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Testing in Missouri

Testing in Missouri

Learn about the exam(s) you need to take, and how to prepare and report your scores

Jump to:

  • Overview
    • The Core Academic Skills Requirement: MoGEA or ACT
    • The Content Area Test: MoCA
  • Choose Your Test
  • Prepare for the Test
    • Create a Schedule
    • Test Prep Resources
      • Provided by DESE
      • Provided by Third Parties
  • Take the Test
    • Registration
    • Test Day
    • Your Scores
      • Viewing Your Results
      • Reporting Your Scores

If you have any questions about your exam or this process, reach out to a  TEACH Kansas City coach or teacher preparation program staff for support. We’re here for you!


Choose Your Test

You are eligible for MoGEA if you are applying to a teacher preparation program in the state of Missouri. You will need to pass the MoGEA or receive a passing score on the ACT before you are admitted. Each teacher preparation program sets the passing standard.

You are eligible for MoCA if you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, are getting ready for student teaching, or are scheduled to receive a degree before being placed in a classroom. You must pass the MoCA before receiving a teacher certification in the state of Missouri.

Prepare for the Test

There are general things you can do to prepare for all of your tests. There are also more specific study guides available based on the test or test subject areas. We cover them both.

Remember: You’re taking these tests for a reason. You want to become a teacher in a specific subject, and this is your chance to prove it. Take the time necessary to truly understand the information. You’ll thank yourself for it (and your students will thank you, too).

Create a Schedule

We recommend a two-pronged approach to structuring your study time:

  1. Create a work-back schedule. Start by writing down the day of the test. Then, outline the steps you need to accomplish before that end date: Include time for researching test prep resources (our favorites are in the next section), studying your subject matter area and taking practice exams. Here's a template you might want to follow.
    • Research test prep resources. Check out the next section for our recommendations.
    • Study your subject matter area. This is where the bulk of your time will be spent. Don't rush it.
    • Take practice exams. Even when you know the information, you'll need to get used to the test-maker's phrasing and topical area distribution.
  2. Make smart right-before-the-test choices. These are the obvious ones: Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a decent breakfast the day of, bring a water bottle, and show up early. Hanging outside the testing center 20 extra minutes is better than causing your brain undue stress minutes before having to think critically.

Not all tests are offered on a continuous basis. Some, including the World Languages test, are offered only in specific administration windows. Find test dates for MoCA and MoGEA here.

Test Prep Resources

There are a number of options available from test-makers directly, and some third-party services have come up with options, too.

Provided by DESE

These resources are endorsed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

  • Tests at a Glance by DESE provide the test name, code, length, number and types of questions, and domains, competencies and approximate percentages. We recommend taking a look at yours to get an idea of where to focus your study time.
  • Study guides by DESE include examples of the different types of multiple-choice questions, sample test instructions, test-taking tips and strategies along with practice questions, an answer key and rationales.
  • Practice Tests are full-length practice tests that include correct answers, explanations for correct answers and an automatic score summary report. Practice tests are available for the MoGEA and MoCA tests and range in price from $17.50 to $29.95.

Provided by ACT

The ACT offers a suite of test prep guides and online practice opportunities, both free and paid, including:

  • Live webinars
  • Free study guides
  • Online practice
  • Writing Samples

Provided by Third Parties

There are a number of free and paid options for getting prepped for your exams.

Preparation Materials for Similar Exams.

Although they may not be identical to the MoCA, it may be helpful to review materials for the Praxis exams in your subject area. Many states use Praxis exams for teacher certification and they offer free test prep!

Take the Test

Register for the right exam, know what to expect on test day, and report your scores on time.

  1. Registration

    Once you know which exam you’re taking, head over to the online registration system for DESE. There, you will:

    • Click Create a new account (below email and password).
    • Enter your personal information.
    • Follow the prompts to create an account.
    • Select Register for a test.
  2. Test Day

    You’ve settled on a content area, verified which test is required for your program application, studied hard, and now you’re ready to take the exam.

    Make sure you:

    • Verify your test location. Even if you think you know where your exam is being held, double-check that the test center schedule hasn’t changed.
    • Bring required materials. Depending on the test-maker, you may be required to bring a printed admission ticket, your ID, a calculator or other materials. Double-check with the service you registered with.
    • Dress in layers. Test centers can be chilly, and you’d rather be able to remove a jacket than be uncomfortable for the duration of your exam.
    • Show up early. You will not be admitted if you miss your reporting time.

    See Pearson's On the Day of the Test page for the nitty-gritty.

  3. Your Scores

    Find out how you did—and make sure your program does, too!

    • Viewing Your Results. Paper scores are so yesterday. Get yours online. To find out when your score will be available, review Pearson's score report dates.
    • Reporting Your Scores. Generally, you will report your scores on your online application itself. (Your checklist has a step for this!)  In some cases, submitting your “score report” will be part of the required paperwork during a program’s onboarding process.
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