What Is the ParaPro Test and Who Uses It?

What Is the ParaPro Test and Who Uses It?

What is a paraprofessional?

Paraprofessionals are instrumental in helping educators meet the needs of all students in a classroom. Although their jobs and responsibilities may vary widely, generally speaking, a paraprofessional or paraeducator is there to assist the credentialed classroom teacher with daily classroom tasks and to support student learning.

Why do paraprofessionals need to take a test?

To work as a paraprofessional, certain education standards must be met (they vary by district), and, often, candidates must take and pass a skills-based test to certify they have the basic knowledge and skills needed to work with students. Because paraprofessionals often engage in one-on-one learning support and instruction with students, they need to have a basic understanding and foundation themselves.

What does this test assess?

The ParaPro Assessment is a test that has been developed by ETS®, a leader in educational testing. It measures the candidates’ skills in reading, writing, and math and their ability to assist students with those skills. Questions might ask the test-taker to interpret a graph or chart, identify the main idea in a reading passage, or determine whether information included in a text is fact or opinion. In assessing a candidate’s ability to support students, test questions may ask test-takers to alphabetize words, break words down into word parts, or decode an unfamiliar word or phrase by using context clues. Questions may also assess the candidate’s understanding of the writing process so that they can help students understand the intended audience, how to write for different purposes, and how to prewrite, draft, and revise writing.

What is the test like?

The test is a 2.5-hour exam containing 90 multiple-choice questions. While a majority of the questions (roughly \(\frac{2}{3}\)) assess basic knowledge and skills, the other \(\frac{1}{3}\) assess the test taker’s ability to apply those skills and knowledge in the classroom. The test is administered on a computer, and testing appointments can be made in participating school districts, education service centers, and ParaPro test centers.

Did I pass?

At the end of the testing session, an unofficial score will be displayed on the testing screen. However, the tests undergo rigorous review and results may change slightly after that review. As a result, official score reports take approximately 2–3 weeks after the test date to generate. Each state (and school district) establishes what it considers to be a “passing score,” so candidates should ask the school district for that information. The current range of “passing” scores seems to be between 450 and 467. The ParaPro website has the most current list of states and passing score requirements.

How can I make sure I do well on the ParaPro Assessment?

Because you must pass the ParaPro Assessment before you begin paraprofessional work in many school districts, it is critical you do well on the test. Familiarize yourself with the concepts you’ll need to know by reading study guides, and then test your knowledge by taking ParaPro Practice Tests. If you’re short on time or feel you already have a good handle on the mathematics, reading, and writing requirements, flashcards can be a quick way to promote active recall and retain information. If you don’t get the score you hoped for the first time, retakes are available after a waiting period of 28 days.

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