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So you’re taking the CTEL (031, 032, 033) exam and you’re asking some of the following questions:

  • Where do I find a free practice test?
  • An exam breakdown?
  • How do I register for the test?

Those are all great questions, and you’ve found the right place to get them answered!

My name is Marshall Highet, and at Best in Class  we will help you get familiar with everything you need to know about the CTEL 1, 2, and 3 (031, 032, 033).

CTEL Video Overviews

Feeling overwhelmed by the different study guides available? This video provides helpful explanations of the different types of resources available and what will work best for you:

Selecting the Best Study Resource for YOU!

For a quick look at some CTEL practice questions, check out this video:

CTEL Test Prep

First Thing to Know

CTEL stands for California Teachers of English Learners. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires anyone who is teaching English learners (ELs) in public schools in California to pass the CTEL.

The CTEL exams assess your competency and content knowledge related to teaching English learners in the state of California.

The CTEL is made up of three subtests. The test codes for these subtests  are 031, 032, and 033, but the commonly known test numbers are CTEL 1, 2, and 3, which is how we’ll be referring to them here.

The reason each subtest has a specific number is because there are so many different examinations and certifications in the state of California, so giving each test an identification number helps testing agencies and test takers keep track of the different exams.

CTEL Exam Breakdown

The CTEL is made up of three subtests. You must pass each individual subtest to pass the entire CTEL exam.  You do not have to take all three subtests at one time but you can if you’d like to.

Here is a table to help break down each subtest, its format, what it covers, and how much time you’ll have to complete it.

CTEL # Test Code Content Category Number and Type of Questions Time Provided
CTEL 1 031 Language and Language Development 50 multiple choice

1 essay

105 minutes
CTEL 2 032 Assessment and Instruction 60 multiple choice

2 essays

165 minutes
CTEL 3 033 Culture and Inclusion 40 multiple choice

1 essay

90 minutes

There is a different cost involved for each subtest:

CTEL 1: $98.00

CTEL 2: $147.00

CTEL 3: $99.00

All three at one time: $260.00

One of the most strategic steps you can take is to prepare yourself thoroughly over a series of study periods. To study effectively, you should examine each subtest and its competencies.

What is a Passing Score

The subtests are scored from 100 to 300 points, and you must earn 220 scaled points on each subtest to pass the whole exam. If you don’t pass one of the subtests, you can retake that subtest without having to retake the others.

How to Register for the CTEL Exam

New to Teaching?

If you are new to teaching, you’ll first need to complete an approved educator preparation program. Information on approved programs can be found here. If you’ve already completed that step, here’s how to register for your CTEL exam:

  1. Log in to the California Educator Credentialing Assessments website or create an account if you haven’t already.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, you may be asked to provide some background information if you don’t already have it on file.
  3. Next, click on “register” at the top of the website. You will then select the CTEL subtest(s) you want to take.
  4. The registration process will then walk you through a series of prompts where you will designate the institutions you want your test results sent to, answer background questions, agree to the CTC testing policies, and pay for your exam.
  5. Choose your test location and time. Note that you will pay for the exam before selecting your testing date.

Once you are scheduled to take the CTEL, you will get an email with your confirmation number and additional information about the exam.

Note: Your registration is valid for one year. If you do not use this registration within a calendar year, it will be rescinded without refund or recompense.

Already Certified?

To teach English learners (ELs) in the state of California, you must pass all three subtests of the CTEL in addition to any specific credentialing you may have already earned. All educators in California classrooms are required to pass the CTEL in order to meet their students’ linguistic and academic needs.

Follow these steps to register for your CTEL exam:

  1. Log in to the California Educator Credentialing Assessments website or create an account if you haven’t already.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, you may be asked to provide some background information if you don’t already have it on file.
  3. Next, click on “register” at the top of the website. You will then select the CTEL subtest(s) you want to take.
  4. The registration process will then walk you through a series of prompts where you will designate the institutions you want your test results sent to, answer background questions, agree to the CTC testing policies, and pay for your exam.
  5. Choose your test location and time. Note that you will pay for the exam before selecting your testing date.

Once you are scheduled to take the CTEL, you will get an email with your confirmation number and additional information about the exam.

Note: Your registration is valid for one year. If you do not use this registration within a calendar year, it will be rescinded without refund or recompense.

Once you pass the exam, you’re qualified to teach English language learners in the state of California! Hooray!

CTEL 1, 2, 3 (031, 032, 033) Free Practice Test

Now that you’re taking the CTEL 1, 2, 3, you want to know what to expect on the exam and whether or not you are prepared.

You’re in the right spot. We are going to tell you about the absolute best practice tests for the CTEL.

Best Free Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 1 Language and Language Development (031) Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 2 Assessment and Instruction (032) Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 3 Culture and Inclusion (033) Practice Test

240 Tutoring has been helping teachers pass their exams since 2011. They offer an online, completely free practice test for all three subtests of the CTEL. Each practice test will give you a free score breakdown, so you can see exactly what you need to study.

CTEL 1, 2, 3 (031, 032, 033) Paid Practice Test

Best Paid Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 1 Language and Language Development (031) Study Guide and Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 2 Assessment and Instruction (032) Study Guide and Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 3 Culture and Inclusion (033) Study Guide and Practice Test

240 Tutoring also offers a full study guide with a full length practice test. Their guide includes over 250 questions and 65 pages of content.

It also comes with a money-back guarantee! This means that if for some crazy reason you don’t pass, 240 Tutoring will refund your money. This investment is totally worth it.

BONUS: 240 Tutoring is a month-to-month subscription. You get all of their CTEL study guides for just one monthly price of $39.99. When you are finished studying, you are also finished paying!

Runner-Up for Free Practice Test

CECA provides excellent practice exam questions on its website. CECA is the source of both the test and the study material in this instance. It’s wise to go to the source, but note that the format of the practice exam is not interactive, but the test will be.

CTC CTEL Practice Exam

Honorable Mention

Mometrix also provides a practice exam for the CTEL, as well as a breakdown of the scoring and sections. However, the free practice test is only 10 questions long, so you’ll most likely need a lengthier test to get a good idea of whether or not you are ready for the exam.

Mometrix CTEL Practice Exam

CTEL 1, 2, 3 (031, 032, 033) Free Study Guide

So it’s time to start studying for the CTEL. With so many study guides out there, it can be hard to narrow it down to the best options.

That’s why we did that part for you! We are going to tell you about the absolute best study guides for the CTEL

Best Free Study Guide

240 Tutoring’s CTEL Ultimate Guide

240 Tutoring offers an excellent resource that’s completely free. With an overview of each subtest, quick facts providing information on the format of the exam, and in-depth explanations of some of the most important competencies you’ll need to study, this guide has it all.

CTEL 1, 2, 3 (031, 032, 033) Paid Study Guide

Best Paid Study Guide

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 1 Language and Language Development (031) Study Guide and Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 2 Assessment and Instruction (032) Study Guide and Practice Test

240 Tutoring’s CTEL 3 Culture and Inclusion (033) Study Guide and Practice Test

240 Tutoring also offers a full study guide with a full length practice test. Their guide includes over 250 questions and 65 pages of content.

It also comes with a money-back guarantee! This means that if for some crazy reason you don’t pass, 240 Tutoring will refund your money. This investment is totally worth it.

BONUS: 240 Tutoring is a month-to-month subscription. You get all of their CTC study guides (including all three CTEL subtests) for just one monthly price of $39.99. This is a great added bonus if you need to take other CTC exams in addition to the CTEL.

Runner-Up for Study Guide

Mometrix

Mometrix also has a study guide: the CTEL Exam Secrets Study Guide. Mometrix describes its resources as tips and secrets of the trade. The website breaks down a specific strategy that pairs with the material. The downside to this resource is that it is only available as a printed book or ebook, so you won’t get the same online, interactive quality that other study guides offer.

Mometrix CTEL Study Guide

Honorable Mention

Teaching Solutions

Teaching Solutions earns a spot on the honorable mention list. The interface of the website is not as modern as others, but it provides the basic breakdown of the exam and its costs, content, and time.

Teaching Solutions CTEL Study Guide

About the Author

Marshall Highet

Marshall Highet

Marshall Highet has been writing since she was a wee thing. No longer a wee thing, for the past ten years she’s worked as a professor, a professional writer, and an educational consultant.

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