What is edTPA?


edTPA is a teacher performance evaluation tool developed by Stanford University’s Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE). The performance-based assessment is administered to teachers at the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade levels.

Planning, Instruction, and Assessment are the three tasks that make up the examination. The examination is subject-specific, and aspiring teachers taking the exam are also required to submit a portfolio.

General Requirements for Teaching

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all 50 states require teachers in public elementary schools to be either certified or licensed. Requirements vary by state, although aspiring teachers are generally required to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete an educator preparation program, and complete some supervised student teaching.


Subjects in which aspiring teachers might take the edTPA examination include:

• Art

• Biological Sciences

• Business

• English

• Foundational-Level Mathematics

• Geosciences

• Music

• Physical Education

• Social Sciences

• World Languages Other Than English

This is a representative, though not exhaustive, list of subjects. Those taking the World Languages exam take it in one specific language. Among the languages offered are:

• American Sign Language

• Arabic

• French

• German

• Hebrew

• Hindi

• Hmong

• Korean

• Mandarin

• Punjabi

• Spanish


Those who register to take the test will have access to the edTPA Resource Library. In this virtual library accessed via the Internet, test-takers will access preparatory materials, subject-specific handbooks, and templates. These materials include the materials exam takers will need to submit their portfolios.


Aspiring teachers must check with the state in which they plan to seek teacher licensing to find out if they meet state-specific requirements. Each state has its own teacher credentialing commission.

For example, to be licensed to teach in California, a candidate must achieve a minimum passing score of 41 on most edTPA subject exams. Those taking the Multiple Subject: Elementary exam must score at least a 49 on the Education portion and a 41 on the Literacy and Mathematics portions. The minimum required score for World Languages Other Than English and Classical Languages – Latin is 35.


Fees vary by the type of examination to be taken. Taking or retaking the full examination requires a fee of $300 as of April 2017. A 3-task retake in the Elementary Education section also costs $300. A 2-task retake costs $200, and likewise it costs $100 to retake a single task.

Some teacher preparation programs offer vouchers that candidates can use to pay for all or part of the edTPA fee. Candidates for the exam should contact their teacher preparation programs for information regarding vouchers.


edTPA scores are reported to the exam taker, the educator preparation program with which the candidate is enrolled, and, if applicable, the state agency dealing with teacher licensing. It takes approximately three weeks from the date of submission of all materials for candidates to receive their scores.


Depending upon the type of school (public or private) in which one wishes to teach and state-specific requirements, aspiring teachers may be asked to take the epTPA examination. Administered by Stanford University’s SCALE department, the examination is subject-specific and performance-based. Candidates may visit the SCALE website to learn more about requirements of the edTPA.

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