According to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act paraprofessionals hired after January 8, 2002, and working in a program supported with Title I, Part A funds must have to their credit
- two years of study at an institution of higher education; or
- an associate’s (or higher) degree; or
- an accurate standard of quality demonstrated through a formal State or local educational assessment
ParaPro Assessment, developed and administered by Educational Testing Service, ETS, assists states in fulfilling the third of the above mentioned conditions. ParaPro scores are used for determining whether the applicant has the required skills or not.
It is through ParaPro Assessment scores that estimates of the ability of a paraprofessional can be made by states and he can thus be allowed to practice as a professional.
Though ETS develops, administers and scores the assessment, it does not define what the passing score for ParaPro is. This is left to the discretion of different state authorities since it is ultimately they on whom the onus of sustaining the standards of education provided in the state lies.
Each correct response gets you a point. The total number of these points makes your raw score. There is no penalty for a wrongly answered question, nor is there any for a missed question. There are only multiple-choice questions in ParaPro and hence the answer sheets are scored by a computer and not by individuals. The raw score is then converted to a scaled score which is reported in your score report.
The range within which a scaled score for the internet based test lies is 420-480 and for the paper based test as well this range is the same. Maximum test takers score within the range of 460 to 476 in the internet based test and within 458 to 475 in the paper based test.
Important Features of ParaPro Scoring
Score Reporting:The internet based test is scored immediately. You can view the scores as soon as your testing session terminates and can print the result in the form of an unofficial score report. This score report however, cannot be used for any official purpose. Nearly, two weeks after the test date, the official score report is received by the designated recipient.
The paper based test score report takes about four weeks after the test to be mailed. This also reaches the designated recipient. For some states the score reports are sent to the state’s teacher credentialing offices.
ParaPro Score Report: The score report includes personal information, background information and educational information. It contains the following details about scores.
- the scores achieved in the test
- pass or fail score information
- details about performance in each content category w.r.t the current scores
- the highest score earned by you in the last 10 years
Scores Earned in Content Categories: The testing items in the ParaPro Assessment are grouped according to the content category they belong to. Your score report contains the raw scores for each content category. This assists in identification of those content areas in which the test taker needs improvement and accordingly he can improve his performance the next time around. The maximum raw points in each content category and the limits within which middle 50 percent of candidates score are also mentioned.
ParaPro Passing Scores: There is no fixed passing score for ParaPro defined by ETS. Instead, state or district authorities determine their own passing scores. You can view a list of the passing scores defined by the different districts on the website www.ets.org.
Enquiring Scores on Phone: You can enquire about your scores on phone. Specific dates are mentioned on the website corresponding to each test date on or after which the scores are available through telephone services. Keep the candidate’s ID/social security number, date of birth and date of testing, a touch-tone phone and a valid credit card handy when you call for enquiring scores.
Cancelling Scores by ETS: If for any of the following reasons ETS so thinks right, it has the authority to cancel your scores.
- In case of a testing irregularity
- In case of apparent irregularity in the applicant’s identification
- If the candidate does not follow the test center procedures
- The score is invalid for some reason
To avoid landing in any inappropriate situation that could lead to cancellation of your scores go through Identification Requirements and Test Center Procedures and Regulations well in advance and guard against any chances of misconduct.
Verifying your Scores: The answer sheets are machine scored. Thus, the procedure is highly accurate. However, you can get your answer sheet verified once on making a request. This facility is available for a period of four months only from the date of testing. In case a difference occurs in the score, a corrected score report is sent to the original recipients and your verification fee is refunded.
Pretest Questions: There could be one or more questions in your test that are pretest items. They do not count towards your score in any manner. These questions are meant to test new questions for future administrations of ParaPro Assessment. A test taker shall not be able to distinguish these test items from other scored test items. Hence, he should attempt each question with equal seriousness.
Additional Score Reports (ASRs): The score report is sent to the test taker and one school designated by the test taker. You can request ETS to send your score report to more recipients for a payment of $40 per recipient.
Retesting: You can reappear for ParaPro according to the limitations set by concerned state authorities, associations and institutions. ETS does not impose any restrictions on retesting.
Each state determines its own standards of ParaPro scores. ETS has no regulations regarding these scores. Let us take a look at the various limits on qualifying scores defined by different states in US.
Most states have their qualifying scores between 455 and 460.
Louisiana has one of the lowest qualifying scores set as 450. District of Columbia, Florida Consortium, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Education Service Center - Region 19, Texas, Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas, North East Independent School District, Texas, South San Antonio Independent School District, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington and Wyoming all have higher than 460 as their qualifying scores with Education Service Center - Region 19, Texas, setting it as high as 467.
Points for Contemplation
- Merely passing the ParaPro is sufficient for you to gain employment. However, there could be high score expectations of some institutions and you could be denied employment based on them. It is ideal to set high aims and prepare accordingly to safeguard against missing any chances of employment.
- You are not penalized for a wrong response and so you can resort to guesswork in case it is required. However, you cannot afford to take preparation lightly as random guessing might not assist you much. Only intelligent guesswork shall bear fruit since it is generally based on some peripheral knowledge related with the question.
- Attempting all the questions in ParaPro increases your chances of scoring high. In case you run short of time towards the end of the exam, try to complete the test anyhow, rather than concentrating on only those questions that you know the answers of.
- Retake the test if you are not satisfied with your score. It is better to reappear for the test, rather than dillydallying about a retest decision and delaying your chances of progress.
Though there is no substitution of good preparation, you can score high in the test by coupling preparation with prudence. Understand the test breakdown, test content, scoring scheme and other details of ParaPro and prepare accordingly.
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