Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 90: Foundations of Reading

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: 43–45 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 33–35 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 21–23 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea IV: 2 open-response items
Time 4 hours (does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial)
Passing Score 240

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Foundations of Reading test is designed to measure a candidate's knowledge of reading/language arts required for the Massachusetts Early Childhood, Elementary, and Moderate Disabilities licenses. 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 Foundations of Reading test assesses the candidate's proficiency and depth of understanding of the subject of reading and writing development based on the requirement that the candidate has participated in seminars or courses that address the teaching of reading. 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 35%, Sub area II 27%, Sub area III 18%, and Sub area IV 20%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
I Foundations of Reading Development 01–04 35%
II Development of Reading Comprehension 05–07 27%
III Reading Assessment and Instruction 08–09 18%
IV Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 10 20%

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


Subarea I–Foundations of Reading Development

Objective 0001: Understand phonological and phonemic awareness.
Objective 0002: Understand concepts of print and the alphabetic principle.
Objective 0003: Understand the role of phonics in promoting reading development.
Objective 0004: Understand word analysis skills and strategies.


Subarea II–Development of Reading Comprehension

Objective 0005: Understand vocabulary development.
Objective 0006: Understand how to apply reading comprehension skills and strategies to imaginative/literary texts.
Objective 0007: Understand how to apply reading comprehension skills and strategies to informational/expository texts.


Subarea III–Reading Assessment and Instruction

Objective 0008: Understand formal and informal methods for assessing reading development.
Objective 0009: Understand multiple approaches to reading instruction.


Subarea IV–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0010: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to one or more of the following: foundations of reading development; development of reading comprehension; reading assessment and instruction.