NYSTCE Physical Education Practice Test

What Is the NYSTCE Physical Education Exam?

Most candidates for an initial teaching certificate in New York must achieve passing scores on several exams. At the most fundamental level, teacher candidates must pass the EAS (Educating All Students) and either the Elementary or the Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills - Written (ATS-W). In addition, aspiring educators must take at least one of the Content Specialty Tests (CST) in the area where they would like to teach. For example, candidates for certification in physical education will need to pass the NYSTCE CST Physical Education 076 teacher certification exam if taken through Fall 2023 or NYSTCE CST 192 after that date.

The competencies covered on either exam include:

  • Individual Growth and Development,
  • Health-Related Fitness,
  • Movement Concepts, Skills, and Activities,
  • Physical Education Curriculum and Pedagogy, and
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

The test is intended to demonstrate that the candidate understands the principles of human growth and development, physical fitness, health, and movement. The prospective teacher will need to demonstrate knowledge of physiology and apply that knowledge to programs designed to achieve fitness. In addition, the exam will measure knowledge and skills for sports, dance, rhythmic activities and outdoor activities.

The successful candidate will demonstrate knowledge of the New York State P-12 Learning Standards and modify and adapt programs for diverse learners. Practice tests are available to help candidates become familiar with the testing requirements and format, and this guide will cover those in another section.

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

NYSTCE Physical Education 076 Exam General Information

The NYSTCE CST 076 Physical Education teacher certification exam and the CST 192 are computer-based tests (CBT). They are comprised of 90 selected-response questions and one constructed-response question. Test center time will be three and a half hours, including 15 minutes for a tutorial on taking the CBT test and administrative processing. The actual testing time is three hours and 15 minutes. Candidates need a minimum score of 520 to pass.

Testing and registration are done through the Pearson VUE website and test centers. The Physical Education CST is given year-round Monday through Saturday by appointment; it's scheduled from the Pearson VUE website. The fee for this exam is $122; this can be paid with a VISA or MasterCard credit, debit or check card. If necessary, test-takers can make arrangements to pay by check. The registration is valid for one year, with no refund available if the exam is not completed by then.

Examinees must bring a current, government-issued identification in English with a photograph and signature to the test center. The name on that identification must exactly match the name supplied at the time of registration. Candidates may not have tobacco products, weapons or visitors at the test site. All personal items brought to the center will be stored in a locker during testing.

NYSTCE Physical Education Exam Question Format

The selected-response questions on NYSTCE Physical Education 076 teacher certification exam measure content knowledge. The single constructed-response question tests pedagogical knowledge. That item describes a scenario and calls upon the candidate to construct an instructional strategy for a particular goal. Scores for the selected-response questions make up 80 percent of the total score with the constructed response counting for 20 percent of the complete score. Although test-takers can work the test at their own pace, the questions are designed to allot approximately 60 minutes for the constructed response and 135 minutes for the selected-response items.

Allocation of selected-response questions according to competency tested can be found in the following table:

Competency Number of Items Percent of Test Score
Individual Growth and Development 20 18%
Health-Related Fitness 25 22%
Movement Concepts, Skills and Activities 25 22%
Physical Education Curriculum and Pedagogy 20 18%
Physical Fitness and Health (Constructed-Response) N/A 20%

Components of the NYSTCE Physical Education 076 Exam

The New York State physical education teacher should have a basic knowledge of fitness and motor skills and understand that physical activity plays a crucial role in cognitive, social and emotional development. Therefore, these teachers must be able to show through performance on the NYSTCE Physical Education 076 exam that they can help students implement individual fitness plans and develop strategies for improving each student's locomotor, nonlocomotory rhythmic, and manipulative skills.

The educator must teach and implement safety practices in all physical activities. Candidates for teacher certification in physical education must be able to create safe and positive learning environments taking into account diverse learners. Finally, all teachers must be aware of legal and ethical issues involved in their subject areas and have access to means of professional growth. Elements of each competency are further explored below.

Individual Growth and Development (18%)

The Individual Growth and Development competency relates individual characteristics to the wide range of opportunities for physical fitness and development of physical skills. To demonstrate successful achievement in this competency, candidates for a teaching certificate in physical education will need to be able to:

  • analyze and sequence the development of motor skills,
  • understand the relationship between the visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic perceptual abilities and motor skills,
  • recognize the influence of societal, psychological, environmental, cultural, and health factors on fitness,
  • understand mature and immature motor patterns,
  • detect errors in motor performance and give corrective guidance,
  • demonstrate understanding of the effects of adolescence on physical development as well the influence of peers, body image and other motivating factors,
  • demonstrate knowledge of the tie between physical activity and academic achievement, self-esteem, dignity, and problem-solving skills, and
  • show awareness of community resources for physical activity and individual development.

Health-Related Fitness (22%)

The Health-Related Fitness competency requires the candidate to be knowledgeable about the principles of cardiorespiratory health, muscle strength, endurance, flexibility and body composition. The candidate will need to understand the skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems and demonstrate the health benefits of physical fitness. They'll also need to prove they can design safe and effective physical activity and fitness programs. This exam requires the candidate to:

  • Describe both body system and physiological changes that relate to physical activity,
  • Recognize how physical activity relates to prevention of illness, obesity, and other risks of inactivity,
  • Demonstrate knowledge of good nutrition and the relationship between health, energy and nutrition,
  • Identify the benefits of physical fitness such as cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition,
  • Apply the principles of conditioning and training such as frequency, intensity, type, duration, overload and specificity,
  • Apply guidelines for safe and effective exercise,
  • Understand the relationship between activity and stress,
  • Identify procedures for promoting physical health.

Movement Concepts, Skills, and Activities (22%)

The Movement Concepts, Skills and Activities competency requires the candidate for Physical Education teacher certification to demonstrate understanding of biomechanics and kinesiology in movement activities and the ability to design programs for developing motor skills. Specific performance indicators on the exam relating to this competency include:

  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics,
  • Familiarity with scientific principles affecting biomechanics such as gravity, acceleration, and equilibrium,
  • Understanding of spatial, directional, and temporal awareness in movement,
  • Skill in techniques for developing a variety of movements, manipulative balance, and weight transfer,
  • The ability to analyze techniques and development of fundamental motor skills,
  • Knowledge of strategies, rules, and use of equipment for a wide variety of team and individual sports, including team passing sports, net/wall sports, striking/fielding sports and target sports,
  • Understanding of skills and safety practices for dance and personal performance activities and outdoor adventure activities, and
  • Awareness of the benefits of physical activities and community-based leisure activities.

Physical Education Curriculum and Pedagogy (18%)

The Physical Education Curriculum and Pedagogy competency covers a wide range of concepts with curriculum, legal and ethical practices, and professional growth. Specific areas to be tested include:

  • Methods for integrating the school curriculum with physical education,
  • Understanding of both historical goals of physical education and current goals within the structure of modern schools,
  • Knowledge of sociological and psychological perspectives of physical activity,
  • Awareness of collaborative strategies for integrating physical education programs with family and community,
  • Skill in handling equipment and facilities in support of physical activity programs,
  • Knowledge of strategies for motor skill acquisition,
  • Ability to utilize technology in physical education programs,
  • Knowledge of techniques for adjusting to diverse learning styles and abilities,
  • Understanding of methods for assessing and evaluating student achievement,
  • Knowledge of state and federal laws and guidelines affecting physical education programs,
  • Access to sources for professional development.

Physical Fitness and Health (20%)

The competency tested by the single constructed-response test item is Pedagogical Content Knowledge. This area focuses on the teacher's ability to develop research and evidence-based programs of physical education that will both engage and challenge students.

Performance indicators that make up this competency include:

  • Skill in assessing student readiness to participate in the instructional activities,
  • The ability to connect learning objectives with student assessments,
  • Knowledge of learning objectives that align with New York state standards, and
  • The ability to design instructional activities for the promotion of student objectives.

One example of a constructed-response question challenges candidates to describe a lesson plan as part of a specified unit of instruction. The answer will range from 400 to 600 words, and the candidate will need to identify a grade level and measurable learning objectives for the lesson touching on the domains of psychomotor, affective and cognitive development. For one learning objective, the examinee will be asked to describe one activity, the resources needed for the activity and how the activity promotes student achievement. The exam will require an explanation of how the teacher will assess student readiness and evaluate the student's performance on the activity after the unit.

A second example might ask the test-taker to design a lesson encouraging healthy and active choices. Similarly to the example above, the candidate will designate a grade-level, learning objectives, activities to promote the objective and methods of assessing both readiness and achievement at the end of the unit of study.

Preparing for the NYSTCE Physical Education 076 Exam

A first step in preparing to take this exam is to become familiar with the test format. NYSTCE Physical Education practice tests can allow the candidate to understand the types of questions asked and the forms of the required answers, particularly in relation to the constructed-response item.

Second, the candidate should carefully review the competencies to be tested. Preparation Guides are available that will step the prospective teacher through the areas of knowledge and the skills that are to be tested.


Take a NYSTCE Physical Education Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

Complete the practice test below to test your knowledge of NYSTCE Physical Education.
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  1. In which direction is a ball struck above and to the right of center most likely to go?
    • Correct Answer
  2. According to research, what benefit for older adults can result from water-based activities?
    • Correct Answer
  3. What is one way you might increase the stability of an object?
    • Correct Answer
  4. What does the ''failure to inform students of risks'' really mean when it comes to physical education?
    • Correct Answer
  5. What is a rhythmic movement activity?
    • Correct Answer
  6. A formal, teacher-made assessment should be used to answer which of the following questions?
    • Correct Answer
  7. Muscle endurance can be defined as:
    • Correct Answer
  8. Which of the following is TRUE regarding locomotor and non-locomotor skills?
    • Correct Answer
  9. In which track and field competitions is a foul line used?
    • Correct Answer
  10. According to research, children that have a _____ are more likely to be abused.
    • Correct Answer
  11. During exercise, the body has an increased need for _____
    • Correct Answer
  12. Which of the following is NOT true of group II fitness activities?
    • Correct Answer
  13. How is water different from other nutrients?
    • Correct Answer
  14. What is a component of lesson planning?
    • Correct Answer
  15. Which of the following is not a benefit of participating in sports that contributes to good mental health?
    • Correct Answer