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Testing

Pennsylvania teacher certification candidates are required to take two sets of examinations:
  1. Basic Assessment, required for admission to the Teacher Education Program
  2. Required content knowledge exams, taken when the student is preparing for certification upon completion of the program.
All tests can be taken at testing centers worldwide.  To find a test center, follow the link for the test you need (see links on the left of the page)
When you register, it is important to list Messiah College as a score recipient.

Students need to prepare before taking any of the required exams. See the link on the left for tips and resources to prepare for required exams. 

Basic Assessment

Students must meet the Basic Assessment requirement to be eligible for approval to the Teacher Education Program. The assessment can be met in one of the following ways:

  1. Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) scores of no less than 1550, with no individual section (Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) score of less than 500,
  2. American College Test Plus Writing composite score of 23, accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a Math score of 21.
  3. Passing scores on the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) 
  4. Passing scores on the ETS Core Assessment
Students who do not have SAT/ACT scores that meet the basic assessment prior to college matriculation must take and pass the PAPA or ETS Core Assessment. Information and registration information about these tests, including information about test content and practice tests can be found on the website for the test (see links at left). Test-takers with disabilities will find a link with information about requesting accommodations for the exams.
  • The basic assessment should be met by the appropriate test no later than the summer after the first year of college. Post-baccalaureate students will meet the basic assessment prior to applying for admission to Messiah College.

Content Knowledge Exams (including PECT and PRAXIS II)

Content knowledge exams, which assess your knowledge of the content related to the certification area, are required for Pennsylvania certification.  Students should be sure that they register for the correct test, required for certification:

When to take content knowledge exams:

  • Undergraduate PK-4 and Special Education students - when most of the 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.
  • All undergraduates except PK-4/Special Ed -  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 - no later than eight weeks before completion of coursework at Messiah College to ensure that their certification application is not delayed.

Candidates for Pennsylvania certification should plan to take the content knowledge exams in Pennsylvania, or if a required exam is taken in another state, be sure to list Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) as a score recipient.