AEPA Test Breakdown

The future of a nation depends upon how the present generation is being groomed. A major part of this grooming takes place in schools. The onus of ensuring that young students are being trained appropriately lies with the teachers who are teaching in schools. This makes it apparent that the teachers should be well qualified for the responsibility that has been placed upon their shoulders. This is where the AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments) steps in.

What is the AEPA?

The US state of Arizona has formulated the AEPA to ensure that each teacher appointed in a school of Arizona has the knowledge and skills that are necessary for a teacher to be able to teach effectively as per the state standards. Passing the AEPA is one of the requirements that have to be met for being evaluated as a potential educator for Arizona schools and for earning your educator certification for the state. AEPA consist of a series of tests and you will have to take a different set of tests depending upon the type of certification you are looking for. The state of Arizona issues different certifications for teachers and administrators like the Superintendent, Principal, or Supervisor of schools.

What does the AEPA Evaluate?

AEPA consist of a set of tests that evaluate your skills in different subject areas. These subject areas are the ones that one should be proficient in for earning the certification in the related field. In other words, there are specific subject areas that you should be proficient in for excelling in the responsibilities that you will have to shoulder after earning that particular certification. For instance, the set of AEPA tests that you will have to take will be different if you are applying for certification as a school supervisor and you will have to take a different set of tests if you wish to enrol for an educator preparation program. The AEPA tests are classified into the following categories depending upon the subject areas, skills and knowledge being assessed:

  • Professional Knowledge Tests All applicants for a teaching certificate will have to take the professional knowledge tests which consist of three levels: Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary. These tests evaluate your pedagogical knowledge and related skills. Questions: There are approximately 100 multiple-choice or selected-response questions and 3 written performance assignments in these tests.
  • Subject Knowledge Tests The subject knowledge tests have been designed to test your content knowledge of various subject areas. There is a separate subject knowledge test for each specific subject area. The content knowledge that is assessed is as has been defined by the Arizona Academic Standards. Applicants will have to take the subject knowledge test for the subject in which they wish to be certified for teaching. Questions: The number of questions and their types may vary from test to test. However, a majority of the subject knowledge tests consist of approximately 100 selected-response questions and one written performance assignment. The subject knowledge tests for French, German, and Spanish consist of about 55 selected-response questions. These questions include questions designed to assess your reading and listening comprehension skills. These three tests will also consist of a written expression assignment and an oral expression performance assignment.
  • Constitutions of the United States and Arizona Test This test is an assessment of your knowledge of the principles and provisions of the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona. You will have to take this test if you wish to earn a teacher or a school administrator certification. You will be exempted from taking this test if you have completed the Arizona Department of Education-approved coursework in this area. Questions: You will be presented with about 100 selected-response questions in this test.
  • Administrator Tests There are three administrator tests: Supervisor, Superintendent and Principal Tests. You will have to take that test which is required as per the criteria for certification as a supervisor, superintendent or principal. Questions: The Supervisor test consists of about 100 selected-response questions and one written performance assignment. There are about 100 selected-response questions and four written performance assignments in each of the other two administrator tests. Out of the four written performance assignments, two will be related to a case study, one will be a work product assignment and one will be an educational issue assignment. Despite the different types of questions and assignments, you will receive a single combined score for the administrator test taken by you.
  • Basic Skills Test You will not have to take this test for being eligible for a teaching certificate. However, you may need to pass the Basic Skills test as a requirement for joining educator preparation programs. This test is designed to assess the basic skills of students who have applied for educator preparation programs. There are three subtests in this test: Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Mathematics. Questions: The Reading Comprehension and Mathematics subtests will consist of 42 selected-response questions each. The Writing subtest will consist of a written performance assignment in addition to 42 selected-response questions. Note: The AEPA tests may include trial questions also. Your responses to these questions will not count towards your AEPA scores. These trial questions are included in the AEPA tests to assess their suitability for use in future administrations.

How is the AEPA Scored?

The AEPA tests are criterion referenced and objective based. This implies that the tests will measure your skills and knowledge with respect to an established standard of performance. Your performance in the AEPA will not be compared to the performance of other test-takers. The AEPA scores for all the tests are converted to a common scale irrespective of the types of questions asked, the number of questions presented and the subject areas being assessed by each test. This has been done in order to report the AEPA results on a common platform regardless of the test administration you may have taken.

All test scores are reported on a scaled scale ranging from 100 to 300. The total test scores are calculated on the basis of your performance in all the test sections within the test. If the test you have taken consists of both selected-response questions and performance assignments, then your scores in the selected-response questions and those in the performance assignments are combined to arrive at the total score for the test taken by you. The minimum passing score is 240. Your scores in the subsections of a test cannot be combined with the subsection scores of the same test in some other test administration to meet the passing requirements. However, in the tests that consist of selected-response questions and performance assignments, a good performance in either section can balance a poor performance in the other. The weight given to the selected-response questions and the performance assignments varies from test to test. You will have to go though the official website of AEPA, to get detailed information on the score distribution for the AEPA tests that you are scheduled to take.

What if One Fails in the AEPA?

If you fail to attain the AEPA passing scores, then you can retake the AEPA by registering for the AEPA afresh and taking the tests on any regular test date. Make good use of the AEPA study guides that can be easily found on the AEPA website. You can download these study guides free of cost. These guides will provide you with the test objectives and practice questions for each AEPA test. You can also go through useful information on how to prepare for the AEPA. There are various other prep resources like prep courses, tutoring, study guides etc. that will help you in preparing for the AEPA.

Careful prep planning and thorough review of the AEPA test content will help you avoid taking retests and you will be able to get good AEPA scores in your first attempt itself!

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