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Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)

ELIMINATED as of 3/14/2017

The Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) is based on the idea that the following statement should be true about all teachers in New York State:

The New York State educator has the academic literacy skills necessary to teach effectively in New York State public schools. The teacher is capable of proficient, close, and critical reading that reflects wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with a range of high-quality, complex informational and literary texts. The teacher demonstrates command of evidence found in texts and uses cogent reasoning to analyze and synthesize ideas. The teacher produces complex and nuanced writing by choosing words, information, and structure deliberately for a given task, purpose, and audience. From the New York State Education Department ALST Test Design and Framework 2013 draft.

All candidates who are applying for certification will be required to take the ALST Exam (which is replacing the LAST Exam). It is based on Common Core State Standards and is very different in form and content from previous state examinations. Candidates are encouraged to review the practice items and scoring rubrics carefully.

The ALST consists of selected-response items, followed by focused constructed-response items and an extended writing assignment based on the critical analysis of authentic texts and graphic representations of information addressing the same topic. Each item requires the analysis of complex literary or informational texts.

The selected-response items count for 40% of the total test score and the constructed-response items count for 60% of the total test score. Each selected-response item counts the same toward the total test score.

The total testing time is 210 minutes. Candidates are free to set their own pace during the test administration. The following estimates were used to determine the total test time:

  • Each focused constructed-response item is designed with the expectation of a response up to 20 minutes.
  • The extended writing assignment is designed with the expectation of a response up to 60 minutes.
  • The selected-response items are designed with the expectation of response time up to 110 minutes.

For additional information, visit the NYSTCE website

School of Education Student Modules

  • All registered School of Education students have access to a BlackBoard Organization titled, "School of Education Student Modules." Visit your Bb account and use the scaffolded close reading, critical reading and writing sections that offer questions and excellent preparation resources.
  • Lehman Alumni can access the modules by self-enrolling in a CUNY-wide Blackboard organization.

ALST Study Guides