Passing the ParaPro Test: A Requirement for Every Teacher’s Aide

teacher's aideIf you have decided to pursue a career as a teacher’s aide, you’ve made an excellent and rewarding decision. Helping others learn and assisting in the classroom will affect generations to come, and although you may think that your patience and assistance may go unremembered, we assure you, it won’t. Just think back to your own school days. Almost everyone has fond memories of a teacher or teacher’s assistant who was especially encouraging and even life altering. Teachers and teacher’s aides not only assist students on their path to adulthood, they often challenge students to reach for higher goals and believe in their own abilities and talents.

So, what’s it going to take to actually become a teacher’s aide? In order to insure that teacher’s assistants are qualified and capable, the federal government now requires that aspiring candidates pass a ParaPro test. This test became part of the No Child Left Behind Act and is used to assess the skills of a potential teacher’s aide. The only individuals who are currently exempt from taking the ParaPro test are those who have successfully earned an associate or bachelor’s degree.

What is the ParaPro Test?

The name of the test is taken from the word “paraprofessional,” which is most simply defined as a trained assistant to a professional individual, working under their direction. The ParaPro test is a standardized exam given to all potential teacher’s aides.

The test currently costs $45 and takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. It is offered on paper, four times per year at specific locations, and online. The online option is more convenient, since it is given on a continuous basis at specified locations. Check with your local school board for testing times and sites.

What kind of questions are on the ParaPro Test?

The test consists of 90 multiple choice questions covering a range of topics. More specifically, 60 of the questions are directed toward the subjects of math, language, and reading comprehension. Math questions must be completed without the use of a calculator.

Math questions will cover fractions, percentages, basic algebra, graphs. Language questions will be assessed by reading comprehension, writing skills, and vocabulary words.

The remaining 30 questions cover the topic of classroom management skills.

How to Prepare for the ParaPro Teacher’s Aide Assessment Test?

You definitely don’t have to take the teacher’s aide ParaPro test without feeling confident and prepared. There are a variety of resources available. Here are a few of your options:

  • The ParaPro Study Guide: This booklet can be ordered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling 1-800-772-9476. The price is $25. You can also order online by visiting the online store at www.ets.org/store.
  • The ParaPro Practice Test: This is actually a full length test that was, at one time, used as the actual test. This will provide you with an excellent idea of your skills, and how you will score on the test. Along with the test, you will receive the correct answers and a score conversion chart. The price is $12 and can also be ordered from the ETS store.
  • Free online practice is available on the following website: www.testpreview.com

We hope this ParaPro test information has been helpful as you embark on a new career as a teacher’s aide. If you have recently taken the ParaPro test, or have recently become a teacher’s aide and have any insight or comments to share, we welcome them.

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