NES Elementary Education

The National Evaluation Series (NES) Elementary Education exam consists of two subtests assessing your knowledge, skills, and abilities in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, and Unified Arts. You must pass both subtests to add an endorsement to a new or existing teacher license, and the subtests are required in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.

What is the format and how do I register?

Each subtest is a computer-based test with 75 multiple choice questions each. The test fee for one subtest is $50.00, and $95.00 for both tests, payable by Visa, MasterCard, or debit card only. Subtest I has an hour and a half time limit, and Subtest II has an hour and forty-five-minute time limit. The passing score for each test is 220, and testing facilities are located nationwide. Examination appointments are scheduled online by appointment, year round.

Candidates register for the examination through their state’s teacher education website.

All materials required for the exam, including scratch paper, are provided at the testing center. Candidates are not allowed to bring anything into the facility, including cell phones and calculators. Your results are provided immediately after you complete the exam(s), with score reports delivered within two weeks of testing.

What is the Subtest design?

The Elementary Education Subtest I contains two domains:

  • Reading and English Language Arts – 62%
  • Social Studies – 38%

The Reading and English Language Arts domain has five competencies that evaluate your skills and knowledge: foundations of language development and emergent literacy; the development of phonics, word analysis, spelling, and fluency; reading comprehension and vocabulary skills; understanding of literary, informational, persuasive, functional texts, and graphic sources; and, understanding the processes, conventions, and modes of written and oral communication.

Under the Social Studies domain, there are three competencies that assess the candidate’s understanding of fundamental concepts. The domains include government and economics, major developments related to the United States and world history, and geography and methods of social studies inquiry.

The Elementary Education Subtest II contains three domains:

  • Mathematics – 50%

This domain assesses your understanding of the concepts of numeration, number sense, and mathematical operations; mathematical reasoning and problem solving, communication and representation, and data analysis; basic concepts of patterns, algebra, and functions; and, the basic concepts of geometry and measurement.

  • Science – 38%

The three competencies in the science domain test your understanding of the fundamental concepts of life, physical, Earth, and space sciences, the nature of science as a whole, and the processes of scientific inquiry.

  • The Arts, Health, and Fitness – 12%

The competency examined includes your understanding of the basic elements of the arts, and the fundamental concepts of health and fitness.

Test Day

You are asked to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Your testing appointment allows for sufficient time to complete the required pre-test activities including identification verification (digital photograph and signature), storage of personal items, and agreement forms.

At your testing station, the test administrator provides you with the materials needed for your exam and logs you into your workstation. Any notes you take during the exam must be written on the supplied note board booklet and returned at the conclusion of your exam.

If you have time remaining after you have answered the questions, review your work. Verify all questions are answered before submitting your test for scoring. Turn in all provided materials and exit the facility. Once you are finished, you cannot stay in the test center.

Exam scoring

Before you leave the testing center, you are provided with your test results. Within two weeks, your official score report is emailed to you, any institution you indicated when you registered, the state education agency, and added to your licensure application file.

Your raw score is based on the number of questions answered correctly which is then converted to a scale score ranging from 100 to 300 with 220 the minimum passing score for both subtests. Your total score is stated in your report. If your scaled score is equal to or greater than the minimum passing score, your report will state “pass.” If your scaled score is below the minimum passing score, your report will state “fail.”

How Can I Prepare for the NES Elementary Test?

We believe that different learning styles require different tools for success. We have compiled a list of the best study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that we’ve found on the market. Some of these guides have review videos, for you visual learners out there. Others have practice tests, which have been proven to increase student scores by a whole letter grade (in some cases more than that)!

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Last Updated: June 27, 2019