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MTEL Practice Questions

posted in: MTEL | 38

For the General Curriculum Mathematics Test (03)

Below are some ways for you to practice multiple-choice questions for the Mathematics Subtest of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure General Curriculum Test.  (This is the test for elementary teachers and K-8 special education teachers; there are separate mathematics tests  for elementary math specialists, middle and high school teachers).

The online practice questions give immediate feedback, including hints and explanations.  The paper and pencil tests have the same number of questions as the actual test with the topics in the same order, and with answers at the end.   The test bank includes 124 questions, ordered by objective, with answers at the end.


Online Tests:

Random Questions: Can be any topic on the test, in any order; choose the number of questions (there are 45 multiple-choice questions on the MTEL).



Questions on a Specific Test Objective:


Paper and Pencil Practice Tests:

Test Bank:


For thoughts on interpreting your scores on these questions, see here.

If you find a mistake or have comments on a particular question, please contact me (please copy and paste at least part of the question into the form, as the numbers change depending on how quizzes are displayed).   General comments can be left below.  Instructors, feel free to use and modify these questions for any non-profit educational purpose; see terms of use.

For more of my thoughts on this test, see this post.

38 Responses

  1. Ada Greenberg
    | Reply

    So glad i found this website the night before i am taking the Math 03 MTEL. Wish there were more advertisement for your site. Ada

  2. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Good luck on the test! If you know any places to advertise the site, please feel free.

  3. jon b
    | Reply

    i think number 42 is wrong on the answer key and i really don’t understand the point of question 41 on the 124 question practice test. email me if u agree or disagree

  4. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    jon b, I do disagree and will email you. If anyone else has similar concerns, I suggest looking at the interactive version for objective 0019, http://debraborkovitz.com/0019-operations-on-numbers/; they are questions 2 and 3, and there are more detailed explanations when you click on various responses.

  5. Kate
    | Reply

    Hi there. Thanks for this practice test. I’m taking my math mtel next Friday and am not good at math…to say the least. Any tips on the essay portion of the test? I’m working through the practice questions for the multiple choice but not sure what to do about the essay. Thanks!

  6. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Kate, one suggestion is to look at some of the open response questions on the elementary MCAS tests; I think they show a variety of levels of response. For the lower levels, think about how you would explain the child’s misconceptions, and then how you would show another way to solve the problem that adds insight. You might get some ideas from the stronger solutions.

    Remember that the essay is 10% of the test, so budget time accordingly (if you’re worried about time, it’s good to take the two parts of the general curriculum test separately if you can afford to).

    Good luck!

  7. Mauritha
    | Reply

    I am taking middle school math and science on Saturday would this information be helpful for me or do you have other information that will be helpful

  8. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Mauritha, I don’t know that much about the test you’re taking. I think there is likely some overlap, but the middle school math tests have a lot more algebra on them than the elementary. You might take a look at the DOE middle school math practice test: http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/PDFs/MA_FLD047_PRACTICE_TEST.pdf (I don’t see a math/sci practice test up). Keep in mind that these practice tests includes some questions that were rejected from the real test because they are too convoluted.

    Good luck!

  9. Lissa Levine
    | Reply

    Hi, this website is great! I was wondering though, do you have any practice MTEL Math essay question either on the site (that I can’t find for some reason) or not on the site that you could either post or email me? I am taking the MTEL Saturday and would like to practice some essay questions if I could.

    Thank you so much!

  10. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Lissa, glad you like the site. Sorry, I don’t have any open-response practice questions up. One of my colleagues has used open response questions from the elementary MCAS test. Look up the sample responses on the rubrics, and pick ones that are level 2 or so. Then try to explain the child’s mistake and another way to approach the problem.

    Good luck with your test Saturday!

  11. Math Help Online Free
    | Reply

    well, it’s nice effort but i think number 42 is wrong on the answer key and i really don’t understand the point of question 41 on the 124 question practice test. Pleas reply me that i’m wrong or not. Thanks for it.

  12. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Hello, Sorry for the late response, I’ve been having some problems with my website and comments are not showing up.. The two questions that you have difficulty with are both on alternate algorithms. These are very important things for elementary teachers to be familiar with for a few reasons. One is that kids invent ways of doing arithmetic on their own, and the teacher needs to be able to evaluate the validity of the method (rather than just shutting the kid down and saying to do everything the teacher’s way). Another is that some of the alternate algorithms are easier to understand conceptually than the “standard” ones (and the division of fractions algorithm here is one example, which is correct).

  13. AnthonyF
    | Reply

    I have passed 4/5 MTELS but have been teaching for 9 years. I have the general curriculum math MTEL left to take to be a certified moderate to severe 5-12 teacher. Needless to say, if I do not pass by August I like many others will lose my job because of the MTEL. What I am asking is, is this pretest a good source of what I will encounter when I take the test in April? Are there any open response questions on here? I take it that the essay is only 10% of the grade? What 3 other areas does this test focus on? Fractions, decimals, algebraic expressions?

    Thank you for your time.


  14. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Anthony, I cannot guarantee that this pretest is exactly what you will see when you see the test. I made it up according to the guidelines that the state gave, and it’s got the same proportions of questions on each topic that the multiple choice section of the MTEL has. I don’t have essay questions on this site, but see my response above to Kate for a few suggestions.

    For a breakdown of what’s on the test, see the overview on page 23 of the test information booklet: http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/PDFs/03_GEN%20CURR.pdf . There are also sample questions there.

    Best of luck — your situation is very stressful, but at least you have some time.

  15. Sarah
    | Reply

    Need to take one of the math tests for 5-12 moderate special needs certification. Is the math subtlest or elementary math test easier to pass!

  16. dborkovitz
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    Sarah, sorry I missed your comment initially. The math subtest of the general curriculum is easier. The elementary math test is intended for elementary math specialists.

  17. Jeri
    | Reply

    Hi! Just wanted to thank you for this site. I am taking the test tomorrow. I have no idea if I will pass, but I know that I learned a lot with your site. I appreciate the extra practice and just wanted to give you a shout out!

  18. Nicole
    | Reply

    Hello. I am using your practice test consisting of 124 questions.I printed the first part (1-45) and that answer key was correct, but to see answers for 46-124 I used the answer key for the longer test and it does not match answers 1-45. I think the longer answer key is off.

  19. Kristen
    | Reply

    I appreciate the insight on the MTEL testing, as well as sample questions. However, I am planning to take the Math Middle School MTEL (47) test and I was wondering if this was the type of material covered, or is there somewhere else (besides the DOE website) to get some practice/LEARNING/TUTORING material to help me prepare!??
    Thank you!

  20. Kristen
    | Reply

    ALSO, if I use some of the Math General Curriculum (03) testing materials that I have found, will they still help me with my Middle School Math MTEL (47) test??

  21. Doxiemama
    | Reply

    I plan on taking the General Curriculum Mathematics test very soon. Math is NOT my forte as I earned my degree in English. I’m much more proficient in Algebra than Geometry, and I noticed there are a great number of Geometry related questions on this test. Would another Math test require a more thorough knowledge of Algebra rather than Geometry? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  22. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    I know this is very late, but will respond to some of the above comments. Jeri — thanks! Hope you passed. Nicole, the first 45 questions on the long test are not the same as the 45 questions on the shorter test. Kristen, I think these materials will help with the middle school test, but that test covers material that’s not on the elementary test. I don’t know if there are other sites out there, hope you found something. Sorry I didn’t respond to these in a more timely manner…. lot of medical issues last year, and I kind of stopped keeping up with my site.

  23. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Doxiemama, the number of geometry questions here is proportional to those on the test. I’m not sure about the other tests — certainly the middle school test has more algebra on it than this test does, but it would also have more difficult geometry too. Geometry has become much more important in the elementary curriculum, so the content is relevant. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, and I hope the test went well.

  24. jim
    | Reply

    thanks for having the website; very helpful.

    NO biggie..but I’m curious if I got 4/5 right (s/b except for my misteak) you say it’s 75%

    Thank you.


  25. jim
    | Reply

    please disregard my prior email as I made (yet) another DUM MISTEAK reading.


    Jim Coleman

  26. dborkovitz
    | Reply

    Jim — MISTEAKS are part of learning!

  27. karen
    | Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to put together all this info.

    • dborkovitz
      | Reply

      You’re welcome!

  28. karen
    | Reply

    Thank you to the tenth!!

  29. Dana
    | Reply

    Would this practice test be comparable to a middle school praxis 2 exam? Unfortunately, there are no up to date study guides that are in line with this particular exam.

    • dborkovitz
      | Reply

      I’m not familiar w/that exam, but most likely the middle school exam covers more advanced material, so these questions would be helpful, but not extensive enough.

  30. Susan
    | Reply

    Don’t see any recent comments here but hope this willbe read and answered. There is a possible question on the Math MTEL that I cannot understand and need someone to explain why the equation is what it is: Question: A desk drawer contains 5 pens for every 3 pen caps. There are 10 more pens than pen caps in the drawer. How many pens are in the drawer?
    The ratio is 5:3 but the first equation is 5c=3p. That is waht is confusing me. I need to understand why it is 5c=3p and not 5p=3c because there are 5 pens and 3 caps.
    Thank you for clarifying – if you get this comment.

    • dborkovitz
      | Reply

      Susan — the issue that you’re having is confusing for a lot of people. The problem is that you’re trying to convert the English language phrase “5 pens and 3 caps” directly into an equation, rather than looking at p = # of pens and c = # of caps as numbers. Let’s try an example, say 10 pens and 6 caps. If your equation was true, then 5 x # pens would equal 3 x # of caps, but using the numbers that would mean that 5 x 10 = 3 x 6, which is not true.

      It might be easier to see with simpler numbers — suppose for every adult (a) there are two children (c). We need to decide between the equations a =2c and c =2a. We know there are MORE children than adults, so a = 2c cannot be correct. To find the number of children, we take the number of adults and multiply by 2, or c = 2a.

      Hope this helps.

  31. S
    | Reply

    I love this site. Thank you for allowing me to practice math for the MTEL!

  32. Lisa
    | Reply

    Hello! Thanks for providing all of this information. Is there an on-screen calculator available during the computer test?

    • dborkovitz
      | Reply

      Sorry, I don’t know the answer to that (and sorry I didn’t see your question until now)

  33. Lynda
    | Reply

    Do the general mathematics test and the elementary mathematics test cover the same material? Is one easier than another?

    • dborkovitz
      | Reply

      The elementary math test (53) is harder — it’s for math specialists, whereas the general curriculum math test (03) is for all elementary teachers. It’s a bit confusing, and at Wheelock we sometimes had students sign up for the wrong one.

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