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Instructional Add-Ons

Pennsylvania educators who hold any Instructional or Intern certificate may add instructional content areas by testing alone with no additional coursework required. A PA instructional educator must take and pass the content area test for any acceptable subject areas to obtain additional certification areas.

Educators must achieve the passing score listed on the Certification Test and Score Requirements chart. You may NOT use the GPA score options for testing add-ons.

After you have passed the appropriate content area test and confirmed it has been received by PDE under View My Test Scores on File from your TIMS dashboard, you must submit an application for the new subject area. Applications must be submitted through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS).

The following excluded areas require the completion of a state approved certification program including testing:

  • American Sign Language (Hearing Impaired PK-12 (9205) instructional certificate holders who pass the ASL content test may add the subject area to their certificate through testing only.)
  • Cooperative Education
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Reading Specialist
  • all Special Education areas

Educators who currently hold the Grades PK-4 certificate can add-on Grades 5-6 based on testing alone. This policy does not pertain to any subject area except Grades PK-4.

Reading Specialists assigned to teach English Language Arts after the 2017-18 school year must obtain an Instructional Add-On for an English Designation Grades 4-8 by taking and passing the Pennsylvania Grades 4-8: Subject Concentration – English Language Arts (5156) Praxis test and applying in TIMS. This designation by testing is available only to those holding a Reading Specialist PK-12 certificate.

Per Act 82, current PA Special Education PK-8 or Special Education 7-12 educators can add the opposite special education grade scope expansion by obtaining a passing score (no GPA option) on the opposite grade scope special education test. This testing option is available ONLY to PA educators who already hold either the Special Education PK-8 or Special Education 7-12 certificate. This testing option does not require that the educator hold a content area certificate in the corresponding grade span. Educators will apply for the special education expansion certificate when applying in TIMS.

Acceptable T​​esting Add-On Instructional Subject Areas

Agriculture PK-12
American Sign Language (can be added to Hearing Impaired PK-12 only)
Art Education PK-12
Biology 7-12
Business, Computer and Information Technology PK-12
Chemistry 7-12
Citizenship Education 7-12
Communications 7-12
Computer Science 7-12
Earth and Space Science 7-12
English Designation Grades 4-8 (can be added to Reading Specialist PK-12 subject area only)
English 7-12
Environmental Education PK-12
Family and Consumer Science PK-12
Foreign/World Languages PK-12 (all specific languages)
General Science 7-12
Grades 4-8 (all subjects 4-6, English Language Arts and Reading 7-8)
Grades 4-8 (all subjects 4-6, Mathematics 7-8)
Grades 4-8 (all subjects 4-6, Science 7-8)
Grades 4-8 (all subjects 4-6, Social Studies 7-8)
Grades 5-6 (can be added to Grades PK-4 subject area only)
Grades PK-4
Health Education PK-12
Library Science P K-12
Marketing (Distributive) Education PK-12
Mathematics 7-12
Music Education PK-12
Physics 7-12
Safety/Driver Education 7-12
Social Studies 7-12
Special Education Expansion PK-8 (can be added to Special Education 7-12 subject area only)
Special Education Expansion 7-12 (can be added to Special Education Pk-8 subject area only)
Technology Education PK-12​