Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 10: General Science

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: 19–21 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: 19–21 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea VI: 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 16%, Sub area II 16%, Sub area III 16%, Sub area IV 16%, Sub area V 16%, and Sub area VI 20%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
I History, Philosophy, and Methodology of Science 01–04 16%
II Chemistry 05–08 16%
III Physics 09–12 16%
IV Biology 13–16 16%
V Earth and Space Science 17–20 16%
VI Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 21 20%

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

Subarea I–History, Philosophy, and Methodology of Science

Objective 0001: Understand the nature of scientific thought and inquiry and the historical development of major scientific ideas.
Objective 0002: Understand principles and procedures of research and experimental design.
Objective 0003: Understand procedures for gathering, organizing, interpreting, evaluating, and communicating scientific information.
Objective 0004: Understand the safe and proper use of tools, equipment, and materials (including chemicals and living organisms) related to classroom and other science investigations.

Subarea II–Chemistry

Objective 0005: Understand the structure and nature of matter.
Objective 0006: Understand the nature of physical changes in matter.
Objective 0007: Understand the nature of chemical changes in matter.
Objective 0008: Understand the kinetic molecular model of matter.

Subarea III–Physics

Objective 0009: Understand the concepts of force, motion, work, and power.
Objective 0010: Understand the concept of energy and the forms that energy can take.
Objective 0011: Understand characteristics of waves and the behavior of sound and light waves.
Objective 0012: Understand principles of electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism.

Subarea IV–Biology

Objective 0013: Understand the characteristics and life processes of living organisms.
Objective 0014: Understand principles related to the inheritance of characteristics.
Objective 0015: Understand principles and theories related to biological evolution.
Objective 0016: Understand characteristics of populations, communities, ecosystems, and biomes.

Subarea V–Earth and Space Science

Objective 0017: Understand geologic history and processes related to the changing earth.
Objective 0018: Understand characteristics and properties of the hydrosphere.
Objective 0019: Understand the earth's atmosphere, weather, and climate.
Objective 0020: Understand components of the solar system and universe and their interactions.

Subarea VI–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0021: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to one or more of the following: history, philosophy, and methodology of science; chemistry; physics; biology; and earth and space science.