An Introduction to the GACE
GACE is not just one test. Rather, it is a system of tests administered by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), which oversees the certification of educators, counselors, administrators and other employees of the public school system. GACE tests are offered throughout the year and delivered electronically, which means you have to take them on a computer at a proctored test center.
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. GACE features six different categories of tests, each with its own purpose and set of eligibility requirements.
Formerly known as the Basic Skills Assessment, passing this test is a requirement for admission into a GaPSC-approved traditional preparation program, as well as for those gaining non-traditional (post-college) certification through the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP). This is a battery of three tests, covering the basics of reading, writing and mathematics. The reading and math sections last 85 minutes, while the writing section lasts 100 minutes. You can take each section individually or all at once (approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes).
Test I - Reading consists of passages of varying length and content. Each passage will be followed by a number of multiple-choice questions pertaining to the material, intended to test reading comprehension at a college level.
Test II - Mathematics 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.
Test III - Writing contains a multiple-choice section, containing 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 if…
- …you scored at least 1000 on the SAT Verbal/Critical Reading, plus Math
- …you scored at least a 43 on the ACT (English and Math)
- …you scored at least a 1030 on the GRE (composite Verbal and Quantitative) - before August 1, 2011
- …you scored at least a 297 on the GRE (composite Verbal and Quantitative) - after August 1, 2011
In addition to the Program Admission tests, there are GACE tests for several specific academic subjects. If you intend to teach a certain subject, you may have to pass a relevant GACE Content Assessment. There are also Content Assessments for early childhood, middle grade subjects and special education. The Content Assessments you need to take will depend on who and what you intend to teach; if you are unsure of your requirements, the GaPSC website has a Certificate Explorer which will allow you to look up individual certification requirements by subject and grade level.
If you already have a valid teacher's certificate, you may upgrade your credentials by taking GACE assessments in Curriculum and Instruction, and Instructional Technology. Also included in this group is the GACE Teacher Leadership assessment, a requirement for a Lead Professional Certificate (the highest tier of teaching certification).
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. Like the above category, prior certification is an eligibility requirement to sit for this exam. However, the administrative career track has its own preparatory programs and certification.
Unlike other GACE tests, these assessments are actually self-paced, modular training programs that use interactive learning to teach and test ethical concepts. 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 (the latter features a cumulative test at the end).
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 and writing.
Prepare for the GACE
Gearing up to sit for the entry-level GACE Program Admission Tests? Don't forget to study! Study.com offers comprehensive and convenient courses for each section! These study guides are self-paced and tailored especially for GACE, so you're learning exactly what you'll need to know for the exams. Check out our study guides for:
And, Study.com also has study guides for more than 20 Content Assessments, including history, political science, physics, business education, health education and reading. You can check out the full range of these courses by visiting the GACE Directory Page. Our fast and fun video lessons take the grind out of studying, and being totally online means you can study anytime, anywhere you have access to a computer (or your mobile) and the internet. Let Study.com help you ace your GACE!