In 1999, New Mexico instituted the New Mexico Teacher Assessments (NMTA), a series of tests that prospective teachers must pass in order to obtain their teaching licenses.
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The tests are designed to make sure that every teacher in every classroom in the state has the necessary skills, general knowledge, and specific knowledge about their subject to do a good job of teaching students. The exams are given five times a year, in January, March, June September, and November. The time allotted for each test is four hours. Test takers will receive their official scores three to five weeks after the day of the test. Scores range from 100 to 300, and the minimum passing score is 240.
There are actually three different MNTA exams, and two of them come in several versions. The first one is the New Mexico Assessment of Basic Teacher Skills. There is only one version of this exam, and every prospective teacher is required to pass it. The test consists of 100 multiple choice questions, and one written response question. This exam tests for skills and knowledge in math, written communications, and reading comprehension.
The next exam is the New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Competency. This is a test of teaching (pedagogy) knowledge and skills, as opposed to the general subject matter of the Basic exam. There are three versions of the Teacher Competency exam: Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary. Every person who wants to teach in New Mexico must pass one of these three exams. (Should a person later decide to teach another age cohort, he or she will need to pass the appropriate exam.) There are 75 multiple choice questions on each test, as well as three restricted response tasks, and one extended response task.
The third test group is the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessments. There are currently two dozen separate exams in this group, each in a specific subject area, such as Health Education, Reading, Middle Level Mathematics, French, etc. The tests in this group consist of 100 multiple choice questions, except for language tests, which have 65 multiple choice questions, a written essay, and an oral exam.
The tests are currently given in the following geographic locations: Albuquerque, Clovis, Farmington, Gallup, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Santa Fe and Silver City. The fee for the Basic test is $52, while the fee for the Competency and Content Knowledge exams is $89. There is also a $25 registration fee for all test takers. These fees (and all other details) are subject to change, of course, but are correct as of this writing. There are excellent prep materials available for anyone who will be taking the NMTA in the future, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of one, as failing the exam can lead to postponing one’s teaching career for several months, at a minimum.
Free NES Practice Test Questions
- Assessment of Professional Knowledge - Elementary
- Assessment of Professional Knowledge - Secondary
- Business Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Earth and Space Science
- Elementary Education
- English Language Arts
- English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Essential Academic Skills: Mathematics
- Essential Academic Skills: Reading
- Essential Academic Skills: Technology Literacy
- Essential Academic Skills: Writing
- Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- General Science
- Gifted Education
- Mathematics (Middle Grades and Early Secondary)
- Middle Grades English Language Arts
- Middle Grades General Science
- Middle Grades Mathematics
- Middle Grades Social Science
- Physical Education
- School Counselor
- School Library Specialist
- Social Science
- Special Education
NMTA Study Guide
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NMTA Self-Assessment Modules
- Basic Math
- Intermediate Math
- Advanced Mathematics
- Basic Algebra
- Intermediate Algebra
- Advanced Algebra
- Estimation and Sequences
- Percents and Ratios
- Basic Grammar
- Intermediate Grammar
- Advanced Grammar
- Author's Purpose
- Reading for the Main Idea
- Basic Reading Comprehension
- Intermediate Reading Comprehension
- Advanced Reading Comprehension
- Reading Vocabulary
- Sentence Correction
- Sentence Flow
- Word Usage Test 1
- Word Usage Test 2
- Word Usage Test 3
- Writing Section 1
- Writing Section 2
- Social Studies
- Science Passage