New Jersey Department of Education

Teacher Candidate Basic Skills Requirement

Regulations adopted by the State Board of Education on June 4, 2014 include a basic skills requirement for teacher preparation program entry and teacher certification.

As of September 1, 2015:

  • Candidates starting a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) educator preparation program (formally known as “traditional route”)
    must meet the basic skills requirement prior to starting coursework in a program.
  • Candidates seeking an initial Certificate of Eligibility (CE) (formally known as “alternate route”)
    must meet the basic skills requirement prior to being issued a CE, except:
    • Candidates applying for a CE with a career and technical education (CTE) endorsement – other than agriculture, business-related or family and consumer science endorsements – have until the application for a standard certificate to meet the basic skills requirement.

Meeting the Basic Skills Requirement

  1. Pass a Commissioner-approved assessment of basic skills. Currently, the only approved assessment1 is the Praxis Core Academic Skills with passing scores as follows: Reading: 156, Math: 150, Writing: 162;
  2. Demonstrate a score on the SAT, ACT, or GRE at or above the cut score for the year in which the exam was taken (see cut scores below);
  3. A candidate may hold a master’s or terminal degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 from an accredited institution of higher education.

Cut scores to meet the basic skills requirement (SAT, ACT, GRE)2

  • SAT
    • If taken before 4/1/1995: Math 520, Verbal 480
    • If taken between 4/1/1995 to 2/28/2016: Math 540, Verbal 560
    • If taken on or after 3/1/2016: Math 570, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 610
  • ACT
    • If taken before 8/28/1989: Math 23, English 20
    • If taken on or after 8/28/1989: Math 23, English 23
  • GRE
    • If taken before 8/1/2011: Quantitative 720, Verbal 530
    • If taken on or after 8/1/2011: Quantitative 156, Verbal 155

1 If a candidate completed and passed the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST/Praxis I) prior to June 2014, the
Department will accept passing scores on those exams to satisfy the basic skills requirement (passing scores on
the PPST are as follows: Reading: 175, Math: 174, Writing: 173).

2 Regulations allow candidates who achieved a score on the SAT, ACT or GRE that was “approximately equal to
the top-third percentile score for all test takers in the year the respective test was taken” to be exempt from
taking the Praxis Core; these cut scores represent that approximate “top-third percentile score.”

Acceptable Test Sections to Satisfy Requirement

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) will accept the highest score on each test section,
regardless of test date.

Candidates must demonstrate competency in Math, Reading, and Writing utilizing the appropriate sections of
either Praxis CORE, SAT, ACT, or GRE. The required cut scores (noted above) must be met on each of the
assessments and/or sections used to meet the requirement.

Reading Writing Math
Praxis Core Reading Praxis Core Writing Praxis Core Math
SAT Verbal or SAT Reading SAT Verbal or SAT Reading SAT Math
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Evidence-Based Reading and Writing  
ACT English ACT English ACT Math
GRE Verbal GRE Verbal GRE Quantitative


Report Scoring

  • A CEAS educator preparation program may determine the evidence required to demonstrate
    a candidate’s score on an exam.
  • CE candidates are responsible for ensuring official test scores are sent to the NJDOE. Official Praxis
    Core, SAT, ACT, and GRE scores must be reported directly to the NJDOE using the Designated
    Institution (DI) code assigned to the NJDOE, as listed in the chart below. Please note if you choose to
    have your score(s) expedited to the NJDOE, this does not mean the evaluation of your case will be expedited.                             
DI Codes For NJDOE
Assessment DI Code
Praxis Core Academic Skills R7666
ACT 1881
GRE 2337
SAT 9059


Contact Information

  • Please review the Test Requirements for Certification in New Jersey for additional educator assessment guidance.

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