Center Exercises
National Board Certification
Connie Wolf, NBCT
Better Teaching . . .
Better Learning
Demonstrate Your
The online assessment portion of the National Board
Certification process asks you to demonstrate
your content knowledge in response to 6
exercises developed and designed by practicing
professionals in your certificate area.
You will have up to 30 minutes to respond to each of
the exercises at one of 200 testing sites in the
U.S. All responses are written at a computer using
a basic word processing format.
Why are these exercises part
of the NBC process?
• Teacher content expertise is embedded in
the Five Core Propositions.
• The National Board Certification process
samples teacher knowledge across six
aspects of the content referenced in the
certificate standards around content.
• Being an “accomplished” teacher implies
mastery of relevant disciplinary content.
5 Core Propositions
• Teachers are committed to students and their
• Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to
teach those subjects to students
• Teachers are responsible for managing and
monitoring student learning
• Teachers think systematically about their practice
and learn from experience
• Teachers are members of learning communities
Assessment Center
1) Designed to assess fundamental
content knowledge that supports
quality instruction on a daily basis
o What do you know?
o How do you apply this knowledge
to student learning?
Assessment Center
2) Cover the entire developmental age range
included in the certificate – You are
expected to demonstrate knowledge of
appropriate content across the full range
3) Can focus on any number of things
germane to the content knowledge
outlined in the standards for a given
certificate area
Assessment Center
4) May consist of 1 or more prompts or
questions designed to elicit evidence of
content knowledge
5) A scenario or student profile may be
presented for consideration before
responding to a set of prompts
Assessment Center
6) May ask for a specific number of
examples as part of the response.
Candidates should only submit the
number requested because assessors are
trained to evaluate this number.
Assessors look for depth and
quality, not quantity.
When should you schedule?
• When it is convenient—but choose and
confirm a date as soon as possible after all
your fees are paid. This helps set a target
for your preparation.
• There is no advantage in waiting until your
portfolio is completed. Some teachers prefer
completing the AC exercises well before the
portfolio is due, finding the content review
helpful as they create lessons for their
AC Calendar
Assessment Center Testing Window
2009-2010 Candidates:
July 1, 2009
June 15, 2010
Schedule Early
Many other professions use these testing
sites. Call early to make sure you can
schedule an appointment that is convenient
to you.
The testing centers are closed on several
federal holidays.
Before Scheduling
• Receive your Authorization to Test form in
the mail
• Verify that all information on your
Authorization to Test form is correct.
• If you have a disability that necessitates
special accommodations under the ADA,
submit the Nonstandard Testing
Accommodation Form by January 31, 2009.
Authorization to Test
Before Scheduling
• Review all information and policies
outlined in the
– Guide to National Board Certification
– Assessment Center Orientation Policy and
• Submit fees and forms:
– First time candidates deadline: January 31,
– Retake Candidates deadline: December 31,2009
Scheduling an
• To schedule your assessment center
appointment, please call:
The Pearson Professional
Registration Center
Testing Sites
4 Testing Sites in Wisconsin
Pearson Professional CentersBrookfield Bishops Court,
Suite L10
Bishops Woods Centre
Brookfield, WI 53005
Eau Claire
Pearson Professional CentersEau Claire WI3610
Oakwood Mall Drive
Suite 102
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Pearson Professional CentersMadison WI8517 Excelsior
Prairie Trail Office Suites
II, Suite 105
Madison, WI 53717
Pearson Professional CentersKenosha WI7500 Green
Bay Road
Johnson Bank Building
Suite 311
Kenosha, WI 53142
Where can you test?
The Pearson Professional Centers on
the website can help you
locate a testing center. Simply enter
your zip code to locate the closest
center near you.
Changes to your
Rescheduling – If you need to reschedule their appointment, you will be
charged a $50 rescheduling fee
Cancellations - Please note that by canceling your appointment, you will also
rescind your eligibility for the testing in the year which you apply.
Reinstatement – If you miss or cancel your appointment, you will be
charged a: $175 reinstatement fee (2007-2008 candidates) to reinstate
your candidacy.
Change of Specialty Area – If you wish to change your certification area,
you will be charged a $75 fee.
You must pay rescheduling fees
immediately after your appointment is
Preparing for the
AC Exercises
Do you have to study?
• National Board standards support staying
current in disciplinary knowledge, so
professional reading for the Assessment
Center tests fits with this idea of
continuous growth in your practice.
• It is likely that content review will be
helpful for some of your Assessment
Center exercises.
What should you study?
• Textbook chapters (including student texts and
teacher’s manuals)
• Web resources, including content discipline
associations’ websites Professional development
books and journals
• Resources recommended by colleagues—often
these are “tried and true”
Prepare for Your
Get Organized – read the Assessment
Center Orientation Policy and Guidelines
for policies, information about test day,
and additional instructions for first-time,
retake, music and world languages
Download Your
Exercise Descriptions
The assessment center component provides
six exercises, each allowing up to 30
minutes for candidate response. For a
complete description of each assessment
center exercise, select your certificate
area from the drop-down menu.
How to Prepare
• Create a notebook, file or other
• organizational study system – a section for each
• Familiarize yourself with the computer
• Gather the 6 AC exercises and the corresponding
level 4 scoring rubrics
• Review your standards
• “Unpack” each prompt
Review Scoring Guide
For additional information you should also
read the Scoring Guide for your selected
certificate. These guides contain the
rubrics that are used to score assessment
center exercises and two retired prompts
in your certificate area.
Use the Online tutorial
Locate the Tutorial at
 Introduction
Testing Tools
Taking the Test
 Post-test
Assessment Exercise
• Read each descriptor carefully –
scroll down to read all parts to this
• Respond appropriately and focused to
all of the questions
Assessment Exercise
• You do not need to write an essay – you
may make bulleted lists (use * or >)
• Don’t go off on tangents – stay focused
• Quickly identify what is asked
• Think rapidly about your ideas and how to
organize them
• Write concisely
Assessors look for depth and quality, not
Practice an Exercise
Try a sample assessment exercise
in your certificate area. These
retired prompts can be found at:
“Candidate Resources”
What kind of questions
do they ask?
• Assessment Center exercises focus on
themes, ideas and principles that
represent core concepts in a discipline.
For EA/Gen and MC/Gen candidates, the
content often is inextricably linked to
pedagogies—the knowledge of how to
teach the concept is the content.
• Assessment Center prompts do not
test recall of trivia or obscure
Early Childhood Generalist Assessment Exercise
Prompt (retired) Mathematics
In this exercise, you will use your knowledge of mathematical concepts
and processes to apply these concepts to real-world applications. You
will be asked to respond to 4 prompts.
Criteria for scoring
To satisfy the highest level of the scoring rubric you must provide clear,
consistent, convincing evidence of the following:
• A deep understanding of mathematical concepts and processes
• An accurate identification of the student’s misconception/difficulty
• A well-developed instructional strategy or learning experience that is
clearly linked to real-world applications and appropriately addresses
the child’s needs
• Developmentally appropriate choice of materials to teach the
mathematical concept and a rationale for your choice of these
Early Childhood Generalist Assessment
Exercise Prompt Example
“A kindergarten child is having difficulty with a
math concept”
Students were asked to mark an X on
each triangle.
1) Identify the student
misconception/difficulty on this student
work sample.
2) What fundamental concepts are prerequisite for students at this grade
level in order to learn these skills?
3) Based on real-world application, state your goal for a learning
experience to help this student. Plan a learning experience based on
this goal that would further student understanding of this
mathematical concept .
What materials would you use to teach this concept to
this child. What is your rationale for your choice of
Who can help you prepare?
Preparing for the Assessment Center can be done
effectively in groups—but there are often single
candidates who must prepare for a unique
certificate area. These candidates can turn to
other teachers (not necessarily NBCTs) to help
them think about likely questions, using the
exercise descriptions.
Candidates sign a confidentiality agreement upon
taking the AC exercises. Protecting the integrity of
the National Board process is a responsibility for
all candidates as well as NBCTs. Please do not
divulge information about your actual Assessment
Center prompts.
Test Day
Arrive 30 minutes early to familiarize yourself
with the testing center
You will be asked to:
Surrender your Authorization to Test
Show your valid photo ID
Sign a confidentiality statement
Have your photo taken
Leave your belongings in a secured locker
Raise your hand at any time with problems or questions
Scratch paper will be provided for your use during
– Sign in and out of the testing room whenever you leave
Test Day Schedule
(first-time candidates in most certificates)
Check in
15 minutes
Computer Tutorial
Exercises 1 - 3
Exercises 4 - 6
4 hours
What to Bring
• Your Authorization to Test
• The appropriate ID with your photo
bearing your signature - read the
Assessment Center Orientation Policy
and Guidelines for exact instructions
• Sheet of bar code ID labels sent with your
Authorization to Test if applicable
• Practice your typing skills. You have only 30
minutes to write your answers to each exercise
• Read all parts of each exercise before you start
typing so you know what is expected in the
• A clock on your computer screen will keep you
aware of your time – the clock never stops!
 The sample test items are just that. . . there
are specific questions that are quite different
than those on the actual test.
 Make sure that you cover all of the area and
age groups that you are applying for in the
test. . . . if you don't teach that age group, talk
to others who do to get ideas from them about
activities, characteristics of that age and what
works and what doesn't.
• Prepare a study sheet for each exercise
• Research what is current in your certificate area
• Do your very best. These six exercises weigh
6.67% each, or 40% of your total score.
• Review your standards – this is what accomplished
teaching looks like in your area
NBPTS Code of Ethics
Do not discuss the contents
of your assessment
exercises with anyone
What do other candidates say
about the AC Exercises?
• It helps to prepare, especially in areas where you
feel you may need shoring up.
• Remember: each exercise is worth only a small
percentage of your score. One weak AC exercise
score is not fatal. If you encounter something
difficult, don’t let it derail you.
• Preparing for the Assessment Center can actually be
a great content review, and lead to a sense of better
preparation for teaching, as well as new ideas for

Assessment Center Exercises