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MTEL Content Test Requirements

Instructor: Bill Sands
The MTEL content exams that you're required to take depend on the subject(s) you wish to teach. Keep reading for more information on licensure requirements for this series of assessments.

MTEL Content Test Requirements

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) program is a series of tests given to prospective teachers in the state and includes exams in subject-specific areas, such as science, mathematics, and foreign languages. The exact MTEL content tests you'll need to pass depend on which professional route you're taking. There are two potential paths depending on the subject and age you wish to teach.

Academic PreK-12

This path is for educators who wish to teach students at the early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary grade levels. It requires aspiring PreK-12 teachers to prove that they possess sufficient knowledge of the subjects they wish to teach by passing all relevant MTEL content assessments.

The MTEL series contains exams in just about all subjects, including history, biology, chemistry, and earth science. For a sampling of available exams check out this directory of MTEL Prep Courses. You'll find comprehensive reviews of several content tests, in addition to these listed here:

Adult Basic Education

If you're looking to work with adults, this is the path for you. Candidates who follow this route will need to take the Adult Basic Education content test, which assesses their knowledge in such areas as English language arts, social science, history, math, science, and English for speakers of other languages.

While licensure in this area is not required by the state, it can be helpful when seeking employment, as employers may list an adult basic education credential among their minimum qualifications.

If you're interested in pursuing this track, use the video lessons and self-checking quizzes in this MTEL Adult Basic Education: Practice and Study Guide to review each topic found on the exam.

MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills Requirements

The goal of the Communication and Literacy Skills exam is to ensure that teachers possess the ability to effectively communicate with parents, students, and their fellow teachers. It's required of almost all educators, including

  • PreK-12 teachers
  • Adult basic education teachers
  • Vocational education teachers

Vocational education teachers looking to teach such subjects as agricultural mechanics, baking, engineering technology, and medical assisting have the option of taking the Vocational Technical Literacy Skills test instead. This is in addition to any written and practical skills subject examinations administered by the Massachusetts Vocational Teacher Testing Program.

However, vocational education teachers considering additional licensure, such as the Initial Vocational Technical Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent credential, should keep in mind that they will be required to earn passing scores on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test should they choose to pursue this type of credential in the future.

Access this MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills: Practice & Study Guide for a detailed review of the most common MTEL exam.

MTEL Exemptions

In some cases, prospective teachers who have successfully completed teacher certification exams in other states may be able to gain an exemption from the MTEL series. Teachers can request a review of their scores, and if they are deemed valid, they will not need to take tests in the MTEL program.

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