Basics About the FTCE





3 Basic Aspects of FTCE

It is important that the candidates appearing for the FTCE understand its essential features so that they can plan their preparation efficiently. The main intent of this exam is to evaluate the basic, professional and specialized skills and knowledge of entry-level educators in Florida so that only qualified candidates are granted teacher's certifications in that state. 

Three Basic Aspects of the Exam:

  1. Test Design & Format

    The examination can be classified into the following 3 basic types:

    • General Knowledge (GK) Exam - This test is designed to appraise the rudimentary skills of a candidate, such as his or her Reading, English, Mathematics and Essay writing skills through its 4 sub-components. It takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete the same.

    • Professional Educational (PEd) Exam - This exam is an evaluation of the professional & pedagogy skills and knowledge that are necessary for a candidate to become a successful teacher. It lasts for about 2 and 1/2 hours.

    • Subject-Area (SAE) Exam - This exam is an evaluation of a candidate's subject knowledge or specialization. Currently, there are 42 subject-knowledge tests for grades K-12. Most SAEs take 2 and 1/2 hours to complete. However, there are a few SAEs that have longer or shorter durations. To find out more about the specifications of the test that you are applying for, please click on this link - www.fl.nesinc.com/tests.asp.

    Every test is administered in the computer-based format (CBT), since paper-based tests were discontinued by the FTCE administration in 2009. It is also important to know that you must first receive the approval of the Florida Board of Educator Certification, which will provide a list of exams that every candidate is eligible to take.

  2. Types of Questions

    Each exam has a particular number and classification of questions, along with a certain number of un-scored questions. The question types that will appear in these exams are summarized as follows:

    • General Knowledge (GK) Exam- In this exam, 40 multiple-choice questions are found in the English Language Skills (ELS) and Reading tests and 45 multiple-choice questions are included in the Mathematics test. The Essay test consists of 1 Essay-writing prompt for which a well-written (typed-out) response must be provided within a time-limit of 50 minutes. Within the total duration of 3 hours and 50 minutes, the ELS and Reading tests are allotted 40 minutes and the Mathematics test is given 1 hour and 40 minutes.

    • Professional Educational (PEd) Exam- In this test, 120 multiple-choice questions are asked.

    • Subject-Area (SAE) Exam- Most SAEs consist of 120 multiple-choice questions. However, certain language exams such as English, German, French, etc, might contain 85 or 95 multiple-choice questions, along with one or more essay questions and/or oral questions. Certain specialized subjects such as Elementary Education consist of 225 multiple-choice questions. To find out the duration of each SAE test, please click on www.fl.nesinc.com/tests.asp.

  3. Test Scoring

    The scoring methodology for these tests is based on the types of questions that appear in each exam, which is summarized as follows for your convenience:

    • Multiple-Choice Tests- All multiple-choice sub-tests are scanned for the total number of correct answers, which is called a raw score. This score is then converted to a weighted scaled score. A scaled score of 200 indicates that the candidate has passed in that test. A scaled score of 200 requires that the students answer a minimum number or percentage of questions correctly. Moreover, for tests that include only multiple-choice questions, the official score transcript is published online within one month of the actual testing date.

    • Written (Essay) Or Oral Tests- Here, the essays or recorded responses are verified and scored by at-least 2 independent scorers, who award all-inclusive raw scores to each response. These scores are then combined to form one scaled score (usually in a specific numerical range such as 1-12 or 1-7). A minimum scaled score is designated as the minimum-passing score for each test. For example, the GK Essay test is scored in the range of 1-12 and 7 is considered as the minimum passing score for it. Finally, these scaled scores may or may not be combined with the scores from the other sub-tests to arrive at a total score. Since this scoring process takes longer, the official score transcript of any FTCE that includes a written or oral response will be released only around 6 weeks after the test date.

Furthermore, the scoring methodology for each category of the test is derived from the above-mentioned principles and is summarized as follows:

  • General Knowledge (GK) Exam- The official score transcript for this exam indicates an individual pass or fail status and the scaled score for each sub-test. The candidates must pass in every sub-test to pass this exam in entirety.

  • Professional or Subject-area Exams- The transcripts for these exams indicate an overall scaled score and a pass/fail status. This means that the scores of any oral or written components are integrated into this overall score. The minimum-passing score for most of the SAE tests is 200.

Thus far, we have discussed the 3 essential aspects of the FTCE. We believe that this article has provided you with sufficient reference materials to help you begin exploring and preparing for these exams in the future.