MTEL Foundations of Reading Test

The Foundations of Reading test is designed to assess a candidate's proficiency in the following areas: foundations of reading development, development of reading comprehension, as well as reading assessment and instruction. Candidates are also asked to demonstrate their ability to integrate knowledge and understanding into two well supported open-response items. The Foundations of Reading test applies to all undergraduate education concentrators who are seeking licensure; requirements for graduate students are program specific, so please refer to your program of study for more information.

Preparing for the Test

A. Program specific supports for Wheelock Students preparing for the test:

  • Students in an undergraduate education program take two literacy courses as a part of their program of study. These courses, combined with the college's Foundations of Reading test preparation course (EDU 335), build a solid foundation for students planning to take this test. Wheelock encourages students in the Early Childhood programs to complete EDU 327 and EDU 328 prior to signing up for the prep session; there are students who take EDU 328 at the same time as EDU 335. Students in the Elementary and Special Education programs are are encouraged to complete EDU 337 and EDU 338 prior to signing up for the prep session; there are students who take EDU 338 at the same time as EDU 335. 
  • Due to the content knowledge needed for this test, undergraduate students are encouraged to take the test after they have completed the second literacy course and the EDU 335 prep session.
  • Depending on their program of study, graduate students may take two literacy courses. These courses, combined with the college's Foundations of Reading test preparation course (RDG 535), build a solid foundation for students planning to take this test. Wheelock strongly encourages students to complete RDG 537 prior to signing up for RDG 535. 
  • Due to the content knowledge needed for this test, graduate students are encouraged to take the test after they have completed the second literacy course and the RDG 535 prep session.

B. Preparation Sessions and Workshops:

EDU 335 and RDG 535 are free to Wheelock students and recent alumna who continue to take MTEL exams for licensure purposes.  These sessions are not open to the general public.

  • EDU 335/RDG 535 Focuses on test strategies, content, and preparation for the Foundations of Reading Subject Test. Please view the Wheelock MTEL site for a full year MTEL prep schedule.   Registration for current students is completed in the student portal.  Recent alumna should complete and submit the non-matriculated student form and indicate they are recent alumni.

C. Suggestions for Self-Guided Preparation:

  • Create a study guide for yourself. The Foundations of Reading test objectives are available online. These objectives give you a great framework to build your study guide around. We encourage you to purchase a binder and divider tabs. Each divider tab should represent one objective. The contents within each section should answer to the terms outlined in an objective area. Setting a binder like this up may take some time, but with advanced planning will be well worth it!
  • Practice Exams.One of the best ways to prepare for the Foundations of Reading test is to do as many practice exams as possible. Below are sites that offer practice exams which will prove to be helpful study tools:
  • Additional Resources. Please note that some of these suggestions are based on student recommendations and are not designed to ensure passage on this test, but to help provide you with supplemental information.
    • Ready for RICA: A Test Preparation Guide for California's Reading Instruction Competence Assessment by James J. Zarillo
    • Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, and Word Analysis for Teachers by Robert M. Wilson, MaryAnne Hall, Donald J. Leu, and Charles K. Kinzer

D. Tips and Suggestions for Taking this Test

  • Have a game plan for how you are going to approach the test. The great thing about the MTEL is that you are not required to take the test in chronological order-how you take it is entirely up to you. We encourage you to look at the open response items first, set-up an outline about how you are going to approach answering these questions, and then go back to get started on multiple choice items. Approaching the test this way may help to alleviate some test anxiety and set a good pace for yourself with the rest of the test.
  • Be clear and consistent with your responses. One of the goals of the MTEL is to determine whether or not you will be able to communicate clearly with students and parents alike. This being the case, it is essential that your handwriting on open response items is legible, your spelling and grammar are exceptional, and your answers are well thought out.
  • Get focused! To calm your nerves once the test begins, it is best to give yourself a few minutes to relax and look over the test in its entirety before getting started. Given that you have a full four hours to take the test, take advantage of a restroom break. Getting up from the test for a few minutes and throwing some cold water on your face will work wonders.

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