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Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)

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Licensure Requirements

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Academic PreK–12 Education

Testing requirements for the Academic PreK–12 licenses include a test of communication and literacy skills as well as tests of subject matter knowledge. The tests are designed to ensure that Massachusetts educators can communicate adequately with students, parents/guardians, and other educators and that they are knowledgeable in the subject matter of the license sought. With a license, candidates may be legally employed in Massachusetts public schools.

As part of the current license requirements, candidates seeking a first Massachusetts Academic PreK–12 license (except a temporary license) must achieve a passing score on both subtests of the Communication and Literacy Skills test AND any relevant Academic PreK–12 subject matter test(s). The MTEL are the only tests that satisfy the communication and literacy skills and subject matter test requirements for a Massachusetts PreK–12 license. Note that candidates who have taken and passed certain tests in other states (e.g., Foundations of Reading, General Curriculum) may request to have their test results evaluated against the qualifying score for the corresponding MTEL test to determine their passing status on this test.

Table outlining educator license and testing requirement for a first Massachusetts Academic PreK–12 license
Educator License Testing Requirements
Academic PreK–12
(first Massachusetts license)
  1. Communication and Literacy Skills test (01)
  2. AND

  3. any relevant Academic PreK–12 subject matter test(s)

You may apply for an educator license at any time link opens in a new window, before or after taking the MTEL. However, candidates seeking their first Massachusetts license must achieve a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test before their license application can be reviewed.

For general information about which test(s) are required for a license:

Candidates Enrolled in a Massachusetts Educator Preparation Program

If you are enrolled in an educator preparation program at a Massachusetts higher education institution or an alternative preparation organization, contact your program advisor or licensure officer to help you determine requirements for program completion, as well as the tests required for Massachusetts licensure. Contact information can be found in the Department's Educator Preparation Programs Directory link opens in a new window.

Vocational Technical Education

The Vocational Technical Education Regulations require vocational technical teachers to pass, as part of the licensing requirements, a two-part test of communication and literacy skills as well as a written and performance test in the subject area taught. These tests are designed to ensure that Massachusetts vocational technical teachers can communicate adequately with students, parents/guardians, and other educators and that they are knowledgeable in the subject area of the license sought.

Table outlining educator license and testing requirement for vocational technical teachers
Educator License Testing Requirements
Preliminary Vocational Technical
  1. written and performance subject matter test*
  2. AND

  3. Vocational Technical Literacy Skills Test (91)
  4. OR

  5. Communication and Literacy Skills test (01)
* The written and performance subject matter test required of candidates for preliminary Vocational Technical licensure is administered by the Massachusetts Vocational Teacher Testing program, located at Greater Lowell Technical High School, 250 Pawtucket Boulevard, Tyngsboro, MA 01879-2199. Contact the testing program staff at (978) 441-4946 for information or visit their website link opens in a new window, to review and/or download the Candidate Handbook, test registration information, test calendar, test outlines, and other resources.
Additional Licensure Passing Scores Required on the Following:
Initial Vocational Technical Cooperative Education Coordinator

Initial Vocational Technical Supervisor/Director
Vocational Technical Literacy Skills Test (91)

OR

Communication and Literacy Skills test (01)
Initial Vocational Technical Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent

Initial Vocational Technical Principal/Assistant Principal
Communication and Literacy Skills test (01)

For more information:

Adult Basic Education

The MTEL program for adult basic education includes a test of communication and literacy skills as well as a test of subject matter knowledge. The tests are designed to ensure that Massachusetts adult basic education teachers can communicate adequately with students, employers, community members, and other educators and that they are knowledgeable in the subject matter of the license sought. The overall purpose of the tests is to ensure that all newly licensed adult basic education teachers know the necessary subject matter so that they can help their students meet the content standards set forth in the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Basic Education.

A general license for adult basic educators is available from, but not required by, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; however, individual employers may require the license as part of their hiring criteria.

Candidates seeking a Provisional or a Professional Adult Basic Education license must achieve a passing score on both subtests of the Communication and Literacy Skills test and the Adult Basic Education subject matter test.

Table outlining educator license and testing requirement for adult basic education
Educator License Testing Requirements
Provisional Adult Basic Education

OR

Professional Adult Basic Education
  1. Communication and Literacy Skills test (01)
  2. AND

  3. Adult Basic Education subject matter test (55)

Candidates who are unsure of the route for which they qualify to pursue the Professional-level license can receive a complete evaluation of their credentials by submitting a license application to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Educator Licensure, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906, Attn: Adult Basic Education Licensure. Please see the Department's website for the Guidelines for Applicants for Professional Licensure link opens in a new window.

For more information: