I actually had a very high score. I don't know how they score it, but it's probably not terribly strict.
Another bit of advice might be to take the test at a college rather than at a high school. I have heard negative things about high school settings: band practice outdoors, etc. Check the setting carefully, since you will want quiet while you are testing.
Get a comfortable place to sit. That includes being away from people who are potentially a distraction. I sat beside a person who was chomping heavily on gum, so I asked the monitor to move me. I told him I could not sit beside a person who would distract me with gum chewing.
When I was graduating from college in 1993, I was required to take the National Teacher's Exam. I have moved from Ohio to Virginia and now North Carolina and had no trouble getting licensed in those states based on my NTE results. If you have a state/district in mind- find out what the required score is. It can differ greatly between states. Good luck!
I took the NTE which is, I think, the same thing with a different name. I had to take both the general test and my subject area tests. I didn't study for it and did quite well.
Of course, I didn't study for my ACT, GRE, or any other standardized test either. I honestly didn't know people DID study for those. I thought you either knew the stuff from what you learned in classes or you didn't and the test determined what you'd been taught.
I took the Praxis 20 years after I got out of college, when I was going for my teaching credentials. I got the book, I studied. I actually took the computerized version, and loved that I got my scores back immediately (except for writing.) I also liked that I could type rather than handwrite my paragraph. Also, taking it at the computer center meant I could schedule it at my convenience. I could even have taken the three sections at three separate days had I wanted to.
I did well, but then I've always been a good test taker. Follow the advice above to get a study guide. I got a pink book that I thought was fine prepping for the Math, but horrible for the reading and writing sections.
AAAARRRGGGHHHH! Oh how I hated the Praxis! I went to college in another state and they required me to take the Praxis test for that state before I could student teach. I flunked. By 2 rotten points. I took it again and passed no problem. I also had to take the TN test to get my liscense. So basically, I took two different sections of the test for one state and two sections for TN. That's four times if you count it up that way. 5 if you count the fact that I had to retake the section I failed. It is my understanding, by the way, that each state decides which section you are required to take. anyway, after I had been teaching for a few years I found out that I had to take yet another Praxis so I would be "highly qualified". (getting up on soapbox now... Isn't it completely ridiculous to think that one stinkin' Praxis test makes me Highly qualified? the teacher across the hall from me has been teaching 32 years, parents fight to have their kids in her class, she is definitely one of the best. She's not highly qualified, but I take one measly test and suddenly I am? Go figure. putting soapbox away...) I guess I have technically taken this bloomin' test 6 times. I second the idea to take it at a college campus. the last one I took was at a high school with football practice going on outside. Very hard to concentrate. Best of luck! BTW, I paid quite a bit for a study guide and did not find it helpful at all.
Florida is one of the few states that does not require a PRAXIS score. Instead, they administer the FTCE which includes general education, professional education (knowing how to teach), and subject area. Those 3 sections are offered on different occassions. On the Prof Ed test, you only need a 56% to pass, which I believe is crazy. I wonder what the minimum score is for the PRAXIS?
I just moved from Texas last summer. Texas does not use the Praxis, and I had to take it this year, even though I already hold a TX certificate (better than the state I'm currently in!). What the district requires depends on what state you're in.
I was kind of worried since I've been out of college for 3 years, but I did well. Are you taking Praxis I or II? Praxis I is easy, and Praxis II just requires a lot of thought and time, but it's not hard. Use the practice books and online free practice; it helps.
So I never had to take such an exam, although here in Texas a number of years back we all had to take the very stupid TECAT test. My son, however, just graduated college a couple of weeks ago in a Praxis state, and had to take it. He had no trouble with Praxis I to get into education, but this last one he had to take to student teach, he failed by one question and had to retest. He's very smart--graduated with honors. He knew exactly which parts of the test he missed even before he got the results back, so he studied that area some more and had no trouble the 2nd time. I have talked to parents of several people taking the Praxis about the same time as my son and they all said the same thing-Praxis 2 is hard.
I was in a similar situation. I took the TECAT in TX, taught 3 years and then took time to raise my children. When I came back to teaching, I was in a state that required the Praxis II. I was very worried. But, it really was easy, due to my experience. The books really do help, though. Review some of the college "theory" stuff - the kind of stuff you don't use in the classroom but had to know. The practical experience kicks in.
I took the Praxis I and II. I just recently finished them and I passed them all first try. I am an awful test-taker, especially in math, and I did not find the math to be that overwhelming. It was my lowest scoring section (I passed by 4 points lol) but usually I fail math by 4 points, so I was thrilled
A lot of the questions can def be answered based upon teaching experience rather than college classes. That's part of the reason they do not recommend taking the Praxis II exams until after student teaching. If you have to take the content area exercises exam (4 essays in 2 hours) you teaching experience will be all you need to pass the exam. Good luck!
Does/did your state ever offer permanent certificates?? If so, doesn't the veteren teacher across the hall hold that certification? Things in my state are so screwed up that it's pathetic. Those constant changes have people frazzled. They recently announced that after August of this year that the permanent certificate did not count for newly hired teachers. We all found this interesting since perm. cert. had to be obtained by Sept. 2003. In addition, the praxis is no good anymore. You must have 30 semester hours in your teaching areas. In my system, the HQT requirements only affect middle school teachers teaching core subjects. Grades K-6 are okay with their K-8 certification.
In my opinion, noone really knows what their doing!!
I took the NTE when I graduated from college and got my first job in the state of Kansas. I then moved from Kansas to Missouri. They are reciprocal states, however, in Missouri, they require one to take the PRAXIS and will not accept the NTE scores. I bought the study guide and looked it over for a couple of evenings before taking the test. Turns out that the NTE and the PRAXIS really are basically the same test. I did not see much of a difference between the two. They both asked a lot of situational questions: what would you do if...
A test does not measure a person or their commitment. The leaders of this country do not even have to meet tough standards and or testing. for the amount of pay and respect this job receives, parents , administration and all the other higher ups need to come on in and see what goes on in a day. you want good teachers? well making it that much harder for them to do plan excitig lessons, correct papers, talk with parents, go to PTA functions, afterschool meetings, morning and afternoon duty, luch duty, detention, ect without support is not going to keep them in education. The good ones are smart enough to leave before they burn out and the young ones sometimes do more damage than good their first years (and they passed the tests and got the masters degree)
I taught for 12 years, then had my daughter. During which time I had to send my senc $100 every 3 years to become re-certified. The one year I was late so penalized.
I have taken the Praxis 2 and failed both the mulitple choice test and the content area essay tests. I am retaking it this weekend as a matter of fact.
I am furious that I have to take this to teach again. I am teaching now on the assumption that I WILL pass this time. If I don't I have to take it again in March. It's expensive and frustrating.
I don't think it is ANY indication of the kind of teacher I am/was. It's unfair.
I passed the Prax II tests without issue... does that make me a good teacher? No. Passion, creativity, and a genuine desire to help people expand their horizons - that is what makes me a good teacher. These tests don't check for the aforementioned credentials!
I honestly feel terrible for the people out there who bomb these tests because they are simply bad test-takers. I wonder how many great teachers we lose over these expensive, time-consuming, nerve-shredding tests???? However, 'tis true, you can help yourself greatly by utilizing the testing booklets. I used CliffNotes Praxis books. The online test samples provided by ETS are good too.
I think there should be testing at the least yearly if not quarterly.
Are you going to pay for this testing? Are you going to come and TEACH, not just babysit like many subs do, my class while I go and take my test? Then, are YOU going to be held responsible for my students scores because I have lost valuable teaching time due to being out to take a test? Do you realize that for every day a teacher is out of the classroom, it takes at least 2 days to catch up?
"Smart" really doesn't have a lot to do with a good teacher. Just because someone is smart, doesn't mean they can present the material in a way that interests and involves the students in their learning. Obviously, you have not spent much time in the classroom.
I agree, there should be standards for teachers, and most are required to attend continuing edcuation classes for renewal of their license, but testing every quarter? What would that really accomplish??
**disclaimer** No offense to subs here! I know many good subs who can come in and teach, but there are just as many in my area that come in and babysit for the day.
I took the NTE exam in 1986 and passed. I have a BA in English from a state college 1983. My NTE exam test category was for "English Language and Literature Test (ELL)." This test covered: I) American Literature, II) British Literature, III) Classical and World Literature, IV) Analysis of Poetry or Prose and Mass Media and finally, V) Lanuage and composition. Now everyone's talking about this Praxis Test and I want to get my state Certification to teach full-time in the public school. I still have copies of this Original NTE exam sitting in envelopes SEALED and UNOPENED...in my file cabinet. Any advise?.....The college's want the Praxis II....but there are other ways to become a teacher, if not the traditional way...any ideas for me? Thanks.....
I'm a substitute teacher and I teach students when the teachers are absent. I report to school a 1/2 HOUR early, just to read the Regular Teacher's instructions and to orient myself in their classroom. Like where are the Headphones, the Art Smocks...etc? Then ALWAYS, ALWAYS, all the teachers write as their last instruction..."PLEASE LEAVE ME A NOTE TO TELL ME how the students BEHAVE." What amazes me is that there are some students who act APPROPRIATELY. They are respectful of New Visitors/teachers......but there are always some students that WASTE my time and I can't teach the complete lesson.
GOOD TEACHERS? THERE ARE PLENTY OF REALLY GOOD TEACHERS. But we need more responsible Parents who teach their kids respect at home and to respect substitute teachers. Maybe it's our culture? Like the way people drive their cars on the road around other strangers? (No cop is looking, so I can be out of control and speed and possiblly hurt others?) This is the metaphor I like today.... To me, all the quick, in a hurry, people who want "instant coffee" results are the very people who aren't respectful. Really ask yourself?....What's your part in this Mr. or Ms Parents? Is it just the teacher / parent meeting that let's you say your say, when everyone knows "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?" The parent is responsible at HOME to teach their children...like a reality check. Who are the main characters are in the child's day? What about the subs? I have fun and love my substitute teaching jobs! I've been fortunate so far! And the proof is when after 15 minutes in class, a little girl, 3rd grader shouts out, "She's really nice!" and she's just shouting it out to the ceiling.....How cool is that????? Kids know..........
So dear parents, DO YOUR PART AND DON'T DUMP ON THE TEACHERS....I'm just a Substitute ...but the teachers' really have they're plates filled....When you go to work, do 10 employees walk over to your desk constantly asking questions...all day long? You need alot of patience.....THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN....ALWAYS..... Try it with your kids! Start with you and them being people first and respectful of visiting teachers........cause learning only happens in a classroom where there is relative quiet and and focus. And if the regular teacher spends two days catching up after a sub?, get your kids to be respectful of new teachers/or visitors....make them AWARE. And yes and no to the teacher..........because I follow the lesson plans as best as possible and Teacher Aides in large classes are very helpful! The smaller classes are easier to control. Just give them a Quiz that their teacher will grade the next day, and every student becomes quiet and focused. It's amazing.
I just took the praxis II writing/essays test. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I was a graduate from Boston University with a major in journalism. I wrote for NESN.com which is partnered with the Boston Globe and was an accomplished journalist. I also received a congressional nomination and was accepted into the Naval Academy (but decided not to go after 911 and went to BU instead). After I took the Praxis II essays test, I was so confident with my performance that I thought I was going to receive a Recognition of Excellence. Instead, I got my score back this past Tuesday and received a 145 (passing is 160). I was SOOOO shocked that I called ETS up to make sure it was my test they graded. I have been an accomplished writer my whole life, and am offended they scored me so poorly. When I told my teachers, friends and family everyone was shocked.
The only explanation that makes sense to me is this is some sort of conspiracy. They want our money so no matter how well we write, they will fail us so we will buy the study guides and pay for the test again. If a 145 is actually a fair grade for my writing, what in the world are they looking for? I am really not trying to be conceited, but I know that I am a great writer and I cannot comprehend what has just happened. We are all trying to become English teachers, not the next Shakespeare! I paid for them to score my test again, so we will see....
I live in Missouri and am recently certified. While applying for jobs, I have noticed that some applications ask for NTE scores. I am wondering if the NTE and the Praxis II are the same thing since teachers in MO have to take the Praxis II in their area to be certified. I have never heard of the NTE (perhaps because I am young?)
I totally agree with you, how can that predict how good a teacher you are? Also how did you know what test to take? I am so confused. Interviews for out of state are next month, and I checked the ets website but then called the state and got conflicting info. I am middle school language arts.
I don't know how passing a test makes you a good teacher? It takes years to practice and improve your craft! Why do they insist on only hiring brand new young teachers? I understand they want to mold teachers and are not happy with teachers have other ideas, but I am open to learn and teach what I already know too. I think it is the symbiotic relationship of the older teachers and the younger that makes a good school!
I am just trying to figure out what Praxis to take though! I checked the ETS website but then called the state because last year I ran into problems. This year the interviews are next month and I want to have taken the tests already to show I am highly qualified.
Can someone please tell me what tests are the best to take to make you the most marketable as a Middle School Language Arts teacher? I called the state and got conflicting information, things are changing everyday, how do you know what test to take???? My friend just spent a lot of money taking the wrong one? Please I am not rich???
Anyone get a job out of state and how did you find out which tests to take?
The college's want the Praxis II....but there are other ways to become a teacher, if not the traditional way...any ideas for me? Thanks.....
Hi. I live in North Carolina and we have alternative licensure programs here. Those who want to teach birth-kindergarten or elementary school MUST pass the Praxis II in order to be considered for the alternative licensure program. For other subjects and grades, the applicant must have a degree relevant to the subject being taught OR 24 semester hours in relevant coursework OR a passing Praxis II score. If one of these conditions is met, there are specific GPA, SAT, and other scores that need to be met.
It sounds like California wants you to pass the Praxis II in order to be considered for the program. In NC, it must be passed before you are accepted into the lateral entry if you do not have 24 credit hours or a degree in the subject you want to teach. If you have the degree or the 24 hours, you have three years to successfully pass the Praxis II in order to obtain your license.
There is an exception. NC State will work with you if you need to take only a few classes to meet the 24 hours in the subject you wish to teach. However, you can't participate in the NCTeach program. I forget what it is called, but it may take 3 years to complete, but you are not required to student teach. Hope this helps.
spelling errors will give you a low score.......I am a math teacher in MO and cannot find a job...so it must be something else they are looking for....they are hiring teach for America and career transition people and even people without certifications....There are only a few districts that hire more than a few black teachers....maybe I will leave MO and try NY or something!!!.....
Hello Denver! I too was afraid to take the Praxis. It had been over twenty years since I was in high school. My advise is to purchase the study guides, and prepare. Most states require the praxis or something very similar. I kept putting the test off due to fear. Next thing I knew, they raised the bar on the passing scores (see what can happen if you wait). Anyway, have faith! You can do it ! Good luck to you and happy teaching!
The PPST was hilarious, still trying to figure out how I lost a point in the math section. The only section that bothered me was the creative writing, as a scientist creative writing isn't really encouraged, we tend to call it lying! Anyhow, I had been told to direct the piece at the reader and to make it very personal, seemed to work. Given that I have 3 degrees in Chemistry I was a bit miffed to find that the State still required me to complete the Praxis II to finish my certification, no exemptions I was told by a very apologetic state official. So one very rainy Saturday I completed it in my content area (Physical science) really was easy. given my background I was annoyed that I had to sit it but I scored maximum. I have to say that I am not impressed with the quality of the Praxis exams generally not only are the questions pretty poor in terms of challenging higher thinking skills but on a couple of occasions they were erroneous, which I took great pleasure in pointing out at length on the question paper. ETS also seem to break every rule of multiple choice questions; e.g. use of the negative in the question, use of the long answer repeated with only minor differences, use of factual questions instead of applied questions, utilization of 'Best answer' there should only be one correct answer. I'm sure you can come up with additions to this list these are just a few that spring to mind. As has been said before they can't make you a teacher with these but they can makes sure that you know the content area, however ETS are ineffective in both areas.
My husband is in the Army and we move around a lot, so I am preparing to take the Praxis I for Washington State. I am a bit nervous because I have been out of college since 2001, nervous because of the math section. I have the study books, but I have heard that the Praxis I is harder than the books, yet on the other hand I have heard that the books are harder. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am really stressed out about the math portion, so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Keep in mind that subs follow the lesson plans they are given. If all they are doing is "babysitting," it's because that's all the teacher allowed them to do. You, as a teacher, should know that, and not blame it on the sub.
I am currently preparing for my praxis 1 exam, i would just like to know how to rate the raw score for the three sections.. like for example, if we get a 24 on the reading what would it be on the real scale. I really appreciate if you could reply
I've taken Praxis I and II. I moved to another state that supposedly had reciprocity and they told me I needed to take another version of Praxis II. I paid the money (the deadline was past so I had to pay extra) but then they realized I had enough experience so I didn't have to take the Praxis II in that state. (It was still for elementary ed, but it was a different version. Ridiculous)
I went to school with a lady who eventually became an extraordinary teacher. She couldn't student teach until she passed the praxis. She just couldn't seem to pass the math portion. (She missed it by 1 or 2 points. It actually would have been a passing score in other states, which is another issue.) She finally passed the test and she is an incredible teacher.
I didn't find the tests that difficult but some people (just like our students) have horrible test anxiety and just don't test well.
I need advice, I just took the Praxis for Social Studies Content Area (0081). I got a 154 but the passing score is 157, I was short by 3 points. The state has a GPA/Praxis Flexibility Rule that indicates that if the student has a GPA of 3.5 or higher that the passing score on the Praxis test can be reduced by 5%, meaning that the passing score is now 149. My GPA is 3.65 which would qualify me to pass because I have a 154 and the new passing score is 149. My only hesitation is that I feel a hollow victory, I feel I pass but I failed. Most tell me to take the score and run since I really passed according to the state guidelines. Others tell me that taking the Praxis again will not guarantee passing and that I should move on to the next step of the Alternate Route Teaching Program that still requires another year of Probationary Teaching and taking college courses and I need to submit this Praxis score before I obtain my Certificate of Eligibility(C.E.) to start the Alternate Route Program. Thanks for any response, Mike
The same thing happened to me, Boston-CT. I was so miserable when I got my score back after taking the essay test. I was sure I passed, and instead I failed! I have taken the test three times already. My scores were 150, 155, 150. I finally took the new version they offered (they combined content and essays into one test) and I passed. However, I still didn't do amazing on the essay portion. I had a 3.83 GPA in English when I was in college, and a 3.62 overall. I was deemed one of the best writers in my class, and was recommended for a writing internship, which I took. I just don't understand. Have you come to understand yet? I still feel really guilty for not performing well enough.
Looking to get teaching Cert. in another state. So have to take another version of Praxis II. Have been out of school for a long time and have not been teaching at the elementary level for a while at this time. Does anyone know if there is a good (hopefully reasonable in price) study guide for the 0021 Praxis II test.
What college in Florida is one of the few states that does not require a PRAXIS score, which one? What do you mean about the Prof Ed Test, you only need a 56% to pass it ,Could you e-mail me back to let me know what test that was you have to take ?
I am have passed the Reading and Writing sections of the Praxis exam very easily. However, I am struggling to pass the Math portion. It seems like I understand the material, but when I go to take the exam I do not understand how to do some of the problems. It is really odd because I help in the 6th grade and I understand everything that is taught in the 6th grade math class, but the Math Praxis is so difficult for me.
I was worried about taking the Praxis, as well. My Math mentor suggested the website praxismiddleschoolmath.com. I passed the first try. What I think really helped was that the questions they have on their practice tests are equally as hard, if not harder. You can take them timed or at your own pace. My strategy was to take the first few tests timed and then my last practice test I took as much time as I needed to really make sure I could practice the skill. They provide detailed explainations of the correct and incorrect answers. Here is a code that I used to get 10% off. SAVE-NJEA I felt it was well worth the $40.
I've took many of these exams, and always the same question would enter my mind. Are these tests designed to measure what we know or how fast we can get it down on paper? When taking these exams, I've I've always felt like I was playing "beat the clock" instead of displaying my knowledge. This does not really surprise me since each exam cost close to $200 to take, which is not easy if your a student with just a part time job. I guess their thinking is the shorter time allowed for the Exam, the more rushed a student will be, resulting in him or her not passing. The student will have to take the exam again, pay another $200, and the makers of the test can have a nice payday.
I too had trouble with the Praxis 1 math. Does someone who wants to teach English really need to be proficient in geometry and higher algebraic equations? Not to mention all those crazy word problems found on the exam. I finally got a a deferral on the math portion, and passed the Praxis 2 with minimum difficulty. You may want to talk to your university's department of education adviser to see if a deferral is possible in your situation. Getting it was not easy! My score had to be within three points of passing and I had to do a TON of paper work including essays and recommendations from my professors. The decision had to go in front of a board, and I was granted the deferral on the condition that I made a B or higher in Prob/Stats. It took me a few tries, but I finally made an A- in that class. Anyway, that's something you can look into. I wish you well the next time you take it.
I know what you mean Boston-ct. I'm a pretty good writer myself. And for me also, no conceit is intended. Writing is just what I do. But I got a pretty low score on the writing section of Praxis I. What I've decided, is that there is a formula to the essay section of these tests. If you don't write to the formula, you won't be scored well on the essay.
I've just taken the Praxis II. I'm waiting for my scores. I'm feeling nervous after hearing your story. Good luck to you in your retake. I hope you pass next time. Remember, just write straight, in the way they want, and you'll do fine.
I live in missouri and I have taken the praxis 5 times already. Until last year the university that I attend changed its requirements with student teaching. In order to student teach you have to take the praxis and pass. Well, I think that it is sad that the school system bases their best teachers on a test. I believe it takes more than a test to be a great teacher. I even tried writing a letter to the university to see if they could let me student teach but they sent me a letter back and denied my request. Its so sad that it comes down to this. I love working with the children and I have worked in a school setting for the last 4 years. I wish they didn't base everything off of the praxis.
I have been studying for the Praxis for quite some time now. I have changed careers after 17 years in Office/Bookkeeping and general office work Management. I have completed all of my program except for my student teaching, and this test that is to be the death of me if I cannot get through it. (smile). I have sought out assistance from other teachers, administrators and other teaching staff who have suggested books, tricks and other resources online, and I have spent months and months studying. I have taken refresher courses in math, science and have spent hours brushing up on literacy facts, language, dates in history, geography, the periodic table, geology, and other content subjects so I know my subjects. What I have come to determine is that my University gave me all of the necessary tools and courses to teach, and the ability to teach in a classroom; but none of the content courses, because I took all of those in my undergraduate courses for my Bachelor's degree over 20 years ago. While I am spending a great deal of time brushing up on these subjects, I have taken the Praxis four times; unsuccessfully. During this time, they have now changed and updated the test in Colorado to meet the new standards, and scores, and now I not only have to meet the new test, but now a new score...which is now 20 more points than before.
I could certainly use some pointers as I am growing very frustrated, as this is the only thing stopping me from my license. I have only to finish the test, complete my student teaching, and I am finished.....Any help would be appreciated....
I am about to take my PRAXIS II Social Studies General Knowledge test (5081) and petrified! Is it easy or hard? I am just scared as a cat I am about to student teach and can't afford to keep retesting in Alabama at $120 a retest. So I am curious if it is as bad in my mind as I think it is I wonder what percentage peoples retakes are on this exam.
I am taking mine for the second time in two weeks. I have passed everything...the PPST, Reading Content, and all of the Praxis 2 except the Social Studies part. I felt like it was hard I studied two practice books and studied some early civilization as well. I am a nervous wreck... I don't think I will ever feel prepared for it.
I just took the newly redesigned Praxis II, and it was difficult. However, I received a score of 174 (min. in Utah is 162). There is no conspiracy- I did not purchase any of their study materials, and passed it on my first try.