MTEL Foundations of Reading 190– A Closer Look

MTEL Foundations of Reading 190– A Closer Look

MTEL Foundations of Reading 190– A Closer Look

From the desk of Carol Milano

If you’re reading this blog you have experienced or will experience sitting for the revised Foundations of Reading MTEL 190. It is still comprised of 4 sections:

Developmental Reading Foundations – 35%

Reading Comprehension – 27%

Reading Assessment and Instruction – 18%

2 Open Response Prompts – 20% (One pertains to developmental reading skills. The other pertains to comprehension.)

Computer Based Testing Versus Online Proctoring

Before I comment further on the test construction and content, I would like to address your decision as to how you will take the test. You may take it at a testing center, which is called “computer based testing,” or you may take it at home, “online proctoring.” 

My strong recommendation is that you take it at a testing center, computer based. You will have much more flexibility with your testing time and the order in which you answer the questions. You may complete the open response first and then move to the multiple choice.

You will be more alert at the beginning of the exam and will be better able to organize your responses and check them for content and clarity. You may move about the exam and complete it in any order you wish.

You also will be able to allot your time in any way you see fit. For example, if you spend less than an hour answering the open responses, you will have over three hours to complete the multiple choice. A writing implement and something on which to write will be provided. Thus, you have the ability to make notes, outline a hard copy etc.

On the other hand, when testing at home with online proctoring, the testing environment is much more restrictive. You must complete the multiple choice questions first and the open responses last. The time frame is set at 2 ½ hours for the multiple choice and 1 ½ hours for the open responses. Once you move to the open responses, you may not go back to the multiple choice section to check or review your work. You may not make notes of any kind. No paper or writing implements are allowed.  You can read Chuck Zucco’s blog about Online Proctoring HERE.

Revised Foundations of Reading Test 190 Content and Changes

Though the test was rolled out in early February, we have had difficulty in obtaining information about the new test. The online practice test consists of only ten multiple choice questions and one open response question. The open response question related to developmental reading skills was posted in February but an example strong response was not posted until late June, leaving us to our own devices to discern a strong response.

An open response example for the comprehension based open response is still not available. DESE has stated that health and safety concerns around COVID have caused delays. We do know the open response is based on a strength and need in comprehension. A teacher and student are discussing the text read by the student. It is no longer a “student retell” as in the original exam. You will obtain the same information from a teacher/student conversation about text as you would from a student retell. It is the same objective but it uses a different format to test you. Check out the test objectives as well.

Please note that the required responses for the ORs have been expanded to include not only a strength and need but also a remedial activity to address the need and a rationale for using the activity. You must do this in a 150 to 300 total word response.

A Revision That is Very Helpful

The score reports look much the same as the original with one notable exception. Previously, test takers were frustrated because one total score was given for both open response prompt answers. Test takers didn’t know the score of each individual response which made studying for a retake of the exam difficult at best. Now the scores are broken down into the two parts that comprise that section. There is a score for the Foundations of Reading answer and a separate score for the Comprehension answer.

Studying and Prepping for the MTEL

Our online course is an excellent foundation from which to study.  It is worth starting to prepare now with our program. As I learn more about the new exam, I will be adding content to the current program, and you will have full access to the new material as it becomes available. 

The information that is there now is still important and relevant to the new exam.  There are many practice questions to use for review and reinforcement. Make use of the new sample exam from Pearson and DESE. Though it is abbreviated, it is helpful. Hopefully, a longer practice test and an example of the comprehension open response will be available soon. In the meantime, we are here to answer any questions you may have and are in the process of updating information to conform to the revised test.

If you have other MTELs you need to pass, please consider using joinETI.com.  We have been guaranteeing success since 1999! 

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