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What Is the FTCE General Knowledge Test?


The FTCE is a group of tests that are used to certify teachers of all levels in Florida according to the state standards. The FTCE is a major step in becoming certified to teach at public schools, and there are specific requirements depending on what kind of teacher you intend to be, and at what level.


What Is the FTCE Test?

The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations are standardized tests that are used to test the competency of prospective teachers according to Florida state standards. Usually, teachers apply for board certification, and then take their FTCE exams; the type of certification will dictate what test or tests they need to take.

The FTCE is a group of 47 tests. There are four general knowledge sub-tests, a professional education exam, and 42 subject area exams. FTCE exams are available for all levels K-12.

We’ll focus on the FTCE general knowledge test, but will provide links for information on the other FTCE tests.


How to Register for the FTCE Test

You can register for the general knowledge test on the registration page. Registration for tests other than the FTCE general knowledge test can also be found here.

The test is available on paper and as a computer based test by appointment at any time during the year.



The fee is $130 for all four tests. If you want to take one or two subtests as opposed to all four at once, the fees are as follows:

1 subtest: $32.50

2 subtests: $65

3 subtests: $97.50

All tests also have the following possible additional fees: $75 for a score verification session, $10 for a duplicate score report, and $20 for clearing an account.

You can find fee information about other tests on the official website and search for testing centers.


Format of the FTCE Exam

Knowing the format of the exam can help you plan ahead and create a test taking strategy. On the general knowledge test, you get allotted times per subtest.

The following chart outlines the number of questions and time allotted per section of the general knowledge test. 

Subtest Number of Questions Time Allowed
ELS 40 multiple choice 40 minutes
Reading 40 multiple choice 55 minutes
Math 45 multiple choice 1 hour and 40 minutes
Essay 1-2 essay questions 50 minutes


Additional Test Info

You can access the complete list of all FTCE subjects if you're looking for subjects other than the general knowledge test.

Guides on the format of each test can be found on the test information page.

Remember, that the format and time allowed on each test varies, so make sure you look at your specific test if you are taking additional tests other than the general knowledge test.


How Is the FTCE Exam Scored?

The general knowledge test is first evaluated using a “raw” score, which is simply the number of questions you got right on the test. The score is then converted to a scaled score, which is given as a percentage.


What Score Do You Need to Pass the FTCE?

To pass the general knowledge test, you would need the following percentage scores for each subtest.

Subtest Passing Score
ELS 70%
Reading 75%
Math 72%
Essay The essay is scored by two judges. You must receive an 8/12 to pass. 


The FTCE provides a helpful percentage table that lists all the percentage scores needed to pass each FTCE test.




Sample Questions

These questions are some of the kinds you may see appear on the FTCE general knowledge test.


Reading Sample Question

Sample passage: Many people wonder if life is influenced by art, or art imitates life. While we can’t say for sure, there are reasons to believe that both statements are true. The relationship between humans and art is fluid and flexible, and the purpose of art is to provide a deeper look into human consciousness and society. The oldest known cave drawings are thought to be around 40,000 years old, though it’s likely that humans produced drawings earlier in their existence.

Question 1: The first sentence of the paragraph does what within the context of the paragraph's meaning?

  1. Asks about the meaning of art
  2. Poses a philosophical question as a lead-in
  3. Offers a broad statement
  4. Is off-base for the rest of the paragraph

Answer: The answer is 2: poses a philosophical question as a lead-in. An enticing opening sentence is a common way to begin a paragraph.


Math Sample Question

Question 1: Simplify the following equation: 3x20+15(80/4) - x

  1. 360 - x
  2. 20x
  3. 15+20x
  4. x-60

Answer: The answer is 1, 360-x. This equation requires use of math knowledge systems and arithmetic. It uses the PEMDAS principle to simplify the equation, though note that it cannot be completely solved due to the presence of X. Again, it asks to be simplified.


ELS Sample Question

Find the error(s) in the following sentence: Emmas favorite movie is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, so she checked the book out from the Brooklyn Public Library to see if she liked it, too.

  1. Emmas; Brooklyn Public Library
  2. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; it, too
  3. Emmas; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
  4. Checked the book out; Brooklyn Public Library

Answer: The answer is 3, Emmas; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Emmas should have an apostrophe before the S to show possession, and the movie title should be italicized.

ELS tests on grammar, spelling, and other components of language so be prepared for all types of questions about proper writing and speech.


Essay Sample Question

Question: Technology has become a staple in many schools. Some experts believe that technology can be dangerous in classrooms, as it leads students to not pay attention, and they may be able to access inappropriate content. Others think that technology is an invaluable resource. Please discuss both sides of this argument, and how to best incorporate technology safely into the classroom environment.

Answer: Like most essays, there’s no strictly correct way to answer this question. A passing score depends more on how analytical you were in answering the question, and if you answered it fully and clearly. A passing essay will have a focus or thesis, a well structured, organized argument that is well-supported by facts and knowledge, and use proper grammar throughout.




Links to Practice Tests

Make sure you know what tests you’re taking before you dive into test prep. There are lots of links and tests, so for the general knowledge you want to make sure you don’t start looking at the English subtest instead of the ELS general knowledge subtest. The tests are different in subject matter and format, so it’s very important you know exactly what you’re taking or you risk spending lots of time learning information you don’t need.

You can access sample questions, practice tests, scoring guides, and more at the official test resources page.


What's Next?

Are you considering a teaching career? Read our guide on How to Become a Teacher and getting an early childhood education degree.

Are you considering other majors? Check out our complete list of majors, and our lists of easiest majors and hardest majors.



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About the Author

Carrie holds a Bachelors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and is currently pursuing an MFA. She worked in book publishing for several years, and believes that books can open up new worlds. She loves reading, the outdoors, and learning about new things.

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