MTTC Test Breakdown

You may have heard of the teacher certification procedure, especially if you are keen on becoming a teacher in Michigan.  If you wish to pursue a career in education, then it is a must for you to be aware of the teacher certification process for the state in which you wish to teach. Certain states consider your performance in standardized national examinations to assess your competence for grant of teaching licensure or certification while others conduct their own state mandated examinations. Your scores in such examinations will be one of the criteria amongst others for being eligible to teach in the state. Passing the MTTC (Michigan Test for Teacher Certification) is one of requirements for earning a teacher certificate for teaching in the schools of Michigan.

Why Should MTTC be Taken?

The state Departments of Education bear the responsibility of ensuring that quality education is being imparted at the schools across the state. One of the ways to ensure this is by assessing the skills and knowledge of the teachers before they are employed by the schools. Therefore, there is a need to utilize a system for evaluating the competence of prospective teachers in imparting quality education and training in different subject fields. The MTTC evaluates the skills and knowledge of a test taker that are required as per the state standards of Michigan for teaching in Michigan schools.

It is necessary to take the MTTC for establishing yourself as a successful teacher in the state of Michigan. The following reasons make it necessary for you to take the MTTC early in your college program if you wish to pursue teaching as a career:

  • Passing the MTTC is one of the requirements for earning your teaching certificate. Go to which is a link from the official website of MTTC. This webpage will provide you with information about the types of teaching certificates that are granted by the state of Michigan and the requirements for grant of each type of certificate. MTTC is a series of tests and you will have to take a particular set of tests to meet the requirements of the type of teaching certificate you have applied for.


  • You will have to take MTTC for an additional endorsement even if you already are a certified teacher for teaching in Michigan. This additional endorsement can be earned by taking the subject-area MTTC test for the related subject field. 
  • You need to take the MTTC to demonstrate that your skills and knowledge are of the level that is necessary for becoming a teacher in Michigan. Once you have earned your teacher certificate, it means that you are competent enough to teach in Michigan schools and you are well qualified to teach the subjects that you are teaching or want to teach.  


What Does MTTC Evaluate?

The skills and knowledge that are evaluated by the MTTC can be broadly classified into two major categories:

  1. Basic skills: Your basic reading, writing and mathematical skills are the three classifications of skills that fall under this category. These skills are deemed necessary for good communication and they are the building blocks for teaching skills. MTTC lays down a minimum standard for these skills that should be possessed by the test-taker in order to qualify for earning the teacher certificate.


How are the basic skills evaluated?

Your basic skills are assessed by the Basic Skills MTTC test. This test evaluates your skill levels in the basic skills by testing you for each in the form of three test sections. These are the Reading, Mathematics and Writing test sections. Each test section is designed for evaluating one of the Basic Skills as is evident by the names of the test sections. There are a total of about 85 multiple-choice questions and there is one performance assignment, which is a writing task. Each test section is evaluated separately. You will receive different scores for each test section and you have to pass each of the test sections individually in order to pass the Basic Skills test. If you fail to pass one or more of the test sections, then you have to retake only those test sections. There is no requirement of retaking the test sections which you have already passed.

Go over the test objectives for the Basic Skills test as given in the official website, to understand the test content that you need to review for passing the test.

2.         Subject specific knowledge and skills: The depth of understanding of the fundamental concepts of a subject area and your skills and knowledge necessary for teaching that subject area are assessed by the MTTC.

How are the subject specific skills evaluated?

MTTC evaluates your subject specific skills through subject-area tests. There is a separate subject-area test for each subject field. You will have to take a subject-area test depending upon the type of teaching certificate that you are seeking. For instance, you will not need to take a subject-area test if you are seeking the Michigan provisional teaching certificate. You need to just pass the Basic Skills test for enrolling in student teaching. However, you will have to take a subject-area test for being certified in the related academic subject field if you are applying for secondary-level teaching certificate. This will be in addition to taking the Basic Skills test. You will have to take more than one subject-area test if you wish to be certified for teaching more than one academic subject.

The test format is different for each subject-area test. The subject-area tests consist of multiple-choice questions except for the world languages tests which will consist of a combination of multiple-choice questions and performance assignments.

The questions asked are based on the fundamental concepts of the subject field related to the subject-area test. The test content for each subject-area test is defined by the test objectives for that test. The test objectives for each test clearly outline the subareas and skills that you will be tested for. You must make it a point to carefully go over the test objectives for the tests that you have to take. This will help you in understanding the type and level of preparation that will be required by you for doing well in the tests. The official website of MTTC, will provide you with study guides for every MTTC test.  Each of these study guides contains the test objectives for the test as well as sample questions.  These study guides can be downloaded free of cost from the official website.

How are the MTTC Tests Scored?

Each of the MTTC tests is scored depending upon the type of questions that are presented in the test. Tests consisting of multiple-choice questions will be scored on the basis of the number of questions that have been answered correctly by you. No marks will be deducted for incorrect answers. The test may contain some trial questions your responses to which will not count towards your scores.

Scores for the tests that consist of a combination of multiple-choice questions and performance assignments will be calculated on the basis of the number of multiple-choice questions that you have answered correctly and your performance in the performance assignments. If you do not attempt any one or more of the performance assignments of a test, then you will not pass the test even if you have done very well in the multiple-choice test sections.

Your scores for each test are converted into scaled scores ranging from 100 to 300. You will have to score a minimum of 220 to pass the test taken by you. Your score report will also display your performance in the individual subareas for each test.

Give the MTTC Tests Your Best Shot!

Passing the MTTC tests is the last and the most crucial obstacle for earning the much coveted teacher certificate that will pave your way to a bright and satisfying teaching career. Hence, take the MTTC with careful prep planning and an extensive review of the test content in order to see your dreams materialize in the shortest possible time! 

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