NYSTCE - New York State Teacher Certification Examinations: LAST/ATS-W, 4th Edition Plus Timed Exams on CD-ROM


REA’s NYSTCE: LAST/ATS-W Test Prep with TestWare CD

Gets You Certified and in the Classroom!

Updated Fourth Edition

Nationwide, more than 5 million teachers will be needed over the next decade, and all must take appropriate tests to be licensed. REA gets you ready for your teaching career with our outstanding library of Teacher Certification test preps!

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REA’s NYSTCE: LAST/ATS-W Test Prep with TestWare CD

Gets You Certified and in the Classroom!

Updated Fourth Edition

Nationwide, more than 5 million teachers will be needed over the next decade, and all must take appropriate tests to be licensed. REA gets you ready for your teaching career with our outstanding library of Teacher Certification test preps!

Scoring well on the NYSTCE: LAST/ATS-W doesn’t just help you get certified to teach in New York, it helps you build your career. This test prep is perfect for college students, teachers, and career-changing professionals who are seeking certification as New York state teachers.

This updated fourth edition of our popular teacher certification test prep was designed to help teacher candidates master the information on the Liberal Arts & Sciences Test (LAST), the Assessment of Teaching Skills -Written (Elementary) Test (ATS), and the Assessment of Teaching Skills -Written (Secondary) Test (ATS-W).

The review covers all content categories on the LAST and ATS-W exams: science and math, historical and social scientific awareness, artistic expression and the humanities, communication skills, writing skills, knowledge of the learner, instructional planning, the professional environment, and assessment of teaching performance. Drill questions in each chapter help reinforce learning and build test-taking skills.

Three full-length practice tests feature every type of question tested on the exams. Our practice tests replicate the NYSTCE question format and timing, allowing you to assess your skills and gauge your test-readiness.

This TestWare edition includes all of the book’s practice tests on CD in a timed format with instant scoring, diagnostic feedback, and on-screen detailed explanations of answers. Our TestWare CD offers the most powerful scoring and diagnostic tools available today. Automatic scoring and instant reports help you zero in on the topics and types of questions that give you trouble now, so you’ll succeed when it counts!

Every practice exam comes with detailed feedback on every question. We don’t just say which answers are right—we explain why the other answer choices are wrong—so you’ll be prepared on test day. Our detailed explanations of answers let you identify your strengths and weaknesses while building your skills. This complete test prep package comes with a customized study schedule and REA’s test-taking strategies and tips.

This test prep is a must-have for anyone looking to teach in New York!

REA books and software have proven to be the extra support teacher candidates need to pass their challenging tests for licensure. Our comprehensive test preps are teacher-recommended and written by experts in the field.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738609973
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 10/9/2011
  • Series: NYSTCE Teacher Certification Test Prep
  • Edition description: Fourth
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Rae, M.A.
Department of English
McKee Technical High School
Staten Island, NY

Ann Jenson-Wilson
Department of English
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

Bernadette Brick
Department of English
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

Brian Walsh
Department of English
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ

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Read an Excerpt

Passing the LAST and ATS-W Tests

About this Book & TestWare®

This book provides a complete and accurate representation of New York state’s LAST and ATS-W tests. Known formally as the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test and the Elementary and Secondary Assessments of Teaching Skills-Written, these tests are part of one of the most broadly-based teacher certification programs used in the United States today.

We include subject reviews correlating to each of the test sections on the LAST and ATS-W exams, along with a full-length practice test for each exam based on the current format of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations, or NYSTCE. REA’s practice tests contain every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the actual exam. We also present detailed explanations of each answer—as well as sample essays—to help you master the test material. The full-length practice exams are presented in two forms—in written form in the book and in our exclusive TestWare® format on the enclosed CD. We strongly recommend you take the practice exams on CD first, to get the full benefit of enforced time conditions and instantaneous scoring.

About the Test

Who Takes the Test and What Is It Used for?

The LAST and ATS-W tests are taken by individuals seeking certification to teach in any of New York state’s 704 public school districts. In most cases, candidates are beginning their teaching career or seeking additional certification.

While you’re free to take the LAST or ATS-W at any time during college, most candidates find it best to attempt the former in their sophomore or junior year (after they have most basic liberal arts and sciences coursework behind them) and the latter after having completed pedagogical coursework and fieldwork (and in some cases even student teaching).

Senior year is the time to consider taking the Content Specialty Test to help you peg what additional coursework will be required in your area of concentration. Finally, to do well on the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Performance, you should have at least two years of classroom experience under your belt.

Who Administers the Test?

The LAST and ATS-W tests are administered by Pearson Education’s Evaluation Systems Group, in conjunction with the New York State Education Department. A comprehensive test development process was designed and implemented specifically to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the exam are appropriate. This process involved hundreds of teachers and teacher educators from across the state.

When and Where Is the Test Given?

The LAST and ATS-W are usually offered seven times a year at a number of locations throughout the state of New York. Selective administrations are offered in Puerto Rico as well. To receive information on upcoming test dates and locations, contact either of the following:

New York State Education Department
Office of Teaching
Room 5N Education Building
Albany, NY 12234
Website: http://OHE32.nysed.gov/tcert/
Phone: (518) 474-3901

Evaluation Systems
P.O. Box 660
Amherst, MA 01004-9008
Phone: (413) 256-2882 or (800) 309-5225
TTY for Deaf: (413) 256-8032
Website: www.nystce.nesinc.com

Registration information, as well as test dates and locations, is provided in the registration
bulletin and on the NYSTCE website. Information regarding testing accommodations
for candidates with special needs is also included.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Alternative testing arrangements for students with both physical and learning disabilities
are available for the NYSTCE exams. Please visit the NYSTCE website at
www.nystce.nesinc.com for more information, including registration and documentation

Is There a Registration Fee?
You must pay a registration fee in order to take the LAST or ATS-W. A complete outline
of registration fees is provided in your registration bulletin.

The NYSTCE Program

The NYSTCE Program embraces seven tests to measure a candidate’s knowledge and
skills in the liberal arts and sciences, in teaching theory and practice, and in the content
area of the candidate’s field of certification.

• Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST)

• Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W)

• Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W)

• Content Specialty Tests (CSTs)

• Bilingual Education Assessments (BEAs)

• Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST)

• Assessment of Teaching Skills—Performance (ATS–P) (Video)


Format of the LAST

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Test is composed of roughly 80 multiple-choice questions
and one essay. You will have four hours to complete the exam. The five subject areas
it covers are as follows:

• Scientific, Mathematical and Technical Processes

• Historical and Social Scientific Awareness

• Artistic Expression and the Humanities

• Communication and Research Skills

• Written Analysis and Expression

The exact number of questions in each area will vary, as will the total number of questions
on the exam and in each subarea. The test administrators often include a number of
so-called pretest, or experimental, questions that do not count toward your score but are
used to prepare future exams. In general, be prepared to make broad assessments and pick
out underlying assumptions and inferences.

Format of the ATS -W

Like the LAST, the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written is composed of roughly 80
multiple-choice questions and one essay. The test is offered in two versions: Elementary
and Secondary. Candidates for K-12 Certification may elect to take either test. The number
of questions may vary. The breakdown of the ATS-W subject matter is as follows:

• Knowledge of the Learner

• Instructional Planning, Assessment, and Delivery

• The Professional Environment

Computer-based testing (CBT) for the NYSTCE LAST and the ATS-W tests is available
Monday through Saturday (excluding holidays) at Pearson Professional Centers. The
computer-based test is more expensive than the paper-based test but you can choose to
take the test at a convenient time that is convenient to you. For more information visit:

Scoring the NYSTCE

How Do I Score My Written Practice Test?

Each of the NYSTCE tests has a score range of 100–300 points. In each case you
must achieve a minimum of 220 to pass the exam. Achieving a passing score on a particular
test means you’ll have satisfied that portion of the certification requirement. Your total
score will derive from a combination of the number of multiple-choice questions that you
answer correctly and your essay scores; the multiple-choice sections, however, account
for a larger percentage of your overall score than your essays do.

In order to achieve a passing score on the practice tests, you need to answer at
least 60% of the multiple-choice questions correctly and your essay grades can fall no
lower than the middle of the scoring range (as set forth in our Detailed Explanations of
Answers). It may be helpful to have a friend or colleague score your essays, since you will
benefit from his or her ability to be more objective in judging the clarity and organization
of your written responses.

When Will I Receive My Score Report?

Your score report should arrive about six weeks after you take the test. No scoring
information will be given over the telephone. Remember, your score report will show
your scaled score, not the number of questions you answered correctly.

Studying for the Tests

There is no one correct way to study for these exams. You must find the method that
works best for you. Some candidates prefer to set aside a few hours every morning to
study, while others prefer to study at night before going to sleep. Only you can determine
when and where your study time will be most effective, but it is helpful to be consistent.
You may retain more information if you study every day at roughly the same time. A
study schedule appears at the end of this chapter to help you budget your time.

When taking the practice tests you should try to duplicate the actual testing conditions
as closely as possible. A quiet, well-lit room, free from such distractions as the television
or radio, is preferable. After you score the practice test, thoroughly review the explanations.
Information that is wrong for one item may be correct for another, so it will be
helpful for you to absorb as much data as possible.

How to Use this Book & TestWare®

When Should I Start Studying?

We provide a six-week study schedule on page 8 to assist you in preparing for the
exam. Our schedule allows for a great deal of flexibility. If your test date is only three
weeks away, you can halve the time allotted to each section—keep in mind, however,
that this is not the most effective way to study. If you’re fortunate enough to have several
months before your test date, you may want to extend the time allotted to each section.
Remember, the more time you spend studying, the better your chances of achieving a
passing score.

About the Review Sections

By using our review material in conjunction with our practice tests, you should be
well prepared for the actual exams. At some point in your educational experience, you
have probably studied all the material that’s on the test. For most candidates, however,
this was most likely some time ago. Our review material, while fact-rich, is not intended
to have you memorize dates, names, and places. Rather, it’s meant to provide the narrative
thread to reinforce contextual memory. Because both the LAST and the ATS-W test
review sections contain an essay, the Writing Skills review included in the LAST review
section will be helpful in preparing for either test.

This book includes the best test preparation materials based on the latest information
available from test administrators. The number and distribution of questions
can vary from test to test. Accordingly, prospective examinees should
pay strict attention to their strengths and weaknesses and not depend on specific
proportions of any subject areas appearing on the actual exam.

LAST and ATS-W Test-Taking Tips

Although you may have taken standardized tests like these before, it is crucial that
you become familiar with the format and content of each section of the exam you’ll be
taking. This will help to alleviate any anxiety about your performance. Here are several
ways to help you become accustomed to the test.

Become comfortable with the format of the test. The exams cover a
great deal of information, and the more comfortable you are with the
format, the more confidence you will have when you take the actual
exam. If you familiarize yourself with the requirements of each section
individually, the whole test will be much less intimidating.

Read all of the possible answers. Even if you believe you have found
the correct answer, read all four options. Often answers that initially
look right prove to be “magnet responses” meant to distract you from
the correct choice.

Eliminate obviously incorrect answers. In this way, even if you do
not know the correct answer, you can make an educated guess.

Work quickly and steadily. Remember, the final question on both
the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test and the Assessment of Teaching
Skills–Written is in essay form. You need more time to compose
a clear, concise, well-constructed essay than you do to answer a
multiple-choice question, so don’t spend too much time on any one
item. Pace yourself. If you feel that you are spending too much time
on any one question, mark the answer choice that you think is most
likely the correct one, circle the item number in your test booklet,
and return to it if time allows. Timing yourself while you take the
practice tests will help you learn to use your time wisely.

Be sure that the oval you are marking corresponds to the number
of the question in the test booklet.
Multiple-choice tests like the
NYSTCE are graded by a computer, which has no sympathy for clerical
errors. One incorrectly placed response can upset your entire score.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Passing the LAST and ATS -W Tests
About this Book & TestWare
About the Test
Who Takes the Test and What Is It Used for?
Who Administers the Test?
When and Where Is the Test Given?
Is There a Registration Fee?
The NYSTCE Program
Format of the LAST
Format of the ATS-W
Scoring the NYSTCE
How Do I Score My Written Practice Test?
When Will I Receive My Score Report?
Studying for the LAST and ATS-W Tests
How to Use this Book & TestWare
When Should I Start Studying?
About the Review Sections
LAST/ATS-W Test-Taking Tips
The Day of the Test
LAST/ATS-W Independent Study Schedule

Chapter 2
Science and Mathematics Review
Prime and Composite Numbers
Arithmetic Operations and Integers
Powers and Roots of Whole Numbers
Common Fractions
Decimal Fractions
Elementary Statistics
Algebraic Expressions
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions
Factoring Algebraic Expressions
Solving Linear Equations
Solving Inequalities
Evaluating Formulas
Algebra Word Problems
Perimeter and Area
Perimeter of Rectangles, Squares, and Triangles
Area of Rectangles, Squares, and Triangles
Circumference and Area of Circles
Volume of Cubes and Rectangular Solids
Angle Measure
Properties of Triangles
Properties of Parallel and Perpendicular Lines
General Science
Life Science
Human Health
Physical Science
Earth Science
Drill Questions

Chapter 3
Historical and Social Scientific Awareness Review
World History
Ancient and Medieval Times
European History
High Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Revolution and the New World Order
Realism and Materialism
World War I and Europe in Crisis
World War II
The Cold War
Change in Western Europe
United States History
The Colonial Period
The American Revolution
The Creation of New Governments
The New Nation
Sectional Conflict and the Causes of the Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
Industrialism, War, and the Progressive Era
World War I
The Roaring Twenties
The Great Depression and the New Deal
World War II
The Post-War Era
The New Frontier, Vietnam, and Social Upheaval
Watergate, Carter, and the New Conservatism
Road to the Twenty-First Century
Presidents of the United States
New Technologies
Late 20th Century Social and Cultural Developments
Political Science
United States Government
Types of Government
Fundamentals of Economics
Drill Questions

Chapter 4
Artistic Expression and the Humanities Review
Aesthetic Perception and Creative Expression
Visual and Performing Arts
Historical Survey
Literary Terms
Drill Questions

Chapter 5
Communication Skills Review
A Four-Step Approach
Step 1: Preview
Step 2: Read Actively
Step 3: Review the Passage
Step 4: Answer the Questions
Drill Questions

Chapter 6
Writing Skills Review
Developing Writing Skills
The Five Points
Element 1: Mechanics
Element 2: Structure
Element 3: Organization
Element 4: Development
Element 5: Focus
The (Unofficial) Sixth Point
The Approach
Step 1: Brainstorm
Step 2: Make an Outline
Step 3: Start Writing Informally
Step 4: Polish It Up
Working Step by Step
First Draft
Review and Refine
Other Style Points
Sample Essay Topics
Essay Prompts
Sample Essay Answers

Chapter 7
Knowledge of the Learner
Student Development and Maturation
Theories of Cognitive Development
Identity Achievement and Diffusion
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Nature and Nurture
Diversity in the Classroom
Environmental Factors
Emotional Factors
Learning Styles
Understanding Learners
Instructional Style Assessment
Study Strategies
Motivating Students
Jointly Constructed Meaning
Drill Questions

Chapter 8
Instructional Planning, Delivery, and Assessment
Outcome-Oriented Learning
Sources of Data
Planning Processes
Self-Directed Learning
Collaborative Learning
Thematic Curriculum
Principles of Verbal Communication
Nonverbal Communication
The Revised Six Levels of Taxonomy
Classroom Climate
Methods of Enhancement
Deductive Strategies
Inductive Strategies
Discussion Strategies
Teacher and Student Roles
Curriculum Planning
Planning for Resources
Print Resources
Visual Materials
Videodisk and Interactive Video
Computer Software Tools
Computer-Assisted Instruction
Manipulatives and Labs
Human Resources
Selection and Evaluation Criteria
Purposes of Assessment
Teacher-Made Tests
Authentic Assessments
Self- and Peer-Assessment
Standardized Testing
Performance-Based Assessment
Physical Environment
Social and Emotional Climate
Routines and Transitions
Academic Learning Time
Classroom Discipline
Correcting Students
Student Ownership
Drill Questions

Chapter 9
The Professional Environment
The Teacher’s Personal Traits
Team Responsibilities in Teaching
Teaming Assignments
Professional Growth
Developing a Positive Relationship with Parents Early
Parent/Teacher Communication
Responding to Nonresponsive Parents
Learning about the Community
Utilizing Strengths of the Community
Coping with Problems in the Community
The Teacher as a Curriculum Worker
The Teacher as a Specialist
The Teacher and Values in the Classroom
The Teacher as a Leader
The Teacher and Legal Issues
Drill Questions

Practice Test 1: Liberal Arts and Sciences Test
Answer Key
Detailed Explanations of Answers

Practice Test 2: ATS -W Elementary
Answer Key
Detailed Explanations of Answers

Practice test 3: ATS -W Secondary
Answer Key
Detailed Explanations of Answers


Installing REA’s TestWare

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