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What can I Expect During a Paraprofessional Assessment?

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  • Written By: Jesse Pompei
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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The Paraprofessional Assessment, also called the ParaPro Assessment, was developed to determine a potential or practicing paraprofessional's general abilities in math, reading, and writing. The test can be taken in the paper-and-pencil format or on the Internet in certain school districts in the United States. During a Paraprofessional Assessment test, you'll be expected to answer a series of multiple choice questions that require you to solve various types of mathematical questions, analyze reading passages and graphs, and answer questions demonstrating your ability to apply knowledge in the classroom. The final score is based on the number of questions answered correctly; skipped and incorrect answers do not count against your score.

The standardized test is composed of 90 multiple-choice questions focusing on three main content categories of math, reading, and writing. Test takers have 2.5 hours to complete the test. Approximately 30 questions are devoted to each of the three content areas. Within those 30 questions, about 18 are focused on basic skills, and 12 are devoted to applying those skills in the classroom.

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The reading portion of the test focuses on the understanding and analyzing of different reading passages, as well as charts, tables, and graphs. Some skills covered are identifying the main idea and supporting details, differentiating between fact and opinion, and being able to define a word in context. The test takers also answer questions applying reading knowledge to classroom scenarios. The questions evaluate the test taker's ability to assist a student with sounding out and breaking down words, as well as interpreting a reading passage.

The math concepts covered are broken down into three categories. Number sense and basic algebra covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; basic fractions, decimals, and percents; and solving word problems. Geometry and measurement covers time and money and geometric shapes. Data analysis covers basic tables, charts, and graphs. The math application questions focus on the examinee's ability to assist the instructor with math instruction in the classroom.

The writing skills questions in the Paraprofessional Assessment concentrate on parts of speech, parts of a sentence, and locating basic grammatical errors. The writing application questions focus on helping students with the writing process, such as brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing.

The Paraprofessional Assessment is offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETSĀ®). The paper-and-pencil version of the Paraprofessional Assessment is given four times a year, and there is a fee involved. Test scores are mailed approximately four weeks after taking the test. If taken online, unofficial test scores are available immediately after completing the test, with official scores mailed within two weeks.

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