Required Exams (Basic Skills & Endorsements)

The state of Washington requires all teacher candidates seeking a Residency Teacher Certificate to meet minimum assessment requirements that cover Basic Skills (WEST-B, ACT, SAT) and Endorsement Knowledge (WEST-E/NES). Each test has a different function in assessing a teacher candidate's basic skills and content knowledge. Passing each test is required for earning a Residency Teacher Certificate in Washington State.

Washington Educator Skills Test — Basic (WEST-B*), ACT, SAT

The Washington Educator Skills Test of Basic Skills (WEST-B) is designed to measure basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing that teachers need to be successful in their teacher education programs. Passing the Basic Skills assessment is a teacher education program admission requirement in Washington State.

Meeting the Washington State Basic Skills requirement is also required of individuals prepared and/or certified out-of-state seeking a Washington State teaching certificate. The explicit purpose of the Basic Skills assessment is to help identify candidates with the required level of basic skills to perform successfully in an educator preparation program or as a teacher in a public school classroom.

Applicants may use a combination of SAT, ACT, and WEST-B scores to meet the WEST-B requirement (reading, writing, mathematics).

  • Minimum SAT scores required: Math 515, Reading 500, Writing 490.
  • Minimum ACT scores required: Math 22, Reading 22, Writing 8.

If teacher candidates have questions about Basic Skills requirements:

Teacher candidates need to meet the Washington Educator Skills Assessment of Basic Skills requirement for program admission, which is prior to Methods Quarter for Undergraduate Teacher Candidates. 

Endorsement Knowledge: Washington Educator Skills Test — Endorsements (WEST-E) or National Evaluation Series (NES)*

The WEST-E/NES measures the endorsement content knowledge teacher candidates need as a requirement for teacher certification in Washington State. Teacher candidates at SPU must pass the appropriate Washington Endorsement Test (WEST-E or NES) in their intended endorsement area(s). The WEST-E/NES must be passed prior to beginning practicum/student teaching. Several NES study guides are located on the main floor Reference section of the SPU library.

*Read more about the Washington Educator WEST-B and WEST-E/NES Tests.


Seattle Pacific University offers endorsements in the following areas:

  • CTE: Family and Consumer Science (4-12)
  • Designated Arts: Music-Choral (P-12) 
  • Designated Arts: Music-General (P-12)
  • Designated Arts: Music-Instrumental (P-12)
  • Designated Arts: Theatre Arts (P-12)
  • Designated Arts: Visual Arts (P-12)
  • Designated Science: Biology (5-12)
  • Designated Science: Chemistry (5-12)
  • Designated Science: Physics (5-12)
  • Designated World Languages: including French, German, Spanish (P-12)**
  • Early Childhood Education (P-3)
  • Elementary Education (K-8)
  • English/Language Arts (5-12)
  • Health and Fitness (P-12)
  • History (5-12)
  • Library Media (P-12)
  • Mathematics (5-12)
  • Middle Level Humanities (4-9)
  • Middle Level Math (4-9)
  • Special Education (P-12) (must be earned with another endorsement) 
  • Social Studies (5-12)

**Teacher candidates intending to be endorsed in one of the world languages must also demonstrate required proficiency on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Certified Proficiency tests - Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Written Proficiency Test (WPT). Pass rate is Advanced Low for Designated World Languages and Advanced Mid for Bilingual Education. This is in addition to Designated World Languages WEST-E/NES. Find more information about ACTFL testing and registration.

Did You Know?

Help IconThe SPU School of Education offers one-year alternative route teaching programs, including AMAT and AMTMS.