MN Teacher Licensure Exams

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need to meet the Basic Skills Requirement?

It is recommended that candidates work to meet the Basic Skills Requirement before applying to their major program (typically in the third semester). The Basic Skills Requirement must be met to be eligible for student teaching.

Student Teaching Basic Skills Deadlines: To student teach in Fall Semester — Meet Basic Skills Requirement by January 15th To student teach in Spring Semester — Meet Basic Skills Requirement by September 15th

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.

When is the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test offered?

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

When I checked the seat availability, I found “MN_WCRI: MTLE” and “MN_WMCQ: MTLE” modules listed. What are they? Should I register them, too?

Both “MN_WCRI: MTLE” and “MN_WMCQ: MTLE” are 15 minute tutorials of instructions for test-takers. These tutorials show candidates how to use the computer system to take the test. The “MC” in “MN_WMCQ: MTLE” stands for multiple choice, while the “CR” in “MN_WCRI: MTLE” stands for "constructed response" (the essay or written portion of a particular test). These tutorials will automatically be available for you when you register. You will not choose them when you actually 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.

How do I register for the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test?

Register online through the official MTLE website. If you register for multiple subtests at once, the system will require that you take them back-to-back, during the same testing appointment. Candidates who take all three subtests at once will be in the testing center for a four-hour time block.

At St. Cloud State University, we recommend that candidates consider spreading out their testing sessions by registering for each subtest separately. This allows candidates to take each subtest on different days.

Scheduling a time and place to take the test is done after registration. Once a payment is made, candidates have a one-year window to schedule and take their test. Candidates may take the test on the campus of St. Cloud State University by selecting the Atwood Testing Center as the testing location.

Do I register for tests through the St. Cloud State University MTLE Center?

No. The St. Cloud State MTLE Center offers support and study resources to aid current students and alumni in learning about and preparing for Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations. All registration and scheduling of exams takes place online through the official MTLE website which is operated by Pearson Education.

Is there financial assistance available to help cover the cost of the tests?

For the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skill test, fee waivers are available on a first come, first served basis to students in significant financial need. Contact the SCSU MTLE Center for more information. If you have failed a subtest three or more times, please contact Pearson directly for information on the retake fee voucher process.

Is there an annual registration fee for taking the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills exam in addition to the cost for each subtest?

With the adoption of the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills exam on August 30, 2016, there is no longer an annual registration fee. Costs for each subtest are outlined on the MTLE website.

I have scored high enough on the ACT Plus Writing, SAT, or GRE to meet the Basic Skills Requirement. What do I need to do to let St. Cloud State University know this?

First, log in to e-Services to access a copy of your Degree Audit Report (often referred to as “DARS”). Once logged in, click on "Grades and Transcripts" located in the menu on the left side of the screen. The degree audit link is located under the "Interactive Degree Audit Report" tab.

Check your Degree Audit Report to see if your ACT Plus Writing, SAT, or GRE scores are listed on it. If your scores are not listed, you will need to submit your scores to the Office of Records and Registration.

 

Office of Records and Registration Contact Information: Administrative Services 118 720 4th Avenue South St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Phone: (320) 308-2111 Fax: (320) 308-2059

Once your scores have been received by the Office of Records and Registration and are listed on your Degree Audit Report, please stop by the School of Education Dean’s Office (EB A110) to complete a Basic Skills Override Request form. This form serves as documentation that you plan to use the ACT Plus Writing, SAT, or GRE to meet the Basic Skills Requirement for the purposes of your degree program.

What if I took the ACT without writing?

Unfortunately, the Basic Skills requirement is only met by taking the full "ACT Plus Writing" test. If you did not take the writing component with your ACT test, you will still need to meet the Basic Skills Requirement by taking another test (Exam Options for Meeting the Minnesota Basic Skills Requirement).

How do I prepare?

St. Cloud State University offers a number of free resources to help current students prepare for the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test. To access any of these resources, please contact the St. Cloud State MTLE Center. Available resources include:

  • Exam registration assistance
  • D2L site with online resources and practice questions
  • Basic Skills Study Guides and Practice Tests (located in the Miller Center Library year-round and the Curriculum and Technology Center during fall and spring semesters)
  • Tutorial services during the academic year

Official MTLE study guides and practice tests can also be purchased through the MTLE website.

What if I don’t pass all the subtests of the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test?

Candidates who do not pass one or more subtests will have to retake just the portion that they did not pass. If you wish to retake a subtest, you must complete the registration process again. Please note that you must wait a minimum of 45 days before retaking the subtest.

Candidates who have failed a subtest three or more times may be eligible for a fee voucher for subsequent attempts. To request a retake fee voucher, contact Pearson directly before registering to test.

What if I have to reschedule my test appointment?

It is possible to change your test date, time or location through your account on the MTLE website. This must be done at least 24 hours before your scheduled testing time.

Is the scale different on the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test compared to the previous MTLE Basic Skills test?

Yes. These tests are scored differently. The MTLE Basic Skills scores ranged from 200 – 300 points with 240 as the passing score. The Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test scores range from 400 – 600 points with 520 as the passing score. The MTLE Basic Skills Test was discontinued and replaced by the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test effective August 30, 2016.

Do passing scores on the previously offered MTLE Basic Skills tests still count to meet the Basic Skills Requirement?

Yes. 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 Board of Teaching website for further details.