What are the NYS Certification 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.

Teaching Certification

There are four separate exams that are part of the NYSTCE program for initial teacher certification:

Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)
At its March 13, 2017 meeting, the Board of Regents eliminated the requirement for candidates to take and pass the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), or use the safety net, in order to obtain an Initial classroom teaching certificate.

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.

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.

School Leadership Exams

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.

For more information, visit http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/NY17_testselection.asp.

Safety Nets for the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), Educating All Students test (EAS), and certain redeveloped Content Specialty Tests (CSTs)

The Board of Regents, by emergency regulation, created safety nets for the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), Educating All Students (EAS) test, and certain redeveloped Content Specialty Tests (CSTs).
For more information, visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/certexamsafetynets.html.

These safety nets will be effective through June 30, 2017. If necessary, candidates may take advantage of multiple safety nets in order to meet the requirements for certification and will have until June 30, 2018, one year later, to meet all other certification requirements.