NYSTCE Safety Nets

What is NYSTCE?

The New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE) are a series of tests all prospective teachers must pass to earn licensure in New York State. These exams are meant to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective educator. There are over 90 different NYSTCE exams available depending on the desired area of licensure including initial teacher certification, bilingual education, and student-specific knowledge for those working with special populations, such as students with vision or hearing impairments. Applicants can also take exams in specific content areas or multi-subject tests assessing the necessary skills to teach grade level bands (i.e., K-2, 3-5, etc.) Aspiring school administrators, teaching assistants and career/technical educators are also required to pass applicable NYSTCE exams.

Some exams have NYSTCE safety nets available. These are older versions of the tests still open to applicants for a designated amount of time after a test has been revised. If there is an NYSTCE safety net available, candidates can choose to take either version.

NYSTCE Tests

  • Educating All Students (EAS): A computer-based exam measuring the skills and knowledge necessary for working with diverse populations of students across New York schools. EAS is required for all applying for teacher certification
  • edTPA: Required for initial teaching licensure in New York, edTPA evaluates a candidate's ability to plan, implement and reflect on pedagogical performance through portfolios and video footage from the classroom
  • Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS): A computer-based exam assessing an applicant's academic knowledge in math, reading and writing as well as instructional support skills to assist supervising teachers
  • Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W): A computer-based exam evaluating knowledge and skills required to effectively implement New York's statewide curriculum
  • Content Specialty Tests (CSTs): A collection of computer-based exams consisting of multiple-choice questions and one constructed response in specialty areas such as gifted education, educational technology specialty, biology, theater and agriculture
  • School Building Leader (SBL) Assessment: A series of two computer-based exams for candidates applying for licensure as a school administrator. Each part is administered as a separate test and is comprised of selected response questions, performance tasks and analysis activities on everything from instructional knowledge to building an effective school culture
  • Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST): A computer-based exam looking at content area knowledge in reading, writing and math
  • Bilingual Education Assessments (BEAs): A collection of computer-based exams evaluating both the principles of bilingual education, but also the applicant's ability to understand, speak and write in the selected language

NYSTCE Safety Nets

  • Educating All Students Test: A safety net is available with no specified end date
  • Content Specialty Tests: A safety net is available for Educational Technology Specialist exam only until 6 months after the new version is released
  • School Building Leader Assessment: A safety net is available through 8/31/2024
  • edTPA: Safety nets are available to certain candidates including those who did not pass the Library Specialist edTPA prior to December 31, 2021 and those who did not pass the edTPA on or before June 30, 2018.

Educating All Students (EAS) Test Safety Net

The Educating All Students (EAS) test is required for all seeking teacher certification in New York. Found under test code 201, the EAS test measures a candidate's knowledge and instructional skills required to work effectively with the diverse student populations across the state. The computer-based exam contains approximately 40 multiple choice questions and three constructed responses on such competencies as teacher responsibilities, school-home relationships and students with disabilities and other special learning needs. The testing time clocks in at 2 hours 30 minutes and requires an $80 registration fee.

While the passing score on the EAS test is 520, the NYSTCE safety net is a passing score of 500. Those who score anywhere from a 500 to 519 will have the safety net automatically applied for a passing score on the exam. The score will be updated in the applicant's TEACH account.

Content Specialty Tests (CSTs) Safety Net

While there are many Content Specialty Tests available to take, only the Educational Technology Specialist (ETS) exam features an available NYSTCE safety net. Applicants have the choice to take the new version of the ETS exam or the safety net for up to six months after the revised version is in use. After the six-month window, the NYSTCE safety net will no longer be an option.

Note the differences between the redeveloped ETS test and the NYSTCE safety net:

Safety Net: ETS (971) Revised: ETS (071)
Test Format Computer-based; 90 selected response questions and 1 constructed response Computer-based; 90 selected response questions and 1 constructed response
Testing Time 4 hours 15 minutes total: 15 minutes for CBT tutorial and non-disclosure agreement, 4 hours testing time 3 hours 30 minutes total: 15 minutes for CBT tutorial and non-disclosure agreement, 3 hours 15 minutes testing time
Availability Year-Round, Monday-Saturday Year-Round, Monday-Saturday
Passing Score 220 520
Fees $122 $122

School Building Leader (SBL) Assessment Safety Net

For aspiring school administrators taking the School Building Leader (SBL) Assessment, there is also an NYSTCE safety net available. Applicants can choose to take the Revised (Sept. 2013) School Building Leader (107/108) version of the test in place of the Revised (May 2019) School Building Leader Assessment (109/110). Because the SBL test is divided into two sections, applicants can also choose to take part of different versions of the test (2013 or 2019).

The logistical details of the SBL tests are largely the same between the redeveloped version and the NYSTCE safety net. They are both computer-based exams delivered in two parts either in separate four-hour blocks or taken together in an 8-hour 45-minute block (containing a 45-minute lunch break in between sections). Part one of the SBL assessment contains 41 selected-response questions, 1 longer performance tasks and two shorter tasks, while part two features 26 multiple choice questions, 2 extended performance tasks and one shorter performance task. The passing score is the same for each exam at 520 total between the two parts. If taken separately, each section of the SBL exam costs approximately $198 or $395 taken together.

edTPA Safety Net

Most candidates applying for initial teaching licensure in New York are required to pass the edTPA exam. This test is meant to assess an aspiring teacher's content area knowledge as well as pedagogical skills through an extensive portfolio and video submissions from the classroom. With subject-specific exams ranging from agriculture to early childhood education to world languages, applicants must pass the edTPA for each area of desired certification. While there is no blanket NYSTCE safety net covering all subject area tests of the edTPA, the following groups may be eligible for a safety net to be applied.

Candidates with a Non-Passing Score on the Library Specialist edTPA

Those who did not achieve a passing score on the Library Specialist edTPA on or before December 31, 2021 may be eligible for an NYSTCE safety net. In the context of the edTPA exam, those who do not pass either did not meet the minimum passing numeric score on the exam or received an incomplete score on one or more tasks. In order for the safety net to be applied, the applicant must meet one of the following requirements if:

  • The applicant passed the Assessment of Teaching Skills- Written (ATS-W) on or before April 30, 2014

OR

  • The applicant learned of a failing edTPA score before December 31, 2021, and then successfully took and passed the ATS-W in between the dated score report of the failed edTPA and December 31, 2021. It is permissible to receive the ATS-W score report after the December 31 deadline and still have the safety net applied.

Candidates with a Non-Passing Score on the edTPA

Those who did not achieve a passing score on the edTPA on or before June 30, 2018 may be eligible for an NYSTCE safety net. In the context of the edTPA exam, those who do not pass either did not meet the minimum passing numeric score on the exam or received an incomplete score on one or more tasks. In order for the safety net to be applied, the applicant must meet one of the following requirements if:

  • The applicant passed the Assessment of Teaching Skills- Written (ATS-W) on or before April 30, 2014

OR

  • The applicant learned of a failing edTPA score before June 30, 2018, and then successfully took and passed the ATS-W in between the dated score report of the failed edTPA and June 30, 2018. It is permissible to receive the ATS-W score report after the June 30 deadline and still have the safety net applied.

How to Apply for NYSTCE Safety Nets

If a candidate wishes to request an NYSTCE safety net be applied after taking the exam, they must send an email to the Office of Teaching Initiatives at examsafetynet@nysed.gov. The request should include the first and last name as exactly listed in their TEACH account, date of birth, and the last four digits of their social security number. The request will then be reviewed, and the NYSTCE safety net can be applied.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a NYSTCE safety net?

    NYSTCE safety nets, depending on the exam, can be revised scoring criteria meant to assist applicants who did not receive a passing score on the exam. Safety nets may also be alternative versions of the test available to take while the current version is being redeveloped.

  • Which ATS-W should I take?

    There is an elementary and secondary version of the ATS-W exam. A candidate may choose to take either of them depending on desired area of certification.

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