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Test Content

How the Test Was Developed

The ParaPro Assessment reflects the most current research and the professional judgment and experience of educators from across the country. The test was developed with the assistance of an advisory committee composed of paraprofessionals and the teachers who work with them. A thorough job analysis was conducted to determine what knowledge and skills in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics, and in assisting in instruction in these areas, are important for ParaPro professionals.

What the Test Questions Are Like

The test consists of 90 selected-response questions in the core subject areas of reading, writing and math. Approximately two-thirds of the questions focus on basic skills and knowledge, while the remaining one-third focus on applying skills in the classroom. See the ParaPro Study Companion.

How ETS Ensures Quality and Fairness

Each test edition is reviewed multiple times for accuracy, fairness and relevance as it's developed. After the test is given, but before scores are released, each question undergoes rigorous statistical analysis to confirm that it is:

  • accurate
  • comparable to previous tests
  • fair to test taker subgroups

These procedures meet and exceed the exacting standards of the professional measurement community and ETS's own Standards for Quality and Fairness.

The ParaPro Assessment is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis to confirm that it provides the valid information needed by states and districts to meet legislative mandates.

Why the Test Was Developed

ETS's ParaPro Assessment was developed in response to the federal legislation known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which has replaced NCLB, leaves these requirements in place. The law requires paraprofessionals serving in an instructional capacity to do one of the following:

  • hold an associate of arts degree
  • complete two years of college
  • demonstrate, through a state or local academic assessment, that they are knowledgeable in reading, writing and math and capable of assisting in classroom instruction

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