MN Teacher Licensure Exams

Basic Skills Requirements

Board of Teaching Licensure Exam Requirements

Candidates seeking an initial teaching license in Minnesota are required to demonstrate basic skills competency.

According to the Minnesota Board of Teaching, several different tests may be used meet the Basic Skills Requirement, provided that specific minimum passing score thresholds are met.

Exam Options for Meeting the Minnesota Basic Skills Requirement

Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS) Option

Test Content

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

Passing Score

Candidates must receive a passing score on each Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills subtest to meet the Basic Skills Requirement.

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 Board of Teaching. 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 ≥ 145
  • 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

Candidates who have scores that meet any of the above standards should come to the MTLE Center (EB 131) to obtain a Basic Skills Override Request form. Override request forms are returned to the School of Education Dean’s Office (EB A110).


  • $50 for any one MN EAS subtest (each subtest is taken and registered for separately)
  • $75 for any two MN EAS subtests (two tests are taken together during the same testing appointment)
  • $100.00 for all three MN EAS subtests (all three tests are taken at the same time during the same testing appointment)

Those wishing to take one subtest at a time, on different days or at separate times, will need to register and pay for each test separately. Using this method, each subtest will cost $50.


Candidates complete registration online through the MTLE website: Those using the site for the first time will need to create an account before being allowed to register.

Candidates may take one, two, or all three subtests in one test appointment. Those who wish to take subtests at separate times and/or on different days should put each subtest in their cart and pay for each (check out) separately.

Tests are offered year-round at multiple testing locations throughout the state. All three subtests can be taken at the Atwood Testing Center (Atwood Room 218) on the campus of St. Cloud State University.

Score Reports

  • An official score report will be emailed from Pearson to candidates, provided this service is requested at the time of exam registration.
  • A score reporting schedule is available on the MTLE website. Score reports will be available online through the MTLE website for 2 years (Tests taken prior to August 30, 2016 were only available for 45 days). Testing history for all tests taken, reported as pass/fail status, is always available through individual candidate accounts on the MTLE website. After the 2-year period, it is possible to request a copy of a score report for a fee through the MTLE website.
  • Scores will also be sent to any institution designated as a score recipient at the time of registration as well as the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Scores received by St. Cloud State University will appear on a candidate’s DARS report, which can be found through e-Services.
  • Candidates are advised to keep a copy of their score report for their own records. Candidates should consider forwarding the email they receive from Pearson to a non-St. Cloud State e-mail address so that it will be accessible after graduation.


Candidates are required to wait at least 45 days between test attempts. Be sure to plan ahead.

Alternative Testing Arrangements

In general, test sessions have been designed to allow sufficient time to complete the test.

Individuals with a documented disability and/or students for whom English is not their primary language may submit a request for alternative testing arrangements. In order to request alternative testing arrangements, a student must:

  1. Register for the test. Be sure to declare your intent to request alternative testing arrangements during registration.
  2. Submit your completed Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form and supporting documentation.
  3. Check your email for your notification of resolution (usually between 1–3 weeks after your completed request is received).
  4. Call the phone number provided in your notification to schedule your test appointment with any approved alternative testing arrangements.

An Alternative Testing Arrangements Request Form must be submitted each time you register.

Pearson will keep supporting documentation on file for one year. Documentation that is dated within the past 5 years will be accepted.

Please see the Requesting Alternative Testing Arrangements section of MTLE website for additional information on this process.

Students for whom English is not a primary language should speak with Dr. Choonkyong Kim, Professor in the English Department at SCSU. Her contact information is in the MTLE Center.