You have dreamed of becoming a teacher's aide, yet attending college is not an option. Luckily, for you there is another legitimate way to test for certification taking you one-step closer to your dreams. Since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act, all states are now required to certify paraprofessionals, like teacher's aides and assistants, who do not hold a college degree. While many educational institutions offer programs of study in order to become a teacher's aide, none guarantee standardized certification. The ParaPro Assessment is the only standardized test widely accepted nationwide.
How to Test for a Teachers Aide Certificate
Fill out a registration form for the ParaPro Assessment with Educational Testing Services (ETS) if you intend to complete a paper version. According to ETS, the online version is only administered through participating school districts. Contact your local school district for information about registering for online testing.
Schedule a test time, according to local availability. There are a variety of test dates available throughout the year to choose from. Select your preferences for alternative test locations. Enclose the test fee with your mail-in registration.
Prepare for the ParaPro Assessment well in advance. ETS offers a package of tools designed to prepare you for the paraprofessional test. The study guide and practice test can be purchased. Additional free booklets are available through ETS and found on the Internet.
Set aside ample time on the day of the test, including time to travel to the test location. The ParaPro Assessment takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Bring proper identification, and leave all test aids and electronic devices at home. Carrying electronic devices on your person, like a cell phone, will risk your getting dismissed from the test center.
Wait about four weeks for test results to be mailed to you. Check that your score meets the minimum score required in your state to be certified as a teacher's aide. Requirements vary by state; verify with your state's department of education for the most current requirements necessary to pass the ParaPro Assessment.
Retake the test if for some reason you did not get the minimum score the first time. Wait for one to two months before attempting to retest. Use the waiting period to study for the retest.
ETS offers special accommodations for those with disabilities and for those for whom English is a second language.
If you test in the following states, scores are automatically forwarded to the appropriate educational institution for credentials: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Carefully follow test guidelines. Not adhering to test guidelines can disqualify test results or lead to an early dismissal from the test.