Accommodations for NYSTCE Tests
The New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) were developed to ensure that individuals pursuing teacher certification in the state have the ability to be effective instructors. Individuals with medical issues, disabilities or specific circumstances may qualify to have their test or testing conditions adjusted. These adjustments are known as alternative testing arrangements or accommodations.
What Types of Acommodations Are Possible
Accommodations involve changes to the test itself or changes to the testing protocols. It is important to note that every application for adjustments is considered on its own merits. This means that one individual who has a specific disability or medical condition may not qualify for the same accommodations another person with the same diagnosis receives. What changes an individual qualifies for will depend, in part, on the severity of his or her condition and the recommendation of that person's doctor.
- Changes to the Test: Individuals who are visually impaired may qualify to have their NYSTCE test given in Braille. This is an example of how the test itself may be changed to accommodate a specific need.
- Access to Specific Items: There are guidelines in place that determine what people can and can not bring to a test site. In specific circumstances, test-takers may be allowed to bring items that are not pre-approved. For example, an individual with a medical condition may be allowed to bring a medical device. An individual who is nursing may be allowed to bring equipment to pump and store milk.
- Additional Testing Time: In some cases, a test-taker may have a disability or a condition that requires him or her to have extra time to complete an NYSTCE test. For example, an individual who has a brain injury may need extra test time.
- Access to Test-Taking Resources: In some cases, individuals may be permitted to use special testing equipment or have resources provided to them during testing. An example could be having a reader provided for someone who has a disability. Other individuals may be allowed to use a trackball mouse.
How to Apply for Accommodations
Individuals who feel they may qualify for testing accommodations are required to submit an application for review.
Step 1: Make Sure You Need Special Approval
In some cases, a person's medical condition or specific needs may not require accommodations. NYSTCE tests are held at Pearson VUE testing sites, and these sites allow individuals to bring several items without going through an application process. These items include:
|Cough drops||Casts||Oxygen tanks|
There are also some items that Pearson VUE test sites provide for test-takers. These items include tissues and earplugs. A complete list of pre-approved items individuals can bring with them and items that test centers provide to all test-takers can be found on the Pearson VUE website.
Step 2: Gather Documentation
Every application for testing adjustments must be supported with proper documentation, such as academic records demonstrating a history of testing accommodations and medical test results. Individuals also need a letter recommending testing adjustments that is signed by their doctors or other professionals who are qualified to treat their conditions. Details about the documentation requirements are provided on the NYSTCE website.
Step 3: Register
Individuals who need to take an NYSTCE test must create an account on the NYSTCE website. Once they do this, they can register and pay for the tests they need to take.
Step 4: Complete the Application Form
The NYSTCE's Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form is available online and allows individuals to attach all of their required documentation. Once individuals upload their documents to their application forms, they can submit them.
What to Do with Your Application Response
Most individuals who apply for testing adjustments receive a response within three weeks of applying. This response is sent via email.
If the Application is Approved: At this point, individuals are ready to schedule their tests. The email they receive tells them how to go about this.
If the Application Is Denied: The NYSTCE website explains the steps to take if an application is not approved and a test-taker wants to appeal the decision. This is a process that can take up to a month. It is important to review the directions for appeal carefully before submitting a request because decisions made concerning appeals are final.
NYSTCE Test Resources
Individuals who are studying for their NYSTCE tests can opt to use these NYSTCE Study Courses. The courses, which include the ones linked to below, allow individuals to set their own study schedules and are designed to take them through all of the content areas they will be tested on. They also offer the convenience of being accessible online. Individuals can work through any of the hundreds of lessons at home on their computers or while sitting in a park using their smart phones. This format allows for greater flexibility when developing a study schedule.
- NYSTCE Music (075): Practice and Study Guide Course
- NYSTCE English Language Arts (003): Practice and Study Guide Course
- NYSTCE Health Education (073): Practice and Study Guide Course
- NYSTCE Multi-Subject - Teachers of Childhood (Grades 1-6) (221/222/245): Practice and Study Guide Course
- NYSTCE Multi-Subject - Teachers of Middle Childhood (231/232/245):
- NYSTCE Multi-Subject - Secondary Teachers (241/242/245): Practice and Study Guide Course