Welcome to the Florida Educational Leadership Examination, or FELE, Practice Test and Prep Guide! We’ve created this free resource to prepare you specifically for the FELE. We’ll go over the key concepts you’ll need to know to pass your test.
While this free guide outlines the competencies found on the exam, our paid FELE 084 Study Guide covers EVERY concept you need to know and is set up to ensure your success! Our online FELE 084 Study Guide provides test-aligned study material using interactive aids, flashcards, quizzes, and practice tests.
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Not ready to start studying yet? That’s OK. Keep reading, and when you’re ready, take our free FELE practice test.
In this article, we will cover:
- FELE Test Information
- FELE Study Guide Video
- FELE Subtest 1: Leadership for Student Learning
- FELE Subtest 2: Organizational Development
- FELE Subtest 3: Systems Leadership
Florida Educational Leadership Exam Information
The FELE assesses the knowledge and skills required of educational leaders in the state of Florida. It consists of three subtests that evaluate candidates’ knowledge of the core competencies of educational leadership.
Each of the three subtests is made up of four competencies.
Subtests 1 and 2 each contain approximately 60 multiple-choice questions. Subtest 3 contains about 45 multiple-choice questions and 1 written performance assessment.
Subtest 1: Leadership for Student Learning
|Competency||Approximate Percentage of Exam|
Subtest 2: Organizational Development
|Competency||Approximate Percentage of Exam|
Subtest 3: Systems Leadership
|Competency||Approximate Percentage of Section|
|Written Performance Section|
While studying, you may notice that much of the content overlaps across the three subtests. What you need to know remains the same, but the questions will ask it in slightly different ways. Consider it this way:
- Subtest 1 is about how to promote learning.
- Subtest 2 is about how to develop your staff so they can promote learning.
- Subtest 3 is about how to lead your school so that learning may be promoted.
Cost: First attempt: $215 Retake: $225
Subtest 1: 2 hours
Subtest 2: 2 hours
Subtest 3: 2 hours (1.5 for multiple-choice, .5 for written assessment)
Scoring: You must pass all 3 subtests to pass the FELE. A scaled score of at least 200 per subtest is required to pass.
FELE Subtest 1: Leadership for Student Learning
Competency 1: Knowledge of effective facilitation of positive achievement results aligned with student learning goals and state accountability measures
This competency can be summarized as “Facilitating Positive Achievement.” Here you’ll need to be able to use data, such as state accountability measures and student performance on assessments, to determine actions a principal should take in order to promote continued learning.
Gathering and analyzing data is a central component of this competency, and of the role of an instructional leader in general. In fact, if a question presents data and asks you what the first thing to do is, the answer is often to gather more data. For example, if you are given end-of-the-year assessment results, before taking action, you may need to study additional data, such as the curriculum alignment or risk factors.
Here are some best practices for data-driven instruction to be familiar with and look for in answer choices.
- Use frequent and targeted assessments and analysis.
- Study and break down the data by specific groups, such as students with limited English proficiency.
- Analyze each item AND each student. This allows you to create a plan for remediation, which is the key to helping students progress.
Competency 2: Knowledge of effective prioritization of student learning through leadership actions that build and support a learning organization focused on student success and continuous improvement
Competency 2 is all about prioritizing student learning, which means establishing a school environment that is conducive to achievement. You’ll need to know appropriate strategies for engaging and setting high expectations for everyone in the building – from students to staff to administrators.
To promote continuous improvement of learning, you’ll often need to focus on the lowest quartile of student performance data. In Florida, each school is assigned a grade based on student performance data. Students in the lowest quartile have a significant impact on the school’s grade because they are represented in multiple groups (learning gains for a specific content area as well as learning gains for the lowest quartile), so it’s important to know how to support them.
Every public school in Florida must have a School Improvement Plan (SIP), which is updated annually. It should be used to review data, set goals, make action plans, and monitor progress. The School Advisory Council (SAC) works collaboratively to prepare and evaluate the SIP for the current year. This council is composed of members from the community, parents, students, teachers, administrators, and school support staff.
You’ll likely see a question about a SIP or SAC. You’ll need to know the laws and requirements of the SIP process and all of its components. We break all of that down in our FELE Study Guide.
Competency 3: Knowledge of effective development and implementation of an instructional framework that aligns school curriculum with state standards, effective instructional strategies, student learning needs, and assessments
In this category, you’ll need to understand how to use and assess an instructional framework, such as the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs). The FEAPs outline six practices every teacher should follow. As a school leader, you’ll need to evaluate and monitor your teachers’ adherence to these practices. The best way to do this is to observe them in their classrooms.
Another framework to be familiar with is the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS). These state standards outline the knowledge and skills students are expected to gain by the end of each grade level, encouraging vertical alignment. The curriculum your district uses should be aligned to the standards, but instructional design of lessons should still be adaptable and flexible to meet the needs of the students.
Competency 4: Knowledge of effective structuring and monitoring of a school environment that improves learning for all student populations
In order to improve learning, you must have a school environment that is conducive to learning. Your campus should feel:
Correct answer choices often involve closing the achievement gap. Achievement gaps refers to the disparity in school performance between students in particular subgroups. Typically, achievement gaps are evident in students of low socioeconomic backgrounds, minority students, and female students. School leaders must work diligently to identify and address achievement gaps on their campus. A key tip is to provide continuous training to your staff that is tailored to the cultural differences in your school.
FELE Subtest 2: Organizational Development
Competency 1: Knowledge of effective recruitment and induction practices to develop a high-performing, diverse faculty and staff
The first competency on this subtest is all about recruiting and orienting your staff. The key is to hire teachers qualified to address the unique needs and goals of your school. For example, if you have a high ELL population, you’ll want to bring on teachers and staff that have experience working with ELLs.
Conducting interviews is a central part of selecting your staff. When interviewing, ask for previous examples or anecdotes rather than direct questions. This will give you a keener insight into their abilities and experience.
|Ask||Do Not Ask|
|“Tell me about a time when you met the needs of ELL students without lowering the content rigor of your class.”||“What are strategies to use when working with ELL students?”|
You can even ask a prospective teacher to teach a brief model lesson, then reflect on it together. This allows you to not only get a glimpse into their teaching style, but it also allows you to garner how they receive feedback.
Competency 2: Knowledge of effective practices for the development and retention of high-performing, diverse faculty and staff
This competency makes up the biggest portion of subtest 2 at 33%. Questions in this category are often scenario-based and involve growing and keeping a high-quality staff.
Here are some best practices for staff development and retention.
- Ensure professional development (PD) activities meet goals and needs of campus
- Educate staff on meeting needs of diverse learners
- Provide time for teachers to take PD
- Provide time for teachers to implement changes
As always, use backward design and data-driven planning to identify what areas need staff development and create specific goals. Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings can be a useful time for teachers to plan implementation or reflect on the implementation.
Competency 3: Knowledge of effective practices that cultivate, support, and develop leaders within the organization
This competency covers how to develop teachers on your staff into future leaders at your school. A key to growing future leaders is delegation, or giving someone else a responsibility.
Best Practices for Delegation
- Variety of opportunities (but nothing menial nor sensitive)
- Provide monitoring and feedback
- Support collaboration
There are other ways to empower teachers who want to take on leadership roles, such as:
- Start a mentorship program
- Invite teachers to participate in decision-making committees
- Create an advisory group of teachers leaders
For more information on how to facilitate a mentorship program, the fine line between delegation and noninvolvement, and more tips, subscribe to the 240 FELE Study Guide now!
Competency 4: Knowledge of personal and professional behavior consistent with quality practices in education and community leadership
A topic that comes up frequently in this competency is collaboration. Your goal is to create a collaborative campus, one in which there is a united community featuring strong relationships and a sense of belonging. And that collaboration extends to all members of the school community. There are many best practices for working with everyone who plays a role in the school, but here is a general tip for each of the main groups.
|Students||Pair classes of older and younger students (ex: buddies program)|
|Teachers||Have regular, authentic interactions to build trust|
|Parents||Develop a systematic and rhythmic pattern of proactive communication (ex: a one page monthly update)|
|Community Members||Provide regular opportunities for service and cooperation (ex: weekly 1:1 mentoring at lunch)|
FELE Subtest 3: Systems Leadership
Competency 1: Knowledge of effective decision-making processes that are based on research, best practices, and leadership theory to support the mission, vision, and improvement priorities of schools
As a principal or school leader, you’ll be making decisions constantly. Here are the steps to follow when making any decision:
Effective Decision-Making Processes
- Analyze both qualitative and quantitative data
- Conduct a needs assessment
- Consider the budget
- Collaboratively make a plan
- Monitor progress
You’ll likely get a few questions about equity. For that topic, you’ll need to understand the following terms:
- ability grouping – placing students in groups based on their performance on a particular standard or subject
- tracking – the separation of students into different levels of the same course to match their academic performance levels
You should also be prepared to answer questions about Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
In addition to taking all of these things into consideration, keep in mind that decisions must be transparent. Stakeholders should be given access to relevant information so they can make well-informed decisions and determinations for themselves.
The Florida government upholds the Sunshine Law, enacted in 1967, which establishes a basic right of access to most board and government meetings. Therefore, school leaders should make sure that public meetings such as school board meetings or School Advisory Council (SAC) meetings are available to the public. Most importantly, when decisions are made by school leaders, the decision itself along with the rationale should always be shared publicly.
Competency 2: Knowledge of effective organizational theory, research, and management practices related to school operations that maximize a safe and effective learning environment
This competency covers all the information to know about managing and operating a school. For example, it is critical to adhere to Florida’s student schedule requirements. These requirements dictate that all students should attend school for 180 days. They also break down the minimum number of hours per day that should be devoted to instruction.
A big topic under this competency is school safety. A central component of a safe school is an authentic atmosphere of safety. Parents must believe that their child’s physical and emotional safety are of utmost importance. Reassurances enhance the parent-school relationship. And teachers and staff must feel safe on campus so that they can spend mental and physical energy improving student outcomes.
Competency 3: Knowledge of effective utilization of resources and fiscal management practices that maximize a safe and effective learning environment
Principals are responsible for managing money to keep the school running. For the FELE, you’ll need to be able to identify both the state and federal sources of funding and what each can be used for.
|Florida Funding Sources||Federal Funding Sources (ESEA)|
In order to uphold the state’s commitment to funding a uniform system of free public education in kindergarten through grade 12, the Florida legislature enacted the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) in 1973 to create equalized funding policy for each of Florida’s 67 school districts. This program guarantees the availability of programs and access to services for students across the state, regardless of varying geographical differences and economic influences.
Each program analyzed for FTE holds its own correlating cost that affects the weight it has on an FTE. The weighted calculation of FTE students is therefore determined by the amount of unweighted FTE students by the program factors.
Once the weighted FTE is calculated, it is multiplied by two factors to determine FEFP funding for a school district:
- The base student allocation is the standard amount of funding allocated to every single FTE student. This is set by the Florida legislature.
- Because the cost of living varies across the state of Florida, the district cost differential (DCD) is factored into the formula. In other words, this factor adjusts funding based on the cost of living within the parameters of the school district.
For subtest 3, you’ll need to understand the workings of the formula as well as the requirements to be an unweighted FTE.
Competency 4: Knowledge of school legal practices and applications that assure a safe and effective learning environment
To correctly answer questions about legal practices, you’ll need to be familiar with lots of terms, acronyms, and laws. Below is a list of some of the most common ones that you’ll see on your exam. If you need explanation on any of these, you can find them in the 240 FELE Study Guide.
|Special Education Jargon||LEPs / ELLs Jargon||Safety Laws|
That completes the multiple-choice portion of subtest 3. The other portion is the written assessment.
Competency 5: Knowledge of effective communication practices that accomplish school and system-wide goals by building and maintaining collaborative relationships with stakeholders
This task is not a traditional essay, but rather a case study prompt. You’ll be given data and asked to analyze it and explain what strategy or action should be taken, likely writing from the perspective of an administrator in the form of an email or memo. The prompt will give you a list of tasks, or bullet points, to include in your response. We recommend responding to them in order, with one or two paragraphs for each task.
- I. Task 1: Summary of data analysis
- II. Task 2: Instructional issue identified
- III. Task 3: Strategy (2-4 paragraphs)
- IV. Task 4: Monitoring instructional improvement
Your explanation of your strategy may be slightly longer because it is an important component of your response. The 240 Study Guide includes a list of the most common data issues and corresponding actions to take, but here is an example:
You may also be required to describe a professional development plan as part of your strategy. Here is just one example:
|Type of PD||Definition||Why It’s Beneficial|
|Book study on best practices||A group of teachers and administrators read the same book and discuss its implications for teaching and learning on campus||A study encourages new ideas, goal setting, collaboration, and self-reflection|
Be specific! Cite specific evidence from the data and describe specific ways that you’ll implement your plan.
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