Understanding Your Scores

Your score report contains your passing status and other performance information for each test you take. For a detailed explanation of how to interpret your scores, read the FTCE/FELE Score Interpretation Guide Link opens a PDF document. For more detailed information regarding the larger scoring and reporting process, please visit About the FTCE/FELE: Scoring and Reporting.

What is a scale score?

Your raw score (number of items answered correctly) on the FTCE and FELE is converted to a common measure called a scale score. A scale score allows multiple forms of a test to share a common minimum passing score.

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

The minimum passing scale score for tests, subtests, or sections consisting of only multiple-choice questions is 200. The minimum passing scores for tests, subtests, or sections with performance components are provided below:

  • For General Knowledge (GK) Essay, the passing score is at least 8 out of 12 points.
  • For the English 6–12 and Middle Grades English 5–9 subject area examinations, the passing score for the written performance sections is at least 5 out of 8 points using new scoring rubric, which is equivalent to a score of 8 out of 12 points on previous scoring rubric.
  • For FELE Subtest 3, the passing score for the written performance section is at least 7 out of 12 points.
  • For the French K–12 and Spanish K–12 subject area examinations, an examinee must pass the whole examination by achieving a composite score equivalent to at least 200.
  • For German K–12 Subtest 2, a holistic score of intermediate/high is needed to pass.

The FTCE and FELE tests are Pass/Fail tests:

  • If you pass, you will see the "PASS" status on your score report.
  • If you do not pass, you will see the "NOT PASS" status on your score report with a numeric score.

What percentage of correct answers do I need to pass?

The FTCE/FELE tests are equated to adjust for varying difficulty levels across forms in a single subject area. This means the number of correct answers needed to pass a multiple-choice test may vary slightly from one form of a test to another within a single subject area. To find out approximately what percentage of test items you need to answer correctly to receive a passing score for your test or subtest, refer to the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score table Links to a PDF document.

How are essays and performance components scored?

The essays and performance components (e.g., recorded speaking sections of language tests) are holistically scored by two independent raters, and these ratings are combined for the total score. For written performance assessments, if the two raters assign scores more than 1 score point apart (i.e., scores that are neither the same nor adjacent), the examinee's response is also reviewed a third time by a Chief Rater, who resolves the discrepancy. Holistic scoring is used to assess responses that demonstrate a range of performance. Trained and qualified raters Link opens pop-up window judge the overall effectiveness of each response while focusing on a set of performance characteristics that have been defined as important for each test. Each response is assigned a score based on a multipoint score scale that describes varying levels of performance.

If your essay or performance component score is labeled as “B,” this means that you provided a blank response to this item. If your essay or performance component score is labeled “U,” this means that your response was designated as unscorable. A response is considered unscorable when it is unrelated to the assigned topic, when it is not in the target language, or when it is inaudible due to a defect in the recording.

Rating and score point descriptions are detailed in the test information guides.

What type of information is provided on score reports for an examinee who does not pass a test?

For a test or subtest you did not pass, your score report will include your numeric score as well as a detailed performance analysis report Link opens pop-up window that indicates the number and percentage of multiple-choice questions you answered correctly by applicable competency. We encourage you to use this information to determine the sections of the test in which your performance was weakest, and then plan to do some additional studying in those areas. However, while concentrating your studies on your areas of weakness, you should also be sure to do some additional preparation addressing the content covered in the other sections of the test. Finally, you may also want to do some additional studying in the sections of the test that contain the greatest percentage of test questions, as they will contribute the most to your total score.

Detailed performance analyses also provide average percentage correct/average scores that show how well other examinees performed in the subject area. The average percentage correct/average score should not be used as a criterion on how well you need to perform to pass the subject. It only provides information on how your performance compares to other examinees.

The scoring rubrics and scoring guidelines used by performance assessment raters are provided in the test information guides.