ParaPro Test

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ParaPro Study Guide

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The ParaPro test is a challenging and comprehensive assessment for men and women who wish to become teacher aides and assistants. The exam was developed after the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated that paraprofessionals have a base level of knowledge and teaching ability. The test measures general aptitude in reading, writing, and math.

The ParaPro test is divided into six content areas: reading skills and knowledge (18 questions, 20 percent of the examination); application of reading skills and knowledge to classroom instruction (12 questions, 13 percent); mathematics skills and knowledge (18 questions, 20 percent); application of mathematics skills and knowledge to classroom instruction (12 questions, 13 percent); writing skills and knowledge (18 questions, 20 percent); and the application of writing skills and knowledge to classroom instruction (12 questions, 13 percent). About two-thirds of the questions on the test have to do with basic skills and knowledge; the rest of the questions center on the application of this knowledge and instruction.

The test is delivered in both paper and computer versions and takes about two-and-a-half hours to complete. The minimum passing score for the ParaPro test depends upon the state or district. Those who take the computer-based version of the exam will receive their scores immediately upon completion; those who take the paper-based version of the exam will receive their scores about four weeks after the exam.

ParaPro Practice Questions

Questions 1-5 pertain to the following passage:

The benefits of progressive education cannot be ignored in view of the problems caused by the standards-based education system. The possible advantages of the No Child Left Behind reform do little to justify the system that supports it. The progressive education that functioned in the United States through much of the late 19th and 20th centuries provided students with a sound learning foundation. Today, schools that embrace progressive techniques indicate long-term success for students. Progressive schools allow for students to learn based on their own strengths, building on knowledge over time. What is more, teachers are encouraged to utilize a variety of procedures and materials to engage students in the learning process. Standards-based education, on the other hand, focuses solely on successful testing and does not provide the effective acquisition of real knowledge.

1. Identify the main idea of the passage.

a. Standards-based education has no value
b. Progressive education is of more value than standards-based education
c. The historical tradition of progressive education makes it more valid
d. Testing has no value in education

2. Identify the author’s purpose in the passage.

a. To teach
b. To contemplate
c. To report
d. To persuade

3. How does the author indicate the value of progressive education?

a. By chronology
b. By suggestion
c. By example
d. By definition

4. Identify the type of organization that the author uses in the passage?

a. Cause and effect
b. Clarification
c. Spatial
d. Comparison and contrast

5. What method of organization is used in the sentence: “Today, schools that embrace progressive techniques indicate long-term success for students”?

a. Chronology
b. Description
c. Justification
d. Simplification

Answers

1. B: In the first sentence of the passage, the author states, “The benefits of progressive education cannot be ignored in view of the problems caused by the standards-based education system.” The author then proceeds to explain the value of progressive education in contrast to the limited scope of standards-based education. Clearly, the main idea of the passage is to indicate the value of progressive education over standards-based education.

2. D: The author contrasts progressive education and standards-based education, arguing that the former is more effective than the latter. The author’s clear stance on the issue and use of example to support the primary line of reasoning suggests a purpose of persuasion.

3. C: The author states, “Progressive schools allow for students to learn based on their own strengths, building on knowledge over time. What is more, teachers are encouraged to utilize a variety of procedures and materials to engage students in the learning process.” The author then concludes with a statement that standards-based education focuses too much on testing over the “acquisition of real knowledge.” These are clear uses of examples to support the main point.

4. D: The author introduces both progressive education and standards-based education and then proceeds to show the differences between the two, weighing one against the other. This indicates the use of a comparison-and-contrast strategy.

5. A: Prior to the sentence noted in the question, the author says, “The progressive education that functioned in the United States through much of the late 19th and 20th centuries provided students with a sound learning foundation.” By following this sentence up with a statement about the ongoing value of progressive education in modern schools, the author is using chronology to indicate the continuity of success.

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Last Updated: 04/12/2014

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