Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)
In 1976, a revised school code was passed into law in the state of Michigan (Act 451) which required that public school teachers in Michigan pass a basic skills examination along with an elementary certification examination and/or subject area examination. In the early 1990s, National Evaluation Systems (NES) began developing the MTTC examinations. The MTTC Basic Skills Test (now called the Professional Readiness Examination) was implemented in 1991. It was followed in 1992 by the MTTC Academic Content-Area examinations.
In 2006, NES was acquired by Pearson, Inc. Pearson is the current vendor and administrator of the MTTC examinations.
Function of the Test
The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) program comprises three classes of assessments: a Professional Readiness examination, an Elementary Education examination, and several Content-Area tests.
The Professional Readiness examination is taken by all candidates for teaching certification in Michigan. Candidates must pass this examination before enrolling in student teaching.
The Elementary Education examination is taken by candidates who intend to teach at grade 8 or lower. It covers six content areas: English Language Arts and World Languages; Social Studies; Visual and Performing Arts; Mathematics; Science; and Health Education and Physical Education. Between September 2008 and August 2011, the pass rate for the Elementary Education examination was 93.2% for first-time test takers.
The Content-Area tests are taken by candidates who intend to teach high school students, as well as by those who intend to teach specific subject areas in grades 6-8. There are 71 Content-Area tests which cover a broad spectrum of educational practice, including core academic subjects such as Social Studies and English; subjects in the arts such as Fine Arts, Dance, and Music; subjects in foreign languages such as Spanish and French; practical and vocational subjects such as Industrial Technology, Business Administration, and Accounting; and support areas such as Bilingual Education, Guidance Counselor, Visually Impaired, and Learning Disabilities.
Between September 2008 and August 2011, the most commonly taken Content-Area tests were Social Studies (2,863 first time testers at a 60.7% pass rate), Language Arts (2,832 first time testers at a 64.7% pass rate), English (2,216 first time testers at a 75.8% pass rate), and Early Childhood Education (1,921 first time testers at a 92.2% pass rate).
Computer-based MTTC examinations are offered in many short testing windows throughout the year except in January, April, July, and October. Computer-based exams are administered at Pearson Professional Centers throughout the United States as well as at over 30 test centers outside of the US.
Paper-based MTTC examinations are offered about every three months for a total of four testing dates per year. Registration to take a paper-based MTTC exam must be submitted more than a month in advance.
MTTC examinations are scored on a standardized scale from 100 to 300. The passing score is 220.
Unsuccessful candidates who wish to retake a computer-based examination must wait at least 30 days between attempts. For multi-part examinations, candidates only need to retake the subtests which they have not yet passed. There is no hard limit to the number of times a candidate may retake an MTTC examination, but individuals must seek academic counseling after the fourth or subsequent failure before retaking an exam again.
Candidates with disabilities who require special testing accommodations must submit a request form and supporting documentation to Pearson. For paper-based tests, candidates are required to submit requests on the standard registration deadline, which is more than a month in advance of the test window. For computer-based tests, requests are typically processed within 1-3 weeks, but candidates are encouraged to submit accommodation requests as early as possible before the intended testing date.
The MTTC series of tests cover a variety of topics that certify teachers in Michigan to teach in certain subjects or settings. Almost all of the tests take place in paper and pencil formats, consist of 100 multiple choice questions, and allow up to four and a half hours to complete. There are a few select tests that also have constructed-response assignments.
Testing takes place at testing sites across Michigan. On the day of the exam, test-takers are required to bring their admission ticket as well as a government issued identification containing a signature and photograph. Depending on the exam, other items may be requested, such as a calculator. As all of the tests are paper and pencil based, every test taker should bring pencils with erasers. Pencils will not be supplied by the testing center.
- Michigan Legislature - Act 451 of 1976, Section 380.1531 May 27 2015
- Michigan Department of Education - MTTC Technical Report May 27 2015
- Michigan State Board of Education - The Michigan Definition for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers May 27 2015
- Pearson - Evaluation Systems Backgrounder May 26 2015
- MTTC - MTTC Certification Requirements May 27 2015
- MTTC - Test Objectives - Elementary Education May 27 2015
- Michigan Department of Education - Presentation on the Three-Year Cumulative Report on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Results for 2008-2011 May 27 2015
- MTTC - Computer-Based Testing Test Dates May 27 2015
- MTTC - Computer-Based Testing Test Sites May 27 2015
- MTTC - Paper-Based Testing Test Dates May 27 2015
- MTTC - MTTC Passing Requirements May 27 2015
- MTTC - Registering for Alternative Testing Arrangements May 27 2015
- Test Selection 11 May 2015
- What To Bring 11 May 2015