Teacher Education Office

State Testing Requirements

Basic skills tests developed and administered by Pearson Education, along with content-specific Praxis® II Series tests developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), are used by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to help ensure that teacher candidates have appropriate basic skills and content knowledge mastery.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires passing test scores before granting an Instructional I certificate to teach in specific content areas.  Click here for the list of required exams and scores.

Click here for more information on the teacher certification testing requirements and for help registering and preparing for the exams.

PAPA Exam Policy

All undergraduate RMU teacher candidates must take the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA tests), developed and administered by Pearson Education.  The PAPA tests will be the means of assessing your basic knowledge – reading, mathematics, and writing skills.  Transfer applicants to teacher certification programs at RMU from other institutions or from other majors within RMU must also submit passing scores on the PAPA. 

Click here to view information on preparing for the PAPA tests.  

Undergraduate candidates seeking initial certification are required to pass all of these three PAPA test modules.  Undergraduate RMU teacher candidates must submit passing results on the PAPA as part of the Application for Candidacy, and passing scores for all three PAPA test modules are a requirement for pre-student teaching and student teaching.   Post-baccalaureate candidates seeking initial certification are not required to take the PAPA.

Praxis II/ PECT Exam Policy

All RMU teacher candidates must also take specific content area tests, including post-baccalaureate teacher candidates.  The nature and number of content-related tests varies by certification area.  Some content-related tests, such as those for early childhood and special education, are developed and administered by Pearson Education; while others, such as those required for middle level and secondary teaching certifications, are developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Note that if you are already Pennsylvania certified and adding another certificate, you only have to take the test(s) corresponding to the new certification area. 

  • All teacher candidates must submit proof of having taken the required content area tests (Praxis II or equivalent) the semester prior to student teaching, and include the results as part of the Application for Student Teaching. 
  • No RMU teacher candidate will be permitted to student teach without having obtained passing scores for the PAPA tests and proof of having taken required content-area tests on file in the RMU Teacher Education Office.  
  • Beginning the fall semester of 2014, all RMU student teachers will be required to have passing scores for all required tests related to their certification area.  
  • The PDE will not accept an application for teacher certification without passing all required tests.   

2013-2014 School Year (Transition)

During this transition year students must take the Praxis II or PECT exams by November 15 for spring student teaching. 

Students who do not pass the exam will only be permitted to student teach if they enroll in and complete the preparation course while student teaching. 

2014-2015 School Year (Full Enforcement)

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year all education majors will be required to pass either the Praxis II or PECT Exams (as appropriate to their area of study) prior to student teaching.

Students will not be permitted to student teach unless they have passed the exam by December 15 for students planning to student teach in the spring semester and by July 15 for students planning to student teach in the fall semester.

Students will participate in an exam preparation program through a zero credit course in the first semester or second semester of their junior year depending on when the student plans to student teach or the semester after candidacy is established for post-baccalaureate students. Undergraduate students should take the prep course prior to pre-student teaching. The preparation course will be taught by a content area instructor. 

For More Information, Contact:

Nancy A Mcgregor

Certification Assistant
School of Education and Social Sciences
412-397-6025 Phone
412-397-6044 Fax
Nicholson Center 434
Moon Campus

Office of Teacher Education
Nicholson Center, 4th Floor
6001 University Blvd.
Moon Township, PA 15108
412-397-6027 phone
412-397-6044 fax