The Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment
The VCLA is a computer-based test used by Virginia's Department of Education and administered by Pearson VUE. The goal of the test is to ensure that all certified teachers in Virginia have the literacy and communication skills required to effectively teach students. It is also designed to ensure that certified teachers will be able to interact effectively with parents.
How Is the Test Structured?
The VCLA is made up of 2 subtests. These subtests assess test-takers' reading and writing skills. Individuals can opt to take one subtest at a time or take both subtests together.
Reading Subtest: This subtest is comprised of approximately 40 questions presented in multiple-choice format. Test-takers must show that they are able to understand and analyze written material. They are also tested on their ability to summarize information and produce written outlines.
Writing Subtest: Like the reading subtest, the writing subset has approximately 40 multiple-choice questions. The writing subtest also has 3 constructed-response questions that require short written answers. Test-takers must also complete a written summary assignment and a written composition assignment.
This test is used to ensure that test-takers understand grammar and writing mechanics. Test-takers must also show that they can develop effective essays and written documents. The writing test is also designed to test vocabulary skills.
Who Is Required to Take the VCLA?
New teachers who want to receive their initial teaching certifications in the state of Virginia must pass the VCLA. Individuals must have a bachelor's degree to qualify to take this test.
Individuals who have obtained their teacher certifications in another state and have at least 3 years of teaching experience may be except from the VCLA testing requirement. Their teaching experience must have been obtained at an accredited private or public school. Time spent as a substitute teacher does not count towards the required 3 years of experience.
How Much Does the VCLA Cost?
The fee per subtest is $40. Individuals taking both subtests together will pay $80. There is no test price discount for taking both subtests at the same time. There is also a $50 registration fee for test-takers.
What Is the Passing Score?
The passing score is 235 per subtest. This means that a total score of 470 is required to pass when both subtests are taken.
Where Can I Find VCLA Test Resources?
When preparing for the VCLA subtests, it is important to make sure that you review relevant information prior to your test date. You can find exam blueprints that outline the test objectives in addition to sample questions and practice tests on the VCLA website (www.va.nesinc.com). The practice tests are available for free, but for a fee you can receive feedback on your performance on one or both subtests.
Below you'll also find links to self-paced study guides that contain dozens of short lessons to help you review the appropriate material for the VCLA test. These resources are designed to be self-paced, and each lesson is typically less than 10 minutes long, which enables individuals to schedule short or long study periods based on their schedules and preferences.
- Virginia Communication & Literacy Assessment: Practice & Study Guide
- VCLA - Writing: Practice & Study Guide
- VCLA - Reading: Practice & Study Guide