NYSTCE School Building Leader Test

The NYSTCE School Building Leader Exam is offered to prospective educators looking for a leadership role in the public school system.

The purpose of the School Building Leadership Exam is to assess whether a candidate holds the essential knowledge, and skills necessary to successfully provide leadership in New York state public schools.

How can I register for the exam?

You may register for the NYSTCE Exam by visiting the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations website at: http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/Home.aspx

How is the exam formatted?

The exam is a computer-based exam and is broken down into two parts:

Part One:

Part one consists of 41 selected-response questions, and 3 performance tasks. One of these tasks is an extended performance task, while the other two are shorter.

Part Two:

Part two consists of 26 selected response items, 2 extended performance tasks, and one extra extended performance task that is shorter.

How long will I have to complete the exam?

Part one and two of the exam is 4-hours each. You may choose to take each part on different days, or you may take both part one and two on the same day. If you choose to take the entire exam on the same day, then you can expect to be at the testing site for 8-hours and 40 minutes.

The extra 40-minutes being the lunch break you get between both parts of the test.

Where can I take the exam?

The test is given at Pearson Vue testing sites in New York City and nationwide. To find a location nearest you, you can go on the Pearson Vue website: https://home.pearsonvue.com/

How much do I have to pay in order to take the exam?

The fee for the exam is as follows:

Part One: $214

Part Two: $213

Parts One & Two: $427

You may pay by credit card, debit card or check card. Keep in mind that only Visa and Mastercard’s are accepted.

*Important: Your registration is valid for one year. Be sure to schedule your exam within that one-year period. If you do not schedule your appointment, your registration will expire, and you will not receive a refund.

What kind of questions will I be tested on?

Part one of the exam tests your knowledge in:

  • Instructional Leadership for Student Success (25%)
    • One 60-minute performance task (30%)
  • School Culture and Learning Environment to Promote Excellence and Equity (15%)
    • Two 30-minute performance tasks (30%)

Total score comes out to 100% for Part One of the exam.

Part two of the exam test your competency in: 

  • Developing Human Capital to Improve Teacher and Staff Effectiveness and Student Achievement.
    • Number of tasks:
      • 1 (1 hour and 10-minutes) (30%),
      • 1 (with 4 assignments) (1 hour and 10-minutes) (25%)
  • Family and Community Engagement. (10%)
    • Number of tasks:
      • 1 40-minute task (20%)
  • Operational Systems, Data Systems, and Legal Guidelines to Support Achievement of School Goals. (15%)

Total score comes out to 100% for Part Two of the exam.

What should I expect on the day of my exam?

On the day of your exam, be sure to arrive at least fifteen minutes early. You will need to have with you a current, government issued photo ID in order to be permitted inside the testing site. If you do not have one, or if you bring a copy, you will not be permitted to take the exam.

You are not permitted to bring any items with you into the testing room. Personal items include, but are not limited to:

  • Cell phones,
  • Tablets
  • Handwritten or printed materials

*Important: Be sure to check with your testing site before your scheduled exam to see if they offer a place to store your personal items. If not, you will need to leave any of your important belongings in your car or at home.

What happens if I’m late arriving for my exam?

If you are 15 or more minutes late arriving for your exam, you may not be permitted inside the testing facility. If you are not permitted inside, you will be considered absent from the exam, and will not get your money back. If you are considered absent, you will have to reapply and pay again.

What score should I aim for in order to pass?

In order to pass the exam, you want to get a score of 520 or higher.

What do I do if I don’t pass my exam? Will I have an opportunity to retake it?

Yes! If you don’t pass your exam, you will be able to take it until you receive a passing grade. However, you must wait 30 days after taking and failing the exam to retake it.

Will I be accommodated if I have a disability?

Yes. If you are someone with a disability you will be accommodated. You will have to fill out an accommodations form at the same time you submit your exam application, along with proof of your disability. It’s important to request accommodations as early as possible since processing times can take weeks.

How Can I Prepare for the NYSTCE School Building Leader Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Study Guide



Last Updated: August 1, 2019