Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE) are used to determine aspiring educators' knowledge and skills in basic subjects as well as in the subject areas they wish to teach. Future educators in Florida public schools must take the FTCE exams in order to earn their teaching certification. The exams are created, administered, and scored by the Office of Postsecondary Assessment at the Florida Department of Education. The department also reports the test results to candidates. The FTCE exam is just one part of the process of becoming a public school teacher in Florida. All candidates must take the General Knowledge Test as well as a subject area test for the subject they wish to teach. Some test candidates may be part of academic or teacher preparation programs, and others may have a bachelor's degree in a different area and are changing their careers. The FTCE test is the primary test for teacher certification in Florida.
Free FTCE Practice Test
You may be wondering if it's possible to find an FTCE practice test for free. The short answer is yes, there are free FTCE practice tests online for just about every discipline the FTCE tests cover, including the general knowledge test. It is important to take an FTCE practice test before taking the real thing for a number of reasons. First, taking one or more practice tests can give you an idea of what to expect on the real test so that you're not surprised on test day. Second, while studying is just as important as practice tests, practice tests help you prepare in a way that simple studying cannot. Practice tests allow you to see which areas you are strong in and which areas you need more help in. This allows you to go back and study the material you actually need to instead of wasting valuable time studying areas you've already mastered.
FTCE Exam Preparation
Ensuring that you've taken the proper steps to prepare yourself can help you not feel stressed and overwhelmed when test day comes.
Know What to Study
The first step to exam prep is to know which exam(s) you need to take and what the content will be. Once you have an idea of what the test will cover, you'll be able to get the proper materials, such as study guides, flashcards, online courses, practice questions, and practice tests.
Create a Routine
Creating a routine for yourself can help to keep you focused and motivated as well as allow you necessary breaks so that you don't burn yourself out. A schedule can also help you keep track of what material you should have mastered by a certain time.
Many people find that studying with friends, family or study groups can be a huge help. They can quiz on your knowledge and, when they go on this journey with you, they're there to help keep you accountable.
Practice Your PQ4Rs
FTCE review is essential to make sure you understand the core skills and competencies that you must demonstrate. When studying, it can help to perform a routine known as "PQ4R," which stands for Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review.
Preview: Before studying a certain article or chapter, scan the headings and subheadings, and then read the introduction and summary. This can help you build a foundation for your knowledge and skills in this particular topic.
Question: Using your preview of the study materials and your knowledge of the specific competencies of the test you're studying for, write down questions that you would like to be answered as you study. For example, if you are taking the professional education test, you may have a question about a specific situation that could happen in a classroom. While studying, look to see if you can find the answer to that.
Read: Read through the chapter or section and look at any tables, charts, or graphs that are provided. You may read slower or faster depending on the content. Read as much as it takes to comprehend.
Reflect: While reading, connect the examples from the text to similar experiences in your own life. Reflective reading can help you interact with what you read, which can increase comprehension and help you remember what the text is about.
Recite: After completing each section, check to see that you have comprehended what you just read. Try answering the questions you wrote down or rereading parts you didn't quite catch the first time. This could help you identify areas you understand and areas you need extra work on.
Review: After finishing, review your questions for the entire chapter or section to see if you truly understand the content. Practice answering your questions without looking back at the text. This can help you with learning retention and application.
FTCE Test Day Strategies
Plan ahead. Leading up to and on the day of the test, it is important to plan ahead, rest well, and get to the testing site early with everything you need, such as the proper documents and clothing that will help you feel comfortable. This will help you stay calm and focused as you sit down to take your exam.
Have strategies to tackle the questions. Most FTCE questions are multiple-choice or constructed-response. Knowing the strategies for answering these questions can make a big difference on test day. When answering multiple-choice questions, read everything carefully, eliminate the least likely options, and choose the option that seems best. When answering constructed-response questions or writing essays, read each part of the assignment carefully and make sure your answer fully addresses it.
Also, be sure to pace yourself. You will have enough time to complete the test, and you will be made aware of the time you have left. Answer the questions that you're sure about, and then go back to the ones that you aren't so sure about.
FTCE Exam Format and Length
There are around 41 different FTCE tests, but they all roughly follow the same format, with multiple-choice questions and constructed-response questions and essays. Some tests will only have multiple-choice questions and others, mainly foreign language tests, will have a speaking component. Every test is computer-based. No matter the test, candidates must pass with a minimum scaled score of 200. The three main types of tests are the General Knowledge Test, the Subject Area Examination, and the Professional Education Test.
The General Knowledge Test is broken down into 4 subtests that each have their own question types and time limits. They are:
Essay Subtest: 1 essay, 50 minutes
English Language Skills (ELS) Subtest: 40 multiple-choice questions, 40 minutes
Math Subtest: 40 multiple-choice questions, 1 hour and 40 minutes
Each subtest can be taken separately or all in a single session.
There are around 39 subject area examinations to choose from; your test depends on what subject you wish to teach. Subject area examinations last 2 hours and 30 minutes. Some, such as the Chemistry 6-12 exam, will only have 85 multiple-choice questions, while others, such as the Spanish K-12 exam, will have 80 multiple-choice questions, an essay, and 5 speaking assignments.
The Professional Education Test lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes and has 110 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers skills and competencies such as instructional design, professional conduct in education, effective literacy strategies, and more.
Emily Lopes, M.S. has worked in education for 11 years in roles ranging from high school teacher to academic administrator. She has passed the FTCE General Knowledge Test, the Professional Education Test, and the English 6-12 Subject Area Exam. Emily received her M.S. in Higher Education Administration and her B.A. in English Education (6-12) from the University of North Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the FTCE hard?
FTCE test questions may seem difficult, but it is possible to pass as long as you take time to prepare, use effective study and test-taking strategies, and arrive well-rested.
What is a passing score on the FTCE?
FTCE test questions are scored on a scale of 100-300, meaning your multiple-choice and constructed-response scores are converted to match this scale. The minimum passing score for the FTCE is 200. For the General Knowledge Essay, you must score 8 out of 12 points.