General Knowledge (GK) Test

Purpose

The Florida Legislature has determined that the quality of a teacher's general knowledge is an important part of the overall level of teaching excellence in the State of Florida and has passed legislation for ensuring educator quality. The General Knowledge Test provides a basic foundation for instruction for teachers at all levels of teaching and instruction, and the competencies and skills assessed by the test are aligned by law to state standards.

The General Knowledge Test is developed and administered under the authority of State Board of Education Rule 6A-4.0021, F.A.C.Link opens in a new window. All FTCE test development activities are conducted or overseen by the Department of Education, using statewide committees of subject matter experts (SMEs) from Florida's colleges, universities, districts, and K–12 classrooms representing all regions of Florida to ensure appropriate rigor and full alignment to the State Board of Education approved Florida standards. All FTCE tests are developed using processes that are consistent with national standards and best practices for developing large-scale examinations as articulated in Standards For Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 2014).

Potential Alternatives

There is no provision in law to waive the general knowledge test requirement. However, in Florida, there are multiple pathways to educator certification and various means of demonstrating mastery of general knowledge (e.g., specified scores on the GRE®), some of which do not necessitate a passing score on the FTCE General Knowledge Test. For complete information on alternatives to the General Knowledge test, visit the Bureau of Educator Certification's General Knowledge page Link opens in a new window..

Please note that the Florida Department of Education does not have the authority to waive or alter program requirements determined by Florida colleges or universities. The program requirements of Florida colleges and universities are independent of the certification requirements set by the Department.

Test Redevelopment

The General Knowledge Test was redeveloped in 2014, and new passing scores for all subtests were established by numerous committees of content experts representing all levels of the profession, including K–12 teachers, district leadership, and college faculty. All regions of the state were represented during this multi-year development process. These content experts, representing the education profession in Florida, ensured that all test materials—including competencies and skills, test questions, and passing score recommendations—were placed at an appropriate level for the Beginning Effective Teacher Candidate (BETC). These representatives of the education profession also established the level of complexity and rigor for the General Knowledge Test to ensure that teacher candidates possess an appropriate level of proficiency and knowledge to effectively instruct Florida's students.

The recommended passing scores and the projected pass rates were presented for public comment and input at workshops prior to the final recommendation by the Commissioner and presentation to the State Board of Education for adoption. Please see the recommended passing scores and projected pass rates PDF Document based on the simulation data that was made publicly available prior to the State Board of Education meeting in November 2014. The State Board of Education approved the new passing scores in its November 2014 meeting, and the passing scores for all subtests of the new generation General Knowledge Test became effective January 1, 2015, per State Board Rule 6A-4.0021(7)(b) Link opens in a new window..

More Information

For information regarding scale scores, pass rates, scoring methods, etc., please see FTCE/FELE Facts: Scoring and Reporting.

For information regarding GK testing materials and resources, please visit FTCE/FELE Facts: Test-Content Materials and Resources.