What is AEPA?

Different Categories of AEPA Explained

The state of Arizona requires the educators seeking a certification in teaching to clear the AEPA. The Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA), developed by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) ensures that each candidate being certified has the basic skill required by an entry-level educator in the public schools of Arizona.

The AEPA :

TheArizona Educator Proficiency Assessments are designed specifically for every domain. In fact, you can avail first hand information about the this test from the official website: http://www.aepa.nesinc.com/.

Each test contains one or more written assignments depending on the type of exam and consist of questions that are in selected-response format. There are 45 tests as part of the AEPA program developed by ADE. It is to be noted that some tests developed by ADE are mandatory for every candidate. However, the test pattern for each test differs from one domain to another.

This test can be categorized into 5 sections. 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. In order to gain a better insight of what the AEPA is all about, let us look at these categories in detail.

The AEPA Test Categories:

  1. The Subject-Knowledge test: It is essential to remember that the number of questions may vary from test to test. However, the Subject-Knowledge tests consist of a section for approximately 100 questions and a separate section for one written performance assignment. There is an exception in test patterns for foreign languages like French, German, and Spanish. These tests have only 55 selected-response questions, but they have a written expression assignment along with an oral expression performance assignment.

    The objective type questions in this test are scored separately and a separate score is assigned for written assignments. The overall score would be a total of all the scores for sections in the test.

  2. The Professional Knowledge test: The guidelines for this test have been recently changed by ADE. The professional knowledge tests have 3 levels of tests which are the Early Childhood test, the Elementary test, and the Secondary test.

    Since September 2012, the rules for attaining the certification for the secondary education have changed. Now the NES Assessments of professional knowledge for Arizona have been replaced by the AEPA elementary and secondary professional knowledge tests.

  3. The Constitutions of the United States and Arizona test: The questions involved in this test are developed to gauge the candidate's knowledge of the provisions in the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona. This test is mandatory for all teachers seeking admission unless specified otherwise in the program guidelines.

  4. The Administrator tests: The administrator tests have 3 levels which can be taken according to the professional preference of the candidate. These are the Supervisor, Superintendent and Principal tests. It should be known that the test pattern and number of assignments for these tests differ from level to level.

    • The Supervisor test consists of 100 questions and one performance assignment.
    • The Superintendent and Principal tests have 100 questions and 4 assignments. This includes 2 assignments on case studies, one work product assignment and one educational issue related assignment.
  5. The Basic Skills test: This Basic Skills test consists of 3 subtests which are the Reading Comprehension, the Writing, and the Mathematics subtests. There would be 42 questions in the Reading Comprehension, the Writing and Mathematics subtests each. However, it should be known that the Writing subtest will also have a written performance assignment. This test has to be given and cleared by all those candidates who require a teaching certificate.

Scoring in AEPA:

The scoring criterion differs in each category of AEPA. There are some set benchmarks, which measure the candidate's skill-level through selected-response questions and assignments. The scores, therefore, are converted to a common scale ranging from 100-300.In general, 240 are considered the minimum passing score. Thankfully, there is no comparison done amongst scores. Therefore, there is no good or bad score for this exam.

The preparation for these tests involves a lot of time. Hence, it is also advised that you visit the official website of AEPA, www.aepa.nesinc.com to check the details on the score distribution for the test that you have decided to take. This site also has official study guides for these tests pertaining to all subject areas. You can download the study material available free of cost or you can order a bound printed copy from AEPA by paying the required fee and though an order form.

The scores of the AEPA decide your future as a certified educator. It is important to leave no stone unturned during preparation for these tests. Even though there is no limit set to retakes for this test, you have to make the best of the opportunity you get. Therefore, by using the right study guides and practicing these tests, you can definitely get through with flying colors!