Testing Information Overview
Pennsylvania teacher certification candidates are required to take two sets of examinations:
- PAPA, which is required for admission to the Teacher Education Program, (unless exempt - see below) and
- Required content knowledge exams that are taken when the student is preparing for certification on completion of the program.
PECT tests (including PAPA) can be taken at testing centers worldwide. To find a test center, go to the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website. Click on Tests and then the test you want to take, i.e. PAPA, etc. Under Test Sites, click on "Locate a Test Center."
When you register, it is important to list Messiah College as a score recipient.
Students who have met at least one of the requirements listed below are exempt from taking the PAPA:
- A score of no less than 1550 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT).
- The SAT score of 1550 will include no individual section (Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) score of less than 500
- A composite score of 23 on the American College Test Plus Writing.
- The composite score of 23 shall be accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a Math score of 21.
Students who meet either requirement at the time of college matriculation shall be exempt from taking the PAPA exam. Those who do not must take and pass the PAPA examination.
Taking the PAPA
For more information about the PAPA and how to register, you can visit the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests Website (see link at left). In addition to registering for tests, you can also find more information about test content and sample questions. Test-takers with disabilities will find a link with information about requesting accommodations for the exams.
Undergraduate students should take the PAPA basic skills test as soon as possible, but by the summer after the first year of college at the latest. Passing scores are required for admission to the Teacher Education Program. Post-baccalaureate students will take the PAPA basic skills test prior to applying for admission to Messiah College.
Content Knowledge Exams (including PECT and PRAXIS II)
A second set of exams is required for Pennsylvania certification. Some of these exams are administered by ETS (PRAXIS II), and some are administered by Pearson Evaluation Systems (PECT). In contrast to the basic skills tests referenced above, these exams assess your knowledge of the content related to your particular certification area. The specific exam(s) you must take depends on your certification area.
Required Content Knowledge Examinations for Each Certification Area with Session/Test Code
Undergraduate PK-4 and Special Education students should take content knowledge exams when most of your major courses are completed and no later than 8 weeks before you complete your coursework at Messiah College to ensure your certification application is not delayed.
Other undergraduates (not PK-4 and Special Ed) should take content knowledge exams in the summer after the junior year or, at the latest, eight weeks before completion of coursework at Messiah College to ensure that their certification application is not delayed.
Post-baccalaureate and graduate students should take content knowledge exams no later than eight weeks before completion of coursework at Messiah College to ensure that their certification application is not delayed.