Why Should You Take the AEPA Tests?
The AEPA tests are a group of tests administered in the U.S state of Arizona to the candidates applying for educator certifications, including teacher and educational supervisor certifications. These tests are designed in line with the certification requirements framed by the Arizona State Board of Education. "AEPA" is short form for "Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments®". The primary purpose of the AEPA tests is to judge whether or not a candidate possesses the relevant subject and professional knowledge that is required to become a successful educator in today's world.
The Important Aspects of the AEPA Tests
We will go over the important aspects of the AEPA tests, as follows:
- Test Types and Format
The AEPA program has recently undergone some structural changes and is now referred to as the Arizona Educator program. There are 2 key types of tests included in this program, namely, customized AEPA tests and NES, which are national teacher certification exams. Starting in 2013, several current AEPA tests for specific knowledge areas or subjects will be replaced with the corresponding NES counterparts.
AEPA custom tests: These are tests designed specifically for achieving the custom educational requirements in Arizona. The candidates applying for certifications in subjects such as Geography, Earth Science, Economics and Political Science, etc. must write AEPA custom tests. At present, these AEPA tests are available only in paper-based format. However, starting March 201, they will be administered as computer-based tests.
NES tests: These tests are required for achieving national educator certifications across all states of the U.S and are governed by nationally accepted standards in school education. All NES tests are computer-based.
Moreover, most AEPA or NES tests, include different test sections that will be discussed later in this article. To determine whether the teacher certification that you are applying to requires a custom AEPA or NES test and to know more about the rules of the AEPA tests, you may refer to the official AEPA website -http://www.aepa.nesinc.com/AZ_announceProgramTransition.asp. For more information on NES tests, their rules and requirements, you could visit the NES website -www.nestest.com/arizona/.
- Test Registration, Centers and Dates
To register for AEPA tests, a candidate must first create an account at the AEPA website. Following this, the candidate is required to select the tests required for his or her teacher certification. Thereafter, the candidate must select from a list of available tests dates for the current AEPA paper-based tests. Finally, the candidate must select from a list of available Arizona test sites and choose an appropriate mode of payment for test registration. For future computer-based testing, test dates will be available round-the-year, on certain test windows, through online appointments. A complete list of test dates and centers, for both paper-based and computer-based formats are available at this link -http://www.aepa.nesinc.com/AZ15_testdates.asp?pagetype=PBT.
- Test Scores
The score of an AEPA test is calculated by combining the scores for all the sections of that test. The scoring is done in the range of 100 to 300 and a total score of 240 is the minimum recommended pass score. To arrive at a total score, each test section's score is multiplied by an appropriate weight-age and then the resultant scores are added up. On the other hand, the pass score for NES tests is 220.
Sections of the AEPA Tests
The AEPA tests consist of 3 main test sections; namely, professional and subject knowledge tests, and a test of the candidate's knowledge of the U.S and Arizona State Constitution.
- Professional Knowledge Test
All knowledge subject certifications and special certifications such as Early Childhood programs require a custom AEPA or NES Professional Knowledge test, that assesses the professional knowledge of the candidates in that particular area of study.
- Subject Knowledge Test
This test section assesses the technical knowledge of the candidates in a particular subject area. All subject certifications include both Subject Knowledge and Professional Knowledge tests.
- Constitutions of the United States and Arizona Test
The candidates who are looking to become school administrators must pass the Constitution test that assesses the basic knowledge of the candidates in the U.S and Arizona state constitutions.
- Administrator test
The candidates who are looking to become school administrators or supervisors in Arizona must pass an AEPA administrator test.
The duration of the AEPA tests, and the number and types of questions in the test differ for each certification.
In conclusion, the AEPA tests serve as an important selection criterion for the Arizona Educational Board, in picking the right teachers and educators for the state.
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