MTEL Exams

Classification of MTEL Exams

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) program consists of a number of tests and subtests though a prospective educator is not expected to take all the MTEL exams. Each educator license type has a unique set of testing requirements which he/she needs to meet in order to qualify for the license sought. Hence, it is important that every candidate who plans to apply for the Massachusetts educator licensure is well-aware of the licensing and testing information.

When you submit the completed license application along with your official transcripts and fees to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, you will receive information on the necessary licensure requirements and tests that you need to pass. Also, you can access the licensing information through the official website of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ( The web link 'Licensure' found on this website provides a list of all the license categories. You need to choose the category that you are interested in, in order to obtain the required information.

Depending upon your career interest, you may choose one of the three Massachusetts educator licenses that you would require for employment. Each license requires you to achieve passing scores in a communication assessment and a subject matter evaluation. The following tests form a part of the MTEL program:

Communication and Literacy Skills Test

The ability to effectively communicate with students, parents and colleagues is one of the important characteristics of an educator. Hence, this test assesses how well as an educator you express through reading and writing. It includes two subtests:

Reading Subtest: The Reading subtest includes multiple-choice questions pertaining to vocabulary, meanings and phrases, critical thinking and reasoning.

Writing Subtest: This subtest includes multiple-choice questions on grammar and punctuation, short-answer questions on sentence correction and two open-response questions on essay writing and summary writing.

Academic (PreK-12) Subject Matter Tests

In order to teach students of PreKindergarten to grade 12, you need to prove your efficiency in the subject of your expertise. The Academic (PreK-12) Subject Matter tests include around 40 tests, each intended to test the skill level in a specific subject. The General Curriculum test has two subtests:

  • Multi-subject subtest which tests your knowledge in Language Arts, Science and Technology, History and Social Science.
  • Mathematics subtest

Vocational Technical Literacy Skill Test

Similar to the Communication and Literacy Skills test, two subtests are included in the Vocational Technical Literacy Skill test as well. They are:

  • Reading Subtest
  • Writing Subtest

The Adult Basic Education Test

This test is one of the MTEL exams required for obtaining the Adult Basic Education license and consists of the following subject areas:

  • English language arts
  • English for non-native speakers
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History and Social Science

An educator license can be applied for either before or after taking the MTEL exams. However, before completion and submission of your application, you need to understand the different types of licenses, in order to select the one which you are eligible for. Below is an overview of the Massachusetts educator license types and their relevant eligibility requirements:

Four educator licenses are valid in the state of Massachusetts. They are:

  1. Preliminary License: Preliminary license is a teacher license granted to a candidate with a bachelor's degree who has passed the required MTEL tests and met other eligibility requirements.

  2. Initial License: Initial license is an educator license which is issued to a person, who holds a bachelor's degree, passed the MTEL exams, completed a professional preparation program and met other eligibility criterion.

  3. Professional License: Professional license is an educator license offered to an applicant who has met the requirements for an initial license and completed a performance assessment program or a master's degree.

  4. Temporary License: Temporary license is an educator license issued to a candidate who has a valid license of another state along with a minimum of three years work experience even though he/she has not met the Massachusetts licensure requirements.

Understanding the correct testing requirements is critical for the preparation of MTEL exams. Hence, you need to give adequate importance to go through all the available information about MTEL through reliable sources.

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