Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In
The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website



test criteria

Complaint Rating:  61 % with 28 votes
61% 28
Contact information:
District of Columbia
United States
This organization deliberately fails test takers on the essay portion of the tests so you have to pay to take the test multiple times. It's a way to generate revenue. I wrote a memo that was concise, clear and organized. They failed me because the memo wasn't written in five paragraphs and didn't have an introduction, body and conclusion. It was a business memo, not a creative writing exercise. I researched the company on the web and found some articles from nationally recognized educational organizations that question their credibility and capabilities.
Complaint comments Comments (16)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Education
More ABCTE.org Complaints & Reviews
ABCTE.org - teacher certification


Sort by: Date | Rating
D  8th of Apr, 2010 by    0 Votes
It is always amusing that people who don't succeed turn to complaining. ABCTE is a non-profit started with a grant from the US DOE so no one "makes money" from you failing the test. They now have so many resources available on the essay plus a forum where everyone walks you through exactly what to do to pass the essay that failing should not happen.

The test is hard because teachers need to be the best. It is a great organization and I feel much better prepared to teach having successfully passed their rigorous program.
D  8th of Apr, 2010 by    -1 Votes
What complete bs. The subject matter and the ptk tests were neither hard nor rigorous. I passed both multiple guess components with a distinguished rating. Plus the materials abcte.org provides are rudimentary at best. Using the name doc as your first name is absurd as well. They are a not for profit but that doesn't mean they don't have incentives to generate as much revenue as possible. When a not for profit generates more revenue than planned they pass it on to the owner, employees and investors as bonuses or use the money to grow their business. A not for profit is still a business. They just hide the profits. I was told that my essay addressed the issues clearly, concisely and correctly. What I was told was I didn't have five paragraphs and an introduction, body and conclusion. The memo is a business memo, not a creative writing assignment. I have written numerous RFPs, RFQs, grants, memos and letters and have never had any problems.

To reiterate, the purpose and proof of excellent communications is to get the message across with the least amount of words. Furthermore, if you want read an article about how honest and reputable these people are here is a link for you;


I teach IS/IT, business, law and ethics courses in college and constantly am rated in the top five percent as an instructor by the students and my peers.

ACBTE is a farce.

This organization is a farce and is taking advantage of a situation.
D  9th of Apr, 2010 by    0 Votes

I'm sorry to hear that you did not pass the essay portion of the exam. Our tests are known for being quite difficult. However, I can assure you that the organization does not "deliberately fail test takers on the essay portion of the tests so you have to pay to take the test multiple times."

The essay portion of our exams is graded by a third-party and they are not given any instructions to fail people so that it generates more revenue for us in the form a retake fee. Despite the difficulty level, we've had over 2, 000 people pass the exams and we offer tips and assistance to those who seek help in passing. ABCTE is a non-profit company that subsidizes nearly half of the cost to enroll each candidate.

The rubric, the guidelines with which a grader will examine your writing component, is publicly available and specifically asks that the writing “contains a coherent introduction, body, and conclusion.” Additionally, the PTK Writing Workshop, available to all candidates, specifically says “you need to have the format of a memo or letter, and it must address all the tasks in a 5 paragraph form.” Finally, the workshop clearly states that the writing component test three areas, your writing, your ability to follow directions, and your ability to plan and execute under time constraints.” I realize that you have writing experience with memos, letters, grants and--while that might prove helpful for the ABCTE exams--passing them comes down to having done exactly what the graders are looking for.

I also want to also address the Schools Matter blog post on ABCTE that you linked to in your second posting. I am quite familiar with that blog post -- the headline and the accusations of plagiarism made in it are quite false. The author accuses an ABCTE employee of plagiarism when it was clearly an ABCTE document our employee was referencing. There is nothing wrong with an organization referencing or copying portions of a previous report in other reports produced by that same organization and it is far from the definition of plagiarism. It is unfortunate that blog post was written but a careful read of it shows how absurd its accusations of plagiarism are.

Again, I'm sorry to hear that you did not pass. We'd be happy to provide you guidance. We will also take your concerns into account and will strive to be more explicit about the directions in the next revision of the exam. If you would like to discuss your situation further, please feel free to call me at 202-261-2620.

Mike Holden
ABCTE, Director of Public Relations
A  23rd of Sep, 2010 by    0 Votes
Mr. Holden,

Thanks for responding to each issue that was raised. The objector's words initially raised my eyebrows, but when I realized he hadn't even followed the instructions, the power of his objection faded quickly. It helps to know that you utilize a third party for grading the tests, even though your nonprofit status makes the accusation of mercenary tactics sound rather ludicrous.

Again, my thanks for your concise - and caring - response.

N  5th of Jan, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I have a MBA degree, and I have thought about teaching. I called the SC Department of Education, and they offered the ABCTE website as an alternative to just passing the Praxis Business exam. Why would I want to spend so much money for ABCTE when I can spend $80 and the registration fee for the Praxis exam?
A  2nd of Jul, 2012 by    +1 Votes
My experience with ABCTE has been very disappointing. Just now I called on the phone to request some information. All of the lines were busy, and I was forwarded to a voice mail box that was full. This happens all the time. I called at 10:15 a.m.. Why, anytime I call after 8:00 a.m., would all of the voice mail boxes be full?
I am also dissatisfied with the essay. I failed my first attempt because I misspelled the word receive ten times. That was my own fault. Their test is graded by a computer. Each misspelling of the word was docked ten points, out of a total of approximately 370 points, so I failed.
The test creators claim that errors will be considered based on the level that they distract from the message. Does ten misspellings of the same word distract as much as misspelling ten words? But my complaint is that when I was preparing for the essay, I was told to "write like a fifth grader, " dumb down my sentence length, and above all, avoid misspelling words. What practical application does this have for anyone's life? Even on this comment space, spell check is provided. No intelligent person would send any type of correspondence without checking their spelling. We should be graded on the skills that are useful in today's world.
Now I am in a situation where I will lose my job if I fail this retake. If anyone is considering taking the ABCTE route, or taking required college classes, take the classes. If you fail a college class, you can retake it, and retake it until you pass. If you fail the ABCTE essay, and aren't able to figure out what the graders are looking for within two retakes, you are done as a teacher. Your 2000 dollars is gone and you have no job.

Jennifer Wilson
ABC Canidate number
A  9th of Oct, 2012 by    0 Votes
I was thinking about enrolling with ABCTE, as well, but I can`t get anyone to answer my inquiries. I am unable to call because I am overseas at present. I have sent three messages to the general box, and I even surfed around the site until I found a real e-mail address for someone, and that inquiry went unanswered, too. I don`t know about the test complaint, but the customer service is certainly very poor.
N  29th of Aug, 2013 by    0 Votes
This resource for becoming a licensed teacher is very lame. There is virtually no contact or support once they get your money. When you first express an interest you WILL get calls from them up to twice per day, pressuring you to enroll. Once you enroll, and they have your money, good luck talking to anyone. When you do, I have found, they are surly and blatantly rude... the woman I spoke with, Robin, almost hung up on me... but I said, "wait a minute, I was still talking!" She then, supposedly, took down my message for her supervisor to contact me... but I NEVER heard back from anyone. Their site is frequently down. There are multiple errors on the site, and the program, basically, sucks! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY WITH THIS PROGRAM/SITE. I feel I have been robbed... no, raped... yes, that would appropriate word... raped.
A  6th of Jan, 2014 by    +2 Votes
I am having a difficult time with ABCTE as well. I've found their site to be disorganized and their structure to be chaotic. So far their practice tests don't align at all with the study materials. When I first registered I found their use of spoken language in the webinars to be peculiar, and I suspect the paragraph written above to be submitted by those same people who spoke and wrote materials on the site, this one in particular: "Thanks for responding to each issue that was raised. The objector's words initially raised my eyebrows, but when I realized he hadn't even followed the instructions, the power of his objection faded quickly. It helps to know that you utilize a third party for grading the tests, even though your nonprofit status makes the accusation of mercenary tactics sound rather ludicrous."

When he says, "hadn't EVEN followed the instructions, " I knew it was ABCTE posting. They use all sorts of words like that in their speech, it reminds me of my second grade son. So far I think they're a scam. If people are failing their exams it's because they're not teaching it well. After all, the people seeking this out are educated and incentivized to build on their learning; we're not forcing curriculum down a teenager's throat here. If only 50% of people pass the tests, they're doing something wrong. Period.
N  12th of Mar, 2014 by    0 Votes
I am an ABCTE.org customer. I reported an issue 6 days ago. I have called their customer support number for the past 5 days, multiple calls each day. I have yet to speak with a real person and none of my calls have been returned. I have reported the issue through their helpdesk, via the "live chat" function and in a formal trouble ticket but to no avail...no contact from intelligent life at ABCTE. Is it a scam, probably not. Does ABCTE suck at everything they do, YES!!!
N  4th of Apr, 2014 by    0 Votes
It is hard to believe that the NEA would support a company that would have such poor customer relations.
Any comments from the NEA on these complaints? Concerned in SC
D  27th of Nov, 2014 by    +2 Votes
I completed the ABCTE program two years ago and had no problems whatsoever. The "Professional Teacher Knowledge" or "PTK" portion assesses the candidate's understanding of pedagogy in much the same way as the Praxis II "Principles of Learning and Teaching, " but the ABCTE exam is a little bit harder - I know, I took both of them. ABCTE then requires candidates to pass a content-related exam that is again very similar to a Praxis II content-area exam, but again, I would have to say that the ABCTE exam is much more rigorous than the Praxis II exams. Again, I can testify to this because I took both exams.

It seems to me that ABCTE provides college graduates a "gateway" rather than a "route" to certification by requiring candidates to pass two very rigorous exams. ABCTE does provide resources to help prepare candidates for these exams in the form of online study guides that are similar to other test preparation books you can buy in bookstores, but I believe that the individual candidate needs to bring his or her own experiences as well as prior education and reading to bear in order to be successful. ABCTE isn't a conventional teacher preparation program for undergraduates; rather, it is a route for mid-career professionals seeking a career change or for experienced paraprofessionals or substitutes who want to gain full licensure. ABCTE program completion requires a high degree of maturity and self-motivation on the part of the candidate.

While some have called ABCTE a "scam, " I would call it a bargain. After 21 years as an officer in the Marine Corps I decided to retire and serve my community by becoming a teacher. I already had a bachelors and and a masters degree, but had been out of school for a long time. One option was to return to college and take 30 to 45 credits at several hundred dollars per credit hour to gain a teaching license, or to complete the ABCTE program for about $1, 700. The ABCTE fee covers all testing fees, while teacher education programs at colleges and universities still require candidates to take several Praxis tests at a cost of over $100 each. Most, if not all of the complaints about ABCTE have to do with the writing portion of the PTK exam. However, ABCTE provides detailed written instructions as well as an in-depth video production describing exactly how the essay is supposed to be written. It seems that every instance of candidates complaining about this portion of the test comes back to the individual candidate's failure to follow instructions. Furthermore, that failure often appears to be the expression of an arrogant approach to the task at hand rather than a humble approach to an opportunity to begin a new career.
D  8th of Apr, 2015 by    +1 Votes
I signed up for ABCTE near the end of January. By March 10th I found out that I had successfully passed both my PTK and my subject area exam. Anytime I emailed or called I was given prompt attention. The only issue I have is that I have not received my certificate yet because they ran out of security paper. I think that is very unprofessional, but other than that every other experience has been amazing and I would (and have) recommend this program to best friends and strangers alike.
D  11th of Apr, 2015 by    +1 Votes
I took the PTK exam for the first and only time three weeks ago. Of course, I knew the results of the multiple choice portion when I walked out of the testing center. I received the essay results in just 19 days. I passed both. I read through the entire PTK refresher course, took the practice tests and quizzes, and watched the writing resource webinar. No gimmicks. I knew what to expect when I went into the exam, and I wrote according to the guidelines discussed in the webinar. To be honest, all of this preparation only took a month, and that was on top of working full-time and raising three children.

I can only assume that any experienced writer who doesn't pass has failed to review ABCTE expectations before taking the exam. As an inexperienced writer, I worried about my performance on the essay and made certain to practice in the format described. While I only scored proficient, proficient is still passing, and I did it in one try.
A  3rd of Oct, 2015 by    0 Votes
I have a BA in business and have been teaching
Elementary computer lab for 5 years (460 students per week.) I have failed the ABCTE Elementary Ed Multi Subject exam twice now and the PTK once. I've almost spent $3000. Believe me most of the material is way older than 6th grade. The math is complex algebra that my 8th grade daughter who is in Honors Math doesn't even do. It's ridiculous. The crazy thing is, the ONLY thing I HAVE passed is the essay portion. I don't know, I'm beginning to think its a scam.
N  22nd of Nov, 2015 by    0 Votes
Hello Mom2Schaps,
I also hold a BA is Business and this is my second year as a substitute elementary teacher. I am currently enrolled in the ABCTE program to obtain my teacher's license. You mentioned that you are teaching elementary computer lab, how is this if you haven't passed the necessary tests? I am not trying to question your ability or credentials, just trying to figure out if there is a route I can go through to teach in elementary, other than substituting "prior" to passing the ABCTE program.


Post your Comment

Please check text spelling before submitting a comment
Your attitude towards Complaint Agree Neutral Disagree
Comment text
Attach photos (optional)

ABCTE.org Logo ABCTE.org
Customer Care Service
Street NW, Suite 900
View Full Information
Contact Us

Reply to