Frequently Asked Questions

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About the FTCE/FELE

What tests do I need to take?

The Bureau of Educator Certification (BEC) determines your testing requirements after you submit an application for certification.

For more information about certification, contact the BEC toll free at (800) 445-6739 or visit Link opens in a new window..

How many tests can I take per appointment?

You can only register for one test per appointment. For tests with subtests, please note the following registration guidelines:

  • For the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE), German K–12 Subject Area Examination, and General Knowledge Test, you can register to take any subtest combination in one test session. If you are taking FELE Subtest 3 for the first time, you must register for both subtest sections.
  • If you are taking the Elementary Education K–6 or Prekindergarten/Primary PK–3 examination for the first time, you must register to take the full test (all four subtests). After your first test attempt, you may take any subtest combination in a test session.
  • If you are taking the English 6–12 or Middle Grades English 5–9 Subject Area Examination for the first time, you must register to take both sections. After your first attempt, you may take one or both sections in one test session.

It may be possible to register for multiple appointments on the same day at the same test site; however, there can be no guarantee that multiple appointments can be scheduled consecutively.

What skills do I need to take a computer-based test?

FTCE/FELE examinations require minimal computer and typing skills. You must be comfortable with a Windows environment, using a mouse (e.g., clicking, double-clicking, dragging, and scrolling), and typing at a rate that will allow you to complete the assignment in the allotted time (approximately 30 words per minute). The Computer-Based Testing Tutorials provide information about the tools and features that will be available during your test.

Can I bring a cell phone into the testing room?

No. Examinees found with a cell phone or any prohibited item will not be allowed to continue testing, will be reported to the Department of Education, and will have their scores automatically invalidated.

Secure storage is provided at all test sites. Before testing, examinees are responsible for placing all personal items into storage, including any prohibited items.

Review the test site rules Link opens pop-up window for a complete list of prohibited items.

Can my requirement to take and pass the General Knowledge Test be waived?

There is no provision in law to waive the test requirement. However, the Florida State Board of Education has approved a rule change that allows certification applicants to demonstrate mastery of General Knowledge skills through GRE scores or by attainment of a master’s or higher degree.

For more information, visit the Bureau of Educator Certification Link opens in a new window. page related to this rule change.

What is a Military Certification Fee Waiver?

Starting July 1, 2018, the Florida legislature expanded opportunities for military personnel, veterans, and their spouses or surviving spouses to request a waiver of initial certification and certification examination fees. For more information on this waiver and eligibility requirements, visit the Military Certification Fee Waivers Link opens in a new window. website.

About Certification

When do I receive my certification?

If you have questions about teacher certification rules, review the Bureau of Educator Certification's FAQs Link opens in a new window. regarding certification. Alternately, you may contact the Bureau of Educator Certification Link opens in a new window..

Why do I have to take the FTCE/FELE?

The Florida educator certification process supports the academic achievement of our students by assuring that our educators are professionally qualified for highly effective instruction. The FTCE/FELE examinations measure an examinee's ability to demonstrate the mastery level of the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective beginning educator or educational leader pursuant to Chapter 1012 Link opens in a new window., Florida Statutes.

Preparing for a Test

What information resources are available?

Several resources, such as test information guides, reference sheets, and specific information about the components of each examination, are available to examinees that may aid in an independent test preparation effort. These items are accessible from each exam's resource materials page. Test information guides provide a general overview of the test, including the competencies and skills to be tested and sample test items.

The test information guides are intended to provide an overview of the content and format of the examination. They are not intended as all-inclusive sources of content or pedagogical knowledge, nor are they substitutes for college coursework or professional preparation.

What is important to know about writing an essay?

The intent of the essay test component is to demonstrate an examinee's ability, in the time allotted, to compose and write an original essay that completely addresses the topic in an effective, well-organized manner, with good grammar and spelling, as described in the rubric in the test information guide for the test requiring an essay.

Memorizing an essay from another source and presenting it as an original during a test administration does not demonstrate the ability to compose and write an acceptable essay. This is considered cheating. If the essay raters identify an essay as pre-prepared, the essay and all tests the examinee took that day will be invalidated, and no score reports will be sent. The incident will be reported to the Department's Bureau of Professional Practices Services.

Additional information about testing rules and the day of the test are described in these two memos from the Department:

Registering to Test

How do I register to test?

See Register for complete instructions.

Why does FTCE/FELE registration require my Social Security number and how will it be used?

The FTCE/FELE program uses your SSN to match your scores with educator certification records as required by Section 1012.56, Florida Statutes Link opens in a new window.. Your SSN appears on score reports sent to the institutions and school districts you designated.

Your SSN is used for internal purposes only and will not be disclosed to other third parties.

The registration system asks for a Social Security number. What if I don't have one?

Enter 999-99-9999. You must obtain a Social Security number as soon as possible and notify FTCE/FELE Customer Service of the correct number. The Bureau of Educator Certification cannot record your scores for certification purposes until you have reported the corrected Social Security number.

How do I reschedule or cancel my test appointment?

See Review or Reschedule for instructions about changing your test appointment (i.e., selecting a new test site, date, and/or time). See Cancel for instructions about canceling your test appointment.

How do I register using my Military Certification Fee Waiver?

Your eligibility status will be viewable in your FTCE user account within 2 business days of notification of eligibility. Create or log in to your FTCE user account and confirm your eligibility status prior to registering by selecting “Update my personal information” in your FTCE user account. You can then follow the standard registration instructions and your test fee will be waived for eligible examinations.

I am registering for a combination of General Knowledge Test subtests and my Military Certification Fee Waiver does not seem to be working. Why is that?

The Military Certification Fee Waiver is for initial registrations on examinations only. Be sure that the General Knowledge subtest combination you are attempting to register for does not include any subtests for which you have previously registered. If it does, you will be charged to retake the test. To avoid this, register only for General Knowledge subtests or subtest combinations that are initial registrations.

My account indicates I am eligible for the Military Certification Fee Waiver, but I am still being charged when scheduling. What should I do?

Do NOT proceed with scheduling and contact FTCE/FELE Customer Service for additional assistance. The fee waiver cannot be applied to scheduled appointments and refunds will not be provided after you have completed testing.

Accessing/Updating Your Account

I forgot my log-in information. How do I retrieve my username and/or password?

Go to your account login page and follow the links to retrieve your username and/or password. If you experience any further technical difficulties, call FTCE/FELE Customer Service at (866) 613-3281 (toll free, US and Canada only), 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time.

My name has recently changed and now does not match the name that appears on my identification. What should I do?

You can update the name on your account by following the steps outlined on the How Do I Update My Account? page.

If you do not update the name on your account prior to taking your test, review the identification policy Link opens pop-up window for information about what you may be required to do or provide at the test site.

My Social Security number hasn't been recorded correctly. How do I update my account information?

You can update your Social Security number by following the steps outlined on the How Do I Update My Account? page.

Getting Your Scores

When will my scores be available?

Score reports are posted to your account on Mondays after 10:00 p.m. eastern time on the published score report date.

If you are taking a test with only multiple-choice questions, you will receive your unofficial pass/non-pass status at the end of the test session. If you are taking a test with a performance component, you will receive a Receipt of Completion instead of an unofficial pass/non-pass status.

However, onsite reporting may not be available for tests being redeveloped or revised. See Onsite Reporting Link opens pop-up window for current information.

Why can't I receive my official score report immediately after my test?

All unofficial results undergo psychometric review consistent with industry best practices to ensure the reliability and validity of the assessments. Once this review is complete, official scores are released. See Scores for additional information.

How can I report scores to my institution or district?

During registration, you may choose to have your score report sent to your institution or Professional Development Certification Program (PDCP) Link opens pop-up window.

If you did not select an institution or a Professional Development Certification Program during registration and you have not yet taken your test, you can add a score reporting option to your existing registration by contacting Customer Service at (866) 613-3281 (toll free, US and Canada only), 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time. If you are participating in an educator preparation program, you are strongly encouraged to report your scores to your program.

If you have already tested and need to send scores, you will need to provide scores to the institution or district directly. If needed, review information about requesting a copy of your score report.

How do I get extra copies of my score report?

You can access your score report in your account. Score reports released beginning January 2014 will be available in examinee accounts. Examinees who tested prior to 2014 may request a duplicate score report. You can also access your complete FTCE/FELE testing history, reported as pass/not pass status, any time in your account.

Understanding Your Scores

What is the minimum passing score for the FTCE and FELE?

For information about minimum passing scores and scoring the examinations, review Understanding Your Scores.

I passed the test; why don't I have a numeric score?

Numeric scores are not provided for examinees who pass to ensure that the scores are not used for purposes other than licensure and certification. For example, numeric scores should not be used for hiring and promotion decisions or to gauge eligibility for advanced training because these tests are not designed for these purposes.

Why does the number of questions needed to pass a test vary slightly from one administration to the next?

The required number of correct answers varies based on the number of scorable test questions and the difficulty of the questions on a given test form. This is a common practice called "equating." Most large-scale testing programs do this to equalize varying levels of different test forms. For example, examinees must answer more questions correctly on an easier form of a test than on a more difficult form in order to achieve the same passing scale score of 200 for the FTCE and FELE.

What scoring rubric was used to rate my essay/performance component?

Essays and performance components (including speaking components and the German oral interview) are rated according to score point descriptions detailed in the test information guides.

Retaking Your Test

How long do I have to wait to retake my test?

For any test, subtest, or section for which you received a "NOT PASS," you must wait 31 days to retake your test. For any test, subtest, or section for which you received a "PASS," you must wait three years to retake your test. For more information, review the retake policy Link opens pop-up window.

What happens if I have scheduled a retake for a test while my results are pending?

Your retake appointment will be canceled. For tests with multiple subtests/sections, you will need to reschedule only for the subtests/sections for which you did not receive a passing score.

Is there a limit to how many times I can retest?

No. You may retake a test, subtest, or test section as many times as necessary until a passing score or status is achieved. For more information regarding retesting, review the retake policy Link opens pop-up window.

Why do I have to wait to retest?

To maintain the integrity of the tests, exposure to test materials must be limited in order to ensure that the materials fairly and effectively perform the test functions for which they were designed. For more information, review the retake policy Link opens pop-up window.

Score Verification

What is a score verification session?

Score verification sessions allow examinees who did not pass a test the opportunity to review written performance responses and/or multiple-choice items answered incorrectly and to submit scoring challenges. Score verification sessions are not an opportunity to retake the test. You will not be able to change your responses or modify your answers in any way. Read more.

Why can't I register for a score verification session?

In order to be eligible to register for a score verification session, you must receive a non-passing score within 10 scale score points of the passing scale score of 200 or receive a "NOT PASS" result on a performance component subtest/section.

The registration option for score verification will only appear in your account if you are eligible and if you have not already registered to retake the test. For additional information, see Score Verification Sessions.

When will I receive a response to my score verification session?

The Florida Department of Education will review complete challenges and score review requests and respond in writing within approximately 30 days. Please ensure that the email address you provided upon registration is up to date and functional. Incomplete challenges and requests will not be reviewed. For additional information, see Score Verification Sessions.

I didn't pass my test; how can I make sure it was scored correctly?

If you receive a non-passing score that is within 10 scale score points of the passing scale score (200), you may schedule an appointment for a score verification session. Score verification sessions allow examinees a chance to identify scoring errors.

Can my essay or performance component be rescored?

For information about requesting a score review for an essay or performance component, read the Score Verification Session Information Form Link opens a PDF document .

My scale score is the same as last time; I think an error was made. What can I do?

Your score for a test session is based on the answers you provide during that specific test session. It is possible that your scale scores for two different test sessions could be identical.

If you think an error was made, and you received a non-passing score that was within 10 scale score points of the passing scale score (200), you may register for a score verification session.