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How It Works

The American Board, formerly known as the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence, is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to putting qualified teachers in the classroom through alternative teaching certifications. We offer an online, self-paced program to certification in several subjects to be used to teach in public schools in 11 states across the U.S.

You will prepare for two exams, a subject area exam and a pedagogy exam (also known as the Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) exam). Upon passing the two exams, you will earn your American Board certification. This certification will be used in place of a Master’s degree in education to receive your initial/temporary teaching license from your state’s department of education.

Self-Paced? What Does That Mean?

The American Board program is online and self-paced, meaning you can study when your schedule allows time to study. We do not offer any classes; instead we provide our students with online workbooks and study materials that they review to learn all about their subject area of choice and how to manage a classroom.

The entire program will be completed on the computer (although you will be able to print off study materials if you desire), giving you the flexibility to study wherever and whenever you want to. We have even had some students complete the program from overseas!

By being self-paced, our program works for you. The average student of the American Board completes the program in 7-10 months while maintaining a full-time job, but we have also had students complete the program in 2-3 months. It truly depends on how much time you will be able to dedicate toward studying each week.

How Will I Be Tested?

Our exams are conducted at Pearson VUE testing centers. Pearson VUE has testing centers across the country and around the world. Students will test at the testing center that is most convenient to them.

The exams will be conducted on the computer. Our students must pass the following exams to earn their certification:

1. The Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) Exam. This exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and a writing component. We suggest you take this exam before your subject area exam, as the writing component is hand-graded, delaying test score results by 4-6 weeks.

2. Subject Area Exam. This exam consists of multiple choice questions pertaining to the subject area of your choice. Test score results are available immediately after the exam is complete, unless you test in English Language Arts (ELA). The ELA exam has a writing component that is hand-graded, delaying test score results by 4-6 weeks.


Where is American Board Certification Accepted?

The American Board is an approved route for teaching certification in 11 states across the U.S. Many private schools across the country and international schools abroad also accept our certification. Click on a state below to learn more about the requirements to certify in that state.

What Subjects Does the American Board Offer?

The American Board offers certification in 10 subject areas. Click a subject below to learn more about the requirements to earn a certification in that subject. Please note, not all subjects are offered in every state.

How Do I Pay?

We offer several paths to payment. See our Programs & Pricing page for more information.

Programs & Pricing


We are available to answer your questions via email, chat, or phone. Reach out to us with questions and we'll be happy to help you figure out if our program is the right fit for your needs.

Call 1-877-669-2228 to speak with our Enrollment Team or click the button below to email us.