Test Information Guide

Overview and Test Objectives
Field 45: Theater

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: 36–38 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea II: 18–20 multiple-choice questions
  • Subarea III: 31–33 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 15%, Sub area III 25%, 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 Playwriting, Performance, and Direction of Dramatic Works 01–03 30%
II Design, Production, and Management of Dramatic Works 04–05 15%
III Theater History and Dramatic Literature 06–09 25%
IV Theater Education 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–Playwriting, Performance, and Direction of Dramatic Works

Objective 0001: Understand principles and fundamental skills related to playwriting and principles of dramatic structure.

For example:

Objective 0002: Understand principles and fundamental skills related to acting.

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Objective 0003: Understand principles and fundamental skills related to directing.

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Subarea II–Design, Production, and Management of Dramatic Works

Objective 0004: Understand principles and fundamental skills related to producing and managing theatrical performances.

For example:

Objective 0005: Understand principles and fundamental skills related to set, costume, makeup, lighting, and sound design.

For example:


Subarea III–Theater History and Dramatic Literature

Objective 0006: Understand the development, analysis, and history of drama and theater.

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Objective 0007: Understand significant British and other European dramatic literature from ancient times to the present.

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Objective 0008: Understand significant dramatic literature of the United States.

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Objective 0009: Understand significant dramatic literature from other global cultural traditions.

For example:


Subarea IV–Theater Education

Objective 0010: Understand principles and fundamental skills related to theater education for children and adolescents.

For example:

Objective 0011: Understand the interdisciplinary nature of theater.

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: playwriting, performance, and direction of dramatic works; design, production, and management of dramatic works; theater history and dramatic literature; theater education.

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