Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 03: General Curriculum

Test Overview

Test overview, including duration of test, number of questions, and passing score.
Format

Computer-based test (CBT)

Multi-Subject Subtest

  • 55 multiple-choice questions, 1 open-response item

Mathematics Subtest

  • 45 multiple-choice questions, 1 open-response item
Number of Questions

Multi-Subject Subtest

  • Language Arts: 18–20 multiple-choice questions
  • History and Social Science: 17–19 multiple-choice questions
  • Science and Technology/Engineering: 17–19 multiple-choice questions
  • Integration of Knowledge and Understanding: 1 open-response item

Mathematics Subtest

  • Numbers and Operations: 19–21 multiple-choice questions
  • Functions and Algebra: 10–12 multiple-choice questions
  • Geometry and Measurement: 8–10 multiple-choice questions
  • Statistics and Probability: 4–6 multiple-choice questions
  • Integration of Knowledge and Understanding: 1 open-response item
Time 4 hours for one or both subtests (does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial)
Passing Score 240 on each subtest

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) are designed to measure a candidate's knowledge of the subject matter contained in the test objectives for each field. The MTEL are aligned with the Massachusetts educator licensure regulations and, as applicable, with the standards in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.

The General Curriculum test comprises separately administered and scored multi-subject and mathematics subtests and is designed to assess the candidate's knowledge of the elementary subject matter required for a Massachusetts Elementary educator license and other licenses as defined in the educator licensure regulations.

The test objectives specify the content to be covered on the test and are organized by major content subareas. The chart below shows the approximate percentage of the total test score derived from each of the subareas.

The open-response items on the multi-subject subtest will relate to topics covered in the History and Social Science or Science and Technology/Engineering subareas as described by the associated objectives. The open-response items on the mathematics subtest will involve the application of mathematical knowledge and reasoning to communicate multiple solutions in detail to a problem involving two or more of the following subareas: Numbers and Operations, Functions and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and/or Statistics and Probability.

The test assesses a candidate's proficiency and depth of understanding of the subject at the level required for a baccalaureate major according to Massachusetts standards. Candidates are typically nearing completion of or have completed their undergraduate work when they take the test.

Test Objectives

Multi-Subject Subtest

Multi-Subject Subtest weighting by number of questions per subarea
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
Multiple-Choice
Language Arts 01–05 30%
History and Social Science 06–09 30%
Science and Technology/Engineering 10–14 30%
90%
Open-Response
Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 15 10%

 

Subarea–Language Arts1

Objective 0001: Understand the history and structure of the English language.

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Objective 0002: Understand American literature and selected literature from classical and contemporary periods.

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Objective 0003: Understand literary genres, elements, and techniques.

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Objective 0004: Understand literature for children, including genres, literary elements, and literary techniques.

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Objective 0005: Understand the writing process and formal elements of writing and composition.

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1. Knowledge of the following content will be measured on a separate Foundations of Reading test for all prospective early childhood, elementary, and special education teachers: 1) reading theory, research, and practice; 2) development of an oral and reading vocabulary; 3) theories on the relationship between beginning writing and reading; 4) approaches and practices for developing skills in using writing tools; and 5) theories of first- and second-language acquisition and development.

 

Subarea–History and Social Science

Objective 0006: Understand major developments in the history of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from precolonial times to the present.

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Objective 0007: Understand the founding documents and governmental systems of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the principles, ideals, rights, and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship; and the fundamental principles and concepts of economics.

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Objective 0008: Understand major developments and figures in world history.

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Objective 0009: Understand basic geographic concepts, phenomena, and processes, and demonstrate knowledge of the major geographic features and regions of the world, the United States, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Subarea–Science and Technology/Engineering

Objective 0010: Understand and apply basic concepts and principles of life science to interpret and analyze phenomena.

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Objective 0011: Understand and apply basic concepts and principles of the physical sciences to interpret and analyze phenomena.

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Objective 0012: Understand and apply basic concepts and principles of the earth and space sciences to interpret and analyze phenomena.

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Objective 0013: Understand the foundations of scientific thought; the historical development of major scientific ideas and technological discoveries; and the relationships among scientific discoveries, technological developments, and society.

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Objective 0014: Understand the principles and procedures of scientific inquiry and experimentation; the relationships among science, technology, and engineering; and the principles of engineering design.

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Subarea–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0015: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to History and Social Science or to Science and Technology/Engineering.

Mathematics Subtest

Mathematics Subtest weighting by number of questions per subarea
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
Multiple-Choice
Numbers and Operations 16–19 41%
Functions and Algebra 20–22 22%
Geometry and Measurement 23–24 18%
Statistics and Probability 25–26 9%
90%
Open-Response*
Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 27 10%

*The open-response items may relate to topics covered in any of the subareas.

Candidates should not only know how to do elementary mathematics, but should understand and be able to explain to students, in multiple ways, why the mathematics makes sense.

 

Subarea–Numbers and Operations

Objective 0016: Understand the number system and the concept of place value.

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Objective 0017: Understand integers, fractions, decimals, percents, and mixed numbers.

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Objective 0018: Understand and apply principles of number theory.

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Objective 0019: Understand operations on numbers.

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Subarea–Functions and Algebra

Objective 0020: Understand algebra as generalized arithmetic.

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Objective 0021: Understand the concept of function.

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Objective 0022: Understand linear functions and linear equations.

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Subarea–Geometry and Measurement

Objective 0023: Understand and apply concepts of measurement.

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Objective 0024: Understand and apply concepts of geometry.

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Subarea–Statistics and Probability

Objective 0025: Understand descriptive statistics.

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Objective 0026: Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.

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Subarea–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0027: Apply mathematical knowledge and reasoning to communicate multiple solutions in detail to a problem involving two or more of the following subareas: Numbers and Operations, Functions and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and Statistics and Probability.