The teaching field is unique and requires workers who are committed to instilling knowledge into their students starting from the earliest age. To work as a teacher’s assistant, you must understand the education field well and what happens in a classroom from the time students/pupils report into the classroom until they depart.
Your employer will use the Parapro test to assess your readiness to work in the education field. It is crucial therefore that you understand the components of the test, its purpose, and score targets. Prior preparation is essential because you might not be allowed to work as a paraprofessional if you fail this test.
Understanding the Parapro test
The federal law requires all workers who plan to work in the education field to either graduate with an arts degree, complete a two-year postsecondary course or pass the Parapro test to prove their knowledge in mathematics, reading and writing.
The purpose of the test is to measure your preparedness in becoming a classroom assistant. It also tests your math, writing, and reading knowledge. If you are working or want to work as a paraprofessional and haven’t graduated with an arts degree or completed your two-year post-secondary course, you need to take this test. If you fail to achieve the expected Parapro scores, you might be required to reseat the exam and this means paying the fees in full.
Parapro test registration
To take this test, you must first register through the ETS site. Each state lists its testing centers and there might be unique requirements per state. You may be limited to a specific registration district and be given a specific testing date.
There will be a testing fee applicable and some states may have additional fees with different payment methods.
What is Parapro test components?
The test has 90 multi-choice questions broken down into three sections – the math section, the reading, and the writing section. The total time allocated is 2 hours 30 minutes. More than half of the questions test your general knowledge of skills needed in the classroom.
In the math section, you will not be allowed to use a calculator and some of the questions might not be scored. You must tackle all questions whether they are scored or not.
The reading section contains at least thirty questions and its total score is about 33.33%. The questions will test you on various reading and instruction areas starting with your ability followed by your knowledge of reading.
There will be another section testing how you will apply your reading skills for classroom instruction and how easily you will identify the primary teaching purpose. Your organization level will be tested, how you can use several ideas to support your teaching, and your level of understanding in contextual instruction. You will be given passages to read and define the structure, interpret different charts, tables, various diagrams, and graphs.
In this section, you will have another set of thirty questions to handle and your score level will again be 33.33 percent. Your writing skills will be tested and how you will apply these skills to teach in a classroom.
Your level of writing knowledge will also be tested and how you can easily pinpoint errors or word usage in a passage. Other areas of testing will be punctuation, speech, references, sentence structure, perspectives, and other topics.
Again expect 30 questions in this section and expected attainment of 33.33 percent in terms of score. Generally, you will be tested on your math knowledge, skills, and their application in classroom teaching. Basic algebra will not lack in this test and other basic high school math like geometry, measurements, number sense, analyzing data, and other basic math concepts.
Getting ready for the test
Preparedness is the essential thing in passing this test. There are free or subscription study resources online and most of them have sample tests to help you get ready. If you can manage to do several sample tests, take time and do them. Once you complete and submit the test, you will get unofficial results on your screen but your official results will be emailed to you later. Get ready and plan by making sure you do the booking in advance and don’t be late to start or finish your test.