Basic Skills Exams

PELSB Approved Basic Skills (Reading, Writing, and Math)

Why are MN teachers required to take and pass an approved Basic Skills Exam (Reading, Writing & Math)?

In Minnesota Statute, it states to obtain a Tier 4 teaching:  8710.0312 Subp. 2. C.The applicant must obtain passing scores on the board-approved skills, pedagogy, and content examinations aligned to the licensure area sought.

Teachers are required to provide evidence to PELSB of passing a PELSB Board Approved Basic Skills in order to renew to a Tier 4 teaching license after teaching for 3 years at Tier 3.

UMD has chosen to embed this requirement as a component of the block application process to ensure teacher candidates are making progress towards meeting this requirement so they are eligible for licensure in the future.  This is required for obtaining your MN Tier 4 license but not required to obtain your Bachelor’s degree.

What are the PELSB Basic Skills Test Options?

In order to be eligible for a Tier 4 teaching license, teacher candidates need to meet one of the following PELSB Approved Basic Skills Testing options:

  • ACT Plus Writing (February 2005-Present) Score reporting changes (sample report)
    • Composite Score of 22 or higher and Combined English/Writing OR
    • Composite Score of 22 or higher and English Language Arts (ELA) score of 21 or higher
  • 1600 SAT (taken 3/1/2016-Present) 
    • Reading + Writing score of 550 or higher, Math score of 570 or higher
  • MN NES Essential Academic Skills Exam (Reading, Writing, and Math) (Taken 8/30/2016-Present): 
    • Reading score of 520 or higher, Writing score of 520 or higher, Math score of 520 or higher
  • GRE (taken 8/12/2011-Present):
    • Verbal Reasoning of 150 or higher, Analytical Writing score of 3 or higher, Quantitative Reasoning score of 145 or higher
  • Testing options for exams taken 2016 and prior
    • 2400 SAT (taken 3/12/2005-2/28/2016)
      • Reading score of 510 or higher, Writing score of 510 or higher, Math score of 520 or higher
    • Multi-State NES Essential Academic Skills Exam (available 6/7/2016-8/28/2016): 
      • Reading score of 205 or higher, Writing score of 214 or higher, Math score of 213 or higher
    • MTLE Basic Skills Exam (taken prior to 6/8/2016): 
      • Reading score of 240 or higher, Writing score of 240 or higher, Math score of 240 or higher
    • GRE (taken 2001-8/11/2011):
      • Verbal Reasoning score of 450 or higher, Analytical Writing score of 3 or higher, Quantitative Reasoning score of 540 or higher
    • Praxis I (taken prior to 9/1/10): 
      • Reading score of 173 or higher, Writing score of 172 or higher, Math score of 171 or higher
    • Praxis I CBT (taken prior to 2010):
      • Reading score of a 320 of higher, Writing score of a 318 or higher, Math score of a 314 or higher
Key Dates
Last day to take the MTLE Basic Skills Exam June 8. 2016
Multi-state NES® Essential Academic Skills test available to Minnesota candidates June 7, 2016-August 28, 2016
Implementation of the Minnesota NES® Essential Academic Skills test August 30, 2016 to the present