Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives: DRAFT
Field 74: Earth and Space 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
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 1 10%, Sub area 2 20%, Sub area 3 30%, Sub area 4 20%, Sub area 5 20%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting*
Multiple-Choice
1 Earth's Place in the Universe 01–02 10%
2 Earth's Systems: Geosphere 03–05 20%
3 Earth's Systems: Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate 06–08 30%
4 Earth and Human Activity 09–11 20%
80%
Open-Response
5 Integration of Knowledge and Understanding
Key Scientific Concepts 12 10%
Application of Science Practices 13 10%
20%

*Final decisions regarding the proportion of the multiple-choice and open-response sections of the test will be made by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. If the proportions of the multiple-choice and open-response sections change, the proportions for the multiple-choice sections for each subarea will remain relative to the proportions indicated above.

 

Subarea 1–Earth's Place in the Universe

0001—Analyze the structure of the universe.

For example:

0002—Demonstrate knowledge of the solar system and the interactions of Earth, the Moon, and the Sun.

For example:

 

Subarea 2–Earth's Systems: Geosphere

0003—Apply knowledge of the geologic history of Earth.

For example:

0004—Analyze plate tectonics.

For example:

0005—Apply knowledge of Earth materials.

For example:

 

Subarea 3–Earth's Systems: Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate

0006—Demonstrate knowledge of the hydrologic cycle and water systems.

For example:

0007—Analyze the atmosphere and atmospheric processes.

For example:

0008—Demonstrate knowledge of weather and climate, including regional phenomena.

For example:

 

Subarea 4–Earth and Human Activity

0009—Apply knowledge of geochemical cycles, natural resources, and sources of energy.

For example:

0010—Analyze the types of natural and human-influenced hazards and their impacts on human populations.

For example:

0011—Analyze the effects of human activities on Earth systems and strategies for mitigating their effects.

For example:

 

Subarea 5–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

0012—Prepare an organized, developed analysis of a key topic in Earth science related to Earth's Place in the Universe or Earth's Systems: Geosphere.

Includes:

0013—Prepare an organized, developed analysis of a key topic in Earth science related to Earth's Systems: Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate or Earth and Human Activity that emphasizes the application of science and engineering practices in a classroom setting.

Includes: