NYSTCE pass rates represent the percentage at which candidates successfully pass a New York state teacher certification exam. Publishing pass rates helps assess what candidates must overcome during their K-12 preparation, given how many attempts it takes to successfully pass. The data provides states and programs with the ability to better understand what leads to a diverse teacher workforce as it highlights the financial and ethnic backgrounds of each student group. If one group struggles with passing the exam, perhaps they face additional hardships, allowing institutions to respond accordingly.
Publishing NYSTCE pass rates helps measure how well various institutions prepare candidates for their teacher certification examinations. Students well-prepared for the exam by their institution have a higher likelihood of passing. Additionally, the data assess how various institutions respond to candidates who require further attempts.
How to Assess NYSTCE Pass Rates
NYS Teacher Certification Exam pass rates are published online by institutions. The exact information given depends on the institution, and it is most common to publish the data in a table format. Individuals should note what type of assessment program the NYSTCE examinees participated in as there are many differences between traditional and alternative assessment programs.
How Old is the Published Data?
Individuals should note how recent pass rate data is. Examinations can be re-evaluated and updated throughout the years, so the publication date of the information is crucial. Furthermore, individuals can assess how consistent the NYSTCE pass rates are by looking at data from year to year.
Traditional vs. Alternative Teacher Education Programs
Examinees can participate in either traditional or alternative teacher education programs. When considering NYSTCE pass rates, it is essential to note whether the data comes from individuals who were members of a traditional or an alternative teacher education program. Each program results in New York state teacher certification, but the steps towards certification differ depending on the program.
Pay Attention to Asterisks and Footnotes
Asterisks and footnotes are crucial to accurately assessing data such as NYSTCE pass rates. Both asterisks and footnotes call attention to additional information that further verifies the data and is supplemental to the main text. If any clarifications or qualifications are made to the data, one may find it in the asterisks and footnotes.
What Pass Rate Numbers Tell You - And What They Don't
The NYS teacher certification exam's pass rate numbers have their faults, specifically concerning elementary teacher content exam data. The state of New York's testing system for K-5 content does not separately test knowledge of the individual core subject areas. This means that various core subjects can be included in a single subtest. For example, science, technology, and social studies all appear in a single subtest despite being completely different subject areas. Due to this, data that should be broken down and studied individually are instead clumped together.
Individuals may find the scaled passing score for all New York state teacher certification examinations online. However, candidates who pass their exams do not receive their official scaled score to protect them from possible employment discrimination and bias. During the setting process of elementary teacher content-related exams, New York does not make the required minimum passing score public. This leads to individuals being unaware of by which amount a candidate passed or failed their exam.
NYS Teacher Certification Exam pass rate data lacks diversity as well. Data is derived from a certain number of test-takers, but there is no guarantee of what ethnicity, race, or financial background the testing group will include. A smaller group of test-takers can more easily lead to less diversity, which may result in certain groups lacking the necessary representation.
Is Your Teacher Certification Program Preparing You Well Enough?
Teacher certification programs aim to prepare candidates to successfully pass their required examinations. When assessing NYSTCE pass rates, it is important to note whether the data includes first attempt pass rates versus best attempt pass rates. Data derived from first-attempt pass rates indicate the percentage of candidates passing the exam on their first attempt. However, best attempt pass rates represent students who took as many attempts as necessary to pass. A successful teacher certification program will have high first attempt pass rates.
Candidates needing multiple attempts to pass the required examinations can be a viewed as a reflection of an insufficient teacher certification program. Ideally, a program should prepare a candidate well enough that they feel as though they will confidently pass upon taking the examination for the first time. Poor preparation results in a candidate feeling insecure about their readiness and thus relying on multiple exam attempts.
If At First You Don't Succeed
It is always possible that despite preparing for an NYSTCE exam, a candidate still fails to successfully pass on their first attempt. Failing an exam on the first attempt is not uncommon, nor should it be discouraging. However, two out of every five New York test-takers do not attempt to retake the exam after failing on their first attempt. This phenomenon is known as the walk-away rate. Data shows that 5% of New York test-takers require three or more additional attempts to pass the required examinations. This data not only highlights that failing to pass an exam on the first attempt is very common, but that failure can be overcome.
There are various ways to prepare for an exam, and candidates should provide themselves with as many options as possible. Candidates can access practice tests, study guides, and test frameworks and create a study plan to prepare for an exam. Through these tools, candidates can familiarize themselves with the exam's content and structure and assess which exam areas where they may lack sufficient knowledge. However, the most important factor is remaining determined and optimistic despite failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a passing score on NYSTCE?
While not all NYSTCE exams have a uniform passing score, candidates will generally find that there is a minimum passing score of either 520 or 220 depending on the exam. Some tests range from a total possible score of 400-600, while others range from 100-300.
How do I pass the NYSTCE?
To improve one's chances of passing an NYSTCE exam they should start by getting to know the test's contents. After that, they should use practice tests or questions to get a sense of what areas of the exam they need to study more. Doing this prior to picking up a study guide will save time in the long run and allow one to focus more on their weaker subjects.