Breakdown of PPR Exam
The TExES tests are a set of assessment tests mandatory for obtaining educator certifications in the state of Texas. These tests are generally designed to evaluate the subject knowledge and professional skills of entry-level educators in this state. The suite of tests consists of several in-classroom certification exams that subject/class teachers are required to pass. One such in-classroom certification exam is the basic exam. This article will focus on the PPR exam and describes its key features and test structure in detail.
The Key Aspects of this Exam:
- Test Purpose
The term PPR stands for "Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities". The PPR exam is mandatory for all entry-level teaching candidates in Texas, who are seeking a teacher certification. Such candidates must have completed an EPP (Educator Preparatory Program) or a teacher training program. Also, teachers from other states, who are relocating to Texas and looking to teach here, are required to appear for this exam. Apart from this, the above-mentioned candidates are also required to pass a content test in the subject that they wish to specialize. The PPR is required for teacher certifications for all grades from early childhood up-to grade 12.
- Test Format And Duration
Since September 2012, the exam is being offered only in the computer-administered test (CAT) format and is available on a continual basis in selected TExES CAT exam centers. The duration is about 5 hours. There are about 100 multiple-choice questions (with 4 choices) included in this exam. Out of the 100 test questions, 10 are not scored and are included purely for the purpose of experimenting new question items in future test versions. However, the test-takers are advised to attempt all the questions in the test with equal endeavor, because there is no way of knowing which test questions will be scored and which will not be.
- Test Break-Down
The exam consists of the following 4 key content areas:
Domain 1: Instructional Design & Assessment to Promote Student Learning
Domain 2: Creation of a Positive & Productive Classroom Environment
Domain 3: Implementation of Instruction & Assessment
Domain 4: Fulfillment of Professional Roles and Responsibilities
As you can see, each domain is a key knowledge area pertaining to the professional and pedagogical responsibilities of a school teacher. Furthermore, each test domain is broken down into several competencies. Each competency is a skill-set related to the parent domain that an educator in Texas is required to hold. Here is an example of a competency under 'Domain 1' of this exam - "Understanding human developmental processes and applying this knowledge to motivate students". Moreover, the 100 questions in this exam are spread across the test domains in the following manner (approximately):
- Domain 1 - 34 questions
- Domain 2 - 13 questions
- Domain 3 - 33 questions
- Domain 4 - 20 questions
To view the complete list of domains and competencies tested in the PPR exam, you may download the PPR prep manual from the official TExES website - http://cms.texes-ets.org/texes/prepmaterials/.
- Question Types
The questions in this test are designed to test a candidate's knowledge in all the key domains and competencies that we have discussed earlier. There are 4 types of questions that will appear in this exam, as listed below:
Single Items: In this category, the item is a straightforward question or an incomplete sentence.
Items with a Preface: In this category, an introductory stimulus material, which may be a case study, an example or notes from a teacher, is provided. This is followed by one or more questions that pertain to the stimulus. Thereafter, the candidates are required to analyze the material and provide solutions or make decisions.
Clustered Items: If there is more than one question related to a stimulus material, then the resulting group of questions is called a cluster.
Decision sets: Any group of questions that require some sort of decision-making forms a decision set. Such questions may have additional stimulus between them that takes the given scenario forward and therefore, creates a link between the set of questions.
- Test Scores
The exam is provided a total scaled score, in the range of 100 to 300. The minimum-recommended pass score is 240. Since this test consists of only multiple choice questions, it is scored electronically. An online score report will be published on the TExES website on the score reporting date. Thereafter, the score transcripts will be communicated to the TEA certification agency.
In conclusion, it is a key certification requirement for many aspiring teachers in Texas and is a highly intense examination. The candidates may register for the test by following the instructions on the TExES website - http://cms.texes-ets.org/texes/registrationinformation/. This website also hosts loads of PPR preparation materials for all the aspiring PPR candidates.