How to Prepare for the Tests
This section of the study guide provides information to help you prepare to take the MTTC tests.
Plan Your Course of Study
Follow the steps outlined below to prepare to take the MTTC tests.
Assess your content knowledge.
Read the test objectives.
The set of test objectives for each test is the only source identifying the information covered by the test(s) you are taking.
- Read through the entire set of objectives to get a general picture of the material the test covers.
- The test objectives form the foundation and focus for the test questions. The descriptive statement(s) that follow each objective are included to provide examples of possible content covered by the objective. Read each objective and its descriptive statement(s) carefully to get a more specific idea of the knowledge and skills you will be required to demonstrate on the test.
- Once you have become familiar with the test objectives, make a list of those objectives about which you feel you know the least.
Practice your test-taking skills.
Answer the sample test questions.
After you have become familiar with the test objectives, review the sample test directions and try to answer the sample test questions for the test(s) you are taking. Set aside several hours for this exercise. If possible, take the sample test questions in a quiet room that simulates the testing environment. As you answer the sample test questions, time yourself to get an estimation of how long it may take you to complete the actual test.
The Day of the Test: Helpful HintsThe following are suggestions for preparing for the experience of the test administration as well as strategies you may wish to employ while taking the test.
Preparing for the Test Administration
The following are tips to help you prepare for the day of the test.
- Make sure you leave plenty of time to have a good breakfast or lunch and to get to the test center on time.
- Arrive on time so that you are relaxed and ready to begin the test when instructed to do so.
- Wear layers of clothing that you can easily remove or add on (e.g., a sweater or sweatshirt). This will allow you to make personal adjustments for fluctuations in room or body temperature.
- Wear soft-soled shoes so that you will not disturb other examinees when you leave your seat.
The following tips for taking standardized tests are offered as suggestions that may contribute to your success and confidence during the test session.
- At the beginning of the session and throughout the test, follow all directions carefully. This includes oral directions read by the test administrators and any written directions presented in the test booklet or on the computer screen.
- The test booklet or computer screen presents directions for the multiple-choice questions and the constructed-response assignments (if the test you are taking includes constructed-response assignments). If you do not understand something about the directions, raise your hand and ask a test administrator.
Pace your work.
- Each paper-based test session is four and one-half hours long. The length of a computer-based test session varies depending on the test(s) and/or subtest(s) you are taking. The test schedule is designed to allow sufficient time for most examinees to complete the test(s) assigned to a session.
- Before starting the test, if at a paper-based administration, flip through the booklet to review the number of multiple-choice questions and constructed-response assignments, if included, and to set a pace for answering them. At a computer-based test session, the amount of time elapsed during the test session will be shown on the computer screen to aid you in pacing yourself.
- You may find that you need less time than is allotted in a test session, but be prepared to stay for the entire time.
- Do not make any other commitments for this time period that may cause you to work more quickly than you should.
- Do not spend a lot of time on a multiple-choice question that you cannot answer promptly; skip that question and move on.
- If you skip a multiple-choice question, mark it in your test booklet or flag it on the computer screen so that you can return to it later.
- If you skip a multiple-choice question in a paper-based test booklet, be sure to skip the corresponding row of answer choices on your answer sheet.
- Read the directions and the test questions carefully.
- Read all response options.
- Remember that the test questions call for the "best answer." Do not choose the first response option that seems reasonable; read and evaluate all choices to find the best answer.
- Read the test questions closely so that you understand what they ask.
- Do not skim the test questions in an effort to save time; you may misread key words and select the wrong answer or spend more time than needed on a test question. For example, if a test question calls for an approximate answer and you skip over that detail, you could waste time performing a long computation.
Designate your answers carefully.
- Your responses to the multiple-choice questions will be scored electronically. It is very important for you to designate your answers carefully, whether you are responding on paper or by computer.
- For paper-based testing, be sure to mark your answer sheet carefully and that the answer you select is clearly marked and the only answer marked.
- If you change your mind about an answer, erase the old answer completely.
- Do not make any stray marks on the answer sheet.
- You may use any available space in the test booklet for notes, but your answers must be clearly marked on your answer sheet.
- If you skip a multiple-choice question, be sure to skip the corresponding row of answer choices on your answer sheet.
- If the test you are taking includes a written constructed-response assignment, your answer must be recorded in the appropriate answer document. If you write your response to a written constructed-response assignment in the test booklet, it will not be scored.
- For computer-based testing, you will be provided with a note booklet for making notes, calculations, or outlines. However, your responses must be entered into the computer or they will not be scored.
Determine the "best answer".
- Your multiple-choice results will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly.
- Your response to each multiple-choice question should be the best answer of the alternatives provided. Read and evaluate all four answer choices before deciding which one is best.
- Attempt to answer all questions. If you are unsure about a question, use your knowledge of the content area to eliminate as many of the alternatives as you can; then select from the remaining choices.
- There is no penalty for incorrect answers; therefore, it is better to guess than not to respond at all.
Check your accuracy.
- Use any remaining time at the end of the test session to check your work.
- Go back to the test questions that gave you difficulty and verify your work on them.
Follow the rules.
- Review the Rules of Test Participation contained in the testing policies.
- Be aware that actions such as using a cell phone during the test session, attempting to remove notes written in your test booklet, removing test materials from the site, or other such violations may result in your score(s) being invalidated.
Below is a sample directions page for an MTTC subject-area test administered via a paper-based test administration. These are general directions. If a test uses directions other than these, the directions will be found in the field-specific section of the study guide. The directions provided during a computer-based administration are similar in content. Visit Computer-Based Testing Tutorials for brief tutorials on how to navigate through the computer-based test. A short tutorial is also provided at the beginning of the computer-based test session, with instructions for how to navigate through the test.
You should have in front of you:
- a test booklet for the teaching field for which you registered (check the field name on the front cover);
- an answer sheet (be sure you have filled in the required information); and
- a pencil.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ALL OF THESE MATERIALS, PLEASE INFORM THE TEST ADMINISTRATOR.
Each question in this booklet is a multiple-choice question with four answer choices. Read each question carefully and choose the ONE best answer. Record your answer on the answer sheet in the space that corresponds to the question number. Completely fill in the space having the same letter as the answer you have chosen. Use only a No. 2 lead pencil.
1. What is the capital of Michigan?
- Grand Rapids
The correct answer to this question is C. You would indicate that on the answer sheet as follows:
Try to answer all questions. In general, if you have some knowledge about a question, it is better to try to answer it. You will NOT be penalized for guessing.
Once the test has begun, you should continue from page to page, in sequence, throughout the test booklet. You may write in the margins of the test booklet if necessary. The words "End of Test" indicate that you have completed the test. You may go back and review your answers, but be sure you have answered all questions before raising your hand for dismissal. Your test materials must be returned to a test administrator when you finish the test.
FOR TEST SECURITY REASONS, YOU MAY NOT TAKE NOTES OR REMOVE ANY OF THE TEST MATERIALS FROM THE ROOM.
This testing session will last four and one-half hours. If you have any questions, please ask them now before beginning the test.
DO NOT GO ON UNTIL YOU ARE TOLD TO DO SO.