The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that there are over 1.2 million teacher assistant positions across the country. If you're considering joining this growing workforce as a paraprofessional educator, you'll need to meet your state's requirements for assistant teachers. Oregon paraprofessional educators must complete either two years of study at a postsecondary institution or have an associate degree and pass an assessment test, according to the Oregon Department of Education. Before tackling the paraprofessional assessment test, preparing for the exam can maximize your chances of scoring success.
Complete your educational requirements. Take at least two academic years of classes at a college or university or complete an associate-level degree program prior to taking your assessment test.
Ask your local school district, or the area district that you plan on working in, what paraprofessional assessment test you need to take -- such as ETS's ParaPro Assessment or ACT WorkKeys.
Understand the score that you'll need to get to pass the test. Knowing the cutoff score can help you mentally prepare for how well you'll need to do on the test. For example, ETS notes that Oregon paraprofessionals need a minimum of a 455 on the ParaPro Assessment.
Practice core content questions -- such as reading, math and writing -- through a free or paid guide. Visit the test-maker's website -- such as ETS, for the ParaPro Assessment -- for free study materials. For example, ETS offers a free online guide to the test along with sample study questions.
Purchase a study guide book to review the reading, math and writing content. Choose a guide from the test manufacturer or from an educational publisher.
Take a practice assessment online. Both ETS and ACT offer online practice tests that simulate the real thing.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Teacher Assistants
- Oregon Department of Education: Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals
- ETS: ParaPro Assessment, State and School District Requirements
- Salem-Keizer School District: Paraprofessional Assessment Reading Study Guide
- Study Guide Zone: ParaPro Study Guide
- Test Prep Review: ParaPro Online Course
- Ask your school district if it has preparation materials. For example, the Salem-Keizer School District has an online practice test study guide and also offers study sessions.
- The test-makers aren't the only organizations that offer free study materials. If you're looking for other online options, consider a website such as Study Guide Zone or Test Prep Review for practice exams.
- Don't assume that a passable score in one state is the same in another. If your friend lives in Louisiana, she only needs a 450 on the ParaPro Assessment, while you need a 455 in Oregon.
- Avoid waiting until immediately before you take the test to cram. This may cause you even more anxiety and decrease the likelihood that you'll pass.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.