FTCE Reading K-12 (035) Practice Test & Study Guide

What Is the FTCE Reading K-12 (035) Exam?

The FTCE Reading K-12 is part of the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE). These tests are designed to ensure that teachers in Florida are qualified to be teaching certain subjects. The exams must be completed by those aiming for a Florida Professional Teacher certification and everyone who wishes to work in education, including administrators, counselors and teachers. The Reading exam covers every aspect of reading education including theories of reading education, teaching practices, and how to evaluate students' reading ability and knowledge. We will cover each of these areas in more detail below.

FTCE Testing Time and Format

The FTCE Reading Subject Area Exam has around 100 multiple-choice questions (the exact number of questions on the exam can vary from year to year). However, you will always have questions of every type covering nine reading competencies. The questions are mixed; they are not separated into different sections.

The exam is done on a computer and must be done at a licensed testing center in various FTCE testing locations. You will have two and a half hours to take the test. You are required to check in at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start of your FTCE test.

Florida Reading K-12 Subject Area Exam Question Types

There are four types of questions that you will see on the exam. Each of these question types is briefly described below; they include scenario questions, text analysis, direct questions, and sentence completions.

Scenario Questions

Scenario questions are about situations that a teacher might see in the classroom. You are given a situation and asked how a teacher should respond. These might be things like what kind of feedback to give or what action to take. These questions test your practical knowledge of teaching and conducting a class.

Text Analysis Questions

In this section, you will see a sample of writing and will have to dissect it. You might be asked to identify the purpose of the writing, its style, or what a figure of speech means. Text analysis questions test your reading knowledge in the context of a piece of writing.

Direct Questions

Direct questions are the kind of questions most of us are familiar with. They ask questions and you will have to pick the best answer available. For example, here's a question you might see: "A biography is what kind of writing?"

Sentence Completion Questions

The final type of question asks you to fill in the blank in a sentence. Sometimes the blank is a missing word but it can also be the second part of a sentence or a list of examples. Direct questions and sentence completion are related to your general knowledge of reading.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

What Content is Covered on the FTCE Reading K-12 Exam?

There are nine (9) different areas of knowledge covered in the exam. These areas are called competencies and are designed to ensure teachers can help students with five important reading outcomes:

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

There are questions from each competency on the exam in roughly equal proportion. So, the specific FTCE competencies must be studied if you want to pass the exam.

Research and Theories of Reading Processes (10%)

This competency covers things such as being able to identify what is a valid source for doing research, theories about the reading process and development, and how to apply theories to the classroom. The questions covering this area are very specific, so make sure to brush up on your key terms, theories, and people names.

Skills covered in this section include:

  • Knowing what makes something a good resource for learning about reading education.
  • Being able to use theories about reading education in the classroom.
  • Having a comprehensive knowledge of the theories of reading education and how they are different from one another.

Text Types and Structures (10%)

This competency has to do with the understanding of different types of texts and how to use them in the classroom. For example, a question might ask what the difference is between a biography and an autobiography. Another example might be to identify different genres of fiction writing such as poetry, plays, or novels.

Skills that you will need to answer these types of questions include:

  • Choosing the right text to use based on the student's reading level.
  • Understanding of the different parts of a piece of writing for both fiction and nonfiction.
  • Using texts that students from diverse backgrounds are able to relate to and match their interests.
  • Knowing the difference between the various genres of both fiction and nonfiction writing.
  • Being able to choose both in print and online writing that can be used in the classroom.

Reading Assessment and Evaluation (10%)

The next competency covers the different ways of testing and evaluating a student's reading ability. For example, you might be asked about the different kinds of tests that a teacher might use and the benefits of each. More specifically, you will need to be able to:

  • Know which reading level a student is at.
  • Understand the different ways that a student's reading level can be measured.
  • Use test and evaluation results to help students' reading ability.
  • Choose the right kind of assessment based on the situation.

This area of knowledge has a lot of technical terms. Making sure you know the different types of tests, whether they are formal or informal, and whether they are summative or formative is a good place to start. You will also need to know how to use both statistical evaluations, such as a grade or percentage, and general feedback to test students.

Learning Environments and Procedures That Support Reading (10%)

The fourth competency required for the exam is the environment in which children learn to read. The area of knowledge focuses heavily on the classroom and how the teacher conducts their class. This includes; working in groups or individually with students, motivating students, and designing reading activities. For example, When is the best time to break into smaller groups in a class or should you let students pick their own groups or assign groups.

You will be tested on your ability to:

  • Develop different ways to teach various kinds of reading programs to students.
  • Help motivate and get students interested in reading both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Group students in the best way for a specific task.
  • Know how to present different aspects of language to a wide range of students.
  • Support students who are struggling or falling behind their age reading level.
  • Help students use technology to learn on their own.

Oral and Written Language Acquisition and Beginning Reading (11%)

Competency 5 focuses on how children learn both speaking and reading from a young age. Questions covering this competency will ask you to:

  • Be familiar with key concepts of learning both spoken and written language.
  • Know how to teach students to connect spoken language to written language.
  • Identify the stages of how students begin to learn how to read.

A key part of this competency has to do with the way that children of different ages understand language and reading. For example, a 1st-grade student can see that groups of letters can make sounds different from the individual letters. As children grow, they can start understanding what a sentence is and how to read words they have never seen before using the phonics that they already know.

Phonics and Word Recognition (12%)

The sixth area of competency of the exam covers understanding and teaching phonics and recognizing words. These skills are important because they allow a child to be able to read more fluently and to continue to develop as a reader. If they are unable to parse out words or understand how sounds are put together to form words, they will have a hard time in later years. Questions about this area will ask you to:

  • Identify key concepts regarding how students learn to recognize words.
  • Know how to use different methods to help students recognize common and uncommon words.
  • Help students learn how to recognize parts of words that they know and can pronounce in new words.
  • Teach students how to pronounce words that they might not know on their own.

A major component of this competency is phonemes, the smallest sound unit in a word. Becoming familiar with things such as phoneme blending, deletion, and isolation will help a great deal with this part of the test.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (12%)

The seventh competency that is covered in the exam is how students learn and use vocabulary. Many of the previous competencies focus on words themselves. This area, however, is about what words mean and how they are used. For example, it is important to not only teach a child the word 'dog' but to help the child understand that a dog is a kind of animal or pet. This not only helps a child understand how and when to use a word but also helps the child connect a word to other related words.

This area will test your ability to do the following:

  • Select the best ways to teach vocabulary for every aspect of language.
  • Know the key concepts surrounding learning vocabulary.
  • Use different methods to teach vocabulary in both general conversation and specific contexts.
  • Teach students how to learn new words on their own.

Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension (15%)

The next area of competency in the exam covers how smoothly a child can read and how much of the text as a whole they understand (e.g., how fast and accurately a student reads or can a student summarize what they read). The key to this section is how reading fluency is measured and ways to help students become more fluent readers.

To answer questions in this area of competency you must be able to:

  • Pick the best method for teaching students how to read and understand different kinds of writing.
  • Know what components make up reading ability that can help with understanding writing.
  • Help students to critically think about what they are reading.
  • Support students of different levels and abilities to better be able to share their ideas about a piece of writing.
  • Know if a text is informational or literary and the best ways to use these two types to teach reading comprehension.

Reading Program Development, Implementation, and Coordination (10%)

The final competency tested on the exam is how a teacher can help those in a student's life get involved in the student's reading education. Perhaps the most important thing for a child's reading development is seeing others read. This helps with the student's motivation and gives them much-needed practice reading. Examples of involvement include talking to them about what they are reading or reading together.

Questions covering this area will ask you to:

  • Choose and consider reading lesson materials for a wide range of students.
  • Be able to select ways of evaluating the effectiveness of lessons.
  • Select the right material for involving others in reading education based on the type of student.
  • Learn from up-to-date data and reports on how to improve reading education.
  • Choose the best way to get caretakers involved in a student's reading development.
  • Support other educators in their effort to teach reading to children.
  • Keep students and their caregivers informed about the child's reading education and programs.

How Do I Register for the FTCE K-12 Exam?

Registering for the FTCE Reading exam is all done online. First, you need to go to the FTCE website and create an account.

Once you have an account, simply select the test you wish to take (in this case, the FTCE Reading K-12 exam). Then choose a time to take the test and choose a test site from the list of FTCE testing locations.

During your FTCE registration, you can select an institution or a certification program to receive your test scores. This is advised since there is a fee for sending FTCE scores after you have taken the exam.

Please note that to register for the exam, you must use your Social Security Number (SSN) and your full legal name.

How Much Does the FTCE K-12 Test Cost?

The FTCE test cost of the FTCE K-12 exam is $150. You can pay using a credit, debit, or check card online at the same time you register for the exam. If you fail the test and wish to retake it, you will have to pay the full $150 fee again. You can get a full refund if you cancel your appointment more than 24 hours before your scheduled FTCE test dates.

Besides the test itself, there are a few other fees.

Item Cost
Score verification session $75
Duplicate score report (nonrefundable) $10
Clearing an account (nonrefundable) $20

All payments can be made on the same website where you register to take the exam.

What Are the FTCE Testing Policies?

When you take your FTCE test, you must bring two (2) forms of valid ID with you. One ID must be a government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport. One ID must also have a copy of your signature on it. The information on the IDs must match exactly the information that you provided when you registered for the test.

If you fail the exam, the FTCE retake policy requires you to wait 31 days before retaking it. You can register and pay for retaking the exam the same way that you completed the FTCE registration the first time.

How Is the FTCE K-12 (035) Test Scored?

The minimum FTCE passing score for the FTCE Reading K-12 exam is 200. This is a scaled score. Since there are several versions of the test each year, the raw number of questions correct is adjusted based on the difficulty of the version of the test you took and the number of questions in the exam. This is to ensure that everyone is given a fair score and is a common practice for standardized exams.

In general, the FTCE Reading exam has 100 questions and you must get 71% of the answers correct to pass. You will be given an initial scaled score when you finish the exam. However, an official score will be sent to you on the FTCE website within 14 days of taking the exam.

How Do I Prepare for the FTCE K-12 Exam?

The FTCE Reading K-12 exam is a comprehensive FTCE test on reading education. Each of the nine competencies needs to be equally studied as they all make up about 10%, or 10 questions, on the exam. There are a great number of study materials available as well as classes and programs that you can take to help you pass the test.

The best place to start is the FTCE website itself. It has an overview of what will be covered by the test, recommend ways to study, and Florida Teacher Certification Exam sample questions. The website also has a list of approved schools that offer classes or programs to help you become a qualified teacher and obtain a Florida Professional Teacher certification. There is even a section on how to take computer-based tests for those who have never taken one before.

Is There a Practice Test for the FTCE K-12?

Of course, the best way to study for a test is to take a practice test. Taking an FTCE practice test helps you not only see the kinds of questions that you might be asked, but also find out what you still need to study; it's also invaluable to practice finishing the test within the time limit.

There are a great number of free and paid practice tests and FTCE test preparation courses available for the FTCE Reading exam, including online practice tests and books you can find at your local bookstore or library.

Expert Contributor

Kylie Sikhakhane

Kylie Sikhakhane has been an educator for over 16 years. She served as a Reading Coach in Hillsborough County for 10 years, teaching and mentoring other teachers and facilitating K-5 Reading Professional Learning Communities. She has passed the FTCE Professional Educators Exam, General Knowledge Exam, and the Subject Area Exam (K-6). Kylie received her B.A. in Sociology from DePauw University.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the FTCE reading K-12 exam hard?

    To pass the exam, you must get at least 71% of the answers correct, meaning you can answer about 25 questions incorrectly and pass the exam. The pass rate for the exam in 2019 was 54% with a majority of those passing doing so on their first attempt.

  • What test do you take for Florida reading endorsement?

    To be able to teach reading in Florida, you must pass the FTCE Reading K-12 (035), the reading subject area exam.

  • What is the passing score for FTCE reading k-12?

    A passing score on the exam is 200. Please note that this is a scaled score, not a raw score as question difficulty varies and needs to be standardized.


Take a FTCE Reading K-12 Practice Test Online

Exam Instructions:

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  1. The PAR method can be used to help students think about and understand what they read for content-area classes. What does the acronym PAR stand for?

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  2. According to the theory of universal grammar,

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  3. The theory of universal grammar emphasizes that

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  4. Which of the following will be evident with students who are having difficulty initially developing phonemic awareness?

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  5. Students read the following sentence: "The tv downstairs was blaring, so I had difficulty falling asleep." They are asked to use context clues to understand what the word "blaring" means. To do this, students must do which of the following?
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  6. While reading out loud, a student can proficiently read short phrases with some expression and some repetition. Which of the following prosody levels would the student be at?

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  7. An eight-year-old student is being assessed for ELA skills. During the reading portion of the assessment, the student reads a passage aloud and is able to read at an appropriate pace, with appropriate emotion, and tone. Altogether, this assignment showed that the student has strong skills in which of the following?

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  8. Use this material to answer questions #8 through #9

    Considered the last great master of the ukiyo-e genre ("pictures of the floating world"), the Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) was a hugely influential figure, not only in his homeland but also on Western painting. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, as a part of the trend in "Japonism", European artists such as Monet, Whistler, and Cezanne, looked to Hiroshige's work for inspiration, and a certain Vincent van Gogh was known to paint copies of his prints.

  9. Based on this excerpt at the beginning of the passage, the reader can infer that the text will be

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  10. Why is this passage an example of a multicultural text?

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  11. Which of the following is NOT a signal word that indicates comparison?

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  12. All of the following are effective strategies for improving student reading comprehension, except

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  13. What is differentiated instruction?

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  14. Which federal law mandates that students with learning disabilities must be taught in the least restrictive environment?

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  15. A teacher wants to provide some students with remedial work and provide other students with more complex activities. Which type of group will best fit the teacher's intentions?

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  16. The study of written letters is

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