Your AEPA scores stand in your way of becoming a teacher in Arizona. Passing the AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments) is one of the mandatory requirements for becoming a certified teacher in the state of Arizona. Your performance in this exam is a direct reflection of your professional knowledge and skills that are expected from an educator. It is used to judge your competence in carrying out your responsibilities as an educator effectively and efficiently as per the state standards of Arizona.
Who Benefits from Passing the AEPA?
All adults desirous of pursuing a career in education will have to pass this test. AEPA consists of a series of tests and you will have to take a specific set of tests depending on the type of certification you have applied for. The following categories of people are the ones who will benefit from passing the exam:
- Applicants for a teaching certificate: All those of you who wish to become certified teachers in Arizona will have to pass the AEPA professional knowledge test. There are 3 levels of this test: Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary.
- Applicants for teaching certificate or school administrator certificate: You will have to pass the AEPA Constitutions of the United States and Arizona Test if you have applied for teaching certification and school administrator certificate but you have not completed the ADE (Arizona Department of Education)-approved coursework related to the principles and provisions of the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona.
- Applicants seeking certification in a specific subject area: There are subject knowledge tests for different subject areas and it is mandatory to pass the subject area test for a specific academic field in order to be certified for teaching that subject in schools. In other words, you will be certified to teach a specific subject area only after you pass the related AEPA subject knowledge test.
- Applicants for school administrator certificate: If you are keen on becoming a school administrator like a school Superintendent, Principal, or Supervisor, then you will have to pass the appropriate AEPA administrator test.
- Applicants for entering Arizona educator preparation programs: You may be required to pass the AEPA Basic Skills test if you wish to join an Arizona educator preparation program. You will not be required to pass the AEPA Basic Skills test as a requirement for grant of a teaching certificate for Arizona.
Please visit the website of the ADE Certification Unit, www.azed.gov/certification for detailed information on specific set of tests that you will have to pass depending on the type of certification you have applied for and your personal requirements.
Why is it Necessary to get Passing Scores in the AEPA?
The AEPA tests have been formulated to assess your knowledge and skills in specific fields. Proficiency in these fields is necessary for excelling in the tasks that you will be assigned in a career in education. You should have the necessary subject based knowledge and skills if you have to teach that subject in schools. It is evident that quality education cannot be imparted to school students if their teachers are not qualified and competent enough. The passing standards for professional knowledge tests and the subject knowledge tests of the AEPA have been specified by the Arizona State Board of Education. These standards have been laid down keeping in mind the minimum levels of skills and knowledge that should necessarily be possessed by the teachers teaching in Arizona schools so that the standards in the schools are of the level as specified by the state. Hence, there is a need to get passing scores in AEPA for the following two main reasons:
- To earn the certification you have applied for
- To demonstrate that your skills and knowledge are of the level expected of an educator serving in the schools of Arizona.
What is the AEPA Scoring System?
Your performance in this test will not be compared to the performances of other test-takers. Your performance will be compared against a criterion which is an established standard that is required to be met for earning an educator certification. Your scores in all these tests are converted to a standardized scale. The scaled scores are utilized so as to do away with the differences that may come up due to the different test administrations taken by the test-takers.
The scaled scores for the AEPA tests range from 100 to 300. The passing score for each AEPA test is 240. The scores for this test are calculated, subject to the following conditions:
- The total test scores take into account your performance in all the test sections that constitute the test.
- You cannot combine your scores in one or more subsections of a test with those in other subsections of the same test that have been attained in another test administration. Your passing scores can be met only by considering your scores in the subsections for the test taken in a single test administration.
- Your total test scores for a test that consists of both selected-response questions and performance assignments will be calculated by combining the scores you’ve earned in the selected-response questions and the performance assignments. The scores for the selected-response questions and the performance assignments will be combined depending upon the type of test.
- The scaled score for selected-response section is multiplied by 0.9 and that of the performance assignment section is multiplied by 0.1. The results are then added to arrive at the total scaled score for the professional knowledge tests, the Supervisor test and for all the subject knowledge tests (except for the Spanish, French and German tests).
- The Spanish, French and German subject knowledge tests have both written and speaking performance assignments. The total scaled scores for these tests are arrived at by multiplying the scaled scores for the selected-response sections by 0.8 and those of the performance assignment sections by 0.2 and adding the results.
- Your total scaled test score for the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona test is based on the selected-response section only.
- There are four performance assignments each in the Principal and Superintendent tests. In these tests, the scaled scores in the selected-response sections are multiplied by 0.6 and the scaled scores of the performance assignment sections are multiplied by 0.4. The results are added to arrive at the total scaled score for the tests.
- For the Basic Skills writing subtest, the scaled score for the selected-response section is multiplied by 0.8 and that for the performance assignment section is multiplied by 0.2. The results are added for calculating the total scaled score for the Basic Skills test.
The official website of AEPA, www.aepa.nesinc.com contains detailed information on the scoring system for each of the these tests and the eligibility criteria for earning each type of certification. Ensure that you go through this website in detail before commencing your test prep.
4 Ways to get the AEPA Passing Scores!
- Be aware of the AEPA test format: You cannot hope to pass these tests unless you are aware of how the test is scored and the scores that are needed to pass this test. Make sure that you are well versed with the test objectives for each test which clearly define the subject areas that will be assessed.
- Get good quality prep materials: Arrange for a good collection of useful prep materials. The prep materials should cover a review of the test content along with sample questions and strategies for answering them correctly.
- Manage your time effectively: Carefully work out the time you have at hand for preparing for this exam. Manage your time in such a way that you are able to dedicate equal amount of time to each of the subject areas being assessed by the AEPA test that you are scheduled to take. You can plan on spending more time on the subject areas which are your weaknesses. However, do not completely ignore studying for a specific area of the test content no matter how confident you are of your knowledge of the subject area.
- Study: The last and the most effective way to get the passing scores in this test is to study with concentration and determination. Do not study with a relaxed approach. Put your best efforts and the passing scores for AEPA will be well within your reach!