The Academic Literacy Skills Test is exactly what it sounds like. Although you’ve been going to college for four years or even have your Master’s, New York State still wants you to prove you can read and write well enough to teach.

Anyways, each test is similar in structure with 5-6 selected passages and approximately 8 corresponding questions per passage. I found that most questions could easily be narrowed down to a 50/50 and then there were a few words or a key idea that would make the difference between the final two options. To be honest, I’d estimate 50% of the questions were 50/50 and the rest were pretty simple. The toughest parts on the test were the vocabulary questions. Even in context there were a few words I admittedly had no idea what they truly meant and they were the first time I’d ever seen the words in print (and probably the last too). But again, they could be 50/50’d.

The writing section was broken into 3 parts. In the link below to the NYSTCE site it is explained in more depth and it is exactly how they describe it. My particular essay was about the use of cell phones when driving. In part III where a graphic was given to analyze I was a little perplexed because the data shown was fairly insignificant in my opinion and had few “concrete” facts to pull from it. After taking some time to analyze it in depth I had an epiphany of how the data should be used to construct a very sound argument and I was able to obtain all the points for the writing section. My point is to make sure you don’t rush on the last section. If I hadn’t taken my time I may have missed this moment and not scored as well as I did but this will depend on the topic provided on your test.

Overall, I literally used every second to check my answers over and I proofread my essay until time was called. The test flies by and time management is key. Use the link below to help yourself out but if you’ve been through college already this should be a breeze.