New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) is a group of certification exams developed by State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). The exams are administered by Evaluation Systems group of Pearson Vue. These examinations are used for credentialing of teachers, teaching assistants, and school administrators in New York state.
The candidates who are interested to achieve teacher credentials for teaching in public schools of the state take this test. They must have completed the required education and needs to take one or more exams for achieving a desired certification.
NYSTCE consists of following exams: -
Teacher certification exams: These exams are for teacher certification and are categorized as follow:
- Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) – In LAST test, there are multiple choice items and a written assignment. The content of this exam covers subjects from history, social science, communication, artistic expression, science, mathematics, technology, humanities and research skills. This test is based on assessment of critical thinking, analytical and conceptual skills, multicultural awareness and communication skills.
- Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written- This exam assesses pedagogical skills and knowledge at early childhood and childhood level. There are multiple choice questions and a written assignment in the exam. The teaching skills for up to grade 6 are tested in this exam.
- Secondary Assessment of teaching Skills- Written- This exam assesses pedagogical skills and knowledge required for teaching in grades 5 to 12. This exam consists of multiple choice items and a written assignment.
- Content Specialty Tests (CST) – These exams are based on assessment of subject specific knowledge. In this category, there are exams for following subjects- Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Earth Science, Agriculture, Health Education, Physical Education, Social Studies, Business and Marketing, English Language Arts, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), French, Greek, German, Mandarin, Latin, Italian, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, American Sign Language, Gifted Education, Literacy, Cantonese, Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Technology Education, Family and Consumer Sciences, Library Media Specialist, Educational Technology Specialist, and Multi-Subject. All these exams except language tests other than English consist of multiple choice items and a written assignment. The language tests (excluding English) also incorporate a recorded listening and/or speaking section. The American Sign Language test has a recorded video section.
- Bilingual Educational Assessment (BEA) – These exams are required for bilingual authorization. These tests are available for Arabic, Urdu, Yiddish, Spanish, French, Cantonese, Hebrew, Mandarin, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Vietnamese, and Russian. There are multiple choice questions and constructed response assignments in the written tests of this assessments. In addition, there are reading, listening and speaking tests.
- Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST) – This exam is required for the transition-A certificate and initial certification in technological education subjects. This test has an objective pattern and consists of multiple choice questions.
- Assessment of Teaching Skills- Performance (AST-P) – This exam is a video recording of 20-30 minutes of teaching performance in a classroom setting.
Teaching assistant exam: This test is required to achieve credential as paraprofessional. The exam consists of multiple choice items pertaining to reading, writing, mathematics, and instructional support.
School Leadership Assessment: These assessments are available for administrative positions as school building leader, school district leader, and school district business leader.
NYSTCE exams are criterion referenced tests. The examinee is evaluated against set standards rather than performance of other examinees. Most of these tests have an objective pattern and consists of multiple choice questions. Some of the tests may also have constructed response questions like language assessment tests. All these tests are available in paper based format while many are also available in computer based testing.
The result of these exams is a scaled score in range from 100 to 300. The passing scaled score is 220 for each test. The score reports are made available online on the designated score report dates. These score reports remain available for 45 days. If a test has been taken in computer based format, an unofficial score is reported to examinees immediately after the test is completed. However, examinee has to wait for release of official scores for getting the certifications. It is must to pass all the exams of respective certification to achieve a desired credential.
These tests are available on scheduled dates in a year. The registrations can be done through internet, mail and telephone. The deadlines for applying to these tests are classified as regular, late and emergency periods. The online registration can be done in all periods. The registration through mail is not available in emergency periods while registration through phone is accepted only in emergency periods.
NYSTCE fees structure is as follow:
Liberal Art and Science Test: – $79 (PBT); $149 (CBT)
Assessment of teaching skills-Written: – $79 (PBT); $149 (CBT)
Content Specialty Tests: – $79 (PBT); $149 (CBT)
Communication and Quantitative Skills Test: – $79
Bilingual Educational Assessment: – $79
Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills: – $35 (PBT); $95 (CBT)
There are additional service charges for Late Registration ($30), Emergency Registration ($70), Change of Registration ($20), Additional copy of test result ($20), Re-scoring ($30), and Clearing an account ($20).