Testing and Licensure

Teacher candidates in the State of Minnesota are required to pass a series of standardized tests in order to obtain initial licensure. These tests consist of three main parts: Basic Skills Tests, Pedagogy Tests, and Content Area Tests. Each of these tests are further broken down into their own individual subtests.

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations
(www.mtle.nesinc.com)

Basic Skills Requirements

Candidates seeking an initial teaching license in Minnesota are required to demonstrate basic skills competency. According to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, several different tests may be used meet the Basic Skills Requirement, provided that specific minimum passing score thresholds are met. To prepare for the Basic Skills review content at Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations.

The Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills tests consists of three subtests: reading, writing, and mathematics.

Tests are computer-based

  • The reading test has 45 multiple-choice questions.
  • The writing test has 36 multiple-choice questions and 1 written assignment.
  • The mathematics test has 45 multiple-choice questions.

Time allotment for each of Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills subtests:

  • Reading: 75 minutes
  • Writing: 90 minutes
  • Mathematics: 75 minutes

Candidates must receive a passing score on each Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills subtest to meet the Basic Skills Requirement. Test scores range from 400 – 600 points.

Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills Passing Scores:

  • Reading: 520 or higher
  • Writing: 520 or higher
  • Mathematics: 520 or higher

Alternatively, candidates may meet the Basic Skills Requirement by achieving minimum passing scores on one of the following tests per the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. However, the scores of different types of tests cannot be combined to meet the Basic Skills Requirement. All subtests of one type of test must be passed.

ACT Plus Writing (was first offered in 2005)

  • Composite Score ≥ 22 and Combined English/Writing or ELA ≥ 21

1600 SAT (2005-present)

  • Reading + Writing: ≥ 550
  • Math: ≥ 570 

 2400 SAT (2005 and older)

  • Reading: ≥ 510
  • Writing: ≥ 510
  • Math: ≥ 520

GRE General Test (after 8/1/2011)

  • Verbal Reasoning ≥ 150
  • Analytical Writing ≥ 3
  • Quantitative Reasoning ≥ 14

The GRE Test (prior to 8/1/2011)

  • Verbal Reasoning ≥ 450
  • Analytical Writing ≥ 3
  • Quantitative Reasoning ≥ 540
Multi-State NES Essential Academic Skills test (was only available from June 7, 2016-August 28, 2016
  • Reading ≥ 205
  • Writing ≥ 214
  • Mathematics ≥ 213

While the MTLE Basic Skills test was discontinued on June 8, 2016, passing scores (240 or better on the Reading, Writing, and Math subtests) are still accepted for meeting the Minnesota Basic Skills Requirement. See the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board website for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is recommended that candidates work to meet the Basic Skills Requirement before applying to their 4 year college or university.

Please note that candidates are required to wait 45 days before retaking a failed subtest of the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test. Be sure to plan ahead.

Tests are offered year-round at multiple testing locations throughout the state. Visit the MTLE website to check seat availability at various testing centers.

"MN_WCRI: MTLE" and "MN_WMCQ: MTLE" are 15 minute tutorials of instructions for test-takers. These tutorials will be available for you when you register.

These tutorials show candidates how to use the computer system to take the test:

  • "MC" in "MN_WMCQ: MTLE" stands for multiple choice
  • "CR" in “MN_WCRI: MTLE” stands for "constructed response" (the essay or written portion of a particular test)

You will not choose them when you  register and pay, but you will want to choose them when checking seat availability so that your search results contain an accurate listing of available times.

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