My experience with the MTLE. (Minnesota.)

Discussion in 'Basic Skills Tests' started by pete2770, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2011

    I'm just writing to say that I took all three sub-tests of the basics exam in May, and I received my score report today.

    To be honest, I didn't study beyond reading and doing the questions on the MTLE website (the free sample questions) and doing some quick Google searches on any test criterion that I wasn't sure about (the sheet that lists the criteria, all with numbers, ie 001 tests this, 002 tests this, etc.)

    Well, I passed all 3 with flying colors, thinking I failed all but the math. Interestingly enough, math was my lowest, next lowest being reading and my highest being writing.

    I wasn't completely dull going into it though, six months or so ago, maybe longer, I purchased some books recommended by Teachergroupie and read through those. So when it came to May, I didn't have to study much as it was all pretty fresh.

    Also, thank you to the members here that straightened me out on the practice math questions. :p

    My stress levels were building today as I hadn't seen my grades yet, and we were discussing standard deviation and the fact that Minnesota put the passing scores 1 standard deviation above what was recommended by professionals (I forget which).

    But, when I saw all passed today, thinking they were all fails, it lifted my spirits dramatically.

    As for the tests themselves, they really cover exactly what is outlined. I can't say more than that, because it isn't more complicated. There weren't any trick questions, so don't think too hard about them. Pace yourself for the reading section, my main issue was not having enough time to thoroughly read the last two passages because I was taking too much time reading the first ones (assuming there were more questions per passage). Writing...the grammar is straight forward. As for the essay portion, I was coming down to the wire meeting the word requirement and having some semblance of sanity in what I was writing.

    I don't know what the passing score is, it's not stated, but on the grading criteria my scores were all 90%+. This is just with what I did above, so don't worry too much about it. If you're like me, you'll feel like you failed until the report comes. :p
     
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  3. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2011

    I had very similiar experiences and feelings when I took the Reading Specialist tests.
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

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    May 16, 2012

    help!

    I am struggling on the reading and writing tests of MTLE. Can you recommend any study materials or resource that you think helpful? Thank you so much!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 16, 2012

    For the reading, you may find this helpful: Reading Comprehension Success in 20 Minutes a Day. The publisher is LearningExpress; the book has been released in a number of editions over the years, but pretty much any of them should prove useful.

    For the writing, what you need depends on exactly what's in the writing test. If it's one or two essays and nothing else, your best bet is to find someone who understands that The Five-Paragraph Essay has its place (and that that place is NOT the ninth circle of Dante's Inferno) and... well, write. Get feedback on your writing.

    If the writing test includes multiple choice questions, those are usually on topics in grammar and writing: you'll need to know the parts of speech and you'll need to be able to identify and correct errors in noun and verb agreement, modifier clauses, and the like. LearningExpress has a book for that, too: Writing Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day. Both are available through major bookstores or via Amazon or Powells.com.

    (No, I don't work for LearningExpress. The books are simply good at doing what they do.)
     
  6. TeachSpanish

    TeachSpanish New Member

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    Dec 2, 2012

    Need Help with the Math portion of the MTLE (Minnesota)

    New to Minnesota and I have to take the MTLE Basic Sklls test to get a Minnesota teaching license. I'm ok with reading and writing but weak in math. I'm looking for books or a college course in Minnesota to help me pass the math portion of test. I've haven't taken math in over 20 years and I really don't remember any of this stuff. Any recommendations? I'm taking the test in Jan 2013. Thanks!!!!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 2, 2012

    Welcome to A to Z, TeachSpanish.

    Practical Math Success in 20 Minutes a Day, published by LearningExpress, is a good choice. You could also try Khan Academy, http://www.khanacademy.org; have the test framework handy as you work through the little videos so you know what you need and what you don't.
     
  8. Teacher41

    Teacher41 Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2012

    I've taken the MTLE basic math test several times and failed each time because it's advanced algebra (linear and abstract), statistics, and advanced geometry.

    FYI: The study guides on the MTLE website are a rip-off. Do not waste your money purchasing them.

    While the Praxis Series math was high school level, the MTLE is college level math.

    The MTLE Basic Writing test is tricky because it's parts of speech but asks you bizarre questions that have nothing to do with grammar, nothing to do with the 5-paragraph form, and you aren't required to read an essay. Just multiple choice questions that ask you random, non-writing-related questions.

    Add to that, that Minnesota raised its passing score to 240 which is far above the national average score needed to pass.

    Supposedly, there's a heated debate going on behind closed doors as to whether or not to lower the passing scores on the MTLE so that more people will pass it. So many students have failed the MTLE, who have complained to the Minnesota Dept. of Ed, including Gov. Mark Dayton (you can thank him and the Republicans for getting rid of the Praxis Series tests, and replacing them with Pearson Education's Minnesota Teacher License Exam). I have several classmates who had to take one or all three of the MTLE basic skills test multiple times before they passed.

    I tried tutoring with a college math teacher to no avail. If you don't have math (number operations, geometry, basic algebra) in your long-term memory, you basically need to take a refresher math course and get some heavy tutoring before you will pass it.

    And you have to take two tests for your content area plus two pedagogy tests. So, for the MTLE, you have a total of 7 tests to pass to get your teaching license (3 for the basic skills; reading, writing and math, then 2 for content and 2 for pedagogy).

    It's definitely a way to weed out teachers. Those who can't pass the the MTLE have no chance of getting hired as Minnesota got rid of its "grace period" which previously allowed unlicensed teachers to be hired by public schools while they finished their testing within a certain amount of time.
     
  9. FailedMTLEMath

    FailedMTLEMath New Member

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    Mar 12, 2013

    I totally agree with you.

    In taking the PPST Math, it seemed a fair test and passable by a general person, as it is called a Basic Skills test, not a math major content exam.

    The MTLE, however, is nearly impossible to pass unless you were a Math minor, major or recently took advanced math coursework.

    As you mentioned, it expects you to know advanced geometry, trig & calculus. I think this a great test for a math teacher, but why should someone teaching English or US History have to know that level of math? How is knowing that level of math going to improve their teaching?

    In my experience as a teacher outside of MN, I never had to use that level of math to grade student work or calculate grades.

    Since failing the MTLE, I could not take a job I was hired for in MN. It caused a lot of problems for the school I was to work at & for me personally.

    I imagine MN will end up having a teacher shortage in the near future if they don't lower the passing score & or be reasonable like most other states and give you time to meet the new standards while on the job.

    It's horrible that I could not take a job that had nothing to do with Math, simply because I couldn't do Trig or Geometry on the MTLE.
     
  10. spanishteacher1

    spanishteacher1 New Member

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    Apr 4, 2013

    MTLE Math Basic Skills Test

    I'm having problems passing the MTLE Math Basic Skills test and although I have been offered a job to teach Spanish in Minnesota I will not be hired if I do not pass. I'm already looking for work in other states since I'm already a licensed teacher in FL in ESOL and Spanish. I'm a native Spanish speaker with a Masters in Spanish and 10 years teaching experience. This is totally ridiculous! Not hiring highly qualified licensed teachers from other states based on their testing requirements. Way to go MN!
     
  11. MNTroy

    MNTroy New Member

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    Sep 27, 2015

    I just passed the MATH sub test of the MTLE yesterday. :)

    I know this message thread is a few years old, but I would like to give my take on the MTLE Basic Skills test. In my opinion, these tests can be difficult, but with repeated practice, these tests can be passed.

    I say practice and practice again, because the first time I took these tests, I failed both the math and the writing sub tests. My attitude before I took these tests the first time was, I hate to say it, lazy. I thought to myself, it is basic skills, how hard can it be? I found out the hard way, and with less $$$ in my wallet. I did pass the writing and math tests the second time around.

    Here are some tips to passing the basic skills part of the MTLE:

    Math:

    Practice and practice some more. Go to the official MTLE website and the math objectives are right there. Yes there is very basic geometry, but there is no trigonometry. Yes there is basic algebra, but nothing too advanced. I know that Khan’s Academy helped me immensely with math topics that I have not used in a number of years. And the best part--its free!

    Reading:

    I did pass this test the first time. One tip I would give is that with the time limit, there will not be enough time to read the entire passage. I just went right to the questions and skimmed through the story to answer each prompt.

    Writing:

    BIG TIP: As soon as the test begins, go straight to the two writing assignments. Write them down. So when you are taking the multiple choice exams, start jotting down ideas and thoughts on the two topics. By the time you finish with 30 or so questions, you will have a good idea what you want to write about. Also from what I understand, the two written essays is about 50% of the total grade---and weighted more heavily.


    In the end, I would agree these basic skills tests do no prove the effectiveness of a teacher in the classroom. I do agree, however, that if someone cannot handle some basic skills questions, should they be in the classroom?
     
  12. Oct 23, 2015

    Hi MNTroy, congrats on passing! I'm struggling myself with passing the math. I passed the rest of the tests but the math is really tough for me. I've taken it 3 times without passing or even becoming close to passing. Do you have any materials you recommend? (I have yet to try khan academy but I will!)
     

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