Written 90 NYSTCE Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills Practice Test

Testing the Core of Your Teaching Abilities

The New York State Teacher Certification Examinations Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (NYSTEC ATS-W) test is a required exam for most initial teaching certificates in the state. There are two versions of this exam: Elementary and Secondary. Candidates seeking certification at the elementary level must take the elementary version of this exam. Candidates for an "All Grades" certificate can choose from either of these exams.

The purpose of both forms of this exam is to ensure that the candidate is prepared to effectively teach the New York State public school curriculum.

Access to an NYSTCE ATS-W practice test is an excellent starting point for candidates to begin preparation for this vital step in certification.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

Familiarize Yourself with the NYSTCE ATS-W Test Structure

The Elementary ATS-W is comprised of 80 selected-response items and one constructed-response item. The selected-response questions are organized into three subareas, which are:

  • Student Development and Learning, representing approximately 25 percent of the test score.
  • Instruction and Assessment, representing approximately 38 percent of the test score.
  • The Professional Environment, representing approximately 17 percent of the test score.

The single constructed-response subarea tests Instruction and Assessment and represents about 20 percent of the test score.

Subarea I. Student Development and Learning

While testing the candidate's understanding of children's growth and learning, the exam will cover special needs and English as a Second Language students. The NYSTCE ATS-W will include questions relating to the roles that the community and family play in the child's development.

There are six objectives that have been identified within the area of development and learning.

  1. Human development processes in relation to student learning
    1. Physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and moral development
    2. Sequences of development
    3. Developmental differences
    4. Appropriate instructional strategies for developmental levels
  2. Learning processes
    1. Interaction between development and learning processes
    2. Processes for constructing meaning and developmental skills
    3. Appropriate learning strategies
    4. Interaction between teacher's roles and student's roles
  3. Home, school and community factors
    1. Effect of abusive or dangerous environments on student development
    2. Effect of school structures and organization on student self-concept and learning
    3. Effect of peer interactions on student development and learning
    4. Establishment of positive classroom environment
  4. Language and literacy development
    1. Factors in language acquisition and the role of oral language and vocabulary
    2. Factors influencing student literacy
    3. Knowledge of research-validated strategies for acquisition of literacy
    4. Relationship between English literacy and primary language
  5. Understanding of diverse populations
    1. Strategies to promote teacher understanding of diverse cultures
    2. Strategies to promote student understanding of diverse cultures
    3. Strategies for working effectively with diverse cultures
  6. Needs of students with disabilities
    1. Awareness of different types of disabilities and developmental delays
    2. Modification of materials for special needs and use of specialists as resources
    3. Teacher responsibilities to students with special needs

Subarea II. Instruction and Assessment

This section of the NYSTCE ATS-W requires the candidate to understand how to manage a classroom while creating a safe and healthy learning environment. In addition, developmental processes to promote student development and learning are included. There are nine objectives covered by this subarea of the exam.

  1. Managing a safe and healthy classroom learning environment
    1. Analysis of classroom management strategies
    2. Management of classroom transitions
    3. Analysis of the effects of the physical environment
  2. Understanding curriculum design
    1. Evaluation of curriculum selection
    2. Evaluation of curriculum resources
    3. Modification of curriculum to learner characteristics
  3. Understanding the relationship between assessment and instruction
    1. Knowledge of the relationship between assessment and instruction
    2. Familiarity with assessment techniques and instruments
    3. Modification of lessons based on assessments
  4. Understanding and planning effective instruction
    1. Knowledge of goals and strategies for planning instruction
    2. Selection of instructional approaches
    3. Knowledge of competencies assumed by instructional strategies
    4. Analysis of instructional effectiveness using assessment information
    5. Application of collaborative strategies in assessing instruction
  5. Understanding of instructional approaches
    1. Knowledge of factors affecting instructional choices
    2. Analysis of specific instructional approaches
    3. Comparison of instructional approaches
  6. Understanding of procedures for organizing and implementing lessons
    1. Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of instructional strategies
    2. Recognition of the importance of multiple strategies
    3. Evaluation of instructional resources
    4. Application of adjustments to lessons in relationship to student performance and feedback
  7. Understanding of student motivation
    1. Knowledge of motivational strategies
    2. Recognition of factors promoting or diminishing student motivation
    3. Utilization of peer activities and encouragement in student motivation
  8. Developing trust and support in the classroom
    1. Analysis of cultural, gender, and age differences
    2. Promotion of positive teacher-student interactions
    3. Application of strategies for simplifying communication and learning
    4. Ability to adjust communication for different linguistic backgrounds
  9. Understanding use of technology in teaching and learning
    1. Knowledge of educational uses of technology
    2. Understanding of privacy, security and ethical issues in the use of technology
    3. Evaluation of student use of technology

Subarea III. The Professional Environment

Subarea III evaluates the candidate's understanding of the history and philosophy of education and the ability to reflect on one's own teaching. Awareness of resources for improving professional knowledge and effectiveness is also measured. This portion of the NYSTCE ATS-W exam focuses on four objectives.

  1. Understanding of history, philosophy and society's role in education
    1. Analysis of the relationship between education and society
    2. Knowledge of the history of education in the United States
    3. Appreciation of the importance of working with the New York State educational system
    4. Knowledge of the components of the New York State educational system
  2. Understanding of self-reflection on the practice of teaching
    1. Assessment of one's own strengths and weaknesses
    2. Knowledge of resources for professional growth
    3. Application of strategies for working effectively with the school community
  3. Appreciating the importance of school-home-community relationships
    1. Identification of strategies for effective communication
    2. Recognition of means of working with community institutions
  4. Understanding the rights and responsibilities of interaction between teachers and students or parents
    1. Knowledge of laws of student rights
    2. Knowledge of teacher rights and responsibilities
    3. Knowledge of parent rights and responsibilities
    4. Analysis of teacher responses to students and parents

Subarea IV. Instruction and Assessment: Constructed Response Assignment

For the final subarea of the NYSTCE ATS-W exam, candidates will respond to a question concerning a classroom or instructional issue. The question will specify an educational goal and teaching objectives. In a 300 to 600 word response, the teacher applicant will explain the importance of the goal and develop strategies for achieving the named educational goal. The objectives specified in Subarea II will form the basis of the question. Candidates will need to answer the specific question using relevant knowledge and skills and employing appropriate examples and reasoning to support their answer.

Tips for Practicing Multiple-Choice Questions

The NYSTCE ATS-W preparation guide includes a practice test. The guide recommends keeping a few tips in mind when answering multiple-choice questions.

  • There is only one best answer for each question.
  • The practice exam will provide the correct answer to each question, along with an explanation for why each of the possible answers is either correct or incorrect in the context of the question.
  • The practice exam will provide the test objective for each question.

General tips include: arriving on time, reading each question carefully, and marking answers carefully.

How to Practice for the Constructed-Response Section

The NYSTCE ATS-W study guide also provides sample questions for the written assignment section. After each sample question, the guide provides examples of stronger and weaker responses with extensive evaluations of both types of responses. The performance characteristics used in scoring the question are also explained and a rubric is provided explaining how answers are to be scored.

Information for Taking the Written ATS-W (090) NYSTCE

Candidates will need to know when and how to register and take the NYSTCE ATS-W. This information can be found in detail on the NYSTCE website. That section of the state's website also explains testing policies and fees.

Where and When to Take the Test

The NYSTCE ATS-W exam is a computer-based test (CBT) and is given at a Pearson test center. The candidate will be able to choose from among the frequent test dates and centers at the time of registration. Candidates with disabilities or who are nursing mothers can request alternative test arrangements. All centers are wheelchair accessible and have visual enhancement features. A variety of medicine and medical devices can be brought to the test center without pre-approval. The complete list can be found on the Pearson VUE website. Other accommodations must be requested in advance and will be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Fees and Registration

Registration for the ATS-W NYSTCE is accomplished on the Pearson VUE website. The fee for this exam is $119 and must be paid with a VISA or MasterCard credit, debit or check card. Arrangements can be made to pay by check. Registration remains valid for one year following payment.

Testing Time

The NYSTCE ATS-W testing time is four hours and 15 minutes and includes 15 minutes for a CBT tutorial and to complete administrative tasks. Test takers are allowed to take breaks during the four hours of testing time, but no additional time is allowed to compensate for breaks. Full-length practice tests are available and can be used to help candidates adjust to the pace needed to complete the exam in the allotted time.

Passing Score

The passing score for the NYSTCE ATS-W exam is 220. Score reporting dates are provided for two-month periods, meaning that a candidate's scores will be available within two to ten weeks after the test date. The score report will provide the total score, Pass/Did Not Pass status, and scores on individual subarea exams.

Being The Best Teacher You Can Be

While other exams required for teacher certification in New York test content knowledge, the NYSTCE ATS-W tests the pedagogical skills required of an effective teacher. It emphasizes the abilities needed to manage a classroom, select and design instructional programs, implement instruction, assess student success, adjust for different types of learners, and work collaboratively with other school personnel, parents, and community members. Laws regulating teaching and teacher-student or teacher-parent interactions are covered by this exam. Ethical standards for teachers, local and state policies, and opportunities for professional development are also part of this assessment.

Candidates are advised to take advantage of preparation programs, study guides and practice exams to maximize readiness before the exam is taken.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the ATS-W exam hard?

    Pass rates on the NYSTCE ATS-W in recent years have ranged from approximately 98 percent to 100 percent. Based on that information, this test should not be difficult to pass with thorough preparation.

  • What score do you need to pass the ATS-W?

    The passing score on the NYSTCE ATS-W is 220. Score reports will show scores for individual subareas as well as the total score to assist in preparation if the test has to be repeated.


Take a NYSTCE Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills Written Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of NYSTCE Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills Written.
Choose your answers below. Complete the 15 questions then click "See Results."

You have answered 0 out of 15 correctly.

The correct answers are highlighted with green below. Create an account to study for NYSTCE Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills Written.

Sign Up
  1. Students are working in groups to brainstorm solutions to the seating arrangements because the classroom is crowded. Which of the following strategies would likely be most effective in partaking in the brainstorming process?
    I. critiquing ideas as they arise.
    II. determining the appropriateness of an idea immediately to avoid a long list of ideas.
    III. using other's ideas to think of different solutions.
    IV. assigning one or two group members to be the idea generators.
    • Correct Answer
  2. Based on the requirements for an IEP, the three core components must involve identification of:

    • Correct Answer
  3. At the beginning of the school year, a district has implemented a web-based attendance system. Teachers partake in professional development to learn how to use the system. Which of

    the following strategies is likely to be most effective when teachers begin using the system?

    • Correct Answer
  4. An inclusive classroom will most likely include:
    I. students of varying academic abilities.
    II. language that represents and reflects individual preferences.
    III. a physical space where students can share grievances about others.
    IV. varied resources that will help students access information in different ways.

    • Correct Answer
  5. In which of the following situations would

    it be most important for a teacher to develop activities that will promote cognitive skills development?

    • Correct Answer
  6. A first-grade teacher encourages all parents to read to their children each night, set established times for independent reading, and model reading and writing by taking part in such tasks in front of their children. How do such suggestions align with the principles of the social constructivist theory?

    • Correct Answer
  7. Teachers are selected to work in a group for curriculum evaluation. They are tasked with evaluating the purpose of the curriculum, the strategies and content associated with the curriculum, how the curriculum is organized, and assessments used within the curriculum. This approach aligns best with:
    I. the TABA Model.
    II. The Countenance Model.
    III. the Tyler Model.
    IV. the Cronbach's Model.

    • Correct Answer
  8. Which situation most effectively exhibits a conventional transgression?

    • Correct Answer
  9. A student has been deemed to have a mild form of autism after testing with the school psychologist. The parents persist that the student be placed on an IEP. School officials should proceed by:

    • Correct Answer
  10. A teacher needs to create an action plan to help a specific student recognize second-grade sight words. The teacher should begin by first:

    • Correct Answer
  11. Which should be the daily focus for students acquiring English as a second language?

    • Correct Answer
  12. A teacher strives to make sure that the classroom and components therein are all positive. Which is the likely result if the teacher is successful in developing an appropriately positive environment?

    • Correct Answer
  13. A student regularly explains how they do not like writing paragraphs. However, every time the student is writing a paragraph, the student focuses, applies what has been learned, and receives high scores on their paragraphs. Which of the following is impacting the student's motivation?

    • Correct Answer
  14. A teacher submits the following professional development SMART goal for approval from their administrator.

    Upon review of the goal, the administrator should:
    A teacher submits the following professional development SMART goal for approval from their administrator.<br clear="all" /> <br clear="all" />Upon review of the goal, the administrator should:
    • Correct Answer
  15. Which type of assessment would be most applicable if given at the beginning and middle of the school year so that teachers can analyze the results and determine if they need to revisit any of the concepts taught the prior year or throughout the current year?

    • Correct Answer