What is the GACE Test?

What is GACE?

The Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) are a system of tests administered by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). Generally, each GACE test serves as an assessment of professional readiness, to ensure that you possess the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed (or advance) in your position at a Georgia public school. GACE assessments are generally computer-administered and are offered either all year round or during specific windows, depending on the exam.

How do I Get Certified to Teach in Georgia?

Follow these steps to get your teacher certification in Georgia:

1. Obtain a bachelor's degree. If you don't have a bachelor's degree in education you can become certified through completion of an education certification program at an approved college.

2. Hold a 2.5 GPA if you completed your degree in the last 10 years.

3. Fulfill student teaching hours by participating in a semester long teaching residency.

4. Achieve a passing grade on required GACE Exams including professional ethics, as well as subject and grade level content matter.

5. Pass criminal background check before you are allowed to teach in public or private schools in Georgia.

6. Submit teaching certification application through the GaPSC website.

7. Pay all fees required for certification.

Learn more about Teacher certification in Georgia.

Who Needs to Take the GACE Assessments?

You need to take one or more GACE test if you are:

  • Applying to an education preparation program
  • Pursuing educator certification in Georgia
  • Seeking to become highly qualified in a core academic subject
  • Practicing as a school counselor
  • Working as a teaching assistant
  • Serving as a school or district administrator such as a principal or superintendent

The GACE assessments are to help the GaPSC ensure that those pursuing admission into an educator preparation program, working toward educator certification, seeking to become highly qualified in a specific subject, or others working within Georgia's public schools have the skills and knowledge required to perform each of these roles.

What GACE Test do I Need to Take?

Required GACE tests will depend on your chosen career in Georgia's public school system and where you are along that career path. You can view examples of required tests for certain roles in the table below.

Educator Role What test do you need to take?
Education preparation program applicant GACE Program Admission Tests
* Test I - Reading
* Test II - Mathematics
* Test III - Writing

GACE Georgia Ethics Test
Educator certification in Georgia One or more GACE Content Tests, for example:
* Grade-Focused Content Tests
* Subject-Area Content Tests
* Special Education Content Tests
Advanced credential GACE Certificate Upgrade Tests are available:
* GACE Curriculum and Instruction Test
* GACE Instructional Technology Test
* GACE Teacher Leadership Test
School counselor GACE Content Tests:
* GACE School Counseling Test
Teaching assistant GACE Paraprofessional Assessment Test
School administratorGACE Educational Leadership Test
GACE Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership Test

What is the GACE Program Admission Assessment?

All candidates applying to an education preparation program must take the GACE Program Admission tests. Formally known as the Basic Skills Tests, GACE Program Admission consists of three tests that assess basic academic skills in:

  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Writing

You can take each subtest individually or take a combined version.

Test Number of Questions Question Format Testing Time
Test I - Reading 56 Multiple-choice 85 minutes
Test II - Mathematics 56 Multiple-choice 90 minutes
Test III - Writing 40
Essay Response
100 minutes

GACE Program Admission Test I - Reading

This exam consists of passages of varying length followed by questions pertaining to the material, intended to test reading comprehension at a college level.

GACE Program Admission Test II - Mathematics

This test covers four domains:

  • Number & Quantity
  • Algebra & Functions
  • Geometry and Statistics & Probability

Your problem-solving and computational abilities will be put to the test in this section, though a basic calculator will be provided with the computerized exam.

GACE Program Admission Test III - Writing

This assessment includes a section including questions about grammar, revision, mechanics, word choice and research. There is also a composition section, in which you will write both an argumentative essay and an informative essay, each on a given topic or prompt.

Note: You may be exempt from taking these tests depending on your scores on the SAT or other approved standardized tests.

How to prepare for GACE Program Admission Tests

Study.com offers comprehensive, self-paced study guides and practice exams for each section of the Program Admission assessments. Learning is fast and approachable with short engaging video and text lessons. Inbuilt quizzes between every lesson can help boost retention and practice tests with score reporting help identify areas of strength and weakness.

What are the GACE Content Tests?

Content tests are used to qualify educators to teach a certain subject, you may have to pass one or more relevant GACE Content Assessments. These tests fall into the following categories:

  • Grade-focused content
  • Subject-area content
  • Special Education content
  • Non-teaching content

Below are some examples of GACE Content exams, including the number of tests, their format and length.

Content Area Number of Tests Question Formats Test Time
GACE Mathematics 2 Multiple-choice 2 hours each
GACE English 2 Multiple-choice
Essay Response
2 hours each
GACE Geography 2 Multiple-choice 2 hours each
GACE Middle Grades Social Science1 Multiple-choice 2 hours 10 mins.
GACE Political Science2 Multiple-choice 2 hours each
GACE Special Education Adapted Curriculum2 Multiple-choice 2 hours 10 mins each
GACE School Psychology 2 Multiple-choice 2.5 hours each
GACE School Counseling 2 Multiple-choice 2.5 hours each

The GACE Content Assessments you need to take will depend on who and what you intend to teach. For more information about which test you need to take see our GACE testing article.

What is the GACE Certificate Upgrade Test?

If you already have a valid teacher's certificate, you may upgrade your credentials by taking GACE assessments in:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Instructional Technology
  • GACE Teacher Leadership assessment

These range in length and style as shown in the table below.

Exam Number of Questions Question Formats Test Time
Curriculum and Instruction 100
Essay Response
2 hours 45 mins
Instructional Technology 100
Essay Response
3.5 hours
Teacher Leadership assessment 6 Tasks Portfolio Self-paced

What is the GACE Educational Leadership Test?

Not to be confused with the GACE Teacher Leadership assessment, the GACE Educational Leadership assessment is a required test for all potential educational administrators, such as principals or superintendents. This consists of a single exam containing selected-response questions and four constructed response questions.

What is the GACE Georgia Ethics Test?

Georgia Ethics is a required assessment for all candidates seeking state educational or administrative certification. This assessment has distinct versions for educators and administrators and offers Program Entry and Program Exit versions for both.

What is the GACE Paraprofessional Test?

If you would like to work as a state paraprofessional educator (such as a teacher's aide or classroom assistant), the GACE Paraprofessional Assessment is a requirement for obtaining the appropriate license. This is a single, multiple-choice test that lasts about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Similar to the Program Admission test, it covers basic skills in:

  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Writing.

How do I register for the GACE test?

Most GACE assessments require you to:

  • Create a MyPSC account on the GaPSC website
  • Make an ETS GACE testing account or sign in if you are a new user
  • Select 'Register for the test'
  • Select test date and location and reserve a seat

There is also an option to register by phone. Some GACE exams require a different registration process, for more information see GACE Test Dates & Resistration

How to Pass the GACE Exams

To make sure you have the best chance of success, prepare for your GACE exams using these steps:

1. Find your required exam(s). Check with your education program, or GaPSC, to determine which GACE exam(s) you need to take for your role.

2. Familiarize yourself with the test(s). Become familiar with your GACE exam content, question types, and test length.

3. Design a study plan. Make sure your schedule and covers all exam material. Plan out study intervals and establish a daily or weekly routine to maintain consistent progress.

4. Use the right study tools. Use GACE study guides to review exam material. GACE practice tests can help you identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in your knowledge, allowing you to efficiently allocate your study time. Taking multiple practice exams throughout your preparation process can help you track your progress and refocus your study plan as needed.

Continue reading: What are GACE Passing Scores?

Passing standards for GACE exams vary depending on the exact assessment you are taking. Read on for more information on what scores you'll need to pass each kind of test in the series.

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