Before you can begin teaching in the state of New York, you will first need to pass a set of New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE) that measure your command not only of the subject you want to teach but also how to most effectively teach it. The NYSTCE Multiple Subjects 7-12 is one of those exams, measuring your command of the core fields of arts and sciences, math, and literacy at the upper grade levels.
What Subjects Will I Need to Know for the NYSTCE Multiple Subjects 7-12 Test?
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There will be a total of 120 multiple choice questions spanning math, arts, sciences literacy and language arts. Here is a short outline of the subjects covered in each content area:
- Literacy and English Language Arts – 40 Questions
- Language and literacy development
- English language arts
- Instruction in vocabulary
- Instruction in language knowledge
- Text complexity and instruction in text comprehension
- Instruction in reading literature
- Instruction in reading informational texts
- Writing instruction for different types of text
- Writing and research instruction to build and present knowledge
- Speaking and listening instruction
- Math – 40 Questions
- Real number system
- Ratios and proportional relationships
- Linear, quadratic, and simple exponential functions
- Data, statistics, and probability
- Arts and Sciences – 40 Questions
- The principles and processes of scientific inquiry and investigation
- Concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting (including Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics).
- Concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the living environment (including Biology and Environmental Science)
- Technology and the principles of engineering design
- Relationships between and the common themes that connect math, science, and technology
- Major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of New York, the United States, and the World
- Geographic concepts and phenomena, including the interrelationships of geography, society, and culture in the development of New York, the United States, and the world.
- Human development and interactions (including Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology)
- Economic and political principles, concepts, and systems as well as their relationship to historical and contemporary developments in New York State, the United States, and the world
- Roles, rights, and responsibilities of US citizenship as well as the necessary knowledge and skills for participation in civic life
- Social studies
- Fine Arts
- Health and fitness
- Family and consumer science
- Career development
How Is the Exam Scored?
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Each of the three sections described above will be given a scaled score ranging from 400 to 600. You need to achieve a minimum of 520 on each section in order to pass the exam as a whole. There is no cumulative score given for the entire exam and there is no way around the need to pass each individual section.
However, if you have taken and passed the arts and sciences section of another NYSTCE multiple subject exam for a different grade level, you can use that same score to apply to this exam. If that’s the case, you don’t need to take that section here unless you want a better score than your current one.
How Much Time Should I Spend Studying for the NYSTCE Multiple Subjects 7-12 Test?
The best way to figure out exactly how much time you need is to take what’s called a diagnostic exam. This is basically just a practice test that you take before you begin any kind of study program at all. Your performance on this diagnostic test will show you how much work you have to do before you can be confident that you’ll pass all three sections.
Estimate somewhere between 6 to 7 hours of study time for each point of improvement you need to achieve a passing score. For example, if you scored 506 on the math section of your diagnostic exam, you need to improve your score by at least 14 points to reach the 520 minimum. This would be equivalent to about 84-98 hours of studying or about 3-5 weeks depending on how many hours per week you can devote to preparing for this exam.
More important than the number of hours is the quality of those hours. If you use great study tools like the Mometrix Study Guide and Mometrix Flashcards, for example, you can vastly improve your chances of reaching your desired score even if you don’t have as much time to study as you would like. The study guide includes great reviews of each of the content areas along with practice questions to help prepare you for the kind of questions you’ll see on test day. The flashcards come with even more practice questions as well as clear, concise explanations of the most important concepts.