Washington State requires teacher candidates to complete both a basic skills test and a content knowledge test to become a teacher. All candidates are required to submit test scores as part of their application process. Below are information about the required tests for each endorsement and how to sign up.
Basic Skills Test
All teacher candidates are required to take the WEST-B (Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic), or equivalent test, before they can begin a teacher certification program. There is no passing score on the WEST-B, however, test scores are taken into consideration as part of the application. Accepted equivalents for the WEST-B are the ACT, SAT, Praxis, etc. You can view a list of accepted tests on PESB’s website.
If you are interested in entering any teacher certification program in the state, you should sign up and get the WEST-B done as soon as possible. It can take 2-6 weeks to get scores and may delay your ability to enroll in the program.
Each endorsement are has a corresponding content test. All teacher candidates must pass their content tests as part of the application process. Candidates maybe offered conditional admission without the content test if the rest of their application is strong. Candidate’s must pass their content test before they enter student teaching.
World Language Candidates: In addition to taking the WEST-E world language candidates must also take the ACTFL. The ACTFL is taken in the language you want to teach and covers written and oral fluency.
Do not put off studying for and taking your content tests! Candidates that are conditionally admitted to the program prior to passing the content test will be required to show proof of registration before starting module work. Candidates will also not be able to complete more than 5 modules nor may they start student teaching. Candidates seeking a Program Verification form (4050E) have additional requirements that must be completed before the program will sign off.
Case by Case Exceptions
All candidates, that have attempted their NES/WEST-E exam, applying for a Case by Case Exception (CBCE) must submit an application for official review along with 2 pieces of evidence, as outlined below. Applications will be reviewed twice a year, every October and April, with applications due the first of those months. Decisions will be given by Oct 31st and April 30th. However, due to the timing of this new policy coming into effect, candidates will also be reviewed in Jan/Feb 2021. Since each submission will require a separate committee be called to review, decisions may take 4-8 weeks before finalized.
Note: CBCE is not accepted for ACTFL tests. Candidates must pass the ACTFL OPI/WPT with a scores of Advanced Low or higher.
CBCE are available to NWED candidates only. Candidates in other programs will not be considered.
To be considered candidates must provide two pieces of evidence, along with an application. More information can be found in the following documents:
Special Education candidates needing a Verification of Program Enrollment (4050E) form will need to complete the following requirements before the program will submit the verification:
Successful completion of Modules 99, 116, 601, & 606 (please note completion of all SPED modules will be necessary to pass the WEST-E in SPED)
Registration for the WEST-E Special Education to be taken within 30 days
Registration in the Field Experience (to begin as soon as the WEST-E is passed
NWED will not sign off on any candidates 4050E form until these requirements are met. Our goal is to ensure that all candidates out in the field, teaching SPED, are getting the necessary training to serve their students.
Note: As of May 5, 2021 the edTPA is no longer a program requirement.