Frequently Asked Questions About the GACE® Assessments
*Note: The following questions and answers are for informational purposes only, and may not cover all information related to GACE® assessments and their administration. You must read the current Registration Bulletin and Rules of Test Participation for complete information prior to registering for a GACE assessment.
About the Tests
- Why take the GACE assessments?
All prospective educators prepared in Georgia and seeking Georgia certification are required to pass the GACE assessment(s) applicable to their field of study to achieve educator certification.
- Do all states require these tests?
The GACE program is only applicable for prospective educators in the state of Georgia. If you are a prospective educator in a different state, you should find the appropriate educator certification requirements for the state in which you wish to become certified.
- How do I know which assessments to take?
To find out which GACE assessments you should register for, please visit the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) website. The GaPSC website explains which assessments are necessary for certification in your specific field of study and provides contact information for the GaPSC Certification Division. Some assessments include more than one test. You may take each individual test at separate administrations, or, for assessments that offer a combined test format, you may take the combined version at one administration.
Beginning in the 2013–14 program testing year, the GaPSC contracted with ETS to develop and administer the GACE program. If you have already passed a GACE assessment with the previous testing supplier, you will retain credit for any GACE assessment you have already passed (all parts of the assessment must be passed to retain credit). Because scores from tests offered by different test suppliers are not comparable, examinees must pass all parts of an assessment with the same testing supplier for that assessment to count toward certification. Passing scores cannot be mixed between suppliers.
- Where do I find information on test centers, test dates, and deadlines?
This information is found on the Test Centers and Dates page.
- How can I learn more about what's covered in each assessment?
Study Companions for each assessment are available to help you learn more about the tests. Study Companions include test content specifications, sample questions with rationales for the best answers, and test-taking strategies. These are available as downloadable Adobe Acrobat® PDF files.
Tests at a Glance give you a quick overview of the assessment. These are also available as downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF files.
Interactive Practice Tests (IPTs) are full-length practice tests that include correct answers, explanations for correct answers, and an automatic score summary report. Interactive Practice tests are available for purchase through the ETS Online Store.
- What types of questions will I find on these tests?
All assessments consist of selected-response questions only, except for the ones listed below. These consist of selected-response questions and one or more constructed-response (written, spoken, or signed) assignments:
- Assessment of Sign Communication-American Sign Language (ASC-ASL) contains constructed-response questions
- Curriculum and Instruction — one test that contains constructed-response questions
- Early Childhood Education — Test I contains constructed-response questions
- Educational Leadership — one test that contains constructed-response questions
- English — Test I and Test II both contain constructed-response questions
- French — Test I and Test II both contain constructed-response questions
- German — Test I and Test II both contain constructed-response questions
- Instructional Technology — one test that contains constructed-response questions
- Latin — one test that contains constructed-response questions
- Middle Grades: Language Arts — one test that contains constructed-response questions
- Program Admission — Test III contains constructed-response questions
- Spanish — Test I and Test II both contain constructed-response questions
- Teacher Leadership – Consists of six tasks that require written commentary and additional documents (artifacts)
- Do I have to take the GACE assessments on the computer, or can I take them in paper-delivered format?
GACE assessments are only offered in a computer-delivered format.
- What is the test content based on?
The test specifications are developed to measure the knowledge and skills acquired by prospective Georgia educators. They are aligned with state and national standards for educator preparation and with state standards for the P–12 student curriculum — the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS).
- What is the purpose of the GACE assessments?
The purpose of the GACE assessments is to help the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) ensure that candidates have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job of an educator in Georgia’s public schools.
- Who creates the GACE assessments?
The GACE assessments are the result of a collaboration between trained ETS assessment developers and experienced Georgia educators and educator preparation faculty members who serve on the GACE test development committees, bias review committees, and standard setting committees. These committees are composed of Georgia educators, educator preparation faculty, and other content and assessment specialists, including individuals from school systems, local schools, institutions of higher education (public and private), and other stakeholders.
- How does ETS ensure that GACE assessments are valid and fair?
ETS uses a validation process consistent with the technical guidelines in the 1999 AERA Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. An important part of that process includes a rigorous bias review of each test item by Georgia educators and those who prepare Georgia educators to ensure that the test items are bias-free. View the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness for more information.
- How are the assessments updated to ensure the content remains current?
ETS updates GACE assessments on a regular basis to ensure they accurately measure the knowledge and skills that are required for certification. During the first phase of review, ETS conducts an analysis of relevant state and association standards and of the current test content. Revised test questions are then produced following the standard test development methodology and are submitted to the test development committees for review and approval. The test development committees may also be convened to review existing test specifications and to evaluate existing test forms for alignment with the specifications.
Register for an Assessment
- Is there anything I need to do before I register?
There are several steps you need to consider before you register. See Getting Ready to Test for more information.
- How do I register?
You can register online or by phone. Registration by mail is only available to examinees who are applying for testing accommodations. See the Bulletin Supplement for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs for information on requesting and registering to test with accommodations.
If you are a member of the U.S. military currently serving outside the state of Georgia, contact the Testing Control Officer on your military base to coordinate your registration.
To get more information or to register, see Registration, Test Centers and Dates.
- How do I change my test date or test center?
See Change/Cancel Policy for information about how to make changes to your registration.
- Will I receive an admission ticket or do I need to request one?
You have to print your admission ticket from your ETS GACE testing account. You should log in to your account 24 hours before your scheduled test to confirm the test location and reporting time. If there have been changes, you will need to print an updated admission ticket. Please note that the first and last name on your ID must match the name on your admission ticket exactly (hyphens, accents, suffixes, middle initials, and spaces in your name will not appear on the admission ticket). For more information on acceptable forms of Identification, see ID Requirements.
If you are taking the Assessment of Sign Communication-American Sign Language (ASC-ASL) test, you will not receive an admission ticket. Upon registering, you will be emailed an authorization letter that you must take with you to the test center to be admitted to test.
- Do I need to identify my program provider for my scores to be sent to them?
No. If you are enrolled in a Georgia state-approved educator preparation program at a college or university, your program provider must give you approval to test before you can register, so the provider would already be identified to receive your scores. Your scores will be sent to your program provider and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) after you have completed your test.
- Am I required to provide my Social Security number during registration? What happens if I don't?
Yes, you are required to enter your Social Security number (SSN) when you register for a GACE assessment through your ETS GACE testing account. ETS does not require your SSN for its own purposes, but will automatically submit it to your designated program provider(s) and to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) with your test results.
- What if I am absent from the test?
If you miss a test administration that has not been officially canceled, you will be considered absent and will not receive a refund or credit of any kind.
- How do I cancel my registration and receive a refund?
See Change/Cancel Policy for information about canceling your registration and receiving a partial refund.
- Do I get a refund if I cancel my test registration?
Cancellations processed at least three calendar days before the test date are eligible for a refund. You will be refunded the registration fee, the test center fee, and 50% of the remaining test fee paid. The international test site fee is not refundable.
- What if I need to make changes to the information on my record?
You must log in to your MyPSC account on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) website to update your personal or contact information, including your email address, telephone number, or mailing address. Your changes will automatically be transmitted to your ETS GACE testing account.
- What can I do through my ETS GACE testing account?
- Register for any test you are eligible to take
- View your registration and make changes, if necessary
- Reschedule or cancel your registration
- Print or reprint your admission ticket
- View your scores
- Change your password
- How do I register if I do not have an electronic form of payment?
If you do not have an accepted form of electronic payment, you must contact ETS Customer Service at 1-855-225-7178. See Fees, Payment, and Refund Policies for payment options and policies.
- What if I can't find a test center that still has a seat for me?
Many centers fill up quickly, so you may want to consider searching for test centers in neighboring cities that are offering the test you want to take. If you cannot find a test center with seat availability on the date you want to test, you will need to choose a new date.
- How is my information used by the testing program?
Your biographical information is used to gather information for research purposes and to further ensure the validity and fairness of the test questions. It is not made available to test raters who score constructed response items. See our Privacy and Security policy at the bottom of each page.
- How do I change an error on my admission ticket?
If there is an error on your admission ticket, such as a simple misspelling, corrections must be made through your MyPSC account prior to test day, and will be automatically transmitted to your ETS GACE testing account. If you make changes to your account details, you must print out a new admission ticket that reflects your updated information. For more information on other types of changes, such as changing a test, test date, or test center, see Change/Cancel Policy.
- I spelled my name incorrectly, or my name has changed. How do I correct this?
Corrections must be made through your MyPSC account on the GaPSC website. Once you update your information in your MyPSC account, it will be automatically updated in your GACE testing account. Make sure to reprint your admission ticket from your GACE testing account with your updated information prior to arriving at the test center. If the first and last name on your admission ticket does not match the ID documents you present at the test center, you will not be permitted to test. See ID Requirements for more information about acceptable ID documents and ID discrepancies.
- How do I add another test for the same test date after I have completed and exited the registration process?
You may submit a new registration for additional tests at any time via your ETS GACE testing account.
- What do I need to register online?
- A Georgia certification ID number (GA CERT ID), which is obtained when you set up your MyPSC account on the GaPSC website
- Approval to test from your program provider (if you are enrolled in a Georgia state-approved educator preparation program in a college or university). Automatic approval to test is provided by the GaPSC for appropriate fields for all other examinees.
- An ETS GACE user name and password
- If you have registered for a GACE assessment online before, log in using your established user name and password.
- If you are a first-time user, you must create an ETS GACE testing account and set up a user name and password.
- An accepted form of payment
- Is there a service fee for registering online?
No, there is no extra fee to register online.
- Which browsers and operating systems (OS) are supported by the online registration system?
The online registration system supports the following browsers/versions:
- Google® Chrome — latest version
- Microsoft Internet Explorer® (IE — versions 8, 9 and 10)
- Mozilla Firefox® — latest version
- Safari® — version 6.0 and higher
The online registration system supports the following operating systems (OS):
- Windows® 7 and 8
- MAC® OSX Version 10.8.2
- Is the online registration site secure?
Yes. We use a number of techniques to secure your visit.
- We authenticate you using the unique user name and password you have provided.
- We ask you to provide security questions and answers that are easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess, which you will be prompted to answer if you forget your user name or password after your account has been created.
- After 30 minutes of inactivity on the site (i.e., you step away from the computer or switch to another website), the system will close your connection.
- Your personal information, such as your Social Security number, will be encrypted.
- Credit card data will not be stored on the ETS website, preventing it from becoming available to unauthorized users.
- What should I do if I forget my user name and password?
On the ETS GACE testing account sign-in page, under "Returning User," click the "Forgot User Name" or "Forgot Password" link, as applicable. You will be asked to enter information about yourself, answer the security question you selected when creating your account, and create a new password. For security reasons, we do not send user names or passwords via email.
- Can I reset my password on my ETS GACE testing account?
Yes. On the login page, click the "Forgot Password" link, and you will be prompted to answer your security question and set a new password.
- Am I guaranteed a seat at a center once I complete my registration?
ETS provides real-time seat assignments. You will be advised of seat availability when you select a test center. You must complete the registration process, including payment, and check out to guarantee your seat assignment.
You should register as early as possible before your desired test date, as test centers will become filled on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of the method by which you registered. You will select a test center as part of the test-scheduling process. You will receive confirmation of your test center location, including directions to the test center, after you register for your test.
- Why was I taken back to the sign-in page in the middle of my registration?
If you do not interact with the ETS GACE online registration system for 30 minutes or more, your session may expire and you will be taken back to the sign-in page.
- How long after I register online should I wait to call to confirm my registration has been received by ETS?
There is no need to call to confirm your registration. Once you have completed an online registration and checked out, your information has been received at ETS.
Prepare for an Assessment
- How should I start preparing for the test?
See Getting Ready to Test for information that can help you organize your testing strategy and plan for your GACE assessment.
- Where can I find information to help me prepare for the GACE assessments?
Visit Test Preparation Resources for free and affordable test prep materials, test-taking strategies, study plans, and more.
- How do I know which areas to study?
Begin by reviewing the Study Companion for the assessment you are taking in its entirety, paying particular attention to the content specifications in About the Assessment section. The content specifications detail the knowledge and skills to be measured on the assessment. These specifications are aligned with the:
- Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) — these standards are available on the Georgia Department of Education website under Curriculum and Instruction
- Content standards for Georgia's state-approved educator preparation programs — see Educator Preparation Rules in the Rules section of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) website.
To identify the areas you may need to study, go through the standards and note the specific areas that you need to review.
- Where can I find sample questions?
Sample test questions are available in the Study Companions and Interactive Practice Tests. To see which test preparation materials are available for the test(s) you are taking, see Test Prep Materials.
- Are the test preparation materials free or do I have to buy them?
Both free and priced test preparation materials are available. To find out what test preparation materials are available for the assessment(s) you plan to take, see Test Prep Materials.
- What can I expect when I purchase a GACE Interactive Practice Test (IPT)?
GACE Interactive Practice Tests are full-length practice tests that allow you to answer one set of test questions to simulate what you will experience on the actual day of the test. After you complete the practice test, you can see if you answered questions correctly or incorrectly and get explanations for the correct answers.
There is only one set of test questions in each GACE IPT; retaking or repurchasing the same practice test more than once does not give you different practice test questions or change the order in which the questions are delivered.
- How do I purchase an Interactive Practice Test (IPT)?
Interactive Practice Tests (IPTs) are available through the ETS Store. When you register to test, you will be offered the option to select and purchase the IPT that matches the test title(s) you are registering for. If you choose to purchase the IPT, the cost will be added to your registration fees so that both the test registration and the IPT can be purchased in a single online transaction.
- Does ETS offer any webinars?
Yes, on the Webinars page you can view and register for upcoming webinar dates and learn about what is included in a webinar session.
- How can I organize my efforts to prepare to take an assessment?
- Visit the Georgia Professional Standards Committee (GaPSC) website to learn which assessments are required for certification in your specific field of study.
- Review the GACE Registration Bulletin for information on test dates, score reporting dates, registration, and more.
- Select a test date that is far enough in the future to allow sufficient time to prepare for the assessment(s).
- Visit Test Prep Materials to view all the test preparation materials that are available for your assessment(s).
- See Develop a Study Plan for help in organizing your preparation efforts.
- Review the Study Companion for each assessment you plan to take to learn about what content is covered by the test.
- Take an Interactive Practice Test if one is available for your assessment(s).
- How can I learn more about what's covered on each assessment?
- What other resources exist to help me if I'm having difficulty passing a GACE assessment?
Review your score report for information regarding specific content areas where you should focus your study efforts. The following videos may also be helpful.
- Computer-delivered Test Center Tour Video (Flash) | View Transcript
- Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration (Flash) | View Transcript
The best preparation for taking a content test should be the knowledge and experience you gained through related courses taken as part of your educator preparation program. You may benefit from reviewing your notes and textbooks from past coursework, along with the content that is outlined in the "About the Assessment" section of the Study Companion. You might also consider asking a mentor or professor to discuss the sample questions in the Study Companion or forming a study group with other examinees.
On Test Day
- Can I bring personal items into the test center?
You cannot bring personal items such as handbags, water bottles, study materials and scratch paper into the testing center. This includes all phones, tablets, PDAs, watches and any other electronic, listening, recording, scanning, or photographic devices. If you are seen using or accessing any of these electronic devices and/or transmitting data, including but not limited to text messaging, email, and photographs, your device may be inspected and/or confiscated and you will be dismissed from the test. Your test fees will be forfeited and your scores will be canceled, even if dismissal is not enforced on the day of the test. Test administrators are not permitted to collect and hold cell phones, watches, or any other devices.
- Are calculators allowed for GACE tests?
Some GACE tests require the use of a calculator. If a calculator is permitted or required for a particular test, it will be built into the function of the test. You do not need to bring calculators with you on test day. You are encouraged to utilize the free tutorial so you can practice using the online calculator before test day.
- What if I can't take the test on my scheduled date?
You can cancel or reschedule your test online by logging into your ETS GACE testing account. If you cancel your test at least two full days (not including the day of your test and the day of your request) prior to your test date, you may be eligible for a partial refund of your test fees. If there is an urgent and serious occurrence or emergency on the day of your test that prevents you from attending your scheduled test administration, please contact ETS Customer Service at 1-855-225-7178. See Fees, Payment, and Refund Policies and the Change/Cancel Policy for more information.
- What can I expect on the day of my test?
Learn more about what you can expect when you go to a computer-delivered test center, by viewing the GACE Computer-delivered Test Center Tour video (Flash). For additional information about what to bring, ID requirements, and test day policies and procedures, see On Test Day.
- What does the computer-delivered testing platform look like?
Watch the GACE Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration (Flash) to familiarize yourself with the computer-delivered testing experience prior to test day. This interactive demonstration walks you through the test from beginning to end.
- Can I bring food to the test center?
Food and beverages are not permitted in the testing room, except when approved as a testing accommodation. Some test centers have storage areas or lockers where you may store personal items such as food, drinks, handbags, and study materials; however, not all do. The test center is not responsible for your personal belongings.
- What identification will I need to show on test day?
You need to bring valid and acceptable ID documents with you on the day of the test. The first and last name on your ID must match your admission ticket exactly (hyphens, accents, suffixes, middle initials, and spaces in your name will not appear on the admission ticket). See Identification (ID) Requirements for a complete list of acceptable ID documents.
- How are test scores reported?
Your score report will be available to you via your testing account on the score reporting date for that test. It will provide information about your passing status and other performance information. Also provided is an explanation of how to read your score report.
Your scores are made available to the GaPSC, to your program provider (if applicable), and any other score recipients you indicated during registration. Under no circumstances will ETS or GaPSC release your score information by phone, fax, email, or in person.
Paper score reports are not mailed. It is suggested that you print a copy of your online score report for your permanent records.
- How do I know if I passed the test?
Your score report will indicate whether you passed or failed the assessment, and will show scores for each subtest you completed. Each assessment type has a different passing score. See Understanding Your Scores for more information.
- How long after the test are scores reported?
At the conclusion of your test, you will be able to view unofficial scores if your test consists only of selected-response questions, and you choose to report your scores. Unofficial scores are not available for tests that consist of both selected-response questions and constructed-response assignments. These are scored during a scoring session held immediately after the testing window.
If your score is reported as NS (No Score), further analysis must be done before scoring can be completed. It does not indicate a problem with your test and will not delay reporting of your scores.
Unofficial test results are not acceptable substitutes for an official score report. Official score reports will become available by the score reporting date unless otherwise noted. For more information on score reporting dates, including circumstances under which scores would be delayed, see Score Reporting Dates.
- Can I access my scores online?
Yes, your scores are available via your ETS GACE testing account.
- Who receives my scores and will my scores automatically be reported to the state of Georgia?
Your scores are reported to you, the GaPSC, and your program provider (if you have one). If you do not have a program provider, or you wish to send your scores to additional score recipients, you may select up to three additional score recipients as part of your test fee.