How to Prepare for the NES Test

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a future teacher who is excited about finishing your licensing requirements, you should not let worries about the NES test stand in your way. This lesson offers you plenty of preparation tips that will help you succeed.

Why the NES Test

If you are getting licensed as a teacher, one thing you might need to do is pass the NES test. This test is aligned to many of the standards that today's educators are expected to meet. It covers all of the major subject areas including:

  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics
  • technology literacy
  • the teaching of elementary reading

The NES will be taken on a computer, and you will receive your test scores immediately upon completion.

It is natural to feel a little bit nervous when you are faced with taking the NES test. How you prepare will depend to some extent on exactly which test you are taking and how familiar you already are with the content covered. This lesson offers some general tips that will help you prepare for confidence and competence as you approach your testing day.

Make Use of the Website

One of the best ways to make sure you are ready to take the NES is to know exactly what to expect of the specific test you are taking. Though all of the NES tests have similarities, such as being completely computer-based, they will also differ in content and sometimes structure.

The best way to learn more about the test you are taking is to visit the NES testing website and look at the preparation materials. A dropdown menu will let you select the precise test you will be taking, which will then generate an overview of the test.

Some of the things to pay attention to as you review this profile include the following:

  • How long will you have to take this test? If you are someone who struggles with efficiency on tests, it is especially important to be able to manage your time sensibly.
  • How many questions does your test include? Knowing this will also help you know about how much time you can allocate to each question.
  • What are the overall competencies that the test is evaluating? Answering this question will give you insight into what you need to brush up on.
  • What is the format of the test? The more you know about exactly what to expect, the more efficient and accurate you will be on testing day.

Take Practice Tests

It can also be helpful to take a few different practice tests before your actual testing date. Taking a practice test can help familiarize you with the format and timing of the test.

Try to schedule for at least three practice tests and leave yourself time between each of the tests to work on the areas where you need improvement. If you carefully analyze the results of your practice test, you can see your strengths and weaknesses and can devote remaining study and preparation time accordingly.

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