Exam Options for Meeting the Minnesota Basic Skills Requirement (required for Tier 4 Licensure only)

MN Statute 122A.185 Subd.1 (a)

You cannot combine the various types of tests in order to meet the basic skills exam requirements.  However, if you need to retake any portion of the MTLE Basic Skills exams, please take the corresponding subtest of the MN-NES Academic Skills exam.

Minnesota NES Essential Academic Skills (based on a 400-600 point scale)

      (The Minnesota NES was made available on August 30, 2016.)

  • Reading (MN-NES 188) ≥ 520
  • Writing (MN-NES 189) ≥520
  • Mathematics (MN-NES 190) ≥ 520

The test is exactly the same as the National NES exam, it’s just that Minnesota candidates are give 15 extra minutes of time. Because of the extra time, the score rating had to be adjusted.  The same number of correct raw scores needed to pass is exactly the same on both tests.  The National NES exam is based on a 100-300 point scale and the MN NES is based on a 400-600 point scale.  Passing scores for the National NES are below.

National NES Essential Academic Skills (based on a 100-300 point scale)

  • Reading ≥ 205
  • Writing ≥ 214
  • Mathematics ≥ 213

MTLE Basic Skills Test

      (The MTLE Basic Skills Test was discontinued on June 8, 2016.)

  • Reading (MTLE 001) ≥ 240
  • Writing (MTLE 002) ≥ 240
  • Mathematics (MTLE 003) ≥ 240

ACT Plus Writing

  • Composite Score: > 22 AND Combined English/Writing or ELA > 21

1600 SAT (effective March 2016)

  • Reading + Writing ≥ 550
  • Mathematics ≥ 570

2400 SAT (before March 2016)

  • Reading ≥ 510
  • Writing ≥ 510
  • Mathematics ≥ 520


Taken prior to August 1, 2011

  • Verbal Reasoning ≥ 450
  • Analytical Writing ≥ 3
  • Quantitative Reasoning ≥ 540

Taken after August 1, 2011

  • Verbal Reasoning ≥ 150
  • Analytical Writing ≥ 3
  • Quantitative Reasoning ≥ 145


Accommodations are available based on Minnesota statute 122A.185 Subd3:

The board (PELSB) and the entity administering the content, pedagogy, and skills examinations must allow any individual who produces documentation of a disability in the form of an evaluation, 504 plan, or individual education program (IEP) to receive the same testing accommodations on the content, pedagogy, and skills examinations that the applicant received during the applicant’s secondary or postsecondary education.

Prior to registering for the exams, accommodations need to be on file in the Academic Deans Office at MLC.  Once on file with the Dean, an individual may request accommodations for any of the MTLE exams.

Test Preparation

Free online study materials are available for the MN-NES and the MTLE exams through the MTLE website.  Some of these materials are not currently available due to accessibility requirements but will be posted as soon as possible by the testing company Pearson.

Academic Success Center: The ASC offers free MN-NES basic skills tutoring services for all MLC students. The ASC also has MN-NES and MTLE study guides available on reserve at the Circulation desk.