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Under federal law, a paraprofessional must meet certain requirements before working at a school. Working as a paraprofessional, also called a teacher assistant, requires having at least an associate’s degree. Also, you have to demonstrate you have the knowledge to assist students with subjects such as reading and mathematics. In order to qualify, you must also take the ParaPro assessment.
The ParaPro Assessment test, offered by the Educational Testing Service, or ETS, is a test for prospective and practicing paraprofessionals only. The examination take about 2-and-a-half hours to complete. You’re tested on subjects such as writing, mathematics and reading and applying paraprofessional skill in the classroom. You have two format options to take the test: paper or computer. Regardless of the format, you will answer 90 multiple-choice questions.
The assessment test only scores correct answers that consist of one point per right answer. When converted into a raw score, you receive more than 90 points. The converted raw score ranges from 420 to 480. Your maximum score ranges, however, differ according to whether you take the Internet-based test or paper. If you take the paper test, the maximum test you earn ranges from 458 to 475. The maximum score you earn on the Internet-based test ranges from 460 to 476.
Although the ETS sets the test scores, the score ranges do not indicate whether or not you passed the exam. Each state or school district determines what it considers a passing score, reports TestPrepPractice.net. A passing score of 450 in one state, for instance, may be a failing score in another state. The ETS, however, includes the pass or fail status on your official score report. Passing the ParaPro Assessment indicates you may meet one employment eligibility requirement for a paraprofessional job. Failing the examination requires you to retake the assessment.
To relieve some anxiety about passing the ParaPro Assessment, inquire about the state or jurisdiction’s passing score before taking the test. The ETS offers the examination four times a year. If you choose to take the Internet-based test, you immediately receive your test scores on the screen after completing the test. The score, however, isn’t official until you’re sent the official scores two weeks later. The wait for your score—taking the paper-based test—is about four weeks.
Demetrius Sewell is an experienced journalist who, since 2008, has been a contributing writer to such websites as Internet Brands and print publications such as "Cinci Pulse." Sewell specializes in writing news and feature articles on health, law and finance. She has a master's degree in English.