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Preparing for the LAST Exam

  • All students seeking teacher certification must pass the LAST  exam, required by New York State for initial certification.
  • SUNY College at Brockport recommends that undergraduate students take the LAST after completing the general education requirements. The second semester of your sophomore year or first semester of your junior year would be an appropriate time to register for the exam.
  • All students are strongly encouraged to take the LAST prior to Student Teaching.
  • Students are also encouraged to prepare for the exam.

Ways to prepare for the LAST examination

  1. Review academic course materials including:
  2. science and math
  3. history and social sciences
  4. art, music, and humanities
  5. communication skills
  6. written analysis and expression
  7. Practice writing essays
  8. Prepare with the help of test preparation guides and/or courses NYSTCE Preparation Guides Test preparation guides are available directly from National Evaluation Systems, the company that administers the New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCEs). This FREE guide includes test objectives, sample questions, sample written assignments, and sample written assignment evaluations.

    The URL for the LAST Test Preparation Guide is http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/PDFs/NY_fld001_prepguide.pdf

    Commercial Preparation Guides
    When purchasing a test preparation guide, please be careful to purchase the most recent edition. There have been modifications to the LAST and ATS-W exams within the last year, and you should be sure that you are preparing for the current test format. These test preparation guides range in cost from $15-30.

NYSTCE: Complete Preparation for the LAST and ATS-W, Kaplan

Cracking the NYSTCE: New York State Teacher Certification Exam, Princeton Review

The Best Test Preparation for the NYSTCE-New York State Teacher, Research & Education Association

Barron's How to Prepare for the Last/ATS-W: How to Prepare for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written, Barrons Educational Series

Test Preparation Courses
The College is aware of two companies that provide test preparation courses.

Kaplan at http://www.kaplan.com offers an online test preparation course for the LAST. Cost is approximately $150. Kaplan also offers a classroom course (approximately $450); however, they currently only offer this course in Manhattan.

CertEd at http://www.certed.com offers an online test preparation course for the LAST. The cost is approximately $99-145.

Registration for the LAST

Registration Bulletins are published in August of each year. They include general information concerning test dates, test registration, the day of the test, and score reports. Please carefully read the Registration Bulletin. Registration Bulletins are available in the Office of Certification, Career Services, and both Field Experience offices.

You may also register for the exam online at http://www.nystce.nesinc.com.

Test Scores

A score of 220 represents the minimum passing score for the LAST. An examinee with a total test score of 220 or above passes the test. An examinee with a total test score below 220 does not pass the test. Your pass/fail status is based on your performance on the total test at a single administration. (2003-2004 Registration Bulletin)

What happens if a student fails the LAST examination?

All classroom teachers in New York State are required to pass the LAST, ATS-W and CST exams in order to become initially certified. If you fail the LAST (or other tests), you will need to retake the exam(s) that you failed. Examinees who wish to retake a test may do so at a subsequent test administration. If you wish to retake a test, you must complete and send to NES a new registration form and payment.

Prior to retaking the exam, consider ways to further prepare for the exam. Did you review course materials and/or preparation guides prior to the first exam? If not, please do so prior to taking the exam for a second time. If you did study for the first exam using guides and/or course materials, perhaps you would benefit from an online test preparation course.

If you know the area(s) in which you struggled on the first exam, you might also consider hiring a private tutor for that area or seeking help from college faculty.

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