About the Tests

The New Mexico Staff Accountability Plan of 1981 mandated assessment as part of the state's teacher licensure requirements. The State of New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) selected the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson to fulfill the requirements for a testing program to help identify candidates for licensure who have demonstrated the level of knowledge and skills important for performing the job of an educator in New Mexico public schools.

The NMTA program consists of two types of computer-based tests:

  • New Mexico custom tests, developed specifically for the state of New Mexico
  • NES® (National Evaluation Series™) tests, aligned to professionally accepted national subject and pedagogy standards. The NES is a nationally available teacher certification testing program. As of January 5, 2015, most custom NMTA tests have been replaced by equivalent NES tests as the official tests to fulfill many testing requirements for New Mexico teacher licensure or endorsement.

The tests are criterion referenced and competency based.

  • A criterion-referenced test is designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard rather than to the performance of other candidates.
  • The test questions measure mastery of competencies contained in a framework that was developed for that test field (frameworks are available in the test preparation materials). The competencies reflect professionally accepted national subject and pedagogy standards and/or licensure standards, curriculum materials, and content of educator preparation programs in New Mexico. Each competency has two major parts: a competency statement that broadly defines the subject matter; and descriptive statements that provide examples of the types of knowledge and skills the competency covers.

All the tests in the NMTA program—New Mexico custom and NES tests—address areas covered by New Mexico state standards.

The tables below list each type of test, as well as which New Mexico custom test a NES test replaced. You can find the passing score, other information, and links to preparation materials by selecting your test here.

Custom NMTA Tests
Educational Administrator
Educational Diagnostician
NES® (National Evaluation Series™) Test Replaced NMTA Test
Art Visual Arts
Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary Assessment of Teacher Competency—Elementary
Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary Assessment of Teacher Competency—Secondary
Early Childhood Education (Birth—Prekindergarten) and Early Childhood Education (Age 3—Age 8)Assessment of Teacher Competency—Early Childhood
Elementary Education (Subtests I and II) Elementary Education
English Language Arts Language Arts
English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III) Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills
Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction N/A
Family and Consumer Sciences Family and Consumer Sciences
French French
General Science Science
German German
Gifted Education N/A
Health Health Education
Mathematics Mathematics
Middle Grades English Language Arts Middle Level Language Arts
Middle Grades General Science Middle Level Science
Middle Grades Mathematics Middle Level Mathematics
Middle Grades Social Science Middle Level History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government
Music Music
Physical Education Physical Education
School Counselor School Counselor
School Library Media Specialist Library/Media
Social Science History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Government
Spanish Spanish
Special Education Special Education