NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood Practice Test and Study Guide

What Is the NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood Exam?

The New York State Teacher Certification Examinations program is a suite of exams that all prospective educators in New York must take and pass in order to obtain a teaching license. These exams are designed to ensure that teachers in New York have the skills needed to successfully educate students and work professionally with other educators. Individuals who are seeking initial certification in early childhood education will typically start by taking the Educating All Students (EAS) test before moving on to the Content Specialty Tests (CSTs). The NYSTCE CST Multi-Subject exams cover four student age groups: Early Childhood, Childhood, Middle Childhood, and Secondary. The Early Childhood exam is required for those who wish to teach children in Grade 2 or younger. The exam is a computer-based test (CBT) that contains both constructed-response (i.e. written) and selected-response (i.e. multiple-choice) question formats. There are three subsections that make up the NYSTCE Multi-Subject Teachers of Early Childhood test: Literacy and Language Arts; Mathematics; and Arts and Sciences.

Testing Time and Format for the NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam

The total length of the NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood test is five and a half hours, or 330 minutes. This testing time is broken up between the three exam subsections, and includes time allotted for a CBT tutorial that explains how to use the testing program. Examinees will also be required to sign an agreement during this time, which states that candidates are not permitted to discuss test content with others. The question formats differ between each subtest. See below for a breakdown of the exam sections, the time allotted for each section, and the types of questions included:

Exam Section Time Allotted Question Types
Tutorial 15 minutes N/A
Subsection One: Language Arts 120 minutes Selected- and constructed-response
Subsection Two: Math 135 minutes Selected- and constructed-response
Subsection Three: Arts and Science 60 minutes Selected-response only

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

NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam Components

Although the NYSTCE CST Multi-Subject Early Childhood exam is only made up of three subtests, these sections can be broken down further into a number of core competencies that cover large swathes of material. The chart below depicts how many competency areas are in each subtest and what types of topics are covered therein. The sections of this article that follow will delve deeper into the skills candidates must possess in order to pass the NYSTCE Early Childhood exam.

Exam Portion # of Competency Areas Topics Covered
ELA and Literacy Skills 4 *ELA and literacy skills
*Pedagogical skills for foundational instruction in literacy
*Pedagogical skills for ELA instruction
*Assessment, evaluation, and application skills
Math 5 *Numbers and principles of operations
*Application of core algebra concepts
*Geometry and related skills
*Pedagogical knowledge for math instruction
*Assessment, evaluation, and application skills
Arts and Sciences 3 *Foundational knowledge of science and technology
*Core skills in social studies
*Knowledge of fine arts, health and fitness,
family and consumer sciences, and career development

Literacy and English Language Arts (211)

In order to perform well on the first subtest in the NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood exam, candidates must demonstrate a strong grasp of the following topics:

  • Familiarity with the developmental processes and assessments for language and literacy acquisition
  • Knowledge and application of principles of language structure
  • Knowledge and analysis of children's literature
  • Pedagogical knowledge of literacy instruction for ages birth to Grade 2
  • Understanding of visual literacy
  • Application of foundational skills for effective writing
  • Utilization of established best practices for literacy development, assessment, and instruction
  • Application of strategies for teaching sounds, fluency development, and word analysis
  • Strategies for vocabulary development and fostering student skills in standard English conventions
  • Familiarity with the New York standards and expectations in this specialty area
  • Ability to teach reading comprehension and analysis skills for literary and informational works
  • Command of best practices for writing, speaking, and listening instruction
  • Evaluation of pedagogical practices and their effect on students and the classroom experience

Mathematics (212)

Mathematics is the second subtest in the NYSTCE Early Childhood exam, and requires candidates have a thorough knowledge of the following topics:

  • Mastery of the core principles of algebra
  • Knowledge of mathematical operations, expressions, and functions
  • Use of ratios, percentages, and proportions
  • Command of the core principles of geometry
  • Application of data analysis skills
  • Functional knowledge of the principles of probability
  • Core knowledge of statistics
  • Pedagogical knowledge for teaching numbers, counting, basic math skills, place values, problem-solving, and fractions to children ages birth to Grade 2
  • Teaching strategies for developing basic geometric, data, and measurement skills
  • Application of assessment skills to student progress and pedagogical choices

Arts and Science

The Arts and Science portion of the NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood exam requires test-takers to demonstrate competency in the following areas and skill-sets:

  • Understanding and application of the foundational standards that guide scientific exploration and experimentation
  • Knowledge of Earth science, chemistry, and physics skills
  • Understanding of the physical qualities of Earth
  • Knowledge of life science
  • Familiarity with core technological concepts and design and engineering processes
  • Ability to make connections between the areas of math, science, and technology, and the ability to translate skills from one area to another
  • Historical knowledge on state, national, and international levels
  • Historical analysis through a geographic lens
  • Knowledge of human growth and development on individual, societal, and cultural levels
  • Economic and political knowledge
  • Principles of citizenship and civic engagement
  • Best practices for core social studies skills
  • Knowledge of the visual arts, music, theater, dance, and drama
  • Inter- and intrapersonal development
  • Concepts of health, wellness, and safety
  • Physical education and best practices of fitness and well-being
  • Knowledge of child and family development
  • Understanding of consumer sciences, budgeting, and resource allocation
  • Career development and professionalism

NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam Registration Policies

Before they can schedule an appointment to take the NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood exam, applicants must create an account on the NYSTCE website and follow the steps to register for the test. Part of the registration process is submitting payment for the exam. The breakdown for the cost of the NYSTCE Early Childhood test is as follows:

Exam Portion Cost
Subsection One: Language Arts $59
Subsection Two: Math $59
Subsection Three: Arts and Science $43
All Subsections $161

Exam fees must be paid with either a Visa or a MasterCard. Once payment has been made, candidates can schedule their exam. Scheduling is available online 24/7. Exam appointments are available by appointment Monday through Saturday, with the exception of some major holidays. Test centers are located throughout New York and nationwide.

NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam Test Day Policies

On the day of the NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood test, examinees should arrive early to the center for check-in. During check in, candidates will be required to provide a valid ID before they are admitted for testing. Acceptable forms of ID must be government-issued and bear the test-taker's photograph and signature. Expired, photocopied, or digital ID will not be accepted.

Before starting the NYSTCE Early Childhood test, candidates must place all prohibited items into storage provided by the testing site. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Electronic devices of any kind (cell phones, tablets, fitness trackers, etc.)
  • Fitness watches, smart watches, and analog watches
  • Hats and other non-religious head coverings
  • Personal items such as wallets, keys, etc.
  • Notes, books, flashcards, journals, textbooks, etc.
  • Purses, backpacks, or other bags
  • Food, drink, or gum

NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam Scoring and Reporting Policies

The NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood test is scored on a scale of 400 to 600, with the scores from the selected-response questions combining with the scores for the constructed-response questions to get a candidate's final score. A score of 520 or higher is needed to pass the exam. Scores are reported to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and to the institution chosen by the applicant during registration, if applicable.

The date on which a test-taker receives their scores varies depending on the portion of the exam administered and the date on which the exam was taken.

Exam Section Score Reporting Time Delivery Method
Subsection One: Language Arts Within 4 weeks of test date Available online on NYSTCE account
Email, if requested
Subsection Two: Math Within 4 weeks of test date Available online on NYSTCE account
Email, if requested
Subsection Three: Arts and Science Within 2 weeks of test date Available online on NYSTCE account
Email, if requested

NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam Additional Information

In the event that a candidate does not pass the NYSTCE CST Multi-Subject Early Childhood exam on the first attempt, retesting is permitted after a 30 day waiting period. The exam can be taken as many times as needed for an applicant to pass. Examinees must reregister for each attempt.

Examinees with disabilities and nursing mothers may be eligible for testing accommodations or alternative arrangements. Candidates in need of accommodations must submit documentation and a request form on the NYSTCE website. Notification of approval/denial of the request typically arrives 1-3 weeks after the full request is submitted. Candidates should therefore schedule their exam as far in advance as possible to allow ample time to complete the accommodation request process.

Some items may be considered "comfort aids," and do not require candidates to submit an accommodation request. These items include:

  • Necessary medical equipment such as inhalers, EpiPens, glucose monitors, hearing aids, etc
  • Unwrapped cough drops or pills
  • Nasal drops or eye drops
  • Pillows, cushions, or medical footstools

NYSTCE Multi-Subject Early Childhood Exam Study Guide

When preparing for a test as comprehensive as the NYSTCE 211 exam, preparation materials such as study guides, flashcards, practice exams, and online prep courses can be indispensable.

For example, candidates can use NYSTCE Multi-Subject Birth Grade-2 preparation materials such as practice tests and practice questions to get a sense of their baseline skills in each competency area and use their findings to inform how much study time they should allot to each section. From there, test-takers can create a study schedule that is consistent and realistic. Sticking to a study schedule and using NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood study guides to develop a more in-depth understanding of the material that will be covered on the exam is vital in helping candidates achieve a better score. Flash cards can be used to help memorize specific definitions or concepts.

In addition to spending time studying, it is also advisable for candidates to brush up on tips for success on the day of the exam. This may include practices such as:

  • Reading all questions carefully and in full
  • Using the process of elimination on multiple-choice questions
  • Familiarizing oneself with use of a CBT in advance of the exam
  • Making quick outlines for constructed-response questions
  • Answering easier questions first and returning to harder questions later

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much is the CST Multi subject exam?

    The price of the NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood exam varies depending on which of the subtests are being taken. The Language Arts subtest and the Mathematics subtest both cost $59 each when taken individually. The third subsection, Arts and Science, costs $43 when taken independently of the other subtest. The cost to take all three subtests for the NYSTCE Early Childhood exam is $161.


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  1. Susan purchased 9/10 of a pound of shrimp for a dinner party. Her plan is to serve 1/6 of a pound of shrimp to herself and each guest. Including herself, how many people can Susan serve at her dinner party? (Remember that you can't have a fraction of a person.)

    • Correct Answer
  2. Article I of the New York State Constitution contains which of the following?

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  3. In Jim's narrative essay about his family, certain parts are written in extreme detail, while others are written in more general terms. These differences illustrate the concept of _____ in a narrative.

    • Correct Answer
  4. Which of the following historical periods occurred from approximately 1760 to 1830?

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  5. How do scholars gather information about the Prehistoric Era?

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  6. Which group of sight words would be best to introduce to first-grade students?

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  7. Which type of exercise is evident if students are required to do jumping jacks and running in place for ten minutes each gym class?

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  8. A small petrochemical company specializes in producing high-efficiency gasoline for cars. This company plans to expand its product line. The company wants to manufacture LDPE sheets. Which kind of experts does the company need to consult to ensure that their product expansion project will be feasible?

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  9. Which type of map would contain the locations of gold mines?

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  10. Which of the following is the best practice to prevent having sexually transmitted diseases?

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  11. Babbling typically begins at what age?

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  12. The first national meeting to address women's suffrage was held in which US city?

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  13. What is the rate of change for the following function?

    {eq}f(x) = 3x + 1 {/eq}

    • Correct Answer
  14. Which of the following shows an example of the ''glass ceiling''?

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  15. In first grade, students practice identifying letters, sounds, and letter-sound relationships in words. They learn about phonics and reading words. To help students move into the second and third stages of literacy development, the teacher will want to focus their efforts on:

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