The New Early Childhood MTEL: What You Need to Know

the new early childhood mtel

The New Early Childhood MTEL: What You Need to Know

The Early Childhood MTEL has been recently revised.  The redeveloped exam, now called the “Field 72,” will be available to take starting February 6, 2023, and registration for it is already open.  The old version, Field 02, will be retired on February 5. DESE recently released practice multiple-choice questions and an open response for the new version of the exam. 

Through the MTEL test prep services of ETI, I have prepared almost 1,000 people for the 02 version of the Early Childhood exam since the early-or mid-2000s and know it well. The content on the 02 exam was middle-to-high school-level academics, which included science, history, ELA, and math, as well as child development and special education. The content of the old version of this exam is pretty challenging compared to the actual content taught by kindergarten, first, and second-grade teachers.  The open-response questions required a knowledge of elementary math and social studies or science concepts and an understanding of some developmental psychology principles.

What Does This Mean for Test Prep?

In our almost 25 years in business, we have experienced several MTEL changes. Whenever an MTEL is updated, it takes a little time to have our best program available.  However, based on what we can already see, we will have an updated program ready for the spring. One advantage we have over other MTEL-prep companies, besides our experience and expertise, is that our focus is always on strategies and building confidence.

According to colleagues on the committee for developing this new version of the exam, the goal is to make the exam easier to pass. The 02 version of the exam is difficult because of its huge breadth of information. You have to know a lot of information about everything from science and history to math and the special education process.  

Another issue is the nature of the questions. Attractors, or trap answer choices, are abundant on this exam.  ETI’s test-taking system has saved the careers of hundreds of prospective educators. Anyone who considers themselves a poor test taker or suffers from a lack of confidence or test-taking anxiety is at a major disadvantage. This is why our program for the current exam focuses on increasing content knowledge but also emphasizes our logic-based test-taking system in our students. We teach our students how to avoid the attractor and score higher than they should based on their content knowledge.

Looking at the new test objectives of the new Early Childhood MTEL, I believe that the new exam will be easier for those who do not have a large general fund of knowledge in history and science. However, the new version will pose problems for another group of students—those who have difficulty with longer, wordy questions or who struggle with processing large amounts of information.  

The new questions that were recently released are informationally dense and wordy.  We will have to wait until a full practice exam is released to learn more. The new open-response questions share similarities with the current exam but with a new spin or two.  

Our recommended strategy for the new version of the exam will not be very different from what we currently teach.  Some of the exact wording and concepts can still be applied. Our students will learn a structure that will allow them to use much of the same verbiage on any possible variation they see.
If you would like to know more about this MTEL or how ETI can guarantee success, check out our website or contact me directly chuck@joinETI.com.

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