Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary & Special Education (5306) Exam

The Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special
Education exam is geared to entry-level elementary and special education
teachers. The exam is used to ensure beginning teachers have the attained the
knowledge, skills, and abilities required of reading educators.


To teach reading in elementary and special education in the
state of Virginia, a candidate needs to hold at least a baccalaureate degree
from an accredited teaching program and pass professional teacher assessments
required by the Virginia Board of Education.

How do I register?

Register for the exam online, mail, or by phone. Information about the registration methods is available on the ETS website. Testing locations are located worldwide, and there are many test dates to choose from. Test appointments are scheduled Monday through Friday, with some centers offering Saturday appointments.  

The cost of the exam is $130.00, and payment is expected at the time of registration. You may pay for the exam with a credit/debit card, money order, personal check, PayPal, or eCheck.

What can I expect on the exam?

The Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special Education exam consists of 100 selected-response (multiple-choice), and three constructed-response (essay) questions. The exam is delivered by computer and you are given two and a half hours to complete the exam.

The selected-response section of the examination consists of four content categories:

  • Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching – 15% of the exam, 19 questions
  • Oral Language and Oral Communication – 15% of the exam, 19 questions
  • Reading Development – 35% of the exam, 43 questions
  • Writing and Research – 15% of the exam, 19 questions

The questions on this exam require you to pull information from prompts that may be presented with graphs, tables, reading passages, audio/video components, and maps.

The constructed-response section of the examination has three content areas with one question per area:

  • Analysis and Assessment and Diagnostic Teaching
  • Application of Reading Development Knowledge
  • Analysis and Application of Writing and Research

How should I plan my time?

You have two and a half hours to complete both sections of the exam. The sections are not independently timed, so it is up to you to manage your time wisely. A guideline for dividing your time is 105 minutes for the selected-response section and 45 minutes for the constructed-response section. Try to save time for review at the conclusion of the exam.

What is test day like?

Your exam is at an ETS testing center. The exact location and reporting time is noted on your admission ticket. Leave your personal items at home as they are not allowed in the testing facility. Bring your admission ticket and government-issued, valid identification to check in. After your identity is verified and you complete the pre-test activities, you will be escorted to your testing station.

All materials needed for the exam are supplied. Before beginning your examination, you have an opportunity to take a tutorial to become familiar with the test delivery platform. Once you have completed the tutorial, your exam begins.

When you have finished the exam, and if time remains, review your work. Your test is scored by the number of correct responses, and you are not penalized for incorrect answers.

How is the test scored and when will I get the results?

Your selected-response questions are scored by computer immediately upon completion. Your constructed-response questions are scored by two or more individuals who are experts in the content area. Initial scores from both sections are combined to produce your raw score. Your raw score is converted to a scaled score and becomes your official score. Your score is available within ten to 15 business days after your testing window closes.

The passing score for the Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special Education examination is 157. If you take the exam in Virginia, your score is sent to the Virginia Department of Education. If you test outside of Virginia, you need to indicate that you want your score sent to your licensing board.

How Can I Prepare for the Reading for Virginia Educators Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by 
  4. tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see 
  5. links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: February 23, 2023