Frequently Asked Questions About the GACEĀ® Paraprofessional Assessment

General Information

What is the GACE® Paraprofessional assessment?

The GACE® Paraprofessional assessment is for prospective and practicing paraprofessionals in the state of Georgia. It measures skills and knowledge in reading, math, and writing — and the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction.

What is the format and length of the test?

This 2½ hour test consists of 90 selected-response questions in reading, writing, and math. Approximately two-thirds of the questions focus on basic skills and knowledge, and the remaining one-third focuses on applying those skills and knowledge in a classroom setting.

In what language is the assessment?

The assessment is in English.

How is the test given?

The Paraprofessional assessment is given in a computer-delivered format.

How much does the test cost?

The fee for the Paraprofessional assessment is $35 and is non-refundable.

Content and Development

What is the reading level of the assessment?

Question wording is simple and direct to promote clarity for a wide range of test takers. The language reflects the reading level that most paraprofessionals face when working with P–12 students.

Why aren't there different levels of the Paraprofessional assessment for different levels of paraprofessionals — elementary, middle, secondary?

The No Child Left Behind Act doesn't make distinctions between school grade levels. It holds all instructional paraprofessionals in Title I-funded schools to the same high standard of content readiness.

The two alternatives to the test are an Associate of Arts degree or two years of college. Does this mean that the test is the equivalent of two years of college study?

Certainly students learn and experience much more in college than is reflected on any one exam. No single test is the equivalent of two years of college study. But the Paraprofessional assessment is consistent with the levels of reading, writing, and math knowledge that most students receive in their second year of postsecondary education.

Can the GACE Program Admission assessment for prospective teachers substitute a passing score on the GACE Paraprofessional assessment?

No.

What standards were used to develop the GACE Paraprofessional Assessment?

The GACE Paraprofessional assessment reflects the most current research and the professional judgment and experience of educators from across the country. See Test Development for more information.

What information can you provide about validity?

Validity for the Paraprofessional assessment is based on content-based validity. This validation method is recommended in the AERA/APA/NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. See Quality and Fairness for more information.

Setting Standards and Score Reporting

Was there a norm sample for the Assessment?

In this type of assessment, there's no official norming group. How well test takers perform is based on the passing score established by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).

How are scores reported to the state?

Scores are sent to the GaPSC after test completion.

What quality controls are there on the scoring of the Paraprofessional assessment? How do examinees know the score reported on the screen is an accurate score?

After finishing the test, test takers can view their unofficial score displayed on the computer screen. Official score reports are mailed approximately one week after the test date. During that one-week period, ETS rescores all Paraprofessional assessments as part of quality-control procedures. If there's a change in any test-taker's score as a result of this quality-control check, ETS reports the new score (which may be higher or lower) to the test taker and to the GaPSC.

Test Preparation

What test preparation is available?

ETS offers both free and priced test preparation materials to help test takers successfully prepare for the GACE Paraprofessional assessment. Learn more about available test prep materials.

Technical Requirements

What are the minimum hardware requirements for our district to be able to administer the Paraprofessional Assessment?

Delivering the Paraprofessional assessment requires an Internet web browser and installation of Sun's Java™ Web Start. Each computer that is used to administer the Paraprofessional assessment must meet these specifications:

FeatureMinimum Specification
Central Processing Unit (CPU) Processor — Pentium IV 1.8 GHz (or higher), iMac 2.5GHz or higher
Operating System Windows 10 (32 and 64 bit), Mac OSX v10.6 (snow leopard)
Monitor 15 inch (800x600 resolution)
Hard Drive Space 40 MB
Internet Connection Minimum 10 MBPS
Audio Not required
Printer Laser Jet or Inkjet
Internet Browser Internet Explorer 11, Safari (for Mac), and Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
Java Version 1.8 or higher