Understanding the FTCE Tests

5 Important Points about FTCE

The FTCE or Florida Teacher Certification Examinations are standardized exams that all aspiring teachers in Florida must pass to become licensed educators in that state. These tests are designed and administered under the approval of the Bureau of Educator Certification (BEC). This article concentrates on the 5 key aspects of these tests.

The 5 Key Aspects of the FTCE:

  1. Purpose

    According to the Florida State legislation, all aspiring teachers must satisfy the following requirements to become certified teachers in the state:

    1. A minimum-acceptable bachelor's or graduate degree.
    2. A valid Teacher Certification issued by the state.
    3. Manifestation of adequate subject knowledge appropriate to the respective grades.

    In most cases, the requirements b) and c) can be achieved by passing the tests (general and subject-specific tests respectively). Hence, the primary purpose of these tests is to assess whether or not an applicant has the required general, professional and subject-knowledge skills to become a qualified teacher.

  2. Test Categories

    The tests are divided into the following 3 categories:

    • General Knowledge Test- This is an assessment of the basic skills of an applicant and includes 4 sub-tests; namely, Reading, English, Math and Essay Writing.

    • Professional Educational Test- This is an assessment of the professional knowledge and pedagogy skills (teaching methods) of an applicant.

    • Subject-knowledge tests- These are subject-specific assessments that an applicant must clear in order to prove his or her knowledge of the subjects that he or she is hoping to teach. There are about 42 such tests designed for grades - kindergarten to 12th. For a complete list of these tests, you may visit this link - www.fl.nesinc.com/tests.asp.

  3. Test Format and Duration

    All the tests are computer-based tests (CBT). The General Knowledge test is approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes, which includes the duration for all the 4 sub-tests. To view the individual time-limits for each sub-test, you may visit the website (link mentioned earlier). The Professional and Subject-area tests last for 2 hours and 30 minutes each.

  4. Question Types

    The types of questions that will appear are listed here:

    • General Knowledge Test: This test includes 1 Essay, 40 questions (multiple-choice) in English and Reading sub-tests and 45 questions (multiple-choice) in the Math sub-test.

    • Professional Educational Test - This test includes 120 multiple-choice questions.

    • Subject-knowledge Tests - Every test in this category includes 120 multiple-choice questions.

    Every test includes a fixed number of experimental questions that are not scored.

  5. Test Scores

    For tests that are multiple-choice in nature, the score reports are published on the applicant's FTCE online account within 4 weeks of the test date. For tests that include written or recorded responses such as essay, language or speech tests, the scores are published within 6 weeks of the test date. The candidates can request for a duplicate score report or for verification of scores, if required.

  6. The score report for the GK test includes pass statuses and scaled scores for every sub-test taken during the examination. In every sub-test, each candidate must achieve a minimum percentage of correct answers to pass in those. The multiple-choice sub-tests are scanned electronically and the total number of correct answers in them is converted into respective raw and scaled scores. The minimum-passing scaled score for every multiple-choice GK sub-test is 200. The GK essay is scored by 2 independent scorers and assigned a composite score in the range of 1-12 points, 12 representing the best score. The minimum passing score in the GK Essay sub-test is 6. If you fail in one or more sub-tests, it is sufficient that you retake only those and pass them.

    The score report for the Professional or any Subject-knowledge test includes a composite scaled score and a pass status. If any Subject-knowledge test includes an essay component, the essay score is incorporated into the composite scaled score. The minimum-passing score in these tests is 200.

Thus far, we have talked about the 5 chief aspects of the tests. We believe that this article has provided you with a focused and preliminary review of these tests. For more information on these tests, you may review the FTCE (www.fl.nesinc.com) and BEC (www.fldoe.org/edcert) websites.

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