Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 17: Visual Art

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: 37–39 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 24–26 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 24–26 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea IV: 11–13 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea V: 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 I 30%, Sub area II 20%, Sub area III 20%, Sub area IV 10%, and Sub area V 20%.

Test Objectives

Table outlining test content and subject weighting by sub area and objective.
Subareas Range of Objectives Approximate Test Weighting
I Creating Works of Visual Art 01–04 30%
II Visual Art in Context 05–06 20%
III Interpretation, Analysis, and Evaluation of Art 07–09 20%
IV Visual Art and Other Disciplines 10–11 10%
V Integration of Knowledge and Understanding 12 20%

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


Subarea I–Creating Works of Visual Art

Objective 0001: Understand the elements of art and principles of design and their use in works of art.

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Objective 0002: Understand tools, materials, techniques, methods, processes, and technologies employed in visual art and design.

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Objective 0003: Understand the thinking strategies employed in creating works of art.

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Objective 0004: Understand artistic development in children and adolescents.

For example:


Subarea II–Visual Art in Context

Objective 0005: Understand the connections among art, history, and culture.

For example:

Objective 0006: Understand artworks from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania, and South America from ancient times through the present.

For example:


Subarea III–Interpretation, Analysis, and Evaluation of Art

Objective 0007: Understand visual art as a form of communication.

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Objective 0008: Understand major functions, purposes, theories, and philosophies of art.

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Objective 0009: Understand the basic principles of art criticism: description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of works of visual art.

For example:


Subarea IV–Visual Art and Other Disciplines

Objective 0010: Understand relationships between the visual arts and other art forms.

For example:

Objective 0011: Understand relationships between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

For example:


Subarea V–Integration of Knowledge and Understanding

Objective 0012: Prepare an organized, developed analysis on a topic related to one or more of the following: creating works of visual art; visual art in context; interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of art; visual art and other disciplines.

(Refer to objectives 0001 through 0011 and associated descriptive statements.)