The Virginia Reading Assessment exam (VRA) is a challenging and comprehensive examination for men and women who want to teach reading in the state of Virginia. The general parameters of the exam are based on what the National Reading Panel has defined as the “five key components of effective reading instructions: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.
The content of the VRA exam for elementary and special education teachers is divided into four domains: assessment and diagnostic teaching; oral language and oral communication; reading development; and writing and research. The exam is comprised of roughly 90 multiple-choice questions and four constructed-response assignments. Constructed-response assignments require the candidate to compose a lengthy written answer to a prompt.
The exam for reading specialists is divided into six domains: assessment and diagnostic teaching; oral language and oral communication; reading development; writing and research; specialized knowledge and leadership skills; and a case study on integrated knowledge and understanding. This exam consists of about 90 multiple-choice questions and two constructed-response assignments, one of which is a case study.
Each version of the VRA exam is criterion-referenced, meaning that scores are based on an objective standard rather than comparison with the performance of other test takers. An unofficial score report is typically available 10 days after the exam date.