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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 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 2020-2021 (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.
    • 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

    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

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

Contact the Certification Office

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