ABCTE Exams

ABCTE ExamsThe American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Exams are a series of certification exams that are intended for individuals that want to teach in certain states. The ABCTE Exams, which are designed by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) and administered by Pearson VUE, are designed to help teachers prove that they have the knowledge that they need to teach the subjects that they are planning to teach and that they meet the testing requirements that the Department of Education for the state in which they are planning to work has set. Each of the ABCTE Exams includes 100 - 150 multiple-choice questions and up to one essay question that will examine your knowledge of the specific subject that you are planning to teach.

The subjects that are covered in the ABCTE Exam series include biology, chemistry, elementary education, English language arts, general science, math, physics, reading, special education, U.S. history, world history, and professional teaching. The Biology ABCTE Exam includes 145 multiple-choice questions that will examine your knowledge of the basic concepts in chemistry, earth science, and physics; the biochemical basis of life; cellular biology; comparative physiology; ecology; evolution; genetics; human physiology; microbiology; molecular biology; plant physiology; and scientific investigation. The Chemistry ABCTE Exam includes 125 multiple-choice questions that will examine your knowledge of atomic structure; basic concepts in biology, earth science, and physics; chemical naming; chemical reactions; chemical structure; the gas laws; organic chemistry; solutions, including information on acids and bases; scientific investigation; and other similar topics. The Elementary Education Exam includes 150 multiple-choice questions related to the basic topics that a teacher would typically need to know to teach English language arts, history, math, reading, science, and social studies at the Kindergarten to 6th grade level. The English Language Arts Exam includes 150 multiple-choice questions and one essay question that will examine your ability to interpret the written word and teach grammar, the parts of speech, reading, research, writing, vocabulary, and other similar topics.

The General Science Exam includes 145 multiple-choice questions that cover the basic biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and scientific investigation concepts that a general science teacher may need to teach. The Math Exam includes 125 multiple-choice questions that will examine your knowledge of algebra, basic arithmetic, calculus, geometry, measurement, probability, statistics, trigonometry, and other similar topics. The Physics exam includes 125 multiple-choice questions that will examine your knowledge of electricity, fluids, magnetism, mechanics, optics, recent experiments and discoveries in the field of physics (typically discoveries within the last 200 years), thermodynamics, and waves. The Reading Certification Exam includes 125 multiple-choice questions related to context, English language fluency, phonics, phonemics, reading comprehension, reading programs, vocabulary, and other similar topics. The Special Education Exam includes 125 multiple-choice questions related to the basic skills and knowledge that a teacher needs to have to assess, understand, and teach students with disabilities.

The U.S. History Exam includes 125 questions that will examine your knowledge of U.S. history from the period immediately before Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World to the present day. The World History Exam includes 125 questions that will examine your knowledge of the history of the world from the earliest societies of man to the present day, but it is important to note that over half of the exam is specifically related to the period from the middles ages to the present day. The Professional Teaching Knowledge Exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions and one essay question related to the basic skills and knowledge that a teacher needs to have to assess his or her students, create a teaching plan, manage a classroom, organize a classroom, and convey his or her knowledge of the subject that he or she is planning to teach in an effective way.

ABCTE Certification and Teaching Licensure Requirements

ABCTE Certification and Teaching Licensure RequirementsIt is important to remember that if you're planning to become a teacher, there are a number of different things that you may have to do before you can legally teach. However, the first thing that you will typically have to do after you complete your college education is obtain the appropriate certifications. This is because most states will require you to have some sort of subject certification and/or some sort of professional teaching certification before you apply for your state teacher's certificate or your state teacher's license. Unfortunately, different states have different requirements, so the specific requirements that you will need to meet to teach in a certain state will vary from state to state. In fact, if you are planning to work in a state that requires you to obtain the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Certification, you will not only need to meet the requirements that the ABCTE has set, but will also need to meet the requirements that your specific state has set as well.

This means that, in order for you to obtain your state teacher's certificate or your state teacher's license for a state that accepts the ABCTE certification, you will usually need to complete two major steps. First, you must obtain the ABCTE certification. In order to obtain your ABCTE certification, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school (it is important to note that your degree does not necessarily need to be in the subject that you are planning to teach, but it must be from a school that the ABCTE recognizes); achieve a score that is equal to or greater than the proficiency score that the ABCTE has set for the ABCTE Exam that covers the subject that you are planning to teach; achieve a score that is equal to or greater than the proficiency score for the ABCTE Professional Knowledge Teaching Exam; and allow the ABCTE to conduct a background check. The ABCTE's background check is typically performed by a private company, but the ABCTE may request a background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if they are unable to obtain the information that they need from the initial background check. The primary purpose of the ABCTE's background check is to make sure that you have a relatively clean criminal record, but minor criminal offenses will not necessarily prevent you from obtaining the certification (although major offenses, especially offenses related to children, will almost always disqualify you.)

Secondly, once you have obtained your ABCTE Certification, you will have to meet the licensure requirements for the state that you are planning to work in. These requirements can vary drastically, but most of the states that accept the ABCTE Certification will require you to obtain a teaching position in the state that you are planning to teach; complete a mentoring program or a training program that can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 years depending on the state; and apply for your teaching certificate or license. It is important to note, however, that some states may also require you to take more than one ABCTE subject exam, take certification exams from another exam series such as the Praxis Exam Series, demonstrate your teaching skills in a one-time evaluation or over a period of time, obtain a Temporary Teaching Permit (TTP), or meet other similar requirements in addition to or instead of the requirements that are mentioned above. It is also important to note that the ABCTE certification may be able to help you get a job in a state that does not officially accept the certification if you are planning to work in a private school or another similar institution. It is, as a result, usually a good idea to check the licensure requirements for the state that you are planning to teach in before you register for the ABCTE Exam or any other exam.

ABCTE Exam Scoring

The minimum score that you can achieve for the multiple-choice questions on the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Exams is 0 and the maximum score that you can achieve is 500. This score is based on a scale, and the specific number of points that you will receive for each question will vary depending on the exam that you are taking and the specific version of the exam that you receive. However, it is important to note that the English Language Arts Exam and the Professional Teaching Knowledge Exam also include an essay question. These essay questions are read and scored by a group of professional scorers that will assign you anywhere from 0 to 6 points based on your ability to analyze a piece of literature or a situation that a teacher may face and convey that analysis in an essay. In other words, you will receive a 0 if you do not write an essay; a 1 if you write an essay, but it doesn't have any sort of structure or coherent thought; a 2 if you write an essay that has a large number of mistakes, does not get your point across, and/or is difficult to follow; a 3 if you write an essay that doesn't quite get the point across, but the scorer can see where you were going with it in spite of the blatant errors and/or organizational problems that are present; a 4 if your essay gets the point across, but it isn't as detailed as it could be and there are a few mistakes here and there; a 5 if your essay not only gets your point across, but also defends that point in a logical manner with virtually no mistakes; and a 6 if your essay not only gets your point across, but also is so well-written that it is as close to perfect as is realistically possible in the time allowed.

The minimum score that you must achieve to pass the multiple-choice section of the ABCTE Exam will vary slightly from exam to exam. However, the minimum passing score for each exam is typically between 250 and 285 (although, it is important to note that the minimum passing score for the Reading Exam is 305.) The minimum score that you must achieve to pass the essay portion of the English Language Arts Exam and the Professional Teaching Knowledge Exams is 4, and you will have to achieve a passing score on the multiple-choice section and the essay section to pass these exams. It is also important to note that all of the exams except for the Professional Teaching Knowledge Exam and the Reading Exam not only have a minimum passing score, which is known as a proficient score, but also have a minimum expert score known as a distinguished score. The distinguished score, which is typically between 305 and 360, is the minimum score that you need to achieve for the ABCTE to recognize that your score is significantly higher than the score that most teachers achieve. A distinguished score, as a result, may make it easier for you to obtain a position because it indicates that you have a better understanding of the subject area than most teachers. However, it is important to remember that you do not need to achieve a distinguished score to pass any of the ABCTE Exams.

If you are unable to pass an ABCTE Exam on the first try, you may retake the exam. In order to retake the exam, you must pay the appropriate retake fee and complete your second exam within 6 months of the time that you failed the first exam. If you fail the exam again, you will be allowed to retake the exam one more time, but the ABCTE will not allow you to take that exam again if you fail a third time.

ABCTE Financial Aid

ABCTE Financial AidIf you're planning to become a teacher, you've probably already realized that there are a number of different certifications that you may need to obtain. In fact, you may have not only realized that there are a number of different certifications that you may need to obtain but that there are also a number of different exams that you may need to take. However, you may still be wondering how much does it actually cost to take all of these exams and obtain all of these certifications? Well, the answer is, unfortunately, that it can cost a lot. This is because almost every exam and almost every certification will have application fees, cancellation fees, registration fees, rescheduling fees, retest fees, rescoring fees, subject change fees, and a variety of other similar fees. This means that obtaining a certification can be very expensive, and the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Certification is unfortunately no exception.

In fact, you will usually have to pay almost $2,000 to obtain the ABCTE Certification, and it may cost you significantly more than $2,000 to obtain the certification if you are planning to teach more than one subject. Paying for the ABCTE Certification, as a result, can be very difficult, but there are a couple of ways that you may be able to get the money that you need if you just don't have it.

The first way that you may be able to get the money that you need to pay for the ABCTE Certification is through the ABCTE itself. The ABCTE offers financial aid to individuals that cannot afford to take the ABCTE Exams without assistance, and this financial aid may be able to help you if your income is very limited. However, it is important to note that you will need to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for this financial aid and that the ABCTE will only pay 45% of the standard amount that you would need to pay to obtain the certification or, in other words, approximately $900 towards the $2,000 that the certification typically costs. It is also important to note that you will not be able to receive any financial aid benefits if you do not qualify, but you will automatically receive the full 45% discount if your financial aid application is approved. In order to qualify for financial aid from the ABCTE, you must be eligible to take the ABCTE Exam; must be trying to pay for the ABCTE exam with your own money and not a grant or scholarship from anther organization; must make less than the maximum amount that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set for reduced school meals (you can find a chart that indicates the maximum amount of income that you can have on the ABCTE's website); and fill out and send a Financial Aid Request Form to the ABCTE's Finance Department. Once you have submitted your application, you will typically receive a letter from the ABCTE that tells you whether your application has been accepted or denied within 4 to 6 weeks of the time that the ABCTE receives the application.

The second way that you may be able to get the money that you need to pay for the ABCTE Certification is from the state, city, school, or organization that you are planning to work in. Some states, cities, schools, and outside organizations actually offer scholarships and grants for individuals that are attempting to obtain the certifications that they need to teach as long as those individuals meet certain requirements. These requirements can vary drastically from grant to grant and scholarship to scholarship, but most of the organizations that offer grants and scholarships will require you to have a good college GPA, have a low annual income, and/or sign an agreement that indicates that you will work in an area in which there is a shortage of qualified teachers after you obtain your certifications.

When is the ABCTE Certification Required?

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Program can be very helpful if you're trying to become a teacher. However, it is important to note that the ABCTE may not be able to help you become a teacher in every state. This is because some states will allow you to use the ABCTE Certification to meet some or all of the certification requirements that you need to meet to teach in that state, but there are a number of states that do not actually recognize the ABCTE Certification. This means that in order for you to make sure that you will be able to teach in the state that you want to teach in, you have to know when the ABCTE Certification will actually be able to help.

  • First, if you are planning to work in a private school, the ABCTE Certification may be able to help you obtain a job. This is because most states do not have as many regulations for private schools as they have for public schools, and most private schools, as a result, can choose which certifications they will accept and/or reject. The ABCTE Certification is, therefore, usually a good way for you to prove that you have the skills that you need to work in a private school. It is important to note, however, that some private schools may not accept the ABCTE Certification and that the specific requirements that you will need to meet to work in a private school may vary from school to school and state to state.
  • Secondly, if you are planning to work in a public school, the ABCTE Certification may be able to help you meet the certification requirements that you need to meet to work in certain states. In fact, according to the ABCTE, you may be able to use the ABCTE Certification to become a public school teacher in Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, or Utah. However, it is important to note that each of these states has different requirements, and you may not be able to use the ABCTE Certification to meet all of the certification requirements that you need to meet for every subject. In other words, the ABCTE certification may be able to help you become a public school teacher in these states, but you may be required to obtain other certifications in addition to or instead of the ABCTE certification to teach certain subjects. For example, the state of New Hampshire will accept the ABCTE Certification if you are planning to teach biology, elementary school students, English language arts, general science, or math, but it will not accept the ABCTE Certification if you are planning to teach chemistry, history (U.S. or world history), physics, reading, or students with disabilities even though the ABCTE Certification will allow you to specialize in these areas.
  • Third, if you are planning to work in a charter school, the ABCTE Certification may be able to help you meet the certification requirements that you need to meet to obtain a position at a charter school in some states. However, it is important to note that the requirements for charter schools, while they are typically more lax than the requirements for other public schools, can vary drastically from state to state. This means that the ABCTE Certification may be able to help you meet the requirements that you need to meet in order to become a charter school teacher, but you should always check the requirements for the state and/or school (whether it is a private, public, or charter school) before you begin pursuing a certification.

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Last Updated: 06/12/2014

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