National Evaluation Series (NES)
The National Evaluation Series (NES) is a suite of teacher certification examinations created and administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. The Evaluation Systems group began as an independent company, National Evaluation Systems, in 1972. National Evaluation Systems began developing and administering teacher licensure examinations in 1975, and it was acquired by Pearson, Inc. in 2006.
The NES suite of teaching licensure examinations was first announced by Pearson in early 2009. In late 2009, Pearson began pilot testing the NES examinations with teacher candidates. In early 2010, Oregon became the first state to formally adopt portions of the NES suite of examinations for teacher licensure. As of 2015, eight states use at least a portion of the NES suite of examinations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Function of the Test
The NES is a complete suite of teacher licensure examinations used by the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. However, because each state has its own unique set of assessment and licensure requirements, it is common for these states to use a mixture of NES examinations and state-specific examinations across different subject or professional knowledge areas. For example, a state might choose to require NES scores in certain subject areas such as biology while refusing to accept NES scores in other subjects area such as art. As such, NES testing requirements vary widely from state to state, and candidates should review their states' requirements carefully before scheduling examinations.
There are 38 examinations in the NES suite. Pearson divides the NES examinations into six categories: Essential Academic Skills; Professional Knowledge; Elementary Assessments; Middle Grades Assessments; Secondary Assessments; and K-12 Assessments. Testing requirements for prospective teachers can vary greatly from state to state, but typically, a prospective teacher needs to pass assessments in the areas of essential/basic skills, professional teaching knowledge, and subject knowledge to earn certification. Some states do not follow this standard, however. For example, candidates for teaching licensure in Oregon must pass a basic skills exam and a subject matter exam, but not a professional teaching knowledge exam. Instead, they must pass a civil rights exam focused on "Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment." 
Pearson does not appear to publish national statistics regarding the number of candidates who take NES exams or how well those candidates perform.
All NES examinations are computer-based, and all are administered at Pearson VUE testing centers. Most NES exams are multiple-choice only. However, seven exams require at least one constructed response such as an essay: Essential Academic Skills Subtest II: Writing; Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary; Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary; Chinese (Mandarin); French; German; and Spanish.
Most NES examinations, such as the professional knowledge and subject area assessments, cost $95 each. The Essential Academic Skills examination, however, is divided into four subsections which may be taken separately. The cost for the full exam is $125, whereas it costs $50, $75, or $100 to take just one, two, or three sections of the exam, respectively. Candidates should check with their own states' licensing boards to determine if other fees may apply.
All NES examinations are scored on a standardized scale from 100 to 300 points. The "National Benchmark" passing score for every exam is 220; however, states are free to set their own passing standards which may differ from the national benchmark.
By default, Pearson allows unsuccessful candidates to register to retake NES examinations an unlimited number of times, albeit with a 30-day waiting period between attempts. However, candidates should refer to their own states' policies on retaking NES exams, because local policies may be stricter than those imposed by Pearson itself. For example, Oregon requires candidates to wait 60 days between exam attempts.
Candidates who require special testing accommodations for a disability must submit the Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form to Pearson as far in advance of the intended testing date as possible.
More free NES help.
- Pearson - Evaluation Systems Backgrounder August 2 2015
- Pearson - Pearson Introduces New, Contemporary, Computer-Based Testing Program for Certifying Educators August 2 2015
- Pearson - New and Candidate Teachers Invited to Participate in Pilot of Computer-Based Teacher Certification Testing Program August 2 2015
- Pearson - Oregon Adopts Pearson's New Contemporary, Computer-Based Teacher Certification Tests August 2 2015
- Pearson - Taking the NES for State Certification August 2 2015
- Pearson - Tests August 2 2015
- Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission - Testing Information August 2 2015
- Pearson - Understanding Your Test Results August 2 2015
- Pearson - How to Read your NES Score Report August 2 2015
- ORELA - Retake Policy August 6 2015
- Pearson - Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form August 2 2015