In addition to completing an approved teacher preparation program, teacher candidates who seek Instructional I certification in Pennsylvania are required to successfully complete a battery of tests required by PDE. Candidates in all certification areas must either have an SAT score of 1550 total for Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. If your SAT scores do not qualify, you must receive passing scores on the Reading, Writing, and Mathematics portions of the new Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment, or PAPA. These tests should be completed before admission to the Education Semester, which means they should be taken sometime before the end of the sophomore year. We recommend that you consider completing the PAPA battery during the summer after your sophomore year.
In addition to PAPA, teacher candidates are also expected to pass a test of their content knowledge; these tests are known collectively as Praxis II. The Praxis II tests are subject-specific and do not need to be taken until a teacher candidate is prepared to be recommended for certification. This means that Praxis II tests can be taken any time before the end of the Education Semester, but it is recommended that students complete the test as early as possible to prevent certification delays. Most students take their Praxis II exams immediately before or during the student teaching semester, but, again, they can be taken at any time before student teaching is completed.
Passing scores change frequently, as do the names and numbers of required tests. Additional information about exams required for certification can be found by visiting this website: http://www.pa.nesinc.com/. Click on "Tests," then "What Tests Do I Need to Take?" to determine your specific requirements by certificate area. You'll also want to bookmark the Praxis exam site hosted by Educational Testing Service: http://www.ets.org/praxis. As always, contact your Education Advisor if you have any questions.
Testing Requirements for Specific Licensure, updated Sept 2013