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Basic Skills Testing

If you are required to take the Basic Skills Tests for Sophomore Gateway or certification, there are currently three options to fulfill this requirements: SAT/ACT Exemption, Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessments (PAPA), or PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators.

1. SAT/ACT Exemption Policy

The PA Department of Education's Certification Basic Skills Assessment Requirement offers SAT or ACT as an alternative to the Basic Skills Testing.

Effective September 1, 2013 examinations meeting the basic skills requirement include:

1. The Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) may be accepted as of September 1, 2013 if the following is met at the time of matriculation:
A score of no less than 1550 with no individual section (Critical Reading, Writing, Mathematics) score of less than 500

2. The American College Test (ACT) Plus Writing may be accepted as of September 1, 2013 if the following is met at the time of matriculation:
A composite score of 23 accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a Math score of 21.

Candidates using the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) Plus Writing to meet the basic skills examination requirement may:

  • combine section scores from different test dates; however, use the best score earned from one testing agency.
  • use only the satisfactory scores achieved prior to matriculation in the college/university/approved program provider (i.e., while still in high school).
Request Official Test Scores - SAT or ACT
  1. Official test scores must be sent to the student in a envelope sealed by the vendor.
  2. Students should forward their unopened, official scores to the Student and Academic Services office in 214 Canevin Hall, attention: Lisa Patrick.

2. Pre-service Academic Performance Assessments (PAPA)

Scoring: Straight or Composite Methods

http://www.pa.nesinc.com/

Straight Scoring Method

Min Score Required:

      1.  PAPA Reading 220
      2. PAPA Math 220
      3. PAPA Writing 220

Composite Scoring Method: Two-step process allowing lower individual test scores BUT a higher total score than the Straight Scoring Method

Step #1:  Meet minimum individual score for each PAPA test (different from above)

Min Score Required (different from above min straight score)

    1. PAPA Reading 193
    2. PAPA Math 197
    3. PAPA Writing 192

 Step #2:  Meet a minimum total score for the combined 3 PAPA tests = 686.

This is NOT the same as the total of the above scores. To pass composite method you must meet the following three requirements:

  1. Meet the new min individual scores PLUS
  2. Score 220 in one area PLUS
  3. Meet the higher total score of the 3 tests = 686. This allows you to compensate for a lower score in one test with a higher score in another.

3. PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators

As of June 20, 2014, PDE released a new option for an assessment of basic skills given by Educational Testing Services (ETS).Scoring: Straight or Composite Methods

https://www.ets.org/praxis/about/core/

Straight Scoring Method:

Minimum Qualifying Score Required:

1. Core: Reading (Test #5712) 156  
2. Core: Writing (Test #5722) 162
3. Core: Mathematics (Test #5732) 150

Composite Scoring Method: Two-step process allowing lower individual test scores BUT a higher total score than the Straight Scoring Method

Step #1: Meet minimum individual score for each PRAXIS: Core test (different from above)

Minimum Score Required (different from above min straight score):

1. Core: Reading (Test #5712) 148
2. Core: Writing (Test #5722) 158
3. Core: Mathematics (Test #5732) 142   

Step #2: Meet a minimum total score for the combined 3 PRAXIS: Core tests = 475.

This is NOT the same as the total of the above scores. To pass composite method you must meet the following three requirements:

  1. Meet the new min individual scores PLUS
  2. Meet the Qualifying Score from the Straight Scoring Method in one area PLUS
  3. Meet the higher total score of the 3 tests = 475. This allows you to compensate for a lower score in one test with a higher score in another.