MTEL General Curriculum Test
The General Curriculum test is comprised of 2 subtests: Multi-subject and Mathematics. The multi-subject test is designed to assess a candidate's proficiency in the following areas: English language arts (ELA), history, social science, science and technology, and child development. Candidates are also asked to demonstrate their ability to integrate knowledge and understanding into two well supported open-response items. The General Curriculum test is required of teacher candidates seeking the Elementary Teacher (1-6) or Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities License (PreK-8). Wheelock students should consult the At A Glance Table in the MTEL Matters packet for more information.
Preparing For The Test
A. Program specific supports for Wheelock Students preparing for the test:
- Undergraduate students take liberal arts coursework as a part of both their General Education and Arts and Sciences major requirements. These courses relate directly to various content areas included on the General Curriculum tests. This, combined with Wheelock College's MTEL prep offerings and what the student already knows from their high school experience, will help students to effectively demonstrate their knowledge of content areas.
- Graduate students are encouraged to take liberal arts coursework as a part of both their high school and undergraduate college requirements. Depending on their program of study, graduate students continue to take related coursework in their graduate program. This, combined with Wheelock College's MTEL Prep, will help students to effectively demonstrate their knowledge of content areas on the General Curriculum tests.
B. Preparation Sessions and Workshops:
These sessions are free to current Wheelock students and recent alumni who continue to take MTEL exams for licensure purposes. Students register for all sections through the portal. Please see the full year MTEL Prep schedule for 13-14 prep session dates.
ACD 316/516- MTEL Prep: General Curriculum: Multi-Subject Subtest; This prep includes 7 modules that review the subject matters related to the General Curriculum I: Multi-Subject Test. Students can sign up for all 7 modules, or may also register for individual sessions. Topics include: English Language Arts - Literature, English Language Arts - Structure and Writing Process, U.S. and Massachusetts History, U.S. Government, World History/Geography, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and Life Science.
ACD 317/517- MTEL Prep: General Curriculum: Mathematics Subtest; This course reviews Mathematics related to the General Curriculum II: Mathematics Subject Test. Students should enroll based on performance in his or her math sequence and feedback from that instructor; Otherwise students should enroll in ACD 318/518.
ACD 318/518- MTEL Prep: General Curriculum: Mathematics Subtest; This course reviews Mathematics related to the General Curriculum II: Mathematics Subject Test. Students should enroll in this Mathematics prep unless otherwise advised by a member of the math department faculty.
ACD 320/520- MTEL Prep: Math Intensive Content Review; This module is designed to review the mathematical concepts that may be assessed on the General Curriculum: Mathematics subtest MTEL. The course will cover number theory, geometry and measurement, probability and statistics, numbers and operations, functions and algebra, and open response problems.
C. Suggestions for Self-Guided Preparation:
- Create a study guide for yourself. The General Curriculum 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 up a binder like this may take some time, but with advanced planning will be well worth it!
- Practice Exams. One of the best ways to prepare for the General Curriculum test is to do as many practice tests as possible. Below are sites that offer practice exams which will prove to be helpful study tools:
- The General Curriculum practice test on the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure web site. This is the closest thing to the MTEL and should be at the top of the list for everyone who is preparing for this exam.
- Arizona's Elementary Education exam
- Colorado's Elementary Education exam
- Illinois' Elementary/Middle Grades exam
- New York State's Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills exam
- 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.
- Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). Previous test items are available online.
- What Your Fourth Grader Should Knowby E.D. Hirsch
- What Your Sixth Grader Should Knowby E.D. Hirsch
- Preparation resources for the Early Childhood. It covers the same content areas up to second grade, but still is quite helpful.
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.
Further questions about MTEL Prep? Contact MTELPrep@wheelock.edu