Required School Counseling Track Exams (PAPA & Praxis II)

In addition to the NCE, students in the School Counseling track are required to take the PAPA and PRAXIS II and cannot be certified until they have passed both exams.  Students who are Licensed Professional Counselors may not be required to complete the PAPA or PRAXIS II exams and students who already hold teaching certificates and/or graduate prior to July 2013 may not be required to take the PAPA.  If you are in either of these categories, please contact Holly Myers (hmyers@messiah.edu) to determine if you meet the criteria for exemption. 


The PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment) includes three modules: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.  When you register for the PAPA, it is important to list Messiah College as a score recipient.  If you take the exam outside of Pennsylvania, it is important to list PDE as a score recipient.

  • Students who have enrolled in the Counseling Program prior to July 2013: You are required to take the PAPA before graduation, although we recommend that you take it before practicum.
  • Students who have enrolled in the Counseling Program after July 2013: You are required to take the PAPA before registering for practicum.

PAPA Registration and Study Materials: http://www.pa.nesinc.com/


The PRAXIS II Professional School Counselor (test code 0421 and 5421) is required for certification.  This test measures whether entry-level school counselors have the standards-relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities believed necessary for competent professional practice. Students must take the PRAXIS II before graduation.

Study Materials
The ETS website provides official preparation materials including a study guide and workshops. The website also provides free pdfs with information about the exam as well as tips for studying and reducing text anxiety.

Additional Resources
•“Praxis School Guidance and Counseling 0420” by Sharon A Wynne.
School Guidance and Counseling Study Guide eBook
      This Praxis™ Study Guide eBook was created by ETS test makers. Available for immediate download, this guide contains content outlines, information on the types of questions found on the test, test-taking strategies, study topics with sample questions, and practice questions with correct answers and detailed rationales.