About the Tests

The state of Arizona is committed to maintaining a body of educators capable of enhancing student achievement and meeting the demands and expectations of the state's dynamic and diverse society. In November 1997, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted rules regarding the evaluation of educators applying for state certifications. The rules require that applicants for teacher certification pass a test of subject knowledge. Candidates for teacher certification must also pass a test of professional knowledge. The Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments® (AEPA®) program has been designed to ensure that each certified teacher has the necessary knowledge to teach in Arizona public schools.

The tests in the AEPA program are criterion referenced and objective based. Criterion-referenced tests are designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard of performance (a criterion) rather than in relation to the performance of other candidates. The tests are designed to help identify those candidates who have the level of knowledge and skills required to perform satisfactorily as educators.

About Arizona Custom Tests

The following tests in the program were custom-developed for use in Arizona:

  • Adult Education: English Language Acquisition
  • Adult Education: English Language Arts
  • Adult Education: Mathematics
  • Constitutions of the United States and Arizona
  • Dance
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science/American Government
  • Principal Subtests I and II
  • Professional Knowledge—Adult Education
  • Professional Knowledge—Early Childhood
  • Reading Endorsement K to 8
  • Reading Endorsement 6 to 12
  • Special Education: Early Childhood
  • Special Education: Hearing Impaired
  • Special Education: Severely and Profoundly Disabled
  • Special Education: Speech and Language Impaired
  • Special Education: Visually Impaired
  • Superintendent Subtests I and II
  • Supervisor
  • Theater

The content of the tests was determined by input from Arizona educators, the ADE, and applicable Arizona standards (e.g., the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium [ISLLC] standards, the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium [InTASC] standards). Test items that were developed to assess the content defined by the test framework were similarly reviewed and approved by the Arizona review committees.

About the NES® (National Evaluation Series™)

The following tests in the AEPA program are NES tests:

  • Art
  • Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary
  • Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary
  • Biology
  • Business Education
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Elementary Education Subtests I and II
  • English Language Arts
  • Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III)
  • French
  • General Science
  • German
  • Health
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics (Middle Grades and Early Secondary)
  • Middle Grades English Language Arts
  • Middle Grades General Science
  • Middle Grades Mathematics
  • Middle Grades Social Science
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • School Library Media Specialist
  • Social Science
  • Spanish
  • Special Education

The NES is a nationally available teacher certification testing program. The NES teacher certification tests are comprehensive exams aligned to professionally accepted national learning standards, covering areas such as essential academic skills, reading instruction, and commonly taught elementary, middle, and secondary grade-level subjects.

Arizona has adopted the NES tests for certification in many content areas, and now uses the NES tests in place of many earlier existing tests for certificates and endorsements. Additional details for candidates and teacher preparation program faculty is available on the ADE Certification Unit's website link opens in a new window.