The California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) exam was designed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), in conjunction with the Pearson Evaluation Systems Group and the English Learner Instruction Design Team (ELIDT). The CTEL was designed with specific knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) in mind, and implemented with the goal of assessing English language educators’ comprehension of those specific KSAs. The ultimate aim of the CTEL is to ensure California students are working with English language educators who adhere to the State’s stringent educational standards designed to provide a high quality education for every student.
CTEL Test Prep
What are the eligibility requirements to take the CTEL exam?
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Candidates who sit for the CTEL are those who meet the teacher credentialing standards set forth by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). For the CTEL, the purpose of the exam is certification, so those who take the exam are seeking certification. This generally means you will have completed a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation education program. However, some candidates may take the exam prior to completing their education, so make sure to check with your baccalaureate or teacher preparation education program, as well as the CCTC website, to ensure you meet all testing criteria.
What fees are associated with the CTEL exam?
The CTEL exam consists of three subtests that can be taken separately or altogether. If you take the CTEL tests altogether in a single session, you will pay $260. If you take the tests separately, the fees are:
- CTEL 1: $98
- CTEL 2: $147
- CTEL 3: $99
There is no fee to change your registration; however, if you wish to cancel your test but fail submit a withdrawal request, or if you do not show up to your scheduled test, you will not receive a refund or credit voucher of any kind.
What is the passing score for the CTEL exam?
The minimum passing score for the CTEL is 220 per subtest. Each test is scored separately, which means you need to achieve at least a 220 on all three CTEL tests. To pass the entirety of the CTEL, you must pass each subtest.
What does the CTEL exam cover?
The CTEL is a computer-delivered exam consisting of three subtests in the areas of Language and Language Development (CTEL 1, test code 031), Assessment and Instruction (CTEL 2, 032), and Culture and Inclusion (CTEL 3, 033). The content of the subtests reflects an alignment with the aforementioned KSAs, which include language structure and use, additive-language development, assessment of English language learners, content instruction and development of English literacy, methodology for English language instruction, and cultural diversity and inclusion.
In terms of content, the following outline provides basic details regarding what each subtest covers, as well as the number of questions and allotted testing times for each subtest:
- CTEL 1: Language and language development: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 50 multiple-choice questions, 1 constructed-response essay
- Covering language use, structure, additive-language development, and other related topics
- CTEL 2: Assessment and instruction: 2 hours and 45 minutes
- 50 multiple-choice questions, 2 constructed-response essays
- Covering the foundations of English language development and literacy, content instruction, methodology and approaches for English language instruction and development, and other related topics
- CTEL 3: Culture and inclusion: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 40 multiple-choice questions, 1 constructed-response essay
- Covering cultural diversity and understanding of culture, as well as culture’s relationship to academic success, instruction that is culturally inclusive, and other related topics
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