If you have any questions about the required assessments or this process, reach out to a TEACH Connecticut application coach or educator preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you.
Whether you’re applying to an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate program, you’ll need to submit scores for one or more tests to gain admissions. By the time you officially apply for your initial educator certification at the end of your program, you will need to complete all assessments required by the state. This guide explains the various tests, at what point you need to take them and how you can prepare.
To apply for your EPP, you will need to prove mastery of core academic skills in reading, writing and math.You’ll also need to show you’ve mastered content in your chosen subject area or are in the process of completing your degree. Ultimately, you’ll likely complete three or more assessments before or during your educator preparation program:
Out-of-state educators applying for certification in Connecticut must have their credentials reviewed by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). Out-of-state educators may have already taken an equivalent assessment, but in some cases may still need to take one or more of the required assessments. You can read more in CSDE’s guide to Obtaining Connecticut Educator Certification.
Prior to the start of your program, you’ll need to submit scores from an approved core academic skills test in reading, writing and math. If you’re applying as a freshman to a college with an EPP, or if you are currently in college, you have probably already completed this step—the SAT counts (so does the ACT, if you took that one). If you are applying to a post-baccalaureate program, you can use your previous SAT/ACT scores or GRE scores, if you took that test.
Keep in mind that Connecticut high school students take the SAT for free as part of the standard high school assessments. If you find you need to take a core academic skills test, you can sign up for the Praxis I through the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
While you will need to submit scores from one of these core academic tests, there is no required passing score. Your EPP will use the information as a diagnostic to help determine appropriate course placement.
Learn more about, register and prepare for the Praxis I: Core Academic Skills test on the ETS website. The combined reading, writing and math test for educators lasts five hours and costs $150.
Subject area assessments let EPPs and the state know that you’ve mastered content in the area you want to teach.
For most certification endorsements, you’ll take the Praxis II exam for your subject area. For world languages, you'll take the oral and written American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) tests. For elementary, special education and early childhood education, you’ll take the Foundations of Reading test. For certain specialty areas, like early childhood education, you may need to take other tests, too.
To see a full list of subject areas and the associated assessments, including the required passing scores, check out the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Guide to Assessments.
In general, here’s when you should be prepared to take the subject area assessment for your field:
All candidates for initial educator certification in Connecticut must submit the edTPA portfolio, a performance-based, subject-specific assessment that demonstrates readiness to teach —and, beginning in September 2019, meet the minimum score requirements. You won’t begin this process until you’re student teaching, but it’s good to know about edTPA in advance.
Formerly known as the teacher performance assessment, and now simply edTPA, this assessment isn’t a typical test—there are no multiple choice questions. Instead, as part of your student teaching experience, you’ll develop a portfolio which will include a series of 3-5 lesson plans, sample student work and other teaching materials and artifacts, including videos.You will also write commentary on subject-specific prompts designed to assess how you work with diverse students, modify curriculum and develop assignments in your subject and grade level to produce learning outcomes.
In other words, your edTPA provides a summary of what you’ve learned in your EPP and how you’ve developed as an educator so far. This summative assessment is then scored by professional educators, and the results are shared with you and your program.
While you don’t have to prepare for edTPA before you apply to your educator preparation program, you may want to research how the various EPPs help you prepare for the assessment. Want to learn more about edTPA in Connecticut? Visit the Connecticut State Department of Education’s edTPA page.
For the 2020-21 school year only, the cut score requirement on edTPA has been waived due to COVID-19.
The test most candidates have questions about is the subject area assessment. We’ll guide you from registration through test preparation and score reporting. Read on!
Check with your EPP to find out when you need to have taken and passed the subject area assessment and to verify which tests you’ll take. If you’re taking the Praxis II, head over to the ETS Praxis registration page. There, you will:
If you need to register for the ACTFL test for world languages, you can do that on the Language Testing International website. If you need to take the Pearson Foundations of Reading test, you can register here.
There are some universal things you can do to prepare for your tests. There are also more specific study guides available for the Praxis, ACTFL, Foundations of Reading and other tests. We cover them both below.
Remember: You’re taking these tests for a reason. You want to become a teacher in a specific subject, and this is your chance to prove you can handle it. Take the time necessary to truly understand the information. You’ll thank yourself for it (and your students will thank you, too).
We recommend a two-pronged approach to structuring your study time:
There are a number of test prep options available from the test-makers directly, and some third-party services have come up with options, too. These resources offer a variety of prep strategies, from study guides and practice tests to one-on-one coaching.
Finally, there are a number of additional free and paid options for getting prepped for the subject area examinations.
While we haven’t personally vetted the resources below, you might find these useful as well:
ETS offers Praxis prep guides, webinars and interactive practice tests. Some materials, such as study plans and testing guides with practice questions, are free. Interactive practice tests can cost $20-$50. You can find preparation materials for all tests required for certification in Connecticut, including:
Looking for registration and preparation materials for one of these tests? Follow the links for study guides and more.
You’ve settled on a content area, verified which test is required for your program application, studied hard, and now you’re ready to take the test.
Make sure you:
See ETS’s Test Day Overview resource for the nitty-gritty.
Find out how you did—and make sure your program does, too!
Your Praxis test results will be available in your online account on the score release date. To find out when your score will be available, review the Score Release Dates section of the Getting Your Praxis Results page. For ACTFL tests through Language Testing International, you can view your rating through your online account. Find score report dates and view your test scores for the Foundations of Reading test on the Connecticut Teacher Certification Examinations website.
When you register for the test, you have the option to request that your scores are sent to your EPP when they are available. You may also need to report your scores on your EPP application itself. In some cases, submitting your score report will be part of the required paperwork during a program’s onboarding process. (Your application checklist has a step for submitting scores!)
If you didn’t pass your tests the first time around, Connecticut offers some test takers up to two free retakes. Learn more about Connecticut’s retake policy in the CSDE’s January 2019 Certification Alert.
You can start an application checklist, ask an application coach or sign up for a one-on-one chat with a current Connecticut educator through the Talk to a Teacher program.