A paraprofessional exam usually consists of multiple choice questions in the subject areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. These exams can be given using a paper and pencil or using a computer-based test. You should prepare for a paraprofessional exam in advance so that you understand and are familiar with the content. If you are already working in education, your employer will help you to set up a time to take the exam.
Multiple choice questions often provide a question with four answer choices. You will pick the choice that best answers the question. The reading section of the paraprofessional exam will usually question the test taker on reading comprehension and vocabulary. The math section will most likely be an assortment of algebra, fractions, and percentage questions. The writing section will review grammar and spelling.
The basic knowledge questions of each subject are usually given first. The second part of a paraprofessional exam could be based on the knowledge you have to teach each of these subjects to classroom students. These questions are also given to understand how well the paraprofessional will be able to assist the classroom teacher. Application questions include scenarios that may happen in the classroom.
It is important to study for a paraprofessional exam before taking it so that you know what to expect. Many school districts and other educational employers offer practice study guides to their paraprofessionals. Some areas have physical classes for test preparation or offer online classes. There may be a fee for a test prep class, but often times, your employer will help with the cost.
Most employers decide whether to use a computer-based paraprofessional exam or one that is given using pencil and paper. Either way, you should expect that the test will take an average of two hours. Many times, the test taker is given a specific time limit. Any questions that are not answered in the time allowed will be counted as incorrect. You should pace yourself during the exam and be careful to not spend too much time on one section of the test.
The paraprofessional exam should be administered at a school or another nearby educational building. There is a cost to take the exam. Most of the time, the cost is not high, but you may get your employer to pay it if you already work. If you are a prospective paraprofessional, it will be up to you to pay any fees associated with the exam.