Frequently Asked Questions About the PPAT® Assessment

What is the PPAT® assessment and what is it designed to measure?

The PPAT assessment is designed to allow teacher candidates to demonstrate their performance during student teaching. Successful completion of this assessment demonstrates that teacher candidates are prepared to enter the classroom as entry-level teachers.

This assessment is not designed to measure experienced teachers nor should it be used for teacher evaluations.

How was the PPAT assessment developed?

The PPAT assessment was developed by ETS in collaboration with teacher education faculty, cooperating teachers and department of education officials from 17 states and territories, to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities that classroom practitioners deem essential for effective teaching. ETS conducted InTASC alignment studies with educators from several states to ensure validity.

How does the PPAT assessment differ from other performance assessments?
  • ETS's PPAT assessment includes both a formative component scored by local faculty and three summative components scored anonymously by trained raters.
  • The PPAT assessment facilitates the collaboration between test takers, supervising instructors and the candidates' cooperating teachers.
  • It provides a professional growth plan template to guide test takers in using formative feedback to hone their skills — a reflective practice that will follow them throughout their teaching career.
  • Tasks are submitted, scored and reported throughout the clinical experience, not at the end, allowing unsuccessful test takers to resubmit a task or multiple tasks before the end of the semester.
  • The PPAT assessment is adaptable to various clinical experience models such as 12-16 week semesters, year-long residencies and first-year teaching placements.
  • The PPAT assessment is adaptable for alternate certification test takers.
  • The PPAT assessment is available for any content area, including low-volume areas, shortage areas, school-based elective areas, along with all areas of exceptional needs, and is not limited to any specific content area.

Learn more about the PPAT advantage.

How much does the PPAT assessment cost?

The cost per assessment administration is $300, which includes scoring and reporting. The resubmission fee is $75 per task.

When is the PPAT assessment administered?

The PPAT assessment is offered twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. The tasks are designed to be administered throughout a test-taker’s clinical experience.

Who scores the PPAT assessment?

Task 1 is scored locally by the educator preparation program supervising instructor. Tasks 2, 3 and 4 are centrally scored by ETS trained raters. These scores provide states with greater score validity and consistent, reliable data for licensure and educator program decisions. Raters are matched to the same content area and grade level as the task being scored.

When are PPAT scores available?

Electronic scores for Tasks 2, 3 and 4 will be available to test takers approximately three weeks after each task submission deadline date. See test-taker score report dates. Individuals at your program with approval to access scores in the ETS® Data Manager will retrieve scores for Tasks 2, 3 and 4. See educator preparation program score report dates.

Who pays for the PPAT assessment?

Payment for the assessment depends on the educator preparation program or state licensure requirements. Some educator programs may include the assessment cost in their tuition and fees, while some may require test takers to pay the fee directly. Vouchers are also available.

Is the PPAT assessment content specific?

The PPAT assessment assesses content pedagogy and is reflective of the subject-specific knowledge that each teacher candidate is teaching. Tasks require test takers to demonstrate how they interpret and apply state and national content standards. Also, raters are matched to the content area and grade level of the tasks they score to ensure appropriate content.

How does the PPAT assessment compare to the Praxis® Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) tests?

The Principles of Learning and Teaching tests measure knowledge and theory of practice and the PPAT measures the ability to teach. The PPAT can serve as a complement to or replacement for PLT tests. ETS will work with states to determine the assessments that best meet the state's specific needs.

Can the PPAT assessment be used for alternate route programs?

Yes. States can use the PPAT assessment to assess the strengths and abilities of candidates who are entering the teaching profession through alternate route programs.

Can my educator program use the PPAT assessment if my state department of education has not adopted it?

Yes, your educator preparation program may adopt and use the PPAT assessment even if your state does not require it for certification requirements. Contact ETS at ppat@ets.org for more information.

Is there a fee for my educator program to adopt the PPAT assessment?

There is not a fee for your educator preparation program to use the assessment. ETS will provide training and support to faculty, cooperating teachers and supervising instructors throughout the process.

What feedback is provided to my program?

ETS provides test-taker scores through the ETS Data Manager system.

How does the PPAT assessment align with teacher work samples and classroom observation protocols my program is already using?

The PPAT assessment requires test takers to engage in self-reflection based on feedback from classroom observations and one-on-one coaching from supervising instructors and cooperating teachers. Educator preparation programs currently using various teaching evaluation models may incorporate them into the PPAT experience.

May the PPAT assessment be completed in the electronic platform our program is already using to collect and evaluate test-taker performance?

Written responses to prompts along with evidence and artifacts for each task must be uploaded to the PPAT online system. This will ensure a quick turnaround in scoring for each task and provide continuity through a centralized system. Test takers may cut and paste written responses from other platforms and software programs into the PPAT system.

Is the PPAT assessment available for all content areas, including those that may be non-traditional?

Yes, the PPAT assessment is conducive to all content areas including various specialty areas, low volume areas, and all areas of special education as well as all grade levels.

How does the PPAT assessment align with CAEP standards for accreditation?

The PPAT assessment aligns with CAEP standards related to instructional pedagogy, data collection and analysis, impact on student achievement, and continuous growth. ETS conducted several review meetings with CAEP to learn what is expected of your program and ensure the PPAT assessment fits your needs for robust data.

What support is provided for my program and/or my students?

ETS provides a wealth of information and support materials for test takers, faculty and cooperating teachers.

Handbooks for guidance in understanding and completing the PPAT assessment include:

There is also a Library of Examples, a collection of actual written responses submitted by PPAT test takers.

Sample templates for lesson plans, professional growth plans, etc. are also available.

ETS provides a dedicated customer service line, and offers free webinars for implementation and an online opportunity for programs to share best practices.

Is the PPAT assessment intended for use as a program completion requirement or a licensure requirement?

The PPAT assessment is designed to assess the strengths and abilities of candidates throughout their clinical experience. Whether or not the PPAT assessment is used as a certification/licensure requirement is a state and local policy decision.

What role does the supervising faculty/instructor play in supporting, coaching, and evaluating test-taker submissions?

Faculty may determine how they use and score Task I. Tasks 2–4 are not scored by local faculty. For details on how to support test takers through the process, refer to the ethical guidelines in the PPAT® Candidate and Educator Handbook and the PPAT® Cooperating Teacher Handbook.

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Collaborating for Success: How to Use the PPAT Assessment to Support Teacher Candidates

Watch a panel of education professionals discuss the need for, the utility of, and the implementation of performance assessments. (1hr.)
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An Effective Measurement

Watch State Teachers of the Year share their opinions about the PPAT assessment and how it incorporates the necessary elements to measure teacher candidate effectiveness. (3 mins., 4 secs.)
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Become a Rater

If you are interested in becoming a rater for online scoring of the PPAT, please check the ETS Online Scoring opportunities information.