Basic Skills Tests

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that all teacher certification candidates demonstrate competency in the three Basic Skills (reading, mathematics, and writing). Obtaining passing Basic Skills scores is a teacher candidacy requirement and must be completed prior to enrollment in clinical experience courses.

Teacher candidates may utilize individual test scores from the same test or from different test to qualify. For example, you can use test results from SAT, ACT, PAPA, or Praxis (Core) individually, or use a combination of passing scores from them. Use the PDE Basic Skills Certification Calculator to determine if your scores meet the Basic Skills requirement.

If you need additional basic skills testing in Reading, Writing, and/or Mathematics, we recommend you take the sections you need from the ETS Praxis I Core test. There are useful study aids for this test available, including a test prep module we have available in D2L. Please ask the office to be added to the course if you haven't been already! Additionally, we highly recommend the ETS core preparation materials from Khan Academy.

Scores for Basic Skills Tests:
    • SAT Scores

      Prior to March 1, 2016:*

      Content Critical Reading Mathematics Writing
      Passing Score 500 500 500

      Minimum 500 or higher in each individual section required.

      *Students must provide an official score report from CollegeBoard

      After February 29, 2016:

      Content Reading Mathematics Writing and Language
      Passing Score 27 26 28
      Mininum Score 25 24 26

      Composite score of 81 with at least the minimum score required.

    • ACT Scores

      September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016:

      Content Reading Writing Mathematics
      Passing Score 22 21 21
      Minimum Score 20

      17

      19

      Composite score of 64 with at least the minimum score required.

        

      After August 31, 2016:

      Content Reading Writing Mathematics
      Passing Score 22 8 21
      Minimum Score 20

      7

      19

      Composite score of 51 with at least the minimum score required.

    • PAPA Test
      Content Reading (8001) Writing (8003) Mathematics (8002)
      Passing Score 220 220 193
      Minimum Score 193

      192

      176*

      Composite score of 633 with at least the minimum score required.

      *PDE will accept 174 from candidates accepted into an educator program prior to 8/31/16

    • Praxis (Core) Test

      Sept. 1, 2019 and later:

      Content Reading (5713) Writing (5723) Mathematics (5733)
      Passing Score 156 162 142
      Minimum Score 148

      158

      132

      Composite score of 460 with at least the minimum score required.

    Need Help Studying for the Praxis (Core) or PAPA tests?

    KU's Pre-Service Testing Center has resources to help you pass your basic skills tests. The Center is located in Beekey 129. Call 484-646-5900/610-683-4356 or email pstc@kutztown.edu.

    Hours:

    • Mon: 9am-4pm
    • Wed: 9am-12pm, 1pm-5pm
    • Thurs: 9am-4pm

    Programs Offered:

    • EASE - A free structured program based on Basic Skills test objectives that include a variety of study resources and tips for Basic Skills test success. 
    • MyLab - diagnostic tool used to assess strengths and vulnerabilities in the different content areas and develops an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) just for you!
    Additional Resources