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Get prepared for the Middle Grades English Language Arts exam

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Middle Grades English Language Arts Study Guide

ISBN Number: 978-1-68317-116-4

Our online, easy-to-use study guide comes with a guarantee of passing and a 48 hour no-questions asked refund policy. Use our study guide risk-free and be confident you have the best material to prepare for your important exam.

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  • 134 Practice Questions
  • 62 Pages of Content
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  • Immediate Access
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134 Interactive Practice Questions and 62 Pages of Instructional Content!

Reading and Literature

71 Questions with Explanations
41 Pages of Instructional Content

Reading and Literature


24 Questions with Explanations
11 Pages of Instructional Content

Conventions and Composition

Oral and Visual Communication

39 Questions with Explanations
10 Pages of Instructional Content

Oral Communication and Visual Communication

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Take an NES Middle Grades English Language Arts Practice Test!

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What’s on the English Language Arts Exam

The NES Middle Grades English Language Arts exam is a required exam for anyone wanting to teach middle grades English in NES-required states. The purpose of the test is to ensure that candidates have sufficient knowledge in all relevant areas.

Taking the NES Middle Grades English Language Arts exam can be a daunting task.  Because its goal is to test your classroom readiness across the spectrum of content, it covers a lot of ground.  This breadth can make it hard to know how to prepare.  Luckily, if you understand how the test is organized and what it is testing, you will have no problem prepping for this test.  In order to cover everything needed to teach middle grades English, the exam is broken into five content domains–which are further explained through descriptive statements.


Now that you have your test date set, you can turn to preparing for the exam itself. To begin, let’s look at the structure of the exam. The NES Middle Grades English Language Arts exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The test is administered via computer. Because of this, there can be a variety in the style of questions that are asked. You should expect to see three main types of questions: single-answer, stimulus-based, and cluster. You should expect most questions to require you simply to click an oval next to the correct answer. However, there may be questions that utilize the technology more. They may ask you to zoom in on details in a graphic or picture, click boxes next to all that apply, click on check boxes, click on parts of a graphic or sentence, use a drag and drop feature, or select your answer from a drop-down menu.

You Need to Pay for the Exam.

The Cost of the Test is $95

 ETS accepts all major credit cards for payment


You will have 3 hours to complete the 150 questions.


English Language Arts

3 hours

Exam Content Domains

Content Domain I: Reading Process and Comprehension and Reading in Multiple Subject Areas

Competency 0001: Understand the foundations of reading development.

Competency 0002: Understand strategies for developing vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension.

Competency 0003: Understand strategies for reading in multiple subject areas.

Content Domain II: Reading Various Text Forms and Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

Competency 0004: Understand strategies for reading informational texts.

Competency 0005: Understand strategies for reading persuasive texts.

Competency 0006: Understand strategies for analyzing and interpreting literary texts.

Competency 0007: Understand the major historical, social, cultural, and political aspects of literatures from around the world.

Content Domain III: English Language Conventions, Composition, Writing Process, and Research

Competency 0008: Understand the conventions of Standard American English and the elements of effective composition.

Competency 0009: Understand the writing process and the elements of effective and appropriate research.

Content Domain IV: Modes of Writing

Competency 0010: Understand strategies for descriptive writing.

Competency 0011: Understand strategies for expository writing.

Competency 0012: Understand strategies for persuasive writing.

Content Domain V: Oral and Visual Communication

Competency 0013: Understand strategies for effective listening and speaking and for participating in group discussions.

Competency 0014: Understand strategies for effective viewing and presenting and for analyzing various media.

 Passing Scoring

Your score will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly. The passing score varies depending on the state you are testing for. See Registration and Testing section below for detailed information.

Registration and Testing

The first step in getting yourself ready for this exam is to complete the registration.  Some NES tests are offered continuously while others are offered during testing windows that occur several times a year. However, because of that, it is important to register as soon as possible to make sure you get the date and location you want.  It is also a good idea to register early, so that you leave enough time for yourself to prepare.

What Test Do I Need to Take?

Each US State has unique testing requirements in order to display proficiency. Please visit the NES website and select your desired state in order to determine which specific test you need to take.

When Can/Should a Person Take the NES?

Each US State has a unique timeline. Please visit the NES website and select your desired state in order to determine when your state recommends you should take the exam in order to obtain a new license, add a concentration to your current license, or obtain a license in a different state.

How to Register

Applicants are required to create an account in order to register for any NES Exams. You can create an account by providing your email, desired password, and answers to a variety of security questions at the NES Test Registration page. It is crucial that the information you provide at the time of registration matches your government-issued I.D. Early Registration is strongly encouraged in order to schedule a desired seat and meet the required deadline for any NES exam.

Preparing for the Exam

Beginning to Prepare

After you have determined which exam you need to take, have registered and paid the exam fee, it is time to begin preparing for the NES. The most effective way to prepare for the NES Exam series is to develop a study plan. Your study plan should include understanding the standards, the structure of the NES, what study materials are available, practice or diagnostic assessments, studying strategies,  how to write a CRQ (if applicable), and developing a study schedule as discussed below.

Understanding The Standards

The NES was designed to align with nationwide learning standards and content standards for teachers. The Professional and Subject Knowledge exams will measure proficiency in their respective fields based on the standards for that field. You can find information about these standards on your state’s Department of Education website.

Structure of the NES

Each NES exam is a computer-based assessment that consists of a unique format and time allotment. Please visit NES website and select your desired test for more information.

What to Expect the Day of the Test

You should plan to be at the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled test appointment. You should dress comfortably and in layers. Wear soft-soled shoes in order to maintain a quiet testing environment for all testers.

Lockers are provided at most testing centers. Please double-check by calling the testing center in advance.

You need to have a government-issued I.D. to verify your identity. When you check in your I.D. will be checked, your digital signature recorded, your palm scanned, and your photograph taken.

Each testing center has computers separated by partitions as well as a proctor to prevent cheating. Before beginning the exam, each tester will complete a computer-based tutorial session designed to show you how to navigate through the test successfully. If you would like to preview this tutorial, please visit and follow the instructions.

Test Scores

Passing Score

The national benchmark for a passing score for every NES subtest is 220. Some states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon may require a higher score in order to qualify for a license. Please visit the NES website and select your desired test in order to determine the passing score for that test required by your state.

When Do I Get Scores?

A benefit of the NES structure of computer-based testing is that you receive an unofficial score report at the testing center upon completion of your test.

An official score report will be emailed to the email address you provided upon registration as soon as it is available, so it is important to keep your registration information up to date. You can also access a PDF version of your score report 45 days after the test date by logging in and following the prompts. You can also find your results, when they become available, here.

Understanding Your Score Report

Your Score Report will include the date of the exam, your total test score out of 300, and a pass or fail status. In order to help testers understand their strengths and weaknesses in testing areas, sub-area scores are provided. You do not need to pass every sub-area in order to pass the exam. Please visit the NES website in order to read a detailed NES Score Report Explanation and a NES State-Specific Score Report Explanation.

State Reciprocity

NES Exams are accepted in a wide variety of states. In order to get accurate and up-to-date information about individual state requirements, please visit your state’s Department of Education website, or follow the links on the NES website.

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