What MTEL exams do I need to take?

All licensure candidates must take the:

  • Communication and Literacy exam
  • Subject area exam (math, science, general curriculum, etc.)
    Full list of subject area tests
  • Additionally, all elementary, early childhood and special education candidates must take Foundations of Reading

When should I take the Communication and Literacy exam?

It is in your best interest to begin taking the MTEL exams as early as possible. Students cannot officially be accepted into the education program until they have passed the communication and literacy exam. ALL licensure candidates, including administration and counseling, must take the Communication and Literacy exam. This is a test of your ability to read and write standard English, therefore, when you take it, it is not dependent upon whether or not you have taken a prescribed number of education courses.

When should I take the content area exam(s)?

In order to do your student teaching through Salem State, you must have passed all required tests (see above). With your advisor, devise a schedule to meet these requirements that is most appropriate for you. Subject area exams cover a wide range of content. Each exam should be viewed as a cumulative exam for all the work that you have done in that subject area. When registering for courses, use the test objectives to ensure that you are learning all the material necessary to pass the test.

How should I prepare for MTEL exams?

Do not wait until the last minute to prepare for MTEL exams. "Cramming" is not recommended! A general guide for preparation is to review a little bit at a time over the course of 6-8 weeks.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has provided a list of test objectives for each subject area exam, which outlines the entire content of each exam. Most students find it helpful to use the test objectives to build a study guide.

For which subject areas are MTEL prep courses provided?

Currently, we offer prep courses for the General Curriculum, Communication and Literacy, Foundations of Reading and Early Childhood exams. No other subject area preps are offered. At this time, there are no plans to add additional subject area prep courses.

How often are prep workshops offered?

Prep courses are offered five times a year, on the three weekends prior to the examination administration.

How do I sign up for prep workshops?

To sign up for courses use online registration on Navigator or download the MTEL TEST PREPARATION WORKSHOP SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION FORM and mail it in with payment (by check only). If you register online, you can print your confirmation on Navigator. If you register by mail, you can print a confirmation on Navigator once your registration is complete. No confirmation letter will be mailed.

How do I sign up for tutoring?

Tutoring is offered to Salem State students and alumni only. Tutoring is offered on a drop-in basis in the MTEL Test Preparation Center, located at 35 Loring Avenue. Email or call 978.542.7166 for current hours.

When should I sign up for a course rather than tutoring?

The prep courses are designed to be a general review of the material covered on the respective exams. If you have not taken the test before and/or need an introduction/review of the whole range of materials covered on the exam, the prep courses are the best way to do that. If you have failed the test before or know that you have difficulty with particular subject or skill areas covered on the exam, tutoring is the most effective way to address those issues. However, any Salem State student or alumni is welcome to come for tutoring or general information at any time throughout the licensure process.

If I am not a SSU student or alumnus/a, can you recommend a tutor for me?

No. We do not keep a roster of tutors for non-Salem State students or alumni.

Contact Information
Telephone: 978.542.7166


MTEL Preparation Center
35 Loring Avenue

Mailing Address

MTEL Preparation Center
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970