Teacher Licensure

Basic Skills Requirements

Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board Licensure Exam 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.

Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS) Option

Test Content

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

Format

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

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. 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.

Cost

  • $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 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.

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. Those who have failed a subtest three or more times, should contact Pearson directly for information on the retake fee voucher process.

Registration

Candidates complete registration online through the MTLE website: www.mtle.nesinc.com. 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.

Candidates who take all three subtests at once will be in the testing center for a four-hour time block.

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

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, however, all registration and scheduling of exams takes place online through the official MTLE website which is operated by Pearson Education.

 

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 Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. 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.

Retakes

Candidates who do not pass one or more subtests will have to retake just the portion that they did not pass. Those wishing to retake a subtest must complete the registration process again. Candidates are required to wait at least 45 days between test attempts. Be sure to plan ahead.

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.

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.

 

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).

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.

Seat availability: what does "MN_WCRI: MTLE" and "MN_WMCQ: MTLE" mean?

"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.

How do I let St. Cloud State University know that I want to use the ACT Plus Writing, SAT, or GRE to meet the Basic Skills Requirement?

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:
Administrative Services 118
720 4th Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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

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).