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!
To earn your teacher certification in Missouri, you’ll need to take and pass one or more tests, depending on your current level of education and the grades and subject you want to teach.
|Test||What is it?||Who Takes It?||When?|
Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA)
American College Testing (ACT)
|Test of core academic skills||
Students applying to undergraduate teacher preparation programs must submit scores for either the ACT or the MoGEA.
|Usually in the sophomore year|
|Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA)||Test of knowledge in the subject you want to teach||Everyone seeking a teaching certification in Missouri||Usually prior to student teaching|
Out-of-state educators applying for certification in Missouri must have their credentials reviewed by the DESE (Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education). Check with DESE before registering for an assessment.
The Core Academic Skills requirement is for undergraduate teacher certification only. You can fulfill this requirement with either the ACT or the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA). These tests measure your skills in reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies.
Educator preparation programs set the required scores, with a minimum required score of 20 on the ACT, though some programs will require higher. For the MoGEA, required scores typically range from 170-220 on each section of the MoGEA. Check with your program for specifics.
You will need to take the ACT or MoGEA before you apply to your undergraduate teaching program. The MoGEA is not required for post-graduate educator preparation programs.
MoCA refers to the Missouri Content Assessment Test. These exams test your knowledge of the subject you want to teach. All teacher preparation programs require that you pass the MoCA content exam in order to be recommended for certification in the State of Missouri. Depending on the subjects you would like to be certified in, you may take multiple MoCA exams.
If you are enrolled in an undergraduate program, you’ll usually take the content exams halfway through, prior to student teaching. For graduate programs, each program will determine when you are required to pass the MoCA, typically after the program begins.
If you are still exploring which grades and subject you want to teach, you can find a comprehensive list of certification areas and endorsements on our About Certification page. The Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments site details the specific exams you'll need based on your chosen teaching field.
Remember: You must pass the MoCA for your subject in order to earn your teaching certificate. The chart below details when you’ll typically take the MoCA.
When do I need to take and pass the MoCA content exam?
|Institution||Program||Before Applying||After Applying, but Before the Program Begins||After the Program Begins|
|Teach for America Kansas City (TFA)||Alternative Certification Program||
|Kansas City Teacher Residency (KCTR)||Residency Program||✅|
|Baker University||Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree||✅|
|Northwest Missouri State University||Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree||✅|
|University of Central Missouri||Bachelor's Degree||✅|
|University of Missouri – Kansas City||Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree||✅|
|University of Missouri – St. Louis||Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree||✅|
|WGU University||Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree||✅|
|William Jewell College||Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree||✅|
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.
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).
We recommend a two-pronged approach to structuring your study time:
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.
There are a number of options available from test-makers directly, and some third-party services have come up with options, too.
These resources are endorsed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
The ACT offers a suite of test prep guides and online practice opportunities, both free and paid, including:
There are a number of free and paid options for getting prepped for your 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!
Register for the right exam, know what to expect on test day, and report your scores on time.
Once you know which exam you’re taking, head over to the online registration system for DESE. There, you will:
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:
See Pearson's On the Day of the Test page for the nitty-gritty.
Find out how you did—and make sure your program does, too!