Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 12: Chemistry

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: 24–26 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 25–27 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 23–25 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea IV: 24–26 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 20%, Sub area II 20%, Sub area III 20%, Sub area IV 20%, 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 Nature of Science and Properties of Matter 01–05 20%
II Atomic Structure and Chemical Bonding 06–12 20%
III Chemical Reactions and Solutions 13–15 20%
IV Thermodynamics 16–20 20%
V Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 21 20%

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


Subarea I–Nature of Science and Properties of Matter

Objective 0001: Understand the processes of gathering, organizing, analyzing, and reporting scientific data.
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Objective 0002: Understand scientific tools, instruments, materials, and safety practices.
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Objective 0003: Understand the relationships among science, technology, and society.
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Objective 0004: Understand chemical and physical properties and changes in matter.
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Objective 0005: Understand the kinetic molecular theory, the nature of phase changes, and the gas laws.
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Subarea II–Atomic Structure and Chemical Bonding

Objective 0006: Understand atomic structure, the properties and interactions of subatomic particles, and the principles of quantum theory.
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Objective 0007: Understand the process of nuclear transformation.
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Objective 0008: Understand the organization of the periodic table.
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Objective 0009: Understand the nomenclature and structure of inorganic and organic compounds.
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Objective 0010: Understand the mass relationships in chemical compounds.
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Objective 0011: Understand chemical bonding and the effect of bond type on the properties of substances.
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Objective 0012: Understand the connection between intramolecular bonding and intermolecular forces.
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Subarea III–Chemical Reactions and Solutions

Objective 0013: Understand the types and characteristics of chemical reactions.
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Objective 0014: Understand the quantitative relationships expressed in chemical equations.
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Objective 0015: Understand the factors that affect reaction rates and methods of measuring reaction rates.
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Subarea IV–Thermodynamics

Objective 0016: Understand the principles of thermodynamics and calorimetry.
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Objective 0017: Understand the energy relationships in chemical bonding and chemical reactions.
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Objective 0018: Understand the principles of chemical equilibrium.
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Objective 0019: Understand the properties of solutions as they relate to equilibrium.
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Objective 0020: Understand electrochemistry.
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Subarea V–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0021: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to one or more of the following subareas: Nature of Science and Properties of Matter, Atomic Structure and Chemical Bonding, Chemical Reactions and Solutions, and Thermodynamics.

(Refer to objectives 0001 through 0020 and associated descriptive statements.)