I would just like to start a discussion and see if any other candidates have been scammed by ABCTE in regards to their essay scores. I am a professional with a doctorate degree. After passing the multiple choice portions of both exams (the PTK & ELA), I waited for my essay scores. I then had to essentially harass ABCTE to get them within the allotted 6 weeks- even after I had been promised my scores within 3 weeks following my exams. When I finally did hear about my essay scores, all I received was an email from an ABCTE staff member claiming I had failed both essays. Upon calling this staff member- who could not even address me by the correct name or confirm which exams I took or on which dates- I was told that ABCTE will not allow me to review my essays or the score reports from graders. Actually, I was blatantly told that the only errors I had were "writing too fancy" and having a few spelling mistakes. Again I asked to review my score reports from the graders and for copies of my essays where the specific errors were cited. The only resolve I was offered was for the staff to read me my essay over the phone and then read me the rubric which is published online. Neither of these options are helpful or reassuring, as I am now convinced that ABCTE allows their completely subjective graders to fail first time test takers in order to gain the extra $100 re-score fee or the $125 retake fee. After over a week of complaints I have gotten no where. Currently I am being told by ABCTE management that they have a copyright on the essay which I composed- which is not only untrue, but illegal. I also have not even been provided any type of score confirmation aside from the email contact and being told that one staff member "is pretty sure both essays received a 3".

I am paying ABCTE for a service and being scammed. I would like to know if anyone else has been treated the same way by this company. And, I would like to know if anyone has taken legal action against ABCTE, as I am considering doing so. I now have multiple claims for breach of contract, fraud, and FERPA violations.

Trackback URL for this post:


Responses to this topic below, starting with the most recent response:


Posts like this made me VERY

Posts like this made me VERY nervous about taking my PTK. Now that I have my scores (I passed on the first try and received a 5 on my essay!) I can honestly say that this is anything but true. If you haven't taken your test yet and are nervous, please do yourself a favor and ignore the negativity on these forums.

Totally agree! Congrats to

Totally agree! Congrats to nicolelajones!

I had a very good experiece

I had a very good experiece with the essays. I feel like I could have used more time. I felt rushed writing the essay in an hour. Especially since I kept reading it trying to make it suitable to the ABCTE style suggested. I passed both PTK and ELA essays the 1st time with a 4 on both. However, I did have to forget what i was taught in college and re-learn how to write an essay based on their rubric. I believe you are a very intelligent person and probably are used to writing your way. I hate that you have had a bad experience, however I would recommend anybody who wants to teach to try this program. It took 3 weeks each time to get my grades back on the essays. Good luck to you! I hope that it works out for you!

I think it is somewhat of a

I think it is somewhat of a scam. I have a Master's degree and was told I failed the PTK essay but I had it sent back in for a review and they passed it the second time. I am nervous for the ELA exam since I had so much grief with the first one. It also took so long to get my scores back and my school district really needs my scores immediately for job verification.

When is your ELA scheduled?

When is your ELA scheduled? When I first started with the program, I remember reading that official scores are posted 4-6 weeks after the test is taken. Because I had noticed so many recent posts about it taking longer I actually contacted them about this after my ELA - they informed me that they are working to have all writing components back from graders w/i a 3 week time frame - so essentially 1 month from the time you take your test, you will have official results -

I don't think ABCTE is a scam at all - I had no issues with my PTK and all my questions were promptly answered both when I called directly or sent emails. I've passed the m/c portion of the ELA and I'm just awaiting the writing score -

I don't know that it matters much on the PTK what kind of degree you have, if you don't write to the prompt and follow the directions in the webinar, you will not pass the test.

So far I've been happy with my ABCTE experience - yes, there are some things that can be improved upon - but for me, it's worked well. (Side note.... I think it is our personal responsibility to take the test in adequate time to have official scores post and provide ABCTE time verify our backgrounds and transcripts, which is not done until we pass. If you have waited until July to test and need your ABCTE passport from your State before school starts, it is not realistic that it is going to happen.)

Wait, if you have a

Wait, if you have a doctorate you don't need this program. I think most states waive the requirement of having a certification at all if you have a PH.D.

That's what I thought as

That's what I thought as well.

I do not think this is a

I do not think this is a scam at all. I passed both exams on the first try. PTK MC 333 Essay 5, ELA MC 316 Essay 6. As long as you follow the format they provide, passing is very doable!

I passed my PTK essay on the

I passed my PTK essay on the first try. I am a "science" guy and not an English person at all...but using the format, lots of practice and some help from a friend I was able to pass. Sounds like a bit of sour grapes to me. I'm sorry you didn't pass and wish you luck the next time around.

I will add however, that the

I will add however, that the length of time it takes to receive scores is tough. But I am guessing that it is the 3rd party that ABCTE has to wait on, not them trying to be slow. I have had nothing but a positive experience from them.

I passed the PTK exam on my

I passed the PTK exam on my first try and made a 5 on the essay. This was a big deal for me, because I have always been bad at writing essays. I took all of the practice essays and had others read them for me. This helped me get into the "ABCTE way of writing". I will say that it took 7 weeks to get my results. I called, left messages and NO ONE ever responded. They could be better in customer service!

ABCTE is no scam. I passed

ABCTE is no scam. I passed both history tests as well as the PTK test. Every time I contacted ABCTE they were courteous and very helpful. I even had to go the route of a rescore on my essay portion of the PTK and everything went very smooth. I have went on to get my certification from the state of Missouri and am preparing to teach in our local school district this fall.

I have been VERY pleased

I have been VERY pleased with ABCTE, I passed my PTK on the first try. It took just 3 weeks to find out my score. Anytime I have contacted them, they respond quickly, and thoroughly answer my questions. I took my ELA exam, and I am now waiting for my score. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone!

ABCTE is not a scam. Watch

ABCTE is not a scam. Watch the video that explains how to pass the essay portion of the PTK, and then practice writing your essay the way ABCTE tells you to. It's a matter of following instructions. When you get to the testing center, be sure to check your doctoral degree and your ego at the door.

I failed when I wrote it my

I failed when I wrote it my way, which is the way most of us were taught, and passed when I wrote it the ABCTE way. Plenty of tutorials and help on the website. I took advantage of it the second try. The first time the results were received in 4 weeks the second test was a little longer. And I annoyed my rep very badly with a ton of emails and calls. I needless to say was very impatient and I was very ticked off when I failed the first time. I also thought it was a fraud to make more money, especially when I wasn't allowed to see my mistakes. All it happened to be was, I didn't write like they wanted. When I changed my format I scored a 5. I am very happy now, especially since I am now certified!!!!!

Also, when I scored a 3 on

Also, when I scored a 3 on my first test, I was given plenty advice on how to pass.

At this point it has been 8

At this point it has been 8 weeks since I have taken my exams, and ABCTE refuses to post my score reports online or provide them to me in another manner. They contacted me via phone to tell me a failed both the PTK and ELA essays with 3s but will offer me no further information. When I ask what errors put my essay in the 3 category they tell me the grading is subjective and that they do not know exactly what my errors are. I am extremely frustrated- outraged actually- that they are requesting that I either pay $200 to have my essays re-scored or $250 to retake both exam, all WITHOUT providing me score reports. And, I did write the essays exactly catering to the 5 paragraph, dumbed down language, thesis sentence style. Nonetheless, I am still claimed to have failed. Now, the office staff refuse to speak with me and have asked me only to contact the Chief Operating Officer, with who you must have an appointment to speak with on the phone. By the time I am allowed to speak with him, the 30 days to request a re-score will have almost have run. They are trying to back me into a corner and force me to pay more money- which would just be me admitting that I think I should have failed the essays with no proof.

I am glad that no one else has seemed to experience this level of incompetence by the staff so far. But I would still strongly caution any new candidates NOT to take part in the program.

I have yet to take the ELA,

I have yet to take the ELA, but did pass the PTK on my first attempt. Honestly, I feel that I followed the written portion as instructed and that is how I passed. I used basic terminology, proofread it, and used five equal paragraphs addressing what was asked of me. At this point I do not believe it is a scam, I do however feel that we should have input on our essay whether we passed or not so we can see what we need to improve on. I believe this would help tremendously in order for retakes or passing the other exams. Good luck on your next attempt and feedback.

HI IdahoMomma, I'm also an

HI IdahoMomma,
I'm also an Idaho Momma!
Would love to talk with you about your experience. I'm in Boise. Are you as well?

Can we chat? Not sure how to make this a private message, so sorry to ambush the thread.

The 'Exam Status' portion of

The 'Exam Status' portion of your user account should have pdf score reports that list results from both parts.
Essays on standardized examinations tend to frustrate me because of the time constraints and the ridiculousness of the topics given. I have been able to get through them by holding to the fact that they are just exams and not meant to be acclaimed pieces of literary art. One tip given by a staff member was that balanced essays, that is with paragraphs of roughly equal length, would be graded better. Would I construct a rubric where that particular feature was the difference between a passing essay and one that failed? Perhaps not, but using a published rubric to evaluate an essay isn't exactly a scam in itself either.

Post new comment
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <sup> <p> <br> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <address> <pre> <img>

More information about formatting options