Required Examinations: PAPA and Praxis II

As described below, students must pass both the PAPA and PRAXIS II exams for certification for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA)

As of April 2, 2012, the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) is required for all certification areas offered through Dickinson College’s Education Department.  It replaces the PRAXIS I exams developed and administered by Educational Testing Services.  This is a battery of three tests—Reading, Writing, and Mathematics—that assess your academic performance in these skills areas.  Passing scores on these tests are required for admission to Dickinson’s Professional Semester and for certification in Pennsylvania.   It is recommended that you take these exams as soon as possible after deciding to seek certification through Dickinson’s Teacher Education Program.  Please remember that you should take the PAPA tests BEFORE going abroad or while in EDUC 221 Educational Psychology if you are planning to be PA state certified through Dickinson College’s teacher certification program. 

The exams are administered in testing sites around the country and are computer-based.  The PAPA test site nearest Dickinson is in Harrisburg at the Pearson Professional Centers, 801 East Park Drive, Suite 101, Harrisburg, PA 17111. Phone # (717) 564-6755.  

Preparation materials, including tips and strategies for test taking, sample questions, tutorials, and a full-length test, and registration for the exams can be found at pa.nesinc.com.  When you arrive at this website, go to the Tests tab at the top of the page.  Read through the information found on the page and then click on the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessement (PAPA) test. Carefully read each section of this page and follow the links that provide information on the cost, format, preparation, etc. of the tests.  When finished, hit the Register button at the bottom of the page to create your account and register for the tests.  

As you go through the registration process, remember the following:

  • Request that your scores be sent to Dickinson College—this will be done electronically through our account.  Your scores will be automatically sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  • When asked to indicate your educator preparation program status, please select seeking admission to a PA educator preparation program.
  • Have your credit card handy because you will need to pre-pay to take the exams when you register.
  • When selecting a testing site, enter the address where you will be when you’d like to take the test so that the test sites nearest you will show on the menu.  For example, if you wish to take your tests while you’re at Dickinson during the semester, enter your college address.  But, if you wish to take them near your home during a break, enter your home address.
  • You may request that your scores be emailed to you.  They will also be posted to your account once the scoring is complete so that you may access at any time.
  • This account will be yours permanently. 

Important Registration Information on PRAXIS II tests required by the PA Department of Education (PDE) for PA Teaching Certification 

The PRAXIS II exams are tests in each of the certification areas that assess your knowledge base in your certification area.  These exams are generally taken the summer or semester before student teaching when you have nearly finished all major requirements.  Information on these exams can be found at ets.org/praxis/pa and in the Education Department office.

Please also refer to the certification area Praxis II test requirements for Dickinson College.

Prepare for the Praxis II tests.

The Praxis II computer-based test site nearest Dickinson is in Harrisburg at the Prometric Testing Center, 1100 N. Mountain Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112.  Phone # (717) 652-0143.  If you would like to take the tests while you're at home during summer, spring, or winter breaks, refer to the Test Centers list to find a center near you.

To ensure that both the Dickinson College Education Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Education receive accurate information relative to your PRAXIS II Exams, please attend to the registration information below:

  • Use Code A2186  for your Attending Institution—Dickinson College 
  • Be sure to include Dickinson College Education Department’s Recipient Code RA2186.  This code MUST be indicated each time you register for any PRAXIS II exams to ensure that we receive a copy of all of your PRAXIS II scores.   
  • Be sure to include PA’s State Agency Code 8033.  Again, this code MUST be indicated each time you register for any PRAXIS II exams to ensure that PDE will receive a copy of all of your PRAXIS II scores which they will need when you apply for your PA teaching certificate.   
  • If you miss indicating Dickinson’s code and/or PA’s code, ETS will charge you $40 if you need to request that your scores be sent to the College and/or PDE at a later time.

Therefore, when registering on-line or via U.S. mail for PRAXIS II tests, please answer the following three questions as noted below:

  • Attending Institution?:  answer A2186  for Dickinson College 
  • Designated Score Recipient(s)?:  answer R2186 for Dickinson College 
  • Other Passing Score Information?:  answer 8033 for PA Dept. of Education

PDE uses candidates’ SSN numbers to verify ETS score reports when you apply for a PA teaching certificate. Therefore, upon registering for any PRAXIS II exams, be sure to enter your SSN correctly even if SSN is indicated as an optional field on the registration format.  

Note:  Starting in the 2012–13 testing year, all Praxis II test takers, regardless of registration method, will be able to access their score reports online for one year from the date the report is posted. The score reports can be printed or downloaded from your online Praxis account.  Paper score reports will not be mailed.

Foreign Language Certification

For foreign language students, please refer to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Foreign Language Tests by visiting their website. To review information on the ACTFL ORAL proficiency Interview or their ACTFL Proficiency Assessment Application form, visit LTI The ACTFL Language Testing Center website.