MTEL Exam Dates

The Best Time to Take the MTEL

In order to appear for the required MTEL exam, you need to complete the following important tasks:

  1. Choose a convenient test date
  2. Complete the test registration process

Both the tasks mentioned above can be done through the MTEL official website ( A few MTEL tests are provided in the computer format while most tests are provided in the paper and pencil format. The MTEL exam dates and registration processes differ greatly between the two.

Computer-Based Tests

A few selected MTEL exams are provided in the computer-based format. MTEL exam dates for these tests are offered throughout the year from Monday to Saturday. There are no specific deadlines for the computer-based test registration. However, because of the processing time taken for completion of test registration, you are required to register at least three days prior to the test date. The following are helpful web links to check MTEL test dates and test centers:

Paper-Based Tests

Unlike computer-based tests, paper-based tests cannot be attempted throughout the year. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sets around 5-6 MTEL exam dates in a year. A candidate can appear for the MTEL paper-based tests only on these test dates. However, all tests can be taken on all these dates, either in the morning session or in the afternoon session depending upon when a particular test is provided.

Owing to the limited availability of test seats, paper-based tests need to be registered well in advance before the test date. There are specific deadlines for each test date before which test takers are recommended to process their test registration. The deadlines for the paper-based MTEL tests are explained below:

  • Regular Registration Deadline: For all the MTEL exams, registration needs to be done at least 43 days before the test date. This is the regular deadline before which if you complete the test registration, you are exempted from paying any additional fees.

  • Late Registration Deadline: If you happen to miss to register for the test by the regular registration deadline, you have an option to register by the late registration deadline which is usually 22 days before the test date. However, you are required to pay an additional fee. Hence, it is advisable to complete the test registration procedure at the earliest.

  • Emergency Registration Deadline: Under emergency situations, you can avail the option of the emergency registration deadline which is open until 8 days before the test date. Again, an extra fee is required to register by the emergency registration deadline as well.

Therefore, as the first step towards your test preparation, make a note of the MTEL exam dates and their deadlines. Details about paper-based test dates and their respective deadlines can be checked through this link: Once you decide the test date, make your best effort to complete the test registration process before the regular deadline. Remember that only under unavoidable situations, the other two deadlines must be considered.

The Best Time to Take the MTEL Tests

You must consider the following factors while deciding the MTEL test date:

  • Deadline for applying to the teaching license
  • Availability of test seats for the required MTEL test
  • Availability of preferred test location
  • Deadline for test registration
  • Time taken for score reporting and submission

As computer-based tests are available at any time of the year, you are at liberty to attempt the test at your convenience. However, for paper-based tests, advance planning is highly critical and MTEL exam dates need to be decided carefully after considering the above factors thoroughly.

In general, once the test appointment is made, test takers tend to gain a natural motivation towards test preparation. Best results are obtained when you fix the most appropriate test date which gives you enough time for preparation as well as satisfies the other test requirements mentioned above.

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