March 9, 2015


The MTEL test – Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure – series is a battery of examinations for men and women who want to teach or work in schools in the state of Massachusetts. These tests were developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in consultation with an expert team of test administrators. The exams in the series are criterion-referenced, meaning that scores are compared to an objective standard rather than to the performance of other candidates. There are four general types of MTEL test.

The communication and literacy skills test is a general assessment of linguistic ability. It is composed of two subtests, writing and reading. In the writing portion, there are multiple-choice, short-answer, and open-response questions covering topics such as capitalization, grammar, punctuation, and composition. The reading subtest consists of multiple-choice questions about definitions, main ideas, critical reasoning, and the interpretation of graphs.

The bulk of the MTEL test series is comprised of the academic (pre-K through 12) subject matter tests, which assess knowledge and pedagogical skill in a variety of content areas. These tests contain both multiple-choice and open-response questions.

Teachers who aspire to instruct in a number of different content areas may take the general curriculum test, which contains two subtests: a multi-subject subtest covering language arts, history, social science, and science; and a mathematics subtest.

The vocational technical literacy skills MTEL test is an assessment of language skill intended for men and women who wish to teach preprofessional subjects. This exam also contains two subtests, reading and writing. The reading subtest is composed entirely of multiple-choice questions, while the writing subtest contains a written summary, a written composition, and multiple-choice questions.

The adult basic education test is a general assessment of knowledge in the English language arts, English for speakers of other languages, mathematics, history, social science, and science. This test consists of both multiple-choice and open-response questions.

Each MTEL test is offered during six months of the year; scores are made available approximately one month after the testing date.

MTEL Study Guide

Start learning how to be successful on your MTEL exam. Our MTEL study guide is guaranteed to help you get the results you deserve on your MTEL test. Some test takers prefer to study using flashcards and so we have created the best MTEL flashcards that cover everything you need to know for the MTEL exam. Note that using multiple study aids will help you maximize the benefit from your study time.

MTEL Study Guide
MTEL Flashcards

MTEL Test – Basic Education Practice Test

Reading Test

Questions 1-2 refer to the following passage:

About 17 million children and adults in the United States suffer from asthma, a condition that makes it hard to breathe. Today it is a problem that is treatable with modern medicine. In days gone by, there were many different superstitions about how to cure asthma. Some people thought that eating crickets with a little wine would help. Eating raw cat’s meat might be the cure. Another idea was to try gathering some spiders’ webs, rolling them into a ball, and then swallowing them. People also thought that if you ate a diet of only boiled carrots for two weeks, your asthma might go away. This carrot diet may have done some good for asthma patients since vitamin A in carrots is good for the lungs.

1. Which of the following would be a good title for the passage?

A) Asthma in the United States
B) Methods of treating asthma
C) Old wives’ tales
D) Superstitions about asthma
E) Carrot diets

2. The fact that 17 million children and adults in the United States suffer from asthma is probably the opening sentence of the passage because:
A) It explains why people in times gone by might have found a need to try homemade cures.
B) It creates a contrast between today and the past.
C) It lets the reader know that many people have asthma.
D) It is a warning that anyone could get asthma.
E) Asthma makes it hard to breathe.

Writing Test

Directions: questions 3-4

In the following section, there are underlined parts to each sentence. One of the underlined parts is incorrectly written. Choose the letter that corresponds with the incorrect underlined part of the sentence. If the entire sentence is correct, choose E for NO ERROR.

Math Test

5. Which of the following are complementary angles?

A) 71° and 19°
B) 18° and 18°
C) 90° and 90°
D) 90° and 45°
E) 15° and 30°

6. A man decided to buy new furniture from Futuristic Furniture for $2600. Futuristic Furniture gave the man two choices: pay the entire amount in one payment with cash, or pay $1000 as a down payment and $120 per month for two full years in the financial plan. If the man chooses the financial plan, how much more would he pay?

A) $1480 more
B) $1280 more
C) $1600 more
D) $2480 more
E) $3720 more

MTEL Answers

Reading Test

1. D: Since the passage describes superstitions from days gone by about treating asthma, answer choice D is the correct one. Answer choice A, asthma in the United States, is incorrect because even though that is mentioned in the first sentence, it is not the main idea. Answer choice B, methods of treating asthma, is not the best choice since it is vague about whether the methods are current or from long ago. Answer choice C, old wives tales, might have been a choice if old wives’ tales had been mentioned in the passage, but it is not the best choice.

2. A: The reader can infer from the opening sentence that if so many people have asthma today, many would probably have had asthma long ago as well. Even though the environment today is different than it was long ago, people would still have suffered from the condition. The sentence explains why people long ago may have needed to try homemade methods of treating the condition.

Writing Test

3. B: Penchant with reading is an incorrect idiom. If you say it out loud, you will find that it does not sound right. It should be penchant for reading.

4. D: To be read correctly, it should say of finding. The word capable is the key here. If the sentence had said able to find, it would have been correct. But the adjective capable is generally followed by of.

Math Test

5. A: Complementary angles are two angles that equal 90° when added together.

6. B: Multiply $120 by 24 months (a full two years) to get $2880. Add the thousand dollars for the down payment to get $3880. Find the difference between the entire amount all at once ($2600) and the amount pain in the plan ($3800). To find the difference, you subtract. The difference shows that $1280 more is paid with the installment plan.

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MTEL Study Options

  1. MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills (01) Exam Secrets Study Guide: MTEL Test Review for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (click here)
  2. MTEL Foundations of Reading (90) Exam Secrets Study Guide: MTEL Test Review for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (click here)
  3. MTEL General Curriculum (03) Exam Secrets Study Guide: MTEL Test Review for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (click here)
  4. Official site (click here)