MTEL Information and Resource Guide
Revised November 7, 2003
Dr. Kevin P. Duffy
227 Campion Hall
Ryan J. Miller, M.A. Cand.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. DEVELOPING A PREPARATION PLAN
1. Procure the 2003-2004 Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure Bulletin. These are available free of charge in the Practicum Office, Campion 135. Please note the change in test fees notice on the cover of the bulletin.
2. Read the attached summary of the Communications and Literacy Skills Test (CLST). It will give you a basic idea of what kind of questions you will encounter on the Reading and Writing portions of the CLST.
3. Read the Test Information Booklets for each MTEL test you are taking. These booklets are available free on the Massachusetts DOE website at: (http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/MA_SG_opener.asp), or in the Practicum Office (135 Campion). The booklets are on reserve in 135 Campion, but you may read them in the lounge. To find them, go straight into the lounge area after you enter 135. They will be on a bookshelf to your right. The booklets are also available for review at O’Neill Library and the Educational Resource Center in Campion. Pay particular attention to the test objectives section of each booklet.
4. Look at the resources available for the Texas Teacher Tests. The TTT’s are written by the same company and are very similar in structure and content to the MTEL exams. Study guides for many tests are available free at: (http://www.excet.nesinc.com/excetstudyguid/index.htm). These guides contain strategies and tips not contained in the MTEL booklets, and also contain a larger number of questions. This is one of the very best available resources.
5. Look at other resources available for the MTELs. Several pages of tips for MTEL preparation are attached, as well as a non-comprehensive list of websites useful for brushing up on various subject tests. A list of MTEL Preparation Courses is available at the Massachusetts DOE website at: (http://www.doe.mass.edu/mtel/faq/tprep_lst.html).
6. Look at the study guides available for the Communications and Literacy Skills Test. The Research & Education Association (www.rea.com) has a publication called The Best Test Preparation for the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills Test (see page 37). Be aware, however, that this and other study guides may not be 100% accurate; you must be intimately familiar with the test before you consult these manuals. REA’s advice as to the Written Mechanics portion of the CLST (where you must transcribe an audio tape) is a prime example of poor guidance. They advise test takers to be wary of sentence and paragraph structure, when the state’s MTEL booklets (#3 above) tell us that the transcription is in fact graded on spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
7. Look at subject test manuals. Massachusetts-specific subject test manuals are hard to find; you may wish to consult a study guide such as REA’s Essentials (www.rea.com) and Cliff’s Quick Reviews (www.cliffs.com). Lists of subjects covered by these manuals are attached (see pages 38 & 39). Be aware, however, that these guides may not cover all the material you will be responsible for on the MTEL subject exams (see #3 above).
8. Cities or towns near Boston College in which past testing sites were located include: Boston, Lowell, Beverly, Lynn, Randolph, Braintree, Norton, Arlington, Cambridge, and North Quincy (for more information see page 14 of the 2003-2004 Registration Bulletin).
9. Framingham State College offers one of the premier MTEL preparation courses in the Greater Boston area. Information and dates for their courses are attached (see pages 21 to 25).
10. Consult with your peers. Talk to students in the LSOE who have taken the MTEL to get some advice on studying and preparation. Find out what their experience was like and what you can expect.
11. For additional questions about the MTEL, Associate Dean John Cawthorne in 104 Campion is available to meet with students individually and in small groups to discuss strategies for taking the test. The Practicum Office is also available to answer general questions. For information on resources and developing a preparation plan, contact Dr. Kevin Duffy.
B. Communication and Literacy Skills Test Overview
The Communication and Literacy Skills test consists of two subtests: Reading and Writing. Candidates taking the test are asked to demonstrate the communication and literacy skills necessary for providing instruction in Massachusetts public schools and for communication between school and parents or guardians. Areas tested include the comprehension and analysis of reading selections; development of ideas in essay form on specific topics; outlining and summarizing; interpretation of tables and graphs; and mastery of vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics. On each test date, the Communication and Literacy Skills test is administered in the four-hour morning session. The written mechanics section of the Writing Subtest, which involves the written transcription of audiotapes, is administered first during the test session. Following the written mechanics section, candidates are permitted to work on the remaining sections of the test in any order they choose and at their own pace until time is called at the end of the session.
The Communication and Literacy Skills test is designed to assess one key aspect of the responsibilities of teachers in Massachusetts public school classrooms: teachers must directly teach –and indirectly model-effective communication and literacy skills, including the use of the conventions of edited American English.
The Reading Subtest contains content defined by 6 Communication and Literacy Skills test objectives (0001 through 0006). It includes approximately 30 multiple-choice items and six open-response (short answer) items that address word meaning (vocabulary). Each test item counts equally toward a candidate's total Reading Subtest score.
Open-Response (Short-Answer) Items
The Writing Subtest contains content defined by 12 Communication and Literacy Skills test objectives (0007 through 0018). The Writing Subtest includes multiple-choice items and several forms of open-response items. It consists of four sections: Written Summary, Written Composition, Grammar and Usage, and Written Mechanics. Each section counts equally toward a candidate's total Writing Subtest score.
Grammar and Usage
Multiple-choice items. There
are approximately 14 multiple-choice items that are linked to brief
written passages that contain grammatical, usage, or structural errors.
Candidates must analyze the passages, recognize the errors, and select the
response that provides the best correction.
C. Subject Tests Overview
The Subject Tests are designed to assess the breadth and depth of the candidate's knowledge in the subject area, the candidate's understanding of fundamental concepts of the discipline, and the candidate's familiarity with field-specific methodologies. The content of these tests was determined by Massachusetts public school teachers and Massachusetts college faculty in the appropriate content fields.
Most subject tests include multiple-choice test questions and two open-response questions (e.g., solving problems, providing proofs, writing essays of approximately 300 to 600 words). The number of multiple-choice and open-response test items varies across the tests. Most Subject Tests contain about 80 multiple-choice questions and two open-response items. However, newly revised tests include 100 multiple-choice items. Please note: A candidate's performance on subareas with multiple-choice questions is based on the number of test questions answered correctly. Candidates do not "lose" any points for wrong answers. All multiple-choice questions are weighted equally in computing the total score. The open-response section counts for either 20% or 25% of the candidate's total test score, depending on the test (consult individual Test Information Booklets).
In tests of foreign languages (including transitional bilingual education tests), the open-response items typically assess speaking, writing, listening, and reading with fluency, and/or cultural understanding. Candidates write their responses to the open-response items or record them onto audiotape. For Spanish, French, German, and Italian, the open-response questions consist of one speaking and one writing assignment and, together, count for 33% of the candidate's total test score. For Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese, there are multiple open-response questions, and the open-response section counts for 67% of the candidate's total test score.
For tests requiring calculators, (Math (09), Chemistry (12), and Physics (11)), scientific calculators are provided. Personal calculators are not permitted. Note that calculators are not provided or permitted for the Middle School Math (47) test.
For tests requiring formulas (e.g., Math, Middle School Math, Chemistry, Physics), the formulas will be provided during the test and do not need to be memorized.
Many previous test takers have reported that finding and using for review a good high school textbook in the relevant subject area was very helpful in preparing for MTEL Subject Tests.
D. Tips for MTEL Preparation
The first step in preparing for the MTEL is to examine the Test Information Booklets, which provide an overview of the Communication and Literacy Test and all of the 43 subject area tests. These booklets are designed to help familiarize candidates with the format and content of the tests. They contain detailed information on how to prepare for the tests and on what to expect on the day of the tests. The booklets also provide sample test items and responses. Please note that these sample items are designed to illustrate the nature of the test items; they should not be used as a diagnostic tool to determine your individual strengths and weaknesses.
1. Use the test objectives
See the Test Information Booklets
Identify the information the test will cover. The test objectives define the content that will be assessed by the test. The number of test objectives within a subarea broadly reflects the emphasis given to that subarea on the test. In general, subareas with greater numbers of test objectives will be covered by more multiple-choice items on the test.
You will find the test objectives in the appropriate volume of the Test Information Booklet. These volumes are available at http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/MA_SG_opener.asp or through the testing company (for a fee of $8.00) at (413) 256-2892. You may also obtain these booklets through schools of education at Massachusetts colleges and universities.
2. Focus your studies
When you have become familiar with the test objectives, make a list of those test objectives about which you feel you know the least. (Preparing a study outline may help you to identify these objectives).
Make sure that you are familiar with the test format and the types of questions.
Set priorities for your study time.
Outline the content of the test objectives, and identify those on which you need to focus.
Set aside time to review the content of all test objectives, both the familiar and the less familiar ones.
Focus the majority of your time and the priority in your studying on those test objectives about which you feel least confident.
Use your score reports: If you are retaking a test, the information from your score report that indicates subarea-level strengths and weaknesses should help you determine areas in which you need to focus your preparation efforts.
3. Develop a study outline
You may wish to use the test objectives and descriptive statements to prepare an outline of the content likely to be covered on the test(s), especially the content about which you are unsure.
The process described here, which is designed to be used with the Study Outline Chart found in the Test Information Booklet (see an example of its format below), should help you organize your thoughts and your future studies for the test(s).
You may follow this process by yourself or with others, such as the members of a study group.
As you read the test objectives, remember that some of them may refer to content that you are currently learning and other test objectives may refer to content you may have learned earlier or elsewhere.
In the first column of the Study Outline chart, lists the test objective numbers (as presented in the Test Information Booklet). In the second column, briefly summarize the topic of each test objective, using a two- or three-word phrase (e.g., "Reading Comprehension," "Statistics and Probability").
Read and consider each test objective and its associated descriptive statement and envision the content likely to be covered. Try to imagine the types of questions that might be asked about that content. Consider the content in relation to courses or other educational activities that you have undertaken in college or that you might undertake in the future. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can. Members of a study group may be particularly helpful for this task.
Write your ideas about the content of each test objective and related coursework or other educational activities, in abbreviated form, in the third column.
Indicate the extent of your knowledge and educational preparation regarding the content of each test objective in the fourth column. Use symbols such as "√" to indicate adequate knowledge and preparation, "X" to indicate partial knowledge and preparation, and "?" to indicate little or no knowledge and preparation. In cases of partial knowledge and preparation, circle in the third column particular aspects of the test objective that you need to study further.
Beginning with areas you identified where you have partial (X) or little or no (?) knowledge and preparation, devise a plan to increase your knowledge or enhance your preparation. See the next section on "Identifying Resources" to help you find solutions to your individual needs. Note in this column resources that may be particularly useful to you.
Candidates who determine that they have not yet studied this content, or mastered it, should take courses or engage in other substantial preparation activities in order to master the knowledge and skills that are measured by the test before registering for the MTEL.
You should leave time to review the content of all test objectives, both the familiar and the less familiar ones, but the focus of your time and the priority in your studying should be those test objectives about which you are least confident.
The number of test objectives within a subarea reflects the emphasis given to that subarea on the test. In general, subareas with greater numbers of test objectives will be covered by more multiple-choice items on the test.
You may wish to focus your efforts based on the scoring weight of different types of items. Many subtests include approximately 80 multiple-choice items and two open-response items. The multiple-choice items generally count for 75% of the total test score and the open-response items count for 25% of the total test score.
4. Identify resources
After you have identified the test objectives on which you will focus your time, consider the resources you may use in studying the content of those test objectives. Perhaps you have not previously encountered content that will be assessed on the test. Consult with an advisor and, on his or her recommendation, take courses that will help you strengthen those areas where your content knowledge may be less strong.
Other resources include written materials, such as textbooks from relevant classes, your class notes and assignments, textbooks currently in use in Massachusetts public elementary and secondary schools, state curriculum frameworks, and publications from local, state, and national professional organizations. In addition, people can be important resources, including other students who have taken courses related to your needs and instructors who teach such courses. Instructors may be able to guide you in finding and reviewing notes and textbooks.
To find organizations that offer preparatory courses designed to help with taking the MTEL, visit the MTEL list of test preparation programs at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mtel/faq/tprep_lst.html.
5. Develop study techniques
It is usually best to approach preparing for a test with a study plan in mind, together with a schedule for accomplishing what you need to do to feel prepared. You may also wish to obtain from either your school's library or a bookstore one of the many books available on study skills. For some people, study groups are particularly helpful; you may want to form or join a study group with others who will be taking the test at the same time. Study groups are more effective once you have identified the test objectives on which you need to focus your preparation efforts. A gradual study pattern over an appropriate period of time can be effective for learning unfamiliar or difficult content. In the last few days before the test, take time to review those topics with which you feel most comfortable and avoid "cramming" - trying to learn too much new material quickly. One of the questions will require you to listen to a recording of a passage and to transcribe it accurately. You might want to practice by transcribing from a book on tape. Since you probably have not written in long hand for three or four hours for a very long time, you might want to practice by re-copying your notes or sending real letters to friends or relatives.
E. Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)?
The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) are part of our statewide education reform initiative. The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 is a comprehensive plan for strengthening public education. Among the major elements are statewide standards for students, educators, schools, and school districts; measures for determining when standards have been met; and support for meeting those standards. The Education Reform Act emphasizes raising expectations for all educators, both for those new to teaching and for veterans.
The law requires candidates for initial educator licensure in Massachusetts to meet several requirements, including passing a test of Communication and Literacy Skills and a test of their knowledge of the subject matter in the field in which they are teaching. Starting February 21, 1998, all candidates for their first teaching licenses were required to take tests of their communication and literacy skills and knowledge of their subject content. In addition, starting September 1, 1998, all candidates for initial educator licensure, including administrators and school support service personnel, were also required to meet the qualifying score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. The Act mandated the two-part testing program as one component of the state's Educator Licensure Requirements. Current teachers who are provisionally licensed, or who seek to be licensed in a new field, also need to pass the appropriate subject matter knowledge test(s).
Massachusetts law defines the requirements of the educator tests as follows:
To be eligible for licensure as a provisional or initial educator . . . . the candidate shall pass a test established by the board which shall consist of two parts: (A) a reading and writing section which shall demonstrate the communication and literacy skills necessary for effective instruction and improved communication between school and parents; and (B) the subject matter knowledge for the license. [M.G.L. c. 71 s. 38G]
The purpose of the MTEL is to help identify candidates for licensure who have demonstrated the knowledge required for entry-level educators in Massachusetts public schools. Other qualities, such as motivating and engaging students, are measured locally during employment interviews and evaluations.
How was the MTEL Program developed?
The Department of Education, at the direction of the State Board of Education, directed the development of an educator-licensure testing program for Massachusetts. The MTEL program was created through a collaborative process involving the state (represented by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Board of Education, and Department of Education); its contractor, National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (NES); Massachusetts public-school educators; and faculty from institutions of higher education. The program is aligned with the state's licensure regulations and Curriculum Frameworks, as adopted by the State Board of Education.
The MTEL are criterion-referenced and objectives-based. A criterion-referenced test is designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard rather than in relation to the performance of other candidates.
Who is required to take the tests?
Candidates seeking educator licensure in Massachusetts in either the Provisional or the Initial level are tested through the MTEL program (an "Initial" educator license is equivalent to a "Provisional with Advanced Standing" educator license as defined in G. L. c. 71, § 38G). They must pass both the tests of Communication and Literacy Skills and the Subject Test, where available, for the license they are seeking. This requirement holds for all candidates for licensure, including classroom teachers, district and school administrators, and district and school support-service personnel, who apply on or after September 1, 1998.
Candidates already holding Provisional or Initial licenses who apply for licensure in one or more new fields must pass the Communication and Literacy Skills test one time only, as well as the Subject Test for each license in a new field.
What are the components of the MTEL?
The first two components cover general literacy in reading and writing and are administered in one sitting limited to mornings. The third component addresses the candidates specific subject area: General Curriculum (a.k.a. elementary), History and so forth. It is administered only in the afternoon, from 1:30pm to 6pm.
Foundations of Reading is the fourth component for candidates seeking initial certification in Moderate Disabilities, Early Childhood and Elementary if they have not completed an approved program prior to October 2003. This means that all Moderate Disabilities, Early Childhood and Elementary Education students who have not graduated by August 2003 will have to successfully complete the Foundations of Reading test.
Persons seeking a second certification as a Reading Specialist take that test.
Persons seeking a second certification as a Moderate Special Needs teacher are not required to take any other test at this time, unless they did not take the Foundations of Reading test; in which case they will have to take the Foundations of Reading Test.
What subjects are covered by the MTEL?
Candidates for a subject area for which there is no test are not required to pass a subject test. This includes: Teachers of Students with Severe Disabilities, Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Academically Advanced, and Instructional Technology.
What is the content of the tests, and how was that content determined?
Each test has test objectives for the corresponding field which describe the content eligible to be included in that test. These objectives were derived from the Regulations for the Certification of Educational Personnel in Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, where appropriate. A broadly inclusive group of Massachusetts public-school educators and college faculty at institutions of higher education were involved in the development and validation of the tests. The MTEL program is particularly matched to the context within which it is used and the purposes that it serves.
What are the tests like?
The Massachusetts Department of Education specified many features of the design of the MTEL. The MTEL are designed to measure candidates' ability to communicate effectively, that is, to read and write with comprehension and clarity, as well as candidates' breadth and depth of knowledge in specific subject fields.
How much do the tests cost?
The Communications and Literacy Skills test costs $60. Each subject matter test costs $90. In addition, there is a $30 registration for each test date. (For example, if you take a subject matter test and the Communications and Literacy Skills test on the same day, you pay a $30 registration fee. If you take these tests on separate days, you pay $30 for each day you take a test.)
When should I take the test?
If you are a senior or graduate student, you should plan to take the test in Novemeber. Undergraduates should take the communications and literacy section in the sophomore or junior year. If you are a sophomore or junior, it does not matter when during the year you take the test, but you may want to confer with Dean Cawthorne before applying. One taking the mathematics subject test may want to do so before tackling more sophisticated college mathematics. On the other hand, Elementary and Early Childhood majors may want to wait until they have completed their full pracitca. Students should see the Associate Dean and the Director of Practicum Experience about specific majors. Specific details about the tests and information booklets can be found on the Department of Education’s website, http://www.doe.mass.edu/ or at http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/.
Should I do both morning and afternoon sessions on the same day? We strongly recommend that students do not take the two sections of the test on the same day! Our data shows that the likelihood of failing a test increases significantly if one takes both tests on the same day. We strongly advise candidates to take the morning and afternoon sections on different dates. Each session consists of a reporting time thirty minutes before the test begins and four hours for the actual test (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.). We recommend that students take the literacy part on one day and the subject test on another. Students with recorded learning disabilities are eligible for some modifications but these are decided by the state on an individual basis. Such students should contact the Department of Education and ask for information about requesting such modifications.
Does the Lynch School of Education require that all students in teacher preparation programs seek certification in Massachusetts?
The Lynch School of Education does not require that all students in teacher preparation programs seek certification in Massachusetts. We do, however, strongly recommend that all students seeking the first certification apply for certification in Massachusetts since we have reciprocity with nearly every state and candidates will not have to comply with specific requirements of other states if they seek reciprocity. Students who are unclear about how reciprocity works should make an appointment to see Associate Dean for Students, John E. Cawthorne.
Questions and Answers -- Licensure Issues
Do I have to take the tests before I apply for licensure?
No. Although candidates seeking educator licensure in Massachusetts at either the Provisional or the Initial level must take and meet the qualifying score for licensure, you may apply for licensure before or after you take the tests. The scores will automatically be sent to the Department of Education and will be kept on file until you apply for your licensure.
Do I have to apply separately for my educator license?
Yes. The National Evaluation Systems MTEL registration process is completely separate from the Department of Education's licensure application process. You must complete applications for both, separately
If I apply for licensure in Massachusetts after having prepared in another state, do I have to take the tests?
Yes. Out-of-state candidates applying for their initial educator license in Massachusetts must pass all applicable Massachusetts licensure tests.
Please note: The Northeast Regional Credential (NRC) is available if you hold an educator's license/certificate (a certificate of eligibility or a letter of eligibility is not sufficient). Issued pursuant to the Interstate Agreement on Qualification of Personnel, an NRC entitles you to be employed for a period not exceeding two years in a Massachusetts school. To find out if the jurisdiction in which you hold your educator's certificate/license allows you to qualify for an NRC, please contact the Massachusetts Department of Education or check our website.
Am I required to pass a test more than once?
No. Candidates who do not receive qualifying scores may retake a test as often as necessary at regularly scheduled test administrations, which will be held five times a year.
Candidates already holding Provisional or Initial licenses who apply for licensure in one or more new fields must pass the Communication and Literacy Skills test one time only, as well as the Subject Test for each license in a new field.
Questions and Answers -- Before the Test
How do I prepare for the tests?
The primary approach to preparation for taking and passing one of the Subject Tests is adequate study at the collegiate level in the content defined by the Massachusetts licensure regulations and other state policies. Candidates should consult with their college advisors before registering to take the tests.
For tips on preparing for the MTEL, please see the Department's Guide on "Tips for MTEL Preparation".
To find organizations that offer preparatory courses designed to help with taking the MTEL, visit the MTEL list of test preparation resources.
How can I register for and get more information on taking the tests?
Specific information regarding the dates and times of test administrations is available in each current edition of the MTEL Registration Bulletin. The Registration Bulletin includes information about test registration, administration, score reporting, and the Rules of Test Participation. The individual Test Information Booklets for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure include information about the tests and sample test items.
Please read the entire bulletin carefully before you begin completing the registration form. It is important that you complete the registration form accurately; otherwise, it will be returned to you. If you resubmit the form after the registration deadline, a surcharge will be applied to your Registration Fee.
*The registration form itself needs to be an original, for scanning purposes, and will not be found in our web site. Copies will not be accepted.
Please keep this bulletin after you have registered. It contains information and important forms that you may need later:
1. Test Information Booklet Order Form: a hard copy of the Test Information Booklet is available for $8.00 per volume from NES. However, all of the test information booklets can be downloaded free of charge from the website.
2. Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form: Alternative-testing arrangements may be provided for candidates who would not be able to test under standard conditions, as follows:
3. Change of Registration Request Form: You would need this form if you have already mailed your registration form and you wish to change the test date, the test administration site area, and/or the licensure test(s) for which you originally registered.
4. Test-Add Form: You would need this form if you have already mailed in your registration form and then decide that you need to add a test for that test date. (You may take only one Subject Test on each test date).
5. Refund Request Form: If you have already mailed in your registration form and wish to withdraw from one of the tests for which you are registered or if you wish to withdraw your registration entirely, fill out this form.
6. Additional Score Report Request Form: Score Reports requested via this form (i.e., after the initial registration) may only be sent to the examinee, and not to any other institutions.
When are the MTEL administrations offered?
There are five test dates in the 2003-2004 academic year. These are: 9/13/03, 11/22/03, 2/28/04, 5/15/04, and 7/24/04.
The registration deadlines are strictly enforced; no exceptions will be made.
Can I take different tests on different dates?
Yes, at any of the five regularly scheduled test administrations.
You may register for one or two tests at any administration. The Communication and Literacy Skills test is administered only in the four-hour morning session. Subject Tests are administered only in the four-hour afternoon session. If you wish to take a test or tests on more than one test date, you must submit a registration form for each desired test date and pay a $30 registration fee for each date.
If, on the Communication and Literacy Skills test (Reading and Writing subtests), you feel you need extra time, you may choose to take one Subtest (Reading or Writing) instead of both on your test date. Taking only one of the Subtest per test date allows you to use the full 4-hour morning session for that Subtest.
*You must use the current 2003-2004 edition of The Registration Bulletin and the original registration form contained therein in order to register for a test.
Where can I take the tests?
On each scheduled test date, the tests are offered in 6 test-site areas across the state. The general areas of the test site locations are listed in the Registration Bulletin; however, test sites may not be within the actual city limits. Additionally, on 2 of the 5 test dates, the MTEL will be offered at 7 out-of-state locations, subject to the requirement that there be a minimum number of candidates per area.
When registering, you may select your first- and second-choice test areas. Every effort will be made to assign you to your first- or second-choice test area; however, this may not be possible as area assignments depend upon available space. Registering as early as possible will be helpful. You will learn your exact test location after you have registered.
Because of space limitations at some of the out-of-state test areas, candidates desiring out-of-state test sites are urged to register as early as possible.
Are alternative testing arrangements provided?
Alternative-testing arrangements may be provided for candidates who would not be able to test under standard conditions:
If you have a documented disability and wish to request alternative testing arrangements, you may refer to the Registration Bulletin for very specific details on how to make your request. NES will notify examinees of the determination made with regard to their requests for alternative testing arrangements. Individuals who wish to have the response to their request reviewed may submit a written request for review to the Commissioner of Education, along with any additional supporting documentation, at the Massachusetts Department of Education, MTEL Alternative Testing Arrangements Review, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5023. The decision of the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee shall be final.
How much will it cost to take the tests?
The test fee for the Communication and Literacy Skills test is $60. The test fee for each Subject Test is $90. There also is a registration fee of $30 for each day of testing. If candidates register on time (i.e., by the regular registration deadline) and take both tests in one day, the total cost is $150.
Note that you are entitled to a refund of $10 if you passed the Writing Subtest of the Communication and Literacy Skills test at an earlier administration, and take only the Reading Subtest at the current administration. Refunds will be processed following the Score Report Mailing Date.
How were these fees determined?
The fees were established to meet the costs of test development, registration, administration, security, scoring, and score reporting.
Will there be any other costs?
The following fees may be assessed as indicated:
Questions and Answers -- During the Test
How much time do I have for each test?
Both the Communication and Literacy Skills test and the Subject Tests are scheduled for a maximum of 4 hours each. On each test date, the Communication and Literacy skills test is administered in the 4-hour morning session. The Subject Tests are always administered in the 4-hour afternoon session.
The four-hour test session is designed to allow sufficient time to complete any of the tests in the MTEL program. Examinees may find the four hours of testing time to be more than enough to complete their test, even if they have needed extra time on other tests they have taken in the past. If, however, on the Communication and Literacy Skills test (Reading and Writing subtests), you feel you need extra time, you may register for only one subtest (Reading or Writing) per test date. Registering for one subtest per test date allows you to use the full 4-hour morning session for that Subtest.
Requests for additional time
If you have a documented disability and feel you need extra time, you may wish to register for only one test per test date. Registering for one test per test date allows the afternoon session to be used for additional testing time. All requests for additional time require appropriate documentation and are subject to approval by the Department of Education. The Registration Bulletin provides detailed information for any candidate who feels he or she may need additional time per test.
Scientific calculators (model: Texas Instruments, TI-30X) will be provided for the Mathematics (09), Physics (11), and Chemistry (12) subject matter tests. You may use only the calculator that is provided. Calculators may not be used for any other tests.
F. Framingham State College MTEL Preparation Workshops
G. Resources for MTEL Preparation
There are many resources available for students taking the MTEL; most presented here are online or presented in Adobe PDF format.
Massachusetts Department of Education website:
The Texas Teacher Tests are written by the same company as the MTEL and are very similar in structure and format. Texas Teacher Test preparation books can be found at:
This site at Wheelock College provides useful information, interactive practice exercises, and practice tests for the MTEL.
This site offers full length versions of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Test in reading, mathematics, and writing, along with an answer key.
The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) assesses reading, writing, and mathematics skills that are needed and used by professional staff members in schools. Sample test questions for the CBEST can be found at:
This Fitchburg State College site offers useful links on vocabulary, reading, and word awareness. It also offers online activities to help improve reading comprehension and speed.
There is also an MTEL test preparation guide published by Research Education Association. The Research Education Association’s manual, along with Cliff Quick Reviews booklets on various subjects are available at the Boston College campus bookstore. See pages 37 and 38 for more information and a list of prices.
GRE, GMAT and LSAT prep courses are offered by the Continuing Education Program. Information on these are available in the School of Nursing, Service Building, room 206.
A list of resources specific to subject tests is attached.
RESOURCES, RESOURCES, RESOURCES
(Each subject has it’s own set of Test Objectives (T.O.’s). Carefully review T.O.’s for each subject test located in the information booklet for the respective subject area.)
Subarea I: Language Arts
T.O. 1: English Language History and Structure
Read overviews of the history of the English language on Merriam Webster’s “Inkwell to Internet” site.
Project Bartleby offers useful chapters on rules of usage and principles of composition.
Another site with an overview of the history of the English Language. This site contains a useful chronology (timeline) of English language history.
Lists many sites, most academic, on the history of American literature.
Great definitions / explanations of phonology, morphology, syntax – the most difficult of the language structure terms you need to know for the MTEL Elementary Subject Test.
The best site on the WWW for grammatical language structures. This URL brings you straight to the index so you can click on what you need.
An online version of Jane Staus', The Blue Book of Punctuation, which includes rules for punctuation and grammar, exercises to practice, and tests.
Use this guide to brush up on your three, five and seven paragraph essay writing.
McClain, M. and Roth, J.D. (1999). Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Essays.
New York: McGraw-Hill.
T.O. 2: Understand Literature
Project Bartleby brings you history of the language and history of literature all in one enormous site. This site features “The Cambridge History of English and American Literature.”
Find a thorough list of the great works of literature, with links to full text!
Explains and illustrates elements of literary analysis.
Offers an archive of lesson plans on teaching literary themes.
Provides a list of literary criticism websites.
An online literary criticism collection.
This link takes you to an online glossary of literary criticism.
This site discusses the history, functions and methods of literary criticism.
T.O. 3: Genre, Elements, Techniques
Ask ERIC! Discusses how to help children understand the different genres of literature.
This site offers in-depth descriptions of the main elements of literature.
A glossary of poetic terms.
Another site dedicated to poetic terms.
Another helpful site on the elements of literature.
A University of Northern Iowa course website containing wonderful descriptions of some forms of poetry.
Careful! You might crash your machine if you use “Haiku” as a keyword -- wow, what a literary phenomenon! This is (at least) an academic, if very short, treatment of what Haiku is and how it originated.
T.O. 4: Children’s Literature
A Rutgers University professor of children’s literature put up this beautiful and thoughtful site. Review and supplement your own training in children’s literature here.
True, it’s not American, but it’s still excellent
T.O. 5: Writing
A Boston College Library site which lists many useful websites and resources for writing.
Use Professor Charles Darling’s site differently this time; click on the “Paragraph Level” menu to review the formal elements of writing. Use the “Essay and Research Paper Level” to find discussions on writer’s purpose.
An in-service teacher’s site on prewriting contains great links to information on graphic organizers and other prewriting tools and strategies.
Explains semantic mapping.
From educators in Washington; this site covers the writing process.
Subarea II: Mathematics
A very comprehensive mathematics site. This URL brings you to the page for k-8 math students; scroll down for teacher and resource links. This is a great place to brush up your own skills in T.O.s 6, 7, and 8.
T.O. 6: Number Properties
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) site explains Number Sense.
Resource for information on number properties.
NCTM on Equivalent Forms and Symbolic Representation of Numbers.
T.O. 7: Number Operations
Pick from the topics listed on NCTM’s home page to investigate the concepts listed under this test objective.
T.O. 8: Patterns, Algebra, Geometry
Look to this site for clear illustrations and definitions of common algebraic and geometric terms.
Many topics listed on this site; good for T.O.s 6-8. The site is especially useful for algebra and geometry and includes links to other mathematics resources on the web.
T.O. 9: Measurement, Statistics, Probability
Well-organized site that claims to cover “Statistics from Square One.” Good for an overview of the basics of this branch of mathematics.
An online statistics textbook that includes clear explanations of major statistical concepts. This site also introduces probability terms and concepts.
Subarea III: HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
T.O. 10: History of the United States
University of Kansas site with numerous links to major topics in United States history. Some links are more useful than others to MTEL candidates.
This site serves as a portal to a host of on-line U.S. History resources, including e-texts. Be patient as you learn to navigate the various links – you’ll find many worthwhile and in-depth discussions of major topics in U.S. History.
T.O. 11: Government of the United States and Principles of Economics
A lively, non-academic site that reviews the basics of American Federalism, the structure of the U.S. Government, and citizen responsibilities.
A more academic site that offers in-depth discussions of the foundation of and various aspects of American government.
A full-text link to the Declaration of Independence with a useful “about” link as well.
Short commentary on the Massachusetts Constitution and a link to a full-text version of this historically significant document.
An e-textbook that lists the major areas of inquiry in economics on its homepage.
T.O. 12: World History
Provides an overview of some of the earliest civilizations -- candidates must extrapolate shared characteristics of early civilizations from this and similar sites.
A comprehensive site on the ancient world -- includes timelines.
HyperHistory Online navigates through 3000 years of world history with an interactive combination of lifelines, timelines, and maps.
World History Compass provides links to history sites anywhere in the world.
This site offers historical records organized into topical timelines that are easy to search or browse.
T.O. 13: Modern History
A gateway site for any one interested in studying the early modern period (c.1500-1800).
Provides numerous links to information on modern world history.
T.O. 14: Massachusetts State History
Covers historic people places and events in Boston history.
An overview of the general history of the State of Massachusetts along with an almanac, a history timeline and more!
The US50 presents an extensive guide to history, outdoors, tourism, events and attractions for Massachusetts.
For candidates taking the History subject tests, the following is a good resource for Massachusetts history.
Brown, Richard D. (2000). Massachusetts: A Concise History. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press.
T.O. 15: Geography
The University of Colorado gives us this geography topics page - numerous links to a wealth of geography resources and content treatment.
Subarea IV: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING
T.O 16: Principles of Life Sciences
Use the University of Arizona’s basic tutorials in biology and chemistry to re-familiarize yourself with basic scientific concepts.
Look at some wonderfully clear and colorful graphics that illustrate and explain cell biology.
This website provides you with a general list of science topics and pertinent information.
A lesson on genetics courtesy of Ohio State University.
A Berkeley site offering a glossary of basic science terms and concepts, including biology.
If you don’t mind pop-up ads, check out this site to review food web and food chain concepts; key for the topic of “organisms and their environments”.
T.O. 17: Principles of Physical and Earth Sciences
An overview of the fundamentals of matter and force. When the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation recommend it, you know it has to be good!
An accessible discussion on the composition and structure of matter courtesy of Fermilab.
States and properties of matter definitions.
A great site; definitions of many concepts in physics, including motion, inertia, and momentum.
United States Geological Survey’s site leads to a limited number of teaching packets on various topics. Follow the links from the “Teachers” tab on the menu.
Fabulous geology site from the University of California at Berkeley that includes a geo-timeline and introduction to geology.
A NASA site that provides great information, teacher guides, frequently asked questions and links on earth science.
An American Geological Institute site that offers information for teachers and classroom activities.
The Center for International Earth Science Information Network courtesy of Columbia University.
T.O. 18: History of Science and Scientific Method
This site includes information on the history of science that is broken down into the various realms of science. A little awkward to use, but it leads to a good overview of science’s major milestones, developments, and figures.
An on-line lecture on the Scientific Revolution.
A very good academic treatment of the Scientific Revolution from Fordham University.
A simplified, but very understandable representation of scientific method and teaching scientific thinking to k-12 students.
A good academic discussion of the scientific method.
Rules for laboratory health and safety; not universal, but certainly applicable to k-12 situations.
Subarea V: CHILD DEVELOPMENT
T.O. 19: Child Development
A short discussion of major theoretical strands in child development.
Another discussion – major theorists are named and their stages of child development outlined; from the Gale Group. To find this article, go to www.findarticles.com, type in “stages of child development” and click on the third link down titled “child development”.
The Gale Group also outlines stages of language acquisition in this article. If you don’t feel like typing this long website, just go to http://www.findarticles.com and type in “stages of language acquisition” to be linked to the site.
From the Child Development Institute; offers a basic discussion and links to resources.
T.O. 20: Understanding Student Exceptionalities
Helping students with learning difficulties with their writing. This site contains many useful definitions and illustrations.
Links to discussions of the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001, and many other resources.
The government’s page on IEPs in K-12 education.
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education
This site contains information on IEPs and teaching strategies for teaching students with various special needs.
The Best Test Preparation for the MTEL
by Gail Rae, M.A., Ann Jenson-Wilson, Bernadette Brick, & Brian Walsh
REA Price: $28.95
Topic: Teacher Certification
Synopsis of Title:
A comprehensive review, covering each subtest, provides prospective teachers with thorough preparation for the exam. In addition, three full- length practice tests contain every type of question that can be expected on the actual exam. A complete answer key follows each practice test, along with detailed explanations for every answer. A flexible, efficient study schedule to better utilize your preparation time is also included. All of the review sections and practice tests were prepared by experts in their particular subject fields to ensure accuracy and appropriate level of difficulty. By studying the reviews and completing the practice tests, candidates can discover their strengths and weaknesses and become well- prepared for the actual MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills Test.
Cliff Quick Reviews
Prices range from $9.95 - $12.99
Topics available include:
CliffsQuickReview™ Accounting Principles I
CliffsQuickReview™ Spanish I
Prices range from $5.95 - $6.95
Exceptionally comprehensive series, including 150 titles in a variety of different fields, from the most basic to the most advanced ... Truly a testimony to REA’s competence in diverse disciplines!
Updated: January 5, 2004