State-Mandated Testing for Teacher Licensure

State Mandated Testing for Teacher Licensure–Minnesota NES Basic Skills and Advanced MTLE-II Tests

The State of Minnesota requires pre-professional skill testing (NES) for all applicants to a Minnesota teacher licensure program. As of Spring 2015, the Minnesota Basic Skills requirement must be met by providing passing scores on one of these three test batteries (NES, SAT or ACT Plus writing). The Department of Education at Augsburg requires evidence of taking one of these test batteries for admissions into the Department. Students must be admitted into the Department before enrolling in a 300 level class. It is not permitted to take 300 level courses before you are admitted.

After a candidate has completed their licensure courses, they are required to take two additional examinations: one in their content specialty area and one in general pedagogy. Click here to see more information on these advanced tests.

The NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS) are broad, conceptual statements that reflect the general education knowledge and skills an entry-level educator needs to teach effectively in Minnesota public schools. After completing the K-12 teacher licensure sequence, licensure applicants are also required to take a series of tests in pedagogy and their teaching content-areas. These post-program tests are called the MTLE. Candidates should plan ahead to register in advance of a test date because testing sites can fill up quickly. If a candidate does not pass any sub part of a test, a waiting period of 60 days is required before the test can be retaken.

Click this link to see information regarding preparation resources for both levels of testing.

Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS)

The MTLE Basic Skills Test was discontinued and replaced by the Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills test effective August 30, 2016. Teacher candidates are required to take three Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills (EAS) subtests: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. You may take one, two, or all three subtests at one test appointment.

What tests do I need to take? Educator certification requirements vary from state to state. NES tests are taken by individuals pursuing certification as entry-level teachers. In Minnesota, you will need to take the following tests:

Essential Academic Skills

  • Subtest I: Reading
  • Subtest II: Writing
  • Subtest III: Mathematics

Passing Scores

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has established the following passing scores for the Minnesota NES EAS subtests. Candidates must take and pass each subtest to qualify for a MN teaching license.

MN NES EAS Subtest Passing Score (on a 400–600 point scale):

  • Reading 520
  • Writing 520
  • Mathematics 520

How to Prepare for your NES Tests:

SAT and ACT Plus Writing:

Candidates may provide passing ACT Plus Writing scores or passing SAT scores in place of the NES scores. Students must meet all parts required as noted on MN BoT requirements. If they meet two but fail to meet the third, they have to take NES. Scores from ACT plus or SAT can be photocopied and placed in student files.

Submitting ACT Plus Writing or SAT Scores to Meet the Basic Skills Requirements

Requirements for teacher licensure in Minnesota include passing a series of exams to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, math, pedagogy and licensure field specific content. Beginning January 1, 2015, Students may document competencies in basic skills by meeting the statutory requirements through ACT Plus Writing or SAT scores.

Assistance with State-Mandated Testing for Teacher Licensure

It is recommended that candidates prepare themselves to take both the pre-professional basic skills tests (NES) and the advanced content-area and pedagogy tests (MTLE-II). Please meet with your Education Department faculty advisor to discuss specific recommendations.

Preparation for Taking the NES Basic Skills Tests

Periodically NES Basic Skills testing preparation courses may be offer at Augsburg or another local university. Please watch the Education Department Newsletter and consult with your Education Department faculty advisor in order learn more about how to participate in these preparation resources.

Preparation for Taking the MTLE-II Advanced Skills Tests

The following MTLE-II resources are available in Lindell Library — Reserves Section:

  • Minnesota communication arts, literature (5-12)
  • Minnesota elementary education (K-6)
  • Minnesota high school mathematics (5-12)
  • Minnesota life science (9-12) : teacher certification
  • Minnesota middle level mathematics (5-8)
  • Minnesota middle level science (5-8) : teacher certification exam
  • Minnesota pedagogy : elementary (K-6)
  • Minnesota special education core skills (birth to age 21) : teacher certification exam
  • Minnesota world language and culture: Spanish (K-12) : teacher certification exam
  • Minnesota communication arts, literature (5-12)
  • Minnesota communication arts, literature (5-12) practice test 1
  • Minnesota communication arts, literature (5-12) practice test 2
  • Minnesota elementary education (K-6)
  • Minnesota elementary education (K-6) practice test 1
  • Minnesota elementary education (K-6) practice test 2
  • Minnesota high school mathematics (5-12)
  • Minnesota high school mathematics (5-12) practice test 1
  • Minnesota high school mathematics (5-12) practice test 2
  • Minnesota life science (9-12) : teacher certification exam
  • Minnesota middle level mathematics (5-8)
  • Minnesota middle level mathematics (5-8) practice test 1
  • Minnesota middle level mathematics (5-8) practice test 2
  • Minnesota middle level science (5-8) : teacher certification exam
  • Minnesota pedagogy : elementary (K-6)
  • Minnesota pedagogy : elementary (K-6) practice test 1
  • Minnesota pedagogy : Elementary (K-6) practice test 2
  • Minnesota special education core skills (birth to age 21) practice test 1
  • Minnesota special education core skills (birth to age 21) practice test 2
  • Minnesota special education core skills (birth to age 21) : teacher certification exam
  • Minnesota world language and culture: Spanish (K-12) : teacher certification exam