Licensure Tests

The Minnesota Department of Education requires that three kinds of tests be passed before teacher licensure will be granted: a basic skills test, a pedagogy exam, and a content knowledge exam for each area of licensure. Beginning September 1, 2010, these tests must be taken as Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE).  MTLE are computer-based tests which are administered at Pearson Professional Centers and Pearson-authorized Computer Testing sites in Minnesota.  The exams will be available year-round, and students may schedule an exam at the testing center of their choice.  More information on these exams, including registration information and study guides, can be found at the MTLE website

The Basic Skills Test has three components: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.  All three subtests are required for entrance into the education program and must be taken before enrolling in EDUC 354 General Teaching Methods. Although passing the test is not required for admittance into the program, scores will be a determining factor for admission. Furthermore, no teaching license will be granted by the State of Minnesota without successful completion of this test. Because of this, all three subtests must be passed prior to student teaching. It is the student's responsibility to retake any failed subtests as often as necessary to ensure they are passed by the time the student teaching application is submitted. A student who is otherwise ready to student teach, but who has not yet passed all three subtests, may submit a letter of appeal to the education department chair.  See below for detailed information regarding the basic skills test.

The Pedagogy Test is designed to measure the student's understanding of methodology and classroom interaction. Although it may be taken at any time in the program, we recommend that you take it during the student teaching experience. This will give you a context in which to frame your answers to the questions. Passing scores must be received before licensure application can be processed.

Content Area Knowledge Tests are designed to measure the students' knowledge about the subject matter content that they will be responsible to teach. In the elementary program, this test includes all primary subject matter areas and content related to the student's middle school endorsement. Passing scores from these tests must also be received before licensure application can be processed.

 

Basic Skills Tests

What is the Basic Skills Test?

The MTLE Basic Skills Test is a standardized, secure examination that provides objective measures of academic achievement for college students entering or completing their training programs. The Reading, Mathematics, and Writing subtests are designed to provide information about proficiency in communication and computation skills. 

When should the test be taken?

It is recommended that, if possible, you take the test after you have taken ENG 124 Rhetoric and Research and MATH 125 College Algebra.  However, it is a requirement that you take the basic skills before enrolling in EDUC 354 General Teaching Methods and being admitted into the Education Department Program. You do not need to pass every section to be admitted into the program, but your scores will be a determining factor for your admission. Furthermore, all three sections must be passed before applying for state licensure. It is your responsibility to retake any failed subtests as often as necessary; our recommendation is at least once per semester. It is also imperative that you study before a retake to improve your scores. Please note that, according to the policy of the testing service, you must wait 45 days before retaking a test.

Ultimately, all three subtests must be passed prior to student teaching. Student teaching applications are due the semester before a student plans to student teach, and the application will not be approved if any subtests have not been passed. A student who is otherwise ready to student teach, but who has not yet passed all three subtests, may submit a letter of appeal to the education department chair.

How do I register for the test?

The MTLE is a computer-based test, which is administered at Pearson Professional Centers and Pearson-authorized Computer Testing sites in Minnesota.  The exams are available six days each month.  Students may schedule an appointment at the testing center of their choice.  Test date and site information is available on the MTLE website.

Can I take this test outside of Minnesota?

Yes. The MTLE will be available at more than 200 Pearson Professional Centers in the United States and Canada.

Is this a timed test?

Yes. The number of test questions and testing time involved in each test are as follows:

Test Number of Questions  Time  Passing Score
Reading 48 60 minutes 240
Mathematics 50 75 minutes 240
Writing

33 Multiple choice,
2 written assignments

105 minutes
240

 

How can I prepare?

Most of the preparation will be the knowledge and experience which has been gained from your educational background. However, it is essential that you are familiar with the testing format and the topics that are covered on each test.  Basic study guides and sample questions are available on the MTLE website; the website also has expanded study guides and practice tests available for a small fee. Study material is available in the education curriculum lab. Additionally, the Student Success Center can assist in preparing for the exam. Students who struggle with test taking are strongly encouraged to seek assistance in preparing.

What if I took the Praxis PPST exams?

Formerly, the Minnesota Board of Teaching required teacher candidates to take the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test.  Beginning September 1, 2010, teacher candidates must take the MTLE.  However, the Board of Teaching will accept a passing score from a PPST test taken prior to September 1, 2010 until December 31, 2015.  Candidates applying for licensure after 2015 must take the MTLE. Until then, candidates may use a combination of PPST and MTLE scores, as long as the PPST scores were from tests taken prior to September 1, 2010.

Passing scores for the PPST are as follows:

Test MN Passing Scores
Reading 173
Writing 172
Math 171

 

 

 

 

Pedagogy and Content Area Exams

All teacher candidates must pass a pedagogy exam for their licensure level (K-6 or 5-12).  They also must pass a content area exam for each area of licensure.  Elementary candidates seeking a middle school endorsement must pass both the elementary content exam and the exam for the middle school concentration.  A candidate who fails to pass the middle school content exam may still apply for a regular K-6 teaching license. 

Beginning September 1, 2010 candidates must take the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) pedagogy and content exams. MTLE assessments are delivered as computer-based tests (CBTs). Each MTLE test includes multiple subtests, each with its own passing score. You must pass all subtests in order to pass the overall test.  However, if you fail one subtest (but pass the others) you will only need to retake the failed subtest.  The passing score for each subtest is 240.  Testing sessions for each subtest run up to 1 hour for content area and pedagogy tests. Elementary Education (Grades K–6) has three subtests in a session that will run 3 hours across all subtests. 

The testing format for the pedagogy and content area exams are as follows:

Elementary Education Content
  Subtest 1 Subtest 2 Subtest 3
Format Multiple-choice Multiple-choice Multiple-choice
# of Questions 50 50 50
Time 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour

 

All Other Pedagogy and Content Exams
  Subtest 1 Subtest 2
Format Multiple-choice Multiple-choice
# of Questions 50 50
Time 1 hour 1 hour

 

The specific tests required for each licensure area (in addition to the basic skills tests) are:

Elementary (Grades K-6): Pedagogy: Elementary (Grades K-6) AND Content Area Test: Elementary Education (Grades K-6)

Middle School (Grades 5-8) Endorsement:  Appropriate Content Area Test: Middle Level Communication Arts/Literature (Grades 5-8), Middle Level Mathematics (Grades 5-8) OR Middle Level Social Studies (Grades 5-8)

Secondary (Grades 5-12): Pedagogy: Secondary (Grades 5-12) AND Appropriate Grades 5-12 Content Area Test (Communication Arts/Literature, Mathematics, or Social Studies)

Music Education (Grades K-12): Pegagogy: Elementary (Grades K-6) OR Pedagogy: Secondary (Grades 5-12) AND Content Area Test: Intrumental and Classroom Music (Grades K-12) OR Vocal and Classroom Music (Grades K-12)

 

What if I've already taken the Praxis II exams?

Previously, the Minnesota Board of Teaching required teacher candidates to take the Praxis II exams for pedagogy and content. Beginning September 1, 2010 candidates must take the MTLE instead. However, passing scores on Praxis II exams taken prior to September 1, 2010 will be accepted until December 31, 2015 for candidates who have completed a licensure program by August 31, 2012.  Candidates who have completed a program after August 31, 2012, or who are applying for licensure after 2015, must receive passing score on the MTLE.

The MN passing scores for Praxis II tests are as follows:

Test Passing Score
Principles of Teaching/Learning K-6 159
Principles of Teaching/Learning 7-12 157
Elementary Content 145
Middle School English Language Arts 161
Middle School Social Studies 151
Middle School Mathematics 152
English Language, Literature, and Composition: Content Knowledge 157
Social Studies: Content Knowledge 146
Mathematics: Content Knowledge 125
Music: Content Knowledge 149