Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 50: Middle School Humanities

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: 30–32 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 18–20 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 30–32 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea IV: 18–20 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea V: 1 open-response item
  • Subarea VI: 1 open-response item
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 25%, Sub area II 15%, Sub area III 25%, Sub area IV 15%, Sub area V 10%, and Sub area VI 10%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
Multiple-Choice
I Literature and Language 01–03 25%
II Reading, Rhetoric, and Composition 04–06 15%
III History 07–12 25%
IV Geography, Government, and Economics 13–15 15%
80%
Open-Response
V Integration of Knowledge and Understanding of English 16 10%
VI Integration of Knowledge and Understanding of History 17 10%

 

Subarea I–Literature and Language

Objective 0001: Understand the characteristics and elements of various genres and types of literature, including literature for children and young adults.
Objective 0002: Understand American literature and language from the precolonial period to the present.
Objective 0003: Understand world literature from ancient times to the present, including British literature and language.

 

Subarea II–Reading, Rhetoric, and Composition

Objective 0004: Understand research-based theories of the reading process and effective methods of reading instruction and assessment.
Objective 0005: Understand principles of rhetoric and uses of language as they apply to various forms and purposes of oral and written communication.
Objective 0006: Understand the composition process and the conventions of standard, written American English.

 

Subarea III–History

Objective 0007: Understand the characteristics of early human societies and major ancient and classical civilizations from prehistory to A.D. 500.
Objective 0008: Understand major political, economic, social, and cultural developments that shaped the course of world history during the growth of agricultural and commercial civilizations from 500 to 1500.
Objective 0009: Understand major political, economic, social, and cultural developments that shaped the course of world history from 1500 to the present.
Objective 0010: Understand the causes and course of European exploration and settlement of North America; the development of colonial societies; and major political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic developments in U.S. society through the War of 1812.
Objective 0011: Understand major political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic developments in U.S. society from 1815 through the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Objective 0012: Understand major political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic developments in U.S. society from 1877 to the present.

 

Subarea IV–Geography, Government, and Economics

Objective 0013: Understand major physical and political features of the world and the effects of geographic factors on the development of human societies.
Objective 0014: Understand the characteristics of American government and the structure and operation of the U.S. political system.
Objective 0015: Understand fundamental economic concepts, the characteristics of major economic systems, and the organization and operation of the U.S. economic system.

 

Subarea V–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding of English

Objective 0016: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to literature, language, reading, rhetoric, and/or composition.

 

Subarea VI–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding of History

Objective 0017: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to history, geography, government, and/or economics.