Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA)

Prior to their formal admittance to their education program, all undergraduate students must pass PAPA, a basic skills assessment as well as the corresponding subject matter test(s) related to the certification area. PAPA assesses the student’s proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics.  

Read more about PAPA here. The following resources will help you prepare for the test:


The alternative basic skills assessment (22 PA Code 49.18 Assessment) include:

  • A score of no less than 1550 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT)
    • The SAT score of 1550 will include no individual section (Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) score of less than 500.
    • Students may not combine section scores from different test administrations, but they may use their best score earned from one test administration.
  • A composite score of 23 on the American College Test Plus Writing
    • The composite score of 23 shall be accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a math score of 21.

Students who meet either requirement shall be exempt from taking the PAPA test.  


Highly Qualified Status

Candidates who pursue teacher certification in Pennsylvania must demonstrate “highly-qualified status” in reading, writing, and math early in their pursuit of the teaching degree. Teacher candidates at Alvernia University are required to demonstrate this status during the first year of the program before enrolling in upper level education courses. There are multiple methods to demonstrate highly-qualified status. A complete description of achieving highly-qualified status is available here

Education Undergraduate Programs