NES Test

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One of the most important issues America faces as a nation is that of the education of our children. In order to create an internationally competitive workforce, it is imperative to meet increasingly higher standards in the classroom. This means that the nation needs to recruit top-notch teachers and ensure that only the best are entrusted with our children’s educational development. While many people attempt to enter the education field, there is a need to be able to assess their knowledge of their subject, their ability to apply that knowledge to teaching a wide range of children with diverse needs, and their mastery of classroom management. The NES, or National Evaluation Series, is a rigorous testing program created by Pearson Education Group that entry-level teachers must undergo in order to become professionally certified educators. Hundreds of experts, school administrators, and experienced teachers contribute to the tests that range from elementary education and primary skills to the more specialized subject areas taught at the secondary level. Test Development Committees participate in validation surveys and screen draft questions for bias and content.

Free NES Practice Test

Use the free NES practice test questions below to get a better understanding of the NES exam. Take advantage of this valuable resource to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.


National Evaluation Series

New questions are pilot tested at various sites throughout the country before adding them to the exams. This ensures that all exams adhere to nationally accepted subject and pedagogy standards and assess current, relevant information within each discipline. Additionally, Pearson aligns the exams with each state’s certification requirements. For example, education students in Texas take the TexES tests in order to become professional teachers, and each certification requires a different set of exams.

A Texas high school chemistry teacher would take the secondary Professional Knowledge TexES and the Chemistry TexES assessments in order to be certified. Elementary teachers take the Professional Knowledge Assessment and the Elementary Education Subtests in order to be able to call themselves “highly qualified”. Therefore, students registering to sit for the exams should make sure they are familiar with the unique demands of their particular state. The customer service department located at the NES website provides knowledgeable information regarding certification requirements across the nation and can assist with registration.

After enrolling in school and successfully completing all the college courses required for their particular degree program, students need to pass their particular set of exams to become certified classroom teachers. The NES offers a variety of tests that evaluate both general knowledge and that specific to the subject matter to be taught. All examinees take the Professional Knowledge Assessment for either elementary or secondary level teaching.

This test evaluates knowledge of classroom management, childhood development, professional protocol, duties and responsibilities of teaching, legal obligations of teaching, and understanding of the educational system. Both tests contain one hundred multiple choice questions, one case study written assignment, and one work product written assignment. In addition, students may take an exam focusing solely on a single subject area. The Essential Academic Skills test is offered for reading, writing, mathematics, and technological literacy.

Those hoping to become certified for a particular grade level will select from exams specific to their chosen age group. Elementary Assessments include Early Childhood, Elementary Education Subtests I and II, and Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction. Applicants who are successful on these will be certified to teach grade levels between Early Childhood and either 4th or 6th grade, depending on their state’s guidelines. Middle Grade Assessments test English language arts, general science, mathematics, and social sciences.

After passing these exams, teachers are certified to teach all grades from 4th to 8th. The Secondary Assessments become more departmentalized, offering biology, business education, chemistry, earth and space science, English language arts, family and consumer science, general science, history, mathematics, mathematics for middle grades and early secondary level, physics, and social sciences. Those wishing to work with 9th through 12th grade students need to pass these tests in order to find positions at that level.

Those wishing to attain certifications in special instruction areas or elective subjects will find tests for art, Chinese (mandarin), French, German, Spanish, health, music, special education, and physical education. These certifications qualify teachers from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. Many experienced teachers return to add additional certifications to their credentials after completing master’s degree programs, sometimes sitting for exams in school counseling, gifted education, and library media specialist.

Those certifications have classroom teaching experience levels that must be met before the test may be taken, and they give those teachers the credentials to work with students at all grade levels. The time limit on the exams varies, with most lasting three hours. The Essential Skills tests range from forty-five minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes. Most are multiple choice tests, but many have additional writing assignments or short answer sections.

Written assignments tend to take up a large amount of time for those that don’t practice writing organization and idea development. Along with expository and persuasive writing, students should practice using time wisely and create a plan for managing time spent on difficult questions. Using Mometrix Test Preparation aides in developing time management and question deconstruction skills that can mean the difference between completing the test successfully or running out of time.

All National Evaluation Series exams are computer-based, allowing tests to be scored and returned quickly. Students electing to have those test scores emailed will generally receive them in about two weeks. Tests with student generated answers and written assignments come back within a four-week period of time. The NES board will also forward exam results to the institutions and state certification entities of the examinee’s choice.

Because they are computerized, the tests’ data are entered into NES test databases and easily accessed online. Therefore, scores can be checked and printed for a full forty-five days after the day the test is taken. In order to obtain an acceptable score, examinees must at least reach the national benchmark of 220 on each test. Students receiving unsuccessful results must wait thirty days and pay an additional registration fee to retake any exam.

The online access also allows for quick and easy registration and testing site selection. It enables registering examinees to log on to the NES website to review available seating on desired dates at preferred locations, sign up, pay, and receive confirmation tickets that grant admission on the day of the test. Registration is open Monday through Saturday, excluding major holidays. The online aspect means any subject area test can be taken on any day by appointment. Examinees do not have to wait until a designated test date.

All major exams have a fee of $95 each. Essential Skills tests cost $50 for the first exam and $25 for each additional test taken. The user-friendly site also gives students with special needs the chance to request accommodations before taking the test. Alternative testing arrangements can be made for anyone with cognitive, learning, or physical disabilities. Options such as alternate testing sites or extended time can be granted to those registering at least two weeks before their desired test date.

Those waiting until the last minute may find the accommodations unavailable on their desired exam day and be forced to reschedule to a future date. Any changes, reschedules, or cancellations of the test must be completed at least twenty-four hours before the registered exam date in order to receive a refund. Again, a last minute alteration of the testing plan does not benefit testing applicants.

The only instance in which an applicant can receive a fee voucher to take the test at a future date is an unforeseeable emergency, such as an injury, illness, or immediate family death. All requests for testing alterations or accommodations must be accompanied by documentation supporting the need for those changes. The NES test website boasts a world-class customer service department, and all questions pertaining to tests, accommodations, sites, and scoring can be directed to them at any time. The NES website also offers a variety of resources for college and university pedagogical faculty members to help prepare students for each exam.

On the day of the exam, test takers should present a valid photo ID, such as driver’s license, military ID, alien registration ID, state issued ID, or a passport. Any form of ID without a photo is noncompliant with the rules and the student will not be admitted into the testing site and required to forfeit their registration fee. Upon admission, applicants may be requested to take a digital picture or provide a palm scan to further prove identity.

Students must be on time or risk not being admitted to the examination room, leading to a loss of paid fees. It is suggested that students taking exams dress comfortably and wear soft-soled shoes to help maintain a quiet environment. No cell phones or digital devices, recording or photography devices, or calculators may enter the exam room. Additional test site rules regarding personal belongings, snacks, tardiness, and other activities will apply as well. It is in an examinee’s best interest to educate themselves about those rules on the NES website in order to prevent being barred from admission or ejection from the exam.

So, imagine graduating from an institution of higher learning with a bachelor’s degree in education and sitting down to take these tests that will determine whether that degree can be used. Failing scores mean fewer job opportunities and lower salaries than certified teachers. A teaching student’s entire educational career hinges on their success at this point. That’s pretty intimidating to even the brightest of people.

Therefore, a wise person will participate in some type of review to help prepare them to take their NES exams. Gathering the most vital information from a multitude of completed courses and creating study materials that hone skills and review the most important lessons learned during the time spent earning a degree takes up valuable study time and creates endless frustration. Finding materials that have already done that frees students’ time to actually prepare for the test. Mometrix Test Preparation offers a complete library of NES resources. In addition to providing practice tests for every single section of the exams, Mometrix has also created review videos and practice questions to address each certification discipline. Each review has been researched and designed to thoroughly cover the subject, topic by topic.

When preparing to sit for each exam, students will not only be able to review the materials from their university courses, but use these tools to assess themselves and their ability to process and use the information. The NES exams go beyond memorization of definitions and dates. Many tests provide the examinee with scenarios that might occur in the classroom and require the student to choose the best solution to a problem or the right methodology to put into practice. Putting those thought processes to use as much as possible helps train teacher applicants to evaluate given situations and seek out the best practices possible with which to address them.

Mometrix testing materials provides that training, making those types of exam questions seem like second nature when facing the actual exam. Other NES tests assess the mastery of subject matter. For example, mathematics tests gauge the ability to perform computations, use formulas, and solve equations. English/Language Arts/Reading exams present the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and understanding of a variety of texts, mastery of the writing process, and an appreciation of literature. Mometrix videos and practice questions refresh the memory of the material and give students the ability to strengthen their understanding of the subject before applying it to the certification assessment test.

While no test preparation resource can review the entire volume of information learned during the span of the educational experience, Mometrix sifts through the mountains of definitions and ideas and condenses it down to the most vital concepts needed to achieve success when taking the NES exams. They then print these essential concepts on individual flashcards, providing a portable study tool that can be produced and used at any time.

It’s been proven that repetition increases memory, and these cards can help a student drill the fundamental precepts of pedagogy. Mometrix then created a practice test for teacher applicants to self-assess their progress and seek out weak areas that need further review. Because each subject is broken down topic by topic, it is easy to focus in on exactly what is needed to improve test results. Once trouble areas are identified, students can use the vast quantity of practice questions to check their progress before testing again. Examinees who use the videos to relearn topics and boost understanding find them invaluable when addressing subjects taken years before or tenuously mastered.

Each recording covers the main ideas of the concept and how to apply those ideas to answering questions. No product can promise a passing score on the NES exams, but it is a fact that those students who engage in study and review activities with a well researched, guided preparation product obtain better scores than those who do not. The Mometrix team dedicates itself to the development of superior materials that reduce wasted study time and increase information retention.

Continuous research ensures the questions and concepts are up to date and always relevant. The NES exams are not easy tests. These tests were created to help select the very best applicants to become the leaders of education and our children’s guides through learning. Only those truly dedicated to their profession will get past this one last obstacle on the road to certification. Mometrix Test Preparation puts the tools in their hands to get them there.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: September 13, 2023

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