Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments Overview

Passing of one or more Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments is a requirement to obtaining a teaching certificate in Arizona. The type of assessments you are required to take depends on the type of certification you are seeking. The following is a brief overview of the types of assessments offered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE).

Professional Knowledge Tests Professional knowledge tests are offered in the areas of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary. Each test consists of one hundred multiple choice questions and three written performance assignments. A professional knowledge test is required of all individuals who wish to obtain a teaching certificate for Arizona. An Early Childhood professional knowledge test is required for individuals who wish to teach in a preschool setting. An Elementary professional knowledge test is required for individuals who wish to teach at the grade levels of kindergarten through eighth grade. A Secondary professional knowledge test is required for individuals who wish to teach at the seventh through twelfth grade levels. More than one professional knowledge test may be required, depending on the subject the individual wishes to teach. The specialized subjects of art and music are offered at both the elementary and secondary levels. To maximize employment opportunities, a prospective art or music teacher may wish to take the professional knowledge tests at both the elementary and secondary levels, though this is not required.

Subject Knowledge Tests All individuals seeking teacher certification in Arizona are required to take at least one subject knowledge test. Those desiring early childhood certification are required to take an Early Childhood Education subject knowledge test. Those seeking elementary certification must take an Elementary Education subject knowledge test. Prospective teachers seeking secondary education certification must take the Secondary Education subject knowledge test as well as one or more subject knowledge tests on a specific subject, depending on the area(s) in which they wish to teach. Applicants for certification in special education must take the Elementary Education subject knowledge test whether they wish to teach special education at the elementary or the secondary level From there, subject knowledge tests in one or more special education specialty fields is usually necessary, depending on the type of student the teacher plans to work with. Finally, prospective teachers seeking Career and Technical Education Certification must take and pass the Secondary Education subject knowledge test before a Standard Career and Technical Education certificate can be issued or a Provisional Career and Technical Education certificate can be renewed.

Most subject knowledge tests consist of one hundred multiple choice questions and one written performance assignment. The subject knowledge tests in French, German, and Spanish consist of fifty-five multiple choice questions, one written performance assignment, and one oral performance assignment.

Test on the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona All individuals seeking teacher certification in Arizona are required to pass this exam. It consists of one hundred multiple choice questions. Most teachers have three years AFTER obtaining a teaching certificate to pass this exam. However, if you are teaching a course in history, government, social studies, citizenship, law, or civics, you must pass this test within ONE year of receiving your teaching certificate.

Administrator Tests The Supervisor Test consists of one hundred multiple choice questions and one written performance assignment. The Superintendent and Principal Tests consist of one hundred multiple choice questions and four written performance assignments. Two assignments relate to a case study, one to an educational issue, and one to a work product.

Basic Skills Test The Reading Comprehension and Math sections of the Basic Skills Test consist of forty multiple choice questions. The Writing section contains forty-two multiple choice questions and one written performance assignment. This test is to assess the basic skills of Arizona’s upcoming educators for the benefit of the ADE. It is NOT required for teacher certification.

What To Expect The Day Of The Test

Please report to your test site NO LATER than your scheduled reporting time. You may wish to dress in layers. This will allow you to adjust to the temperature at the test site, which may not be under the control of the test administrator. If possible, wear soft-soled shoes to make the test environment as quiet as possible. Water bottles may be allowed in the testing room, provided that they are clear, do not have a label, have a lid, and are stored under your seat during testing and not placed on your desk at any time.

Depending on where you test, enhanced security measures may be required at the test site facility. If this is the case where you test, only screened persons will be admitted to the test site if an additional screening is conducted. If you do not proceed properly through any security screenings in place, you will not be allowed to take the test and your test fees will not be refunded.

It is absolutely critical that you arrive at the test site by your scheduled reporting time. If you arrive late for your test, you may not be admitted. If you are admitted, you will not be allowed any additional time beyond the allotted time for the test and you will be required to sign a statement indicating that you acknowledge this. If an audio recording is part of your test, you will not be admitted to the test after the recording has begun playing. If you arrive late and are not admitted, you will be considered absent and your test fees will not be refunded. You will need to register again and pay the fee again to test at a future time.

If you miss a test due to emergency circumstances (illness, injury, hospitalization, or death in the immediate family), you may request a voucher to be used for a future exam. You must mail or fax a request with appropriate documentation (statement on physician’s letterhead or a dated obituary) within thirty calendar days of the missed exam date. You will be notified of a decision within two weeks of the receipt of your request. If you are granted a voucher, it will be for the amount of regular registration and processing. Late and emergency fees are considered the responsibility of the exam taker and will not be considered.

You MUST bring the following materials with you to the test site:

  • Your admission ticket
  • Several sharpened number two pencils with erasers. Mechanical pencils and pens will not be permitted. Pencils will not be provided for you at the test site.
  • One current government-issued form of identification, in the name in which you registered, bearing your photograph and signature
  • One additional form of identification. A photograph is acceptable for this ID, but it is not required.

If your name on the day of the test differs from the name under which you registered for the test, you must bring official documentation of the name change, such as a marriage certificate or a court order. If you do not have acceptable identification with you, you will be required to take a thumbprint for identification purposes. If you do not bring acceptable identification with you to the test site and you do not take a thumbprint, you will not be allowed to take the test and your exam fees will not be refunded.

The Registration Process

First you will need to select the AEPA test(s) you want to take, a test date, and a test site. You have up to three registration methods available to you, depending on the time period in which you are registering. Internet registration is available during regular, late, and emergency registration. U.S. Mail registration is available ONLY during the regular registration period and your registration must be postmarked no later than the regular registration deadline. Registration by phone is only available during the emergency registration period. If registering online or by phone, you may pay by VISA or MasterCard only. If registering by U.S. Mail, payment is only accepted by check or money order. DO NOT SEND CASH!

When you register for an AEPA, you will be asked to provide the following personal information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • A daytime telephone number (this information is required for Internet registration)
  • Your Social Security number (this information is required for Internet registration and to access your scores on the Internet)
  • Your date of birth (this information is required to access your scores online)
  • Your e-mail address (this information is required for Internet registration)
  • Your ethnicity (this information is optional)
  • Your gender (this information is optional)

You will also be asked the following background questions as part of your registration process. Your answers to these questions will be kept strictly confidential.

Identify the Arizona institution where you have completed or you will complete your educator preparation program. If you attended more than one Arizona institution, indicate the institution you were enrolled at when you completed your student teaching or practicum. If you attended an out of state institution, leave this question blank.
Have you completed your student teaching or practicum requirement? Please answer yes or no based on your status as of the date you will take the test(s) for which you are registering.
Did you complete your student teaching through an alternative pathway to certification?
Please indicate the number of years of full time teaching experience you have had. Count partial years as full years. You may count teaching in non-public schools, but do not count student teaching, substitute teaching in an assignment that lasted less than a full year, home instruction, or college teaching experience. Please answer this question based on the number of years of full time teaching experience you will have had as of the date you will take the test(s) for which you are registering.
If you are currently enrolled in an Arizona community college or were enrolled in an Arizona community college within the past five years, you will be asked which community college you are or were enrolled in, and what best describes your completion status at that community college from among the following: AAEE (Associate of Arts in Elementary Education); AA (Associate of Arts); thirty to sixty credit hours, or zero to twenty-nine credit hours.

Finally, before you will be allowed to complete your registration, you must read and agree to abide by the rules of test participation, as well as all procedures and policies contained in the AEPA Registration Bulletin.

Subjects In Which An Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment Is Offered

Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment tests are four hours in length unless otherwise indicated. Subjects in which an Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment is offered are as follows:

Professional Knowledge Tests

  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary
  • Secondary

Subject Knowledge Tests

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry (Scientific calculators are provided at the test site. Use of your own scientific calculator is not permitted. The calculator provided will be a Texas Instruments TI-30X, a Texas Instruments TI-30X Solar, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xa, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xs, or a Texas Instruments TI-30XIIs).
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • French (This test includes a recorded component. Late arrivals will not be admitted to the exam).
  • Geography
  • German (This test includes a recorded component. Late arrivals will not be admitted to the exam).
  • Health
  • History
  • Library/Educational Media
  • Mathematics (Scientific calculators are provided at the test site. Use of your own scientific calculator is not permitted. The calculator provided will be a Texas Instruments TI-30X, a Texas Instruments TI-30X Solar, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xa, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xs, or a Texas Instruments TI-30XIIs).
  • Middle Grades General Science (Scientific calculators are provided at the test site. Use of your own scientific calculator is not permitted. The calculator provided will be a Texas Instruments TI-30X, a Texas Instruments TI-30X Solar, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xa, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xs, or a Texas Instruments TI-30XIIs).
  • Middle Grades Language Arts/Reading
  • Middle Grades Mathematics (Scientific calculators are provided at the test site. Use of your own scientific calculator is not permitted.
  • The calculator provided will be a Texas Instruments TI-30X, a Texas Instruments TI-30X Solar, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xa, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xs, or a Texas Instruments TI-30XIIs).
  • Middle Grades Social Studies
  • Music (This test includes a recorded component. Late arrivals will not be admitted to the exam).
  • Physics (Scientific calculators are provided at the test site. Use of your own scientific calculator is not permitted. The calculator provided will be a Texas Instruments TI-30X, a Texas Instruments TI-30X Solar, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xa, a Texas Instruments TI-30Xs, or a Texas Instruments TI-30XIIs).
  • Political Science/American Government
  • Reading Endorsement, kindergarten through grade eight
  • Reading Endorsement, grades six through twelve
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish (This test includes a recorded component. Late arrivals will not be admitted to the exam).
  • Special Education: Cross Category
  • Special Education: Early Childhood
  • Special Education: Emotional Disability
  • Special Education: Hearing Impaired
  • Special Education: Learning Disability
  • Special Education: Mental Retardation
  • Special Education: Orthopedic Impairments or other health impairments
  • Special Education: Severely and Profoundly Disabled
  • Special Education: Speech and Language Impaired
  • Special Education: Visually Impaired (You will need to bring your own braillewriter to the exam with you. A braillewriter will not be provided for you at the test site).

Constitutions of the United States and Arizona Test

  • Constitutions of the United States and Arizona

Administrator Tests

  • Principal (This is a full day exam).
  • Superintendent (This is a full day exam).
  • Supervisor

Basic Skills Test

  • The Basic Skills Test contains three subtests, one test in Reading Comprehension, one test in Writing, and one test in Mathematics.

Other Arizona Teacher Certification Requirements

As you might imagine, becoming a teacher in Arizona requires more than passing just a few exams. This article details other requirements that must be met to obtain a teaching certificate in Arizona.

Standard Early Childhood Education (birth-3) Certificate

  1. An Application for Certification
  2. A fee
  3. A photocopy of your Arizona IVP fingerprint card or fingerprint clearance card
  4. A bachelor’s degree or higher
  5. Completion of a teacher preparation program in early childhood education OR thirty-seven semester hours of early childhood education courses and a minimum of eight hours of practicum. (One year of verified teaching experience with children birth through preschool age may substitute for four hours of practicum. One year of verified teaching experience with children kindergarten through third grade may substitute for four hours of practicum) OR a valid early childhood education certificate from another state.
  6. Verification of state approved Structured English Immersion (SEI) training or comparable state approved SEI training from another state. Training time must be equivalent to three semester hours or forty-five clock hours. Individuals who hold an Arizona Full Bilingual or a Full English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement are exempt.

Standard Elementary Education (K-8) Certificate

  1. An Application for Certification
  2. A fee
  3. A photocopy of your Arizona IVP fingerprint card or fingerprint clearance card
  4. A bachelor’s degree or higher
  5. Completion of a teacher preparation program in elementary education OR forty-five semester hours of education courses, including at least eight semester hours of practicum in grades K-8. (Two years of verified full time teaching experience in grades Kmay substitute for the eight semester hours of practicum) OR a valid elementary education certificate from another state.
  6. Verification of state approved SEI training or comparable state approved SEI training from another state. Training time must be equivalent to three semester hours or forty-five clock hours. Individuals who hold a Full Arizona Bilingual or a Full ESL endorsement are exempt.
  7. Three semester hours or forty-five clock hours of instruction in research based systematic phonics

Standard Secondary Education (7-12) Certificate

  1. An Application for Certification
  2. A fee
  3. A photocopy of your Arizona IVP fingerprint card or fingerprint clearance card
  4. A bachelor’s degree or higher
  5. Completion of a teacher preparation program in secondary education OR thirty semester hours of education courses, including at least eight semester hours of practicum in grades 7-12 (two years of verified full time teaching experience in grades 7-12 may be substituted for the eight semester hours of practicum) OR a valid secondary education certificate from another state.
  6. Verification of state approved SEI training or comparable state approved SEI training from another state. Training time must be equivalent to three semester hours or forty-five clock hours. Individuals who hold an Arizona Full Bilingual or Arizona Full ESL endorsement are exempt.

Standard Arts Education (art, dance, dramatic arts or music, preK-12) Certificate

  1. An Application for Certification
  2. A fee
  3. A photocopy of your Arizona IVP fingerprint card or your Arizona fingerprint clearance card
  4. A bachelor’s degree or higher
  5. Completion of a teacher preparation program in PreK-12 arts education in art, dance, dramatic arts, or music OR thirty semester hours of education or arts education courses, including at least eight semester hours of elementary and secondary methods and twelve semester hours of practicum in the appropriate certificate area (two years of verified full time teaching experience in the appropriate certificate area may substitute for the twelve semester hours of practicum) OR a valid arts education certificate from another state
  6. Verification of state approved SEI training or comparable state approved SEI training from another state. Training time must be equivalent to three semester hours or forty-five clock hours. Individuals who hold an Arizona Full Bilingual or Arizona Full ESL endorsement are exempt.

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