About FTCE Test

The foundation of good education can be built only if the teachers imparting the education are highly qualified with ample expertise in the subject they have been designated to teach. This calls for a method to evaluate the competence of teachers to impart quality education.

Teaching in the State of Florida

The Florida Department of Education has instituted the FTCE (Florida Teacher Certification Examinations), a set of different tests that have to be cleared in order to fulfil the state’s teaching certification and licensing requirements. The issuance of these credentials implies that teachers who posses these credentials have met the minimum standards required for imparting quality tutoring and for maintaining a high standard of education throughout the state. The FTCE require teachers to exhibit their proficiency in basic academic skills, subject specific knowledge and professional competency. The tests are administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc.

The number and type of tests that have to be taken will depend on your present status and the level of teaching you are applying for. For instance, the set of tests that will have to be taken and the requirements for the issuance of teaching credentials will be different for each of the following:

  • High school graduates who are keen on pursuing a career in teaching in the State of Florida.
  • A teacher who has the teaching credentials of any state other than Florida.
  • A college graduate who is now looking for change in career.
  • A graduate who has successfully completed a teacher education program.
  • A graduate who does not have the national citizenship or has done his graduation from a foreign country.

Teachers who have already earned their teaching credentials for the State of Florida may have to take specific tests for the fulfillment of certain requirements. These requirements may arise due to any of the following reasons:

  • Adding a new subject
  • Holder of a temporary certificate wanting to earn a professional certificate
  • Renewal of a professional certificate
  • Certification memos

The Test Format

The tests are available in the following two versions:

  • Paper-based test
  • Computer-based test

Both the versions are the same in length and difficulty level.  You will have to check the official website to see the list of tests that are currently offered on computers. Both the versions are administered several times during the year. The tests are as listed below:

1.         General Knowledge Test:

  1. The GK test evaluates your basic skills in essay writing, English language, reading and mathematics.
  2. There are 4 subtests. There is one subtest for each of the skills being tested.
  3. All the subtests consist of multiple-choice questions except for the Essay subtest.
  4. There are 40 questions each in the English language skills and reading subtests. The mathematics subtest consists of 45 questions. You will be given 50 minutes for the essay subtest, 40 minutes each for the English language skills and reading subtests and you will have 1 hour 40 minutes to complete the mathematics subtest.
  5. Each subtest can be taken separately and you can also register for each subtest separately. You can take any of the subtests at separate administrations for achieving the total passing score for the GK test.

2.         Professional Education Test (PEd):

  1. The PEd is a test of professional practices related to the art of teaching and imparting education.
  2. All the questions asked are multiple choice questions.
  3. There will be 120 questions in this test and you will be given 2.5 hours to answer all the questions.

3.         Subject Area Examinations (SAE):

  1. There are 42 different SAEs.
  2. There are different SAEs for different subject areas.
  3. You will have to take an SAE to demonstrate your knowledge in the subject area of your choice.
  4. Almost all the SAEs are single tests for a subject area of specialization.
  5. The SAEs like German K-12 which has two subtests can be taken one subtest at a time by registering for them separately.
  6. Almost all SAEs are based on multiple-choice questions. There are some SAEs like English 6-12 and French K-12 that include essays and speaking and listening sections in which you will not be presented with multiple-choice questions.
  7. Check the official website of FTCE, www.fl.nesinc.com for the list of subjects that are taught in the schools in Florida and the subjects that are tested by the SAEs. The number of questions asked in each SAE and the time given for completing each SAE is also available at the official website.

Passing the Tests

You will not receive a numerical score if you have passed the FTCE. Your score report will bear a ‘Pass’ if you have cleared the test taken and it will contain a ‘Not Pass’ and the numerical score if you have failed the test. The official website contains information on the percentage of questions that you need to answer correctly in order to pass a particular test.

Applying for Teaching Certification

You will have to contact the Florida Department of Education’s Bureau of Educator Certification, www.fldoe.org/edcert for detailed information on the testing requirements depending on your reason for taking these tests. You will need to first file an application for certification to the Bureau of Educator Certification following which the Bureau will notify you about the testing requirements that will have to be completed by you. You can apply online for the certification process by visiting the website of the Bureau of Educator Certification.  A certification specialist from the county where you wish to teach will also be able to help you with expert advice on the testing requirements for your specific needs.

There should be a gap of 31 days before taking a retest. You will have to register afresh for taking a retest and will have to pay the registration fees for retaking the test.

Registering for the Tests

The different methods for registering for the tests are as follows:

  • Online: You can register for the FTCE from the official website. You will have to pay your registration fee online using a credit card, debit card or check card. Your admission ticket will be mailed to you. You can register for the computer-based tests online only.
  • By Mail: You can order registration forms from the official website. They can also be ordered by mail by sending a request to the mailing address of Evaluation Systems which can be found at the official website. Registration bulletins and forms are also available at most of the university colleges of education in Florida. Completed application forms will have to reach the program office before the registration deadlines as listed in the official website.

The registration fees are different for the tests to be taken before and after September 1, 2009. For instance, the fee for taking the PEd test is $50 when taking it for the first time and $100 for a retest provided you are taking the test before September 1, 2009. However, the same test will cost $150 for the first time and $170 for a retest if taken after September 1, 2009. Check the official website for further details regarding the policies governing the registration fees and modes of payment for taking the tests.

Prepare for the FTCE!

There is no doubting the fact that you will have to take the tests if you wish to take up teaching as a career in the State of Florida. Irrespective of the subject that you intend teaching, you will have to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of basic academic skills in order to meet the licensing requirements. Hence, it is very important for you to prepare for the FTCE with zeal and determination or else you will fall short of achieving your aim of becoming a licensed teacher in Florida.