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College of Education and Social Work

PA Tests

Contact College of Education and Social Work  

College of Education and Social Work

Address:
35 W. Rosedale Ave.
302 Recitation Hall
West Chester, PA 19383


Candidate Services: 610-436-2999
Certification Information: 610-436-2321
Clearances: 610-436-2999
Clinical Experiences: 610-436-3090
Deans Office: 610-436-2321
Professional Testing Center: 610-436-2413


Staff

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PA Tests

Contact the Professional Testing Center for information about:

  • Basic Skills Requirement
  • PDE Composite Calculator
  • Subject Area Tests
  • Exam Preparation

Important PA Test Information

General Information

  • Because test requirements and passing scores frequently change and vary for the different certification areas, students are encouraged to contact education programs on a regular basis throughout the completion of their degree program.
  • Praxis II computer-based tests (CBT) may have registration date restrictions.
  • Praxis exams can be repeated after 21 days. PECT/PAPA exams can be repeated after 30 days.
  • There is no limit to the number of times tests can be repeated.
  • For specific retake policies, contact the test vendor.
  • There is no date by which test scores become invalid. Test scores are valid for life.
  • Testing accommodations are available for students whose first language is not English. Refer to PLNE (ETS) & Pearson Testing Accommodations for information about how to register to receive extra testing time. Note: Accommodations must be applied for well in advance before the testing date.

How do students receiving financial aid apply for a test fee waiver?

  • Students may apply for a PECT Financial Assistance Voucher prior to registering for the exam if they meet the following requirements:
    • Currently receiving financial aid
    • Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program
  • Students may apply for an ETS/PRAXIS Fee Waiver if they meet the following requirements:
    • Currently receiving financial aid
    • Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program (Note: You are ineligible if you have a master's or a doctoral degree)
    • Meet eligibility income guidelines
    • Required to take a Praxis test by an authorized score recipient
    • Note: A limited number of waivers are available per test date and per institution. Candidates can receive one waiver per testing year (August-September)

How do students receive a free retest?

To be eligible for a free retest, students must:

  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have tested no more than twice
  • Have their scores evaluated by contacting Kelsey Organ, Professional Testing Center Coordinator

Can GPA help achieve a qualifying test score?

Yes! The “Sliding Scale” allows candidates with high GPAs in educator preparation programs to qualify with lower test scores. Determine whether your scores qualify with your GPA by using the Sliding Scale Chart. For scores that qualify through the Sliding Scale, the score report will state “Not Passed” as it does not meet the straight passing score. Employers, such as school districts, understand that in PA this method allows for an acceptable, qualifying score.

What is the process for adding on a content area or extending the grade bands of my certification?

  • Instructional I content areas can be added on to an Instructional certification by passing the required subject test(s). Certification areas offered as add-ons and the corresponding test(s) can be found on the Instructional Add-Ons Chart.
  • Special Education majors can extend their grade bands through coursework and testing. More information can be found on the Special Ed. Extending Grade Bands Chart.
  • The GPA Sliding Scale cannot be used. Candidates must earn a passing score on required tests.
  • Certification areas can be added with or after an initial certification:
    • If the required test(s) are passed and the test scores are in TIMS when PDE reviews your initial Instructional certification application, the certification area will be added automatically.
    • Candidates who already hold an Instructional certification must submit a TIMS application and pay the administrative fee of $200 to receive certification for the add-on.
  • Find further details and apply through the PDE website.

Basic Skills - Information and Registration

Basic Skills Requirements

  • Basic Skills is a FATE requirement and must be completed prior to entrance into professional level education courses.
  • Undergraduate candidates are required to pass Basic Skills tests in reading, writing, and mathematics as prescribed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  • Post-baccalaureate candidates (previously completed an undergraduate degree and are currently completing a certification program or a second degree) are not required to complete Basic Skills unless they began a teacher preparation program as an undergraduate prior to August 1, 2015 and are now completing the program at the post-baccalaureate level.
  • Advanced degree candidates are not required to complete Basic Skills.
  • Students required to fulfill Basic Skills must do so through one of the five testing options listed below (Mix & Match, PAPA, CORE, ACT, SAT).
  • Use the PDE Basic Skills Certification Calculator to determine if your scores meet the Basic Skills requirement. Click on #3. If you are unfamiliar with how the Calculator works, please reference the Composite Score Calculator Instructions

Basic Skills Exam Preparation

  • Content is based on 11th grade reading, mathematics, and writing. Test when this information is fresh.
  • Register and attend Basic Skills Test Workshops hosted by the LARC or an individualized tutoring session at Candidate Services by calling 610-436-2999.
  • Utilize PDE's PAPA Study Guide.

Mix and Match

  • Combine individual tests from different vendors (Pearson, ETS, ACT & College Board) to meet the basic skills requirement.
  • Use the composite score method to meet the requirement when you do well in one or two areas to compensate for a lower score in another area. The composite score is the sum of the passing scores (each test must meet or exceed the minimum score listed).
  • If a student's composite score (sum of the best scores that meet or exceed the minimum) is greater than the composite "target" scores (sum of the passing scores), the student has passed basic skills.
  • Use the Composite Score Calculator to determine whether your scores qualify. Click on #3. If you are unfamiliar with how the Calculator works, please reference the Composite Score Calculator Instructions.

PAPA (Pearson's Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment)

Registration

When registering with Pearson, choose WCU from the dropdown menu to send scores to the Certification Office.

PAPA Registration

PECT/PAPA Modules

Option 1 Score: Meet or exceed each minimum test score

Option 2 Score: Composite Score = 633; All areas must meet the minimum (see below), and the sum of the three scores must meet or exceed 633.

PAPA Module 8001: Reading
Option 1 Score: 220
Option 2 Score: Minimum 193

PAPA Module 8002: Mathematics
Option 1 Score: 193
Option 2 Score: Minimum 176

PAPA Module 8003: Writing
Option 1 Score: 220
Option 2 Score: Minimum 192

CORE (ETS's Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests)

Registration

When registering with ETS, include your social security number and choose #8033 (PDE) and #2659 (WCU) as score recipients.

CORE Registration

CORE Tests

CORE can be taken as a combined test (5751), or as individual sections (see CORE test numbers below).

Option 1 Score: Meet or exceed each minimum test score

Option 2 Score: Composite Score = 460; All areas must meet the minimum (see below), and the sum of the three scores must meet or exceed 460.

5712: Reading
Option 1 Score: 156
Option 2 Score: 148

5722: Writing
Option 1 Score: 162
Option 2 Score: 158

5732: Mathematics
Option 1 Score: 142
Option 2 Score: 132

ACT Tests

Registration

ACT Registration

Prior to September 1, 2015

Submit a Help Ticket to the PA Department of Education with a copy of your full report for determination.

September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016

Reading
Passing Score: 22
Minimum Score: 20

Writing
Passing Score: 21
Minimum Score: 17

Mathematics
Passing Score: 21
Minimum Score: 19

Composite ACT Test Score**
Passing Score: 64

After August 31, 2016

Reading
Passing Score: 22
Minimum Score: 20

Writing
Passing Score: 8
Minimum Score: 7

Mathematics
Passing Score: 21
Minimum Score: 19

Composite ACT Test Score**
Passing Score: 51

 
** "Composite ACT Test Score" is PDE's term for the sum of the three subscores. This term does not refer to the "ACT's Composite Score" listed on ACT score reports.

SAT Tests

Registration

SAT Registration

Prior to March 1, 2016*

Critical Reading
Passing Score: 500

Mathematics
Passing Score: 500

Writing
Passing Score: 500

 

*Students must provide an official score report from CollegeBoard

After February 29, 2016

Reading
Passing Score: 27
Minimum Composite Score: 25

Mathematics
Passing Score: 26
Minimum Composite Score: 24

Writing and Language
Passing Score: 28
Minimum Composite Score: 26

Composite SAT Test Score
Passing Score: 81

Subject Area Tests - Information and Registration

Certification Area Requirements

  • Biology
    • Praxis II: Biology: Content Knowledge (#5235); REQUIRED SCORE: 147

    Must TAKE it prior to student teaching.

  • Chemistry
    • Praxis II: Chemistry: Content Knowledge (#5245); REQUIRED SCORE: 154

    Must TAKE it prior to student teaching.

  • Earth and Space Science
    • Praxis II: Earth and Space Science: Content Knowledge (#5571) REQUIRED SCORE: 157

    Must TAKE prior to student teaching.

  • English
    • Praxis II: English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (5038) REQUIRED SCORE: 167

    Must TAKE prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS the required Praxis II test in order to be PA certified.

  • French
  • Students Formally (FATE) Admitted in Spring 2013 and After

    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • ACTFL/ LTI [American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/ Language Testing International] Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and have a minimum rating Intermediate High (IH).

    Must TAKE the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL tests prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL* tests for PA certification.

    *The PA Dept. of Ed will accept the Praxis II World Language: French test (#5174) in lieu of ACTFL for certification. Regardless of that, our candidates must take the ACTFL tests prior to student teaching; Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511) is required under either circumstance.

    Students Formally (FATE) Admitted Prior to Spring 2013

    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • Praxis II: World Languages: French (#5174); REQUIRED SCORE: 162
    • The PA Dept. of Ed will accept ACTFL (OPI & WPT); REQUIRED SCORE: Intermediate High (IH) in lieu of passing Praxis II - World Languages: French (#5174) for state certification. Regardless of that, our candidates must take both required Praxis II tests prior to student teaching.
  • General Science
    • Praxis II: General Science: Content Knowledge (#5435); REQUIRED SCORE: 146

    Must TAKE it prior to student teaching.

  • Geography/Social Studies
    • Praxis: Social Studies: Content Knowledge (#5081); REQUIRED SCORE: 157

    Must TAKE it prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS for PA certification.

  • German
  • Students Formally (FATE) admitted in Spring 2013 and after

    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • ACTFL/ LTI [American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/ Language Testing International] Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and have a minimum rate of Intermediate High (IH).

    Must TAKE the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL tests prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL* tests for PA certification.

    *The PA Dept. of Ed will accept the Praxis II World Language: German test (#5183); REQUIRED SCORE: 163 in lieu of ACTFL for certification. Regardless of that, our candidates must take the ACTFL tests prior to student teaching; Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511) is required under either circumstance.

    Students Formally (FATE) admitted Prior to Spring 2013

    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • Praxis II: World Languages: German (#5183); REQUIRED SCORE: 163

    The PA Dept. of Ed will accept ACTFL (OPI & WPT); REQUIRED SCORE: Intermediate High (IH) in lieu of passing Praxis II - World Languages: French (#5174) for state certification. Regardless of that, our candidates must take both required Praxis II tests prior to student teaching.

  • Grades PK-4
    • PECT CBT: Grades PK-4*; REQUIRED SCORE:
      • Module 1: 197
      • Module 2: 193
      • Module 3: 193

    *May take as a combined test & repeat any individual module(s) not passed. Must TAKE all certification tests prior to student teaching and must PASS all certification tests to be PA certified.

  • Grades 4-8
    • Praxis II CBT: PA Grades 4-8 Core Assessment Combined Test (5152); REQUIRED SCORE: N/A*- refer to individual modules' passing scores-see below
      • PA G 4-8 CA: English Language Arts and Social Studies (5154); REQUIRED SCORE: 152
      • PA G 4-8 CA: Mathematics and Science (5155); REQUIRED SCORE: 164
      • PA G 4-8 CA: Pedagogy (5153); REQUIRED SCORE: 162
    • Praxis II Subject Concentration test(s) according to specified program:
      • PA G 4-8 SC: English Language Arts (5156); REQUIRED SCORE: 156
      • PA G 4-8 SC: Mathematics (5158); REQUIRED SCORE: 173
      • PA G 4-8 SC: Science (5159); REQUIRED SCORE: 156
      • PA G 4-8 SC: Social Studies (5157); REQUIRED SCORE: 150

    Must TAKE all certification tests prior to student teaching and must PASS all certification tests to be PA certified.

    *To pass the Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 Core Assessment(CA) you must receive a passing score on each of the three subtests.

  • Health & Physical Education
    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
      AND
    • Praxis II: Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge (#5857); REQUIRED SCORE: 160

    Must TAKE the required Praxis II tests (#5511 & #5857) prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS the required Praxis II tests (#5511 & #5857) for PA certification.

  • History/Social Studies
    • Praxis II: Social Studies: Content Knowledge (#5081); REQUIRED SCORE: 157

    Must TAKE prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS for PA certification.

  • Mathematics
    • Praxis II: Mathematics: Content Knowledge (#5161); REQUIRED SCORE: 160

    Must TAKE prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS for PA certification.

  • Music
    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • Praxis II: Music: Content Knowledge (#5113); REQUIRED SCORE: 158

    Must TAKE Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511) as a pre-requisite for MUE 332, Music Methods and Materials II.

    Must TAKE Praxis II: Music: Content Knowledge (#5113) immediately upon completion of MHL 212 (Music History III) and as a pre-requisite to MUE 431/432 (Student Teaching).

    Students must PASS both required tests to be PA certified.

  • Physics
    • Praxis II: Physics: Content Knowledge (#5265); REQUIRED SCORE: 140

    Must TAKE prior to student teaching.

  • Political Science/Social Studies
    • Praxis II: Social Studies: Content Knowledge (#5081); REQUIRED SCORE: 157

    Must TAKE prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS for PA certification.

  • Reading Specialist
    • Praxis II: Reading Specialist (#5301); REQUIRED SCORE: 164

    Must PASS in order to be eligible for Pennsylvania school certification.

  • Russian
    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • ACTFL/LTI [American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/ Language Testing International] Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and have a minimum rating of Intermediate High (IH).

    Must TAKE the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL tests prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL tests for PA certification.

  • School Counselor: PK-12
    • Praxis II: Professional School Counselor (#5421); REQUIRED SCORE: 156

    Must TAKE in the last semester of classes.

    Must PASS to seek Educational Specialist certification in Pennsylvania.

  • School Speech & Language Pathology: PK-12
    • Praxis II: Speech Language Pathology (#5331); REQUIRED SCORE: 162

    Must TAKE and PASS for graduation and PA Educational Specialist certification.

  • Social Studies (History, Political Science, and Geography)
    • Praxis II: Social Studies: Content Knowledge (#5081); REQUIRED SCORE: 157

    Must TAKE it prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS for PA certification.

  • Spanish
  • Students Formally (FATE) in Spring 2013 and after

    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • ACTFL/ LTI [American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/ Language Testing International] Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and have a minimum rating of Intermediate High (IH).

    Must TAKE the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL tests prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS the required Praxis II test (#5511) and both ACTFL* tests for PA certification.

    *The PA Dept. of Ed will accept the Praxis II World Language: Spanish test (#5195); REQUIRED SCORE: 168 in lieu of ACTFL for certification. Regardless of that, our candidates must take the ACTFL tests prior to student teaching; Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511) is required under either circumstance.

    Students Formally (FATE) admitted Prior to Spring 2013

    • Praxis II: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#5511); REQUIRED SCORE: 150
    • Praxis II: World Languages: Spanish (#5195); REQUIRED SCORE: 168

    Must TAKE both required Praxis II tests prior to student teaching.

    Must PASS both of the required Praxis II tests* for PA certification.

    *The PA Dept. of Ed will accept ACTFL (OPI & WPT); REQUIRED SCORE: Intermediate High (IH) in lieu of passing Praxis II - World Languages: Spanish (#5195) for state certification. Regardless of that, our candidates must take both required Praxis II tests prior to student teaching.

  • Special Education PK-8
    • PECT CBT: Special Education PK-8*; REQUIRED SCORE:
      • Module 1 (#8011): 220
      • Module 2 (#8012): 220

    Must TAKE all modules before student teaching.

    Must PASS all modules to be PA certified.

    • Special Education PreK-8 and Middle Grades Preparation Double Majors wishing to add-on the Special Education 7-12 certification must pass a Secondary Education (7-12) Content Area Praxis Exam.

    *May take as a combined test & repeat any individual module not passed.

  • Special Education 7-12
    • PECT CBT: Special Education 7-12*; REQUIRED SCORE:
      • Module 1 (#8015): 220
      • Module 2 (#8016): 220

    Must TAKE all modules before student teaching.

    Must PASS all modules to be PA certified.

    • Special Education 7-12 Double Majors wishing to add-on the Special Education PreK-8 certification must pass the Early Grades PECT (PK-4) Modules 1, 2 and 3 and/or the Middle Grades (4-8) Praxis Exams.

      *May take as a combined test & repeat any individual module not passed.

Registration for Subject Area Tests

  • All subject areas except PK-4 and Special Education are offered through ETS as PRAXIS tests. When registering, include your social security number and choose #8033 (PDE) and #2659 (WCU) as score recipients.
  • PK-4 and Special Education subject areas are offered through Pearson as PECT tests. When registering, choose WCU from the drop down menu to send scores to the Certification Office.

Subject Area Exam Preparation

NOTE: Always include your social security number when registering for tests to avoid delays and additional expense.