Praxis II Social Studies: Practice and Study Guide

Prepare for the Praxis II Social Studies: Content and Interpretation teacher certification exam by watching brief video lessons that review content covered on the exam. Course topics include history, economics, geography and civics. 

About the Course

The Praxis II Social Studies is a certification exam for prospective high school social studies teachers. This exam is required by over two-thirds of states. Before signing up for the Praxis II, discuss your specific requirements with your college adviser, and check the requirements in the state in which you plan to teach.

This 2-hour exam is divided into two sections. The first section consists of 90 multiple-choice questions, while the second features three constructed-response questions, which are short-answer essays. You have the option of taking this test on a computer or using a traditional paper delivery method. Both test forms cover the same material and have the same types of questions.

To help you prepare for the Praxis II Social Studies exam, our team of professional educators has put together this easy-to-follow online study guide. Through our series of short video lessons and self-assessment quizzes, you can brush up on your knowledge of world history, beginning with ancient Greece through present-day Western civilization. You'll also explore various aspects of U.S. history, including the settlement of North America, the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and the country's legacy of protests, activism and civil disobedience. Other chapters in this study guide cover the following:

  • Government/civics/political science
  • Geography
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Behavioral sciences

The Praxis II Social Studies Content and Interpretation exam covers content commonly taught by high school social studies departments. In addition to taking the Praxis II Social Studies exam, you might be required by your state to take other Praxis exams.

Praxis II Social Studies Preparation and Registration

Our preparation course for the Praxis II Social Studies test includes video lessons, many of which can be watched in just 5-10 minutes, for all of the content areas assessed on the exam. Each lesson includes a multiple-choice quiz that allows you to check your mastery of the material. You can watch the lessons in order or jump around to review specific content areas.

The Praxis II Social Studies: Content and Interpretation exam is offered just three times a year - on a single Saturday in March, June and September - in paper format, while the computer-based test is available during several testing windows scheduled throughout the year. You can visit the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website for specific availability and to find test centers in your area.

Registration for either exam format can be completed online or by mail. Telephone registration is available for an additional fee. During the registration process, you can choose up to three school districts or other institutions or licensing agencies that you'd like to receive your scores.

Praxis II Social Studies Scoring

If you took the Praxis II in paper format, your test scores will be posted online around four weeks after your test date. Computer-based test-takers can get their scores online in approximately 2-3 weeks. The minimum score you need to pass the Praxis II and qualify for certification as a social studies teacher is set by the state in which you'll teach. These scores can be found on the ETS website.

Your score report for the Praxis II will indicate whether you passed the exam and give you the scope of possible scores. You'll also find out how you performed in each of the following content areas:

U.S. History

Approximately 15% of questions on the Praxis II measure your knowledge of U.S. history. Topics covered in this section might include the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and U.S. participation in the first and second World Wars. You also might be asked about North America, including its geography and people, before colonization by Europeans.

World History

This content area, which comprises around 15% of the Praxis II, covers world history from the early civilizations of Greece, Rome, India and China to post-Cold War societies. You'll be expected to know how technology, religion, economics and various political ideologies have shaped societies around the globe, as well as understand the value of conflict and cooperation.


Another 15% of the Praxis II covers government, civics and political science. You'll be tested on your understanding of various political concepts and orientations, in addition to your knowledge of prominent political theorists. Questions are likely to cover government and politics on the U.S. and international levels.


Approximately 11% of the Praxis II gauges your proficiency in economics. You might be asked about various economic systems, factors of production, choice and opportunity costs, and the role of government in economics. Other topics might include ways of gauging economic performance, inflation and unemployment, and fiscal policies.


This section comprises an additional 11% or so of the Praxis II. Questions might focus on map types and projections, spatial patterns and concepts, political geography, and demographic patterns and change. This section also might measure your ability or organize spatial information and to find and use appropriate geographic data sources.

Behavioral Sciences

The smallest content area, this section features approximately 8% of the questions on the Praxis II. Questions focus on various factors that influence human behavior, including society, culture, learning and personal identity.

Short Content Essays

The three constructed-response questions on the Praxis II account for approximately one-quarter of your score. Each essay should take approximately 10 minutes to answer and will be scored on a scale of 1-3, with three being the highest. The questions are interdisciplinary in nature, involving elements of history, economics, government and geography, and you'll be required to interpret one or more stimulus materials, such as written passages, photographs, or charts and diagrams.

The Praxis II is a registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which is not affiliated with Education Portal.

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Course Chapters

Take the practice final exam.

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