5 MTEL Tips For Better Prep

5 MTEL Tips For Better Prep
Learning Strategies

5 MTEL Tips For Better Prep

When people ask me for some tips on passing the MTEL exams, or simply test preparation, a few things immediately come to mind. Please read on to learn some basic tips on how to be better prepared for taking the MTELs:

MTEL Tip #1 – Understand the Content and Be Prepared!

The best thing you can do for yourself is to study and be prepared! The content covered on each MTEL is available in the test-information booklets which are available here. There are almost unlimited resources on the Internet for you to research any content the MTEL covers. 

The difficulty is knowing how to streamline the information and knowing exactly what to study. If you need help, you might want to investigate an MTEL prep program (like ours, which have been guaranteeing success since 1999!)

MTEL Tip #2 – Understand How the MTELs Are Scored

Before you can know how to approach any test, you need to know how the exam is scored. For information on the Communication and Literacy Writing  or Reading MTELs, read my previous blogs which explain how these exams are scored. 

MTEL subject tests are set up differently. The Open Response questions are worth 10% of the total score. There are usually two, but sometimes one, like on the General Curriculum subtests.  Multiple-choice questions are worth the remaining 80% or 90%. Knowing how your MTEL is scored allows you to focus on the parts of the exam that are worth more.

MTEL Tip #3 – Timing Strategies

Since the OR questions are worth only 10% each, you should not spend too much time on them.  Theoretically, you can skip them and still pass if you do well enough on the multiple-choice questions.  I recommend spending only 15-20 minutes per open response question.  They are just not that important.

MTEL Tip #4 – Test-order

Even though they are not heavily weighted, you should always do the open response questions FIRST—before you do the multiple-choice questions.  It is possible—unless you’re taking the MTEL at home (read this blog to learn why you should NOT take the MTEL at home)—you can easily change the order of how you take the exam and skip to the end where the ORs are placed.   

The reason I advocate for this strategy is that while the ORs are only worth 10%, they take so much more thought, energy and creativity than multiple-choice questions do.  Write them while you’re still fresh and alert, not after you have been worn down by agonizing over 100 multiple-choice questions. 

MTEL Tip #5 – Understand the Concept of the Attractor!

I have been preparing students for MTELs for over 22 years, and the one thing that the 1000s of students have in common is that they identify as “poor” or “not confident” test-takers.  They get confused by the questions and—in particular—the answer choices.  Test writers take advantage of this when they write “attractors,” answer choices written to trick test takers.  Those most vulnerable to attractors are “poor” test takers, students who have test anxiety and a history of poor performance on standardized and multiple-choice exams.

The best way to become a better test taker is to take one of our courses. ETI weaves test-taking skills and strategies into all aspects of our programs. We have a logic-based, test-taking system that will allow you to be a better, more confident test taker. I guarantee it.

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