The Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B) is used to measure the basic skills knowledge in reading, writing, and mathematics that are required for success in an educator preparation program in the state of Washington. Teachers certified outside of the state of Washington must pass the WEST-B exam to obtain certification in Washington.
The WEST-B examination consists of three subtests – Reading (095), Writing (096), and Mathematics (097). The WEST-B exam is one of two exams candidates must pass to obtain their teaching certificate in Washington.
WEST-B: Subtest Basic Format and Registration
The Reading and Mathematics subtests are composed of 60 computer-based multiple-choice questions, and the Writing subtest consists of 50 computer-based multiple-choice questions, and two writing prompts.
The test fee for one subtest is $75.00, and $155.00 for all subtests, payable by Visa, MasterCard, or debit card only. The Reading and Mathematics subtests have a two-hour time limit, and the Writing subtest has a three-hour time limit. If you take all three tests in one appointment, you are given 5 hours.
The passing score for each test is 240, and testing facilities are located throughout Washington and nationwide. Examination appointments are scheduled online by appointment, year round. Registration for the subtests is completed online.
All materials required for the exam, including scratch paper and on-screen reference materials, are provided at the testing center, and you cannot bring anything into the testing center.
WEST-B Subtest and Objectives
The Reading subtest consists of six objectives:
- Comprehension of the main idea and supporting details in a selection.
- Analyze relationships between ideas or information within one or more reading selections.
- Ability to use critical reasoning skills to evaluate a reading selection.
- Analyze and evaluate the writer’s purpose, intent, and point of view.
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases within the context of the reading selection.
- Effective use of study skills to aid understanding of reading selections, graphs, tables, and charts.
The Writing subtest consists of five objectives and two writing prompts:
- Understanding the role of the audience and its purpose in written communication.
- Understanding of idea development, fluency, and organization within writing.
- Recognition of writing that is effective in communicating intended messages.
- Understanding and application of strategies to revise written works.
- Recognition of standard writing conventions.
- The Writing Prompts:
In this portion of the exam, you are asked to prepare two organized and developed compositions in response to the information presented to you. You are evaluated based on the sound development of your opinion and your effective use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
The Mathematics subtest consists of six objectives assessing your understanding and application of the principles, concepts, and procedures of:
- Numbers and operations
- Probability and Statistics
- Mathematical reasoning, problem-solving, and communication skills
How to Prepare for Test Day
Your appointment time includes sufficient time to complete the pre-test activities and have your identification verified. Follow the directions you receive regarding your test appointment and take care to bring the required identification. Leave your belongings at home or in your vehicle.
The materials you need to complete the exam are provided by the test proctor, including scratch paper, pencil, and resource materials. When you are finished with your exam(s) and if there is time, review your work. You are scored on each correct answer, so an incorrect response will not count against your score.
Before you can leave the test center, you need to turn in all materials.
WEST-B Exam scoring
For the Reading and Mathematics subtests, your unofficial score is displayed upon completion of the exam. Your score for the Writing subtest is not available after completing that subtest because of the written-response section. Your official score report(s) are emailed to you and available in your account by 10:00 p.m., Pacific, on the score report date. Your official score(s) are transmitted automatically to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Office of Certification, and your certification application file.
Your score is your raw score (number of correct responses) converted to a scaled score ranging 100 to 300. All three subtests require a score of 240 to pass.
How to Prepare for the WEST-B
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!