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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 or other approved test, 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.

In addition to MTELs, ESE has also approved a variety of other test options that satisfy the Communication and Literacy Reading and Writing subtests requirement.

Because you will need to have taken and passed required MTELs (or other approved test) 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.

MTEL Flex

The MTEL Flex is an option for candidates whose score on select MTELs is within one standard error of measure of passing. This option allows candidates to demonstrate their depth of subject matter knowledge with an analytical written submission.

If you qualify for the MTEL Flex, you will be notified when you receive your test results.

See the ESE 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 2022-2023 (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 three times a year for Communication and Literacy Skills, Early Childhood, General Curriculum Multi Subject, General Curriculum Math, and Foundations of Reading. Additional MTEL workshops include: Reading Specialist; English as a Second Language; and an online math and phonics diagnostic to support MTEL preparation.
    • Candidates for Initial license in Elementary 1-6, Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 and Severe Disabilities (All levels) are encouraged to 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 the Math General Curriculum workshop.
    • 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.
    • 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 (ESE). 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

    For information on testing, MTEL test revisions, alternative testing arrangements,  important announcements, and more, visit the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure site.

  • Communication and Literacy Test Options

    ESE has approved a range of Alternative Assessments to meet the Communication and Literacy Reading and Writing skill requirements. Review available options.

Contact the Certification Office

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