NES Special Education (601) Exam Overview
Looking to teach special education? You may need to pass the NES Special Education (601) exam. But don’t stress—you’re in the right place. The following article will detail the structure of this subtest and offer valuable tips and resources to help you ace it.
The NES Special Education (601) test gauges whether you are prepared to instruct special education students in grades K-12. Given its importance to your career, it’s natural to feel some anxiety about this test. However, there are ways to take charge of your testing experience. For instance, gaining familiarity with the exam structure can boost your confidence. A suite of effective study tools will also set you up for success on the NES Special Education test.
With that in mind, let’s delve into the details of the NES Special Education (601) exam and explore strategies for preparation. Whether you’re taking the test for the first time or gearing up for a retake, this article will empower you to tackle the NES Special Education exam with confidence. Let’s get to work!
Overview of the NES Special Education (601) exam
Knowing what to expect can help ease your nerves on test day. Let’s take a broad look at the NES Special Education test to understand what it covers.
During the Special Education (601) test, you will have 3 hours to answer 150 multiple-choice questions. The questions cover the following content domains:
- Students with Disabilities
- Assessment and Program Planning
- Learning Environments and Instructional Practices
- Foundations and Professional Practice
For details on topics that may appear on this exam, check out the information provided by the official NES Special Education (601) test framework.
Familiarizing yourself with these expectations should help you decide how to allocate study time. As you begin preparing for the NES Special Education test, you should focus on areas you know will be challenging.
Overall, a balanced approach to studying the four content domains listed will set you up for success on the NES Special Education (601) test.
You will have 3 hours to complete the Special Education exam.
220 is the passing score for the NES Special Education (601) test.
Number of Questions
The Special Education (601) exam has 150 multiple-choice questions that cover four different content domains.
The NES Special Education (601) exam costs $119.
Visit the NES Special Education (601) test page to learn more about payment and fees, including fee waivers.
You can register for the NES Special Education exam year round. Start the registration process by creating an NES account, and then choose a convenient time and place to test.
If you’re able to abide by the requirements of online proctoring, you can even take the NES Special Education (601) test at home. Learn more about OnVue exams here.
If you take the exam in person, you’ll receive a preliminary score upon finishing. Official score reports are released within two weeks of testing.
Want to learn more about NES Special Education scores? Explore the details with our NES Special Education (601) scoring guide!
Test Preparation Tips
Given its importance, the NES Special Education (601) exam may feel intimidating. However, the right strategies and mindset will give you the boost you need to succeed. Here are some preparation tips to make the most of your study time:
Take a Proactive Approach
- Get familiar with the format and content areas of the NES Special Education test as soon as you can. The longer you put off studying, the more anxiety you’ll feel. (Reading this article is a great start!)
- Avoid procrastination by using a calendar app to schedule study time. When you’ve made a formal appointment to study, it’s harder to skip.
- Divide your study blocks among all four content domains, and consider setting a timer to stay on track. It’s important that you be ready for every topic that appears on this exam.
Review Key Facts and Skills
- The special education field involves a number of acronyms and medical diagnoses. In anticipation of the Special Education (601) exam, ensure you’re well versed in relevant vocabulary. This will help avoid confusion.
- Move through content in a logical order, as opposed to jumping around. For instance, review how to instruct students in basic life habits before you move on to more complex vocational skills.
Study Sample Questions and Take Practice Tests
- Attempt sample questions in every content area. While you may already have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses, you should test those assumptions against exam materials.
- Take full-length practice tests on a regular basis to ensure you’re comfortable with the exam’s format and timing. If you’re unable to finish tests within 3 hours, avoid attempting a drastic time cut. Try gradually accelerating your pace instead.
- Use official NES exam preparation materials. Studying content that aligns with the real NES Special Ed (601) exam will help prevent surprises on test day.
Develop Effective Study Strategies
- Whenever you miss a practice question, don’t just move on. Read the explanation behind each answer and ensure it makes sense.
- Break down your study routine into manageable chunks. It’s better to dedicate 20 minutes to studying every night than to burn out after 10 hours of nonstop prep.
- Use diagrams, charts, and flashcards to organize concepts and terms. Visualizing complex ideas can make them easier to remember.
- Engage in active learning by summarizing concepts in your own words, explaining a technique to someone else, or participating in study groups. These strategies will help ensure you’re truly mastering the material, as opposed to memorizing surface details.
Important Exam Day Instructions
On the day of your NES Special Education exam, read all pre-test instructions carefully. Allow ample time for travel—and verify that you’re headed to the location named in your confirmation email. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes before the time of your exam.
If you’re taking your exam at home, log in to your account and start your test within the acceptable interval (up to 30 minutes before your scheduled time and up to 15 minutes after it).
Check Required Items
Before leaving for the exam, double-check that you have all you need. Essential items can include:
- Valid identification: You must present a current, government-issued ID that bears your photo and signature. Examples of acceptable ID include driver’s licenses and passports.
- Necessary materials: To combat cold exam rooms, bring clothing you can layer. You should also be sure to wear soft-soled shoes to keep the testing space quiet.
Review the official instructions to learn more about testing policies and what to bring to the exam site.
If you’ll be taking the exam at home, make sure that you’re viewing the tabs that read “Online Proctoring” when you browse the link above. Test takers who plan to use online proctoring should pay special attention to these requirements. The rules for remote testing are very strict, and a violation will cancel your score.
Understand Exam Format and Instructions
To prevent confusion on test day, familiarize yourself with the format and basic instructions of the NES Special Education (601) exam well in advance. Key things to remember include:
- Time limits: Be aware of the time limit and set your pace accordingly. You will have 3 hours to answer all 150 multiple-choice questions.
- Marking scheme: Make sure you know how to mark selections properly on your screen. NES exams take place exclusively via computer.
- Special instructions: Pay attention to any special instructions provided by the exam proctors, such as rules around breaks.
Manage Time Effectively
Time management is crucial to finishing the NES Special Education exam within 3 hours. The following tips can help you manage your time effectively.
- Read and understand the instructions: Take a moment at the beginning to go over all instructions thoroughly. This will help prevent errors and wasted time.
- Pace yourself: On average, you’ll have a little over a minute for each question. However, you should work faster than that whenever possible, to bank time for tough questions or for checking answers.
- Know when to move on: There is no guessing penalty on the NES Special Education exam, so if you’re stuck on a question, it’s in your best interest to guess.
On exam day, you can use these tips to streamline your test-taking process and maximize your chances of success. Working efficiently, staying calm, and maintaining focus are all essential to doing well on the NES Special Education (601) test.
The NES Special Education (601) exam is a key part of becoming a special education instructor. To pass the Special Education (601) test, you’ll need to show proficiency in areas such as student development, assessment types, instructional design, appropriate learning environments, behavioral intervention, and professional ethics and responsibilities.
Despite its broad scope, you shouldn’t let this test intimidate you. If you familiarize yourself with the exam structure, review all content areas, and follow our prep tips, you can approach the NES Special Education exam with confidence, increasing your chances of success.
More NES Special Education (601) Exam Resources
- Kick off your exam prep with a free NES Special Education practice test!
- Questions about your scores? Our Special Education (601) exam scoring guide has your back.
- Looking for even more study help? Check out our NES Special Education (601) study guide.