This page provides information about the new testing requirements for the Elementary (K-6) and Special Education: General Curriculum licenses.

At a glance...

1) The Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum tests for NC are effective for candidates who complete program/licensure requirements on or after October 1, 2014.
2) The first test administration will occur in April/May 2014.
3) Cut scores have not been set yet and will occur in Summer/Fall 2014.
4) Test information, preparation materials, and registration information are available at .
5) DPI is coordinating statewide and regional meetings to provide opportunities for IHEs to learn more about the tests and program planning. Information about the meetings is located at Presentations

Pearson Testing Flyer (March 2014)

The flyer below was distributed to IHEs, RALCs, and LEAs by NCDPI's Licensure Section on March 20, 2014.

Updated Pearson Testing Center Locations (October 2013)

Pearson has added approximately 20 testing locations in the past year and continues to seek additional locations. The list and map below are current as of Oct. 15, 2013. If your campus is interested in becoming a testing center location, please contact Rachel McBroom.

Information from 2012-13

May 2013 - Pearson Launches NC website for new Elementary and Special Education Licensure Exams (MTEL)

I am pleased to inform you that the Foundations of Reading Test for North Carolina website is now live. . The website will continue to evolve with additional preparation materials and with the registration component.

December 2012 - SBE Approves Change in Testing Requirements for Elementary Education and Special Education: General Curriculum

On December 6, 2012, the State Board approved the above proposal regarding a change in testing requirements for teachers applying for an Elementary or Special Education: General Curriculum license in N.C. on or after July 1, 2014.

New Testing Requirements Effective on July 1, 2014
Elementary Education
Massachusetts Test for Education Licensure (MTEL): Foundations of Reading (90)
Massachusetts Test of General Curriculum (03)
Special Education: General Curriculum
PRAXIS 0543 Special Education
Massachusetts Test for Education Licensure (MTEL): Foundations of Reading (90)
Massachusetts Test of General Curriculum (03)

Additional Test Information

The new tests will be administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. The information below has been provided by Pearson to help campuses begin to prepare candidates for the tests prior to the implementation date of July 1, 2014. This information is also available in the downloadable PDF below.

About the Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum Tests
The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson (Pearson) has been contracted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to administer for North Carolina, beginning in Spring 2014, the Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum tests from the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) program. Passing the tests will be a licensing requirement for all elementary education (K-6) and special education general curriculum program completers in North Carolina.
  • The Foundations of Reading test assesses proficiency in and depth of understanding of the subject of reading and writing development. The test reflects scientifically based reading research and conforms to the recommendations of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read, and is in alignment with the Common Core State Standards.
  • The General Curriculum test assesses proficiency in and depth of understanding of the elementary subject matter required for an elementary teaching license in North Carolina. It is a test of general content knowledge including language arts, history and social science, science and technology/engineering, and mathematics.

Preparation Resources
Basic information about the tests, as well as preparation information and products, will be available beginning in late Spring 2013, at Preparation materials will include:
  • the test objectives,
  • study guides and full-length practice tests,
  • tutorials demonstrating how to navigate through the test and use the features of a computer-based test., and
  • a test preparation video providing a general overview of test preparation and test-taking strategies.
Test registration information and services, and test results reporting, will be available beginning in Winter of 2014.
Test Fees
Fees for the tests are as follows:

Foundationsof Reading
Both subtestsof General Curriculumtaken in one test session
Either subtestof General Curriculumtaken individually
Test fee (per test)
Registration fee (per test)
TOTAL (per test)

Test Registration
Registration for the tests will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the program web site beginning in Winter 2014. Subject to seat availability at respective test centers, candidates will be able to schedule an appointment to take the tests up until 24 hours before they wish to test.

Changes and cancellations. The date, time, or location of a test appointment can be changed online.
  • Candidates may reschedule a test appointment up to 24 hours prior to the originally scheduled testing time for no additional fee.
  • Candidates who withdraw their registration before scheduling their test appointment will receive a refund of the test fee. The registration fee will not be refunded.
  • Candidates who cancel their test appointment at least 24 hours prior to their scheduled test appointment and have withdrawn their registration will receive a refund of the test fee. The registration fee will not be refunded.

Alternative testing arrangements. All Pearson computer-based test sites are ADA compliant. Testing accommodations that are reasonable in the context of the respective test and that are supported by documentation from a qualified professional may be provided, upon request, to candidates who would not be able to complete the test under standard testing conditions.
Customer Service Available to Candidates
Candidates will be able to contact customer service representatives via telephone Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. eastern time, excluding holidays; or via email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, an automated telephone information system will be available to candidates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The telephone number and email address will be published on the program web site.

Test Administration
Candidates will have the opportunity to test by appointment, year round, at one of more than 20 computer-based test centers located in North Carolina, or at any of over 800 Pearson Centers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Test session. Candidates will have 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the Foundations of Reading test, or both subtests of the General Curriculum test. Included in that time is 15 minutes to read and agree to a non-disclosure agreement and to complete a brief tutorial on the computer-based testing system. Once candidates finish, they will receive a receipt of test completion.

Retake Policy. Candidates will be required to wait at least 30 days before retaking the Foundations of Reading or General Curriculum test.
Responses to multiple-choice items will be machine scored. Responses to open-response items will be scored via holistic scoring methods, independently by at least two trained and calibrated scorers. Scorers have qualifications such as a teaching certification/license in the content area, plus experience teaching in public schools and/or as college educators responsible for preparing prospective teachers.

Score Reporting
Test results will be provided to the North Carolina DPI, the candidates, and North Carolina educator preparation program providers identified to receive examination results by the candidates. Test scores will be released every 2 weeks. Candidates, the DPI, and educator preparation programs will receive scores within 5 weeks of the candidate’s test date.
  • Candidates will access their test results via a secure password-protected area of the program web site.
  • Educator preparation programs will access test results via a secure password-protected web site. In addition to the regular results reporting that will occur every 2 weeks, educator preparation programs will have access to historical examinee data via ResultsAnalyzerTM, a tool that allows authorized users to view, analyze, reorganize, download, and print reports based on background information gathered during test registration and on examination results data. Using ResultsAnalyzerTM, educator preparation programs will be able to create examinee-level reports as well as reports based on institution-level data.
Standard Setting and Item Validation
Pearson will conduct a standard setting and item validation meeting allowing a committee of content experts from North Carolina the opportunity to provide input that will be used, in part, by the North Carolina State Board of Education to determine the passing standards for each test. Standard setting committee members will be selected to include teachers and teacher educators who represent districts and colleges from across the state and generally reflect the diversity of the state of North Carolina.
Implementation Timeline*
The timeline for implementation ofthe tests is as follows.

Testing requirement date per North Carolina State Board of Education
July 1, 2014
Program web site opens with test information and preparation materials
April 2013
Test registration becomes available via program web site
February 2014
First administration of the tests
May 2014
Standard Setting and Item Validation Conference
Spring or Summer 2014
Score reports first issued
TBD, following standard setting

* These milestones are for general planning purposes and are subject to change.

Preparation Resources
Test Objectives, Practice Tests, and Faculty Guides
Guidance on Math Course Preparation
North Carolina State Improvement Project
(Several campuses have noted a strong alignment between the
NCSIP Reading Foundations training and the newly adopted
Foundations of Reading licensure exam.)