FTCE Test Breakdown

Teaching as a career offers both financial and professional satisfaction. People find teaching a lucrative job option as it leads to a stable professional life especially if you have been able to get appointed as a teacher in a reputed school. Moreover, teachers get job satisfaction if they are teaching the subject that they excel in. It is highly satisfying to share your knowledge with young students and watch them imbibe that knowledge for success in their future. You will have to clear the FTCE (Florida Teacher Certification Examinations) if you wish to pursue a career in teaching in the State of Florida.

The Florida Department of Education requires you to take the FTCE in order to meet the state’s teaching certification and licensing requirements. These tests are an assessment of the proficiency of prospective Florida certified teachers in the basic skills that are essential for being a successful and effective teacher. National Evaluation Systems, Inc. is responsible for administering this test.
These tests are offered as paper-based tests. Some of the tests are available in the computer-based format as well. Go through the official website, www.fl.nesinc.com to see the list of tests that can be taken on computers.
This exam consist of three main tests. The set of tests that you will have to take will depend upon the level of teaching that you have to undertake and your current professional status. A brief description of these tests is given below.

  • General Knowledge Test

There are four subtests in the GK test. You can register for and take each subtest separately in different administrations. The four subtests are as follows:

  • English Language Skills(ESL)

Skills Tested:

    • Organizational skills that include understanding of the logical flow of information in a written passage
    • Skills in choosing the correct word from the given options and distinguishing commonly misused words and phrases
    • Familiarity with correct usage of modifiers, run-on sentences, parallelism and sentence fragments
    • Familiarity with the  basic concepts of grammar, spellings, punctuation and capitalization

Questions: All questions asked are multiple-choice questions and you have to choose the correct answer from the given options. 40 questions will be asked in this subtest.
Time Allotted: 40 minutes
Passing Scores: You will need to answer 73 percent of the questions correctly in order to achieve the minimum passing score in this subtest.

  • Essay

Skills tested:

    • Ability to work out the main idea and weave an essay around the central theme
    • Ability to organize and present ideas in a lucid manner
    • Skills in supporting ideas and opinion with relevant examples
    • Command over English language
    • Ability to avoid grammatical mistakes and slang

Time Allotted: 50 minutes
Passing Scores: You will need a minimum score of 6 from a maximum of 12 in order to pass the essay test.

  • Reading

Skills tested:

    • Ability to identify and understand the main idea being discussed
    • Understand the meanings of the words that have been used
    • Skills in recognizing the significance of the supporting evidence
    • Ability to distinguish between a fact and the opinion of the author
    • Ability to arrive at a logical conclusion based on the given information
    • Competence in analyzing the soundness of the arguments being discussed in the passage

Questions: All questions are based on reading passages. There will be a total of 40 multiple-choice questions in this subtest.
Time Allotted: 40 minutes
Passing Scores: 65 percent of the questions asked will have to be answered correctly by you for achieving the passing scores for this subtest.

  • Mathematics

Skills tested:

    • Familiarity with number systems and ability to carry out related operations
    • Familiarity with the units of measurement and ability to solve related problems
    • Awareness of the basic concepts of geometry and ability to solve problems based on spatial sense
    • Ability to solve algebraic problems
    • Ability to solve problems based on data analysis and probability

Questions: There will be 45 multiple-choice questions in this subtest.
Time Allotted: You will have 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete this subtest.
Scoring: You will need to answer 58 percent of the questions asked correctly in order to pass this subset.

  •  Professional Education Test (PEd)

There are no subtests in this. This test is an assessment of your skills in the professional practices related to the art of teaching.

Skills tested:

    • Familiarity with the techniques and strategies for understanding the needs of students and their assimilation levels
    • Awareness  of the methods for effectively communicating with the students, their parents and other teachers
    • Understanding of the techniques for a continuous improvement of one’s professional practices
    • Familiarity with strategies for  improving critical and creative thinking skills
    • Knowledge of differences in learning style amongst students and their implications
    • Familiarity with the Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida
    • Knowledge of human development and learning
    • Familiarity with effective reading strategies for enhancing learning
    • Understanding of the strategies for creating and sustaining an efficient learning environment
    • Ability for planning and conducting lessons in consonance with state standards
    • Excellence in the role of  a teacher
    • Ability to apply technology in the processes of teaching and learning
    • Knowledge of the history of education and it’s foundations
    • Awareness of techniques for handling students with limited English proficiency

Questions: The questions asked will be multiple-choice questions. You will be presented with 120 questions.
Time Allotted: You will be given two and half hours to answer all the questions presented to you.
Passing Scores: You will achieve passing scores in this test if you have been able to provide the correct answer to 73 percent of the questions asked.

3.     Subject Area Examinations (SAE):
There are a total of 42 different SAEs. Depending upon the testing requirements and your subject areas of specialization, you will have to take an SAE for a specific subject area. Most of the SAEs are single tests pertaining to one subject area. However, some SAEs like Speech 6-12 and German K-12 have two subtests.

Skills Tested: The official website contains a detailed description of the skills being assessed by the different SAEs.  You can download the ‘FTCE Skills and Competencies’ document from the official website free of cost. This document contains a detailed description of the skills and competencies being assessed by each SAE.

Questions: The number of questions asked in each SAE will vary from SAE to SAE. A majority of the SAEs have a total of 120 questions. All SAEs will consist of multiple-choice questions except for the SAEs that include speaking and listening test sections.

Time Allotted: The total time allotted for completing an SAE is 2 and half hours for all the SAEs except for the Elementary Education K-6
SAE. You will be given 4 hours and 20 minutes with a lunch break in between for this SAE test. You can download the document, ‘FTCE Time Questions’ from the official website for details of the number of questions asked and the time allotted for each SAE.

Passing Scores: The official website contains detailed information about the percentage of questions that have to be answered correctly in each SAE in order to pass that particular SAE.

A Word about the Score Report

Your score report will display a ‘PASS’ if you have passed the tests that you have taken for earning the required type of teaching certification. If you have failed the tests, then a ‘NOT PASS’ will be displayed on your score report along with the numeric score that you have achieved. Hence, all that is required is the passing marks as only a ‘PASS’ will be displayed on your score report without the scores that you have actually achieved.  Therefore, put in sustained effort in your preparation to take the FTCE and you are sure to attain the passing scores and clear the first step towards your aim of teaching in Florida.