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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 backward 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 the 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.

Download our MTEL Guide

In the Lesley University MTEL Guide 2021-2022 (PDF), learn about required MTELs, our policies, planning for the MTEL, exam registration, and more. We've also included an MTEL Worksheet to help you create a schedule and preparation plan, as well as to track your progress.

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.
    • In recognition of the need for increased and enhanced math proficiency for teachers and students, the General Curriculum (GC) MTEL subject test includes a separately-scored mathematics subtest and a multi-subject subtest. GC is required for students in elementary (1-6), moderate disabilities (PreK-8), and severe disabilities (all levels) programs. Candidates in these license areas take an online math diagnostic; elementary and/or moderate disabilities license candidates take the diagnostic while enrolled in EEDUC 5012 Teaching Elementary School Mathematics, or earlier if desired. Online math diagnostic results help determine whether students should register for an 18-hour Math General Curriculum workshop or 36-hour Math General Curriculum course.
    • Candidates for Initial license in early childhood, elementary, or moderate disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12), take an online phonics diagnostic with an instruction module while enrolled in their first literacy course, or earlier if desired. Information gained will help with the focus and additional study needed to prepare candidates for the Foundations of Reading MTEL, as well as the Reading Specialist MTEL.
    • 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, 617.349.8673, 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's MTEL Test Policy

    Taking MTELS early and passing all required exams before the practicum provides educator licensure candidates with early identification of issues that potentially could affect their ability to be licensed. The university is committed to providing students with information and resources that will help them address any academic needs identified by the results of this test(s) or by other evaluative tools in the academic programs.

    For the most current MTEL guidance, please contact your Field Office representative.

    For all graduate (post-baccalaureate) programs leading to an Initial License in Massachusetts:

    Teacher candidates are strongly encouraged to take the Communications & Literacy Reading and Writing MTELs by the end of their first semester. Candidates must have passed Communication and Literacy Reading and Writing MTELs and have taken (though not necessarily passed) all remaining required MTEL exams prior to beginning practicum.

    Teacher candidates who have not passed all MTELs by the application deadline may be eligible to proceed with Practicum.

    Note: Candidates will not be eligible for Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education licensure until all MTEL requirements are complete.

    This policy will be in effect as of Fall 2022.

    For all undergraduate (baccalaureate) programs leading to an Initial License in Massachusetts:

    Teacher candidates are strongly encouraged to take the Communications & Literacy Reading and Writing MTELs by the end of sophomore year. Candidates must have passed Communication and Literacy Reading and Writing MTELs and have taken (though not necessarily passed) all remaining required MTEL exams prior to applying for Senior Practicum. Teacher candidates who have not passed all MTELs by the application deadline may be eligible to waive some MTEL requirements and proceed with Senior Practicum.

    Note: Candidates will not be eligible for Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education licensure until all MTEL requirements are complete.

    Transfer students who bring in 60+ credits must take the Communications & Literacy Reading & Writing MTELs by the end of their first year at Lesley.

    This policy will be in effect as of Fall 2022.

    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

    Find information on testing during COVID-19 restrictions, alternative testing arrangements, important announcements, and more, visit the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure site.

  • Communication and Literacy Test Updates: July 2021

    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced on July 15, 2021, two new options available for the Communication and Literacy Reading and Writing MTELs.

    ETS - Praxis Core (Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test).
    The two subtests required for the Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test are:

    • Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test: Reading
    • Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Praxis Test: Writing
    • The Praxis Core Mathematics subtest is not required for the purposes of the alternative.

    Register and get more information.

    ES - National Evaluation Series - Essential Academic Skills (NES-EAS).
    The two subtests required for the NES-EAS are:

    • NES-EAS: Reading
    • NES-EAS: Writing

    Register and get more information

    Multiple alternative assessments were approved for ES. The NES-EAS is the first alternative to be available to candidates and we will share information about these additional alternative assessments as they become available.

Contact the Certification Office

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