At the top of the page, you’ll find a prominently labeled button that provides access to the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL). Right beneath it, there is a comprehensive practice test designed for a thorough review. These tests are vital for showcasing your proficiency, identifying areas for improvement, and honing your study strategy. 

Additionally, we have developed specialized quizzes to bolster your preparation in areas needing more focus. These quizzes are meticulously designed to target specific components of the CTEL exam, promoting a focused and effective study session.

Domain Quizzes

The California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) exam is designed to assess the knowledge and skills of educators seeking to teach English learners in California. The CTEL exam consists of three separate subtests, each focusing on different aspects of teaching English learners. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of each domain:

CTEL 1: Language and Language Development

  • Number of Questions: 50
  • Exam Focus: This subtest covers the structure and use of language (both first and second language acquisition), including the foundations of English language and literacy development.

CTEL 2: Assessment of English Language Learners

  • Number of Questions: 60
  • Exam Focus: This subtest evaluates the candidate’s understanding of assessment principles and practices relevant to English language development and academic achievement.

CTEL 3: Culture and Inclusion

  • Number of Questions: 40
  • Exam Focus: The emphasis here is on the cultural aspects of teaching, including understanding cultural diversity and incorporating culturally responsive instructional methods.
CTEL Exam Domain# of QuestionsFocus
CTEL 1: Language and Language Development50 This subtest covers the structure and use of language (both first and second language acquisition), including the foundations of English language and literacy development.
CTEL 2: Assessment of English Language Learners60This subtest evaluates the candidate’s understanding of assessment principles and practices relevant to English language development and academic achievement.
CTEL 3: Culture and Inclusion40 The emphasis here is on the cultural aspects of teaching, including understanding cultural diversity and incorporating culturally responsive instructional methods.

Important Considerations:

  • Passing Score: Each subtest requires a separate passing score. Candidates must pass all three subtests to earn the CTEL certification, but they can take them at different times.
  • Preparation Materials: It’s crucial to review state-recommended materials and possibly enroll in CTEL preparation courses.
  • Validity: The certification is valid for life, so no renewal is necessary unless there are changes in state policy.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

The California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) Exam is designed to certify educators to teach English learners in the state of California. Administered by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and conducted by Pearson, this exam assesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective instruction of English learners.

Exam Overview

The CTEL Exam consists of three subtests:

  1. CTEL 1: Language and Language Development – This includes 50 multiple-choice questions and 1 essay, with a testing duration of 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  2. CTEL 2: Assessment and Instruction – It comprises 60 multiple-choice questions and 2 essays, with a duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  3. CTEL 3: Culture and Inclusion – This subtest has 40 multiple-choice questions and 1 essay, and lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

These subtests can be taken individually or in one combined session lasting 6 hours. Each subtest requires a passing score of 220.

Registration and Fees

You can register for the exam on the CTC Exams website, with the fees being USD 98 for CTEL 1, USD 147 for CTEL 2, and USD 99 for CTEL 3. A combined session costs USD 260.

Test Format and Scheduling

The exam is available in both computer-based format and online-proctored format. Testing dates are available during specific windows throughout the year, and you must register separately for each subtest if opting for online proctoring.

How to Become CTEL Certified

To become CTEL (California Teacher of English Learners) certified in California, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Meet Eligibility Requirements: You must possess a valid California teaching credential or a comparable permit that authorizes you to provide instruction from preschool through 12th grade or to adults. Emergency, exchange, district intern, sojourn, and teacher education internship credentials are not acceptable​.
  2. Complete Required Coursework or Examinations:
    • Coursework: You can complete a CTC-approved CTEL program offered by various institutions like UCLA Extension, UC San Diego Extension, or CSU Northridge. These programs typically include courses on language development, assessment of English learners, and cultural inclusion​​.
    • Examinations: Alternatively, you can pass all three CTEL subtests. Each subtest covers different aspects of teaching English learners: Language and Language Development, Assessment and Instruction, and Culture and Inclusion​​.
  3. Second Language Requirement: If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you must satisfy a second language requirement. This can be done through various means such as completing college units in a second language, passing language proficiency tests, or providing proof of equivalent training like Peace Corps language training​​.
  4. Application Process: After fulfilling the coursework or examination requirements, you will need to submit an application to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The application includes your examination score reports or proof of completed coursework, verification of the second language requirement, and the applicable fees​.
  5. Maintain Your Credential: Keep in mind that maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better is required in your CTEL coursework, and you must achieve a grade of “B” or higher in specific required courses to be eligible for the credential​​.

Our Experience Teaching CTEL Candidates To Pass The Exam

At Career Employer, creating our California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) practice tests has been an incredible journey marked by both successes and challenges. Motivated by the exam’s broad scope and our dedication to addressing the diverse needs of our learners, we have carefully designed each aspect of our approach. This ensures that each student is well-prepared to excel on the exam.

Our commitment to providing a thorough educational experience is reflected in the detailed and comprehensive design of our practice materials, highlighting our steadfast dedication to the success of our students.

Teaching the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) certification involves preparing educators to effectively teach English learners across various subjects and grade levels. From a lecturer’s perspective, the primary goal is to equip future teachers with the skills and knowledge required to support English Language Development (ELD) and facilitate access to the core curriculum.

Key Aspects of Lecturing for CTEL:

  1. Comprehensive Curriculum Delivery: The curriculum typically covers language acquisition theories, instructional strategies for English development, and methods for culturally responsive teaching. Lecturers must be adept at conveying these complex topics in an accessible way for diverse learning styles.
  2. Practical and Interactive Learning: Incorporating practical sessions where candidates can engage in role-plays, case studies, and simulations is crucial. This hands-on approach helps candidates apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios, enhancing learning outcomes.
  3. Assessment and Feedback: Regular assessments are essential to gauge understanding and retention. Providing timely and constructive feedback helps candidates identify areas for improvement and encourages continuous learning.
  4. Continuous Professional Development: Lecturers themselves need to stay updated with the latest educational research, policies, and best practices related to teaching English learners. This ongoing development informs their teaching and provides current, relevant information to their students.
  5. Support and Accessibility: Given the range of backgrounds and experiences of CTEL candidates, lecturers must provide support that accommodates individual needs. This might include additional tutoring, adapting materials for different learning needs, or offering office hours for extra help.

Resources for Teaching CTEL:

  • CTC Resources: The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing provides guidelines and standards.
  • CELDT/CALPADS: Resources on the California English Language Development Test and the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System offer insights into assessment and tracking of English learner progress (CALPADS).
  • Colorín Colorado: A bilingual site for educators and families of English learners with numerous teaching resources.
  • TESOL International Association: Offers a wealth of resources for English language teaching professionals, including best practices and research.

For lecturers, the challenge lies not just in teaching the content, but also in modeling the strategies they teach, fostering an inclusive and supportive classroom environment, and continually adapting to the needs of their learners.

At Career Employer, our California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) practice tests are meticulously crafted by a team of seasoned experts, each possessing a profound depth of knowledge and extensive experience in preparing for the CTEL exam. These specialists have successfully guided over a thousand teachers to achieve their CTEL certifications, offering personalized support tailored to each student’s needs.

Our team comprises professionals who each have over a decade of dedicated experience in education. This wealth of expertise ensures that our practice materials are not only developed by authorities in the subject but are also highly effective in preparing candidates for their certification journey. Our commitment to excellence ensures that all users of our materials are exceptionally well-prepared to surpass their certification goals, reflecting our unwavering dedication to quality and student success.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

Preparing effectively for the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) exam involves several targeted strategies to maximize your learning and performance. 

Here are some of the most effective methods and resources:

  1. Understanding the Exam Structure: It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the layout and content of the CTEL exam. This includes knowing the format of multiple-choice questions and essays across the three subtests. You can find detailed breakdowns and official preparation materials on the CTC Exams website.
  2. Using Quality Study Guides: Invest in comprehensive CTEL study guides that cover all necessary content and mirror the exam structure. A good guide should offer practice questions and explanations for both correct and incorrect answers. Be sure to review feedback on study guides to choose the most reliable ones​​.
  3. Practice Tests: Regular practice with sample questions and full practice tests is essential. These help familiarize you with the exam format and time constraints, and they enable you to identify knowledge gaps. Ensure the practice tests include constructed response questions and offer detailed explanations​.
  4. Active Learning Techniques: Engage actively with the material by breaking it down into manageable parts, summarizing content in your own words, and using visual aids like charts or flashcards. Teaching concepts to others or participating in study groups can also enhance retention and understanding.
  5. Managing Study Time and Stress: Create a balanced study plan that allows for regular, shorter study sessions rather than long, tiring cramming. Ensure you get adequate rest, maintain a nutritious diet, and stay hydrated. Techniques like deep breathing or positive visualization can help manage test anxiety on the day of the exam​​.
  6. Reviewing on Exam Day: On the day of your exam, make sure you have all necessary documents, arrive at the exam location early, and wear comfortable clothing. Check all logistical details well ahead of time to avoid last-minute stress​.

By combining these strategies and using reliable resources, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the CTEL exam with confidence.


CTEL 1: Language and Language DevelopmentUSD 98
CTEL 2: Assessment and InstructionUSD 147
CTEL 3: Culture and InclusionUSD 99
All three subtests in a single sessionUSD 260
Estimated cost for preparation materialsUSD 50 – USD 300

The cost of the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) certification exam involves several components, including fees for each of the subtests and additional costs for preparation and post-exam processes.

Exam Fees

The CTEL exam is divided into three subtests, each with its own fee:

  • CTEL 1: Language and Language Development costs $98.
  • CTEL 2: Assessment and Instruction is the most expensive at $147.
  • CTEL 3: Culture and Inclusion costs $99.
  • If you choose to take all three subtests in a single session, the total fee is $260.

These fees apply whether you take the test at a test center or opt for online proctoring. It’s important to note that each subtest requires separate registration and payment if not taken together​.

Preparation Costs

Costs for preparation can vary widely based on the materials and courses you select. The CTC offers a free study guide on their website. However, many candidates choose to purchase additional study guides or enroll in preparation courses offered by educational institutions like Alliant International University. These courses and materials can range from USD 50 to over USD 300 depending on the comprehensiveness and format​​.

Additional Costs

After passing the exam, there may be additional fees related to obtaining and maintaining the certification, such as application fees for the certification itself and possible renewal fees in the future. These costs can vary and should be verified with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Overall, the costs associated with the CTEL exam can vary widely based on how many subtests you take at a time, the preparation route you choose, and any additional administrative fees. For the most current and detailed information, it’s best to check directly with the CTC and the official Pearson VUE website.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

Here are some excellent online resources to help you prepare for the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) certification exam:

  1. CTC Exams Official Site: The California Educator Credentialing Examinations website offers detailed preparation materials, including study guides and sample test questions for each CTEL subtest. This is a great starting point for understanding the exam structure and content.
  2. 240 Tutoring: This site offers comprehensive study guides and practice tests for each CTEL subtest. Their resources are aimed at helping you master the content and they offer a guarantee for passing the exam if you use their study materials.
  3. Mometrix Test Preparation: Provides a range of resources, including free practice tests, study guides, and flashcards designed specifically for the CTEL exam. These resources are beneficial for breaking down complex subjects into understandable segments.
  4. Offers video lessons, diagnostic knowledge assessments, and personalized answers to help you prepare effectively. This resource is good for visual learners who benefit from watching and listening to content explanations. 
  5. San Diego County Office of Education: Provides free online and self-paced review courses for each CTEL subtest, making it a valuable resource especially if you prefer structured learning at your own pace.

Tips for Exam Day

For a successful exam day on the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) test, here are some strategic tips derived from various resources and discussions:

  1. Understand the Structure and Content: Before the test, make sure you are familiar with the structure and content of the exam. The CTEL exam consists of three subtests: Language and Language Development, Assessment and Instruction, and Culture and Inclusion. Each subtest covers specific domains essential for teaching English learners effectively. Knowing what each part entails can help you better prepare and allocate your study time​​.
  2. Use Quality Study Materials: Invest in a reliable study guide that covers the CTEL content comprehensively. There are specific guides available for each subtest, which can provide targeted preparation. Additionally, practice tests are highly recommended as they help in understanding the test format and identifying weak areas. Resources like offer detailed guides and practice tests​​.
  3. Focus on Application Over Memorization: It’s crucial to understand the concepts at a deep level and be able to apply them practically. This approach is especially important for essay questions but also enhances your ability to tackle multiple-choice questions that require critical thinking​​.
  4. Simulate Exam Conditions: When taking practice tests, simulate the exam conditions to acclimate yourself to the pressure and timing of the actual test day. This includes timing yourself as per the actual exam limits and completing the practice test in one sitting​​.
  5. Register and Prepare Logistically: Ensure that you are registered correctly for the exam, choosing whether to take one or all subtests in a single session depending on your preparation level and confidence. Also, prepare all necessary documents and materials you’ll need for the exam day ahead of time, including a valid ID and confirmation of your test registration​.
  6. Relax and Stay Positive: Finally, a good mental state can significantly influence your performance. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before the exam, eat well, and maintain a positive mindset.

These tips, drawn from various educational resources and forums, should help you feel more prepared and confident when taking the CTEL exam.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After taking the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) exam, there are several strategies and resources that can help you navigate the post-exam period effectively.

  1. Review and Reflect: Start by reflecting on the exam experience. This can help you identify areas that need improvement and reinforce what you’ve learned. Consider creating a structured reflection or using a post-exam reflection worksheet to guide your thoughts.
  2. Check Preparation Materials: Revisit the official CTEL preparation materials available online. These resources often include detailed explanations of test sections and may provide additional context or clarification for questions you found challenging during the exam​.
  3. Seek External Resources: If you found the official materials lacking, consider exploring additional study guides or resources. Engaging with different formats like flashcards or group studies can offer new perspectives and deeper understanding of complex topics.
  4. Engage with Online Forums: Joining forums or online communities related to the CTEL exam can provide support and insights from other educators who have taken the test. These platforms can be a great source of motivation and resource sharing.
  5. Plan Your Next Steps: Depending on your results, plan further actions. This might involve preparing for a retake or focusing on specific areas for professional development. It’s important to align these steps with your career goals in teaching English learners.
  6. Stay Organized and Positive: Organize your study and reflection times effectively. Keeping a positive mindset about the learning process can transform the experience from daunting to enriching.

For detailed preparation materials and specific tips on tackling the CTEL exam, visiting the official CTEL website and exploring dedicated educational resources online can be very helpful.


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