Basic Skills Requirement

Explanation of the Basic Skills Requirement required for all undergraduate teacher certification majors by PDE for the College of Education. Includes the PAPA, the CORE, the SAT and the ACT tests.

The Basic Skills Assessment requirement can be fulfilled by completing the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA), the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) exams or by using qualifying scores from SAT or ACT exams.

Basic Skills Assessment-Mixed Score Option.  You may combine reading, writing and mathematics module scores from different test providers to meet the basic skills assessment requirements. You  must meet the passing score listed for each module. A composite score is not available when scores are mixed. For more information on the Pennsylvania  Department of Education testing please see Certification Test and Score Requirements. Once on the PDE testing page, select option 2 under "Testing Requirements."

The PAPA series includes three modules: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. You may take one or all three modules at one test appointment. The PAPA series may be passed by achieving a qualifying score of 220 in Reading, 193 in Mathematics, 220 in Writing, or by the Composite Score Option.

The CORE series includes three modules: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. You may take one or all three modules at one test appointment.  The CORE may be passed by achieving a 156 in Reading, a 162 in Writing and a 142 in Mathematics, or by the Composite Score Option. Once on the PDE testing page, select option 2 under "Testing Requirements."

SAT scores for Reading, Writing and Mathematics have a minimum score per section of 500 for each test with a combined minimum score of 1500. ACT minimum combined score of 23 on English/Writing-22, Math 21 prior to 09/01/15 or Reading 22; Writing 21; Mathematics 21 after 09/01/2015.

For students who are preparing to take the PAPA tests, review these helpful tips.

Students in Workforce Education must successfully complete the CORE tests.  Please contact the Workforce Education program for passing score information.

  • Vocational I must successfully complete the reading and writing exams
  • Vocational II must successfully complete the reading, writing, and math exams