Which Tests Do I Need to Enter an Undergraduate Education Program?

Pennsylvania regulations require that those seeking an educator credential must demonstrate that they have successfully completed testing in the following areas:

    1. Basic skills in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, taken for entry into an undergraduate educator-preparation program*
    2. Specialty Area Tests, taken during the semester before or early in the semester of student teaching
      • Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) Specialty Area testing is required for:
        • PK-4 Early Childhood Education
        • Special Education PK-8 
        • Special Education 7-12
      • Praxis II Specialty Area testing is required for all other areas of certification not listed as PECT

    *Candidates who began their teacher preparation program as an undergraduate and are now completing the program at the post-baccalaureate level MUST take and pass the Basic Skills test prior to being granted certification.  EXEMPTION: Candidates pursuing an advanced degree, i.e. Master's or Doctoral, do NOT take entrance tests of basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics for PA certification.

    All candidates for certification must meet the qualifying score for all applicable tests at the time their application for certification is received by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE.) Students must review and be familiar with the current policies of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education will recognize subject area scores for ten years from the date of test administration. Passing pre-service Reading, Writing, and Mathematics test scores do not expire.

    PDE requires OFFICIAL test scores.  If you test in Pennsylvania, your scores are automatically reported to PDE.  If you test OUTSIDE OF PENNSYLVANIA, you must select the PA Dept of Educ as a score recipient when you register to take the test.

    Which Tests Do I Take to Enter my Program?

    The basic skills assessment is comprised of three individual tests on reading, writing, and mathematics. Effective March 2016 and retroactive to all test takers, students may combine individual passing scores from any of the approved tests (Praxis Core, PAPA, SAT or ACT) to meet the basic skills requirement.

    Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, Reading, Writing and Mathematics, tests are offered at Prometric (Sylvan Learning) Evaluation Systems centers. See www.ets.org/praxis.
    PAPA Reading, Writing and Mathematics tests are offered at Pearson Evaluation Systems centers. See www.pa.nesinc.com.
    SAT scores are retrieved from sat.collegeboard.org/scores/
    ACT scores are retrieved from actstudent.org/scores/

    Tests You May Choose Between and Passing Scores Needed

    For Basic Skills Test - READING

    • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading: 156, or
    • PAPA Reading: 220, or
    • SAT Critical Reading: 500, or
    • ACT English/Writing: 22 (22 for Reading taken after 9/2015).

    For Basic Skills Test - WRITING

    • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing: 162, or
    • PAPA Writing: 220, or
    • SAT Writing: 500, or
    • ACT English/Writing: 22 (21 for Writing taken after 9/2015).

    For Basic Skills Test - MATHEMATICS

    • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics: 142, or
    • PAPA Mathematics: 197, or
    • SAT Mathematics: 500, or
    • ACT Math: 21 (21 for Mathematics taken after 9/2015).

    A composite score option may be used by students who take all three tests of Praxis Core or PAPA. The Composite Scoring Option was initiated to enable a candidate who may excel in one area, such as mathematics, but who is not strong in another area to pass using a combined score under certain conditions.

    Composite Score Option for Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

    Two conditions must be met to use this option:

    1. The sum of the three Praxis core tests must be at least 467 and
    2. A minimum composite score of 148 for the reading test 5712, 158 for the writing test 5722, and 132 for the mathematics test 5732 must be achieved or surpassed. If any score is below the composite score minimum, the composite score method may not be used.

    Composite Score Option for PAPA Tests

    There are three conditions to qualify:

    1. The sum of the three PAPA tests must total or exceed 663, and
    2. Students must reach the Minimum Composite Score in each test area: 193 for the reading test 8001, 174 for the mathematics test 8002, and 192 for the writing test 8003, and
    3. Students must achieve the PAPA Cut Score (220) in at least one area.

    Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) - Prior to April 1, 2012 ONLY

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education accepts PRAXIS I Reading, Writing and Mathematics tests if they were scheduled prior to April 1, 2012.

    Which Tests Do I Take for My Specialty Area Toward the End of My Program?

    World Language French and Spanish candidates have the option of taking either the PRAXIS or the ACTFL test.

    Praxis tests are computer tests, offered by appointment. See www.ets.org/praxis.

    Marywood University does not participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Education program that uses GPA to determine a test's passing score. Qualifying scores shown in the following tables must be achieved.

    Grades PK to 12 Areas Take Praxis II Specialty Area Tests

    Certification Area Test Code* Praxis Test Name Qualifying Score
    Art PK-12 5511  and  Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge and 150
    5134 Art Content Knowledge 158
    Family/Consumer Science PK-12 5511  and  Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge and 150
    5122 Family & Consumer Sciences 153
    French PK-12 5511  and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge and 150
    5174 World Languages: French 162
    Health & Physical Ed PK-12 5511  and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge and 150
    5857 Health & Physical Ed: Content Knowledge 160
    Library Science PK-12 5511  and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge and 150
    5311 Library Media Specialist 151
    Music PK-12 5511  and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge and 150
    5113 Music Content Knowledge (contains listening section) 158
    Reading Specialist PK-12 5511  and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge and 150
    5301 Reading Specialist 164
    Spanish PK-12   5511  and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge  and 150
    5195 World Languages: Spanish 168
    Speech & Lang Impaired PK-12 5511 and Fundamental Subjects Content Knowledge  and 150
    5331  Speech Language and Pathology 162
           

    Grades 7 to 12 Areas Take Praxis II Specialty Area Tests

    Certification Area Test Code* Praxis Test NameQualifying Score
    Biology 7-12 5235 Biology: Content Knowledge (calculators prohibited) 147
    Communication 7-12 5221 Speech Communication: Content Knowledge 145
    English 7-12 5038 English Language Arts: Content Knowledge 167
    General Science 7-12 5435 General Science: Content Knowledge 146
    Mathematics 7-12 5161 Mathematics: Content Knowledge 160
    SocialStudies 7-12 5081 Social Studies: Content Knowledge 157

    Grades 4-8 Take Praxis II Specialty Area Tests

    Certification Area Test Code Praxis Test Name Qualifying Score
    Grades 4-8 5152, consisting of: Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 Core Assessment, consisting of 3 sub-tests:  
      5153 Pedagogy Subtest 162
      5154 English Language Arts and Social Studies Subtest 152
      5155 Mathematics and Science Subtest 164
    and two of:
      5156 Concentration English Language Arts 156
      5157 Concentration Social Studies 150
      5158 Concentration Mathematics 173
      5159 Concentration Science 156

    PK-4 and Special Ed Areas Take PECT* Specialty Area Tests

    Certification Area PECT Test Name Cut (Passing) Score
    Grades PK-4 PreK–4

    220

    In an interim policy issued on May 29, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has lowered the passing score requirement for the PreK-4 Module tests, applied retroactively, as follows:

    PreK-4 Module 1 (8006):    197

    PreK-4 Module 2 (8007):    193

    PreK-4 Module 3 (8008):    193

    Special Education PreK-8 Special Education PreK–8

    Special Ed PreK-8 Module 1 (8011):  220

    Special Ed PreK-8 Module 2 (8012):  220

    Special Education 7-12 Special Education 7–12

    Special Ed 7-12 Module 1 (8015):  220

    Special Ed 7-12 Module 2 (8016):  220

     

    *Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are administered by Pearson Evaluations Systems. See www.pa.nesinc.com.

    Educational Specialist Areas*

    Certification Area Test Code Praxis Test Name Qualifying Score
    Home and School Visitor K-12 n/a No specialty test required n/a
    School Counselor K-6 or 7-12
    5421
    Professional School Counselor 156
    School Psychologist K-12 5401 School Psychologist   150
           

    *Note: Educational Specialist candidates with a baccalaureate degree who hold a current and valid Pennsylvania license as a registered psychologist, counselor, or social worker and can provide a copy of this Pennsylvania license as part of their application for the related Pennsylvania Educational Specialist certification area are not required to take any tests to receive the related certificate.

    Supervisory And Administration Areas 

    Certification Area Test Code Praxis Test Name Qualifying Score
    Curriculum &  Instruction Supervisor 5411
    Educational Leadership: Administration & Supervision 143
    Instructional Tech Specialist Supervisor 5411 Educational Leadership: Administration & Supervision 143
    Pupil Personnel Services Supervisor 5411 Educational Leadership: Administration & Supervision 143
    Reading Supervisor 5411 Educational Leadership: Administration & Supervision 143
    Special Education Supervisor 5411 Educational Leadership: Administration & Supervision 143
    Principal K-12

    6011

    School Leadership Licensure Assessment - SLLA 163
    Superintendent Letter of Eligibility 6021 School Superintendent Assessment - SSA 160

    For updates, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s web site. Click on "Teachers" and then on "Testing Requirements."