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Frequently Asked Questions About the ParaPro Assessment


What standards were used to develop the ParaPro Assessment?

To date, there is no single set of national standards for paraprofessionals. The content of the ParaPro Assessment reflects the reading, writing and math knowledge that paraprofessionals need to assist in classroom instruction — as defined by a national group of paraprofessionals and teachers who work with them. The content also reflects the reading, writing and math content described in published standards for paraprofessionals.

Why aren't there different levels of the ParaPro Assessment for different levels of paraprofessionals – elementary, middle, secondary?

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) didn't make distinctions between school grade levels. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which has replaced NCLB, leaves this requirement in place. It holds all instructional paraprofessionals in Title I-funded schools to the same high standard of content readiness. The ParaPro Assessment reflects the core reading, writing and math knowledge that all instructional paraprofessionals are expected to demonstrate.

The two alternatives to the test are an Associate of Arts degree or two years of college. Does this mean that the test is the equivalent of two years of college study?

Certainly students learn and experience much more in college than is reflected on any one exam. No single test is the equivalent of two years of college study. But the ParaPro Assessment is consistent with the levels of reading, writing and math knowledge that most students receive in their second year of postsecondary education.

What is the reading level of the test?

The wording of test questions is simple and direct to promote clarity for a wide range of test takers. The language reflects the reading level that most paraprofessionals face when working with K–12 students.

What information can you provide about validity?

Validity for the ParaPro Assessment is based on connecting test content in reading, writing and math to job-knowledge requirements. That connection was made by a nationally representative committee of 34 paraprofessionals and teachers, who defined what content knowledge is most important for instructional paraprofessionals to know. As an added validity measure, ETS is conducting a web survey of paraprofessionals and teachers from across the country to supplement the committee's findings.

Known as content-based validity, this validation method is recommended in the AERA/APA/NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

Can a state or college/university that requires the Praxis® Core tests for prospective teachers substitute a passing score on ParaPro?

No. The two tests measure different aspects of reading, writing and math content knowledge. The ParaPro Assessment specifically addresses the readiness of paraprofessionals to assist in content instruction. The Praxis® Core tests specifically address the content-readiness of prospective teachers of record. As such, the content on the Praxis Core tests is far more extensive.

General Information and Administration

What is the ParaPro Assessment?

The ParaPro Assessment is for prospective and practicing paraprofessionals. It measures skills and knowledge in reading, math and writing — and the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction.

What is the format and length of the test?

This two-and-a-half-hour test consists of 90 multiple-choice questions in reading, writing and math. Approximately two-thirds of the questions focus on basic skills and knowledge, and the remaining one-third focus on applying those skills and knowledge in a classroom setting.

In what language is the test?

The test is in English.

How is the test administered?

The test is delivered on computer and administered at a test center or remotely. Test centers include at participating school districts, regional offices of education and other agencies. The ParaPro test at home is administered via ProProctor® and taken on a test taker's own computer at home or another secure location.

How much does the test cost?

Test center appointments: The test fee is $55. Some test centers may charge an additional premium or proctoring fee. Contact your test center directly for additional information.

At home appointments: The test fee is $91 and the reschedule fee is $45.50.

All fees are nonrefundable.

Which states have selected the ParaPro Assessment?

For states and school districts that use the ParaPro Assessment and for the qualifying scores for each state, see the State and School District Requirements listing.

When and where is the test administered?

Test center testing: This test is administered continually throughout the year at participating test centers. Test takers may check the test center list for participating test centers.

At home testing: The ParaPro test at home is available 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday via ProProctor®. Test takers can test remotely on their own computer at home or another secure location. See At Home Testing Requirements.

How do I register test takers for the test?

For an appointment at a test center, the test taker must contact a participating test center directly.

For at home testing, the test taker must register online through ProProctor. Before scheduling an appointment, the test taker must make sure they meet the equipment and environment requirements for at home testing.

How can a school district become a test site?

If your school district is located in a state that has established a qualifying score, complete the application. All other school districts, see below.

How can single districts in non-participating states apply to use the ParaPro Assessment?

Use of the ParaPro Assessment is contingent upon:

  • the district administration notifying ETS (in writing) of its intention to use the test to meet legislative requirements
  • the district administration conducting a standard-setting study to establish a passing score
What are the test center guidelines for the test?
  • Testing must be done in a room, not in a hallway or other open space.
  • Testing rooms must be appropriately heated or cooled, adequately ventilated and free of distractions.
  • Rooms must have adequate lighting so there are no shadows or glares on computer screens or writing surfaces.
  • No maps, periodic tables, posters, charts or any other materials related to assessment subject matter are allowed in the room.
  • Rest rooms should be located near the testing room and should be easy to access.
  • Signs outside the testing room should indicate testing is in progress.
  • Testing rooms should be quiet and free of disruptions throughout test administration.
  • Facilities must meet federal and state accessibility laws for the disabled and provide reserved handicapped parking, wheel chair access and appropriately equipped rest rooms.
  • Computer monitor, keyboard and mouse positioning should promote ease of use. Comfortable chairs with backs are required. (No stools or benches.)
  • Writing surfaces should be large enough to accommodate paper materials.

Setting Standards and Score Reporting

What help will ETS provide so that the state can set a state passing score on the ParaPro Assessment?

ETS conducts standard-setting studies for all states that request them. Contact your state's Praxis Client Relations Director to make a request.

Was there a norm sample for the Assessment?

In this type of assessment, there's no official norming group. How well test takers perform is based on the qualifying (passing) score established by the relevant state or district.

What information can you provide about reliability?

Reliability is a measure of how consistent scores are from one edition of an assessment to another. The closer the reliability is to 1.0, the more consistent are candidates' scores across editions. The reliability of the ParaPro Assessment, based on results of the September 2002 pilot test, is 0.92.

Can districts use the ParaPro Assessment without the state's consent?

Many state departments have been actively involved in adopting the ParaPro Assessment for statewide use. Those states are setting mandatory statewide scores. If your district is in a state that hasn't yet become involved, contact the state department (before taking steps on your own) to learn whether the state plans to conduct a standard-setting study to adopt the ParaPro Assessment statewide.

How can single districts conduct a standard-setting study for use of the ParaPro Assessment?

A school district can conduct a standard-setting study by selecting a panel of paraprofessionals and teachers to serve on the standard-setting panel. Panels typically consist of 10 to 15 persons, the majority of whom are practicing, qualified paraprofessionals and teachers. School districts are encouraged to select a panel of paraprofessionals and teachers that reflect the diversity in the state or school district (e.g., racial/ethnic, gender, geographic setting). These panelists review the test and make judgements about the validity of the test content and how much a qualified test taker should know to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and skill in reading, mathematics, and writing, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction.

For additional information about this option, please contact us.

How are scores reported to the school district?

Individual districts can view unofficial examinee results online immediately after the test session.

Official score reports are available through our electronic score delivery method, ETS® Data Manager, approximately two to three weeks after the day of the test. The official scores are reported to the school district that the test taker listed as a score recipient during the biographical questionnaire. For additional information, see Receiving Scores.

How are scores reported to the state?

Score reports are automatically sent to the state's teacher credentialing office via ETS Data Manager in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
What quality controls are there on the scoring of the test? How will examinees know the score reported on the screen is an accurate score?

After finishing the test, test takers see their unofficial score displayed on the computer screen. Two weeks later, ETS mails the test taker an official score report. During that two-week period, ETS rescores all ParaPro tests as part of quality-control procedures. If there's a change in any test taker's score as a result of this quality-control check, ETS reports the new score (which may be higher or lower) to the test taker and to the original score recipient.

Test Preparation

What test preparation is available?

ETS has developed a practice test for test takers to prepare for the Assessment. The free Study Companion and other useful tips for test takers are also available.


What are the minimum hardware requirements for our district to be able to administer the computer-delivered test?

Computer-delivered testing only requires an Internet web browser and an installation of Sun's Java® Web Start to run, and these specifications:

Minimum Specifications
Central Processing Unit (CPU) Processor — Pentium IV 1.8 GHz (or higher), Macbook or iMac 2.5 GHz or higher
Operating System Windows 7 or 8 (32 and 64 bit), Mac OSX v10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher
Monitor 15 inch (800x600 resolution)
Hard Drive Space 40 MB
Internet Connection minimum 10 MBPS
Audio Not required
Printer Laser Jet or Inkjet
Internet Browser Microsoft® Edge (Chromium), Google Chrome, Safari® (for Mac) and Mozilla Firefox® (latest version)