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Basic Skills Testing Options

Mixed Score Option

You are required to pass the Basic Skills Tests for Sophomore Gateway and certification, you may combine reading, writing and mathematics module scores from different test providers to meet the basic skills requirements.  You may use the composite score method to meet the requirement when you do well in one or two areas to compensate for a lower score in the other area.  The composite score is the sum of all the passing scores.  Use PDE's Composite Score Calculator when mixing tests. Note: When using the composite score, each test must meet or exceed the minimum score listed. 

  • Effective March 2016, candidates may combine individual tests from different vendors to meet the basic skills requirement. The policy is retroactive for all open applications.

1. SAT*

SAT Test & Passing Score Passing Score Minimum Composite Score

SAT prior to March 1, 2016

(Score Range: 200-800)

Critical Reading  500
Mathematics  500
Writing  500
Composite SAT Test Score  1500

SAT- after Feb. 29, 2016

(Score Range: 10-40)

Reading  27 25
Mathematics  26 24
Writing and Language  28 26
Composite SAT Test Score 81
SAT Composite (March 1, 2016 and later only): If the sum of your reading, mathematics & writing modules total 81 or higher AND each module's score meets the minimum composite score above you meet the basic skills requirement. 

2. The American College Test (ACT)*

  • Tests taken prior to September 2015 require a composite score of 23 accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 or higher and a Math score of 21 or higher.
  • Tests taken after September 2015 require separate scores of Reading - 22; Mathematics - 21; and Writing - 21.
ACT Minimum Score per Section Passing Score Minimum Composite Score
ACT - after August 31, 2015 Reading 22 20
Writing  21 19
Writing after Sept. 2016 8 7
Mathematics 21 19
Composite ACT Test Score Sept. 2015- Aug. 2016 64
Sept. 2016 and later 51
ACT Composite: If the sum of your reading, mathematics & writing modules total 64 (for 9/2015 - 8/2016) or 51 (9/2016 or later) AND each module's score meet the minimum composite score you meet the basic skills requirement. 

*Request Official Test Scores - SAT or ACT

If Duquesne University did not receive your official test scores directly from the testing vendor, then scores must be obtained from College Board or ACT.  Scores that were submitted to Duquesne via your high school transcript are not considered official, per PDE. 

  1. Please follow the step-by-step instructions when contacting CollegeBoard or Act.
  2. Official test scores must be sent to the student in an envelope sealed by the vendor. Do not have them sent to Duquesne University.
  3. Students should forward their unopened, official scores to the Student and Academic Services office in 214 Canevin Hall, attention: Lisa Patrick.

3. PRAXIS/ETS CORE Academic Skills for Educators

As of June 20, 2014, PDE released a new option for an assessment of basic skills given by Educational Testing Services (ETS).
Scoring: Straight or Composite Methods

ETS/CORE Academic Test Number Straight Passing Score Minimum Composite Score
Reading 5712 156 148
Writing 5722 162 158
Mathematics 5732 142 132

Composite Score Method for CORE Tests:  460 

If the sum of your reading, writing & mathematics modules total 460 or higher AND each module's score meets the minimum composite score above you meet the basic skills requirement. 

4. Pre-service Academic Performance Assessments (PAPA)

  • Scoring: Straight or Composite Methods
PAPA Test Number Passing Score Minimum Composite Score
Reading 8001 220 193
Mathematics 8002 193 176*
Writing 8003 220 192

Composite Score Method for PAPA Tests: 633 

If the sum of your reading, mathematics and writing modules total 633 or higher AND each module's socre meets the minimum composite score above you meet the basic skills requirement.  

*A score of 174 from candidates accepted into an educator certification program prior to 8/31/2016.