Secondary Certification Testing Update

March 26, 2012

Basic Skills Test

Praxis I - Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) from ETS is the old basic skills test covering reading, writing, and math. It is still acceptable as a certification test under the following two scenarios:

  • All three PPST tests were passed prior to April 2, 2012.
  • If only one or two of the thee PPST tests were passed prior to April 2, 2012, the remaining test(s) may be passed after April 2 and the PPST scores will still count for certification purposes.
  • PPST tests may be taken in paper/pencil format on selected dates or on computer at Prometric Test Centers by appointment year-round.

Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) from Pearson Evaluation is the new basic skills test covering reading, writing, and math. It becomes available on April 2, 2012 and it must be taken by all undergraduate certification candidates who do not fit into either of the two scenarios listed above.

  • PAPA is available only on computer. It is available year-round by appointment at Pearson Professional Centers.
  • All three PAPA modules must be taken the first time. If retesting is required, only the module(s) that has not been passed needs to be retaken.

NOTE: Effective March 2012, post-bacc candidates do NOT have to take a basic skills test for certification purposes in PA.

7-12 Certification Subject Content Test

The content specific tests for secondary certification remain the Praxis II tests from ETS. The specific test(s) for each certification area is listed at

Sliding Scale Passing Rate

Effective 1/1/2010, PDE implemented a sliding scale pass rate for all certification tests based on the candidate’s GPA at the time of graduation. Candidates with a GPA from 2.8-2.9999 can be certified if they score one standard deviation higher than the published score on the required test(s). Candidates with a GPA above 3.25 can be certified with less than the published score, again based on the standard deviation. ETS determines its “PASSED” or “NOT PASSED” statement on the score report based on the 3.0 GPA only. If a candidate earns a score within a point or two of passing, send them to Dr. Steffy to determine if they are within the GPA-based passing window.