MTEL Foundations of Reading Exam

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Foundations of Reading Exam is offered to prospective teachers wanting to teach early childhood and elementary level students. It is also offered to those wanting to teach students with disabilities.

Online MTEL Foundations of Reading Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online MTEL Foundations of Reading Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The MTEL Foundations of Reading Course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 400+ Foundations of Reading Practice Questions
  • More than 300 Digital Flashcards
  • Over 40 Instructional Videos
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The MTEL Foundations of Reading Prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their MTEL Foundations of Reading exam. Click below to check it out!

Man sitting on a bed, using a tablet. Text on the image promotes a 20% discount on the online MTEL Foundations of Reading course with code MTEL20. There's a


How do I register for the exam?

You may register for the exam on the official MTEL website: You will need to create an account.

When can I take the exam?

The MTEL Foundations of Reading Exam is given year-round, Monday through Saturday. It’s important to note that the exam is only given by appointment.

How many questions are on the exam?

The MTEL Exam is computer-based and consists of 100 multiple choice questions and 2 open-response questions. You will have 4-hours to complete the exam with an additional 15-minutes for CBT training.

The multiple-choice portion of the MTEL Exam accounts for 80 percent of the points you can get, while the 2 open-response questions account for 20 percent.

What will I be tested on?

The MTEL Foundations of Reading Exam tests you on:

  • Foundations of Reading Development (35%) – Including but not limited to:
    • Understanding phonological and phonemic awareness
    • Understanding concepts of print and the alphabetic principle
    • Understanding word analysis skills and strategies
  • Development of Reading Comprehension (27%) – Including but not limited to:
    • Understanding vocabulary development
    • Understanding how to apply reading comprehension skills and strategies to imaginative/literary texts.
  • Reading Assessment and Instruction – (18%)
    • Understanding multiple approaches to reading instructions
    • Understanding formal and informal methods for assessing reading development
  • Integration of Knowledge and Understanding – (20%)
    • You will be responsible for preparing an organized and developed analysis on a topic that relates to one or more of the following:
      • Development of reading comprehension
      • Reading assessment and instruction
      • Foundations of reading development

The purpose of the two open-ended questions is to further measure your knowledge in the subject area.

How much will I have to pay in order to take the exam?

The exam costs $139. You may make your payment via credit or debit card at the same time that you register. The debit or credit card that you use must carry the Visa or Mastercard symbol.

*Important: Keep in mind that your registration is good for one year. If you do not schedule and take your exam during that time, your registration will expire, and you will not get your money back.

What score do I have to get in order to pass?

The MTEL is scored on a scale between 100 to 300. In order to pass, you need to score at least a 240.

What can I expect on the day of the exam?

On the day of the exam, you will want to arrive at least fifteen minutes early. If you arrive late you may not be permitted inside the testing center.

Personal items such as cellphones, and calculators are not permitted.

You will need to have with you a current, government-issued photo ID. If you do not have your ID, you will not be permitted to take the exam, and you will not get your money back.

You are allowed restroom breaks, but you will not be given any additional time to complete the exam if you run out.

During the exam you will be provided with a pen and a notebooklet to take notes. You can have more than one of these if you need it.

Can I guess the answer to a question if I’m not sure about it?

Yes. If you don’t know the answer to one of the questions on the exam, there is no penalty for guessing. The multiple-choice questions contain four possible answers, so that gives you a 25% chance of guessing correctly. It’s best not to leave any question unanswered.

Where do I take the MTEL Exam?

The exam is given at testing centers in Massachusetts and nationwide. To find a test location that is most convenient for you, you can visit the Pearson website:

How can I prepare for the MTEL Foundations of Reading Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Study Guide


Online Course


Last Updated: March 8, 2024