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ABCTE Exam & ABCTE Certification Info

ABCTE: The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) is a non-profit organization that provides an online teacher certification program. This program is designed to certify teachers in various subjects and offers an alternative route to traditional teacher certification. The ABCTE certification program is recognized in several U.S. states.

Step 1: Eligibility and Application

Before you apply for ABCTE certification, you must first ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. Requirements typically include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a clean criminal record. You can apply online through the ABCTE website. You’ll need to create an account, choose your subject area, and pay the enrollment fee.

Step 2: Scheduling the Exam

Once you have successfully applied and completed the coursework, you can schedule your exam. You can do this through the ABCTE website. You’ll be able to choose from a range of dates and times for your exam, which are available throughout the year. The exams are computer-based and administered at Pearson VUE testing centers across the United States.

Step 3: Taking the Exam

On the day of the exam, arrive at the testing center at the scheduled time with a valid, government-issued ID. The exams are typically multiple-choice and last between two and four hours, depending on the subject. After you finish the exam, you'll receive your results immediately.

Location Information

The ABCTE certification exams are administered at Pearson VUE testing centers throughout the United States. You can find the nearest testing center on the Pearson VUE website.


You can find more information on the ABCTE website at

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) Exams

ABCTE Biology (BIO)

The ABCTE Biology certification test is a comprehensive exam designed to assess a candidate's knowledge and understanding of biological concepts and principles. It covers a wide range of topics including cell biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, and anatomy. The test is intended for individuals who wish to become certified to teach biology in grades 6-12. It evaluates not only factual knowledge, but also the ability to apply scientific principles, interpret data, and solve problems. The ABCTE Biology certification is recognized by many states as a valid teaching certification.

145 - Multiple Choice
General Science Knowledge - 20%
Scientific Investigation - 15%
Biochemical Basis of Life - 6%
Cell Biology and Microbiology - 10%
Classical Genetics - 4%
Molecular Biology - 11%
Evolution - 7%
Comparative Physiology - 6%
Human Physiology - 9%
Plant Biology and Physiology - 6%
Ecology - 6%

240 Minutes
ABCTE Chemistry (CHEM)

The ABCTE Chemistry certification test is a comprehensive examination designed for individuals seeking to become certified chemistry teachers. It assesses knowledge in core areas such as atomic structure, molecular structure, chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and organic chemistry. The test also evaluates understanding of laboratory procedures, safety protocols, and the application of scientific methodologies. Passing the test demonstrates proficiency in chemistry and readiness to teach it effectively at the secondary school level. It is a crucial step towards achieving an ABCTE certification, a nationally recognized teaching credential.

125 - Multiple Choice
General Science Knowledge - 4%
Scientific Investigation - 7%
Atomic Structure, Periodicity, and Matter - 26%
Chemical Naming and Structure - 14%
Reactions and Reactivity - 26%
Gas Laws and Solutions - 18%
Organic Chemistry - 5%

240 Minutes
ABCTE Elementary Education (ELEMED)

The ABCTE Elementary Education certification test is a comprehensive examination designed for prospective educators. It evaluates candidates' knowledge in fundamental subjects like English, math, science, and social studies, along with teaching methodologies suitable for elementary-level students. The test ensures that potential teachers possess the necessary skills and understanding to create effective and engaging learning environments. It is recognized nationwide, making it an essential credential for those aiming to start a career in elementary education. Passing the ABCTE certification test demonstrates a teacher's commitment to high educational standards.

150 - Multiple Choice
Reading and English Language Arts - 32%
History and Social Science - 20%
Mathematics - 28%
Science - 20%

240 Minutes
ABCTE English Language Arts (ELA)

The ABCTE English Language Arts certification test is a comprehensive exam designed for prospective teachers seeking certification in English language arts. It assesses candidates' knowledge and skills in areas such as literature, writing, language studies, and communication. The test covers both theoretical concepts and practical teaching strategies. Passing this exam demonstrates a high level of proficiency in the subject, enabling individuals to teach English language arts in grades K-12. It's recognized nationally as a rigorous and prestigious certification for educators.

120 - Multiple Choice
Comprehension of Texts - 72%
Oral and Written Language Development - 23%
Instructional Knowledge and Professional Skills - 5%

240 Minutes
ABCTE General Science (GENSCI)

The ABCTE General Science certification test is a rigorous examination designed to assess the competency of aspiring science teachers. It covers a comprehensive range of scientific topics including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and space science. The test evaluates the candidate's understanding of scientific principles, their application, scientific inquiry, and the nature of science. This certification is recognized nationally in the United States and is often required to teach science at the secondary level. By passing the test, candidates demonstrate their readiness to provide quality science education.

120 - Multiple Choice
Scientific Investigation - 15%
Biology - 22%
Chemistry - 22%
Earth Science - 20%
Physics - 21%

240 Minutes
ABCTE Mathematics (High School Math) (HSMATH)

The ABCTE Mathematics (High School Math) Certification Test is a rigorous evaluation tool for prospective secondary school mathematics teachers. The test examines a candidate's proficiency in core mathematical areas such as algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics, as well as their ability to apply pedagogical knowledge in a classroom setting. The certification serves as a benchmark of quality, ensuring educators possess the necessary mathematical and instructional skills. The test is computer-based and encompasses multiple-choice questions and problem-solving tasks that reflect real classroom situations. Passing this test is a requirement to become a certified high school math teacher.

100 - Multiple Choice
Number Sense - 12%
Algebra and Functions - 26%
Geometry and Measurement - 20%
Trigonometry - 11%
Probability, Statistics, and Data Analysis - 12%
Linear Algebra - 6%
Calculus - 13%

240 Minutes
ABCTE Physics (PHY)

The ABCTE Physics certification test is a comprehensive examination for individuals aspiring to become certified physics teachers in the U.S. The test covers core physics concepts, problem-solving skills, and instructional methodologies. Topics include mechanics, electricity, magnetism, waves, optics, thermodynamics, and modern physics. The exam assesses both theoretical knowledge and practical teaching skills. It is designed to ensure that certified teachers possess the necessary expertise to effectively teach physics at the high school level. Passing the ABCTE Physics test is a prerequisite for obtaining the American Board's Physics certification.

100 - Multiple Choice
General Science Knowledge - 6%
Scientific Investigation - 7%
Classical Mechanics - 24%
Fluids and Thermodynamics - 12%
Electricity and Magnetism - 24%
Waves and Optics - 15%
Modern Physics - 12%

240 Minutes
ABCTE Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK)

The ABCTE Professional Teaching Knowledge certification test is a rigorous examination designed to assess the fundamental teaching skills and knowledge of aspiring educators. It encompasses key areas such as educational theory, lesson planning, classroom management, and student assessment. This computer-based test is a requirement for those seeking to earn the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) certification, a nationally recognized credential that signifies a high level of competence in the teaching profession. The test aims to ensure that every certified teacher is proficient in the essentials of effective teaching.

100 - Multiple Choice
1 - Essay/
Constructed Response
Instructional Design - 18%
Effective Instructional Delivery - 32%
Classroom Management and Organization - 30%
Assessment - 20%

150 Minutes
ABCTE Reading (READ)

The ABCTE Reading Certification Test is a comprehensive examination designed to assess the knowledge and competencies needed to teach reading effectively. Administered by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, the test covers key areas such as phonics, vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and literacy instruction strategies. Candidates must demonstrate a deep understanding of reading development and literacy instruction. The test is used to ensure that certified teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to promote literacy and instill a love for reading in their students.

120 - Multiple Choice
Evaluating Reading Programs and Pedagogical Recommendations - 7%
Developing Phonemic Awareness - 12%
Phonics Instruction - 12%
Developing Fluency - 12%
Vocabulary and Concept Development - 15%
Teaching Understanding of Informational Texts - 15%
Teaching Understanding of Literary Texts - 15%
Differentiating Instruction - 12%

180 Minutes
ABCTE Special Education ( SPED)

The ABCTE Special Education certification test is a comprehensive examination designed for individuals seeking to become certified special education teachers. This rigorous test covers various areas of special education, including understanding exceptionalities, legal and ethical issues, instructional strategies, behavior management, and assessment. Passing the ABCTE Special Education certification test demonstrates a candidate's competence and readiness to effectively teach students with special needs. It's a vital step in pursuing a career in special education and is recognized by many states as a pathway to licensure.

125 - Multiple Choice
Professional Skills and Background Knowledge - 22%
Understanding the Special Needs Student - 23%
General Special Education Practices - 37%
Language Development Strategies - 18%

240 Minutes
ABCTE United States History (USHIST)

The ABCTE United States History certification test is a comprehensive examination designed for individuals seeking to become certified to teach U.S. history in secondary schools. The test assesses one's knowledge of key historical events, figures, and concepts, as well as pedagogical skills necessary for effective teaching. Topics include colonial America, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars, civil rights, and contemporary issues. The test evaluates understanding of historical analysis, interpretation, research methodologies, and instructional strategies. Passing the ABCTE U.S. History test demonstrates proficiency and readiness to teach this subject effectively.

120 - Multiple Choice
Discovery and Settlement of the New World - 3%
The Colonial Era - 14%
Establishment and Growth of the Republic - 19%
The Jacksonian Era to the Civil War - 14%
The Civil War and Reconstruction - 9%
Post Civil War Period Through World War I - 14%
The Roaring Twenties Through World War II - 15%
Post World War II America - 12%

240 Minutes

The ABCTE World History certification test is a rigorous examination designed for prospective teachers who wish to teach World History at a secondary school level. It evaluates the candidate's knowledge of historical events, cultures, and societies from ancient times to the present. The test covers a wide range of topics including European, Asian, African, American, and Middle Eastern history. It also assesses understanding of historical research methods, interpretative skills, and the ability to make connections between historical events and contemporary issues. Successful completion signifies the candidate's readiness to teach World History effectively.

100 - Multiple Choice
From Prehistory to Ancient Civilizations - 13%
Classical Civilizations - 19%
Postclassical Era - 16%
Early Modern Times - 15%
The Long 19th Century - 19%
The Global 20th Century - 18%

240 Minutes