The Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) Middle Grades General Science exam is used to assess a teacher candidate’s knowledge and comprehension in general science for grades 5 to 9 in the state of Florida. The exam is one of two required assessments to become a teacher in Florida.
Test format and design
The Middle Grades General Science exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. There are five types of questions: select the best response, diagram or drawing, sentence completion, direct question, and scenario. Each question has four possible answers, and you have the opportunity to review your work, if time remains, before submitting your answers for scoring. You are allowed two and a half hours to complete the computer-delivered examination.
The exam assesses your knowledge and skills in nine competencies:
- Structure and behavior of matter – 14% of questions
- Forces and motion – 13% of questions
- Energy and its effects – 12% of questions
- Earth and the processes that affect it – 13% of questions
- Space Science – 6% of questions
- Processes of life – 14% of questions
- Effects of physical and biological factors on the environment – 10% of questions
- The science learning environment – 5% of questions
- The process and application of scientific inquiry – 13% of questions
Registration, dates, and delivery method
Register online through your FTCE account. First-time users have to create an account to register for any certification examinations. You can register online at any time. In your account, select the Middle Grades General Science (004) exam and provide the information requested. After you have registered, you have one year to schedule your testing appointment.
The exam registration fee is $200.00 and payable by credit or debit card.
The test is scheduled at Pearson VUE testing centers located across Florida and nationwide. Test appointments are available year round, Monday through Saturday. After you schedule your test appointment, a confirmation email is sent. The email contains the information on the testing center you selected (address and phone), the date and time of your appointment, and lists additional requirements such as identification and what is or is not allowed in the center.
Plan to arrive at the testing center 30 minutes before your appointment. The additional time is required to check-in, secure your gear, and complete the pre-test paperwork. Personal items are not allowed at your testing station, and all the materials needed for the exam are supplied.
Before your test begins, you have the opportunity to take a short tutorial. The tutorial introduces you to the test delivery platform. Once you have completed the tutorial, your exam begins. Breaks are not included in the testing time.
If time remains when you are finished, review your answers. Incorrect answers are not penalized so try to answer all of the questions, even if you have to guess. When you are satisfied, send your responses for evaluation. After you complete the exam, an unofficial pass/non-pass status is provided. Return all materials provided, and exit the testing center.
Scoring and results
You receive one point for each correct answer. Your correct answers are added together to reach your raw score. Your raw score is converted to a scaled score. Your scaled score is based on the difficulty of the exam and allows your skills and knowledge to be assessed individually.
The scaled passing score for the Middle Grades General Science exam is 200. Your official score report, released within four weeks of your test date, indicates your pass or non-pass status, and other performance indicators designed to help you identify areas for improvement. A non-pass report includes a detailed analysis of the competencies of the exam.
When your official report is released, an email notification is sent to you. If you selected the option to have your report sent to your district or college at registration, it is sent at the same time as your email notification. Your passing score report is sent automatically to the Department of Education’s Bureau of Educator Certification.
How Can I Prepare for the FTCE Middle Grades General Science 5-9?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!