Paraprofessional Certification

Open book onj desk with chalf board in background

The Shasta County Office of Education administers the Paraprofessional Exam for all school districts in Shasta County. While anyone is welcome to complete this exam, please check with your prospective employing school district to confirm if you are required to complete this exam.

The Paraprofessional Exam is a two hour timed test. The cost for each test is $7.00 cash (collected on the day of the test; bring correct currency). A picture ID will be required before the test will be administered.

Please bring a hand-held calculator. You must register prior to taking the exam.

To reserve a seat, please call Shasta County Office of Education at 225-0200.

Passing score for each section is 70%.

Upon passing the exam, a Certificate of Proficiency and a letter with test scores will be mailed directly to the candidate.

If a candidate does not pass the exam in either its entirety, or just one section, a letter with test scores will be mailed to them. The cost to retake the exam, even if just one section, is $7.00.

A receipt of payment for the $7.00 exam fee will be provided to each candidate on the day of the exam.

*Paraprofessional Exam: meets the employment requirements in a Title I classroom under the previous “No Child Left Behind Act” now called the "Every Student Succeeds Act".

Exam Schedule


Dates are subject to change. Pre-registration is required.
To reserve a seat, please call 225-0200.

Testing dates:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 (starts at 9:00 am)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (starts at 9:00 am)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 (starts at 2:30 pm)

Exam Information

Exam Information

The Shasta County Office of Education has prepared the following information to assist you in meeting the new requirements for Paraprofessionals under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

What are the new requirements for Paraprofessionals under the Every Student Succeeds Act?

ESSA requires that schools have highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals in every classroom. Paraprofessionals who work in a Title I position or in a district-wide Title I school district will be required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent and one of the following in order to meet the minimum qualifications for the Paraprofessional position:

  • Possess an Associate of Arts/Science Degree
  • Complete 48 semester units of college education
  • Pass the Shasta County Paraprofessional Exam

It is important to understand that this exam was implemented in January 2004 to meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Many of you may have already taken and passed the Aide Proficiency Test but that test does not meet the Paraprofessional standards of the previous NCLB Act or the now Every Student Succeeds Act. You must pass the new Paraprofessional Exam if you are to work in a Title I position or district-wide Title I school.

If you are currently employed as an Aide or Paraprofessional in a school district and have questions as to whether or not you are required to meet the new requirements, please contact your district's Human Resources Office.

Exam Information/Preparing for the Exam:
  • College and County Libraries have general study guides that cover the subjects as listed below.
  • Local book stores.
  •, open Links, scroll down to Test Practice & Study Materials-Various Sites.
  • Study Guide.

The Exam Covers The Following Subjects:

English-Language Arts

Proofreading/spelling, reading comprehension, main theme of a paragraph, logical sequence of a paragraph, key word, English grammar, basic word meanings


  • General Math: Key words and converting words to equations, fractions, adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing, simplifying, writing decimals as fractions, reading tables and charts, statistics, exponents, math definitions
  • Pre-algebra and Algebra: Special notation for multiplication and division with variables, algebra word problems, order of operations, simplifying expressions, prime factorization, greatest common factor, least common multiple, factoring, sample algebra problems
  • The Coordinate system: Grid graph, slope coordinates
  • Geometry: Basics, squares, rectangles, circles, triangles

Ability to Assist

Worker roles and responsibilities, student discipline/behavior

Frequently Asked Questions

If I don’t have a high school diploma, what can I do?

The NCLB Act first stipulates that a paraprofessional is in receipt of a secondary school diploma (high school or its recognized equivalent). If you lost your high school diploma, contact the high school or the district in which you attended to obtain a transcript indicating that you graduated from a high school. If you do not have a high school diploma, plan to take the test for the General Education Diploma (GED).

How can I prepare and test for the GED?

Locally, the Shasta Adult School offers prep classes and GED testing. They can be reached at 530-245-2626, and they are located at 2200 Eureka Way, Redding, California.

Are instructional aides hired long ago exempt from all these regulations?

All paraprofessionals must turn in their high school diploma or equivalent to the Human Resources Department. Paraprofessionals hired before the date of enactment of NCLB (1/8/02) have until 6/30/06 to satisfy the other NCLB requirements.

I am not paid by Title I funds; am I excluded?

Yes, unless you are at a School wide Title 1 School. Thus, paraprofessionals are supported with Title I funds in an indirect way. Should you have any questions, contact your Human Resources Department or Personnel Office.

Who is exempt from the NCLB requirements?

There are several paraprofessional classifications that are exempt from the NCLB requirements. These classifications include: translators, parent involvement aides, and P.E. aides. However, all paraprofessionals (even those exempt) need a high school diploma. Should the state and federal government expand the list of exempt classifications, we will inform you.

What will be included on the rigorous test?

This test must not only demonstrate knowledge of reading, writing, and math, but the ability to assist in instructing in these areas.

Are Special Education Aides who provide health care exempt?

We believe that Special Education Paraprofessionals who assist with the health care of students are exempt if they do not assist in the direct instruction of the students. The California Department of Education is requesting additional guidance from the US Department of Education regarding the qualifications of paraprofessionals who provide services to students with special needs. More information will be forthcoming.