Once NYSTCE accepts your registration, you have one year to schedule your exam. Testing centers are located nationwide, and appointments are available Monday through Saturday.
Test format and design
The Mathematics content specialty test is computer-delivered consisting of 90 multiple-choice questions and one constructed-response question. The multiple-choice questions are 80% of your overall score, and the constructed-response counts for 20% of your total score. You have three hours and 25 minutes to complete the exam.
A suggestion for the use of your test time is 60 minutes on the multiple-choice questions and the remaining time on the constructed-response question.
The Mathematics exam consists of seven competencies:
- Number and quantity
This competency evaluates your understanding of mathematic operations involving real numbers through vector and matrix representations and complex numbers. The competency has approximately nine questions, valued at 8% of your test score.
Using numbers, symbols, operations, and conventions of notation to create, interpret and manipulate algebraic expressions and equations. The competency has approximately 23 questions, valued at 20% of your test score.
This competency evaluates your understanding of algebraic expressions. The competency has approximately 19 questions, valued at 17% of your test score.
This competency examines your knowledge and use of the fundamental concepts and techniques of calculus. The competency contains approximately 11 questions, valued at 10% of your test score.
- Geometry and measurement
Your knowledge and understanding of the attributes and relationships of geometric objects in diverse contexts and the properties of measurement and dimension in modeling situations are evaluated. The competency contains approximately 17 questions, valued at 15% of your test score.
- Statistics and probability
Your knowledge of statistical tools and probability to make informed decisions allowing for variability is examined. The competency contains approximately 11 questions, valued at 10% of your test score.
- Pedagogical content knowledge
This competency is made of one constructed-response question that is scenario-based. The constructed-response situation asks you to develop a response to an instructional strategy to help your students achieve a specific goal or instructional intervention addressing a particular learning difficulty. Your essay needs to provide a rationale for why you decided to employ that particular strategy or intervention. Your written response is valued at 20% of your overall test score.
You are required to bring a graphing calculator that meets the specifications by NYSTCE. On-screen formula sheets are provided for your use.
After you schedule your test, NYSTCE sends a confirmation email. The email contains the information you need to follow when reporting to the testing center. Report 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment and present your valid government-issued identification. Your graphing calculator is verified to ensure it is on the approved model list, and the testing center administrator escorts you to your testing station.
You are provided formula sheets, a scratch pad, and writing utensils. Before you begin your exam, there is a short tutorial. When you have completed the tutorial, your certification exam begins.
When you have finished your exam, return your supplies and depart the center.
Scoring and results
Your score is available in your online account two to three weeks after the testing window closes after 10:00 p.m. eastern time. An email score report is sent at the same time if you selected the email option at registration.
The passing score is 520 on a scale of 400 to 600. Your score report includes detailed information about each competency and your results in each area. The report is designed to assist your understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and help you prepare for the retest, if necessary.
If you did not pass, you need to wait 60 days before scheduling a retake.
How Can I Prepare for the NYSTCE Mathematics Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!