WSU College of Education Student Services & Certification

Washington Educator Skills Test - Basic (WEST-B)

Evidence of basic skills is a requirement for all prospective teachers in Washington.  Beginning September 1, 2013, prospective teachers may use SAT, ACT or WEST-B scores to meet the basic skills requirement for Washington teacher certification.  Any combination may be used, as long as passing scores are achieved in each area: reading, writing, and mathematics.  Basic skills proficiency is required in all three areas prior to admission to any of Washington State University’s teacher preparation programs (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or Master in Teaching). 

Passing scores are defined as:

Reading – 22
Math – 22
Writing – 8

Reading – 500
Math – 515
Writing – 490

Reading – 240
Math – 240
Writing – 240

Additional information can be found on the Professional Educator Standards Board’s (PESB) website.

Content Exam

All candidates applying for initial certification or teachers applying to add an endorsement to their current Washington teacher certificate must pass a content area exam know as the WEST-E.

NES replacement for WEST-E

At the March 2013 Professional Educator Standards Board meeting, the members selected the National Evaluation Series (NES) as the assessment to be used for the newly adopted endorsement competencies affected by the Common Core Standards for Students (CCSS). The following WEST-E tests will be affected by the Board's adoption of the NES and will be administered beginning September 2014:

•Elementary Education
•Middle Level Mathematics
•Secondary English Language Arts
•Secondary Mathematics

The endorsement timeline chart shows when other endorsement competencies will be updated and transition to the NES.

Note: Candidates planning to take the NES after September 1, 2014 should not register until September 3, 2014. If you register before this date you will be required to pay additional fees. Additional information can be found on PESB’s website.

*In cases where a candidate has attempted both subtests on the WEST-E Elementary Education exam but has only passed one subtest by Sept. 2014, then the candidate may take the equivalent subtest on the NES Elementary Education exam to meet the content knowledge skills requirement.

Candidates can access and use these test preparation materials now to begin to prepare for the NES exams. For more information please visit the NES website. Find "Preparation Materials" label to explore test prep.  Washington state specific website will be up shortly. 

Washington State University requires all students to pass the appropriate content exam(s) prior to student teaching.  To avoid delaying your student teaching it is advised that you take the content exam no later than the semester prior to student teaching.

Special Note to Designated World Language and Bilingual Candidates:  In addition to completing the WEST-E, students completing endorsements in Designated World Languages after September 1, 2010, must pass the oral (interview or computerized version accepted) and written portions of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) exam at the advance low level.  Bilingual candidates completing their program after September 1, 2009, must pass the ACTFL exam at the advance mid level in addition to the WEST-E.