What is the MTTC exam?
It is a group of tests required to become a certified teacher in the state of Michigan.
Also called the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, these exams were created by a group of Michigan Educators and Pearson, the testing company. The purpose is to make sure teachers who are certified to teach in Michigan have all the skills and knowledge that are required.
The MTTC test has a few levels, depending on the educational level of the aspiring teacher and the grade he or she wishes to teach.
First is the Professional Readiness exam. This exam must be passed before anyone can become a student teacher, so in many cases, it is taken while the teacher is still in college. The Professional Readiness exam can actually be taken at any point during college though some students may find it beneficial to wait until they have completed a lot of their coursework. In some cases a teaching program may require that students pass the Basic Skills test before matriculating.
There are three sections in the Professional Readiness exam, Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. It consists of 42 multiple-choice reading questions, 45 multiple-choice math questions, and 42 writing questions with two constructed-response questions. A test taker needs to pass all three sections to get a passing grade on the Professional Readiness exam.
Next is the Elementary Education test. This exam is designed for teachers who hope to get an elementary-level teaching certificate. Note that this test is in addition to the Professional Readiness exam – both must be passed to get the elementary-level certificate. In addition to the Elementary Education test, anyone who is seeking certification to teach a specific certified area at the middle school level will also need to pass a subject area test that relates to the discipline they intend to teach.
High school teachers face a different hurdle. In addition to the Professional Readiness exam, every teacher must pass a subject area test for every subject in which he or she wishes to get a certificate. So, for example, a teacher who intends to teach Biology would have to take a test in that subject. If a teacher plans on teaching more than one subject, then more than one test must be taken and passed. There is a wide range of subject area tests.
If an applicant intends to teach students who have learning disabilities, or the visually or hearing impaired, there are specific tests designed to assess the skills and knowledge of those teachers.
If a teacher has a teaching certificate from another state he or she may or may not have to take the MTTC. However, it depends on several factors, including how long the teacher taught in that other state.
If an aspiring teacher needs to take the MTTC, preparation is important. Much of the material will have been covered in their accredited teaching program but study aids and practice tests can further improve the chance for a good score.
Registration for the MTTC can occur in the mail, online, or over the phone. Applicants for a certificate can get their scores through the U.S. mail or email. The passing score for each test differs but in general the results are graded on a scale from 100 to 300 with the passing score of 220 or higher, depending on the exam.
If an aspiring teacher does not pass the test he or she is permitted to take it again, after re-registering. If the failed test was the Basic Skills exam the student is able to take just the section (either Mathematics, Reading or Writing) that they did not pass. While there is no limit to the total number of times someone may take any of these exams there is a requirement that anyone who has failed at least four times should get some academic counseling prior to taking the test again.
How to become a teacher in Michigan
Becoming a teacher in Michigan involves several steps. Most teachers will need to get an education at an accredited teaching college or university, and practice as a student teacher. Aspiring teachers will also need to take one or more of a group of tests created by Michigan educators and Pearson to make sure that teachers in Michigan have the right skills and knowledge for the classroom.
These tests are called the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, or the MTTC. Passing these tests is necessary to get a teaching certificate in the state.
The first type of MTTC test is a Professional Readiness exam. Like the name, it tests basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing. It consists of 42 multiple-choice reading questions, 45 multiple-choice math questions, and 42 writing questions with two constructed-response questions. A student must get passing grades on all three sections in order to have a passing score on this exam. Passing this test is generally necessary to become a student teacher, and in some cases, to begin a teaching program. Some students may take this test early in their undergraduate career while others may wait until they’ve completed more related coursework.
If an aspiring teacher intends to teach elementary school in Michigan, he or she will need an elementary-level teaching certificate. To get this certificate one must pass the Elementary Education test, as well as the Basic Skills tests. There are also separate subject area tests for teachers who want to teach specific subjects in the sixth through eighth grade.
To teach secondary school teachers need a secondary-level certification. Obtaining this certificate means passing both the Basic Skills test and one or more subject area exams, depending on what classes the teacher hopes to teach.
For many teachers, the subject area exam topic will have been their major or minor in teaching school. Subject area exams include Foreign Languages, Mathematics, and various topics into the sciences, as well as subjects like Dance, Cultural Studies, and Health. Teachers who intend to teach students with disabilities will have specialized tests. If a person has been teaching in another state they may not have to take these MTTC exams, depending on their level of experience.
Registration for the tests is online, on the phone, or through the mail. The tests can be taken either with paper and pencil or on a computer terminal.
When preparing for the exam, students will need to go over the subjects they learned in school, and use study aids and practice tests to understand how the questions are presented. Passing scores vary, because of the wide variety of tests, but each is scored between 100 and 300 and the passing score is generally 220 or higher. Students will get their score either through email or the U.S. mail.
If a student fails they can retake the test, and may be able to retake just one failed portion of the Basic Skills test. If a student fails more than four times he or she may be required to seek academic counseling prior to taking the test again.
MTTC Study Guide
For most people hoping to become a teacher in the state of Michigan the first and most important step will be getting the appropriate education from an accredited teaching program. In order to become fully certified, however, any teacher needs to take one or more certification exams created by Michigan educators and Pearson to make sure that candidate is capable of teaching the subjects he or she wishes to teach.
The tests that assess teachers in Michigan are called the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, or the MTTC exams.
An aspiring teacher’s first encounter with the MTTC may actually happen during their undergraduate career. The first test offered for teachers is the Professional Readiness exam, and some students take that test long before completing college. In addition, some teaching schools may require that students pass this exam before matriculating.
In the Professional Readiness exam, test takers are assessed in three basic areas of knowledge: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. All three sections must be passed individually in order for the test taker to pass the entire Professional Readiness exam. However, if a student fails just one or two portions of the Professional Readiness exam he or she will be permitted to just retake those parts of the test. It is not necessary, in that case, to retake the whole exam.
When a teacher decides he or she would like to teach elementary school then the Elementary Education test must be passed to get the appropriate elementary-level teaching certificate. In addition to this test, people who are intending to teach specific subject areas for grades 6 through 8 will need to take a subject area test.
Anyone looking to get secondary-level certification will also need to take a subject area test in the specialty they wish to teach. There are numerous subject area tests in most of the major subjects that are offered in Michigan schools. Most people seeking this type of certificate will have either majored or minored in the subject they want to teach while in their teaching program. Educational background is one of the most important factors in preparing for these exams, though study guides and sample questions may also help test takers get ready.
The tests are offered either on paper or on a computer and registration can occur online, on the phone, or through the mail. Scores can be obtained either through the mail or email, depending on what the test taker chooses. The scores are scaled on a range from 100 to 300 and most tests have a passing score of 220 or higher, depending on the exam.
If a test taker fails he or she is permitted to retake the test at a future date, after registering again. If a student fails a test four times they need to get some academic counseling from their school prior to attempting to take the test a fifth time.