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Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)

Score Report Explanation

For each test you take, your score report provides information about your passing status and other performance information. For more information, review the passing requirements more information and Description of the Tests.

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General Information

Your score report provides your test results for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL®) that you took on the test date indicated on the report. For each test you took, the report indicates whether or not you met the qualifying score, your total test score if you did not meet the qualifying score, and your general performance on each subarea or section of the test. Your test scores are reported to you, to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and to the higher education institution(s) that you indicated when you registered.

Interpreting Your Total Test Score

Many tests are administered as part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. Each test includes a set of multiple-choice items and at least two open-response items. Each test has its own qualifying score, or passing score, set by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.

To provide consistency in reporting scores across tests, the scores are converted to a common scale. The converted scores are called scaled scores. The scaled score is a conversion of the number of points achieved on the test to a score in a range of 100 to 300, with a scaled score of 240 representing the qualifying, or passing, score. You must achieve a total test scaled score of 240 or higher to pass a test.

The Communication and Literacy Skills test and the Vocational Technical Literacy Skills Test each consist of two sections: a reading subtest and a writing subtest. To meet the qualifying score for the reading or writing subtest, a candidate must obtain a scaled score of 240 or higher for that subtest.

The General Curriculum test consists of two subtests: a multi-subject subtest and a mathematics subtest. To meet the qualifying score for the multi-subject or mathematics subtest, a candidate must obtain a scaled score of 240 or higher for that subtest.

For each test, the total test scaled score is derived by combining the scaled scores for the multiple-choice items and the open-response items. The scaled score for the multiple-choice items is obtained from the number of items answered correctly. The scaled score for the open-response items is obtained from the scores assigned to the candidate's written or oral responses. If a candidate does not attempt an open-response item on the test, no points are contributed to the candidate's score for that item.

Interpreting Subarea Information

Candidates receive information on each of the subareas or sections of the test. For each subarea or section, the score report indicates the number of test items within a specified range (e.g., 1–10, 11–20) that are included on the test. For the multiple-choice items, a check mark will appear under the column heading that generally reflects performance on the subarea or section. Subarea performance information is provided within four broad levels: answered correctly "most or all items," "many of the items," "some of the items," or "few or no items." For the open-response items, a check mark will appear under the column heading that describes the response(s): "thorough," "adequate," "limited," or "weak." This information may be useful in helping understand areas of strength and weakness on the test. There are no "pass" or "fail" results for individual subareas or sections.

The information for each subarea or section should be interpreted separately and with caution. The general performance indicators for the subareas of the test cannot be combined for the reasons listed below:

  • The relative emphasis given to each subarea on the multiple-choice section of the test is generally determined by the number of test objectives in that subarea.
  • In general, subareas with a greater number of test objectives receive more emphasis and are addressed by more multiple-choice items than are subareas with a smaller number of test objectives.
  • A candidate does not have to perform equally well in all subareas of the test in order to pass the test.
  • The total test score does NOT represent an average of performance across subareas because the subareas may contain different numbers of multiple-choice items.
  • Candidates do not "pass" individual subareas of a test.
Performance on Subareas with Multiple-Choice Items

A candidate's performance on subareas with multiple-choice items is based on the number of items answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers. Each multiple-choice item counts the same toward the total score.

Performance on Open-Response Items

Open-response items are scored holistically by two or more qualified educators. Items for which responses are scored holistically include the responses to the subject matter test open-response items and the summary and composition exercises on the Communication and Literacy Skills test and the Vocational Technical Literacy Skills Test. Scorers receive training in scoring procedures and must meet training expectations in order to participate in scoring activities. Scorers judge the overall effectiveness of each response. That is, scorers are trained to make overall judgments, not to indicate specific errors.

A score is assigned to each open-response item based on a scale that describes various levels of performance, from weak to thorough. If a candidate's response is blank, unrelated to the assignment, illegible, or incomprehensible, the candidate will receive no points for that item, and may or may not meet the qualifying score for the test, depending on performance on the other open-response items and multiple-choice items. Information regarding evaluation of candidate responses to open-response items can be found in the test information guide for each field.

Sample Score Report

Select the link below to view a sample score report with explanations. In this sample, the candidate:

  • met the qualifying score on the Foundations of Reading test;
  • performed better on the Development of Reading Comprehension subarea than on the Foundations of Reading Development and Reading Assessment and Instruction subareas; and
  • performed at the Limited level on the open-response items.

MTEL Annotated Score Report PDF