Overview of the AEPA

Benefits of Taking AEPA Exam

A candidate seeking a job of a teacher in the state of Arizona requires to get a certificate after passing the AEPA exam. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has developed a standardized test known as the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) which is designed to make sure that every teacher would possess the minimum or basic skill sets for an entry-level educator.

Who Needs the AEPA?

All candidates who have completed their bachelor's degree at the University of Arizona and desire to become professional teachers must pass this exam which also includes a Professional and Subject Knowledge test. However, if you have completed any other diploma or have a degree from another state university, you would be required to pass the Basic Skills test as well. You might need to take more than one test based on the certification guidelines mentioned by ADE. In fact, you can avail information about this exam from the official website: http://www.aepa.nesinc.com/.

A Brief Overview of the AEPA:

There are 45 tests in AEPA program developed by ADE. Thus, there is a test for each domain. This also means that the test pattern might differ from one subject to another. However, the format for this test generally consists of questions that are in a multiple-choice format.

The AEPA tests can be categorized into 5 categories. They are the Subject-Knowledge tests, the Professional Knowledge test, the Administrator tests, the test on the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona, and the Basic Skills test.

The Subject-knowledge tests have approximately 100 questions along with one written performance assignment. However, there is an exception in this test for foreign languages like French, German, and Spanish wherein these tests have 55 selected-response questions, a written expression assignment and an oral expression performance assignment.

Earlier, the Professional Knowledge tests had 3 levels of tests which were the Early Childhood test, the Elementary test, and the Secondary test. However, the test guidelines have been modified by ADE according to which the AEPA includes the Early Childhood test. It should also be noted that the test for Constitution of the United States and Arizona is mandatory for all teachers.

The Administrator tests have3 levels: the Supervisor, Superintendent and Principal Tests. The Supervisor test consists of 100 questions and one performance assignment. However, the Superintendent and Principal tests have 100 questions and 4 assignments.

Similarly, the Basic Skills test involves sections on Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Mathematics; containing 42 questions each, along with a written performance assignment.

Benefits of Taking the AEPA:

It is mandatory for all candidates who aspire to become professional educators in the state of Arizona to undergo the AEPA certification. This helps them enjoy the below listed benefits:

  1. Official AEPA Study Material: The website of AEPA, www.aepa.nesinc.com consists of the official study guides for this test pertaining to all subject areas. These study guides are affiliated by ADE and hence, are reliable. Moreover, you can download these guides free of cost or you can order a bound and printed copy of these from AEPA through an order form by paying the required fee.

  2. Instant Results: You would get instant results after appearing for this exam. The initial results are declared immediately as to whether you have passed or not. However, the official results with detailed report of your performance for the tests taken by you are available within 4 weeks of taking the test.

  3. Re-takes are allowed: ADE has not set any limit on the number of re-takes for any of these tests. Moreover, there is no waiting period for retaking the test. However, if you re-take the exam, you would be required to register again with ADE.

  4. Scoring Criteria: Every question in the test carries some weightage based on the difficulty level. The scores are then converted to a common scale ranging from 100-300.The scores of various sections in the test are clubbed with the scores of the assignment to arrive at the overall AEPA test score. Thus, a weak performance in one section of the this exam can be balanced out by performing better in another section.

  5. AEPA Certification Validity: It should be known that all AEPA certificates hold a validity period. For example, the Provisional Elementary Certificate is valid for two years while the Standard Elementary Certificate is valid for 6 years. However, these AEPA certificates can be renewed. Therefore, it is advised to check the program guidelines while applying for the this test.

Obtaining a teaching certificate would benefit your career as a teacher in more ways than just one. Moreover, once you become a certified educator, you become eligible to apply for many good teaching positions with eminent institutes in Arizona. It should also be noted that there are limited teaching positions available during the year. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm! Hence, it is important for you to start your preparation early for the this exam and clear it with flying colors!