How are my teacher certification tests scored? Understanding how these exams are scored provides insight into how to best prepare for your licensure test. 

teacher certification tests

Scaled Scoring

Licensure tests usually employ scaled scoring as a scoring structure. A scaled score is the computation of your raw score based on the difficulty of the items on the test. There is a difference between a raw score and a scaled score. You will see both on your score report. A raw score refers to the actual number of questions you answered correctly on your test. If you answered 75 out of 100 questions correctly, your raw score is 75%.

Test Form Versions and Scoring

Testing companies offer different versions of each test. The difficulty of items on each version varies. This affects scoring processes.

A scaled score accounts for the differences in the item difficulty for each test form. This way, a candidate’s performance on one form of a test can be compared to a candidate’s performance on another version. Basically, if you take a particular test multiple times, you may not see the exact same items each time. However, the testing company develops a formula to compare your performance across multiple tries based on your raw score and level of question difficulty. Hence, they can accurately assess your content mastery regardless of test form.

How is my certification test scored?

ETS uses a scale of 100-200 for their Praxis® tests. PearsonTM uses a scale of 100-300. These include NESTM and other state-specific testing programs. Your score report provides both your raw score and your scaled score, and whether you reached your state’s required passing score. 

How Can Passage PreparationTM Help You Interpret Your Score?

Passage Preparation courses provide you with in-depth knowledge and understanding of test content, test-taking skills, test structure, and scoring. This helps you to be successful on test day!

Multiple Choice Items

It is important to understand that, for multiple-choice items, you earn points for the items you answer correctly but you do not earn any points for items that you do not answer at all. Since you have a 25% chance of answering an item correctly even if you don’t know the answer, always select an answer to a multiple-choice item, even if it’s a guess. You do not lose points for items answered incorrectly; those items just do not count toward your overall score. Passage Preparation courses include test-taking tips and strategies to help you be successful!  

Constructed Response Items

Constructed response items are those which require you to write or record a response to a prompt. They are usually scored with a rubric. Professional scorers use rubrics to identify your mastery of the content or skill being assessed at a given score level. They typically list score points such as 1-4 and describe elements of what a response would include at each level. The example below is a simplified rubric for a constructed response item on a teacher certification test:

Rubric example for OAE

Know Your Test

By studying with Passage Preparation you won’t have to guess at answers on your test! After all, it is important to understand the content covered on your exam. Licensure tests are organized by content category or standard. These outline the knowledge and skills that a teacher must understand to meet their state’s standards for content and pedagogical knowledge.

The image below illustrates how we break down and align our course content to your certification test standards.

Course alignment for BTLPT

Here you can see that our courses are aligned to the concepts assessed on your test. This allows you to master the content covered on your exam and practice applying your mastery through quizzes and practice tests.

Passage PreparationTM Course Offerings

Passage Preparation courses provide in-depth, rich study materials aligned to these standards so you can master the content on your test. Experienced educators develop our courses. Therefore, our courses align to your test’s standards and scoring procedures.

We offer courses for over 120 teacher certification tests required across the country, including courses for the following testing programs:

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About the Author: Nathan Estel

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Nathan has over 20 years of experience in the educator preparation and certification space. In that time, Nathan has worked in a state education agency, leading the state’s efforts to recruit, prepare, license, and retain professional and support staff and on the national level for large companies providing assessment solutions for the education field.

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