Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examination (MTLE)


Effective June 8, 2016, the MTLE Basic Skills Test will be discontinued. It is being replaced by a National Evaluation Series™ (NES®) assessment: Essential Academic Skills, effective August 30, 2016. MTLE candidates will be required to take three Minnesota NES® Essential Academic Skills subtests: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

For candidates that need to fulfill the basic skills test requirement prior to the implementation of the Minnesota NES® Essential Academic Skills on August 30, 2016, the multi-state NES® Essential Academic Skills test will be available to Minnesota candidates from June 7, 2016, through August 28, 2016. Review materials for that test are available here: http://www.nestest.com/. Review materials for the new Minnesota NES test are not yet available. A passing score on the new Minnesota NES tests is 520.

Candidates still must pass the pedagogy and content-area tests, and candidates may submit ACT+Writing or SAT scores to meet the threshold scores. Click on the links below for more information on:

General MTLE Information

State licensure information can be accessed here: http://mn.gov/board-of-teaching/beaneducator/licensureexams/

Teacher candidates seeing licensure must complete the Pedagogy tests, and the Content Area exams (the basic skills tests will be replaced with the NES tests — see above). You must pass the basic skills requirements to be eligible to student teach; you must pass ALL exams in order to be eligible for a Minnesota teaching license. You may retake the subtests until you obtain a passing score (which is a scale score of 240).

  • The Basic Skills requirement should be completed during ED 330. You may substitute ACT+Writing or SAT scores in lieu of passing these tests (see below).
  • There are two levels for which you can take the two subtests of the Pedagogy exams: elementary (K-6), and secondary (5-12). You only need to take the subtests at one grade level even if you are seeking a K-12 license. It is your choice as to which exams you take. Each subtest costs $47.50 (and there are two). We recommend that you take this exam after completing your methods course(s) but prior to student teaching.
  • For each license you are seeking, you must complete two Content Area subtests (you can find out more here). Each subtest costs $47.50 (and there are two). We recommend that you take this exam the semester before student teaching senior year (for ESL licensure students, you should take this test after you’ve had all your ESL courses and linguistics).
    • Note that both Vocal and Instrumental students take the same Subtest 1: Instrumental & Vocal Music Sub 1

Score reports are released approximately 21 days after testing. Please print your score reports. They are only available for a short time, and you will need to pay to access those scores at a later date.

ACT+Writing and SAT Scores in Place of Basic Skills Tests

Beginning January 1, 2015, Educator Licensing will accept passing ACT Plus Writing and SAT scores to meet the statutory requirement for a skills exam in reading, writing and math. In 2014 The Board of Teaching adopted the following passing scores for these exams:

ACT Plus Writing: Composite Score ≥ 22 and Combined English/Writing ≥ 21

OLD 2400 SAT Reading ≥ 510 and Writing ≥ 510 and Mathematics ≥ 520

NEW 1600 SAT  (NEW) Reading ≥ 550 and Writing ≥ 550 and Mathematics ≥ 570

  • Your scores are imported to Tk20, so the Education Department has a record of your test scores. If you did NOT submit an official score to St. Olaf, you must request an official score report be sent to Heather Campbell in the Education Department (there is no college code; complete the bottom section beginning with: “Complete this section only to request a report to a high school or uncoded institution/agency, or a personal copy. A fee must be submitted.”) You can use this form to request scores.
  • The Minnesota Basic Skills requirement must be met by providing passing scores on one of the three test batteries (MTLE, SAT, or ACT Plus writing).
  • The ACT Plus Writing must be taken as a complete exam. Those who have previously taken the standard version of the ACT must take the new ACT Plus Writing in its entirety, should they choose this option.
  • Scores presented for the purpose of licensing must be the result of exams taken within the last 10 years. Scores older than 10 years will not be accepted to meet licensure requirements. Students may submit subscore tests from different batteries to meet the threshold.

Test Dates and Sites

Effective September 4, 2012, computer-based tests are available by appointment, year round. Information on the NES national tests (available this summer only) can be found here: https://www.nestest.com/

Completing the Registration

  • To register, go to the NES site: https://www.nestest.com/
  • Enter the “Register” area and follow the directions provided. You will be asked to provide personal information. Identify the tests you want to take by adding them to the “test selection” area.
  • When prompted to indicate which institution you want to receive your scores it is imperative that you indicate St. Olaf College.  If you do not list St. Olaf as a recipient, it could delay your licensing process later.
  • Make certain to add St. Olaf for where you received your educator preparation training.
  • Also make certain to complete all requested information prior to completing registration. You will need a Mastercard or Visa (or a debit card that carries the Visa/Mastercard logo) to complete the process.

Test Preparation

The NES website provides test preparation materials for the basic skills tests and the pedagogy and content tests. DO NOT pay for any preparation materials.

Additional resources:

Financial Assistance

Each basic skills test (reading, writing, math) costs $50. The pedagogy and content subtests tests each cost $47.50. If the MTLE or NES test fees present a financial burden to you, please know that with all fees in the Education Department, there is a mechanism in place to provide some financial assistance to you should you have demonstrated need. If you would like to apply for fee assistance for the MTLE or NES exams, please use this form. Make sure to apply for financial assistance PRIOR TO registering for the tests. We CANNOT reimburse you for registration fees; if you are eligible for financial assistance, we will help you register.

Test Accommodations

Examinees with documented disabilities, examinees for whom English is not a primary language, and examinees whose religious practices prevent them from testing on Saturdays may be eligible for alternative testing arrangements. This process will take several weeks, so be sure to register early. If you are requesting accommodations and fee assistance, start with the fee assistance form.

Pass Rates

The Higher Education Act, Title II, Section 207 (1988) requires all institutions that prepare teachers to report pass rates on state licensing tests.

Prior to September 1, 2010 Teacher Candidates were required to pass the Praxis I and II exams for teacher licensure. Pass rates (below) are for the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams for the three most recently completed academic years.  (note: if a student took a test multiple times but passed on the last attempt, that student is only represented in the “passing” column). Note that moving forward, candidates may use ACT and/or SAT scores in lieu of the MTLE basic skills exam.

MTLE Exam St. Olaf College Teacher Education Program Completers from 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 Minnesota Statewide Candidates’  Average Passing Rates 

reported in April, 2015

Number Taking Assessment Number Passing Assessment Institutional Pass Rate
Basic Skills Reading* 70 69 99% 71%
Basic Skills Writing* 70 69 99% 69%
Basic Skills Math* 70 68 97% 69%
Secondary Professional Knowledge (passed both Sub 1 & 2) 85 85 100% 98%