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Required Exams (WEST-B & -E)

The state of Washington requires all students who seek a Residency Teacher Certificate to pass the Washington Educator Skills Test — Basic (WEST-B), and the Washington Educator Skills Test — Endorsements (WEST-E). Each test has a different function in assessing your basic skills and content knowledge as a teacher candidate, and each test is taken at a different stage in your Residency Teacher Certification Program at SPU.

Skills Test History

In 2000, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 2760, which created the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). In addition to its responsibility for setting standards for Washington educators, the PESB has authority for assessing prospective teachers applying to educator preparation programs and assessing applicants for residency certification in Washington state.

The Washington Educator Skills Tests were established as a uniform means of measuring the basic skills competency and content knowledge of all teacher candidates.

Washington Educator Skills Test — Basic (WEST-B)

The WEST-B is designed to measure basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing that are required for teachers to be successful in their teacher education programs. It was established by the state as a requirement for admission to teacher education programs approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board.

Passing the WEST-B is also required of individuals prepared and/or certified out-of-state seeking a Washington teaching certificate. The explicit purpose of the WEST-B 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.

You will need to earn a passing score on the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B) prior to beginning the Methods Quarter at SPU.

*Applicants may use SAT and ACT scores to meet part or all of the WEST-B requirements. Please contact the Certification Office if you have any questions.

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

Washington Educator Skills Test — Endorsements (WEST-E)

The WEST-E measures the content knowledge of candidates seeking an endorsement to a Washington teaching certificate and is aligned with the state's teacher endorsement competencies and Essential Academic Learning Requirements.

The explicit purpose of the WEST-E is to help identify candidates with the required level of content knowledge for Washington's endorsements. Endorsements are required for teaching certificates to demonstrate that teachers have the appropriate subject knowledge for their teaching assignments.

As a teacher candidate at SPU, you must complete the Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsements (West-E) in your intended endorsement area(s). The WEST-E must be passed prior to beginning the Integrated Quarter.

Read more about the Washington Educator Skills Tests.


Seattle Pacific University offers endorsements in the following areas to undergraduate teacher candidates (secondary and/or P–12):

  • CTE: Family and Consumer Science
  • Designated Arts: Music-Choral
  • Designated Arts: Music-General
  • Designated Arts: Music-Instrumental
  • Designated Arts: Theatre Arts
  • Designated Arts: Visual Arts
  • Designated Science: Biology
  • Designated Science: Chemistry
  • Designated Science: Physics
  • Designated World Languages: French*
  • Designated World Languages: German*
  • Designated World Languages: Spanish*
  • Elementary Education
  • English/Language Arts
  • Health and Fitness
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Social Studies
  • Environmental and Sustainability Education

*If you wish to be endorsed in one of the world languages, you must also take and receive a high enough proficiency on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Certified Proficiency tests. This is in addition to Designated World Languages West-E. Find more information about ACTFL testing and registration at

Did You Know?

Help IconThe SPU School of Education offers graduate routes to teacher certification that culminate in certification and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Check out the ARC/MAT, MAT, and MTMS programs.