NYSTCE Literacy Practice Test and Study Guide

What is the NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam?

The New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) in Literacy (065) is required for candidates seeking licensure as Literacy Specialists. The exam, also know as the NYSTCE Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), verifies the candidate's proficiency in the knowledge and skills required to teach literacy and provide professional literacy development in New York State public schools. Literacy specialists need to be competent in literacy instruction and in dealing with language and literacy development, reading difficulties and disabilities and in effective literacy instruction and intervention. The tests the literacy and language skills as outlined in the New York State P-12 Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.

NYSTCE Academic Literacy Skills Test Time and Format

This computer-based test (CBT) is scheduled for three hours and 30 minutes which includes 15 minutes for a tutorial on using CBT tests and for administrative tasks. The NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam consists of 90 selected-response questions and one constructed-response question. Both types of questions are used to test content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. The constructed-response item will ask the candidate to analyze one or more excerpts or reports from professional journals or research.

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

NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam Components

The NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam covers eight competencies. The chart below shows the approximate representation of each competency in the score of the complete exam.

Competency Type of Question(s) Approximate Number of Items Approximate Percentage of Test Scores
0001 Foundations of Language and Literacy Development Selected-Response 10 9 percent
0002 Foundations of Literacy Instruction and Assessment Selected-Response 17 15 percent
0003 Role of the Literacy Professional Selected-Response 8 7 percent
0004 Reading and Writing Foundational Skills Selected-Response 15 13 percent
0005 Text Complexity and Text Comprehension Selected-Response 16 14 percent
0006 Reading and Writing: Different Types of Text Selected-Response 11 10 percent
0007 Language and Vocabulary Development Selected-Response 13 12 percent
0008 Analysis, Synthesis, and Application Constructed-Response 1 20 percent

Foundations of Language and Literacy Development

Three performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of the foundations of language and literacy. They are:

  • Foundations of language and literacy development with performance indicators, including
    • knowledge of language development and vocabulary acquisition of first and additional languages,
    • Knowledge of language processing in reading and writing, and
    • Knowledge of emergent stages of literacy acquisition.
  • Factors affecting language and literacy development, including performance indicators
    • knowledge of language development in children and adolescents, and
    • knowledge of behavioral influences on reading and writing.
  • Knowledge of theoretical and research foundations of literacy, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of theoretical models of literacy development, and
    • Important concepts of emergent and adolescent literacy.

Foundations of Literacy Instruction and Assessment

Three performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of the foundations of literacy instruction and assessment. They are:

  • Foundations of effective literacy instruction, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of relationships between reading, writing, listening and speaking,
    • Knowledge of New York State Literacy Specialist (NYSLS) grade-specific literacy standards, and
    • Knowledge of effective instruction, motivation and use of technology for struggling students in literacy.
  • Foundations of effective literacy assessment including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of literacy assessment and strategies for selecting assessments, and
    • Knowledge of strategies for supporting teachers in the use of assessments.
  • Assessment of students' literacy development, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of assessments in reading comprehension and textual analysis, and
    • Knowledge of assessments in writing and research skills.

Role of the Literacy Professional

Two performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of the role of literacy professionals. They are:

  • Literate environment including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of strategies to create literacy-rich school environments, and
    • Knowledge of strategies for engaging family and community in literacy development.
  • Leadership and professional development in literacy, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of intervention programs for struggling readers and writers,
    • Knowledge of research on school cultures,
    • Knowledge of opportunities for continuing professional development.

Reading & Writing-Foundational Skills

Four performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of the reading and writing foundational skills. They are:

  • Emergent literacy development, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of emergent literacy development and factors affecting emergent literacy,
    • Knowledge of appropriate instruction and intervention, and
    • Knowledge of phonological and phonemic awareness.
  • Phonics and word recognition, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of beginning literacy development,
    • Knowledge of phonics, syllabication, morphology and structural analysis, and
    • Knowledge of automaticity and sight words.
  • Fluency including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of reading fluency indicators, and
    • Knowledge of factors that disrupt fluency.
  • Spelling and writing conventions including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of standard English conventions, and
    • Knowledge of spelling skills.

Text Complexity and Text Comprehension

Four performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of text complexity and comprehension. They are:

  • Development of text comprehension, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of text comprehension development, and
    • Knowledge of strategies for promoting independent reading.
  • Role of oral language
    • Knowledge of the importance of oral language in literacy skills,
    • Knowledge of scaffolding student discussions of content, and
    • Knowledge of the role of writing in text comprehension.
  • Measurement of text complexity, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of tools to evaluate text complexity, and
    • Knowledge of factors affecting text complexity.
  • Text selection including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of reading materials, and
    • Knowledge of reading levels.

Reading & Writing-Different Types of Text

Three performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of reading and writing different types of texts. They are:

  • Reading literature and informational text including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of instruction and intervention in comprehension of literature and informational text, and
    • Knowledge of strategies to develop critical-analysis skills and student ability to evaluate information in diverse formats.
  • Writing for different purposes and audiences, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of strategies to promote skill in composing opinion pieces,
    • Knowledge of strategies to promote research skills.
  • Development of disciplinary literacy, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of standards in literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects,
    • Knowledge of effective practices in literacy coaching and promoting student disciplinary literacy skills.

Language and Vocabulary Development

Two performance expectations are covered in this portion of the NYSTCE Literacy Exam to assess the candidate's understanding of language and vocabulary development. They are:

  • Oral communication skills and command of English grammar and usage, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of differences in grammar, usage, and meaning in different contexts,
    • Knowledge of effective speaking, and
    • Knowledge of strategies for intervention is promoting students' oral skills.
  • Vocabulary acquisition and use, including performance indicators
    • Knowledge of strategies for intervention in word study and vocabulary development, and
    • Knowledge of word-learning strategies.

Analysis, Synthesis, and Application

This portion of the the NYSTCE Literacy Exam (065) is the only section utilizing the structured-response type of question. It examines the candidate's knowledge of literacy assessment, instruction and intervention and the roles and responsibilities of a literacy professional. The examinee will be asked to describe instructional situations applying published findings. The performance indicators covered by this part of the exam include:

  • Ability to analyze and synthesize professional literature,
  • Ability to interpret and discuss findings from professional literature,
  • Ability to draw conclusions from the readings and identify likely benefits of instructional and intervention strategies.

How to Prepare for the NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam

Many materials are available to help candidates prepare for the NYSTCE ALST. Study guides provide a review of all the topics covered on the exam. An NYSTCE Literacy Practice test can be used early in the study process to determine strengths and weaknesses and guide study time or at the end of the study process to increase self-confidence as the test date approaches. Flashcards and interactive online preparatory courses are also useful. The candidate is advised to develop a study plan to ensure that all the material can be covered in the appropriate amount of time.

NYSTCE Literacy Practice Test

A full-length NYSTCE Literacy Exam practice test is available to simulate the experience of taking the exam. The test offers:

  • immediate feedback on candidate's performance,
  • explanations of correct responses and analysis of incorrect choices,
  • directions similar to those that will be presented on the actual test, and
  • results showing candidate performance on multiple-choice questions.

For the constructed-response portion of the test, the practice exam will provide sample responses to compare to the candidate's own response.

Utilizing the practice test can familiarize the candidate with the content and appearance of the test, highlight gaps in performance for extra study and reduce anxiety.

NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam Registration Policies

The fee for the NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam is $122. The fee must be paid by VISA or MasterCard credit, debit or check card. The location and time of the exam will be selected at registration. Some testing sites are available on military bases. That registration remains valid for one year from the date of issue. Examinees with disabilities or nursing mothers can request an alternative testing arrangement in advance. Documentation must accompany the request and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. All test centers are wheelchair accessible and have access to visual enhancement features.

NYSTCE Academic Literacy Skills Test Day Policies

Test takers attempting the NYSTCE Literacy Test will need to show a current, government-issued identification showing a photograph and signature for admission to the exam. No personal items will be allowed in the testing room, and no weapons, visitors or smoking are allowed in the test center. Any tools such as calculators needed for the exam will be provided online and cannot be brought to the testing room. Any candidate who arrives more than 15 minutes late to a test may not be admitted. Refunds are not available for any absences, including late arrival. There is a 60 day waiting period following the test dates for candidates needing to retake this exam.

NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam Score Reporting Policies

The passing score on the NYSTCE Literacy Exam (065) is 520 on a scale ranging from 400 to 600. The score report will be provided to the candidate, the NYSTCE and other recipients designated by the candidate during registration showing PASS or DID NOT PASS. The score report also shows a breakdown of the eight competencies tested and a performance index to assist candidates needing to retake the test.

The score reports will be available in two to ten weeks following the test date. Candidates can find the score report date on the NYSTCE website according to the testing date.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I pass the NYSTCE literacy test?

    A passing score on the NYSTCE Literacy test is 520 on a scale of 400 to 600. To pass the exam, test takers will need to study using resources such as study guides, practice tests and other tools to assist in preparation for the exam.

  • What is on the NYSTCE Literacy test?

    The NYSTCE Literacy test covers eight competencies with related performance indicators. The competencies are:

    • Foundations of Language and Literacy Development
    • Foundations of Literacy Instruction and Assessment
    • Role of the Literacy Professional
    • Reading and Writing Foundational Skills
    • Text Complexity and Text Comprehension
    • Reading and Writing: Different Types of Text
    • Language and Vocabulary Development
    • Analysis, Synthesis, and Application
  • How do I become a reading teacher in NY?

    Candidates for New York State certification as a Literacy Specialist must pass the EAS and appropriate ATS-W exams that are required of all certified teachers. In addition, they must pass the NYSTCE Literacy (065) Exam and satisfy all academic teacher preparation requirements.

Exam

Take a NYSTCE Literacy Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

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  1. Which of the following would be an appropriate pre-reading activity?

    • Correct Answer
  2. Which literary genre is primarily written in dialogue?

    • Correct Answer
  3. Mr. Gonzales has instructed his students to write a paper. The students want to start by writing an outline. What should Mr. Gonzales do at this stage?

    • Correct Answer
  4. Mrs. Capulet's students are reading Romeo and Juliet and she has assigned them a dialectical journal. The figure shows an incomplete entry with a quote from the play. Which of the following should not be included in the dialectical journal?
    Mrs. Capulet's students are reading Romeo and Juliet and she has assigned them a dialectical journal. The figure shows an incomplete entry with a quote from the play. Which of the following should not be included in the dialectical journal?
    • Correct Answer
  5. Ms. Olivier has been reading texts with her students. She noticed that her students are becoming frustrated and less motivated. What adjustment should she make to remedy this?

    • Correct Answer
  6. What is the purpose of the theme of a story?

    • Correct Answer
  7. What activity is demonstrated in the figure?
    What activity is demonstrated in the figure?
    • Correct Answer
  8. What benefit do inclusive settings and pull out settings have in common?

    • Correct Answer
  9. What is a benefit of explicit phonics instruction?

    • Correct Answer
  10. What is a benefit of indirect instruction?

    • Correct Answer
  11. Which of the following is NOT an element of prosody?

    • Correct Answer
  12. Ms. Winter is trying to improve her students' prosody. She notices that some of the shy students do not volunteer to read aloud during class, and so are not progressing as much. Which of the following activities would be most appropriate to help these shy students?

    • Correct Answer
  13. What is the purpose of the Response to Intervention process?

    • Correct Answer
  14. Which literary form does not include non-metrical language?

    • Correct Answer
  15. Mr. Clavell gives his students the chart in the figure to analyze and identify the main idea of a text. What is the missing section in the chart?
    Mr. Clavell gives his students the chart in the figure to analyze and identify the main idea of a text. What is the missing section in the chart?
    • Correct Answer