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National Evaluation Series

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the NES® teacher certification tests different?

The NES is a series of contemporary teacher certification tests, developed and administered by the most experienced company in standards-based teacher certification testing programs. The NES is supported by a demonstrated track record of world-class customer service, is available through 100% computer-based testing, is based on the most current content, is fully aligned with national learning standards for teacher candidates, and provides for interstate portability of test results for certification.

What is "100% computer-based testing"?

The NES offers computer-based testing, or CBT, for all test fields. One hundred percent computer-based testing allows for access to testing by appointment, year round, and immediate score reporting for most results.

What kind of customer service can states and candidates expect?

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson (formerly National Evaluation Systems) has a demonstrated track record of world-class customer service. We provide each state with access to a dedicated team of assessment specialists to consult with the state on technical aspects of its program, and a team of trained, knowledgeable, responsive customer service representatives for states, preparation programs, and teacher certification candidates.

How are the NES tests developed?

Test competencies are based on national content and pedagogy standards, such as the National Council for Teachers of English and National Council for Teachers of Mathematics standards. These test competencies are reviewed by more than 400 expert, well-regarded teachers, administrators, and teacher educators from across the country. Test questions are developed from these widely reviewed competencies. Questions are then reviewed, validated, and pilot tested before they are included on an actual certification test. For more information, read about the NES test development process.

How do candidates prepare for the NES tests?

Candidates have access to a full range of test preparation materials, including a comprehensive test preparation guide available at no charge. This guide includes information about test content and format as well as sample test questions and explanations for correct responses. Candidates also have the option to purchase expanded test preparation guides and online interactive practice tests. Practice test results help candidates determine areas of strength, and discover which content might require more of their study time.

When do candidates receive their scores?

The NES offers immediate scores for most tests as a result of the 100% computer-based testing program design. Certification candidates receive more detailed results reports shortly after the test date.

Which tests are available?

Over 30 tests are available. Content and pedagogy areas covered include essential academic skills; professional knowledge; and commonly taught elementary, middle, and secondary grade-level subjects. Emerging needs are also addressed, such as elementary reading instruction and teaching English to speakers of other languages.

Where are the tests given?

The NES teacher certification tests are delivered through Pearson's worldwide network of computer-based test (CBT) centers.

What is meant by "portability"?

The NES offers portability for the twenty-first century by simplifying the process for a state's consideration of test results for out-of-state candidates. Easy-to-understand, detailed, competency-level results from across the nation allow both states and teacher preparation programs to compare candidate performance at the state and national levels.

As a result, the NES allows states to have access to qualified candidates from all regions of the country and to respond to the needs of a mobile teacher workforce.