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New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE)

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About the Tests

The New York State Teacher Certification Examinations™ (NYSTCE®) address New York Education Law and Commissioner's Regulations, which require prospective New York State educators to pass designated tests as a requirement for receiving state certification.

The NYSTCE are criterion-referenced, objective-based tests designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard rather than in relation to the performance of other candidates. The explicit purpose of these tests is to help identify for certification those candidates who have demonstrated the appropriate level of knowledge and skills that are important for performing the responsibilities of an educator in New York State public schools.

Test questions were developed using textbooks, New York State learning standards and curriculum guides, teacher education curricula, and certification standards. The tests were developed in consultation with committees of New York State teachers, teacher educators, and other content and assessment specialists.

The NYSTCE program includes:

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a test for teaching assistant certification

Test for Teaching Assistant Certification

The NYSTCE include the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS). Individuals seeking a Level I, Level II, Level III, or Pre-Professional New York State teaching assistant certificate are required to achieve a qualifying score on the ATAS. Progression from one level to another does not require that an individual retake the ATAS. The purpose of this test is to help ensure that certified teaching assistants (also referred to as paraprofessionals) have the knowledge and skills that are important for the job of a teaching assistant in New York State public schools.

The ATAS consists of multiple-choice questions in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, and instructional support.

Select "Prepare" to view or download a preparation guide for the ATAS. The preparation guide contains information about the test, the test objectives, and sample test questions.

All NYSTCE tests may include questions that will not count toward candidates' scores. These questions are placed on the test to collect information about how well they perform under actual testing conditions.

tests for teacher certification

Tests for Teacher Certification

The NYSTCE program includes the following tests that measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in knowledge of learners, teaching theory and practice, the liberal arts and sciences, and in the content area of the candidate's field of certification.

Note: The NYSTCE program is being updated and new testing requirements are being phased in. Refer to "What Tests Do I Need to Take?" for information.

Educating All Students (EAS)
The Educating All Students test consists of selected-response items and constructed-response items. Each constructed-response item will share scenario-based stimulus material with several selected-response items. The EAS test measures the professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary to teach all students effectively in New York State public schools.
edTPA
edTPATM is a nationally available teacher performance assessment developed by Stanford University. edTPA is a multiple measure assessment of teaching focused on student learning. Evidence of candidate teaching performance is drawn from a subject-specific learning segment: 3–5 lessons from a unit of instruction for one class of students. Teacher candidates submit authentic artifacts (lesson plans, video clips of instruction, student work samples) from their actual teaching during a clinical field experience. Candidates also submit commentaries that provide a rationale to support their instructional practices based on student learning strengths and needs. Candidates' evidence is evaluated across five scoring components of teaching: Planning, Instruction, Assessment, Analysis of Teaching, and Academic Language. For more information about edTPA, visit edtpa.com link opens in a new window.
Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W)
The Elementary ATS–W consists of multiple-choice questions and a written assignment. The Elementary ATS–W measures professional and pedagogical knowledge at the Early Childhood (birth–grade 2) and Childhood (grades 1–6) levels.
Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W)
The Secondary ATS–W consists of multiple-choice questions and a written assignment. The Secondary ATS–W measures professional and pedagogical knowledge at the Middle Childhood (grades 5–9) and Adolescence (grades 7–12) levels.
Content Specialty Tests (CSTs)
The CSTs (except those for languages other than English) consist of multiple-choice questions and a written assignment. The CSTs for languages other than English include recorded listening and/or speaking components and writing components. The American Sign Language CST includes video-recorded signing components. CSTs measure knowledge and skills in the content area of the candidate's field of certification. Refer to "Tests" for information about specific CSTs.
Bilingual Education Assessments (BEAs)
The BEAs consist of multiple-choice questions and constructed-response assignments. They include recorded listening and speaking components in English and include listening, speaking, reading, and writing components in the target language. The BEAs are required of candidates seeking a bilingual education extension to a certificate. Refer to "Tests" for information about specific BEAs.
Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST)
The CQST consists of multiple-choice questions. The CQST is one of the requirements for a Transitional A certificate and an initial certificate (nondegree route) in career and technical education subjects.

Refer to "Tests" for detailed information about each of these tests.

All NYSTCE tests may include questions that will not count toward candidates' scores. These questions are placed on the test to collect information about how well they perform under actual testing conditions.

tests for school leadership certification

Tests for School Leadership

The NYSTCE program includes tests for school leadership (formerly administrator) certification. The purpose of these School Leadership Assessments is to help ensure that certified school- and district-level leaders have the essential knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective educational leadership in New York State public schools.

Each of the School Leadership Assessments consists of two individually administered tests called "Parts." Each part consists of both selected-response questions and performance tasks.

Refer to "Tests" for detailed information about each of the School Leadership Assessments.

All NYSTCE tests may include questions that will not count toward candidates' scores. These questions are placed on the test to collect information about how well they perform under actual testing conditions.