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The FTCE is composed of three tests:

  1. Subject Area Exams (SAE),
  2. General Knowledge Test (GK), and
  3. Professional Education Test (PEd)

If your Bachelor's Degree major is not in Education, you are required to pass these exams in order to obtain a Professional Educator Certificate.

This first exam you will need to pass is a Subject Area Exam (SAE) in the area in which you wish to teach, i.e., Math, Science, etc.

1 - Subject Area Exam (SAE): (Note – register for test at
These are exams for degreed academic and some vocational subject areas. These exams measure content area knowledge, usually in multiple-choice format.

2 - General Knowledge Test (GK):
Prior to July 1, 2002, the required basic skills test for teacher certification was the CLAST. Beginning July 1, 2002, the required basic skills test for teachers’ certification is the General Knowledge Test. The General Knowledge Test is a basic skills achievement test containing four sub-tests: Mathematics (multiple-choice items), Reading (multiple-choice passage-based items), English Language Skills (multiple-choice items), and Essay.

Within one (1) year of being employed as a teacher you must pass the General Knowledge Exams.

Note: Current Florida Law requires that an individual pass the General Knowledge test within one year from the date of employment in a Florida public school to continue employment.

3 - Coursework Requirement - As a career changer you will need to satisfy specific coursework required by the Florida Department of Education. There are several choices to satisfy the coursework such as:

  • Complete a Masters in the Arts in Teaching (MAT) with an emphasis in the area you want to teach, i.e., you want to teach Social Science your coursework would be specific to Social Science.
  • Educator Preparation Program. You can find the Community Colleges that provide this programs throughout the State of Florida at
  • if hired into a secondary education position in the Hillsborough County Public Schools (Grade 6 - 12) you may satisfy the coursework through the Alternative Education Program provided through the school districts Professional Development Department.

4 - Professional Education Test (PEd):
A multiple-choice test that assesses general knowledge of pedagogy and professional practices and consists of approximately 120 items.

All Florida certificates are issued after the individual is employed in a Florida school and the individual’s fingerprints have been cleared.