Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 08: Reading Specialist

Test Overview

Table outlining the test format, number of questions, time, and passing score.
Format Computer-based test (CBT); 100 multiple-choice questions, 2 open-response items
Number of Questions
  • Subarea I: 39–41 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 19–21 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 19–21 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea IV: 19–21 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea V: 2 open-response items
Time 4 hours (does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial)
Passing Score 240

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 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 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.

Pie chart of approximate test weighting.

Sub area I 32%, Sub area II 16%, Sub area III 16%, Sub area IV 16%, and Sub area V 20%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
I Reading Processes and Development 01–08 32%
II Reading Assessment 09–12 16%
III Reading Instruction 13–16 16%
IV Professional Knowledge and Roles of the Reading Specialist 17–19 16%
V Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 20 20%

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

Subarea I–Reading Processes and Development

Objective 0001: Understand the connections among listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Objective 0002: Understand phonological and phonemic awareness.
Objective 0003: Understand concepts of print and the alphabetic principle.
Objective 0004: Understand the role of phonics knowledge in reading development.
Objective 0005: Understand other word analysis skills and strategies.
Objective 0006: Understand the development of vocabulary knowledge and skills.
Objective 0007: Understand skills and strategies for comprehending literary/imaginative texts.
Objective 0008: Understand skills and strategies for comprehending expository and content-area texts.

Subarea II–Reading Assessment

Objective 0009: Understand principles of test construction and the interpretation of test results.
Objective 0010: Understand characteristics and uses of formal and informal reading and writing assessments.
Objective 0011: Understand the role of assessment in promoting reading and writing development.
Objective 0012: Understand the screening and diagnosis of reading difficulties and disabilities.

Subarea III–Reading Instruction

Objective 0013: Understand research-based instructional strategies, programs, and methodologies for promoting early reading and writing development.
Objective 0014: Understand research-based instructional strategies, programs, and methodologies for consolidating and extending reading and writing skills.
Objective 0015: Understand the differentiation of reading instruction to meet the needs of individual students.
Objective 0016: Understand characteristics and uses of reading resources, materials, and technologies.

Subarea IV–Professional Knowledge and Roles of the Reading Specialist

Objective 0017: Understand the interpretation, evaluation, and application of reading research.
Objective 0018: Understand the multiple roles of the Reading Specialist in planning and implementing reading instruction in collaboration with other members of the school community.
Objective 0019: Understand the role of professional development in promoting the effectiveness of the Reading Specialist and other educators.

Subarea V–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0020: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to one or more of the following: reading processes and development; reading assessment; reading instruction; and/or the professional knowledge and roles of the Reading Specialist.