ParaPro: The Definitive Guide

– The cost to take the ParaPro exam is $55.

– The passing score for the ParaPro exam varies from state to state such as 455 in Virginia and 467 in Texas.

A paraprofessional works in education but is not licensed to teach. However, paraprofessionals perform many duties both individually with students and organizationally in the classroom. They provide instructional support in the library, computer lab, media center, or even act as a translator.

Paraprofessionals are also called paraeducator, teaching assistant, instructional assistant, or aide. The main role of a paraprofessional is to help children learn based on their individual needs. They also monitor and record evidence of a child’s learning and progress and give those reports to the teacher as well as helping teachers grade papers and prepare lesson plans, homework, and tests. Paraprofessionals often work in childcare facilities, private schools, and public school systems.

Being a paraprofessional is a difficult but rewarding career. You’ll be able to work with and help children on a daily basis.

If you’re working on becoming a paraprofessional, depending on which state you live in, you’ll be required to take the ParaPro exam.

ParaPro Test Prep Course

What is the ParaPro?

The ParaPro exam is an aptitude exam that determines your skills and knowledge of assisting teachers in their classroom. Many states require that those who want to become paraprofessionals take the ParaPro exam to show that you have what it takes to help children and teachers. The exam measures your knowledge in different areas such as reading, writing, math, and the ability to apply those skills and knowledge when you assist in the classroom.

If you’re planning to take the ParaPro, here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare.

1.Learn and Understand the Outline of the ParaPro Exam

You know that you’ll need to read and study the content of the ParaPro exam, but have you thought about learning and understanding the outline and format? This is one of the important things you’ll need to know in order to successfully pass the exam. While you’re studying for the exam, set aside some time to learn about the outline and format. This will help you to better understand the exam and what you can expect.

Here are a few things you need to know about the ParaPro exam:

  • The ParaPro exam consists of three content categories: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.
  • Each section on the exam has 30 multiple-choice questions, giving a total of 90 questions for the exam.
  • The time to complete the ParaPro exam is 2.5 hours.
ParaPro Assessment Secrets Study Guide
ParaPro Assessment Secrets Study Guide

2. ParaPro Study Guide

A great way to prepare for the ParoPro is with a study guide that is geared towards the ParaPro exam itself. Study guides are one of the most valuable resources that can help you pass the ParaPro. Using a study guide to prepare for the ParaPro will allow you to dig deeper into the details of the content that you’ll find on the exam. Preparing with a study guide also gives you the chance to brush up on areas and concepts that you’ll need to know for the exam such as finding area, volume, and perimeter for basic shapes.

3. Create a Study Plan

Creating a study plan is important because it will ensure that you have the time to review all of the content areas that are covered on the ParaPro exam. Having a study plan will prevent you from cramming the night before the exam. Plus, it will help you to remember information for a longer period of time.

When you start to create your study plan, you should set aside 2 to 3 hours each day to dedicate to studying for the exam. You should also create a daily schedule listing which areas of the ParaPro you’ll be focusing on each day. For example, one day you could study how to spot errors in grammar and punctuation and study geometry the next day.

4. Understand the Content Areas of the ParaPro Exam

The ParaPro Exam covers three content areas.


The questions you’ll be given in the reading section will measure your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze a wide range of text. The questions given are based on reading passages as well as charts, graphs, and tables.

In the reading section, you’ll be required to:

  • Identify the main idea or primary purpose
  • Identify supporting ideas
  • Identify how a reading selection is organized
  • Determine the meanings of words or phrases in context
  • Draw inferences or implications from directly stated content
  • Determine whether the information is presented as fact or opinion
  • Interpret information from tables, diagrams, charts, and graphs

You’ll also be tested over the application of reading skills and knowledge to classroom instruction. These questions will cover the foundations of reading which the knowledge and skills students need when they are learning the basic features of words and written text.

The questions you’ll be given will assess your ability to help students:

  • Sound out words
  • Break down words into parts
  • Decode words or phrases using context clues
  • Distinguish between synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
  • Alphabetize words
  • Help students use prereading strategies, such as skimming or making predictions
  • Ask questions about a reading selection to help students understand the selection
  • Make accurate observations about students’ ability to understand and interpret text
  • Help students use a directory
  • Interpret written directions

Mathematics Skills and Knowledge

The Mathematics Skills and Knowledge section of the ParaPro measures your knowledge of mathematical concepts and the ability to apply them to real-life situations. You’ll be tested over different areas in math but you will not be allowed to use a calculator.

You will be given questions over three categories of math including:

  • Number Sense and Basic Algebra
    • Perform basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
    • Recognize multiplication as repeated addition and division as repeated subtraction
    • Recognize and interpret mathematical symbols
    • Understand the definitions of basic terms such as sum, difference, product, quotient, numerator, and denominator
    • Recognize the position of numbers in relation to each other
    • Recognize equivalent forms of a number
    • Demonstrate knowledge of place value for whole numbers and decimal numbers
    • Compute percentages
    • Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts of exponents
    • Demonstrate knowledge of “order of operations”
    • Use mental math to solve problems by estimation
    • Solve word problems
    • Solve one-step, single-variable linear equations
    • Identify what comes next in a sequence of numbers
  • Geometry and Measurement
    • Represent time and money in more than one way
    • Convert between units or measures in the same system
    • Identify basic geometrical shapes
    • Perform computations related to the area, volume, and perimeter for basic shapes
    • Graph data on an xy-coordinate plane
  • Data Analysis
    • Interpret information from tables, charts, and graphs
    • Given a table, chart, or graph with time-related data, interpret trends over time
    • Create basic tables, charts, and graphs
    • Compute the mean, median, and mode

You’ll be tested over the application of mathematic skills and how they’re related to classroom instruction. You’ll be tested over the three categories of math skills and how to use them in a classroom setting or classroom instruction. The questions you’ll be given will focus on mathematical competencies that you will need to assist a teacher with instructions.

Writing Skills and Knowledge

The Writing Skills and Knowledge section of the ParaPro tests your ability to identify:

  • Basic grammatical errors in standard written English
  • Error’s in word usage
  • Errors in punctuation
  • Parts of a sentence
  • Parts of speech
  • Errors in spelling

You’ll be given questions that are based on the application of Writing Skills and Knowledge pertaining to classroom instruction. The questions will be based on classroom scenarios in which students are planning, composing, revising, or editing written documents.

The questions you will be given will assess your ability to help students:

  • Use prewriting to generate and organize ideas
  • Identify and use appropriate reference materials
  • Draft and revise
  • Edit written documents for clarity, grammar, sentence integrity
  • Write for different purposes and audiences
  • Recognize and write in different modes and forms
ParaPro Assessment Flashcards Study System
ParaPro Assessment Flashcards Study System

5. ParaPro Flashcards

Flashcards are very helpful when you’re preparing for the ParaPro exam. Studying with flashcards allow you to get down to the details of the key concepts that you’ll need to know for the exam. They allow you to focus on one detail at a time helping prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with a lot of information at once. Flashcards also help you retain information for a longer period of time because they make you practice the act of learning and memorizing that key concept.

6. It’s Okay to Guess

It’s normal to come across an answer or two that you’re not sure of the answer. When this happens, don’t skip it! Not answering a question is marked as incorrect and can cost you a penalty or subtraction of points. However, guessing an answer gives you more of a chance at getting the answer correct. You’ll risk nothing by guessing your answer and if it happens to be a correct answer, you’ll raise your score.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice!

One of the best ways to completely prepare for the ParaPro exam is by taking a ParaPro practice test. Practice tests allow you to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that you’ll see on the exam as well as the format of the test. You’ll also get the chance to see which areas of the exam that you’ll need to work more on and which areas you’re ready in.

Published by

Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more