Overview of MTEL Test Requirements

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) is a series of computer-based pass/fail tests that candidates seeking PreK-12 Initial educator licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must pass to obtain licensure. All licensure candidates (teachers, reading specialists, support personnel, and administrators) must pass the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL, which consists of reading and writing subtests. In addition, subject matter tests are required for all teaching and specialist teaching subject areas. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) website contains the list of required MTEL exams for each licensure area.

Because you will need to have taken and passed required MTELs before you begin your practicum/seminar course at the end of your program, advanced planning is critical. Work backwards from your planned program completion date, taking into consideration what tests you need, when you plan to do your practicum, and the length of your program.

See Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MTEL website for registration information, test dates, test objectives, practice tests, policies, and more.

Please note:

  • If you have passed educator tests in another state, you must still take the MTELs to receive a MA license.
  • If you have an Initial license in one field and would like certification in a new field, you generally will have to take the subject matter test(s) for the new field.
  • Use Lesley University's Institution Code of 30 each time you register for an MTEL.
  • If you think you may have failed a test, wait until you receive your scores before signing up for another test. See MTEL policies.
  • If you have had testing accommodations in the past, or think you might need accommodations, contact the Disabilities Services Office.

Lesley University MTEL Guide 2017-18 (PDF)

Support as You Prepare for Your MTELs

  • MTEL Support at Lesley
    • For Lesley affiliates and the general public, we offer MTEL Workshops four times a year for Communication and Literacy Skills, Early Childhood, General Curriculum Multi Subject, and Foundations of Reading. An 18 hour General Curriculum Math workshop and an intensive 36 hour General Curriculum Math course are usually offered three times a year, along with an online math diagnostic. Additional MTEL workshops include: Reading Specialist; English as a Second Language; and an online phonics diagnostic to support Foundations of Reading MTEL preparation.
    • For Lesley undergraduate and graduate educator candidates, we will offer 10-hour small group tutoring for Early Childhood and Foundations of Reading MTELs to those who were not successful with their first attempt at either exam. You must commit to the full 10 hours.
    • Our Study Resources page offers specific study resources for different MTELs.
    • Our MTEL Student Guide has planning suggestions, MTEL registration information, and links to resources. Contact the Certification Office to request a copy.
    • The Center for Academic Achievement offers free tutoring to Lesley students for the Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL.
    • The Disabilities Services Office can assist candidates who have or think they may need diagnostic testing or accommodations.
    • The Certification/Educator Licensure Office, 617.349.8427, has a limited list of private tutors that students can hire.
    • Sherrill Library has MTEL guides and sample test books available for borrowing.
    • Steve Yurek, syurek@lesley.edu, offers Math MTEL support.
    • Lesley University MTEL Guide 2017-18 [pdf].
  • Lesley's MTEL Test Policy

    For All Undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Programs Leading to Initial Licensure

    To be eligible for senior student teaching, students must pass ALL portions of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) required for their licensure program.

    For All Graduate Programs Leading to Initial Licensure

    All students seeking an Initial License must pass ALL portions of the MTEL(s) required for their licensure program to be eligible for student teaching or practicum. (Exception: Reading Specialist candidates are required to take, but are not required to pass, the Reading Specialist MTEL prior to the practicum.)

    Massachusetts Licensure

    The educational programs at Lesley University fulfill the Massachusetts teacher licensure regulations instituted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Students completing a Lesley University program in each licensure area will be eligible for Initial license and/or a Professional license. Candidates for Professional licensure programs are required to show evidence of the appropriate MA Initial license, or sign a non-licensure agreement.

  • State MTEL Updates
    • Practice Tests. Starting in fall 2017, candidates will be able to purchase a computer-based version of the Communication & Literacy Skills practice test that is currently available in PDF format. There will be a $5.00 fee per subtest. The PDF version will continue to be available at no cost. The computer-based version will include the same set of test items as the PDF, but will also provide the candidate with the opportunity to experience typical computer-based test navigation features as well as an optional embedded timer and an on-screen summary report with the number of multiple-choice questions answered correctly by objective. Coming in early 2018, we will also be releasing multiple-choice question explanations or analyses to add to some of the practice tests that do not have this feature (Business, Latin & Classical Humanities, Visual Arts, Music and Theater.)
    • Test Schedule 2017-2018. We currently have posted the score reporting schedule through August. New score reporting dates will be available on July 18 and test schedule flyers will be distributed in August.
    • Pearson VUE Testing Centers. Two new Pearson VUE testing centers in Cambridge and Lexington, MA, have been opened in recent months. Each center includes three separate testing rooms available to candidates with special needs who require this accommodation. In addition, two Pearson-partner testing centers, the Network Technology Academies in Malden and Somerville, MA, have been closed as of June 9, 2017, based on a review of these centers. Evaluation Systems continues to work with the Department to evaluate test center capacity and expand the number of MTEL testing centers where needed. 
    • New CBT Testing Features. Starting in September, all MTEL tests will contain highlighting and strikethrough capabilities, and MTEL tests/subtests with open-response assignments will have an enlarged response box for entering a response to each item.  
    • Feedback on MTEL Testing Experience. Currently, candidates have the option of reporting comments about the test center or conditions under which they took the test to the on-site test administrator OR contacting Evaluation Systems directly with their feedback within seven days of their test date.  In order to make it easier for candidates to find information about how to contact Evaluation Systems after their test date, starting July 18, the MTEL program website will include specific direction about where candidates will find the email function in order to send comments or feedback about their testing experience. Also, starting August 28, a message will be added to candidates’ receipt of test completion reminding them of this option.                     

    Test Security:

    • Sharing MTEL Test Content. Candidates are not always aware of what it means to keep MTEL test content confidential. To provide additional guidance, the receipt of test completion that candidates receive prior to leaving the test center will include a reminder not to discuss or in any way share the test questions; for example, by text, email, or in a classroom discussion.
    • Palm Vein Scanners.  In addition to the identification and security measures already in place at all test centers, Pearson has been continuing to install palm vein scanners at additional test centers; implementation at all test centers should be completed this summer. 
    • What to Expect on the Day of the Test. As a security measure, candidates may be asked to turn their pockets inside out prior to testing. To make candidates more aware of what they can expect on their test day, this information is being made more prominent on the MTEL Program website; see also a test security video.
Contact the Certification Office

Although we try to ensure certification information is accurate and complete, contents are subject to change.